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Style Academy Building a Capsule Wardrobe Part 2 Colleen Hammond

Building a Capsule Wardrobe, Part 2

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Building a Capsule Wardrobe, Part 2: Closet Analysis

In this series, I’m teaching you how to build your ideal Capsule Wardrobe with only 22 pieces that will mix and match to make hundreds of outfits.

For Part 1, click here. 

Today, I’m going to explain KATDOM.

In Part 1, you had some homework. Constructing a Lifestyle Analysis.

Now, we’ll do a Closet Analysis and de-clutter your life.

Studies have shown that the clutter around us actually causes our brain to dance and reduces our ability to focus. The clutter around us actually makes ‘noise’ in our brains! It can also cause internal pain. In the book, One Year to an Organized Life, professional organizer Regina Leeds says that clutter reinforces distress:

Leeds states that clutter creates a “brain dance,” an agitation and inability to think clearly amidst the stuff. She believes that “our clutter makes noise” keeping us “upset and churned.” When confronted with the piles and junk drawers we are also haunted with the “tyranny of shoulds,” stemming from our feelings of guilt about our disorganization.

But we live in a culture where we are encouraged to admire and acquire. And that’s one reason why our closets are bulging.

There can also be other issues, as discussed in this article by Dr. Jennifer Baumgartner:

Clutter is not only a container for our memories, but can be distractor for tackling deeper issues. Leeds cites that “stuff can be a buffer from pain.” It is the padding from the cold hard world, the anchor in a sea of confusion, or the dam that holds surging emotions. With a safe person, such as a professional organizer or altruistic friend, in a structured time-limited fashion, removing the clutter and confronting the pain can be a cathartic process.

Let’s begin to de-stress your life

But first, something that may feel stressful: We’re going to examine every item that you own.Pile of Clothing MorgueFile

You may LOVE this idea, and you want to do it all at once. If you’re the “all at once” type of person, just pile everything on your bed and start going through it.

Or if the thought of that overwhelms you (like it does for me), then set your timer for 20-minutes and just go through your closet and dresser in smaller chunks of time.

Remember these three things:

  1. When I wear this, do I look and feel like a million dollars?
  2. Does it fit my coloring, career, current body type, dressing personality, lifestyle analysis? (See the Style Academy for more info.)
  3. The Rule of Three: Can I wear this item with three things OR in three different ways?

You’re going to divide your items according to KATDOM: Keep, Alter, Toss, Donate, Orphan, Memento.


Remember, in order for you to keep it, it must match three other items.

  1. Does it fit you properly?
  2. Does it flatter your body type and your coloring?
  3. Is it in good condition?  
  4. Is it obviously from another decade?
  5. Does it work with your current age and your current lifestyle?
  6. Is it the right color for your skin, hair, and eye color, and the right style for your body type?
  7. Does it make you look and feel like a million dollars?
  8. Does it have special memories, like a wedding?


Now, some things can be altered, but it must have 3 friends to wear it with it. No orphans! Remember, dying clothing is an option.


Is it tattered? Faded? Frayed? Worn out, including shoes? TOSS IT.


If you haven’t worn it in a year, let someone else have the advantage of wearing it before it gets moth holes in it. (Or if not sure, box it up for a couple of months and see if you miss it.

Sometimes we have emotional attachments, like you got it for your first date. Or we feel guilty because we spent so much money on it. Or if you’re like me you have dreams of losing another 50 pounds.

You know what, box it up, put it in the car immediately before you change your mind. Donate it. Let somebody else get the advantage of being able to wear it!


Remember, an Orphan is something that looks great by itself but doesn’t match anything in your closet. Only keep an item if it matches three other things, OR you want to build a capsule around that particular item.


Some clothing items are “vessels” for memories, like a wedding dress.. Keep it, box it up, and put it in storage.

So there you have it! Pile everything up on your bed and start whittling down your items so we know where to start with Building your ideal Capsule Wardrobe!

In Part 3, we’ll discuss your Dressing Personality!

Photo compliments MorgueFile

View the video for Part 2 here:

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