4x4 Wardrobes

What is a 4X4 Capsule Wardrobe?

What's a Four by Four Capsule Wardrobe, and why should you consider forming one from the clothes already in your closet?

A Four by Four Wardrobe is a 16-piece group of clothes chosen four pieces at a time:
  • four pieces in the first neutral color (called a Core of Four),
  • four pieces in the 2nd neutral color (also known as a Core of Four),
  • four pieces which combine the neutrals (called The Expansion Four, because it expands your options to combine the two neutrals),
  • and finally four accent items (called The Mileage Four, because it gives you enough "tops" to be able to wear the "bottoms" in your wardrobe more frequently, and not do laundry constantly).

The definitions for these "fours" aren't rigid; there are quite a few variations possible within the overall concept of choosing 16 garments to form a well-integrated travel or capsule wardrobe. The ‘mix-and-match nature of the 4X4 capsule wardrobe makes it perfect for a minimalist or carry-on only travel wardrobe.

Many of these capsule wardrobes will also include The Integration Four (or more!), which are accessories that help the new garments work as complete outfits.

How to Build 4X4 Capsule Wardrobes

4X4 Capsule Wardrobe Examples

Project 333 Using the 4X4 Capsule Wardrobe

4X4 Capsule Wardrobes Inspired by Art, Nature, & Scarves


  1. Janice, I'm hoping you can tell me which wonderful past post I'd like to refer back to. The system I had decided to follow was your suggestion to pick pants, jeans, jacket or cardigan and t-shirt in one colour.....then the same items in another neutral colour.....and then a few items which contained both colours. You used terms like "dressy blouse, simple top, etc." Now I can't find the post nor can I remember what the system was called. I'd like to refer to it from time to time. Any idea? I love your blog, by the way!!

  2. That sounds like the very bottom post above - Building a wardrobe: by fours. I've done dozens of Four by Fours, because I keep finding that it works so well!

  3. I have been following your blogs and working on putting together a 4 x 4 wardrobe for months. Thank you so much for making my life easier and for helping me look put together instead of just thrown together! I have 2 questions please. I look best in cool toned clothes, but when it comes to makeup, I have brown hair, hazel eyes and fair skin. I can't decide if I should use a warm or cool palette. What would you do? My second question is would it be okay to add a pair of blue jeans or 2 into the expansion 4 as long the other colours coordinated? Thanks Janice!

    1. As far as makeup goes, I don't wear much, but when I'm in a quandary about colors, I go to Sephora and let the young ladies there tell me what matches best. They're pretty amazing...

      And yes, it's totally right to add jeans, as many as you need. As long as your wardrobe is working for you and you're happy, then it's a wonderful idea!

      big Monday a.m. hug,

    2. Hey, I really needed a hug (and advice :)) Thank you!

    3. Oh Laura, I have an endless supply of hugs! Come back here any time if you want some love - I'm full of love, and the other readers here are equally lovely and caring.
      another hug,
      just because the world needs it,

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  5. Really nice information. It is very useful and informative post. Thanks for sharing.

    Wardrobe Accessories

  6. Hi Janice, my name is Marta and I just met your blog. I usually have a good sense of fashion, however I always had problems to make a small and precise wardrobe. In the last 2 months, I lost 11kg so, as you imagine, I have to rebuild my wardrobe. I've been looking for ideas and I must say that you are far away better than everybody I found: simple, elegant, atemporal and universal. I was able to match my tops (the only ones that still fits me��) with 5 or 6 new bottoms, and solve all my "wonderful problems" related to the weight losses, without having to spend a huge sum of money. Thank you really much for your suggestions.

  7. Dear Janice, my long and elaborate comment has been eaten in the process of publishing. So can I just ask a huge favor - please, please add the color wheels to this page so that I can find what I am searching for. Honestly it's been a real struggle for me to find what I am searching. Without color wheels (or arrows or whatever) it is impossible. I want to enjoy the richness of contents on your site that is so awesome, and I would really love to be able to find what I am searching.
    Sania from Zagreb