Capsule Wardrobe — Why I Did It + Closet Reveal

Alright, you guys. I’ve been thinking for a long time (like, 12+ months) about a capsule wardrobe. And simplification in general. At times I feel so overwhelmed by stuff. Like I’m drowning in things. There’s nothing like having two kids’ worth of crap all over the floor to make you feel like you have too much junk. But seriously, somewhere along the lines I got mixed up and started thinking that more stuff means more happiness. And it sounds so cliché even writing it here, but the older I get the more I realize that just isn’t true.

The idea of simplifying my life and my possessions started to grow after having Hollis, but lately it has really reached a tipping point. I feel like I just  can’t take it anymore.

In an ideal world, I would like to be able to look around my house (closet included) and see only things that make my heart sing. Why own things that don’t? They cost money and take up space, both of which are at a premium for us right now.

So, as I make my way through our house, renovating and styling, I have been making a conscious effort to ask myself if I really love the things I see. How do they make me feel? Are they functional and beautiful and do they make my heart smile when I see them? If not, out they go. And for some reason it seems so much easier than doing the same with my wardrobe. I’ve had a lot of reservations. I kept telling myself that I just couldn’t do it because I love clothes too much. Small wardrobes must be for people who don’t care about clothes. Or I have been pregnant or postpartum for the last 4 years so it just can’t work for me right now. I obviously need all these clothes because who knows what is going to fit next week. Right? Wrong. Excuses.

Well… Yesterday I was pouring over capsule wardrobes on Pinterest for the 800th time when instead of just looking at the images I started clicking on some blogs and reading. And I was stunned. Trisha Hughes at Eat Your Beets wrote this…

I admit, right now, I have always loved clothes. {…} I always thought that loving clothes meant you needed to have lots of clothes to love. {…} But over time, I’d noticed I had a closet literally overflowing with clothes. Drawers I was having a hard time shutting. Piles of clothes in the bathroom, on my dresser, on the floor. Clothes all over and nothing to wear. Not a single thing to wear.

I seriously almost burst into tears. This was me to a tee! I kept thinking the more I bought the more likely I was to have something to wear, but for some reason it never worked that way. I would be inspired by someone I saw on the street or on the Internet and I would seek out something like what they were wearing, without stopping to think, “Will this work with any of the clothes I own? Does this fit my aesthetic? Is this a trend that will fade in 5 minutes?” I would wear that article of clothing once or twice and then it would get buried under my mountains of clothes and I wouldn’t even miss it. Or worse, I’d regret buying it. What a waste of time and money.

And there have even been some days (many more than I’d like to say) where I would think about changing out of my pjs and become overwhelmed, so I just didn’t change. I would stay in my pajamas all day, unless I had to leave the house. All because I had too much stuff. I sounds crazy because it is, but it’s true.

So, I decided to be done with all the nonsense. Last night, after the kids were tucked in, Sam was off to his night shift in the MICU, and the dinner dishes were done I jumped in. I put the New Girl on Netflix and emptied my bursting-at-the-seams drawers.

I decided to start by going through each item of clothing and asking myself “Do I love the way I feel when I wear this?” If the answer is no, chuck it. If the answer is yes, decide what pile to put it it… Summer, fall, winter, or spring. Caroline from Un-fancy recommends 37 pieces for each season, some of which will roll over from season to season (like my skinny jeans, which I still wear when it’s 95 degrees… Sam totally doesn’t get it). That doesn’t include workout gear, pjs, or accessories. So that’s my goal. 37 (ish) pieces for summer. For the time being I’ll store fall, winter, and spring stuff. Then, when that season rolls around I’ll take it out of storage, reassess, and see what I need to add. Sounds simple enough, right?

{{ For more information on starting a capsule wardrobe, here is a link to the un-fancy blog and Caroline’s 101. It’s amazing. And if you want to read more from the post that started it all for me on Eat Your Beets, click here. It’s good stuff, you guys. Like, really good. }}

So, you’re probably wondering how I did, right?

Well, here’s the pile of clothes that I’m not keeping…


And here is my closet. I ended up with  45 items of clothing, including shoes, for this season. I’m thinking a few of these items will be removed as the season goes on and I see what I wear.

Look at all the space! I simplified even further by using only white hangers. It’s amazing what a difference that made!
A few summery scarves, bottoms, and miscellaneous accessories.
Not pictured are the white chuck taylors that are currently on my feet. The top rack is workout / working in the yard shoes.

And I am giddy!

Here’s the breakdown, in case you’re curious…

  • 9 pairs of shoes
  • 8 tank tops
  • 5 t-shirts
  • 2 button down shirts
  • 6 short dresses
  • 1 maxi dress
  • 1 chambray jumpsuit
  • 1 sweater
  • 6 pairs of pants
  • 4 pairs of shorts
  • 2 maxi skirts

By the way, I have one whole empty drawer, and the other just has workout clothes.

I mean… I can’t even.

I feel weightless.

This morning (after I finally got the junk moved out of our room, and got everything I’m keeping put away), I picked out what I was going to wear. And I thought about it for about 15 seconds. That’s very different than the 15 minutes it took me yesterday. And I am so happy!

What do you think… Are you drowning in stuff? Overwhelmed by choices? Do you think you could benefit from a capsule wardrobe?

Let me know in the comments!

XO!

Em

8 thoughts on “Capsule Wardrobe — Why I Did It + Closet Reveal

  1. I am SO IMPRESSED. You should see my apartment…1 person and three closets COMPLETELY FULL, not to mention a huge dresser and all of my shoes and bins of “winter clothes”. And all of this is what is leftover after I cleaned out my closet before I moved. You’ve inspired me…a massive closet re-do will be happening this weekend!

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    1. Yay!!!! It is seriously so freeing! I know it can be hard when you have to have a professional wardrobe, too. I’m lucky I don’t have to worry about that. But you could probably do two wardrobes of 40ish pieces and be super happy!

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    2. I know it’s easy to accumulate when you have to have a work wardrobe as well! But even if you decided to have 40 pieces for work and 40 for outside of work, I bet you’d end up with an immaculate closet!!

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  2. I’ve loved moving towards a life with less. I had a huge clear out and have been consciously getting rid of things gradually since. I’m also very fussy about getting anything new. Have I missed anything? No. It’s just made life more streamlined and easier. Good luck with your efforts 🙂

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