I’ve never been what I would necessarily call “healthy”. For a long time I’ve gotten by on a fair metabolism and loose shirts. In high school and early college I was still in the studio upwards of 4 days a week, so that somehow carried me past the freshman fifteen. After I got married I started to add on a few newlywed pounds here and there, made excuses to skip the gym, we ate out a lot. By the time I got pregnant with Pacey I was probably a solid 15 pounds over where I would “want” to land. By some miracle of God I only gained 25 pounds through that pregnancy, but in the end it didn’t really matter. I held on to those 25 pounds like they were a life raft, only losing them approximately one day before finding out I was pregnant with Elliot. So here I am, five months postpartum from #2, who even knows how many pounds over what feels like the loftiest goal ever. Breastfeeding is holding out as a priority, something it did not do after Pacey was born, so I’m not in a place to make drastic detox moves. But I could be healthier. It’s just a fact.
But honestly, I feel like I don’t even know where to start. Food seems like a giant barrier I’ll never scale. I’ve struggled with healthy choices and probably even bordered on a binging disorder, like a roller coaster built on donuts and burritos. I tend to placate unpleasant emotions with food. And celebrate positive emotions with food, as well as events and even just generally good days. Now with two children, the word exercise can make me laugh out loud on the spot. We recently canceled our gym membership in an attempt to trim our budget (we’ve got weddings to save for, y’all), and now I’m faced with the daunting task of attempting to work out at home. I see all of these “no excuses” moms on social media and while I’m real good for you I’m actually more can you please get out of my face? The list of excuses is endless, actually. And a majority of them at least feel damn valid.
There’s approximately 5 people who read this title and went “ooh Fearless! I know that blog!” The rest of you have no idea what I’m talking about, so let me quickly bring you up to speed. Approximately 5 years ago, I curated and wrote for a blog named Fearless. It was a little more serious and deep than this blog tends to be, I was in a season of major, major growth and used it as my outlet for these things. At some point, after a particularly gnarly breakup, I used it as too much of an outlet. I wrote a scathing post about my ex’s friends that while the heart behind it was essentially good (make sure you’re surrounding yourself with people that care about you, because you may end up depressed if not), the delivery was all. wrong. If we’re being candid, I called them assholes. Not my best moment. And understandably, said people were less than thrilled about this post, and I got called out for it. Honestly, rightfully so – but my pride and pain from being rejected culminated into a lot of raw, hurt feelings. It just was all around not pretty. Fearless began to die a slow and sad death after the fact. I didn’t feel safe writing anymore, I didn’t trust myself to not be petty, and I was just all-around hurt. I didn’t stop writing completely, I have archives of Word documents and enough journals to keep Barnes and Nobles in business for some time.
Ironically, a lot of that writing has been about becoming actually fearless. Becoming brave. On the header of the old blog, I had this Taylor Swift quote (the irony is killiiiiing me):
“To me, Fearless is not the absense of fear. It’s not being completely unafraid. To me, Fearless is having fears. Fearless is having doubts. Lots of them. To me, Fearless is living in spite of those things that scare you to death.”
I mean, FINALLY, right?! I know, this is the one everyone’s really been waiting for, but I didn’t want to do this process a disservice and not share how to get here. To the fun part. The shopping. If you haven’t read part one (the why + a purge) and part two (week one + building it out), you may want to do that first – but you do you. A couple of notes before we jump into my personal capsule.
– I’m a work at home mom, so keep that in mind as you look through this. The most dressed up I get is for a date night or the occasional wedding. Comfort is definitely important, but learning how to be well-dressed in the process has been really fun. Also, I live in south Louisiana. The land where 80° is officially “cool weather”. So you’re not going to see any parkas or even thick sweaters here.
– I don’t wear a ton of color. Never have, most likely never will. I once wore a teal colored shirt to a girls night and all of my friends were straight up confused. So, this particular capsule may not be for you if you have an aversion to:
- H&M (I’m legit amazed by how much of their stuff I bought.)
