Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Some Final Remarks on the Great Capsule Wardrobe Experiment

Once upon a time, all the way back in February, I was finally convinced to try out the capsule wardrobe trend (aka, where you severely edit your closet down to a certain number of mix and match pieces and put everything else into storage for a season). Well, a month later, you got a mini update on how it was going, but thanks to the craziness that was the end of school, you never got my final word on the matter.

And better two months late than never, amiright?

When all was said and done, I have five main thoughts on my capsule wardrobe experiment:

1 - Once you can get past the "longing for more clothes" stage (which you'll probably hit when you're a few weeks in, like I did), you kind of forget about your other stuff that's out somewhere in deep storage and just embrace your smaller closet (or maybe you just run to the rest of your clothes in desperation and give up the thing entirely). For me anyway, I found that once I was about halfway through my 3-month experiment with a smaller wardrobe, I really didn't miss the other stuff.

2 - Three months is about the perfect time to reevaluate the wardrobe you've chosen, not just because the season will probably be changing and you'll need different types of clothing (duh), but just because it really does feel like you're "shopping" for new stuff when you haul out the rest of your clothes that you'd put away. It was fun to get excited about pieces I hadn't seen for 3 months (rather than have them sitting in my closet the whole time and me forgetting about how awesome they are).

3 - Surprisingly (or maybe not surprisingly), when I changed over to my "summer capsule" (which I didn't do in as formal of a manner as I did previously, like count pieces or anything), much of my wardrobe didn't change at all. Basically, I just took out all the obvious "work" and "winter" clothes and rotated in some sandals, crops, and more tees. And now, after having lived with my summer capsule for about a month, I'd feel comfortable taking about a dozen more things and putting them back into storage since I haven't even worn them once.

That's the biggest takeaway from doing a capsule wardrobe, really--it really shows me the pieces I want to wear (not just that I aspire to want to wear, if that makes sense), and it helps me to see that life without so many clothes is more inspiring than frustrating. Because I'm no longer overwhelmed by so many choices (many of which aren't appropriate for the season or the occasion or whatever), I can just look at the simple collection in front of me and mix and match at will.


4 - Doing a capsule helped me nail down my current personal style a lot better because it helped me to see what I reach for over and over and over again (comfortable basic tees that are just slightly fitted) and what I hardly touch (anything with cap or just-barely-there sleeves, anything that's too tight/hot, or shirts with a wide neckline). And because I now understand this, today when I go shopping for the first time in several months, there's really only a few basic pieces that I actually want/need to get (rather than just going to the store with the vague sense that I need "something new" without knowing exactly what).

5 - I used to spend an embarrassing amount of money on clothes (like, hundreds and hundreds of dollars a year), but doing this experiment showed me that often I don't need new clothes to feel better about my wardrobe--I just need a new perspective. So, if for nothing else, capsule wardrobes were the way for me to finally kick my spending-loads-of-money-on-clothes habit for good.

Going forward, I still plan to do a version of the capsule wardrobe from now on. But rather than worry so much about the number of pieces I'm "allowed" to have, I'm keeping it simple by just limiting it to the amount of clothes that can fit in one side of my closet (so that I can easily see everything at a glance instead of trying to go between two sides of a sliding-door closet).

If you haven't tried out a capsule wardrobe yet and feel overwhelmed by the current state of your closet (or need to kick a clothing spending habit, like me), I seriously recommend trying this out.

More Capsule Wardrobe Posts:

Why I Decided to Try the Capsule Wardrobe Trend
What Made the Cut: My First Capsule
Capsule Wardrobe: One Month In (with pics of various outfits)

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