Saturday, May 02, 2015

Capsule Wardrobe Attempt

I have a lot of clothes. Probably not as many as some women but still much more than I truly need.

I've been toying with the idea of a capsule wardrobe since I first heard about Project 33 multiple years ago. I just wasn't ready.

So I have slowly been cleaning out my closet a few pieces at a time. Our no-buy year in 2014 helped a lot since I didn't add to my closet except for a few gifts.

About 6 months ago I happened upon the blog Un-Fancy (unfortunately she just stopped blogging!) and the idea of a capsule wardrobe began to take root again. Only this time it seemed like more of a possibility. But I did nothing other than clean out the closet piece by piece (and add a few things once 2015 hit!).

Then I went to Hawaii with a carry on suitcase and a small backpack. For 3 weeks. And was perfectly happy with just a handful of clothing items. I had my very favorite items and was happy to wear the same things over and over. I remember feeling this way last year in Hawaii as well as on our Europe trip 3 years ago.

When we got back from Hawaii, I did a really huge clean out of my closet (sent a bunch of stuff to Twice and to a local outdoor consignment store) with the idea of trying a spring capsule wardrobe.

Only it was a bit overwhelming. I just could not bring myself to narrow my clothes down to 30-something items.

But I still find the simplicity of a capsule wardrobe so appealing. So even though I can't do it in one swoop, I've decided to work towards a capsule wardrobe in steps. Here's what I am doing:
  1. Not worrying about decluttering fitness clothes, outdoor hiking clothes, outwear, nor fancy clothes.
  2. Ignore simplifying all accessories - belts, scarves, shoes, bags, hats, jewelry
  3. Moderately simplify bottoms (jeans, shorts, pants, skirts) - this is the toughest part for me - I can't imagine going down to just 10 bottoms! I have 10+ pairs of jeans alone!
  4. Pick my absolute favorite tops that seem spring-like. Some short sleeve tops, some long sleeved tops, some light sweaters, etc.
  5. Put the truly out of season clothes like heavy wool sweaters and summer clothes in easily accessible storage (just in case!)
  6. Put all the maybe clothes on the left side of my closet (behind my fitness clothes so they are a bit out of view). If I want/need them, I can easily get to them. If I end up wearing anything on the maybe side, it can then move to the capsule side. (FYI there are about 50 items on the maybe side of the closet - goodness gracious!)
  7. I put my favorites on the right side of the closet to be my "starter" capsule wardrobe. I'm going to try to pull my outfits from just these items. 
  8. I'm also using the turned around hanger trick to see which items I don't wear at all. You know this one? You hook the hanger on the rod from the back. When you wear something and return it to the closet, the hanger goes on normal. That way you can easily see what you have and have not worn.
My starter capsule wardrobe ended up including...
  • 6 short sleeve shirts
  • 8 long sleeve shirts
  • 6 sweater tops
  • 5 cardigan or vest sweaters
  • 3 skirts
  • 6 dresses
  • 3 pairs of shorts
  • 6 pairs of jeans
  • 5 pairs of colored jeans/pants/capris/leggings
That's 48 clothing items. Way more than enough. I did this last week, and so far it is going really well. I'll take another good look at my closet in June. And maybe I'll be ready to try a true capsule wardrobe for summer...

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