When you’re tackling cleaning out your entire house and systematically getting rid of everything you don’t need, it seems almost silly not to consider having a capsule wardrobe. After all, they’re all the rage right now – I feel like every time I visit Pinterest I see ten new posts about how to create them, how to stick to them, and what you should include in your capsule wardrobe. To be honest, I love it, and I don’t really tire of reading about them – I’m on a mission right now to get rid of all the necessary clutter in my life, and simplifying my wardrobe is an awesome way to accomplish that.
Even though a strict capsule wardrobe ended up being a pretty bad idea for me, that doesn’t mean that I can’t take some of the principles and apply them to my own closet, right? I’m all about making things my own, so over the last few months I’ve worked to come up with a system that really works for me, and I thought I’d share for those of you who failed at the capsule wardrobe as well.
The first and foremost rule of my modified capsule wardrobe is that I don’t count my clothing.
I get weak in the knees when I see a pretty planner, journal, or calendar, and I am more than a bit obsessive about keeping my life organized on paper.
On paper – you hear that? Not on my phone. Not on my computer. I keep my life organized with a good ol’ planner and a pen.
I tried for a while to keep my schedule in my phone or on my computer, and I just get frustrated and miss the physical act of writing things down, crossing them off, and seeing it all laid out in a nice pretty way.
Maybe it’s a problem. But if being addicted to my planner is wrong, I don’t wanna be right.
Oh, and did I mention? I have two planners.
I know, I know. We’ve already established that I’m crazy. Stop looking at me like that.
Are you a ritual person? I live for my rituals. I fully believe that having routines and rituals to complete on a daily or weekly basis keep me grounded, sane, and happy. In particular, I am big on having a morning ritual each and every morning before work. I’m one of those people that gets stressed if I don’t have a schedule, so I’ve found that building a routine for my mornings means I’m guaranteed to be on time to work and not stressed out.
On Friday, I shared a link to this post that talked about making an actual, physical list of all of the things (small and big) that are saving your life.
The idea appealed to me on so many different levels. January and February are rough months as a teacher (or, maybe just as a human?) and it’s not easy to get through them. Sometimes I get so caught up in the chaos, the stress, and the drama that I forget how many things I have going for me.
There are so many wonderful things, moments, and people in my life, and sometimes I don’t recognize them because I’m too busy being stressed out.
So I decided to join in and share the things that are saving my life right now. These are all of the things that are keeping me sane, making me smile, and helping me to remember that not everything is awful in these long, cold, dreary months.
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MorningWin #Target #CollectiveBias
Every time we have a long break from school (ahem, Christmas break), I always find that it is so hard to get ourselves back into a normal routine and get out the door in time for work. It’s always been something we’ve struggled with, but now that we have a toddler it is infinitely more difficult to re-adjust after some time off. We’re finally starting to get back into a good routine now that we’ve been back at school for almost a month, but it wasn’t an easy road!
One thing we have quickly learned that greatly helps us to get ourselves together and out the door on time is a quick and easy breakfast! I’ve never been a huge breakfast person, and I don’t like to have to think too hard about what I’m going to eat each morning. With another tiny little person to feed and dress each morning, it’s even more important for me to have easy-to-prepare breakfasts that will keep me full all morning.
I just finished up my first round of this little project (which lasted three months), and I learned more than I ever thought I would about myself and my style. I found the whole thing fascinating, so today I’m sharing my top 5 lessons from the capsule wardrobe experience.
I don’t mind wearing the same things over and over. It was kind of funny to me how natural it felt to switch over the the capsule wardrobe because apparently I was basically already doing it, just with a bunch of excess in my closet. I realized pretty quickly that I like wearing the same few things over and over and I have no problem reaching for my favorite things more than once or twice a week. And the beautiful thing is, as long as you accessorize it differently (put on a different cardigan, add a sweater, wear a skirt instead of pants, etc. etc. etc.), no one notices. It’s awesome.
I shared about a month ago that I was going to start a capsule wardrobe. I had been feeling pretty disenchanted with my clothes and frustrated that I didn’t really feel good in anything I had, so I decided it was high time to change it up a bit. So, where am I at with my capsule wardrobe? So far I love it! I can honestly say I don’t miss anything that I’ve pulled out of my closet and I find it so much easier to get dressed in the morning. I haven’t had a single day where I’ve had to try on multiple outfits before leaving the house (which used to be a very regular thing for me!) and I feel good in what I’m wearing every day.
Now, that being said, I also had an interesting revelation about this project – I don’t intend for this to be a forever thing. I don’t know how much thought I had put into that before starting this whole thing, but I think all along I have subconsciously been thinking of this as a year-long project. I want to go through each season with a capsule, but after that I think I will go back to a “regular” wardrobe. I see this as a fantastic opportunity to really pare down my closet, and I don’t think I’ll ever go back to having as many clothes as I did before, but I don’t want to limit myself to a specific number forever. If nothing else, this project is just a really amazing opportunity to “re-set” my closet back to only clothes I love, and from there I may build it back up a little bit and allow myself to be more free with it, but I don’t ever want to go back to buying clothes I don’t absolutely love!
Another interesting (and surprising) thing has been how much I actually use the clothes that I didn’t count in my official number. As a high school teacher, there are lots of themed spirit days, football days, and other events where I have specific t-shirts to wear that I wouldn’t wear any other time. So, while I guess it’s technically cheating, I find myself pulling from that section of my closet at least once a week, sometimes more. But once football season is over, that will be dramatically reduced, so I still feel like they shouldn’t be counted in my actual number (plus, I wouldn’t really choose to wear them if it wasn’t for work – it’s almost like a work uniform!).
Perfect example of a work-related shirt that gets pulled out on the regular.
