capsule wardrobe

For me, nothing feels better than going to the mall and seeing all the new, fun, and stylish items!  I don’t know if it’s all the colors or just the idea of something new, but it really gets my blood flowing.  That’s marketing ya’ll!

The popular thing now is the capsule wardrobe.  I think this is a GREAT concept as it eliminates overbuying, forces you to downsize, and ultimately saves you money over the long-term.  Nothing is more detrimental to my finances than buying items that I don’t really need.  My issue however, as a mom who goes to the office a few days a week, is that I want to have a professional wardrobe as well as my own style outside the office.  Does this mean I’m allowed more items than your typical capsule wardrobe?  After all, one look at Pinterest shows they have these wardrobes categorized by season as well as by style.

This past weekend, I did some of my own downsizing and attempted my own capsule wardrobe.  Is it the typical 20 – 30 items?  Well . . . I tried REALLY hard to get to 30 but ultimately I ended up at 54 items.  It’s still a lot higher than where I wanted to end up but I’m certainly headed in the right direction.  Here is what I did to eliminate the excess and to prevent over-buying in the future.

The Purge

Growing up I was never very sentimental because we were a military family. Giving things away was much easier than moving all of my things.  If you have the same background you know how that goes!  Every few years you pack up and go somewhere new so you tend to get rid of things that you don’t want to lug around.  As I’m older with kids of my own, I find that I’m more okay hanging onto stuff.  Still not very sentimental but I need to do a better job of letting go!  So this weekend, I let go of a lot of stuff!

Going through my closet I made three piles.

  • Things I LOVE and wear often
  • Things I LOVE but don’t wear
  • Things to donate

I mean what is that?!  Things I love but don’t wear?  It sounds so irrational as I sit here and write that out but I know I’m not the only one. After I got my 3 piles, I promptly put all my donation stuff in a bag so it would be out of sight and out of mind.  For the things I don’t wear, I put them in our coat closet so I still technically have them, but they’re not in my own closet.

Building Back Up

With my pile of clothes that I love and wear often, I picked out the following items trying to keep in mind that some items such as blouses can do double-duty at work or at home with a pair of jeans.  Here is what I picked out.

  • 3 work pants
  • 3 blazers (to be worn to work or over a t-shirt for a more casual look)
  • 3 dresses
  • 3 tank tops
  • 3 pairs of jeans (dark and light)
  • 2 skirts
  • 4 sweaters
  • 9 blouses (solids and patterns for variety)
  • 5 t-shirts
  • 3 jackets
  • 2 handbags
  • 3 scarves
  • 5 pieces of signature jewelry
  • 6 pairs of shoes (3 heels, 3 casual)

I know it’s a lot more than what people show on Pinterest but I don’t like wearing neutrals every day and I’m certainly okay wearing the same pair of pants multiple times a week but having several blouses and shirts gives me a lot of the variety that I crave.

Moving Forward

Now that I have a solid foundation in place, I will no longer allow myself to shop impulsively.  Only will I shop intentionally and with a purpose, and only will I buy high-quality items that can last throughout several seasons and years.  Overtime I’m sure I will find pieces in my wardrobe that will not always work well in terms of mixing and matching and I’ll need to find ways to eliminate those type of items.  For future purchases, I will use the one item in and one item out method.  As for the items I stuck in our coat closet, if I haven’t reached for them in the next 6 months, they’re goners. Wish me luck!

Does anyone out there use this method?  I would love to hear what your strategy is and whether it keeps you from shopping impulsively?



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