By now you may have heard about the idea of capsule wardrobes, and this upcoming season I’m going to jump on the bandwagon and give it a try. As you know, one of my 2015 goals was to actually get dressed each day, and hopefully this exercise is a push in the right direction. When you work from home, it’s super easy to only wear pj’s all day, so I’m hoping this capsule wardrobe will keep me accountable. Also, I am almost thirty (it hurts to say) and I need to not dress like I’m in high school. That means actually getting rid of pieces I have from way back when.
Caroline over at Un-Fancy describes it beautifully, but the idea of a capsule wardrobe is that you have a limited number of pieces in your wardrobe that you really truly love. These pieces form a seasonal collection, and during that three-month period you wear only these items. Toward the end of the season you plan and shop for the next season’s wardrobe, which consists of items that you roll over from the previous collection, that you buy new, or that you bring out from storage. Typically you have about 37 or so pieces in your wardrobe, not counting workout gear, pjs, etc.
The goal behind a capsule wardrobe is to streamline your closet, and as a result you streamline your life. The truth of it is, most of us have pieces that we reach for time and again when we get dressed, and we have a bunch of other stuff that we don’t wear that clutters up our closets. I’m 100% guilty of holding on to clothes that don’t fit, that aren’t my style any more, and that might be in poor condition. For me, building my first capsule wardrobe was all about using what I already have, and clearing out the junk. Let’s talk about what I included, and then talk about what I learned so far.
For those of you keeping track, the roundup is 6 sweaters, 8 long-sleeve t-shirts, 4 short-sleeve t-shirts, 1 button-down, 1 skirt, 7 pairs of pants (mostly denim), and 8 pairs of shoes. I didn’t count layering tank tops, since those won’t be seen at all. I put a ton of clothes into my donate pile, because aside from a few summer tops, the clothes above are the majority of what I wear anyway. And, truth be told? I feel kind of meh about it all. There are pieces in here that I really love, like the black booties, which were a Christmas present, the white button-down, and the striped tee with sequins, but on the whole, many of these pieces are very old and also worn on a very regular basis. I’m an active person with a three year-old. We jump in puddles and get hands-on with our cookie-baking – it’s only natural that I’m hard on clothes. The problem I’ve gotten into is that I’ve been running on Mommy mode, and I rarely buy things for myself. I usually wait until something’s literally coming apart at the seams to replace it. No bueno.
Here’s what I learned.
- If you are going to have a limited collection of clothing, you need to make sure those items are well-crafted, built to last, and that you care for them properly. I’m a little embarrassed to show you those black flats, because while they’re in good condition on the outside, the inside of the shoes is cringe-worthy. Come my next wardrobe update, I’ll probably add a new pair to my “buy” list, since they’re a classic, versatile piece. Maybe I should make a new rule for myself: if it’s not in good enough condition to donate, I shouldn’t be wearing it myself. Sounds kinda good, doesn’t it?
- I definitely gravitate toward a style uniform. This means a basic style formula that you use to make outfits. For me, it’s about Skinny Jeans + Warm Sweaters + Booties, or Jeans + T-Shirts + Booties. But let’s be real. I live in Seattle, so those Hunter Rain Boots will get plenty of use.
- You can never have too many striped shirts. They’re all just a little bit different, am I right?
- It’s easier for me to mix and match clothes when I stick to a color palette. Here, it’s mostly neutrals (black, white, and grey) with pops of color from the same red/purple family.
- I could use more layering pieces. I really love the look of a vegan leather jacket over some of the more unstructured items in my closet. The rules are all about using what you have, but if I see something that fits my style, I may have to add it as a bonus piece.
- Before photographing any clothes, I shouldn’t lay them on my bedroom carpet, since they will collect all of the pet hair in the house. And gosh, are my clothes this wrinkled all the time? That is all.
I’m excited to photograph a few outfits for you, and to see how I can change the look of different pieces by adding accessories and layers. It’s all about learning what works, and I hope you enjoy the experiment, too!
Have you heard about a capsule wardrobe? Would you try it?
- capsule wardrobe 2015