Have you heard of this whole “capsule wardrobe” phenomenon? I’ve been seeing it all over Pinterest and on many of the blogs I read for a while now, and about six months ago, I decided to give it a try.
Best. Decision. Ever.
But I’m getting ahead of myself …
So what is a capsule wardrobe anyway?
According to Courtney of Be More With Less, aka my Capsule Wardrobe hero, a capsule wardrobe is “a collection of clothes and accessories that includes only items that are considered essential.” Instead of a closet filled to bursting with “meh” and “it’s alright,” a capsule closet is filled only with pieces you love and that work for you right now. Instead of trying on outfit after outfit that “isn’t quite right” or “fits a little snug here or there,” a capsule wardrobe means when you open that closet door, everything is beautiful and useful and just right.
So how can you build a capsule wardrobe?
Your best bet? Head over to Courtney’s blog. You’ll learn everything you need to know there. You can also plug “capsule wardrobe” into a Pinterest search and come up with dozens of pins about it.
For me, I had to pull everything out of my closet and ask myself three questions …
- Does is fit me right now?
- Is it my style?
- Is this in season (and wearable) right now? (And if not, will it still fit me and my style when it is in season?)
I’m not that into fashion and not really much of a clothes shopper anyways so I was shocked at the amount of items in my own closet that simply didn’t make the cut.
I had several items that fell into the “will fit me when I lose weight” category. But if I lose 15 pounds, won’t I want to celebrate with a few new things? And honestly do I really want to open my closet each day only to see pants that don’t fit?
I had several items that fell into the “bought on sale/never worn” category. I had no idea where to wear those items or what to wear them with so they sat in my closet taking up space and kinda making me feel bad for being so fashionably challenged every time I saw them.
I had several “out of season” items. Some of those I kept and stored away, but many went away. I had one sweater that I agonized over. It was lovely. It was warm. It fit. And it itched to no end every time I wore it! I often wore another top underneath to avoid the itching! How silly! Gone!
When all was said an done, I culled my wardrobe down to just 19 items.
19?!? Are you crazy, Jodi?!?
Well, maybe a little, but I loved each and every one of those 19 items. I knew every morning I would open my closet and see things that fit me right now and made me happy.
I also knew 19 wasn’t enough. I knew I’d need to go shopping.
What’s the point of downsizing your wardrobe just to go shopping?
I’ve never really enjoyed clothes shopping. In fact I’ve always hated it and avoided it whenever possible. I never knew what to buy, what I needed, or what I really liked, and I always felt guilt for buying more when I already had so much at home.
But this time, I knew exactly what I needed … two pairs of comfortable pants, 2 or 3 long sleeved tops, and a cardigan-type sweater. I realized that I really like darker blues and grays and that I tend toward stripes (and am just not comfortable in other prints). So I shopped. I found the items in the right size and in colors I liked, and I knew I would wear them often.
I didn’t feel guilty either because I actually did need the items and because again I knew I would wear them and get my money’s worth.
And though I’ve purchased and edited my wardrobe a few times since, my number still stands at 21.
1 pair of dress pants
4 pairs of jeans
14 tops (from t-shirts to sweaters)
I also have 6 dresses hanging which I do not count in this number as three are out of season and 3 are cocktail dresses or ball gowns for very specific occasions.
Is that enough? It is for me! Every morning when I get dressed, I can reach into my closet and pull out just about anything, and I know it will work and will make me feel good. Every single items fits me right now, and sinceI dress in mostly dark blue, black, or gray, everything coordinates.
Courtney suggests the number 33 for her capsule wardrobe, Project 333. She includes shoes and outerwear in that number. I don’t because I’m still working on what shoes I like and fit my style. Mostly I wear sneakers or black flats every day for right now. Also I’m still in the stay-at-home mom phase. If I worked I might need more clothing to reflect that.
Don’t you hate wearing the same thing over and over again?
No, not really. Again I’m not super huge into fashion anyways, but who wouldn’t love wearing clothes that fit, feel good, and look pretty all the time.
But what if someone notices you’ve worn the same outfit twice?
Ummm … if that’s happened, no one has mentioned it to me. Plus if someone did mention it, I feel good enough about my wardrobe that I would be happy to share my capsule wardrobe journey with them!
Is a capsule wardrobe right for you?
I don’t know. Take a quick survey of your closet. Do you love what you see? Then maybe this isn’t for you … but if you see a lot out-of-season, I’ll-wear-that-when, and I-wish-that-fit items, then maybe it’s time you took the capsule wardrobe challenge.
So just being nosy … how many items do you have in your closet? Leave your number in the comments!