Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Manga of Tidying Up has inspired millions of women to reduce the contents of their overflowing bedroom drawers into a minimal selection of immaculately rolled up tops and pants.

Susie Faux preceded Kondo by a few decades when she first introduced the ‘capsule wardrobe’, which ideally contains 30 to 40 high-quality, versatile items, a concept that has never been so relevant (or trendy) in this era of fast fashion. According to Faux, the guidelines for creating your pared back closet are fairly loose, but Shop You’s personal stylist U suggests whittling it down to about 30 items (including clothes, outerwear, and shoes, not including PJs, accessories, fitness apparel and special-occasion outfits). Just lay all your clothes on your bed and be RUTHLESS. As a rule of thumb, if you haven’t worn an item in six months it goes straight to storage; if you don’t truly love it, same fate.

As you sort, consider the multitasking magic of neutral colours and classic fits, and clothes that can be dressed up or down as well as transeasonal layering options. The idea is that your capsule items can be worn year round. Once you’ve honed your wardrobe you might find it has a few holes – perhaps you never spent up on a classic white tee and just threw out a pile of threadbare cheap ones. That’s where U comes in handy, guiding you through the post-cull stage of building the perfect capsule wardrobe. Let U help you create your very own capsule wardrobe with the Shop you app.

Advocates of the capsule wardrobe say it is liberating. Goodbye stressful mornings and clown-like concoctions, hello effortless dressing.

Basic Instincts

The core of your capsule is in the basics, and before you shop for those you need to consider your body shape and style preferences. What neckline works on you? Pant length? Loose or snug fit? Do you like structured or clingy fabrics? Once you’ve ascertained all this, you’re ready to start shopping, and since basics don’t really go out of style, it’s worth investing in items that will last. Check off the list below against your current wardrobe and start filling in the gaps: