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Today is the happiest of Mondays! Can you guess why? It’s our first week back to normal! Last Friday, Carl was completely cleared by his doctor and returned to work on Sunday. This kidney ordeal is finally over! I can’t believe during our first night in the ER I thought this was going to be a one-night event. Nope. Finally, a month later, our lives have returned to normal. I’m really hoping the rest of our year is smooth sailing, because illnesses and leave of absences from work are no bueno.

Speaking of our year, I’ve dived into my next project for my year of less. Well, to be honest, I started the process weeks ago but I’m finally to a point of sharing. The project I will be working on for the rest of the year is…… a capsule wardrobe.

Now, I know I’m not trying anything new. In fact, I’ve seen capsule wardrobes becoming more and more popular recently. I never really found myself in a place where a capsule wardrobe was realistic for me. For one, I used to work in a clothing store, and two, I had a million different jobs all requiring different wardrobe. At 26, I finally feel like I am to a point in my life where I can completely develop a style of my own that works for all of my responsibilities. I’m super pumped.

Creating a capsule wardrobe // How to create your own capsule wardrobe by minimizing your wardrobe and creating a personal style

What is a capsule wardrobe?

A capsule wardrobe is essentially a wardrobe consisting of a minimal number of pieces that are your style while remaining versatile and functional. It utilizes a “uniform” that is your go-to outfit and pieces that can be mixed and matched. I’ve seen anywhere between 20-40 pieces me the “right number” of a capsule wardrobe.The main idea is to own nothing that doesn’t 100% bring you joy and express your style.

How to start the process

Purging

I’ve begun ruthlessly purging my closet and I’ve found the fewer clothes I owned, the more creative I felt. It has also become easier to get dressed and I don’t feel as though I’ve lost variety in my wardrobe. Detaching myself from the cost or giver of the clothing item, I found it easy to get rid of things. If I wasn’t regularly wearing it or didn’t 100% love it, I didn’t need it.

I chose not to take one day to just throw everything away and be left with only 40% of my closet. I instead kept a bag in my room where I would put everything I planned on donating into. I kept it there for about two months until it was full. Whenever I felt like an item wasn’t getting worn or was something I was annoyed with having to iron all the time, I threw it in the bag. I also keep a bin in our guest bedroom where I put clothes I want to use for crafting. I plan on using the fabric for projects in the future.

Evaluate your taste

I started keeping a running list on my phone where I kept track of my clothing likes and dislikes. It’s become my checklist for creating my capsule wardrobe. I include color preferences, fabric choices and everything else that I like and dislike about clothes. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far.

Do not like:
  • purple
  • super girly pink
  • sheer
  • really fitted tops
  • red
  • navy blue
  • light brown or cream
  • sequins or glitter
Must haves:
  • non-wrinkle
  • machine washable and dryable
  • looser fitting
  • floral
  • green
  • black
  • white
  • blues
  • long torso
  • some pink
  • easily layered

Define what it means to you

People choose different goal numbers for their wardrobe size. People also exclude and include certain categories from their list. I’ve seen people include jewelry and scarves into their 40 piece wardrobe and I’ve seen people have everything they need with 30 pieces. (Though I will say people generally do not include things like underwear and such in their count.)

I’ve thought about what type of wardrobe I want to build and I still have not come up with a “goal number” and honestly don’t think I ever will. For me, I’m working to create a specific style with a minimal number of pieces.  Currently, I am minimizing what I have down to the bare bones. I want to get to only the items I love.

I am somewhat actively building my wardrobe with pieces I love. My main goal is to only add items to my closet that I truly love and come from a trusted source. I’ve decided to make it a goal to buy from stores that are small businesses or socially conscious companies. I love the idea of supporting the areas I believe while accumulating pieces I am truly inspired by and proud of. I also plan to keep my clothes to a minimum, and bring in a variety through my jewelry and other accessories.

Start building

Don’t rush through it, but add pieces to your wardrobe as you come across them. The key is to only add pieces you truly love. Think of all the clothes you got rid of because you only wore them a few times? Don’t buy a piece only to throw it in the donate pile later. No sale is worth buying something you don’te love.

Resources

These blogs/articles have been super helpful and or inspiring to me as I’ve learned and begun the capsule wardrobe process.

Could you have a capsule wardrobe?

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  • thealishanicole

    Thank you so much for this post! I have just began my journey of building a capsule wardrobe (I just went through a major purge yesterday) and wasn’t sure about what steps to take next!

    • That’s awesome! Congrats on making it through cleaning out your closet, it’s a struggle. I’m glad I’m not alone in this!

  • I’ve definitely thought about the idea of a capsule wardrobe and even attempted the purging! That was too emotionally difficult though, haha. I really like your idea about the gradual purge . . . I feel like I can handle that! 🙂 I’m excited to see how this goes for you! It seems like lots of people are loving their capsule wardrobes.

  • I’ve never heard of a capsule wardrobe before, but I’ve been thinking about doing a purge of my closet recently, and this would be a great next step for me to be involved in!

    • You should totally give it a try! It takes a bit of an emotional toll, but it’s definitely worth it. Picking out outfits has gotten easier and I don’t feel like I have any less variety. I basically now have gained back the ten-fifteen minutes I would spend feeling like I should wear the stuff I don’t like.

  • Right now my life consists of dark blue jeans, gingham shirts and black non-slip shoes (my work uniform) so I guess technically I already have a capsule wardrobe 🙂

    I also just recently got rid of half my closet because I hadn’t worn any of it for about 9 months so it’s looking pretty sparse.

    • Oh nice! Your work uniform doesn’t seem too bad at all. So jealous of your success paring down! I feel like every time I get rid of stuff more stuff shows up. I blame Carl. He doesn’t buy anything, but I’m sure he has something to do with it.

  • Amy Oraftik

    I’ve never heard of a capsule wardrobe but I’m so pumped to go home and purge my closet now! It sounds very European to me to only have a few pieces. 🙂 Are there any rules to follow regarding winter versus summer or is 20-40 year round?

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  • I love the idea of a capsule wardrobe. My problem is really defining my style. I like too many things, but I would have to say neutral colors are my favorite. I’m boring like that. 🙂

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