How to Build 256 Spring Outfits With Only 16 Items

In the spirit of Earth Month, we are turning to every aspect of our lives that could use a little streamlining. Enter the closet. If you're anything like us, yours is probably packed to the brim despite its small size. It's only natural to look at your clothes and think I have nothing to wear, nothing fits, and I need new everything. Meanwhile, you could hardly fit another hanger on the rod. Sound familiar? 

When the temperatures start heating up, it's easy to fall into the trap of going on a mad shopping spree to forget about spending the last six months in a shapeless parka. If you find yourself wanting to hit the shops, we suggest doing this first: Ruthlessly edit, declutter, and organize your closet. Once you've made a little space, you can focus on the pieces you're actually missing for the next season.

Here's the challenge: Could you survive an entire season with only 16 pieces, shoes included? We believe it's possible. The idea is to invest in four separate pieces in each of the following categories: tops, bottoms, footwear, and outerwear—and create as many outfit combinations as possible. 16 items of clothing may not seem like a lot go get through an entire season, but if chosen carefully, they could create up to 256 outfit combinations. How can you make sure these items are versatile enough to mix and match? We outline our favorite wardrobe minimalist tricks below.

The good news is you probably have a few of these in your closet already—all you need to do is just fill in the gaps.

Next up: A professional organizer overhauled my closet—here's what happened.