Instead of buying new clothes every season, a wardrobe that lasts a lifetime can be created with a few simple steps.

The term “capsule wardrobe” was created by Susie Faux and popularized by Donna Karan, according to Susie Faux’s blog. A capsule wardrobe typically consists of a small number of classic clothing items that can be worn several different ways. Karan made this method well-known by designing a line with seven interchangeable pieces in 1985.

The difference between creating a capsule wardrobe and an ordinary closet cleanout is the quantity and quality of the clothing that remains.

Instead of throwing out what you don’t wear, you throw out what isn’t consistent with the rest of the capsule wardrobe.

This process can be compared to downsizing a home or buying a smaller car. Your closet will only feature the bare necessities, but you’ll save both money and the environment.

Choose a color schemeStart with the colors in your closet. Set aside pieces that have similar tones and textures. Think about which colors get the most wear without clashing. This can include prints.

Start with three base colors, add a few accent shades and and finish up with some pattern and texture.

Examples

1. Base colors: Black, chambray and white.

Accent colors: Pink and Camel.

Patterns and textures: Leopard and lace.

2. Base colors: Forest green, khaki and gray.

Accent colors: Maroon and ivory.

Patterns and textures: Floral and silk.

3. Base colors: Black, white and navy.

Accent colors: Gold and teal.

Patterns and textures: Paisley and stripes.

Create a base

Remove the items from the closet that are unworn, outdated and don’t fit the color palette. What’s left are clothes that can be kept in your closet all year.

You should try to have no more than three or four pieces of each type of clothing. Instead of having five jackets, for example, choose two basic ones. The goal is to only leave room for essentials.

Example

A white button-down shirt, a black dress, black trousers, black pumps, dark wash jeans, light wash jeans, a sweater and pencil skirt. A white shirt can be styled under the sweater and topped with a jacket. Wear with jeans, trousers or a pencil skirt.

Change with the seasons

Adding new pieces to the base of your wardrobe can provide versatility when the seasons change. Instead of buying 10 new sweaters for winter, layer with the pieces you already own under a coat. Layering a sweater and a trench coat over a white button-down blouse can turn a summer outfit into a winter outfit.

Mix, match and invest

The next time you shop, gravitate toward items that fit the chosen color scheme. Don’t buy what you don’t need. If you already have a white button-down shirt, avoid buying a second one. That being said, if you don’t have a white button-down shirt, it might be worth it to invest in one that is pricier from a reliable brand. This will ensure longevity.

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