the lively show: how to create a capsule wardrobe with caroline rector (unfancy)


Today’s Lively Show episode is the perfect blend of deep introspection, inspiration, practical how-to, and fun!

I’m talking with Caroline Rector of the minimalist fashion blog, Unfancy.

Caroline’s blog focuses on creating a “capsule wardrobe,” which – for her – means wearing the same 37 pieces (including shoes!) for three months at a time.

I knew I had to have her on the show to share the journey that brought her to the concept… and share her insights for those of us who would like to attempt a similar experiment in our own wardrobes.

This show is perfect for anyone interested in trying a creative wardrobe framework, simplifying, discovering their true style, or tackling difficult shopping issues.









  • The two big limiting beliefs that Caroline had to overcome in her life which eventually brought her to style and fashion blogging.
  • How Caroline reexamined her negative thought patterns and mainstream media messages in order to change the way she looked at herself and reality. (Heads up: we talk about breasts.)
  • The four month long soul journey that Caroline went on between ending her previous career and starting her new one as a minimalist fashion blogger.
  • Where the concept of capsule collections comes from, and the blogs that helped introduce Caroline to the concept initially.
  • Why Caroline has settled on the number 37 for her capsule collections.
  • How Caroline approaches setting the number of pieces in a capsule collection and her suggestions for others thinking to do something similar.
  • Caroline’s approach to shopping when she’s creating a capsule.
  • The step-by-step guide to starting your own capsule collection experiment.
  • The revelations that Caroline experienced from not clothes shopping for long periods of time.
  • How this shift in shopping and style has impacted the rest of Caroline’s life.
  • Caroline’s recommendations for those who have full-time jobs or two separate roles that require completely different types of clothing.
  • What Caroline would tell someone just starting out on this journey.





Into Mind

Project 333

Be More With Less 

Caroline’s Wardrobe Planner






Want more? Check out more Lively Show episodes here.


PS – If you liked this episode, you may also like:




This Post Has 80 Comments

  1. Maya Elious

    I loved today’s show and guest speaker! I love this idea of having 37 (or whatever number I’m comfortable with) pieces! I’ve been struggling with finding my personal style and I learned that I need to have staple pieces! It’s better to have 30+ pieces that I LOVE rather than 100’s of clothes in my closet telling myself I have nothing to wear. This is awesome!

    1. Amen! I hear ya, Maya!

      I find it makes the mornings a lot easier. And if/when you ever feel like dipping into your maybe pile or the stuff you’ve stored away, you feel like you’re shopping and getting something ‘new!’

  2. Oh my goodness, this is the most exciting thing I have heard in months! I love the idea of pairing down without feeling starved, and I am so excited to learn more about your methods for buying new pieces and organizing a smaller wardrobe to easily mix and match! Made me think of packing too—do you think you will tell us how to pack effectively for a short or long trip? I am so excited to read Caroline’s entire blog and get into my closet!! Thank you

    1. That’s great to hear, Holly! Since I’ve read Caroline’s entire blog, I can say I do know she talks about packing once or twice. I’d hop over and check / google her blog name and ‘packing’ to find the articles where she’s touched on it!

  3. Missy Graves

    I will humbly admit that I was a big skeptic of how helpful this podcast would be, but I was completely wrong. Great interview, and great responses! I’m looking forward to hearing from some additional voices on Caroline’s blog. Thank you, Jess!

  4. suela

    Loved this episode! It reminded me of something Sean McCabe said on his podcast, SeanWes -“Freedom does not facilitate creativity—constraint does.” Thanks for another great episode!

  5. I Love this! I was also skeptical but it really gave me a new perspective! Every time I go to my closet and try to get rid of clothes I don’t wear I lose my clarity and with a limited budget this works! I love the maybe pile!

    1. That’s great to hear, Linda! I’ve got a maybe pile in storage that I can pull from whenever I like, it’s so nice and almost feels like I’m “shopping” when I grab something from it. : )

  6. colleenfoxslack

    I recently fell in love with her blog too, and in a matter of days tackled the workbook and tackled my closet. The way she framed it helped me let go of more pieces I’d been on the fence about in previous (recent) narrowing down efforts. Seeing pieces that were pretty one note and didn’t play well with others, or that I wouldn’t buy now (because they didn’t really reflect my CURRENT style or what I would feel comfortable in for the activities I do) really helped me see what didn’t pull their weight in a balanced wardrobe. Then instead of falling for pieces on Pinterest, I could really look at the holes in my capsule and realize that I needed a neat pair of dress shoes more than I need a cute pair of sneakers, for instance. Having to write out outfit ideas really clarified that for me.
    I actually wrote out my outfits for each category in my pie chart and that really helped me fine tune my vision for how dressy I want to be for different types of events/ activities. So helpful! And I tried on pieces with fresh eyes and came up with new combos. Can’t thank her enough for how it helped me feel less stressed about my wardrobe every time I open my closet. Since I work from home a lot I have a drawer just for “at home” clothes vs. out in the world clothes, and that was comforting as well. And I love that her color palette is pretty minimal compared to what you see in most style blogs. More relatable for me personally. Loved hearing more about what led her here and her additional tips. Thanks Jess and Caroline!

