At the end of June, I decided to try to a capsule wardrobe. Six weeks later, how's it working out?
It's GREAT! I'm not kidding or being sarcastic. I couldn't be more happy with my capsule wardrobe. I. LOVE. IT.
I'd read about how much others liked their limited wardrobes, but even when I started this, I wasn't sure it was for me. I've never had much fashion sense, almost always opting for comfortable, low-maintenance clothing, and I was pretty sure limiting my wardrobe would lead to me dressing even worse than I already was.
But the opposite has turned out to be true, as far as I can tell. I'm way less stressed about how I'm dressed, no matter the occasion. The clothing items I kept as part of my capsule are my best things, the shirts and pants and skirts I always wanted to reach for anyhow, when I wasn't distracted by the other things in my closet. And that's the main point, I guess - my closet is no longer distracting. I have what I need and that's about it. I have several options in terms of how dressed up I want to be, but once that's decided, I have very few choices to make.
Yes, there are a couple items of clothing I'll probably replace when I build my fall capsule. I don't have a good t-shirt to go with my black skirts, and I want to get a better quality pair of black flats. Otherwise, I've been very happy with my choices. All the junk is gone!
Besides those two minor things I want to replace/acquire, the results of having a tiny wardrobe have amazed me.
I do one load of laundry about every five days. This includes work, casual and exercise clothing. Household laundry is separate, but that's not much, either. Ironing my seven work shirts happens more often, because I iron them all at once as I always did, but takes a quarter of the time - making the task much less formidable when it comes around.
All my clothing fits in my part of the closet. I used to have a long shelf, two sections of hanging clothes, coats in the hall closet, four drawers in a lingerie chest, and two drawers in a regular chest. Now I have three small baskets on my closet shelf (one for workout gear, one for underthings, and one for swimwear), two stacks of bottoms (one for work, one for home), and everything else hangs on one short section of closet rod, except for one long dress.
I'd completely forgotten that my clothing doesn't have to take up so much space. I didn't remember when I started this, but I can now recall a time when I hung up all my shirts, including knits. Then came a time when some of them were on the hangers so long, they got those awkward bumps on the shoulders, so I started folding them and keeping them in a pile. And at one point, I had so many work shirts hanging in the closet, I put my pants on shelves in order to free up more hangers. And I had so many technical shirts from races, I had to dedicate an entire drawer to summer workout gear - and a second to winter workout gear.
Now everything is in one place! And it's not that big of a place! I still wander all over when I get dressed, because I'm not used to everything all together in the closet, but I assume I'll get over that.
And when I reach for something, it's easy to find what I want. I only kept the socks I like, so when I want a pair of socks, I can get them in the dark. Blindfolded. Imagine - a pair of socks I'm happy with, selected in the dark in five seconds. It's that easy.
I'm looking forward to two things: building my fall capsule and taking that opportunity to get rid of the "extra" summer clothing I put up in the attic, you know, in case this capsule thing didn't work out.
And I'm not even dreading the shopping I'll have to do to replace the items of clothing that need replacing, because now I know exactly what I want. I've made a couple purchases already - I replaced the white purse that goes with my fancier summer dress, because the old one was looking grubby, and I replaced my belt and my work shoes, but other than that, I haven't had to do any clothing shopping since I started this challenge.
Limiting the options in my closet has made it easy to see what I actually need, rather than what I think I need. Instead of the many wardrobe challenges I had in the past, now I have a couple easy-to-resolve wardrobe challenges.
And somehow - certainly not by forcefully yanking all his clothes from the closet and making him go through them - I've got Eric signed on for a capsule wardrobe, too. He got rid of a garbage bag full of things, took all his winter stuff upstairs, and put his remaining clothing back in the closet, where it now takes up only one shelf. He still has a full basket of dirty clothes in the basement, so until those are clean and back in the closet, I wouldn't say he's truly got his capsule together, but he's well on the way.