The Hanger Hack for an Easy Capsule Wardrobe

Some people are pretty extreme with their minimalist capsule wardrobes.  They’ll limit themselves to 30 pieces of clothing that all work together to pare down and simplify their closet.  I love looking at their sparse closets on Pinterest and their capsule wardrobe checklists – white button down, check, beige blazer, check, pants that can unzip and turn into shorts, check.  Those 2 in 1 items give you serious capsule wardrobe street cred.

Designing a minimalist wardrobe is a great goal, but there are many ways to do it.

I wanted a middle path.  I wasn’t exactly sure how to create a capsule wardrobe, but I knew what I didn’t want. I didn’t want overflowing drawers and closet, most of which I didn’t wear.  But I also didn’t want to pare down and limit myself to a certain number of items.  To me, that felt, well…too limiting.  Like, it would be stressful if I bought a top, and now my number was 31.  Was I still a minimalist?

So I created my own way, and that was 6 years ago and I still use it to this day.

I call it very simply “the hanger trick”.  It’s really simple. I decided to go about building a wardrobe I loved, I needed some boundaries.

#1 – I bought a set of 50 hangers that were all the same (if you don’t have hangers that are all the same, it is SO nice to see everything hanging so neatly!  You’ll never go back.  With just that one upgrade, you’ll be surprised how suddenly your closet looks like…a Marie Kondo closet! Ok, maybe not quite, but it’s pretty great.

#2 – I put only my favorite things in my best colors on those 50 hangers.  Knowing your ideal colors is the absolute best way to begin assembling a capsule wardrobe.  Once you know your best colors, why would you wear anything else?  Plus, you can focus in on a family of colors that all work together, so putting together outfits is a breeze.

#3 – No more hangers – I set a rule that I would not add hangers to my closet.

#4 – One in, one out – If I bought something new that needed a hanger and all my 50 were being used, I had to purge one item to free up a hanger.

#5 – I arrange all my clothes by color – This I do just because it makes me happy to see the colors all grouped together!  My color coordinated closet brings me so much joy!  Totally not part of the hanger trick…

Basically, I created a scenario where an item of clothing had to “earn” a hanger in my closet.  And for me, 50 hanging items is just perfect.  It naturally keeps me in check and keeps my wardrobe simple and uncluttered.  I also have a few drawers and a set of shelves for jeans, sweaters, socks, pajamas, undies (can you tell I have little kiddos?), etc.

My hanger trick system is so simple, it’s as easy as watching Marie Kondo folding pants!  Ok, maybe not quite, but it’s pretty great.

The secrets of a perfect capsule wardrobe is to find what works for you and do that!  So if you’ve been struggling with how to make a capsule wardrobe (like I was for a long time), I hope you find the right path for you!   A basic capsule wardrobe really does make life easier, especially when you start with a color palette.