What is a capsule wardrobe anyway?

Capsule Wardrobe. Have you heard of it? There are a lot of minimalist approaches to wardrobe overhauls these days, but the Capsule Wardrobe is one that really resonated with me. I was inspired by Caroline Rector of Unfancy. The idea is to have a total of 37 items for a 3-month season. Caroline provides an excellent tutorial on the concept here and here.

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Why?

I have loved fashion from a very young age, but I’ve fallen victim to the “I have nothing to wear!” syndrome day after day. I’m the first to admit, I LOVE SHOPPING. Especially sales! Oh man. I can’t even tell you how many times the words “but it’s on sale!” have come out of my mouth. I’m a sucker for a good deal. Extra 40% off sale items? I’m there. It’s sad though, isn’t it? A closet busting at the seams with clothes and shoes – some (shamefully) with the tags still attached. So many cute pieces but no cohesion or interchangeability. I mean now really, how many times can you wear a tangerine and fuchsia color block dress? Cute once or twice, but that thing was NOT making it into my 37.

How?

In early August, I decided to commit to the capsule wardrobe and filled out the wardrobe planner from Unfancy. I determined my 3-month season, color palette, and budget. Next up? GET RID OF CRAP!! I did it. I purged nearly everything in my entire closet. Seriously. It took me several weeks with a few minor panic attacks along the way, but I DID IT. I had actually started to sift through some of my older items several months ago – prior to any knowledge of a capsule wardrobe. I would look through my closet and anything I hadn’t worn within the past year or two would go into a bag which would then go into our upstairs “storage” room. I figured it was a safe way to pair down but not ACTUALLY get rid of anything. It was always up there – “in case”. Ha.

Well when it came time to start the purge, I started off in a very similar manner. I placed item after item into bags in which i planned to place upstairs in the same storage room. That way the clothes wouldn’t be in my closet, but they were still in the house – just in case. Genius! Well after several days of this, the line of bags under my bedroom window was getting out of control. There was stuff EVERYWHERE. Anyone who knows me knows that I hate clutter. It gives me anxiety just thinking about it. Eek! So I knew I was going to have to do something with all of these clothes, and I really didn’t want to haul them upstairs into the storage room. Well lo and behold, Tyler was golfing with the guys one Saturday morning and I just decided this is it. I’m doing it. I threw everything I could into large laundry hampers from our basement (including everything up in the storage room) and the rest stayed in bags. I packed up my car, drove to a local clothing resell store, and sold off what I could. The remainder? I donated everything to the local women’s shelter.

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I vividly remember sitting in my car afterwards with these empty laundry hampers thinking WHAT DID I JUST DO?! I literally have about 20 items hanging in my closet right now, and I still have to get dressed and go to work on Monday. It was a very sobering moment. To think all of the money I had spent on those clothes was just gone (GONE!!!), but then I really started to think. What good was any of it doing me? I always resorted to the same 10-20 items anyway. Why keep the clutter? So I drove home, opened up Excel, and started planning my fall wardrobe.

What now?

As of September 1, 2014, I have officially started my very first capsule wardrobe. I have 37 items (tops, bottoms, dresses, coats, and shoes) that will last me through the end of November. I’m so excited! As crazy as it sounds, I feel relieved. It’s so nice to open my closet and see 37 AWESOME items. I’ve planned ahead so I know everything goes together and each piece is something I truly like. Even though I have a fraction of the clothes I had before, I feel as if I have a million outfit options.

Would you try a capsule wardrobe? I’d love to hear what you think!

Make sure to check back in on Friday because I’ll be sharing everything that made the cut for my first capsule wardrobe. 🙂

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