Last year, like almost every other female I knew between the ages of 20-60, I purged my closet and jumped on the capsule wardrobe bandwagon. There were good intentions published online about regularly featuring my wardrobe via What I Wore Sunday, but those promises lasted until the temperature dropped and I could no longer take pictures outside. You were probably all relieved anyway. This is not a fashion blog. (As evidenced by the existence of this “white” robe.)
Although the capsule fascination faded from my homepage, the wardrobe lived on, and a year later, my closet is just as empty as that first fall afternoon when I dumped all it’s contents onto my bed and started stuffing unwanted items into plastic bins and bags.
Keeping a small wardrobe has been easy and amazingly, I never got tired of having fewer options. Here’s a few things a learned after a year of a capsule wardrobe.
- It’s not about rules. I stopped counting the exact number of pieces, my goal is to keep my wardrobe small, only add pieces I truly love on a seasonal basis and purge anything I don’t love or haven’t worn, every time I switch out clothes for different seasons.
- I don’t force myself to make a decision about every piece I own right away. Knowing I have some leeway makes it less stressful for me.I keep some items I’m unsure about tucked out of the way. Usually, I wind up not wearing said pieces, and they get donated, but occasionally, I discover a new use and I put them into full time rotation. For example, I was gifted a scarf but it didn’t seem to go with anything in my capsule. I felt guilty getting rid of it right away, so I tucked it off to the side of my closet. But then later I was gifted a pair of boots that looked really nice with that scarf so I wound up wearing the two things together frequently last winter.
- Getting dressed requires almost no thought. I can easily see everything in my closet at a glance and as most of it goes together, I can reach in, pull out a few things and get on with my day. (The only snag is if I don’t keep on top of my laundry and half of my capsule is in the basement, 1/4 on the floor of my bedroom and 1/4 in my closet. But that falls within the realm of poor housekeeping, not fashion so we’ll save it for another post.)
- Shopping for myself is much easier. This was something I picked up on from the start, and my feelings have remained the same. Fewer wardrobe items means I can visualize most things when I’m out shopping and know instantly whether or not the item I’m considering will go with anything I already own.
- Despite fewer choices, I still get compliments on how I’m dressed, which leads me to believe either I know a lot of liars OR it’s possible to look good with a small wardrobe and a small budget.
This fall my capsule includes two of these massive ridiculously printed blanket sweater coat things. (The one pictured above is from Target.) I also bought a hat because I’m still recovering from the regrettable summer bob decision. I feel like I should know better than trying to rock this young bohemian look but man, it is so comfy. The older kids are embarrassed that their mother is wearing what, by all intents and purposes, resembles an Oriental rug, out in public.
Who else is still riding the capsule wardrobe bandwagon? Any additional lessons to impart upon the rest of us or favorite fall pieces?