I can’t believe the school year has already started for us, as of yesterday! Our summer was full of traveling for work and play. While we had many great adventures, I’m actually looking forward to getting into more of a routine this Fall. I’ve recently had a lot of changes in both my personal and professional life (mostly good – thank goodness!), but one constant has been my use of a capsule wardrobe. I’m thankful that at least one element of my life has been simplified this year. Take a look at the 48 pieces that have gotten me through the summer and made getting dressed every day an easy process. I’ve linked identical items if available, although a lot of my clothing is old or purchased second-hand from thredUP! If you have no idea what I mean by capsule wardrobe, read more about it here.
latest thoughts on the capsule experiment
One of the benefits of eliminating so many un-used pieces in my wardrobe was that I really got in tune with which type of clothing makes me feel good when I wear it. Well, I’m getting an even better sense of my personal style as this experiment progresses. To use the most simple style terms I can think of, I’d say my wardrobe is about 50 % basic staples, 25% classic style, and 25% trendy items. I’m overall happy with this balance, although in the future I might try to limit the number of trendy pieces I add. Sometimes it’d hard to tell if a trend is going to stick around and be a good investment. However, if you believe the piece fits YOU and you’re not just drawn to it BECAUSE it’s trendy, I think it’s still a good investment. For me, the fringe purse I bought for this summer was definitely a trend buy, but I really liked it the second I saw it. It’s a great size and one of my favorite colors. I can honestly say I’ll be rocking it next spring/summer whether “fringe” is on-trend or not.
I recently heard a great idea for deciding on big purchases. It’s called the 72-hour rule. Choose a dollar figure that is big enough to make you pause – it might be $25 or $500 or anything in-between, depending on your budget. For me, the number is around $75 right now. If an item is over $75, I try to wait 72 hours after seeing the item before I purchase it, if possible. It gives me a chance to consider if the purchase is really worth it, and even gives me time to see if there is a better or more affordable alternative. I’m also creating a monthly budget with an allotment for clothing (and every other spending category). I’ve even experimented with the envelope method, where I physically take set money aside (in an envelope, a jar, or wherever – just keep it separate from other money) for clothing purchases. It helps me plan for shopping trips because the money is actually there and I won’t accidentally over-spend or have spent the money on something else. These two processes, along with the capsule wardrobe, keep me from over-spending on clothing while still allowing for some bigger purchases.
transitioning to fall — and getting REAL with y’all
I’m looking forward to Fall and everything that comes with it! Football games, cooler weather, the beginning of the holiday season – it makes me feel like a kid again. I haven’t done a whole lot of wardrobe planning for Fall, though. I plan on carrying over a large part of my summer wardrobe and I also have some great pieces I bought for my very first capsule wardrobe that I will get to pull out of storage. I’m approaching this next capsule in a very laid-back manner. If the point of a smaller wardrobe is to simplify things, I don’t want to jeopardize that benefit by over-planning and going out and buying a bunch of “must haves”. Instead, I just plan to incorporate cool weather pieces as the weather begins to change, and then fill in the small gaps with some sensible purchases. I have to say, I feel a little bit better about this whole process every time I say “no” to buying something. In fact, Friday I went to TJ Maxx and tried on some GREAT pieces at fantastic prices but didn’t buy a piece of clothing You know what? I felt pretty happy about it. Truthfully, nothing I tried on was something I really needed, because I already had other suitable alternatives. I won’t pretend I’m always that self-controlled, but this one little shopping trip reminded me what’s at the heart of this experiment for me. I have a previous history of being tempted by materialism. Ready for things to get real? I’ve struggled before with credit card debt and a major stress-shopping habit. Like, thousands of dollars in purchases I made impulsively when I couldn’t afford them. This might seem “normal” to others, but I know as a Christian that this kind of behavior is destructive for me. It leads to regret and shame, and it also means I’m not being a good steward of the gifts God has entrusted me with. I’m not going to get ALL preachy on you, but just hear me out. I have come to realize than when I am disciplined in one area of my life, like my finances, it expands to other areas. Putting my wardrobe on a diet has forced me to be more intentional with my money and be more disciplined overall. It also reminds me to be thankful for what I do have instead of always looking to add more. And how perfect is that reminder as we head into Fall? I’m calling this next season the Season of Gratitude – so stay tuned for more on that 😉
Bye for now,