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Creating a Functional Wardrobe

How to Build a Functional Wardrobe

Are you looking to build a functional wardrobe? Don’t know where to start? Does it seem too daunting of a task? Let me help you!

I’ve been going through the processes of decluttering different areas of my life and home in an effort to create more white and blank space, both mentally and physically. One of the areas I had been putting off decluttering had been my closet. I had no idea where to start. 

I love the idea of a minimalistic, capsule wardrobe, but realize how unrealistic that is for me and my lifestyle. Not to mention, I just love color and clothes (and shoes, and purses)! Therefore, my decluttering was very loosely based on a capsule, minimalistic wardrobe. Realistically, however, I would probably rather just call this a simple or functional wardrobe. 


I will show you the steps you can take to also declutter your wardrobe. This article is written from a “mom” point of view, because I am a mom. This isn’t a mom wardrobe per say. Anyone can follow these steps to help them declutter their own wardrobe! Let’s get decluttering!

Creating a Functional Wardrobe

How to Build a Functional Wardrobe

Become Inspired

I think inspiration is half the battle. Inspiration will take decluttering your wardrobe from something you dread doing to something you will look forward to starting!

I found inspiration and really nailed down what was do-able, and functional for my lifestyle. I picked the type of wardrobe I was trying to achieve. As well as what I want my personal style to be.

I tend to opt for effortless, elegant styles. Looking put-together in a classic, simple sort of way.

Not only that- but I was able to become loosely inspired by a minimalistic and capsule wardrobe theme. Perfect for decluttering!

capsule wardrobe simple

Create a Game Plan

The most challenging part of tackling my wardrobe was to create a game plan.

I had to figure out how I was going to declutter. Many people say if you love an item then to keep it, or if an item speaks to you, you can keep it. This to me seems silly. I loved all my items at one point or another. That’s why they’re in my closet.  I’ve also never had an item speak to me before… so that didn’t help.

I decided to first set up a goal number for myself. True capsule wardrobes had 12-30 items in their entirety! However, the capsule wardrobe trend has shifted more into “seasonal collections” of sorts. This seemed more achievable to me.

I ended up deciding on trying to make my wardrobe under 150 pieces-not including workout gear, pajamas, or underwear. I came upon this number by taking Unfancy Blog‘s 37-piece capsule wardrobe and multiplying it by the 4 seasons. This gave me 148 items.

(I realize 148 items are a lot for some people, and 148 may not be enough for others-adjust this to what fits your own life, the only goal is to challenge yourself to declutter thoroughly! This number seemed to work well in challenging me to declutter and only keep the items I really loved.  But it still gives me enough options where I don’t feel the need to go out and buy more. Remember, we want this to work for us and our lifestyles.)

After coming up with the number in its entirety- I set smaller goals for tops, bottoms, dresses, skirts AND jackets, and shoes.

This comes out to:

Per Season (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter)

12 Tops

10 Bottoms

5 of each-Dresses, Jackets, Pairs of Shoes

OR

Yearly Items

48 Tops

40 Bottoms

20 of each-Dresses, Jackets, Pairs of Shoes

I allowed myself 2 formal dresses for date nights, as well as special occasions I have to attend, so the total, for me was 150.

I also added a few criteria for how to narrow the items down. They

a) Had to fit,

b) Couldn’t have ANY stain, rip, or tear and,

c) I had to be within my goal numbers! Period.

d) Had to match with my personal style goal. (Was it effortless? Was it elegant?)

functional mom fashion

Start Decluttering

I think the most important part to decluttering is to take everything out. Take every article of clothing out of every storage device including closets, drawers, and dressers. NO skipping!

We often don’t realize how much we have until we start taking everything out. This also helps us see exactly what we have.

I started off by putting everything on my bed-in somewhat organized heaps, and then took everything off the hangers.

simple mom wardrobe

Clean!

After everything came out of my closet, I cleaned my closet from top to bottom to give it a fresh, clean slate.  Why put your new simplified wardrobe into a dirty closet?

Set Yourself Up for Sucess

Before I started going through everything, I made sure to have my goal sheet, a water, a stack of trash bags on hand. Two trash bags already being set up, one for donate, one for trash.

Then, I started going through each section-tops, bottoms, dresses, skirts, shoes.

