Ever opened your closet and declared, I have nothing to wear! Even though your closet is so crammed, you couldn't squeeze a sneeze in there.
Of course you've been there. You are a person.
I've been reading a lot about capsule wardrobes. The gist: You only have about 35 items that you absolutely love in your closet at a time. That's all you wear for a full season (aka 3 months). Sound cool? I was intrigued. Then I started reading the Un-fancy blog and was sold. You can read more about it here.
To me, capsule wardrobes sound both exciting and terrifying.
On the one hand...
- I always gravitate toward the same pieces.
- Sometimes I'll wear something not because I love it, but from the guilt of owning it and letting it rot in my closet.
- Less options means less hemming & hawing when you're getting dressed. It's like a restaurant with too many items on the menu... so overwhelming!
- I'm constantly promising myself I'm not gonna buy any more striped t-shirts, then can't pass on the nearly-free striped tees at the Gap (ugh, so many sales!). Cheap stuff adds up to a lot of cashola, especially if you don't really love or wear it.
- I love the idea of only wearing clothes I adore. And think about how much time I'd save if I quit shopping as a sport!
- Since I am now working from home, I also love the idea of making shopping NOT AN OPTION.
On the other hand...
- Will I be judged for wearing the same stuff all the time?
- Will I get bored? Will my clothes be boring?!
- What if I pick the wrong stuff and hate my wardrobe for 3 months?
- What about all the time and money I've invested in my current wardrobe (even if I never wear 50 percent of it)?
- And will I end up doing laundry in just a towel because everything I own is dirty?
Though apprehensive, I decided to try it.
Here's why: Paring down your closet forces you to identify what you love. It teaches restraint and thriftiness. Theoretically, it lessens your stress and ups your confidence.
What I love the most is how this makes you set standards. It forces you to look at every pair of jeans or shirt and think, "if I could only have one, would this be it?" If we applied that thought process to our romantic relationships, jobs, friendships, travel, everything, do you think we'd all be happier? I think so.
So I purged most of my TINY closet (oh, old houses, you're so quaint!). I am a little ashamed of these before photos, but here they are.
I took every item of clothing out of my closet & dresser and sorted it into four piles:
- OVER IT, BUT NICE
- HOLY $#!T WHAT WAS I THINKING
Once I'd sorted everything, I was shocked. Only 15-ish things in the LOVE pile.
What have I been buying?!
The LOVE stuff went back into the closet. LIKE stuff went into a big plastic tub in the basement (I have two: fall/winter & spring/summer). The OVER IT, BUT NICE stuff went to Buffalo Exchange where I sold it and made $140! The HSWWIT pile went to Goodwill.
A year ago, I sequestered all of my shoes into our guest bedroom because I ran out of space. Here, I've selected 8 lucky pairs and moved them back into my closet. Hi, old friends!
And here is my TINY yet roomy closet:
Five nicely folded garments on the shelf:
Stuff I love, just hanging in my closet.
WOW THIS FEELS GOOD!
There was, however, one item in my LOVE pile that didn't return to the closet.
If you've seen me any time between September and late April, I was probably wearing my favorite sweater. I've lived in this cardigan for at least four years.
I am obsessed with it.
It's like my own sartorial Velveteen Rabbit (though I hope it never comes alive because that would be creepy).
These days, the cardigan is ragged and pilly, with a spots from spilled coffee and probably wine. She's no longer fit for public outings, so I'm putting her to pasture in the most respectable way.
Per Sarah Von Bargen's suggestion, I made her my house sweater.
Thank you for being there, sweater. I dedicate this song to you.
As of right now, I'm on a personal shopping freeze through December 31.
So far, I am actually loving it. Prior to the freeze, I did purchase a few new items to round out my winter wardrobe, but in general, I feel so light an unencumbered. It's a good feeling.
I'll be posting pics of my wardrobe & outfits starting next week. EEEK!
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PS This isn't the first time I've tackled fashion. Remember when I wore that god awful hot pink jumpsuit (sold it to Buffalo Exchange, btw!), or waited in an hour-plus line for over-priced yoga clothes, OR my favorite... PRESS-ON nails!