Have you ever opened your closet, looked inside and then instantly felt depressed over the fact that you have nothing to wear? I mean, you could wear those boyfriend jeans you just got but you don't really like how they fit (but they're like, totally in. and you wanted to still be cool) and you don't have a good shirt to go with it. Or you could wear that cute blouse you've had forever but the shoulders are a bit tight and the fabric is a little itchy. What actually ends up happening is you throw on your usual skinny jeans and plain t-shirt and call it good. And then curse yourself for not wearing your other clothes more often.
This is the story of my life. I have a closet full of things that I really love in theory but then never end up wearing because I don't have pieces that fit with them in a way I'm comfortable with. Or I buy things that I kind of like, or are ok just because they're on sale and I feel like I don't have anything in my closet already.
I'm over it. My friend Maryam brought up the idea of a capsule wardrobe to me last week and I'd never heard of it before. Basically, it's a limited number of basic essentials, usually between 25-40 pieces, (including pants, shirts, jackets, shoes) that you mix and match together and wear for an entire season. When the next season begins, you pack up your current season and get the new one out of storage, carrying some items over that can be transitioned. The goal is to have 4 solid "capsule wardrobes" that you can open up and wear each season, replacing 3-4 items each season as you need to.
What is the appeal of this to me? I love the simplicity of it and the idea that you have a closet full of things to wear just by having less. I like the thought of having a closet full of clothes you love rather than mediocre pieces that you bought without a real purpose in mind.
In light of this new discovery, yesterday I followed the instructions from my new favorite blog Un-Fancy and took every single item out of my closet. I then went through everything very critically and only put back the pieces I really loved. And then I went through one more time with a bit of a mental check list of basics that I wasn't crazy about but are good staple pieces. I cleaned out 2 garbage bags full of clothes to donate, 1 of winter clothes that were still in my closet, and another 2 bags of summer clothes that I'll go through with this same process next summer. How did all of that fit in my closet!?
This is what I ended up with:
Right now this is everything.
- 1 pair of boyfriend jeans
- my favorite skinny jeans
- 1 pair of black jeans
- 1 pair of well fitting dark/neutral jeans
- 2 t-shirts 1 black, 1 grey
- 1 sweater
- 1 chambray button up
- 1 plaid button up
- 1 slouchy cover up
- 1 denim vest
- 1 military style vest
- 1 vegan leather moto jacket (I bought last year and haven't had a chance to wear yet)
- 2 light weight fall coats
- 1 denim jacket
- black booties
- brown wedge boots
- studded boots
- leopard print flats
- wine colored lace up shoes
- 2 pairs of heels, one wine, one nude
- knee high boots
- 1 pair of chucks
I'm not counting my work out clothes or undergarments, which I also went through and all fit easily and with extra space in this small dresser. I know I have a lot of jackets but I just really love all of them. What I'm lacking are basics. I'm following this wardrobe guide, as I have a few pieces that are similar and I really like this girl's simple style. I have a few more pieces than she has but I also won't be getting a few (like the puffer jacket, leather leggings, wool joggers) because they just don't suit my lifestyle or body shape. Here's a look at it, because it looks so good all laid out like this lol:
(here's the link to her whole post)
Now what to do? I found a couple of basic tops on her list, a replacement for my chambray shirt that I just don't really love, and a white button up. I've ordered them and we'll see how they fit when they arrive. (Online shopping is hit or miss with me.) The nice thing about living in the bay area is that fall and winter are very much alike, so I'll be getting good use out of all of this and really won't have to officially switch to a winter wardrobe at any time.
The craziest thing happened yesterday after I put all of this stuff back in my closet; I looked inside and immediately felt like I had a lot to wear. You would think with more choices in a jam-packed closet you'd feel you had more to wear and by taking everything out I'd feel the exact opposite. But I've gotten rid of all of the background noise, and see only the things I truly love.
I'm really excited for this new journey in my own style. I'm hoping that by finding and creating a small collection of pieces I love that I'll spend less time finding what to wear, or not loving what I'm wearing. The first step of this little experience has been completely eye opening. I honestly believe EVERYONE could benefit from at least the very first step: taking every thing out of your closet and with a very critical and honest mind, only put back the things you really love.
What do you think? Would you be willing to drastically reduce your wardrobe like this and create a small array of basics you can mix and match for an entire season?