We see them all over Pinterest. These beautiful boards and grids of perfectly classic clothing ready for any occasion. The capsule wardrobe: I finally gave it a whirl! I had no idea how having fewer options would simplify my life.
I have a friend, Dacy, who is a fellow mom of two, blogger and stylist and wardrobe consultant right here in St. Louis. Her business and amazing blog is called mindful closet. Her approach, inspired by the concept of minimalism, is that owning fewer items of quality clothing will reduce the amount of time you have to spend on deciding what to wear each day. After following her blog for a couple of years I finally decided to try out her capsule creation challenge, and I am now a believer!
I won’t go into too much detail because there are a few ways to do this, but creating the capsule wardrobe took me a couple of hour-long sessions in my bedroom closet/basement. I started with purging or storing clothes that I didn’t like, didn’t fit, were out of style or no longer useful for my current season/lifestyle. I picked out what I wanted to keep and left the 50 pieces hanging in my closet for a day or so. I went back in to edit it down to about 40 pieces (not including shoes/accessories), which I kept as my capsule. Compared to some minimalists, 40 pieces is still quite a bit, but it works for me. I was nervous at first but I stuck to it for about a month and realized that even with the careful editing, there were still a few pieces I never wore.
Here are my realizations of working with a capsule wardrobe:
- It takes me half the time to get dressed in the morning. No trying on multiple outfits that don’t fit right or worrying about clothes that aren’t in season. They are ALL options. I have more time for hair and makeup!
- My bedroom is cleaner. My closet feels larger, more spacious. No pile of clothes at the end of the bed, no sifting through a pile of shoes to find a match. I can see all of my options at the same time. Less visual clutter helps me sleep better and feel more at peace in my bedroom.
- I do WAY less laundry. Instead of having baskets pile up, I do exactly one load of (my) laundry a week. Because I want to have all of my pieces available at the beginning of week, I try to make sure that by Monday morning, they are all washed and hung in my closet.
- No one really notices if I repeat outfits. Most of my co-workers just say, “you look nice today!” And that is usually because I use my saved time to do my makeup or add a fun accessory.
- I shop less. No mindless scrolling online or browsing at the mall or Target. I know exactly what I have and I’m not in a constant search of more options.
Even though I have seen some success with the capsule wardrobe, I still have some room for improvement. I want to reduce the amount of items in my capsule. I hope to replace some of items with higher quality materials and add some options that are wrinkle-free. I’ve had some slip-ups and have fallen back into some bad habits with shopping; falling for trends, making impulse sale purchases, etc. However, there is a lot of comfort in knowing that I have a process that I can go back to which will help me save my time for more important things.
P.S. Check out the mindful closet blog for inspiration, free resources or to hire Dacy to help with your wardrobe!