- Casual wear
– I’m going to come right out and say it: there are affiliate links all up in this post. If you’re not hip to blogger lingo (do people still say “hip”?) that means if you click through from this post and buy something I’ve suggested, I get a tiny little commission from it. Everybody wins!
Alright, without further ado, I give you my own personally curated fall/winter capsule wardrobe.
If you’re new to this whole capsule thing, jump over to post one in this series, then come back and catch up.
I have to make a little bit of a confession. I jumped the gun on this whole capsule thing. I purged my closet, got rid of an unbelievable amount of clothes (Two contractor bags. I need to repent.), and was left with about 11 shirts and two pairs of jeans that really don’t fit (one of which having a lovely crotch hole). This was taking the whole capsule wardrobe thing to a whole new level. My list was made, and I knew I had a haul from H&M coming in the next few days, the other half of the needed items was in my Nordstrom Rack cart. But still, not a lot to work with for week one. But honestly? It was totally fine. Let me share my week one takeaway, and then we’ll get to how exactly I built my capsule. (Want to know exactly what’s in my capsule? That’s coming Wednesday! Stay tuned!)
WEEK ONE TAKEAWAY:
- It was so much easier to get dressed. I cannot emphasize this enough. This was my biggest hope for the capsule, and man, did it come through. Not having to wade through clothes that don’t fit me and that I just plain don’t like took 99% of the stress of getting dressed out. There were approximately 0 clothing based meltdowns this week (victoryyyyy).
- In the same vein – I got dressed way more often. The technical rules of the capsule wardrobe are that you aren’t supposed to wear your workout clothes (which don’t have to be purged) except to actually…work out. But let’s be real, I’m a work at home mom. If I don’t have plans to leave the house that day, I’m not getting dressed. That’s just a waste. But I am going to do my best to hold myself to getting dressed if we’re getting out of the house that day. And just so we’re clear: in this corner of the internet – leggings are pants.
- I took significantly better care of my clothes. Since we’re all about honesty around these parts, let me be the first to admit that I take terrible care of my clothing. Most of my wardrobe is typically in random piles around our bedroom, draped on my desk chair, or in baskets. It’s not pretty. But this week, there was a definite shift in that habit. If a shirt wasn’t deemed “dirty” (Which didn’t happen often. Kids.), I actually put it back on the hanger. I guess knowing you have limited options forces you to not lose them to the laundry monster. I’m calling that a win. (PS Just realized how much less laundry this is going to mean for me. Holy crap. If I wasn’t already sold, I am now.)
Isn’t the Purge the name of some terrible horror movie? I wouldn’t really know, being that I’m a complete scardy cat – but it’s ringing a bell. Oh well, I’m going to leave it because it’s the most appropriate title for what happens when a person removes every article of clothing from their closet and forces themselves to be brutally honest. If you have no idea what a capsule, or capsule wardrobe, is – allow me to attempt to simplify. The concept is pairing down your clothing options to a minimal, seasonally appropriate, mix-and-match system. Pinterest is over run with images of peoples’ capsules and articles of how to build one. So why am I throwing my hat in the ring? Because this is my blog and I can do as I like with it.
But really, because I think this concept is so needed today. I originally came upon this idea of a capsule wardrobe on the Un-Fancy blog, and from what I can gather, she’s kind of the mother of the idea. Her heart behind starting a capsule was that she had a bit of a shopping problem, in that she tended to heal bad moods with shopping. This is not my issue. My issue is that if something even remotely fun shows up on the calendar, I need a new outfit for it. Date night? Time to go shopping. Baby shower? Definitely need a new dress. Dinner with girlfriends? I at least need a new shirt. Now to be fair, I don’t exactly “get out” much, mother of two and a hard working husband problems, you know? But still, it’s a little ridiculous. And because I was constantly shopping on a whim and not out of necessity, I had a bunch of straight up crap in my closet. Whatever had fit my fancy at that exact moment in time, or even worse – whatever I could fit in that the one place I went had on the rack. That’s no way to stock your closet, let me tell you. I was tired of looking in my closet and having ill-fitting, trendy, not-really-me pieces looking back. Getting dressed after having two babies is hard enough, amiright?