This is Me, Convincing You to Make a Capsule Wardrobe
A number of months ago, a friend shared on social media about her recently completed “capsule wardrobe.” What got my attention was the picture of her closet. There was basically nothing in it. And almost immediately, I knew this capsule wardrobe thingie, whatever it was, …it was for me. I shoved aside everything else important in my life and assembled my “capsule” immediately. Now, months later, I am more sold on it than ever. So naturally, I am trying to convince everyone else in my life to do it.
Briefly, here’s the gist. You pick a restrictive number of items for your wardrobe. I picked 37 because that’s what wise woman Caroline Rector did. This includes shoes, but not dressy attire, workout clothes or undergarments. You empty your closet completely and then add items back in until you reach 37. If it doesn’t fit, you don’t wear it, or you don’t love it, you toss it. Ideally your items will span more than one style, but roughly adhere to a pre-selected color palette so that they mix and match well. There’s a whole method for selecting your items. I won’t bore you with all of that, but definitely check out Un-Fancy if you are at all interested in changing your life completely for the good. If you want your closet to keep dragging you, and all aspects of your life down with it, no worries, just skip that website.
I exaggerate. But here’s the thing–the capsule wardrobe really has improved my life in a number of ways. My husband can attest to the fact (and I agree) that I dress significantly better post-capsule than pre-capsule. So he’s the beneficiary. It feels great to walk in my closet every morning and not feel overwhelmed by the feeling of having so much, yet “nothing to wear.” I love how I can just grab a pair of shorts and there’s always a cute top that will go with it. I’m no longer trying on a million things, throwing them on the floor in disgust, and finally settling on something I don’t like.
Another aspect of my capsule that brings me joy is that it was largely purchased second hand. Friends have been gently nudging me for years to be a more socially conscious consumer. Conscious consuming always seemed too difficult, too expensive, too elusive. Then I discovered the joys of eBay. I thought StitchFix was fun, but eBay really blows StitchFix out of the water. I don’t know if it’s the thrill of the auction or the surprise of discovering what I’ve won at my doorstep. I’ve purchased so many unique pieces that are more stylish, more interesting and much cheaper than anything I would typically buy at the store. It doesn’t always fit. Sometimes it’s not what I expected and I end up re-selling it. But I’m happy that while my wardrobe is improving, my money isn’t funding sweatshops or child labor.
I’ve never thought clothes were very important and I largely stand by that, but there is something to be said about enjoying them and using creative energy to arrange them on your body. I’ve always believed that fashion was an art, just not a medium that engaged me personally. Now suddenly, I’m having fun making as many different outfit combinations as possible from my small closet. Jewelry is oddly interesting to me. I sorta “get” shoes now. I’ve even gotten out the old silk screen to make a few graphic tees on the cheap. Yay, art!
Perhaps the only folks who aren’t benefitting from my capsule wardrobe are my friends who are seriously tired of me talking about capsule wardrobes. If I’ve recently met you or haven’t seen you in a while, I probably waited a good five minutes before working the term “capsule wardrobe” into the conversation. And those were five really long, self-restrained minutes, I tell you.
Last week, I uttered the words, “It’s not for everybody.” I lied. It is for everyone. If you tell me you can’t do it, I will judge you. Harshly. And behind your back. You can do it. You will do it. And you will love it [said with gritted teeth].
Seriously though, just do it.