When I started this whole “capsule wardrobe” thing, I really wasn’t sure how it would play out. Once I came up with my two month mini-capsule idea, I was feeling encouraged. After I actually chose the items I’d be wearing and packed up the rest, I was IN LOVE with my streamlined closet.
There was a blazing hot series of about nine days in there that challenged me a bit.
Then we had a string of cold, damp days that made me wish I’d included heavier sweaters instead of layering cardigans.
Still loving it!
It is truly remarkable to me how freeing it is to have a limited selection. That seems so counter-intuitive, but I really do find it so much easier to put together an awesome combo when working with a smaller selection.
Here are a few things I’ve learned during this very first capsule wardrobe:
1. Accessories are KEY for me. Knowing that I can take the same basic pieces and add color and flair in a multitude of ways is empowering and encouraging. If I had to do the whole thing with only black flats and silver hoops? I’d have thrown in the towel by week 2, I bet.
2. There will be days it’s tough. Weather is a finicky thing and, even though I’d planned for both hot and cold weather, the reality is that my wardrobe was largely built around assumptions of 55 – 75 degree weather, our norm for September and October days. When we had a LONG streak of heat? I got a little sick of some pieces. It was okay, but they weren’t my fave days.
3. No one notices when you reduce your wardrobe. I’m serious here, people. You might think people will notice if you wear the same skirt within a week’s time, but they really won’t. People are paying far less attention to you than you think. I don’t write that to be mean– it’s just TRUE! With the exception of really unique, bold pieces, I’d say the likelihood of anyone noticing duplicated items is next to nothing.
4. When in doubt, start with black. (Or navy.) The couple of days I felt lackluster about my options, I dressed in one solid basic and then did some wildly fun accessory. I wore all navy with a big, bold, bright yellow necklace and sandals. I wore a black cardigan, black tank, and black skirt with red python boots. In both cases, I got oodles of compliments and I felt comfortable and confident. (Again, see #1.)
5. I cheated. Just a tiny bit. I haven’t felt the need to reach into my wardrobe for other pieces or go crazy shopping, but I did snag a pair of leggings in a bold fall floral from Cents of Style and, well, I wanted to wear them while it’s fall, so I added them in. I’m still well under 30 items and I can’t say I feel particularly guilty. But, well, I’m an honest sort of gal about these things– so there you go.
6. I’m starting to feel excited about the next one. I’m not sick of my clothes yet. Some of them– like those floral leggings and my beloved high-waist jeans– will no doubt stay for the next round. But it’s about time to pack in the sleeveless dresses. My navy and white stuff is starting to feel too summery. I’m craving my hunter green cardigan more than the light floral one in my closet. So I’m ready. I think it’s going to be fun to pick out my November/December “Falling Into Winter” capsule.
Capsule wardrobing isn’t for everyone. I totally get that. But, if you’ve ever thought it might be worth trying, I’m hear to say– go for it! Make any tweak or adaptations you need to make it work and then give it a shot. The beauty of this is that you’re not making some giant change; no one’s telling you to give away the rest of your clothes. You’re just limiting and simplifying for a season and, as far as I’m concerned? That’s a beautiful gift to give yourself.