A Day In the Life, Product Reviews

Using A Capsule Wardrobe

If you haven’t already returned to work yet, chances are you will be soon. One of the things that I’ve always enjoyed about going back to school, is back to school clothes shopping. Hooray! I’ve been struggling with my wardrobe for years, always feeling like I have nothing to wear, never quite sure what my style is, picking up pieces here and there, all willy nilly, as the mood strikes me. Trying to figure out what to wear to work is one of the biggest time sucks of my morning routine. In January I began putting my weekly outfits together ahead of time, and it was SUCH a big improvement. I’d wake up, take a shower, grab an outfit from the hanger and be on my way. As great as this was, I still hadn’t come to terms with my clothing options. For the new school year, I have a new plan. A capsule wardrobe.

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I came across the idea of a capsule wardrobe a few weeks ago. Caroline, author of the blog, Un-Fancy, writes about her experiences with a capsule wardrobe. She defines it as,

“a mini wardrobe made up of really versatile pieces that you totally LOVE to wear… a capsule wardrobe represents more time and energy for what really matters (less time spent deciding what to wear / less time spent shopping / less time doing laundry or caring for clothes) more money for our dreams + helping others (less money spent on clothes that never get worn) and more contentment and happiness.

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I don’t know about all that, but I do know that since I began my own capsule wardrobe, I’ve been loving it! The process begins with weeding out your wardrobe and keeping only the items that you absolutely love and would wear today. You can read more about it here. I spent about three hours one morning cleaning out my closet and photographing, yes, photographing, the clothes that made the cut and were returning to my closet (more on that in a bit). It felt SO liberating to get rid of all the clothes I might wear some day, or might fit in to after I lose those last five pounds*.

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I now have a better idea of my style, my go-to color palette, the brands I prefer, and my actual size within those brands. As I’m window shopping to update my fall wardrobe, I have more focus and a better understanding of what pieces I need to supplement my wardrobe with. I have a very clear idea of what items I really don’t need any more of. Does anyone really need 6 Gap layering tanks or 5 JCrew Jackie cardigans? The answer is no. I highly recommend taking the capsule wardrobe challenge.

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If you really want to dive in to this idea, you can take it another step, like I did. I photographed my capsule wardrobe, including jewellery, shoes, bags and scarves (hey, it’s summer vacation, I’ve got the time). I cleaned up the photos with some quick editing and transferred them to my tablet. I downloaded a few style book/closet apps (for the Android, I don’t have an iPhone, and I’m sure there are better options out there for Apple users, as usual), tried them out, and selected my favorite based on what I wanted to use it for. I like the MyDressing app, because it’s quite simple, and I like the way it’s set up for cropping and arranging outfits, but I’m currently using the Personal Closet Lite app. This app allows me to create outfits and save them to certain days. I can view my outfits on a calendar, and I can keep track of what I’ve worn when, so as not to run into the problem of wearing the same shirt every Thursday, and avoid the risk of being called out on it by my students.

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So what do you think? Are you going to give it a try? Do you have any styling tips or favorite strategies you use for making the hassle of getting dressed in the morning easier?

*Don’t think that I can afford to just throw away 3/4 of my wardrobe. I plan on selling what I can on Poshmark and then donating the rest.

The opinions expressed here are all my own. I have not been compensated in anyway by anyone mentioned in this post.

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8 thoughts on “Using A Capsule Wardrobe

  1. Mar says:

    Me encanta tu idea, I’m a teacher too in Spain!

    This year I have increased the weight by menopausia.Tengo 54 years but never say !! hehe
    And this summer I had a hard time getting dressed. I’m dreading going back to school both for the clothes, not the classes, my students …. If not because I will not know what to wear …

    I will try to make your capsule wardrobe.
    Greetings from Palamos (Girona)
    (My english is very bad)

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  2. yvonneinsecaucus@clear.net says:

    The capsule sounds like a lot of work to me for my work clothes. I go to work looking like a tidy artist. I wear painter smocks and painter pants with clogs. I’m not looking for a fashion statement. I’m looking for function. I will get messy during the day and it will not all wash out. I have enough of these outfits that I only do laundry once a week. I’ll add a fun scarf or a statement piece of jewelry and beyond this I just don’t worry about. I will dress a little more if I know I have an unusual day with no wet work. Everyone seems to accept my off beat look as just part of the art teachers job. FYI, I am also in menopause and yes there are physical changes that make putting yourself together more difficult. Try going for function. Frank Lloyd Wright’s functional designs were wonderful. Apply that to your wardrobe.

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    • Function always takes precedent over fashion statements. I’m certainly not out to make any bold statements. That being said, I feel better about myself when I’m wearing clothes that I feel good in and comfortable in. The capsule wardrobe is about eliminating all the clutter in your wardrobe and focusing on just the items of clothing that you love and feel good in. I buy most of my clothes second hand or on sale so that I don’t have to stress about paint spills and marker stains. It’s just a personal preference. Kudos to you for finding your own personal work style.

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  4. Marleen says:

    Loving the capsule wardrobe! Thanks for posting. I am using an app on my iPhone with it and it’s great. I feel like I am going to save a lot of $$ by really being choosey and it’s nice to get rid of all the stuff that doesn’t work anymore and have an easier time getting ready in the AM.

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