Lately I’ve been reading a lot about minimalism and the idea of living with less “stuff”. That led me to the idea of building and testing out a capsule wardrobe for myself. I’ve found lots of great blogs such as Un-Fancy and INTO-MIND which have truly inspired me.
In case you’re unfamiliar with the term “capsule wardrobe” the basic idea is to limit the amount of clothes in your closet to some specific number (usually 30-something) and only wear those items for the entire season. During the designated amount of time (usually 3 months) you aren’t allowed to buy any new clothes. I really like the idea of a capsule wardrobe for the following reasons:
- It focuses you on buying fewer clothes of good quality rather than lots of cheap clothes. This helps you save money and avoid impulse shopping.
- It forces you to build a wardrobe that you actually love. For example, my closet is currently filled of a lot of hand-me downs or random clothes from forever 21 that I don’t actually like, don’t fit me great, and are hard to make into actual outfits. When I spent some time going through my closet this week it really made me realize that I mostly buy clothes because they are on sale, and I never spend the time thinking about how to make an outfit before I purchase pieces. This has left me with a ton of clothes but not a lot that actually goes together.
- It forces you to think about what pieces of clothing you actually need. For example, when going through my closet I realized I don’t have any shorter skirts. I have like 3 maxi skirts, but no pencil skirts or anything shorter than ankle length. Now when I go shopping I know that I probably don’t need to buy another maxi skirt, but buying a mini skirt could be justified.
- Having fewer pieces to choose from helps save time when getting dressed in the morning. It also saves time spent doing laundry and shopping for new clothes.
As someone who has lived out of a suitcase for a year, and has backpacked through Thailand and Europe, the idea of living with a very limited wardrobe doesn’t seem too foreign to me. When I started writing down what clothes I would include in my capsule wardrobe, I realized that 30-something articles of clothing is actually quite a lot.
However, I did decide to exclude certain things from my capsule wardrobe, such as my designed “dog park clothes”, lounge wear, hiking boots, accessories, and jewelry.
I decided against limiting my wardrobe to a specific number of articles. But rather, I focused on selecting items I really love and can mix and match to create multiple outfits. I used the idea of proportions to figure out what types of outfits I like, and then listed examples from my wardrobe for how to build each outfit. For example, a proportion formula could be something as simple as tight pants + loose top, or as detailed as high rise skinny jeans from american eagle + purple polka dot button up long sleeve from gap, tucked in + sandals. Using these types of formulas, I was able to ensure that each item I chose for my capsule wardrobe could be worn in multiple ways. In the end, I decided on 13 bottoms/dresses, 15 tops/jackets, and 9 shoes (and anyone who knows me, will understand that cutting down my shoe selection was definitely the hardest part).
I’m going to try out this whole capsule wardrobe thing for the month of April, and by the end of the month I will decide whether it’s something I want to continue on with or not. All of my clothing that I’m not using for my capsule wardrobe has been stored, and at the end of the month I plan on donating any clothes that I don’t find myself wishing I had included in my capsule wardrobe. I’m also not allowed to purchase any new clothes during the month of April. I don’t want to necessarily call these “rules”, because this is really just an experiment I’m trying and nothing is set in stone. Therefore, I’m going to refer to them as “guidelines” instead.
Here are the clothes I decided on. (Please excuse the poor quality of the pictures, and keep in mind I am by no means a photographer, and that I edited these using paint on my laptop without a mouse).
I’m actually kind of looking forward to putting together different outfits from my capsule wardrobe. I can feel my creative juices starting to flow.
What do you think about capsule wardrobes? Have you or would you ever try one?