Almost everyone has heard of a capsule wardrobe, but what is it? A capsule wardrobe is, in the most simple terms, defined as a paired down wardrobe. One that includes timeless classic pieces that you can mix and match effortlessly to create a plethora of outfits from a small number of essentials along with a few on-trend pieces. Capsule wardrobes can also transition from season to season with ease and by making wise choices saving you time and money.
But alas, every project, even fun and exciting ones like creating a capsule wardrobe must begin at the beginning. Getting started means editing and pairing down your current wardrobe. In other words, you need to de-clutter your closet.
1. Make a commitment to yourself and realize it may be painful along the way. So many of us hold on to clothes for so many reasons even if we are not currently wearing them or getting any use out of them. It could be fond memories, it could be that last five or ten pounds you intend to lose. It could even be that you are afraid of not having the right outfit for an event, gathering, or home project. It could be the fear of never finding an appropriate replacement. It can be for reasons you are not even able to acknowledge.
2. Don’t try and do it all at once. Make a plan. However you go about your days, the keyword here is plan. Set aside time to give it your full attention without interruptions. In order to make progress, I would suggest no less than one hour slots of time.
3. Decide how you will tackle the closet. You can do top to bottom, left to right, section by section, seasons, tops and bottoms, etc., or even colors. Pick something that makes sense to you and make that decision right away. Being able to carve out at least an hour at a time to work on de-cluttering your closet and having a plan of attack ready to go will help keep you motivated as you see your successes pile up.
4. You are going for an up-to-date, will actually wear it, clothes that fit your body and your personality wardrobe. Does it fit? If not get rid of it. Again, reminding yourself that you have committed yourself to the entire process.
5. Does it have life left in it? If your favorite sweater has lost its coloring, is pilling, has been in need of repairs for more than a week or two, or if it has become misshapen, get rid of it.
6. Next, have you worn it in the last six months to a year? If not, get rid of it. If you haven’t worn it in some time it is most likely an item that doesn’t fit, you don’t like, or don’t have a need for. You do not need to take the time to figure it out right now, the fact remains that you haven’t worn it. So, get rid of it.
7. There is another category not to be ignored--you are sick of it! Maybe it fits, maybe it is your style and color, but you have worn it so many times you are just sick of it. So, yes, go ahead, get rid of it.
8. Categories not to be ignored are shoes, purses, totes, accessories. Do the shoes still fit? Are they still in good shape inside and on the heels too? Purses, oh those can be hard to purge for sure. They are often some of our most expensive items. Think about the same kind of things you did for your clothing. How often do you actually take time to switch out your purse or tote? If you have a favorite, but rarely use it because you are saving it for “good”. Keep it, and start using it!
9. Continue to remind yourself along the way that you made a commitment to this process. That being said, be kind to yourself. No need to judge your past purchases or feel guilty for getting rid of items.
10. Take one more look. When you are done with the previous nine steps, look one more time at it all. See if there is anything that you could still get rid of.
A gift is a gift, it is yours to do with as you wish.
You do not owe anyone an explanation. If you feel comfortable and know the gift giver really wants to give you something you will use in the future, (maybe the ever-popular, always classic women’s white blouse have that conversation, casually, at another time.
If you spent “good money” on it and don’t want to waste it. Lesson learned.
Once you have finished de-cluttering your closet and are beginning to build your capsule wardrobe with staples like a chambray shirt you will have figured out what you actually wear and items you only thought you would wear.
You may lose that 5 or 10 pounds, or you may not.
We all want to feel good about how we look and wearing clothes that fit our bodies and our personal style, are just as important as those elusive last few pounds. If you have a favorite item you wore like crazy maybe your comfy jeans or a women’s oxford shirt before you gained a little weight, give yourself a break and hang onto it. If you do end up getting to your goal weight you already know it is a GREAT item to include in your capsule wardrobe. (I would suggest you limit yourself to no more than 10 and preferably fewer than five items that you love to hang on to.)
And Ta-Da! You have finished de-cluttering your closet. Congratulations!