Capsule Wardrobe: How I’ve (kinda) Started

I’ve been watching House Hunter shows with my roommates and we got hooked on Tiny House Hunters – where someone who wants to start living tiny tours different tiny homes, and it’s so adorable. And it’s rekindled my interest in minimalism (and started two nights of binge-googling and pintresting tiny house plans).

Somewhere along this tiny living research train I read about the capsule wardrobe via Caroline at Un-Fancy and I was totally sold. The idea is that you condense your wardrobe to 37 season appropriate items that you love, fit you well, and fit your style – and in doing so you live more simply, eliminate busyness, and spend less money.

I have a tendency towards hoarding and retail therapy so the capsule wardrobe sounded like a good solution for two elements of my life I wanted to change. But I definitely knew I wasn’t ready to cut down my overstuffed closet to 37 pieces! I know myself well enough to know that would put too much stress on me and that I’d burn out quickly.

So! I took all of my clothes out of the closet and separated them into 4 sections:

  • Love it (which went back in the closet immediately)
  • Maybes (stuff I don’t really wear but fits well and I like it enough. Those are boxed up in my closet so if I think about it & want it I can grab it)
  • Seasonal (good pieces I’ll want again in the winter but don’t want taking up space in my closet until then. Boxed up and stuck in the shed!)
  • Rejects (which I tried to sell to a second hand store and donated the pieces the store rejected to Savers)

And frankly I was shocked at how much I was able to get rid of. I knew I had a lot of clothes, but I didn’t realize how many clothes I had that I didn’t like. Even some clothes I thought I liked got thrown in the reject pile! Not including my undies and workout clothes/pajamas I’ve got 99 pieces in my closet – jackets, dresses, tops, bottoms & shoes. I’m pretty proud of how much I’ve whittled out and hope I can get rid of much much more! (my goal is 65 by the end of June!)

I really liked looking at my clothes as a wardrobe because it made me consider how my clothes are working for me and my life. The mindfulness and intention of minimalism and the capsule wardrobe is really lovely, and something I want more of in my life.

I have a difficult relationship with clothes because I have a difficult relationship with my body. I’ve felt uncomfortable about my weight since I was eight and have used clothes to hide, and then as a sort of cheat code – I made myself feel better by thinking that if I had the right clothes then people wouldn’t notice my weight and I would feel better about myself and people would like me more and I would be happy. Thanks to all the women in my life who have set good examples for me, and all the body positive feminist bloggers I’ve encountered on the internet, I’ve been able to recognize these destructive thoughts. I’m working on changing my thoughts about my body and I’m starting to be more comfortable – like I love my thick thighs now!

But I still struggle. I still have days and weeks that I feel terrible about my body and turn to shopping as a quick picker upper. And I don’t want to do that; it’s not good for my finances and it’s not going to actually make anything better. Because as so many bloggers I’ve read from point out, from their own capsule wardrobe experience, I was shopping for happiness.

What I’m hoping to gain from the capsule wardrobe is improved mindfulness so that I can live my life intentionally. I want to stop searching for happiness in people’s perceptions of me and work on improving my own perception of my life. I don’t want to be dependent on possessions and clothes to make my life feel full.

Has anyone else tried the capsule wardrobe? Or is trying to live minimally? Let me know what your experience has been and def comment if you have any tips for me!


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Chicana, feminist, writer slugging through grad school with a job teaching composition.

One thought on “Capsule Wardrobe: How I’ve (kinda) Started”

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