Capsule Closet Part Three | Seven Months Later

 

I started my journey towards a capsule closet 7 months ago. I’m far from the finish line, but here’s what I’ve experienced so far.

1. It’s slowed down my decision making process

Our clothing budget is $10/month.  For both Luke and I.  Luckily for me, Luke refuses to buy clothing until he literally has one grey t-shirt left with a minimally acceptable amount of holes in it so I get more than my fair share of the budget.  But still, you can do some simple math and realize that I’m not buying a whole new wardrobe at one time.

The result?  I’m very strategic about what clothing I buy.  As in, I made an entire inventory list of what I already own, wrote out a list of my “ideal capsule closet” and then created that closet on Pinterest (55 items total, excluding pajamas and t-shirts for working out), marked “Tried” on the items I already own and then added the items I’d still like to an Amazon wish list and Google shortlist.

The unintended consequence was that I also became more thoughtful about other non-clothes related buying decisions.  I’m typing this blog post out on a brand-new laptop, which took me 4 months to narrow down the options and purchase.  I went to Target to go on a mini-shopping spree and couldn’t bring myself to buy anything that I wasn’t already planning on buying.  This might sounds like a tortured existence for those who love to shop, but I’ve found it so freeing.  I’m completely in control of the purchased items that I bring into my life as well as the money going out, which feels great.

2. Easier to get ready/pack

Less clothes = less options = way easier to get ready in the morning.  Couple this with the fact that literally everything goes together (no more fashion missteps!) and I’ve gotten my morning routine down to a speedy 6 minutes.  Plus, creating a capsule closet has killed my habit to “contingency pack” where I bring 5 more outfits than necessary on a trip “just in case.”  When all of my items go together and layer perfectly, I can actually bring just what I need.

3. I love thinking about fashion

I was never into fashion growing up.  We mostly thrifted for clothes, which can be awesome, but typically just meant searching through racks to find something that looked passable in society.  I never thought much about  what styles fit me best or what colors to put together.  Now that I’ve become hyper-strategic about my closet, I’ve found myself really enjoying the process.  Instead of picking the least ugly option from a predetermined set at Goodwill, I’m dreaming up what kinds of clothes I’d love to wear and then trying to find them.

4. I’m happier in the clothes I wear

I’ve eliminated all the items that I don’t love to wear which means every shirt in my closet is my favorite shirt. Plus, since I’ve been thinking more about body types and how clothing fits, I’m narrowed my closet down to items that really fit me well, which is always a good boost for the body image self-esteem.

5. Cascading decision effect

Luke recently coined the term “cascading decisions” in our household to refer to the domino effect that some decisions can create.  In this case, my decision to create a capsule closet has led me to decide to be slower to buy  anything which means less knickknacks around the house and less coffee impulse buys on the way to work.  It means easier getting dressed decisions in the morning which means leaving earlier for work and a quicker commute to the office (also aided by less coffee stops).

I’m far from a full-blown minimalist but the benefits I’ve experienced just from minimizing my closet makes me excited for other cascading decisions to come!

Capsule Closet Part 2

Chloe here, reporting in on what might be the most fun project of my summer thus far.  The last time we talked, I had embarked on my journey to a capsule closet and passed the milestones of clearing out the clutter and selecting a color theme.

I’m happy to report that I’ve applied the same techniques to my shoes, and currently have a shelf of loafers that are waiting to be donated.  The footwear has definitely been the most challenging part of this process.  I want comfortable shoes that I can wear to work and around town that go with all my outfits.  It’s a tall order, but I’m taking a page out of my husband’s wardrobe style guide and going with grey flats.  They go with my base colors (white & black) as well as all the accent colors (pink, blue, and purple).  I’ve kept all my nice heels and am investing in some new walking sandals to replace my current ones.

Since it is physically impossible for me to do anything halfway, I made aCapture Pinterest board not only with the items I’d like to add to my closet, but also the ones I currently have to give a good birds eye view of how well things are coordinating.  You can check it out here: https://www.pinterest.com/chloejsayers/capsule-closet/

I thought there would be a lot of items I’d have to buy to round out my closet, but I was pleasantly surprised.  Only 7 items on my Amazon wish list, none of which will break my clothing budget (if I don’t buy them all at once 😉

This is really the first time in my life that I’ve strategically thought about what I want to be wearing.   Who knew learning how to dress oneself would take 22 years?!

Major lessons learned:

  • Stick to a few colors so everything matches
  • Only keep clothes that fit well and that you feel good in
  • 1 high quality piece for $50 > 5 low quality pieces for $10 each

Any tips you’d add to the list?

 

Capsule Closet or Bust

A few weeks ago, I posted about trying to start creating a capsule closet and was surprised with the response. Evidently, a lot of my friends and family are on the journey themselves or are interested in slimming down their wardrobe.

The first thing I did was simply weed out the clothes that don’t fit great or I don’t wear often. I honestly didn’t think this would be a big pile since I got rid of a ton of clothes to move to California. However, I filled an ENTIRE garbage bag with shirts, skirts, and dresses that I simply don’t wear.

This next step was crucial: I didn’t donate them right away. Since removing those clothes from my closet narrowed me down to about 60 items (which sounds like a lot, but doesn’t feel like it), I eased my transition by keeping that garbage bag of clothes nearby for a few weeks to make sure I really didn’t need those clothes.

Here’s the crazy thing. I never opened that garbage bag. Not even once. Okay, that’s a lie. I just opened it up TO GET RID OF ANOTHER PIECE OF CLOTHING. I really didn’t miss those clothes.

The second step in my journey towards a bonafide capsule closet was picking a color scheme. If I want a core set of quality items that can be mixed and matched, then I need a few base and accent colors to ensure that each piece is versatile. Picking the colors was fairly easy. Base colors = black, white, grey. Accent colors = pink and blue. Surprise just for fun color = purple. The pink and blue go with each other and each of the base colors. The purple is because we all need a little purple in our lives.

The best part about this journey so far? Simple packing for trips. I’m filling a suitcase to head back to the Mitten & PA for a family reunion and wedding, and it took 10 minutes tops. Usually, I’m a chronic conditional over-packer. “But what if I need this outfit? Or it rains that day and I need this one? Or that one?” With a limited number of bottoms, tops, and dresses, I can pack exactly what I need and know that it will all match. Actually, I can pack less than what I would typically need since items can be worn multiple ways.

Overall, I’m super excited to be on this journey to a less chaotic closet. Because life is hard enough without 500+ options in the morning.

Next steps:
Invest in good shoes that go well with my color selections (sandals & work shoes)
Catalog what pieces I already have & which ones I need
Slowly purchase items/replace poor quality ones to fill out capsule closet