A Capsule Wardrobe Study

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A couple weeks ago, I stumbled upon a trend that is no doubt “so last year,” but a very new concept for me: Capsule Wardrobes. I was writing out my packing list for a short weekend away in Kansas City with Mr. Brown, and the procrastinator in me decided that it would be a good use of my time to take 15 minutes to look at packing lists on Pinterest rather than, I don’t know, take the 5 minutes to write out my own. I’m a creature of habit, and I’d say that I’ve written about 40 packing lists in the past few years that all look about the same regardless of the trip length. In fact, after making this Capsule Wardrobe discovery on Pinterest that afternoon, I hurriedly wrote out my staple list and went with it. Time was not on my side, and I knew that this Capsule Wardrobe pre-obsession was going to take me some time to research, time I would gladly be giving the pursuit!

Now that I’ve laid out the context of this discovery, which was basically just trying to see how little I could take with me to my very short weekend (and giving up), let me share my experience thus far. It took a week of reading blogs like The Lovely Laura Life , Un-Fancy and Project 333 to decide how I would begin.

In the end, I stuck closest to Un-Fancy’s method (finding it through the first blog). She recommends a 37 piece closet, but unlike most Capsule how-to’s I found, she doesn’t count accessories. I’d say most how-to’s exempted underwear and exercise gear, but everyone else was including accessories like scarves, purses, and in some cases jewelry. A huge draw to the Un-Fancy method was the fact that I could choose the number of items, and even the categories. Another draw to the capsule wardrobe method as a whole was that it’s seasonal. It’s not just about getting rid of everything you aren’t loving at the moment, it’s also about storing things differently which brings your current items to the forefront.

Good news for a thrifting nut that is constantly shuffling through drawers and hangers to find SOMETHING good enough to wear to work every day. I’d even started having dreams of being terribly late to work/events because I couldn’t find anything decent (literally) to wear in a mountainous pile of garments.

Enter the capsule wardrobe.

Sorting my clothes was honestly not that big of a deal. It took a couple hours, but wasn’t as emotionally as taxing as I’d anticipated. The “maybe & seasonal” piles made a huge difference, and I came out with getting rid of at least a solid 1/3 of my clothes anyway. We’re working towards a calmer attitude towards clothes, so limiting the stress of making these decisions makes sense, right? After putting aside my Seasonal, Maybe, and Give Away/Sell piles…

Behold the breakdown:

Tops & Cardigans – 24

Jeans – 3

Trousers/Leggings – 5

Skirts – 3

Dresses – 3

Outerwear – 2

Total: 40

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I’m obviously taking this purging process slower than most, but I’m already excited about my first capsule wardrobe! As you can see, I didn’t count exercise gear, PJ’s, accessories, or even my shoes. I might dip into these categories in future wardrobe edits, but I have no problem starting small, and am enjoying the process. Most Capsule Wardrobe how-to’s also involve buying new pieces to bring together your edited closet (within the # limit of course!), but I had so many things I wanted to keep, that I didn’t see any huge holes to fill this time around. Maybe next season…

Watch this space!

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