I put my first capsule wardrobe together five years ago. I was tired of never being satisfied with what was in my closet and the constant shopping. At the time I didn’t understand how to create a cohesive wardrobe. Instead I bought separates that I liked without much thought or planning at all. Because of this I didn’t have many pieces that complimented each other, nor did I cultivate a personal style.
My wardrobe used to be packed with eclectic pieces and rarely essentials that would complete my style.
My first capsule wardrobe was small and manageable. It wasn’t perfect, yet none ever are. Later I let the clinical side of curating my wardrobe get the best of me. I became obsessed with making sure I had every item necessary to make it work. That was when the wardrobe checklist came into play. I was still figuring out my personal style at that time. Wardrobe checklists aren’t bad if you know how to make it work for you. It was too analytical for me though.
I strived for the black, white, and grey list of essentials, plus the perfect white blouse and blazer, and wondered why I was bored out of mind.
I understand now that the key to having a truly functional and enjoyable capsule wardrobe is to really understand what makes you tick in terms of style. You really don’t need every neutral essential in your closet to make it work. Cultivating my best capsule wardrobe began once I tossed the checklist, and instead considered my own style along with wardrobe versatility. The 10 Item Wardrobe just made it an even easier process.
In order for me to go from despising 300 items in my wardrobe to loving a 10 Item Wardrobe, I had to analyze what I had, and be willing to let go of everything that I didn’t love no matter how much it cost.
I hadn’t to ask myself questions like…
What do I wear every day, and do I even like what I’m wearing?
What colors looked best with my complexion and eye color?
What drives my clothing purchases?
Does my personal style work with my lifestyle?
How do I want to look everyday?
Do I have quality clothing that I truly enjoy and will last more than a season?
Investing in quality pieces isn’t always about how much you spend, but the amount of time spent in finding that gem even if it is thrifted.
My biggest mistakes with my 300+ wardrobe was thoughtless sale purchases in synthetic materials. Now I choose natural fabrics as much as possible such as linen, cotton, hemp, and wool. Emotional shopping and focusing too much on trends kept my wardrobe in a schizophrenic state.
Every year the trends and “in” season colors change, yet what looks good on you usually doesn’t.
Stepping away from trends, and creatively searching for my own style has worked for me. It has also allowed me the freedom to dress how I love versus how I am influenced. Thrifting has truly helped to enhance my style development. It’s the perfect way to try new styling ideas without breaking the bank or supporting unethical clothing brands.
I know that beginning a capsule wardrobe can feel daunting at first. I never thought I would have such a small seasonal wardrobe. With time it becomes much easier, and you will figure out exactly what works for you and why. I love having a 10 Item Wardrobe because it keeps life and laundry day simple. Plus getting dressed is easy and I enjoy my wardrobe.
The 10 Item Wardrobe is presentable peace of mind. You can see my current and previous capsule wardrobes here.
(Image by Dawn Michelle)