In the Great Capsule Project on
September 11, 2017

the Great Capsule Project: Week One + Building It Out

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.)

THE HOW TO:

This is one of those times that Pinterest comes in hella handy. That’s where I started in my journey to downsize, I just punched in “capsule wardrobe” and started reading. But not only is it helpful in learning the how to, it’s also very helpful for visualizing what exactly you want you new wardrobe to look like. I pinned actual outfits I wanted to be able to recreate, as well as other peoples’ capsule wardrobes.

 

  • So, in my humble opinion, start at Pinterest.  Build a vision board of sorts, things that catch your eye as adhering to your style (which you should have a pretty clear picture of, since you’ve already purged your closet and kept the things you absolutely love). Pin outfits and combinations and pieces that make you happy.
  • Look for repetitions. Scroll through your board and write down repeated pieces. For me, that meant lots of “black” and “stripes” and “loose”. But there’s nothing wrong with your words being more like “floral” or “bright”. I honestly wish my personal style leaned more towards that, but after years of trying to dress in a way that is just not me – I’ve come to accept that black is my favorite color, and that’s totally okay.
  • Analyze your lifestyle. Look, there’s a chance I’m going to post my personal capsule on Wednesday and you’re going to be left throwing your hands up and being all “that was totally unhelpful”. I’m a work at home mom, people. The extent of getting dressed on a normal week is running errands and taking my girls to playdates. Not to say that I don’t want to look cute doing those things, but I don’t have to adhere to an office dress code or worry about looking professional for clients (my clients only see me from the waist up for Skype sessions, so – gimme all the leggings). Your lifestyle has to be taken into account when building your capsule.
  • Choose your items. Go back to your previously made list and re-evaluate. Circle pieces that were repeated multiple times through your vision board (graphic tees, denim, and cardigans were some of mine). Make a comprehensive list of tops, bottoms, dress(es), jackets/coats, shoes, & accessories – taking into account your lifestyle and vision board.
  • Assess what you already have. This is pretty self-explanatory, but I literally stood in front of my closet with my list and scratched out all of the things I already owned. It was nice to pare down a seemingly daunting list of clothing.
  • Shop! I did all of my shopping online, because…two kids and all that. But whatever your preference is, go with that. Some people prefer to try on which I get. I’d rather not wrangle two children in a store and have to mail in some returns, ya feel me? I need to mention 2 caveats to the shopping portion of this post.
    •  1.  Quality over quantity. Obviously, we’re kind of taking quantity out of the equation here, which is nice. But I still think it’s important to take the quality of the clothing you’re going to stock your capsule wardrobe with into mind. I love Target as much as the next girl, but their clothes aren’t exactly the quality we’re shooting for here. I did all of my shopping through H&M and Nordstrom Rack, quality but reasonably priced clothes. #win
    •  2. Your budget: Please don’t make your husband hate me. Save up, use your side/pocket money, and be responsible in your shopping. It’s worth it to take your time in this process and not have spending guilt associated with this fun, supposed-to-be-freeing process.

Alright, that’s the Build Your Capsule Wardrobe process, people. Pretty simple steps, but I know it’s a lot. I’ve had a few people message me through the week that they’re purging, and they’re downright stressed. I’ve tried to remind them of the pay-off, a streamlined closet that fits you and your style, and all the perks I listed above!

Part three is coming Friday: my own personal capsule!

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