Are Capsule Wardrobes All They're Cracked Up To Be?

This outfit is like the Fast & the Furious series... too many sequels!

This outfit is like the Fast & the Furious series... too many sequels!

Just before I embarked on my honeymoon, I completed my capsule wardrobe challenge. Two+ months of wearing essentially the same 35 things. (You can read about the challenge here). 

 

Wow, I learned a lot. 

 

For example, people don't notice what you are wearing all that much.

Zero people mentioned that I wore a buffalo check shirt to my brother's rehearsal dinner...

Ready to party, Paul Bunyan-style!

Ready to party, Paul Bunyan-style!

 

...to the airport on the way home from my brother's wedding...

The dog makes almost as many appearances in the pics as this shirt. 

The dog makes almost as many appearances in the pics as this shirt. 

 

...to Thanksgiving...

I really like this shirt.... can you tell?

I really like this shirt.... can you tell?

 

...and Christmas...

Holding hands/paws for grace.

Holding hands/paws for grace.

... and to work a few times, to a movie, when I filmed my first Hey Eleanor webisode, dinner with friends. I've easily worn this shirt 20 times in the past 60 days.  

 

Layering is key!

Wearing a mix of high-quality, luxe-feeling pieces makes you feel really put together, even if you're dressed casually.

Exhibit A:

Clearly I am trying too hard to look bookish. Patsy is confused. 

Clearly I am trying too hard to look bookish. Patsy is confused. 

 

I started out believing that a capsule wardrobe meant investing in "nice" pieces.

Aka expensive. Truth be told, my two favorite pieces (the buffalo plaid shirt and the grey sweater dress below) came from the Gap & Old Navy, respectively, and cost less than $30 apiece. 

My cheapie sweater dress. 

My cheapie sweater dress. 

 

Other notes (many of which I've discussed at length in previous posts):

Having less clothing to choose from made my life markedly easier.

It hardly ever took me more than five minutes to pick out my clothes and get dressed in the morning. Once I dialed in a few great outfits, I returned to versions of those over and over again. My morning stress nearly disappeared.

 

I loved my breezy, mostly empty closet

I could actually see everything I owned. What a concept. 

 

I just can't have needy clothes. 

For example, this great shirt.

Oh how I love and hate this shirt. 

Oh how I love and hate this shirt. 

I loved it. It accidentally wound up in the drier and shrunk. After much hemming and hawing, I decided to replace it. Well, guess what? My husband dried the new one. It shrunk.

You know what I learned? I care more about sharing the laundry responsibilities with Josh than I do about having a few select items that can be machine washed, but not machine dried. So instead of micromanaging the laundry, I've decided to avoid "lay flat to dry" items. 

 

So... will I continue with this capsule concept?

To some extent, yes. I have no desire to look through the clothes I put away last November. I don't even remember what I don't have in my closet. I've spent less money on clothes, less time shopping, more time writing and exercising and substantially less time getting ready.

I'm no longer of the "I need that shirt in every color" or the "you can never have too many jeans" mindset. I just need enough, and enough turns out to be barely any.

However, a strict 35-item rule doesn't currently work for me. There were still things I wore all the time, and items I hardly ever wore. I think I am still struggling with is the idea of personal style. Do I have one? What is it? I was hoping this would give me a little more clarity in that regard, but it hasn't. Maybe it's time I switched my mindset from capsule to uniform.

I just need to make sure my uniform isn't yoga pants and a sweatshirt.

* * *

Your thoughts on keeping a limited closet? And do you have a uniform? How'd you pick it? I am stumped, but maybe I actually do have one and am not even aware of it. 

The best part about this entire challenge was cleaning out my closet. Check out the before and afters and maybe you'll be inspired to do it, too. And if you are so tired of this stupid topic (honestly, I kind of am! How can people exclusively blog about 30 pieces of clothing?!), here's a link to an interview I did with a porn star