I shared on Instagram a few days ago that I’m taking a second look at the items I’ve narrowed down for my capsule wardrobe. My #1 rule is to keep and wear only things I love. The number of items in my wardrobe is somewhat insignificant, although I plan to always keep it fewer than fifty items. Here are some questions some of my friends and family have asked me that might help you understand what I’m doing and why.
What exactly is in a “capsule wardrobe”?
I will be sharing the pieces as a group once I solidify my wardrobe (hopefully the first week of January) and in outfits over the course of the season. For now, I can tell you that my capsule wardrobe will have 48 items that include tops, cardigans, jackets, jeans, pants, leggings, dresses, skirts, shoes, purses, scarves, and belts. Basically, if I store it in my closet, it counts towards the 48.
So, what doesn’t count?
Items that I say are “not in my 48” are the following:
- Strictly workout clothes – although I am making a personal rule that I can only wear these when working out, and not to the grocery store (wiping tears away right now).
- Loungewear and pajamas
- Underwear (…unless you wear you underwear in public. And if that’s the case, I can’t help you and you’re in the wrong place).
- Spirit wear – I am coach’s wife, so I have a dresser drawer full of team shirts to wear to baseball and football games. These definitely don’t count.
- “Painting clothes”, yard work shoes – you know, the ugly stuff you need.
- Cocktail attire. That doesn’t include regular dresses. I’m talking black tie attire you only wear to very special occasions or a ball gown you must buy for a gala. You get the picture.
How do you choose what goes in a “capsule wardrobe”?
- Take everything out of your closet and look at each piece individually. If you haven’t worn it in the last year, it’s gone. If you don’t absolutely love it (the material, the way it fits), it’s gone. All of these “rejects” can be sold and/or donated. They aren’t going in the trash (unless they are falling apart)! Take a deep breath, drink a glass of wine if needed, and go onto the next step.
- Take everything you love that is out of season (it’s currently winter, so that includes lots of sundresses and tank tops for me) and get it out of your closet. I’m storing these items in under bed storage bags. It’s important to remove these items, even though you will be wearing them eventually. When I have too many things hanging in my closet, I feel overwhelmed with options and don’t really see my clothes. This hinders outfit creativity and leads me to wearing the same things over and over.
- Take a look at what you have left. It should be items you love that are in season right now. If you think you have too many, pick a number and keep narrowing down until you reach your number. For me, it is 48 items. If you feel like you have nothing, maybe it’s time to make a few purchases. What do you feel like you are missing? Make a list and a budget. This is a great time of year to take advantage of sales. Remember that purchases have to adhere to the same rule: buy only things that you love. I’m going for quality, not quantity, so buying fewer things saves money, too.
- Make sure the items you have chosen are versatile and can be mixed and matched. This doesn’t mean they have to be neutral, but if you go crazy with prints and colors you can’t mix, you may become frustrated with your selections in your new closet and feel like you have “nothing to wear”.
- Take a deep breath: you are going to wear only these things for the entire season (the next three months)!
And what happens when this season is over?
I will not buy any clothing over the next three months. However, I will be setting some money aside for future purchases. It helps to set a budget now and set aside money as you can. You can have your whole budget for next season saved before it’s even time to shop. See how less stressful shopping can be when you plan like this? (That’s me talking to myself. This is new to me, too. So I’m learning as I go, God willing.)
When I get ready to plan my spring wardrobe, I will take items out of storage and look at what I currently have in my closet (my winter wardrobe). Some items, like the Madewell Tee (below), will probably stay in my wardrobe all year long, because I can layer with it in cooler months and it’s lightweight for warmer months — very versatile. Other items from my winter wardrobe (like the chunky sweater) will go into storage if they are too heavy for spring weather. If I have room and see a need for some items to be replaced for Spring, I get to go shopping at that time. Yay! I will be careful to spend only the money I have budgeted and focus again on versatile items I love that are of quality. Congratulations! By this time we will have all successfully eliminated impulsive buying from our lives!
That is basically it. I know I am making it sound easier than it probably will be, but that is somewhat intentional. I am buying in to this. It is going to take a lot of discipline but I believe the end result will be worth it. I will have a closet I love and I will be intentional with my money and how I spend it, which is really important to me.
Want to know more?
I first heard about the idea of a capsule wardrobe from my sister-in-law, and I have looked all around social media to see how others have pulled it off, but probably the best how-to information I’ve found is at this awesome gal’s blog.
Have a Happy New Year, everyone! See you in 2016 🙂