After using this book to inspire me to really get rid of any clothes that did not bring me joy any more, I was left with very few things. This offered me a perfect opportunity to attempt a capsule wardrobe approach for this season (summer). I first learned about the concept through Jess Lively’s podcast last year. She interviewed Caroline Rector, the creator of the blog Un-Fancy and the person responsible for really making it a “thing”. She recently stopped blogging, but the idea lives on.
Before I go any further, I have to put out there the obvious fact that I am not even close to a fashion blogger. If you know me, you are quite aware of this 🙂 I don’t read fashion magazines or follow fashion or style blogs (except for this one, but only because I love her writing voice). I do, however, see value in being intentional with your clothing purchases. So take this post more as a thought process and planning and not as a style post.
So what is a capsule wardrobe? It is basically a limited amount of items that will carry you through a season. In Caroline’s case, it was 37 items. Total. That includes pants, tops, dresses, skirts, shoes, & jackets. Once you have those selected, you would donate, discard, or put the off-season items you still love in storage. You only shop 4 times a year (with a pre-set budget), as you prepare what your pieces will be for the upcoming season. At each transition, you would choose the pieces you want to carry over with you and be deliberate about what pieces you may need to purchase. For myself, I am going to start out a little less structured, but follow this as loose framework and guide.
What I love about this approach is that it is efficient and practical. Also, it prevents you from mindlessly spending money on things just because they are cute or a really good price. Less waste. How many times do you look at those same impulse purchase items a year later and realize that you wore it once and the rest of the time it has just been taking space in your closet? After taking the time to edit & reduce my clothes, the last thing I want to do is fill it back up again.
The first step for me was to reflect on what I was trying to accomplish. Putting thought into my purchases ahead of time helped me identify what I needed to get and how much.This process was helpful because as I went looking for the pieces I needed to carry me through the summer, I could use these as filters for what I chose.
What did I want/need my summer wardrobe to do for me?
- I want to only have clothes that fit well and are in good condition.
- I needed to look somewhat put together but still casual, which fits my lifestyle.
- I need my clothes to reflect my authentic self, not a look from Pinterest or a catalog.
- I want to make sure the pieces are flexible, so that they are easy to mix and match.
Next, I thought about words that describe my style, or what I would like my clothes to reflect. Everyone is different, and in my opinion, your wardrobe should reflect you, not a trend. This is helpful because sometimes we see something in a store or even on another person that we love, but just doesn’t really fit in with who we are. Later on, we wonder what we were thinking when we picked it.
Words to describe the look that I like:
- Simple and straightforward. I have learned I don’t have the patience for accessories.
- Authentic. Reflects who I am on the inside.
- Earthy neutrals with some bright color thrown in every once in a while.
- Natural fibers and materials: jersey cotton, denim, leather.
And finally, I also put some thought into what “categories” of wardrobe needs I have based on my own life. This is probably the most important step because it helps me to know how much of each item I need.
Here’s my breakdown of categories:
- Very casual – working from home, being at home with the kids or just running quick errands with kids – 60%
- Outing casual – going on a family day trip to a museum, park, etc. – 20%
- Church / Work Meeting – 15%
- Dinner / Date Night – A little dressier and more put together – 5%
Phew! That was kind of exhausting, but it has been useful already. At this point, I am almost done with my summer wardrobe purchases. I need to pick up a few things in the church/work meeting category, and just a small handful of other things for the other categories. I also assembled some vision boards for each category to get an idea for what I already had, and what I still needed to get. I will share those on the next post.