I am a huge believer in a capsule wardrobe.
When we got married, I had A LOT of clothes. I was accustomed to a walk-in closet all to myself, and I had filled it with clothes, rarely getting rid of anything. I thought more was better. As a teacher, I played into that silly high-school girl notion of wearing a different outfit every day.
My capsule wardrobe began when we bought our house. If you’ve been reading this blog for long, you know our house was built in 1930. It’s funny because this was a time in American history when it was normal for everyone to have a capsule wardrobe. Clothes were still relatively expensive or handmade, so people had fewer, well-made pieces, which lasted for years.
When we moved in I didn’t even have a closet, just a cheap hanging rack. My husband’s clothes filled the only closet in the bedroom. Thankfully IKEA saved the day, and my clothes now fill a wardrobe. While the lack of a modern walk-in closet may sound like a hindrance, I’ve found the spatial boundaries have forced me to purge items I never wore, cheap thrills, and ill-fitting clothes. And as I cleaned out items, I noticed that getting dressed became easier. My closet looked more cohesive, so I could mix-and-match and come up with cute, creative outfits to fit almost any occasion. I began to hone my personal style.
My wardrobe got even more capsule-y as life took several turns. For almost three years, I’ve been pregnant or nursing. I have gone up and back down the size charts. I transitioned from wearing professional clothes five days a week to spending most days grocery shopping, taking neighborhood walks, and staying home with our littles. If I hadn’t kept on top of my closet, it would literally be an unusable mess.
Maybe that’s where you find yourself today? Staring at clothes and feeling the defeat of nothing to wear, nothing that makes you feel like the fabulous lady you are.
A capsule wardrobe doesn’t happen in a single afternoon. Sure, you can start with a big purge of clothes that do not fit either your body or your lifestyle. But then you need to assess what you own, what outfits you can create, and where you have gaps. This is the fun part!
Do you need some motivation to start your capsule wardrobe?
- Spatial boundaries: Limit yourself by hangers or drawers or by item number.
- Purge: Everything that doesn’t work. If you’re super freaked by this, just stow it in boxes for a few months. It’s an experiment to see the benefits of a smaller closet. I bet you won’t even miss the extra clothes, then you can feel justified in giving it away.
- Have Vision: Pinning to a style board showed me I love a certain style. Seeing only cohesive outfits + colors on inspired me to make my closet look more like my board. Pull up your style board on your computer, and place it next to your closet. If I was starting over, I might even do 2 boards – one for winter, one for summer, because I swap out my clothes. In the winter, I like all neutrals, mostly dark. In the summer, I noticed I play more with color. My Pinterest board helps me visualize where I’m headed. When I’m shopping, it is easier to ignore cheap thrills that don’t fit with my overall style.
- Link Up: Talking clothes is more fun together. A group of us are linking up each week (details below). Don’t have a blog? Use #thecapsuleproject on Instagram to show us your outfits and closets.
The Capsule Project is for the woman who wants to simplify her closet, cutting down on the excess and finding the pieces that work. It’s for the woman who wants to hone her personal style, to find the pieces that fit and flatter her body and still express her unique personality and taste. It’s for the woman who is tired of sitting in front of a closet full of clothes and still having no idea what to wear.The Capsule Project was started by Jessi Cross, inspired by the ebook The No Brainer Wardrobe, by Hayley Morgan. If you want to join us (DO!), here’s where to start.