I cleaned out my closet last weekend. I do this a few times of year. In contrast to how much I love fashion and dressing well, I don't have thousands upon thousands of items in my closet. I shop, but I also purge. Still, this time I sat on the floor among my piles of stuff to donate and felt sick about it. So much excess and waste.
Wikipedia tells me that the term "capsule wardrobe" was coined by British shop owner Susie Faux in the 1970's, but I hadn't heard of it until just last week. It makes sense, owning a set collection of basic clothing (with a few trend or statement pieces mixed in), and only dressing from that. For those of us who have closets stuffed full of clothes and still swear we have "nothing to wear," this idea seems like a relief.
I've been craving a pared down existence. This comes and goes with me, but life circumstances and the lessons I've learned during this year's monthly discipline challenges have taught me that I do better with less in my life. I choose more wisely when there are less choices. My anxiety levels decrease when my calendar and obligations aren't chaotic. I used to be a person who thrived on more, but in the last couple of years every wall and vein screams for less.
My friend Megan is the one who told me about the capsule wardrobe idea, she read about it on a blog called UnFancy. The UnFancy method uses 37 items in her wardrobe, counting shoes but not counting accessories. This is doable for me. I always wear the same stuff over and over again anyway. I read through a lot of the UnFancy posts and it makes sense to me, although I can't quite say I'm there yet, just that I'm musing on it.
Googling around, I also found Project 33, which is also a capsule wardrobe project, but slightly different. Project 333 uses 33 items and counts accessories in that mix. Project 333 is less about the fashion and more about the practical, and she has a lot of good thoughts and resources.
My friend Amy at Mom Advice answered a lot of the concerns I had for my own style if I attempted a capsule wardrobe. Almost everyone I looked through had a mostly neutral palette and I don't dress that way. I wear a lot of bold statement pieces and I'm unwilling to give that up. Amy's wardrobe has a lot of color and she has a few thoughts here after doing it for three months.
Pinterest had a ton of ideas for capsule wardrobes. I liked this post about packing for weeks of travel (which was the same idea as a capsule wardrobe, bascially). And here were 5 Tips for Creating a Capsule Wardrobe. But there's lots to browse and see other there.
My days are really very simple. I'm home or doing something casual almost every day. Once a week or less I do something that requires me to look a little nicer. I think it would be lovely to eliminate some of the choices in life that don't really matter. Right now I'm contemplating a casual capsule wardrobe, with permission to deviate from that for a (very) special event.
What do you think? Does the idea of a capsule wardrobe excite you or make you cringe over its limits?