I don’t want to see the math on how much money I’ve spent on clothing in the last two to three years. Sure, several pieces were knee jerk reactions or “I’m going to a concert tomorrow night and I have nothing to wear!” pieces. The vast majority of my clothing purchases were out of necessity, however. That’s one of the things they don’t tell you when you lose weight and get in shape – you need new clothing, somewhat often.
Anyone who is on a weight loss journey has the idea of a brand new wardrobe somewhere in the back of their mind. Whether it’s the goal that drives them forward on their journey or something they think about once in a while as their pants grow looser, they think about that new wardrobe.
I’ve been there. At my heaviest, I was in an 18/20 and an XL. As the weight started to fall off, I “filled the gap” by buying ill-fitting jeans at Old Navy and cheap shirts at Target. Some people go to Goodwill and other thrift stores to pick up pieces to supplement their wardrobe as their body changes. No one wants to spend a ton of money on clothes when they’re still working towards their goal.
Since I started lifting heavy weights last summer, I’ve seen drastic changes in my body. My diet has changed, and Whole30 has added a whole other element into the mix. The jeans I wore yesterday used to be my “skinny” jeans. They’re now my “only jeans that kind of fit” jeans. Most of my shirts, skirts, and dresses fit in a similar way. A quick peruse of my closet tells me I have very few warm weather clothes that will fit.
Essentially, I have to buy a new spring wardrobe.
Enter, the capsule wardrobe.
What is a capsule wardrobe?
A capsule wardrobe is a wardrobe limited to a small number of pieces that can be mixed and matched into a variety of outfits. The number of pieces vary. I’ve read of people using as few as nine and as many as thirty-seven. In theory, the capsule wardrobe is swapped out and/or updated seasonally.
Capsules wardrobes are said to work well for people who:
- Like the simplicity of having a minimalist wardrobe
- Have a closet full of clothes, but wear the same few pieces all the time
- Spend money on mediocre clothing they don’t wear or that doesn’t fit well
- Want to streamline the process of picking out an outfit
- Are ready to invest in quality over quantity
The first step of creating a wardrobe capsule is to go through your current clothing.
- Throw out anything that torn, stained, etc.
- If it’s too big (or too small), donate it to your local Goodwill
- Keep pieces you really love and either use them in your capsule or store them for use the next season.
- Be honest with yourself. Are you REALLY going to wear that pink sequined tank top?
From there, the fun part begins – picking out the wardrobe!
I’m in the earliest possible stages of capsule wardrobe planning. The weather in Virginia is temperamental right now – it was 20 degrees this morning and nearly 60 now – so I’m hanging on to what’s in my closet for the moment – no need to spend money on clothing it will be too warm to wear in a month or two.
I tried the capsule wardrobe a couple of years ago. I went through my closet, donated at least two-thirds of it, and pared down to the bare essentials. I failed to genuinely plan the purchasing part of the capsule wardrobe, however, so I bought a bunch of random pieces that didn’t really work together and ended up with a closet full of clothing once more.
This time, I’m going in much better prepared.
Since nearly all of my cold weather clothing will be either too big or too warm for Virginia’s springtime, sorting and storing should be easy. I’m also working to choose a color palette this time around – which is a lot harder than I thought it would be. Having colors that “go together” will make working with a smaller wardrobe easier. That was one of my biggest failures the first time.
If you have any tips or resources on picking a capsule wardrobe color palette, send them my way!
I’m also working to decide how many pieces my capsule wardrobe will include. Nine isn’t enough, but thirty-seven feels like too many. I’ve decided to include shoes in mine, although not everyone does. Right now, I have so many pairs of booties it should be a sin. I can only wear one pair at a time, so that blue suede pair from J.Crew I HAD to have continue to go unworn.
Things I don’t plan to include in my capsule wardrobe are workout clothes (including tennis shoes and lifting shoes), bras, socks, and underwear, sleepwear, and accessories. Those items – especially the workout gear! – feel pretty essential. Although it probably wouldn’t hurt for me to go through my workout clothes… so. many. tank. tops.
Question: Do you have a wardrobe capsule? Any suggestions on where to begin? Staples I absolutely must have?