If you’ve been following along for a while, then you know that I recently succumbed to the capsule wardrobe craze and decided to give it a shot. You can catch up on my posts about it here:
I just finished up my first round of this little project (which lasted three months), and I learned more than I ever thought I would about myself and my style. I found the whole thing fascinating, so today I’m sharing my top 5 lessons from the capsule wardrobe experience.
- I don’t mind wearing the same things over and over. It was kind of funny to me how natural it felt to switch over the the capsule wardrobe because apparently I was basically already doing it, just with a bunch of excess in my closet. I realized pretty quickly that I like wearing the same few things over and over and I have no problem reaching for my favorite things more than once or twice a week. And the beautiful thing is, as long as you accessorize it differently (put on a different cardigan, add a sweater, wear a skirt instead of pants, etc. etc. etc.), no one notices. It’s awesome.
- I am so much happier when I love my wardrobe. I’m not naturally a super confident person, and when I put myself in clothing that I don’t feel fabulous in, it just feels wrong. I find myself tugging at my clothes, questioning my choices, and avoiding mirrors all day long. When I love my clothes and feel great in them, however, I’m more confident, easygoing, and much less pre-occupied with how I look. I’m able to just feel comfortable in my own skin and not worry about ill-fitting clothes or clothes that I don’t love. This, if nothing else, has been an amazing lesson for me to only buy things I adore. There is absolutely zero reason to have something in my closet if it doesn’t bring me joy.
- Getting dressed is a million times easier when you have fewer clothes. I honestly thought I would struggle to get dressed each day when I didn’t have as many clothes in my closet. What if I didn’t feel like wearing anything I had? What if I got tired of it? What if I ran out of good combinations? Luckily, that was not even remotely an issue. When you love everything you have in your closet, you pretty much always feel like wearing it. And even if you’re feeling uninspired, it’s no big deal to just grab something random and throw it on, because you know it looks and feels good. Not once did I go through the whole dance of trying on a million different outfits in the morning – every day I chose what I wanted to wear, put it on, and called it a day. And I was happy all day. It was amazing!
- I don’t miss the excess, AT ALL. I thought I’d be longing for my other clothes. I thought I’d be dying to shop. I thought I would absolutely hate having such a limited wardrobe. But to be honest, I didn’t once miss having a stuffed-to-the-brim closet, nor did I feel any real need to shop (until I got towards the end and started noticing some holes in my cold-weather gear). It was mind-blowing to me how I could go from obsessed with buying all the clothes to not even wanting to shop that quickly. But it happened. And I’m so glad it did.
- A “formal” capsule wardrobe isn’t for me. I know. After all this raving, you’d think I would never want to give it up. I’ve said all along that this project wouldn’t be a forever thing for me, but the closer I got to the end of the first three months the more I realized I didn’t want to do it again. I loved the experience and I learned so much from it, but I won’t be continuing with my capsule wardrobe, and here’s why: having a capsule wardrobe made me focus on the rules and what I couldn’t do, not on how much freedom I actually had. Texas weather is a fickle, fickle thing and I quickly reached a point where half of the things I had put in my fall capsule were no longer weather appropriate, so my wardrobe was even smaller than I had planned. And when I realized I left something important out of my wardrobe (like a pair of tennis shoes) I felt a momentary pang of guilt over needed to go grab them. There’s something ridiculous and eye-opening about feeling guilt over needed to wear tennis shoes. After that experience, I acknowledged that maybe this wasn’t for me. I’m so grateful for what this experiment taught me and I will never go back to doing things the way I did before, but I’m no longer following a certain set of “rules” surrounding what I can and can’t have in my wardrobe.
Again, I am so incredibly glad I tried this out and I’d recommend it to anyone who is curious about it. You’ll push yourself and learn a lot more about yourself than you ever expected. When I officially decided to call it and bring out my winter clothes (because it was already too cold outside for all of the clothes I had put in my “fall” wardrobe), I didn’t set a number for myself, but I did carefully and thoughtfully go through each piece of clothing that I grabbed out of storage and ask myself if it was something I loved. If it didn’t fit well, was too worn, or I didn’t absolutely adore it, I didn’t put it in my closet. And surprisingly, when all was said and done I ended up with only a few more pieces than I had when I was doing a capsule wardrobe – I don’t remember the exact number, but it’s around 50 pieces. And guess what? It feels like a hundred pieces.
It’s freeing to not make myself stick to any rules surrounding what I wear from my closet, but I don’t think I will ever allow myself to buy clothes at the same rate I did before. I have a few very specific things I still want for my winter wardrobe, but other than that I have no desire to shop for clothes – I have everything I need to feel great on a daily basis. And I don’t need a prescribed set of rules to tell me how to do limit myself.
Have you tried a capsule wardrobe? I’d love to hear other experiences with it!