How I Began a Trial Capsule Wardrobe in One Day (without making any purchases)

Hello friends! Today’s amazing post is brought to you by the lovely Megan from mcstarbuck.com. Megan is a friend I’ve made online through the blogging community who writes about Living Tiny and Dreaming Big. I think you’ll love what she has to say about those trendy wardrobe capsules we keep hearing about!
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Wardrobe capsules seem to be the “in” thing to do at the moment, so I thought I’d give one a try myself and see how it actually worked. The capsule wardrobes I’ve seen have been about 33 to 40 clothing items (shoes, tops, bottoms, dresses, light jackets–not accessories, PJs, undergarments or workout clothes) for 3 months.

I didn’t go from packrat to capsule wardrobe right away. I was a major packrat before this year. I’m pretty sure I had over 20 pairs of jeans, and hardly any of them even fit me very well (I now have 6). If you’re a packrat, you might want to start with the first couple of things in bold below: 

I decluttered my clothes for the month of January using the KonMari method
and have since continued to get rid of items as I’ve bought more.

When I first heard about capsule wardrobes, the idea of trying it myself was both thrilling and terrifying. It didn’t seem like something I was ready for. It was more of a distant, foggy dream.

Yet as I kept hearing about it, I warmed up to the idea and couldn’t stop thinking about it. I saw it less as a super-human task for the elite and more like a practical lifestyle change.

I purged my wardrobe again, making a pile for “one last wear” (clothes that I wanted to wear again before I got rid of them in case I decided they look better on me than I thought). That gave me a whole extra section in my dresser!

Now I don’t even care to take the time to wear them all one more time, but I don’t think I could have gone directly to giving them away without that step of giving myself permission to wear them one more time first.

Next, I realized it wouldn’t be unmanageable (like before) to count how many articles of clothing I have.

Not including dirty clothes or summer clothes I’d already moved to the back of the closet (which would’ve added about 30 each), I had 131 items! I decided I’d be happy just getting that down to 100 this year.

That was all of the preliminary work, which I’d wanted to do for a while anyway.The rest is what I did in one day:

The next time I was home, instead of just grabbing what I could get rid of, I made pile of the items I definitely wanted to wear this winter.

I’m not getting rid of all my summer clothes or even putting them in storage. Both of those create huge tasks at one time (either buying lots of clothes or hauling bins around and re-washing stuffy clothes).

Plus, I’ve already got my summer clothes down to my favorites and am looking forward to wearing them again! I live in the South, too, which means it could be in the 80s or higher some days of the winter. I still want access to all my clothes since this is my first attempt at a capsule wardrobe, but I have them in different sections so that when I’m getting ready in the morning, I’m only looking at a small percentage of my clothes. This makes it much easier and faster to find an outfit that fits the weather and my mood. If I can’t find what I need there, then I can look in the other section. (I haven’t needed to yet.)

The 2 sections I made in my closet:
 
1. Clothes for the next 3 months.
2. Clothes for the rest of the year.
 
My total for the next 3 months is about 55. (I’m still adjusting items here and there.)

This smaller amount of clothes has eliminated a large chunk from the decision-making process, but it still leaves room for creativity and variety based on the day’s activities.

One of the drawers I’d emptied while decluttering is now used for storing summer shoes. I’m pretty excited because in 3 months, it will feel like I get to go on a free shopping spree of items I already know I like!

If you’re considering joining me, you can see some of my everyday outfits on Instagram under the hashtag #myfirstcapsulewardrobe. I’m not fashionista, so it isn’t to show you the latest trends.

Rather, I hope to show you what a capsule wardrobe looks like and see for myself how many different outfits I can come up with using a smaller wardrobe.

If you give it a try, use the same hashtag (#myfirstcapsulewardrobe) so we can all see each others!

I’ll be sharing more about this capsule wardrobe experiment on my blog, so be sure to subscribe to my mailing list at mcstarbuck.com where I write about Living Tiny and Dreaming Big.