fashion · minimalism

Year-Round Capsule Wardrobe: Introduction

capsule_wardrobeI’ve been working on this idea of a year-round capsule wardrobe for a few months now, and while it’s still a work-in-progress (and probably always will be), I decided it was time to share. This is going to be a bit of a series this week: today I’m going to tell you about my journey to get to this point, on Thursday I’ll share the process of how I actually created my year-round capsule wardrobe, and then on Friday, I’ll post a video of the pieces that make up my wardrobe. So make sure to check back for those!

Fall Capsule Wardrobe

I first stumbled on the idea of a capsule wardrobe on Pinterest. I kept seeing these beautifully curated wardrobes, specifically the ones created by Caroline from Unfancy. I explored her blog a bit, found her guidelines for creating a capsule wardrobe, and decided to try it out last fall. Her version includes 37 pieces for 3 months (including tops, bottoms, dresses, shoes, and outerwear, but not accessories, lounge/sleepwear, workout clothes, and undergarments). I don’t remember exactly how many pieces I ended up with (I think it was pretty close to 37), but I separated out my fall capsule wardrobe, and put everything else into the back of my closet and separate drawers in my dresser. I did switch out a few things over the next few months, but for the most part, it worked pretty well.

You’ve probably heard that statistic about most of us only wearing about 20% of our wardrobe, but it was pretty shocking to actually separate out that 20%, and still feel like I had a lot of clothes to choose from. It did make finding outfits easier, since there wasn’t so much to sort through every morning, and it allowed me to be more creative, trying out different combinations to make new outfits out of the same clothes. Since everything coordinated and fit into a set color palette, it was easy to just grab whatever I felt like, and know that it would work.

Changing Seasons

By the end of December, I was still pretty happy with the things I’d been wearing, but I was trying to figure out how to navigate the whole seasonal change thing. The way most capsule wardrobe systems work is to change out your clothing seasonally. That might work well in some climates, but here in Colorado, we can get 80-degree days in January, and snow in May, and there’s no such thing as a smooth seasonal transition. It’s not uncommon to experience 2, or even 3, different seasons of weather in any given week.

So, I wasn’t really sure what I was going to do about switching up my wardrobe, but since I had been enjoying the benefits of a capsule wardrobe, I decided to start getting rid of the excess in my closet. I moved back in with my parents at the end of January, so I spent most of that month seriously de-cluttering my whole apartment, including probably 60% of my clothes (I didn’t count, so that’s just an estimate).

A Year-Round Capsule Wardrobe

After I moved, and we had a few warmer weeks where I was reaching for things that weren’t in my (by this point fall/winter) capsule wardrobe, I decided it would be easier to just have one capsule wardrobe that could take me through the whole year. So I went through everything that was left in my closet, getting rid of the things I felt like I “should” keep but never wore; the things that I really wanted to like, but just didn’t for some reason; the things I was saving for “just in case” my lifestyle changed dramatically; and the things that I used to love and wear all the time, but that I was tired of, or just didn’t fit my style anymore. That cut my wardrobe down by probably another half. I did the same thing with all of the categories that I don’t consider to be a part of my capsule wardrobe (jewelry and accessories, undergarments, lounge/sleepwear, and workout clothes). I was able to clear out two of my five dresser drawers to use for other things, and my closet now has plenty of room to breathe.

I have still been tweaking here and there. I have done some shopping to fill in some gaps, and I have still been finding more things to get rid of. I’ve found that the more I get rid of, the easier it becomes to see why I’m holding on to certain things, and ultimately to let them go. I’m sure that this will be an ongoing process as my style evolves, as clothes wear out, or as I find more gaps that need to be filled. But overall, I’m happy with where my wardrobe is. It’s so awesome to look at my closet and know that I love everything inside, and also to have that feeling of spaciousness and room to breathe, now that I don’t have a ton of excess weighing me down.

Make sure to check back later this week for more details on how I decided on my criteria and put together my wardrobe, and to see what’s inside!

7 thoughts on “Year-Round Capsule Wardrobe: Introduction

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