Also, I find it interesting how loose I tend to be with the rules. I’ve learned that when rules like this are self-imposed, I’m less likely to follow them strictly because I know there’s no consequence for not following them! That doesn’t mean I’ve been pulling from my storage for clothes to wear, but it does mean I’ve swapped a couple of things out since I started and haven’t hesitated to grab something if I need it. For example, I didn’t have a pair of sneakers in my wardrobe and on the first day my class went to bowling practice for Special Olympics, I knew I would need some. So, I pulled them out. I also am seeing a few holes in my capsule (like for shirts that I can wear with leggings to school…have to be fingertip length!), so if I find anything that works I won’t hesitate to purchase it and swap out a shirt in my closet for a new one. It’s not supposed to be about restricting myself and making things miserable, it’s just about challenging myself to build a better wardrobe – so if there are ways to improve as I go, I have no problem with that!
So as a whole, one month in, I can say that I’m still so incredibly glad I decided to try this out and I haven’t once missed my bigger wardrobe. It’s been so freeing to let go of all the old clothes that I don’t really love (or that didn’t fit right, or that were just in bad shape) and only have things in my closet that make me truly happy. I’m still a little concerned about how it will all work out once it starts to get colder…Texas weather is so unbelievably unpredictable that it’s basically impossible to know if I’ll need more cold-weather clothes or if what I have will suffice. I guess we’ll see in the next few weeks!
Need to catch up on my capsule wardrobe journey? Find part one here and part two here.
It’s official! I’m starting my new capsule wardrobe today and I couldn’t be more excited! To be honest though, I’ve been doing a bit of a trial run with the capsule for about three weeks now. I’m glad I did, because there were at least 1 or 2 things that I decided I didn’t want to include after all and changed out at the last second. It’s been great to “practice” having a smaller closet before committing to it completely. But now? I’m all in – no more changing out pieces, no more pulling from the clothes I have set aside…and I’ve got two big bags of clothes ready to be donated to Goodwill! Ack!
Here’s what my closet is looking like now. That the first little section of shirts is all tank tops that I wear exclusively under things, so I’m not counting that. The back section is all work/college t-shirts that I wear to work for spirit days (plus a Piranha Joe shirt I got on the cruise and I’ve been wearing up until my fall capsule “officially” starts), and I’m also not counting those in my number. As a reminder, here’s what it looked like when this whole process got started (and this was only half of my side of the closet):
Such a big change! At this point, Corey has way more clothes than I do in the closet, so we swapped sides and I let him have the side with more hanging room. It’s awesome to have things so pared down, and I feel really good so far about what’s in my fall capsule.
The original plan for today was to take photos of everything in my capsule, but I quickly realized that 1) I am not a fashion photographer and the photos were awful and 2) ain’t nobody got time for that. So instead, I’ll chat a bit about what I chose and share a few photos of some of the outfits I’ve worn from my capsule so far.
So what’s in my capsule?
1 pair of shorts
1 pair of leggings
2 pairs of jeans
4 other pants (that I mostly wear to work)
4 sleeveless/tank tops
4 plain tees
5 dressier/patterned shirts
2 graphic tees
3 long-sleeved shirts
1 chambray button down
There’s a total of 46 pieces, and while that’s a pretty large number for a capsule, I’m very comfortable with it. It will be interesting to see how it works out in terms of matching the weather – Texas can be so unpredictable in the fall, so my low number of long sleeves with either be perfect, or I’ll be freezing come November!
I really do think this pared down wardrobe will encourage me to get more creative about how I pair things, and really stretch myself when it comes to creating new combinations. It’s been fun so far, and it’s been so much easier to get dressed every day! Here’s a quick peek at a few of the things in my capsule – I’m not taking daily photos, but I’m trying to take them every once in a while to encourage me to stay creative!
It’s definitely been easy to get dressed so far since I’m just starting my 3 months with this capsule, but soon I’m going to have to start mixing things up a bit – I’m excited to see how it goes!
Last week was our first week back at work (boo!) and this is our first week of school (ack!). I’m so bummed that summer is over, but this is the time of year where I really like to remind myself about all of the things I DO like about being back at work. Because it’s not all bad!
1. I’m so much more productive/organized. When I’m on a schedule and back in my normal routine, I tend to be better about cleaning in the evenings, getting stuff done around the house, and just generally not being lazy. It feels good to be on top of things again and not letting myself be too terribly lazy.
2. I love being challenged. I’m definitely the type to want to push myself and flex my brain, and the challenges that pop up on the regular at work are a great way to get me thinking and keep myself mentally active. Summer is my favorite time of year, and I totally get burned out on how mentally taxing my job can be towards the end of the year, but when the year is fresh and new it feels so good to challenge myself again!
3. Jackson adores daycare. I hate being away from him all day, but it makes him so happy to go see his friends at school and he absolutely loves his teacher. He always gets so excited when I tell him it’s time to go to school, and it warms my heart to know that he’s so happy all day when I have to be away from him.
4. Fall is amazing. There’s just something about the fall season that makes me so incredibly happy. Changing leaves, pumpkins everywhere, cooler weather, and football just make me happy. I have boots in my capsule wardrobe which means I’m going to be WEARING boots soon which makes me a very happy girl!
5. Did I mention football? I LOVE FOOTBALL SEASON. That’s really all that needs to be said here.
6. I’m eternally a nerd and will always be excited about fresh school supplies, the “back to school” section of the grocery store, and all that comes along with the newness of a school year.
7. I love my job. It’s hard to remember this sometimes when I’m mourning the loss of spending all of my days with Jackson, but I truly do adore my job and I’m excited to be diving back into it.
School starts on Tuesday and while most of me is a little terrified to dive back in (I always am!), overall I’m excited to get going and see what this new school year brings!
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!