After months of planning, blogging, shopping, failing, deconstructing, and reconstructing, I have finalized my winter capsule wardrobe… Tadaa!
I am very excited to be done and to share the results with you. First some imaginary Q&A:
Do I feel like I’m at the peak of fashion? No.
Do I love every item of clothing I wear? Not really.
Am I comfortable in everything I wear? Yes.
Is everything in my capsule passable and appropriate for my life and style? Yes.
Do I feel like my capsule perfectly envelops my style? No, and I’m still figuring out what that is exactly.
Did everything in my capsule stay within my budget for clothing? Yes.
Did I own the vast majority of it already? Yes.
Am I super happy with the purchases I did make to complete the capsule? Yes.
Is it easier for me to get dressed in the morning than it ever has been in my adult life? Yes.
So let’s talk about math. I have 40 items of clothing in my capsule, which I decided does not include shoes, coats, pajamas, or workout clothes. The 40-item capsule consists of:
5 top/bottom combo pieces
Does 40 items feel like not enough clothes? No.
Does 40 items sometimes feel like too many options? Yes. I would say this is on the high end for the amount of items as far as capsules go, when not including shoes and coats. But when I counted up what I wanted to include and ended up with such a nice, round number, I couldn’t resist just leaving it at that. It seemed meant to be, and not a bad accomplishment for my first capsule.
Before we move forward, let me say that my apartment is half-underground, and by the time I get home the sun has mostly set, so there is hardly any daylight in which to photograph my clothes. And I don’t have a professional doing this for me. And yes, these are heavily edited, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. Don’t judge lest ye be judged.
So here are my clothes:
- Gray polka-dot sweater | already owned
- Mustard yellow sweater | purchased on sale after Christmas. It was in my color palette, fit right, very comfortable, and I felt like I needed a few more cold-weather items
- Silver-beaded gray long-sleeved shirt | already owned (gift)
- Olive green sweater | purchased after Christmas with the yellow sweater for the same reasons
- Charcoal and scarlet sweater | already owned (gift)
- Taupe knit sweater | This was a stupid online purchase from last fall, but I actually ended up wearing it three days in a row once it came in the mail, and I’ve loved it ever since.
- Gray sweatshirt | already owned
- Pink long sweater | I had decided I needed one super bright color for winter, for days when I felt the effects of dismal Ohio weather. My sisters and I went to the outlet mall last month, and this was $6, super cozy, and long enough to wear with leggings. I’m wearing it as I type this. It’s awesome.
- Flannel shirt | A friend and I went through each others’ giveaway bins, and I ended up with this cozy goodie.
- Gray and navy print tee | another outlet mall purchase post-Christmas. $4.
- “If not now then when” tank top | already owned
- Elephant tee | I bought this for my brother five years ago when I was in India. He has since outgrown it, so I took it back.
- Burgundy 3/4 sleeve top | already owned
- Long black tank top | already owned
- Chambray button-up | already owned
- Tan sweater dress | already owned (gift)
- Green geo print dress | already owned
- Dusty blue dress | already owned
- Dark gray maxi skirt | already owned
- Light gray sweater skirt | purchased around Thanksgiving when I got to be a part of Garment Collective‘s winter line launch. Garment Collective sells ethically-sourced clothing made by women redeemed from human trafficking in Nepal. This skirt is so cozy and you should get it! *Right now everything is 70% off!*
- Fuzzy rust cardigan | already owned (gift)
- Paisley purple shrug cardigan | already owned (gift)
- Black and gold print pants | already owned
- Floral sweater dress | already owned
- Black sparkle dot shirt | already owned
- Ivory long-sleeved blouse | already owned
- Olive green blouse | already owned (gift)
- Black shirt with zipper | already owned
- Colorful geo print boxy shirt | First purchase when I first started this capsule process
- Cranberry long-sleeved button-up | already owned
- Emerald green tie-dye shirt | already owned
- Black dressy joggers | already owned
- Black cotton leggings | already owned
- Shiny black leggings | already owned
- Dark wash jeans | already owned
- Black jeans | purchased as part of my birthday gift last month
- Gray corduroys | already owned
- Ivory chunky-knit cardigan | already owned
- Soft dark gray jumpsuit | purchased ($17 from Madewell!) as part of my birthday present. The most comfortable thing I own.
- Navy and ivory poncho/cardigan | already owned
Doesn’t sound too bad, right? I feel like this proves that living with a capsule wardrobe and living with less doesn’t mean you’re depraved in any way. It’s a personal choice to limit yourself and be creative and comfortable within those healthy boundaries. It’s learning how to be an adult and make good choices for myself, I guess.
Through my choices, I’ve noticed that the value of the dollar still matters a lot to me. The proudness I feel after a thrifty buy has a lasting influence on how much I like that item of clothing. Most of the things I kept were not only at least a year old, but bought on sale or thrifted. I actually expected to feel the freedom to spend more money on clothes since I would have less clothing, but that didn’t really happen for me. Everything I’ve bought since starting this process has been on sale. BUT the sales don’t tempt me like they used to, because I have my color palette and style guidelines to keep me in check. No more buying cute dresses that I’ll only wear one time! I also noticed that a lot of the items I chose to include were gifts, so sentimental value means a lot to me (and my friend and family have good taste). With these things in mind, I have to conclude that not only is my wardrobe smaller, more stylized, and more comfortable that it’s ever been, it’s also very inexpensive. I wasn’t expecting that, but it makes sense for me.
In case you’re wondering, though I didn’t count shoes in my capsule, I did get rid of a lot. For winter, I’m rotating five pairs of different boots/booties, and so far that seems like the perfect amount. I’ve also gotten rid of probably half of my scarf collection, and have only been wearing about half of what’s left. Some of them I’m only holding onto because they have sentimental value, but changing them up helps me not to get bored with my clothes (though that hasn’t been a problem yet). I also have two winter coats that I rotate – one casual and one more dressy.
I’m hoping to do a post with some outfits soon, but first I need to get around my lighting problem (and my unwillingness to go outside in this weather) to give you some better photos. In the meantime, leave some thoughts! Does this make living with a capsule wardrobe seem feasible to you? If you’ve started one, where are you in the process? I would love to hear both success and failure stories (no judgement here).