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!