Tell me if this sounds familiar. It’s a work day and your alarm goes off. You trudge out of bed, shower and then saunter over to your closet. You open the door and in exasperation, you yell out into the abyss, “I have nothing to wear today!” You pull something together, but you don’t feel 100%. Either the pants may be a little too tight/big or the shirt was something you bought on impulse at a crazy sale that your favourite store was having, and yet, doesn’t fit quiet right.
This has happened to me more than I can count. Maybe, you’re someone who always feels 100% in their clothes, to which I say……can we be friends?! Teach me your ways! As I am on my journey of betterment, I reached out to my Facebook community in July regarding minimalism and got great feedback. I had reached a point where I had all this stuff but still didn’t feel fulfilled. I looked in my closet and always lamented about not having anything to wear. I had heard about capsule wardrobes and its relation to minimalism and thought I’d give it a try. Using a couple of blogs as reference, I significantly reduced the number of clothes in closet, from over 100 items to 35. Funny enough, I felt a physical release when i de-cluttered my closet. I got a clearer sense of what works with my body type and lifestyle. Now, when I do go clothes shopping, I shop with purpose and intention. Since I am working on NOT using shopping as a stress release, I can spend on quality as opposed to quantity. It has been a month since I have bought any clothes, and it feels awesome.
So, how did I do it? Building a capsule wardrobe did take an afternoon, so make sure you block off a few hours to do this. This is what I did:
- Read blogs about capsule wardrobes (https://bemorewithless.com/project-333/ was recommended to me and I used this as a foundation for my capsule wardrobe creation). I also used Pinterest for visual interpretations of capsule wardrobe. I read the fall 2016 edition of Magnolia Journal which had an article about capsule wardrobes.
- In a pie chart I divided up my day based on activities I do on weekdays and weekends
- Took an online quiz to determine how to label my style
- Realized my style is classic chic. Generally wear neutrals (beige, gray, black) with complimentary warm colours (navy blue, maroon). I do enjoy a nice floral print, but pair this with a solid color shirt. On weekends, I am a typical busy mom which means adventures to the park, running errands and spending time with my family. I prefer athleisure ware (super basic, I know!) but these clothes make me feel comfortable and I don’t feel lumpy if I go between a yoga class or to the park with Emily.
- Took out all of my clothes in my closet and dressers and dumped it on my bed. Put on a solid play list and if you have kid(s) or a pet, assume they are going to ‘help’ you. I continuously explained to Emily, that no, in fact, its not awesome to throw mommy’s clothes off the bed. I look over and see that Badger has made a nice bed with my clothes on the floor. Guess he likes athleisure clothes too.
- Separated my clothes into three piles; Love it, undecided, donate. However, between the impromptu throwing of clothes off the bed (Emily) and new collections to his bed (Badger) this step took the better part of an afternoon
- Waited until Emily was napping to continue. Took each item, examined in the mirror, thought of my “why do I like this?” and put it into the appropriate pile
- By the time I was done, I had 40 pieces in my Love It pile, 30 pieces in my Undecided pile and 40 pieces in my Donate pile
- Went through my Love it/Undecided pile and picked out the 35 pieces to make my three month capsule wardrobe (check out Project333 for more info). Packed up the rest and stored it in the basement for three months. In mid-October, I will bring that box up and see what I can add back to the collection and donate the rest.
- For the Donate pile, I immediately drove it over to Goodwill, so I wouldn’t be tempted to keep the items. Can’t even remember now what those were, which is a very positive sign that I made the right choice.
Since building my capsule wardrobe in mid-July, I have learned a lot about my personal style and my spending habits. It is also a great conversation at a dinner party! Lots of people are interested in doing this, and I have had lots of great talks about what I have done and the progress I’ve made. It has forced me to be more creative in my wardrobe, to pair items together to help create a brand new look. This weekend, I’ll be making my fall/winter shopping list, and will work diligently to stick to my list. I know what works for my body and lifestyle and can make a more conscious and confident choice in my clothes and shopping habits. Interested in doing this? Let me know and I would love to hear your progress!