[If you missed my first post about doing a capsule wardrobe, and my heart behind it, you can find it here.]
Last weekend, I got to sit down with my pal Daniella, of Fox and Bloom, to talk about my wardrobe. Daniella has been teaching me about style and dressing myself properly since I met her, when she interviewed me in college for a student-run magazine for an article called “Modest is Hottest” (NO JOKE). She described me as “slender,” and I’ve been in love with her ever since. Daniella has gone on to make me proud in so many ways. She joined my Bible study and rededicated her life to Jesus. She traveled overseas to be a missionary for a summer. Now, she is using her skills as a writer, style coach, and content strategist, and her passion for showing others the light of Christ, to inspire women to dress their best, from the heart. You should really check out her blog. It perfectly seams together how to project inward and outward beauty.
(I mean, if I was proud of her for I Hate Sweatpants, her previous blog that is “down for maintenance,” of course I’m proud of her now. Getting a little teary.)
When Daniella got engaged earlier this year (to the most lovable curmudgeon/my husband’s kindred spirit, Jon), she approached me about doing her wedding flowers, and I proposed a trade. You help me create a capsule wardrobe, and I’ll throw in my time and expertise fo’ free. I even got to be interviewed by her again, for a post on Fox and Bloom about how to plan your wedding flowers. Check it out!
Before we got together to go through my closet, Daniella sent me to her blog to do some worksheets, which I was happy to do (filling out forms is the TIME OF MY LIFE). Before I did that, I had already been tossing out clothes left and right. I had already experienced that liberating feeling, AND the high of taking clothes to Plato’s Closet and Clothes Mentor and getting cold hard cash for them. So I was ready. To. Go. We went through the worksheets, which were honestly so helpful! Especially on her “How to Define Your Style” worksheet, where she asks you to “Define your ‘why.’” Why do I want to minimize my wardrobe, and why do I want to dress the way I want to dress? It really made me explore my heart further and go deeper into some of what I talked about in my last post.
Then, D told me I had to throw out my most comfortable, The-OC-era-bright-yellow-American-Eagle-drop-waist-skirt and I was somehow not ready for it. Then, Daniella hand the nerve to say the words, “You have a lot of clothes,” and I was inwardly furious (I had a little Mindy-Lahiri-“First of all, HOW DARE YOU” moment). How could she say that after I had already gotten rid of so much?! This is where I was really happy that I already knew and trusted Daniella. I told her about some of my struggles with clothing, and I think that helped her understand how to help me out. Weeding through my “maybe” pile with Daniella – and getting rid of most of it – was harder than I thought, but this week I’ve realized she was right. I still do have quite enough clothing. Halfway through this week, I have not re-worn anything, not even jeans. So, while there does seem to be a lot of space in my closet, and I can (practically) grab the first thing I see, put it on, and be happy with it, I have a way to go yet before my wardrobe reaches capsule status.
The second thing I discovered, that I think I’ve been slowly realizing for a long time, is that I almost never buy anything that I feel is “me.” I buy things because they’re cute and on sale. But I need to be able to objectively say I like something and take a pass because it’s not my style. As soon as I told Daniella about how I’ve approached clothing (only shop clearance, make it work, too many statement pieces), she knew better how to help me narrow things down. “Hanna, are you keeping that because it fits you and you got it on sale, or because you really want to be a person who wears bright red corduroy pants?” The next second, they were in the toss pile.
So, if you’re struggling to turn your “maybe” pile of clothing into definite keeps and definite no’s, ask yourself the important questions. “Is this article of clothing projecting who I want to be to the world?” “Do I love this piece of clothing and how I feel in it?” And it totally helps to have a friend with you whom you trust and know will be honest. Some of my items were so easy to give up when Daniella was there, because nothing ruins your love of a red velvet skirt like embarrassment.
Of course, there are some practical things to think about too, like budgeting and seasons and not ending up with nothing in your closet. Trust me, getting rid of stuff is such a good feeling that it can get hard to stop! Right now, I’m at the point where I want to get rid of every sweater I own, but I have to remind myself that I don’t have the money to replace them now, and winter is coming. I’ll talk about these kinds of things in my next post.
If any of you has a capsule wardrobe, would you mind sharing some tips? I’m especially curious to know how many items you have in your closet!