A capsule wardrobe?

As I mentioned before, I started becoming interested in makeup and style by watching YouTube videos. At this point, there are quite a few different YouTubers that I follow and watch videos regularly. Through these videos, I end up staying up to date on makeup and style trends. One of my favorite YouTubers to watch is Anna, and she recently posting a blog/video about a topic that I found very interesting, so I thought I’d share my thoughts on it.  If you would like, you can watch the video below or read Anna’s blog posts about her capsule wardrobe for more background information.

So, apparently this idea came about from Caroline Rector, a minimalist fashion blogger who discussed the concept of the capsule wardrobe fully in a podcast with Jess Lively.  So, first a basic overview of the capsule wardrobe. It’s a wardrobe of 37 pieces (could be more, or less, this is just what Caroline works with), INCLUDING SHOES (but not including underwear, socks, etc), that Caroline has. She uses these clothes over and over again to create daily outfits (which she posts on her blog). She reevaluates the wardrobe quarterly, in order to update the wardrobe for the seasons. If you click on the “Caroline Rector” link above, there’s a workbook and FAQ and everything in order to create your capsule wardrobe. The workbook helps you really evaluate your own wardrobe–what color palette are you interested in? What types of activities do you ACTUALLY do in a day (like, do you really need 17 formal dresses?), etc. The idea eventually is, everything in your closet are items you actually where and actually love, and in the process you have a better idea of the type of clothing you enjoy, and can be more targeted when shopping (at least, that’s what I grasped from the idea). Another YouTuber who does something similar (though, not to the same calculation as Caroline, or now Anna) is Christine, who posts “Uniform” videos that show her daily work outfits using 1 or 2 repeat items.

So why does this appeal to me? Actually, I’m not really sure it does appeal to me; but I have enjoyed analyzing my wardrobe a bit more. I took a photo of my wardrobe above. Firstly, I’m amused at the amount of color in the photo. Probably about 6 months ago, a few friends commented on the amount of black only in my wardrobe, so I have been focusing on getting more brightly colored pieces–looks like I’ve succeeded. Secondly, it’s far larger than I thought. I definitely have more than 37 pieces regardless of shoes! But, I do know, in general, that I do have far less clothing than most people. The photo above, plus about 10 more pieces (on both sides, hidden by the closet door and the wall) is my entire wardrobe, for ALL seasons. Often, I have friends who will say, Oh yeah, I didn’t even know I owned this piece, or yeah, I bought it a few years ago and just found it, etc. There are a few reasons as to why my total wardrobe is relatively small:

1. I’ve never lived in a place with a large closet. Even when I have, I generally share my closet with my fiance, Alex, and together, we usually use up all the space we need.

2. I hate taking clothes out of storage. It was something we did in my home as a child seasonally, and of course living in Kansas meant that there was always seasonally too hot or too cold days that I was inevitably unprepared for. Also it’s a lot of work, so since I’ve moved out, my wardrobe has always needed to fit the closet space I had, for all seasons.

3. I gain and lose weight a lot. Due to my health condition (again, I promise more info is eventually coming), every time I’m hospitalized, I usually lose weight. Mostly, I gain the weight back, but interestingly, I never gain it back in the same place. So, maybe now a shirt is really big, but my pants are too tight. My pants fit, but I need a bigger bra. It’s frustrating, and in order to not make my closet irrelevant every time I’m hospitalized (which would be SO expensive), I really try to keep clothing that fits that I actually wear.

So, how do I do that? How do I manage my own wardrobe? I have a self-imposed one in ; one out policy (mostly). If I haven’t worn the top or pants or shoes in over 6 months, it goes straight to donation. If I haven’t worn it in 6 months, I’m not likely to wear it again (unless it’s formal wear, or a dress with long sleeves that can’t be worn in the summer, etc). I try very hard to only buy clothing and shoes that can be worn both to work and play. My job requires business casual, so that’s not usually too difficult. My one in ; one out policy is easy, because when I go shopping, if I bring back too many things, I can’t fit it in my closet!

So, have I been convinced to start a capsule wardrobe? No, I don’t think so. But I do plan on being more meaningful with my clothing. Spend more time seeing how flexible my clothing can be, and possibly focus on wardrobe goals. My last one, adding more color to my wardrobe, worked well! My next goal may be looking into Stichfix. From what I’ve heard, having a stylist can aid in finding what type of clothing fits well, while incorporating a few trendy pieces that will work season to season. My goal is to lose a bit more weight before I start that process, but that may be where I head next.

What do you think? Are you interested in starting a capsule wardrobe? Do you feel like paring down your life? What are your throughs on the minimalist wardrobe life? Let me know if this peaked your interest as much as it did mine!

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2 thoughts on “A capsule wardrobe?

  1. Fantastic post. I love watching youtube and I’m surprised more girls are not jumping on board with this. I started the #project333 about 6 weeks ago and honestly I am struggling with it. I love the ethos behind it and I am hoping to be a lot more savvy at the end of it! It has certainly made me take a look at what I buy and how wasteful I can be.


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