This is part two of my spring cleaning series on a capsule wardrobe. If you missed the first part of the series, check it out here! In part one, I define a capsule wardrobe and share a behind-the-scenes look at the pieces I have in my personal wardrobe.
For part two of the series, I'd like to talk about the WHY behind a capsule wardrobe. Many of my Style Shop Denver clients face an overwhelming task when they walk into a wardrobe stuffed with clothing. Physical clutter equals mental clutter, and a big wardrobe may prevent you from seeing new outfit options. It's likely you’ll reach for the same things you always wear when you have a large wardrobe, even though you have more things hanging in your closet!
To my own surprise, when I perform an outfitting session for a Style Shop Denver client with a capsule wardrobe (30-40 pieces of clothing), I never have a problem putting outfits together with the options they own. On the contrary, when I perform an outfitting session for a Style Shop Denver client with a large wardrobe (over 50 items), it takes me longer to see the possibilities as my mind sorts through the options hanging in their closet.
One of my favorite authors on the subject of living with less is Courtney Carver. She recently wrote the book “Soulful Simplicity” and started the minimalist fashion challenge Project 333 where she challenges women to dress with 33 items or less for 3 months. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed her emails on living with less and believe there's freedom in putting a stop to the “more, more, more” lifestyle.
Recently, I received this quote in one of her emails, “Have you ever experienced decision fatigue? I used to spend so much brain power buying things, chasing sales and figuring out what to wear. I remember trying on several outfits getting ready in the morning in hopes of finding the perfect thing. Now, in curating a small capsule wardrobe, there are no daily decisions required. I get to wear my favorite things every day.”
She also says, “In 2010, my first round of minimalist fashion challenge Project 333 changed the way I thought about my clothes, my stuff, and my spending habits. The challenge invited me to embrace the joy and ease of dressing with less.
Wearing only 33 items of clothing including accessories, jewelry, and shoes make me realize... I need way less than I think to be happy. The more I had, the more I wanted. It seemed like my clothes needed more clothes. 'That sweater would go great with those jeans I have,' I would think. Or, 'A new scarf or belt will really pull this look together.' My constant quest for more resulted in frustration, overspending, and discontent. Choosing from a small selection of thirty-three made me feel light, and I almost immediately felt gratitude for what I had instead of thinking about the next thing I needed."
I couldn’t agree more with Courtney! How many items do you think you truly need in your closet? OR how many items are you actually wearing in your closet?
One of The Style Shop by Sandi Mele’s specialities is creating a wardrobe that mixes and matches during a shopping session with a client. We spend time strategizing, weighing pros and cons, and eliminating items that don’t hold their weight in versatility. I have yet to hear a client say, “man, I wish I had more options in my wardrobe” following a shopping session. My suggestion is to find the pieces that work the hardest in your wardrobe and eliminate the pieces that don’t. We’ve all been guilty of the, “I love this skirt so much I’ll go buy a top and jacket to go with it.” You'll likely forget about a coveted item if you simply move on, and if you aren't sure, give yourself a night to sleep on it. Nine times out of ten, you’ll be glad you didn’t spend the money!
Not sure where to start with a capsule wardrobe? I looked at my wardrobe to see what pieces I plan on wearing over the next 2 months and created a list of categories in the image below. You can use it as a guide when putting together your own capsule for spring! Don't worry too much about every piece mixing and matching when you start out. Just look for pieces in each category and move your fall, winter, and summer items out of the way so you can see what gaps you have within your spring wardrobe!
**Please note: Your capsule wardrobe will likely look different depending on your job and dress code for work. This capsule works well for my work-from-home lifestyle and client session needs. Tweak as necessary!
I’d love to hear your thoughts on a capsule wardrobe. Have you tried one and it didn’t work out? Do you have a personality that finds security in more options to choose from? Do you thrive on a full closet when putting outfits together?
Share your thoughts with The Style Shop community below, and make sure to check out Project 333 if you plan on taking your capsule wardrobe to the next level!