Capsule Wardrobe: what is it and how do I get one?

Capsule Wardrobe: what is it and how do I get one?

Capsule wardrobes are all the rage on Pinterest. I am a capsule convert myself, so I get it. I often get asked why I chose to move towards a capsule wardrobe. Are you curious? Let me ask you this, do you feel like you are swimming in clothes and yet you hate most of what is in your closet?  Maybe it doesn’t fit or maybe it just doesn’t go with anything you have. Many people find that they acquire clothes year after year, don’t purge on the back end and only love a few key pieces.

When I decided to declutter our home, my wardrobe was one of the first to get attacked. I had had 3 kids in 4.5 years and had a different style, sizes and hated most of it. It was an overwhelming task at first glance, but liberating every single step of the way. I knew, in the end, I would have a closet of things that coordinate that I could mix and match and feel fabulous with each outfit. Boy, was I right!

KEEP WHAT YOU LOVE TO WEAR & NEED

Love

Find the things in your closet that you can’t wait to wear when they are clean! This is likely to be a small assortment of clothes if you are like me.  When I looked at these items, I felt like my ideal closet should be full of only things that I liked to wear as much as these.

Need

Keep the clothes you need for work/activities even if you don’t love them.  If you paint often, for example, keep an outfit that is messy and can continue to get wrecked. Don’t purge what you actually need and would have to go replace if it fits. If you have a little black dress that you wear every few years to a wedding or funeral, keep it.  You’d have to replace it otherwise and there is no sense in wasting the dress.  Don’t, however, keep 3 different ones when you only wear one or the other every few years.  Simplify!

PURGE EVERYTHING ELSE

I am not an advocate of getting rid of perfectly good things and hate the statistics on how many pieces of clothing go to the landfill each year so I committed to a zero waste purge. My clothes went to a few different places:

  1. I found some consignment stores that would take a handful of nice items. I used the profits to buy the staples I needed to round out my closet.
  2. I found a few local women who were in need that fit the various sizes I had.
  3. I donated the rest to a women’s shelter.
  4. There were 4 tee shirts in rough shape. I decided to cut them up and use for cleaning rags.

NOW WHAT?

Once I was left with only what I loved and or needed, I found there were a few things I wanted to round out my fall/winter wardrobe. I wanted a few basic tee shirts that would fit and flatter and a new pair of jeans with some fray to them. I used the money from my consignment sales to buy these 4 things and wear all 4 weekly. THere are a few other items, some new boots and a sweater or two that I could use as the winter is settling in that I hope to get for Christmas.

And that’s it! A coordinated closet that is simple to maintain and is full of outfits.  Getting ready in the morning is easier and more efficient which is great when you have three little kids. I wash more frequently but it’s less to wash so the chore, overall, seems less daunting.  Especially since we implemented our laundry system! Check that series out here if you missed it!

Now, here is a glimpse into my closet… this is essentially what it looks like although I don’t have my outerwear, pajamas or undergarments listed 🙂 When I couldn’t find the exact items I own (or want), I found something very similar. Click on the pictures to take a closer look!

Shoes… Just Enough!

Bottoms… only the best!

Tops… comfortable and classic!

Sweaters… my favorites for fall & winter!

Accessories… simple & stylish!

As you can see, this wardrobe above is 26 pieces but it doesn’t include my down vest or my winter coat. That would make 28 pieces, really. I keep a dress or two for special occasions in another closet and of course, have workout items, pajamas, and undergarments that I don’t include in this. I have, however, drastically cut down on the number of each of those so there aren’t a bunch of options.

In sum, I love my simple wardrobe for where I am in my life right now. Every day now, I actually get dressed instead of wear yoga pants over and over. If you are sick of your clothes, feel you have nothing to wear and want to be happy in your own skin each day, start with decluttering your closet.  I highly recommend the capsule wardrobe approach… and I hope you will love it too!



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