    1. Yay! This is so wonderful to read, Colleen! I’m so excited for you and your wardrobe sounds like it’s gotten a whole new life thanks to Caroline’s help. Awesome!!

  7. joanna

    So inspiring. I downsized my wardrobe while listening! I have a bag to donate. I am already a fan of Courtney carver and living with less. This podcast was so enjoyable! thank you and good luck Caroline!

  8. joanna

    I also love the tip on trying hairstyles out instead of shopping.

    1. Right?! I’ve been trying it lately and it’s really a nice way to gain new skills without spending $.

  9. Mailinh

    Love this concept! I am always purging my closet every time I buy something. But I definitely have to try this approach.

    P.S. If you’re looking for more people to interview, I think Promise Tangeman would be a great person to interview. Her insight is just awe-inspiring.

    1. That’s great to hear! I hope you like the capsule experiment. : )

      And thanks for the guest suggestion for the show, too!

  10. Abby

    This was a great show! Completely relatable and full of great advice on slowing down, taking stock, and pushing forward in an intentional way. Caroline just got herself a new reader.

  11. Oh, I loved this episode. I found Caroline’s work while she was still a Wedding photographer and by that time she already inspired me oh so much with a her work. Being able to catch all these changes in her super + creative path was amazing and listening to her speak about this cool project was inspiring. I’m trying to build my first capsule wardrobe but it’s so hard to let go of these things I keep saving… I’m realizing that this is more powerful than just a simple wardrobe cleaning + revamping. I do believe that this is one of those life changing moments when we choose to live wiser + simpler. Thank you so much for inspiring me every week. Thank you Caroline for being just who you are! Sunny cheers from sunny Portugal 😉

    1. “I do believe that this is one of those life changing moments when we choose to live wiser + simpler.”

      That’s so well said, Gina!

  12. Tara

    I really enjoyed this podcast! I am a new fan now of Caroline’s style, very similar to mine. I also like how you touched on insecurities and addressing them. I definitely feel better when I have the right outfit on, at times it can help secure the confidence boost I need to face the day.

  13. Kelly Jo

    Awesome episode. From the way she handles her insecurities to her philosophy on her wardrobe, I found it all very inspiring. I will have to start slow but I’m excited about trying a capsule wardrobe!

  14. Lizelly

    I just can’t say how much your podcasts and the LWIO course are helping me at this point in my life. Everything I hear or learn in class seems to fit in perfectly to many situations I am going through.

    When I read the title of this podcast I didn’t feel I would be able to relate or learn from it, but now that I’ve heard it I realize I can implement the Capsule concept to my wardrobe precisely now that I am re-organizing my entire home. This will surely give me the extra space I am looking for to set-up my home office. Thanks!

    1. That is so AMAZING to hear, Lizelly!!

      I’m glad you got so much out of this episode, and I hope that this week’s module helps take things even further for you!

  15. Jess

    I’m a bit obsessed with unfancy, so it was wonderful to hear this podcast – thank you! Totally relate with the body insecurities, and love everything else.

    1. That’s wonderful to hear. I’m glad you got to listen to Caroline rather than read her this time. : )

  16. Loved this episode! I’m looking for your little mini Tuesday podcast that you mentioned and I’m not seeing it…can you point me in the right direction? Thanks Jess!

  17. I know I’m commenting on this late, but I struggled a lot with having a small chest. And the same as Caroline, I felt so inadequate compared to other women. No matter what I wore, that was always my focus.

    But I eventually got so tired of feeling and thinking crap. I forced myself to stop. I had to take a media break because I need to drown out the chatter and find myself and accept who I was.

    I love her blog and this was a really great show!

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed the episode and could relate to Caroline’s struggles and eventual realizations. That’s amazing.

      Also…. I really think you will enjoy tomorrow’s podcast episode… ; ) ; )

  18. Lani

    This is my first time on your site Jess and as I’m looking over all of the goodness you have, I went straight for this one b/c I’m getting ready to go minimal and listening to Caroline’s story, I knew would be right up my sweet alley. Thanks so much!

    1. Jaclyn, this is INCREDIBLY inspiring! I love, love, love the looks you created as you got going and that cool print top in the first part of your capsule wardrobe, where is it from?! : )


      1. Thanks Jess – and thanks for taking the time to read my post. That’s why you’re awesome. I can’t wait to start Life with Intention Online. The top, believe it or not, is from Forever 21!!!

        1. CRAZY! I love that print. : )

          I can’t wait to work with you + see you in class, Hun!!


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