A few weeks back I shared that I’ve decided to start doing a capsule wardrobe this fall. It’s been a hugely overwhelming process to get started, but I’ve been living with a significantly pared down wardrobe for several weeks now and shockingly enough I don’t miss any of the other clothes!
When we left off, I was still a long way from an actual capsule, but over the last few weeks I’ve been slowly and steadily narrowing down the number of items in my closet. Every few days I’d step back into the closet, look everything over, and move one or two things to the back (indicated I didn’t want to keep them in there). After a while I started actually pulling stuff out of the closet instead, and very quickly the number started to dwindle.
I think I’m officially decided on my capsule wardrobe – the number I landed on is 47. It’s a little higher than most capsule’s I’ve seen, but it works for me and I think it’s a good start. For the last few days, I’ve been doing a trial run and wearing mostly only things from my capsule. I’m not “officially” starting for a couple more weeks, but this is a good way for me to make sure what I’ve landed on is what I want – I’ve already switched out a couple of pieces so I’m glad I did the trial.
Things have changed since I took this photo (I’ll share when I get around to taking photos of the whole capsule), but here’s a peek at my (significantly) lightened up wardrobe when I was deciding on what to include:
Huge difference, right? I promise I’ll share updated photos and the whole capsule later (because I’m addicted to scoping out other people’s capsule wardrobes right now), but today I wanted to share a few tips that I’ve figured out while working on narrowing down my wardrobe.
– I found that the best way to decide whether or not I wanted something in my capsule was to wear it for a day. I want nothing in my closet that I can’t put on any given day and feel fantastic in, so I decided I had to wear anything I was iffy on and if I didn’t feel great in it all day, it didn’t stay. I was surprised by how this went – some of the items I thought for sure I’d want to keep I actually ended up pulling out, and some of the stuff I wasn’t as confident in turned into must-haves. Taking my time and “trying out” my capsule before actually deciding on it has been hugely helpful in making sure that I’m happy with what I’ve got.
– If I’m not easily able to work an item into three different outfits, it can’t stay. For example, if I have a pair of super cute shorts that I really want to include, but only have one shirt in my capsule that goes with them? They’re out. This idea is all about flexibility and maximizing the use of your wardrobe, so it doesn’t make sense to keep any clothes that are one-trick ponies. This has been particularly hard for me because I have some super cute patterned shorts that I love, but don’t have enough tops to go with them. I have one pair right now that I’m still trying to work into the wardrobe – I have two tops that go with them, and I may just break the rules for them. We’ll see!
– I’m not being too hard on myself with this. For example, I have several college and school-related t-shirts that I wear to work for certain occasions…these don’t have to be included in my number but they can stay in my closet. They aren’t something I’d typically include, but I need them for work so they stay. I’m also keeping out a pair of heels (which won’t be included in my number) and a few cocktail dresses just in case an occasion comes up where I need them. I very rarely wear heels, even when I dress up, so it doesn’t seem fair to have them in my capsule. However, I may still need to use them. Basically, I’m not going to force myself to go without something when it comes to special occasions. This is about pushing myself, not punishing myself!
– For storage, I got some vacuum-seal clothing storage bags and a couple of under-the-bed bins from Ikea. Once I had cleared out my clothes, I put everything in storage and left a few pieces out (in our guest room closet) that I felt like I may end up wanting and wasn’t ready to let go of yet. If I get two months in and decide I just have to have a certain shirt, I’m going to be okay with that. I plan to do a mass donation of clothing at some point soon, but I want to give it a little bit and make sure I’m committed to this before I do anything drastic.
– To prep for future capsules, I’ve started a list of things I feel like I need to add. I’m already thinking ahead to what may happen in the winter and what I might want to add. I jotted down a few things that I am currently wanting, and I’m going to revisit the list throughout the fall to add to it/delete things I’ve decided I don’t want anymore. I’m really trying not to be so impulsive when it comes to buying clothes, so I’m taking my time and thinking about things before I make purchases!
– And, finally, I had to completely banish guilt from this process. I found myself wanting to put certain things in my capsule just because I had recently bought them and felt guilty immediately putting them into storage. I also found myself wanting to hold on to things I had bought and felt like I didn’t wear them often enough. I had to remember that I am making a lifestyle change here and, while it sucks that I have all of these clothes I don’t actually wear, I’m putting a stop to that right now!
I can’t wait to finish putting everything together! My plan is to share what’s in my capsule on September 1 – my first official day using it – I’m so looking forward to this whole experiment and I hope it sticks!