Before. I had a LOT of clothes. Clothes from high school, college, clothes that I promised myself I’d get into again, and clothes that I never wore. I needed two closets for all my clothes, and still had garments hanging on chairs and in baskets. Still… I had nothing to wear…
Piles and piles. And then bags for donation. This is how I started my capsule closet. So how did I do it? Certainly not overnight – and it was hard – but totally worth it!
Why a Capsule Closet? And What Is A Capsule Closet?
Cleaning out my Natural Hair Product Closet prepared me for this. I had been wanting to do something with the nightmare in my closet for a long time!
The feeling of having absolutely nothing to wear, EVER, even with closets stuffed full of clothes and shoes? Yep, that was me. So I read about this concept of the capsule closet and I loved it. In theory.
A capsule closet. Simply put – a collection of a few interchangeable items of clothing that will not go out of fashion, such as skirts, trousers, and coats, which can then be augmented with seasonal pieces.
The concept really boils down to having and keeping only clothes you love to wear, clothes that fit, and clothes that make you feel your absolute best and most beautiful all the time. So no matter what you wear, and wherever you go, you always look and feel your best because all the clothes in your closet are your favorites. Why keep clothes that make you feel bad about yourself and uncomfortable when you put them on? Life is too short for all of that!
It took me a couple of months to get through all the clothing and shoes that I didn’t really like and get it all down to only what I love. But it has been worth it! I donated everything else! And now my hubs can get his clothes and shoes in the closet, too. LOL! Want to know where I started and how I did it? Even my shoe collection? I did it and it is completely worth it! No looking back…
Beginning My Capsule Closet
This. Was. an exercise in restraint. And really sitting down to understand what I liked, hated, looked good in, felt good in, and what was realistic, or fit into my lifestyle.
I had help. Lots of it. In fact, here are two blogs that really, really helped me get started on my journey to capsule closet-ism:
Here is where I learned what a capsule wardrobe is, the rules of having a capsule closet, and some tips on going through my own closet and taking inventory of what I had. I was able to understand why having a capsule closet is important, and I was intrigued. I started to re-evaluate my way of thinking so that I could begin to go through my closet with a more open mind.
In her post, How To Build A Capsule Closet, Caroline gives five rules and three steps to building a capsule closet. She pares down her wardrobe to 37 pieces and explains what you should include in the 37, and what you should not include; she explains the importance of seasonal clothing and choosing the right pieces for the right season; and when to shop for your pieces. She even has a free printable wardrobe planner, a post on adding variety to your capsule wardrobe, and a FAQ Page!
This blog is where I found my inspiration to get off my butt and finish my capsule closet. In her post, Creating the Capsule Wardrobe Easily, I found more tips and tricks than I thought possible on one site, and I could identify with her on many fronts. Actually, Dawn Michelle’s blog is one of my favorite to date and I just love her entire site.
So here she talks about the beauty of having a capsule closet and minimalism in general. She tells you why it’s important to have a capsule closet, as far as our way of thinking goes, and how you can have a capsule closet and still be a ‘fashionista’ in five ways a capsule wardrobe can be chic. So much of how we dress is based on what others like and what others thinks we should wear that we forget to figure out what we like to wear and what makes us feel beautiful – and isn’t that how your clothes should make you feel? So in getting to know what you like, you should know your personal style; and minimalist beauty defines the six basic looks, and how you can use that to buy only what you need and avoid the temptation of consumerism, while breaking the chains of consumerism.
She has 15 pieces in both of her seasonal closets, gives 5 capsule wardrobe shopping tips, and gives advice for avoiding impulse buys and getting what you really want. She really makes it easy as she explains the breakdown of her closet and that you should tweak your closet to fit your lifestyle.
I used the concept of a capsule closet from Un-Fancy and the technique of building a capsule closet from Minimalist Beauty to come up with my own capsule closet. So as you can see, I really did my research and walked away confident that this closet lifestyle was for me. Here is what I ended up with…
So, My Shoes. The Saga.
This was an exercise in… well, it was just hard! I had to do the capsule closet first, and that is how I was able to make my final decisions. But it was still one of the hardest things I have ever had to do in my life. I don’t ever tell anyone how many pairs of shoes I had. But for you, my readers, well why not? Over one-hundred-fifty-eight pairs of shoes. Yes. Believe it. And I say ‘over’ because I never counted my outside shoes or slippers (of which I had more than I needed as well).
So why? Well in doing this exercise, I realized that I love shoes. Period (see, a lot of self-realization comes when you look at your wardrobe choices and make decisions on what to keep and what to give). But what I actually loved was the idea of having so many pairs of shoes. I was (am) a collector of shoes – the highest, brightest, and unique(est) that I could find (at the right price, or course!). So I collected shoes because they made me feel good. In one of my favorite movies, In Her Shoes (ironically enough), the older sister, Rose Feller, explains her reasoning behind having so many pairs of shoes and keeping them “locked away” (according to her sister, Maggie):
All in all, I was able to sit down and go through each pair, decide if I was going to wear it or donate it, then match it to an item I already had in my closet, and then donate the rest. I ended up with NINETEEN pairs of shoes for my spring/summer wardrobe, and NINETEEN pairs of shoes/boots for my fall/winter wardrobe. (I know, I know, that is still 38 pairs of shoes… but I have promised myself that whatever I don’t wear this year will be donated next year; AND 38 from 158? I think that’s pretty darn good! Now my quote of choice is “Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world.” You can see where I started and where I ended up in shoe-world:
So one of the hardest things I have ever had to do turned out to be one of the best things I have ever done! And now my hubs can actually share closet space with me and not keep his clothes and shoes in, you know, the car!
You can read more about my shoe saga when I explain exactly how I created my personal capsule closet.
So what did I learn?
- I now know what I like and what I don’t like. That is so important before going shopping – to know that even though a piece of clothing is popular this season (i.e.: crop tops), and even though the magazines and stores and television are all telling you that this is what you need to wear; I know that I will never wear or buy a crop top and that I don’t have to. That simple. So now, what kind of top do I love and am most comfortable in? and what kind of top do I need? Let’s start from there.
- I don’t have to keep an item of clothing because I feel obligated to, or because I saw someone rocking it… I keep an item of clothing because it looks and feels good, and every item of clothing in my closet should make me look and feel good. And so when I put it on, I should feel pretty, I should feel beautiful, I feel comfortable. If I don’t – get rid of it!
- There is nothing too fancy to wear unless it’s a banquet type dress. So many times I would put a dress or pair of pants in the back of the closet because they were my “good pants” or “too dressy to wear out”; and I probably never got to wear them! Why? What is the point in having something that I can’t wear? It’s like buying awesome furniture and then letting no one sit on it – like a display. Well with a capsule closet you don’t have certain items for certain days for certain events – you wear what you want when you want and you choose items that can be paired easily with other items. So once I was able to get that in my head then everything else went very easily.
I love my capsule closet. I will never go back to having too many clothes. This has made my life so much easier – I’m not standing around for an hour in the morning trying to decide what to wear because I hate everything in my closet. Now I’m standing there because I love every item in my closet and I just have to decide what I wore two days ago or a week ago! It’s not like ‘what do I want to want to wear today?’ It’s more like “what do I want to love to wear today?’ LOL
What About My Capsule Closet?
Now I bet you want to know exactly how I created my personal closet and how I chose my wardrobe pieces, right? Click here to read about Creating My Capsule Closet.