Having a closet of clothes that don't fit quite right, don't look quite right, and aren't quite the colours that suit you isn't going to do you much good. Its better to downsize and have a lot of basics and things that fit well with some fun things mixed in; getting dressed isn't so much of a hassle. A wardrobe of individual pieces and no basics will not work, as hard as you try to make it work.
Know what your strong points are, and what your lifestyle is. Dress for your climate. If you walk everywhere, getting rid of all your flats collection and replacing them with heels is not going to work. If you work in an office, downsizing on how many suits and pencil skirts you own won't do much good either. Get rid of what you don't wear, what doesn't fit and what is worn out. If you haven't worn it in the last year, you likely won't wear it for the next year (obviously excluding things like you weren't in the country for a whole season, or pregnancy).
If you choose to downsize and rebuild, donate your clothes to salvation army (you can get a voucher for discounts on purchases there in the future when you bring a big bag of clothes in, and reduces landfill waste).
This is my ideal capsule wardrobe. I don't own all of these items, but similar things. The idea is that i could own ONLY these items for over a year and never have to buy anything new for anything my life would normally throw at me. (I haven't really included accessories excluding bags.)
How obvious is it that i live in Canada?
-A pair of medium wash jeans and a pair of dark wash jeans. I don’t often wear lighter wash jeans because they tend to add pounds and look more casual, darker jeans always look dressier.
-A tank top in a bright colour, and a long sleeve shirt, along with a black, grey, and white tshirt. When I think about the shirts I wear on a regular basis, these are the ones I wear.
-Two casual dresses for everyday wear
-One formal dress in a neutral colour
-A little black dress (semi formal)
-One trendy coloured sundress (these end up destroyed quickly anyway)
-A longer denim skirt (to the knee)
-A black pencil skirt
-Two brightly coloured cardigans, one navy cardigan, and one grey cardigan. I generally find grey easier to mix and match than brown or black.
-One dark and neutral blazer
-One light summer coat in a neutral colour
-One beautiful winter coat in a warm wool (obviously if you live somewhere cold)
-One rain coat (belted if possible) with a hood. It took me a year and a half to find my actual rain coat (this
isn’t it, most of these clothes I don’t own) and is brown and belted.
-One bathing suit that isn’t too embarrassing to wear around
-One pair of fancier winter boots
-One pair of functional winter boots (blundstones, etc)
-Comfortable sandals (I have foot problems so I am impartial to birkenstocks. I own this pair)
-Brown leather flats
-Black leather flats
-Brightly coloured pair of flats
-A pair of comfortable flats like shoes.
-Smaller leather purse in brown
-Smaller leather purse in black
-Clutch for going out
-Larger bag for travelling and such.
Due to the popularity of this post, I have decided to do a capsule for every season as they come up. The first season I am going to do this with is Summer