Lessons From My First Capsule Wardrobe

About four times a year the urge to declutter strikes. It usually coincides with the change in seasons; something about a new season makes me want to rid myself and my life of anything that no longer fits. It may no longer fit my style, way of thinking, or my body. Either way, if it doesn't fit, it has to go.

Sometime last December I scoured Youtube for ideas on how to pare down my wardrobe without feeling like a pauper. I wanted to give up the excess but not the fabulousness. That's when I first heard about capsule wardrobes. I was instantly intrigued and inspired.

Capsule wardrobes are made up of a limited number of items (I've seen anywhere from 21-40 pieces) which speak to an individual's unique taste and style. The pieces usually have a similar feel and follow a color scheme to make mixing and matching a breeze. They're typically worn for a full season or 3 months.

My own capsule wardrobe contained 33 core pieces (I chose this number from Project 333). I did not include accessories, shoes, camisoles, jeans, activewear, pajamas, or undergarments in this total. I considered these "free items." Others might include all or some of the above in their total.

I learned a lot about my own style and creativity. Soon, I'll be preparing my spring wardrobe and the lessons I learned during my first go around will definitely help make this season easier.

1. No one else really pays close attention to what you wear.

Honestly, this one was a bit of a shocker. With the popularity of OOTD posts and videos on Instagram and Youtube, it's easy to believe everyone is constantly analyzing every single detail of your outfit. Fortunately, this simply is not true.

I wore somethings weekly in different combinations. I was always surprised when someone who said they loved my shirt one week, would say they loved my dress the next, then the following week would applaud my skirt. They never once realize they were all the same piece worn in a different manner (layering is my best friend.) Point is, no one notices the details or even cares if you aren't wearing something new every day. As long as it's clean and flattering, wear it as many times as you want without fear of what someone may or may not be thinking.

2. Decluttering your surroundings declutters your mind and reduces stress.

Your surroundings can and will affect how you feel. Ever noticed how hard it is to focus at work when that pile on your desk grows larger than Mt. Everest? An over stuffed closet or drawers spilling over with clothes can have the same effect.

Also, a trimmed down wardrobe means getting ready in the morning is far simpler. Since everything matches and I love every item, I never have to spend a long time figuring out what to wear. Which means less time wasted and less stress in the morning.

3. Sometimes no matter how much you love something, it's just not the right time and season for it.

There were things I desperately wanted to keep in my closet but they just weren't right for winter. It didn't matter how much I loved it, if I kept the piece around I wouldn't have room for what I actually needed for this season.

Clinging to what you want at the expense of what you need will always result in being uncomfortable. Lesson learned.

In the coming weeks I will be putting together my spring wardrobe. However, thanks to the winter that just won't quit here in NYC, it looks like I will be wearing my winter clothes for quite some time to come.

Below are pictures of my faves (or similar finds) from last season's capsule.

  1. French Connection Charcoal Grey Cowelneck Sweater Dress (I wore this as a top and as a dress)
  2. French Connection Turquoise Cowelneck  Sweater Dress (Also worn as a top and as a dress)
  3. The Limited Purple Fit and Flare Dress
  4. Kirna Zabete for Target Long-Sleeve Shirt Dress In Blue/Black Ikat Print
  5. Charcoal Grey V-Neck Boyfriend Cardigan
  6. The Limited Maroon Exact Stretch Skinny Pants