How to Survive Your First Capsule Wardrobe
I have never tried a 30-day barre challenge, The Whole30® Program, or a 21-day habit-kicking plan. I once did a three-day juice cleanse that made be pretty nauseous. :)
So, with the lack of challenge success, I am feeling pretty great about finishing my 30 day, 37 capsule wardrobe trial (see original post here). I know….a typical capsule wardrobe lasts for 3 months, 1 season. But I am going on vacation this week and thought I would be able to share some learnings from a month of no blood, some sweat (make sure to wash your capsule pieces), and minimal tears.
See what I learned, what I enjoyed, and why I would do it again. I hope you try the next one with me!
My Capsule Wardrobe Highs
I needed less time in the morning to get ready.
I put my capsule wardrobe front and center on my clothes rack. Each morning I only had a few pants and shirts to choose from so it made getting ready for work at least 5 to 10 minutes faster. And that adds up. I did have to think back if I wore the same shirt already that week or if I was having meetings with similar groups of people in the same clothes—but I soon didn’t care.
I didn’t have to do as much laundry.
Since I only had a few pairs of pants I could wear I ended up washing them. And it's okay to not wash your pants all the time.
One I did decide to wash items (when my underwear ran out) my laundry loads were much smaller since I was only wearing 37 items vs. my full closet. This made laundry day less taxing with less folding and less time needed to put clothes away.
I discovered new outfits.
Since I was limited in my options I started to pair items together I had never thought would go together. I am excited to say I have outfits I am excited to wear again which included those more out-there items I had trouble adding to my wardrobe mix.
My Capsule Wardrobe Lows
I didn’t include enough loose-fitting pants.
I had high expectations for myself for how often I want to suck it all in, in some tight pants. I realized I need to fit more elastic into my wardrobe. Already scoping out some options.
I used workout clothes as a crutch.
Since I didn’t choose enough comfortable pants for my capsule I would wear workout clothes a lot during the weekends—when I wasn’t working out. Even though I like a good casual look, I try to at least wear real pants when I am picking up to-go food and then walking back home. Most capsule wardrobes don't put a limit on number of workout clothes/have you had them to the capsule—but that doesn't mean I should wear as much as I want.
I didn’t include enough shirts.
Even though I learned how to mix in more fun jackets in my wardrobe I didn’t choose enough shirts. I realized I didn’t need too many jackets as I could wear the same one everyday. With shirts—that is a different, sweaty story.
I didn’t know what to do about costume days or weddings.
I admit—I wore clothes outside the capsule for 2 every important days—San Francisco's Bay to Breakers race (I didn't run but took part in the all-day festivities), and my friend Kaylie’s wedding. Was I supposed to leave room in my capsule for costumes and dresses for each night of wedding weekend?
Here is what Caroline from Unfancy said, "You’ve probably gathered this by now, but I don’t include special occasion clothes in my 37 piece capsule wardrobe. Why not? Because I want my capsule wardrobe to serve as my everyday, real life wardrobe. It’s only once in a blue moon that I need a fancy dress." Woohoo!
I shopped—but not too much.
Mission Thrift: Vacationing dad costumes.
Uniqlo: Bathing suit on sale for my trip to Portugal.
Thinx: I needed more period underwear. Period.
Gaby's closet: I went through the clothes my friend Gaby was giving away (as I do when I go to LA) and took a few sweaters, shirts, and jumpsuits. I don't think this counts as shopping?
Finish Line: New running shoes. It was time.
I am happy to say I shopped less than a I do in a typical month and didn't spend money on new outfits.
My Capsule Wardrobe Learnings (Honing in on My Personal Style!)
I like tight pants, but need more variety.
I will always love my high-waisted skinny jeans and vintage Levi’s. But sometimes a girl just needs some work-appropriate joggers.
I would like more shirts that can go from weekday to weekend.
I love turtle necks and weekend t-shirts but I realized I need more shirts that can work for weekend and weekday. I also would love shirts that I don’t need to wash every time I wear them. Any suggestions?!
I’m okay with wearing the same shoes.
Mom, did you hear that? I have learned. Comfort matters a lot to me and I realized wearing a few sneakers and a couple casual boots suffices.
Overall, I recommend trying a capsule wardrobe. If you want to figure out your personal style stat, a 30-day capsule wardrobe challenge is the right move. It helped me understand what items I enjoy wearing and what items I should get rid of. I don't have the urge to impulse shop as I have a clear direction for what I need and like and on top of that, I also realized I can do more with making new looks with the clothes I have and love.