In the past, when I’ve been stressed or frustrated with something in my life, I’ve cleaned house. I’ve been known to clear off my work desk to its bare bones and fill up several donation boxes in between arms-crossed pacing. It’s a method that has not only kept me in check regarding material possessions but truly worked to distract me from whatever was on my mind. One thing bothered me was that even though I was cleaning house, I wasn’t spending less throughout the year and I kept filling up the spaces I’d cleaned. All that cleaning served an unfortunately temporary purpose.
A couple years ago, when I discovered the concept of the capsule wardrobe, it seemed like a no-brainer. I started looking at my closet with (hopefully) more intentional eyes. I discovered a growing industry of clothing companies making clothes responsibly. and some sustainably, and beyond that, clothes that didn’t smell like the inside of Whole Body. That said, completely changing my closet wasn’t something I could do overnight. Fellow ballers on a budget know that getting that $100 pair of jeans with all of these great attributes is a hard bridge to cross when you feel like you can put just as many miles into a less expensive pair from a fast fashion store.
All of that to say, I’m a newb. And this is my first seasonal capsule. I’m not sure if I’ll do it next season, or that I’ll stick to the 33 number – nothing. And, after much research and (internal) debate, I finally settled on the idea of my first seasonal capsule being sourced from my current closet. There’s no better way to see how often you wear certain pieces, how well those pieces work with the rest of your wardrobe, what you’re lacking and what you need to stop buying. All of those are points I hope to address with this abbreviated wardrobe experiment.
Taking advice from capsule blog Stylebee, I’m setting the same objectives:
- Spend less time, effort and money on clothes.
- Define my personal style.
- Feel good about every addition to my wardrobe.
- Live better with less.
- Save money and spend more time enjoying the moments that matter.
Down to the specifics. A lot of guides do this a differently – so I’ll just say that I started by picking some of my favorite clothes. Hands down, I love the long sleeved black tee, the Columbus fleece-lined sweatshirt and the Navy Everlane sweater. Those were no-brainers. I’ve been wearing all three of these items constantly for the past month and with it still being winter, there’s no end in sight.
From there, my biggest considerations were weather and function. I work in a corporate office, and while the dress code is incredibly relaxed, I do like to dress appropriately. I have (at least) two trips scheduled in the next month, so I needed pieces that would run the gamut from comfy cabin wear to nice dinner and I think with all of those things in mind, the capsule came together pretty fast.
I’m posting this on the third week of January – but I’ve been living with this capsule (or at least part of it) since the beginning of the year. So publishing this post is the number one way to keep myself truly accountable. Within in that time, I decided I would also consider this a season of no-shopping which I’m mostly applying to clothes but liberally spreading out over any and all purchases. I’ve never considered myself a big shopper in the traditional sense but over the last several months, I realized how much I rely in delivery services (hi Amazon Prime, Lyft, Instacart, Postmates) to satisfy some everyday wants. Just in three weeks, curbing that action has made me think more about what I’m spending money on.
All that to say, I received a top as a gift that I decided to include in the capsule for two reasons: 1) It was a gift and 2) It’s a wildcard. If you look at this capsule, the color scheme is fairy dark and just on the edge of being monochrome. It’s nice to throw in something unexpected and see how it will truly work in your wardrobe.
Also, I just saw that Caroline (of Un-Fancy) and Lee (of Stylebee) are starting a new 10×10 Challenge on Friday, January 19th – and I’m definitely in. So now, I’m back to trimming the already-trimmed wardrobe. Follow along on Instagram with the hashtag #10x10friends and #winter10x10!
1-3. Muscle tanks (old from Able; similar made responsibly)*; 4. Striped tee (Target); 5. Cranberry Tee (old from Madewell; similar); 6. Striped Turtleneck (Madewell; similar made responsibly); 7. “Columbus, Ohio” sweatshirt (Homage); 8. Olive Cable-Knit Sweater (Nordstrom/J. Crew; similar made responsibly); 9. Navy Waffle Knit Sweater (Everlane, made responsibly); 10. Long-sleeved tee (Banana Republic)
11. Striped Sheath Dress (old from Madewell; similar made responsibly); 12. Cashmere Cardigan (Cuyana, made responsibly); 13. High Waist Leggings (Nordstrom); 14. Midrise Black Denim (Gap; similar made responsibly)*; 15. Midrise Indigo Denim (Gap; similar made responsibly)*; 16. Cecilia Tee Shirt Dress (old from Able; similar); 17. Midrise Dark Navy Denim (Gap; similar made responsibly); 18. Burgundy Cashmere Sweater (Everlane, made responsibly); 19. Olive Sweater Coat (Able, made responsibly); 20. Boho top (Lizard Thicket; similar made responsibly)
21. V-neck tee (old from American Apparel; similar made responsibly); 22. Tweed blazer (old from Nordstrom/Topshop; similar made responsibly); 23. Patricia Cropped Tee (Able); 24. Mauve Blouse (old from Nordstrom Rack; similar made responsibly); 25. Slouchy Sweater (old from Old Navy; similar made responsibly); 26. 3-in-1 Rain/Fleece Jacket (Columbia)/REI; 27. Coccoon Coat (old from Loft; similar made responsibly); 28. Wool Duffle coat (secondhand from Poshmark; similar); 29. Silvia Boot (Peter Nappi, made responsibly)*; 30. Gladiator Wedges (old from DSW; similar).
* local to Nashville