I recently decided to give the whole capsule wardrobe thing a go, and I have to say, I like it a lot! Here are some things I have discovered, and perhaps some inspiration to help you take the plunge.
+ As it turns out, I really did just wear all the same stuff most of the time.
+ I no longer have the guilt associated with not wearing particular things (or wearing them, just because I felt I should).
+ I love all of the things in my wardrobe.
+ Pretty much everything goes with each other (there are a few exceptions, but they’re pretty obvious), so putting together a reasonable outfit for a day takes no time at all. This is vital in a busy house, especially when you’re creeping around trying to get ready before the baby wakes up (who sleeps in my room at the moment).
+ It’s really easy to find what I’m looking for, when I don’t have to go digging in the closet or drawers for something.
Here are a few problems that kept me from trying out a capsule wardrobe and some solutions:
+ In Sydney, the weather can vary ridiculously from day to day. I included a few hot day things and a pair of jeans for the cool days. I always have cardigans around, because I get cold, so have one or two and you’re set. Even in a season, most days will be similar, minus those weird weeks, so you can mostly stick to the same things anyway. Try layering for warmth in the summer, and keep a couple of lighter items for warm winter days. That excuse no longer sticks for me.
+ If you’re having trouble with work wear and weekend wear, I have a couple of suggestions (mostly theoretical, and based on some of the reading I’ve done). Depending on the dress code for your job, there might be some pieces that will serve both weekdays and weekends. Think “dress-up/dress-down”, which is my way of saying dress up a dress with a nice necklace, a pair of heels and a blazer, and dress it down with a pair of casual thongs or sandals and a denim jacket. If you can’t use the same things, expand your wardrobe a bit. There aren’t hard and fast rules to caspuling your wardrobe. The whole purpose of doing it is to make your wardrobe work for you and not the other way around. You will still be able to pare it back, because I think you know what you do and don’t wear (I know I do). If you wear a uniform, don’t include it in your capsule. Easy.
+ If your weight fluctuates a bit, or you’re working to lose weight, start with what you’ve got, and if you need to swap out a few items, then do it. The rule here is one in, one out. The same goes for pregnancy. I tried the capsule for the first time while I was pregnant (and then the weather changed and things crept in, but nothing got shifted out. Capsule fail.) It was easier than I expected, though, and full of maxi-dresses and elastic-waisted pants, and worked perfectly.
+ Be yourself. Cutting back to the capsule makes it easier to just be me. I’m comfortable in the clothes I have in there, and I feel like I worry less about what I’m wearing. I like the things in there, and I think I look OK. It’s also helping me decide whether I need a few more things or not. There are about half a dozen things within the capsule that I’m not wearing as I often as I thought I would, but next summer (post-wean) there are a couple of dresses I’d like to add. I think I probably will need a couple of new t-shirts, because mine are starting to show their age, but there’s no point doing that now, so I will wait until next year.
+ Occasionally I wonder if people notice that I’m wearing the same things all the time. But no one has said anything. Since I’ve started dressing ‘capsule’, I’ve been paying more attention to what other people are wearing (not in a weird way though…) And guess what? They’re all wearing the same things over and over. So don’t worry about that! If you think you’ll get bored with a pared back wardrobe then do the swap in/swap out every so often.