After I successfully narrowed down each category to the amount of clothing I had set for myself, I then proceeded to hang the items on appropriate hangers. Strong wooden hangers* for heavy coats and jackets, multi-pant hangers for pants*, and velvet ultra thin hangers* for tops. I kept all the top hangers the same-except for the coats to keep my closet looking neat, and to maximize space.

I ended up keeping only 144 items of clothing, having one garbage bag full of trash, and three HUGE garbage bags of items to donate!

In total, I now have less than 200 pieces of clothing in my entire closet. I can see everything, I fit in everything, and I love everything. Which is the way a functional wardrobe is supposed to feel.

simple mom fashion

Evaluate

After you cleaned up your wardrobe, make sure you take inventory of the things you kept. Be sure to make mental notes of the styles you liked and didn’t like, the colors you gravitate to. This will help you make smarter purchases in the future.

Other Areas to Declutter

After you’re done narrowing down your closet, you can declutter your accessories. Now you have a better idea of what your style is, and what accessories would compliment it. You could also take time to declutter your makeup drawer based on your signature style, and what has expired.

Once this process is finished- look forward to how much more simple and functional your wardrobe will be. Enjoy letting your wardrobe work for you! Also, don’t forget to share this page, signup for new blog post updates, and to leave me a comment down below if you have any functional wardrobe decluttering tips!

Functional Mom Wardrobe

Until Later My Friends,

Sina K.

LivingbytheMargin.com

Links marked with * are affiliate links. This means I receive a small compensation (at no cost to you) when items are purchased through this link. 

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14 COMMENTS
  • Marcie
    2 months ago

    We just did KonMari on our house and I was seriously shocked how many pieces of clothing we had. It’s so important to go through the entire house to collect jackets, sweaters, gloves, hats, etc to see what you’re working with. My husband and I donated 17 bags of clothes!

    • Sina K.
      2 months ago
      AUTHOR

      The KonMari method is amazing! I respect anyone who can do that level of decluttering, it simply wasn’t functional for us! 17 bags of clothes is AMAZING!

  • Jenni LeBaron
    2 months ago

    I have never been able to organize by season very well. But I do organize by item type, color, and sleeve length. This really inspires me to do a more thorough clean-out of my closet though.

    • Sina K.
      2 months ago
      AUTHOR

      I thought I was one of the only ones who does this! My husband thinks it’s over-organizing. I think it’s efficient.

  • Susannah
    2 months ago

    Wow I’ve never thought about only keeping a certain number of pieces around. Something to think about!

    • Sina K.
      2 months ago
      AUTHOR

      It makes choosing an outfit so much easier! That, and I never have the “I don’t know what to wear” because I LOVE all the (limited) clothes in my closet!

  • Melissa
    2 months ago

    Congratulations!!! Good For You! I love this idea, but it doesn’t seem feasible to me right now. I have such a wide variety of clothes in my closet…different sizes and different functions e.g. work, day to day, vacation etc. Regarding the sizes, I’ve had a couple of babies in the past few years and am giving myself 1 more year to find my “new normal” – with that said, at that point, I fully plan on cleaning out and getting rid of stuff. I am totally going to keep in mind the number of clothing items that you shared. Thanks for the tips! Will be pinning this for future reference. 🙂

    • Sina K.
      2 months ago
      AUTHOR

      Thanks for sharing! I appreciate you stopping by, and can’t wait to see you again soon!

  • These are great tips for decluttering a wardrobe! I haven’t done this yet, but it’s probably something I should do!

    • Sina K.
      2 months ago
      AUTHOR

      Thank you! I found, for me, that half the battle was just getting started on decluttering!

  • Marta Rivera
    2 months ago

    Oh, dear! I fear I may fail you. I love clothes SOOOOOO much. I can’t even imagine pairing down.

    • Sina K.
      2 months ago
      AUTHOR

      I love clothes too! And now my closet is filled with only my absolute favorites. I didn’t think I could but once you get rid of stuff it gets easier. Plus now I follow a one in-one out rule to makes sure my closet stays paired down!

  • Natalie
    2 months ago

    YES, these are all great tips! I’ve been in the process of decluttering my closet for awhile now and make it a point to purge something every time I buy something new. I’ve also learned to not buy something just because it’s a good deal or on sale- I need to REALLY like it.

    • Sina K.
      2 months ago
      AUTHOR

      Deals are so tempting, but I have to remind myself I’m really not “saving” money if I just spend it! The one in – one out trick is so useful too!

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