This is part of our series on Building a Capsule Wardrobe. In this post we'll be talking about how to ensure that you get the most out of your wardrobe by making sure the clothing you buy is appropriate for your lifestyle.

Sometimes the reason we have that feeling of “I have nothing to wear” isn’t because the style or color palette of our closet isn't working. We could have the perfect wardrobe in theory, but it just doesn’t suit our lifestyle. 

That can happen when you make life changes (like going from working in an office to being a stay at home mom). It can also happen if you gravitate towards dressier or more casual items than you can't realistically wear in your current life stage. If you're a new mom and you have 20 pairs of stiletto heels and no cute flats, you will probably end up being frustrated when you get dressed. It doesn't mean you can't buy the stilettos, or cute party dresses, it just means you shouldn't buy as much of them. Make an intention to buy more of the things you'll enjoy wearing every day, and you'll get the most out of your closet.

I know that I gravitate towards dressy items - I just love dresses and skirts and (faux) fur coats. But I now work from home, so I’m having to adapt my wardrobe to be more casual and comfortable. I still will wear my dressier items, when I go out to dinner with friends or on a date with my husband or when I have work meetings. But I need to incorporate more casual items into my wardrobe, and also be creative about how to dress down some of the items I already own.



To get the most out of your closet, it helps to think about what activities you do every day vs. what types of clothes are actually in your wardrobe. Rate the activities below, to get an idea.  It doesn’t have to be exact, but just play around with it until you get to 100%.


Casual (for working from home, hanging out on the weekends, running errands, etc.)

Active (for working out, hiking, walking the dog, etc.)

Professional (for corporate jobs, business meetings, etc.)

Business casual (for 9 to 5 jobs, more casual work meetings, etc.)

Semi-dressy (for dinner dates, going out with friends, etc)

Dressy (for special occasions, a nice date night, etc.)

Formal (for formal events, weddings, etc.)


For example:

What types of clothes do you spend time in?


Casual – 60%

Active – 10%

Professional – 0%

Business casual – 0%

Semi-dressy – 25%

Dressy – 5%

Formal - 0%


What is your actual wardrobe made up of?

Casual – 10%

Active – 5%

Professional – 0%

Business casual – 0%

Semi-dressy – 75%

Dressy – 10%

Formal - 0%

It helps to draw two circles and make a pie chart, so you can see what the discrepancies are. If you look at the example below, I clearly have too much semi-dressy stuff and not enough casual stuff. This is because I've worked in fashion for years, and I've always needed to be somewhat dressed up and fashionable. Now I work from home most of the time, so my cat doesn't require me to wear a dress every day. ;) I need more casual pieces to fit my new lifestyle.

Does your wardrobe match your lifestyle?



Thinking about your lifestyle vs. your actual wardrobe, ask yourself these questions:

What would make my wardrobe more practical?

What are the key items that would make my life easier?

What items could work with my existing wardrobe pieces to make them more functional?

Maybe you work from home, and you have a bunch of cute simple tops - but you usually wear them with either uncomfortable jeans or skirts. You hate wearing tight uncomfortable jeans when you work from home, and you’re not going to get dressed up in a skirt at home, so maybe you need to find some comfortable pants that you can pair with your existing tops. Or you can invest in a couple oversized, long sweaters that you can wear over leggings.



Make a list of the pieces that will make your wardrobe more practical for your lifestyle. For example:

I need to buy more...

***Casual pieces***

-perfect white t shirt

-oversized sweater

-comfortable pants

-graphic tees

I need to hold off on buying...

***Dressy pieces***

-no more dresses or skirts 

-no more heels

(for now)


If you shop with your lifestyle in mind, you will get the most out of your closet, and enjoy it more!


This is part of our series on Building a Capsule Wardrobe. Here is the full list of posts in this series:

1 - Define your style

2 - Create a color palette

3 - Build a fit guide

4 - Align your closet to your lifestyle

5 - Design your ideal capsule wardrobe

6 - Clean out your closet

7 - Organize your closet

8 - Create a wish list

9 - Shop thoughtfully


PS - We'd love for you to keep reading, and download our free worksheet below to follow along. It’s a great asset to print out and keep handy as you're building your wardrobe!