I've been hearing the phrase "wardrobe capsule" tossed around for the past year or so but I was quick to dismiss it as a new tag line trend. Or trite gimmick meant to engage those seeking further direction from the minimalist movement. In which I know I am never likely to be paired with, because I'm too sentimental. I save stuff I shouldn't and have a really hard time editing things I know I need to. But that doesn't mean I don't applaud the clarity it entails. In fact, as much as I adore my routine ways of #thriftlyfe and feel intrinsically prone to clutter, I have reached a point in life where it certainly feels like it's all pretty much weighing me down. Especially my wardrobe. Which really isn't excessive by any means but stocked, like most of us, with a few beloved key pieces, and then a whole lot of everything else I'm either not wearing, not loving, or not fitting into. Yet stuck with the notion of skewed personal attachment to a bunch of clothes that (as the golden "new minimalist" edit rule warns) doesn't give me any joy. Around the house I have a fair share of knick knacks and trinkets I keep out simply because I've had them for so many years. Not because I love the way they look. Or find a special something in the way they make me feel. I hang on to them because, well, they've just always been there.
Stumbling across the Unfancy blog recently proved a much needed awakening for me. Like all the things I knew I needed to be tending to, but was avoiding, laid out there in that cleanly white little webspace. With all of the rules and inspiration to help guide one through the daunting task of pairing down a wardrobe.
I'm just getting started here on my end, so I don't have any personal notes of advice just yet. All I know is that I want to try this out. I need to try it out because on some days it feels like I'm drowning in a sea of meaningless "Stuff." And I want to break that cycle. To some degree anyway. I want a little less. Actually I want a lot less. And I want it soon.
As far as wardrobe specifics / staples go, I'm still figuring out what mine are. And when I do, I'll get be sharing elements of it on them here in a short series. Sharing the selections I've made as well whatever cuts I've managed. I'm starting the feat this coming Friday, our first official day out of school, so I can enjoy the ease of this brief season without feeling tied to the current state of cluttery discontent. Plus we are determined to get our home on the market this summer and what better reason to start getting rid of things than a lighter load to pack, stripped of all the clothing and whatever else I keep around for the stupid sake of aged sentiments keeping it around. But it's going to take some serious focus. And a whole lot of coffee.
Here, a sample taste of the Unfancy credo. In which capsule creator extraordinaire, Caroline explains her delve into the capsule way of life where in 20014 she decided she was feeling desperatly ready for a big change:
"I’d been out shopping … again. I got home with a mess of clothes that contributed nothing to my style or my needs – and immediately knew this was part of a bigger problem.
See, recently, I’d noticed that I had a bad habit of going shopping when I needed to jolt myself out of a bad mood.
Hard day at work? Shopping! Not feeling very pretty today? Shopping! Frustrated with my family? Shopping!
No wonder my closet didn’t make any sense. It reflected my emotional stress, not my style.
I wanted a change. I wanted to stop spending money on emotional purchases. I wanted to stop filling my closet with cheap clothes. I wanted to stop believing more stuff would bring me happiness.
So … I googled around. I searched all sorts of things like “how to find your style” and “how to curb a shopping problem” until I stumbled upon the term “capsule wardrobe.”
Coined in the 70’s by London boutique owner, Susie Faux, it’s all about dressing with a small collection of seasonally appropriate, mix-and-match clothes.
It was the change I’d been looking for.
With the help of two blogs, Be More With Less and Into Mind, I settled on a structure that worked for my lifestyle: dress with only 37 pieces of clothing for 3 months. And no shopping during those 3 months. Yikes!
But as I started living with a small, intentional wardrobe, I noticed that I felt joyful again. I saw, with fresh eyes, that happiness, contentment, and joy come from within — not from stuff or external circumstances.
I lived with a capsule for a year and blogged about it every day, sharing my struggles, my breakthrough moments, and everything in between. By 2016, my heart and habits were healthy again.
It was time to let my “capsule diet” melt into my real life. I let go of some of the structure, like filling out my capsule planner every three months and limiting my closet to a specific number of pieces.
But I carry the heart of it with me — smaller closet, intentional purchases, less shopping, and more joy."
So stay tuned. Part two will show my cuts.
In which I'm counting heavily on the promise they make that it it'll get easier as I go.
Labels: capsule wardrobe, style