First Shopping Trip Of My Capsule Wardrobe

I cleaned out my closet two days ago and decided to commit to a modified capsule wardrobe at least through the end of June! I knew I couldn’t pare my wardrobe down to 37 pieces so I settled on 99. Which is quite a bit more than 37. I know. But it’s the most I want to do right now

Part of the capsule wardrobe changing-season ritual includes a two week period at the end of each season where you plan and shop for the coming season. The spring season started in April so I’m actually two weeks behind, but that’s fine! I still approached it similarly and went shopping yesterday.

First I filled out the free wardrobe planner by Caroline at Un-Fancy. Normally I hate stuff like this. It usually feels gimmicky to me and like people are just making things overcomplicated so the people participating feel validated, while not actually contributing something substantial. But this is totally different! It actually helped me when I was shopping!

If you’re thinking of doing the capsule wardrobe I super super recommend filling out the planner. It works cause it makes you reflect on what you wear already – it’s not some kind of wishlist that keeps you imagining yourself in a fantasy wardrobe. It made me look at my real life and the clothes I really wear.

The sections I loved most were Colors, My Go To Pieces, My Go To Outfits, and Shopping List (I didn’t fill any of the other sections out but whatever). These all helped me in some way as I went shopping.

Then, prepped with my planner in my backpack and a mountain of clothes I was hoping to sell to the store, I went to the consignment store Runway Fashion Exchange here in Flagstaff. They’re pretty damn trendy and super cheap so I thought they’d be a good place to look for pieces to cycle into my wardrobe. I do buy some things new from stores, but I’m making an effort to shop second hand more. And now that I’m doing this capsule wardrobe I’ll be shopping even less, which is great!

They only ended up taking a handful of things from me (cause they’re real damn trendy) but I still got $9.50 store credit which was nice. I bought 1 pair of denim shorts and 4 cotton tshirts for a total of $26.15 – my $9.50 store credit = $16.65 out of pocket for 5 pieces that I really really love and am excited about!

And that’s really been the difference that I noticed between this shopping trip and every other trip in my life – I love every single piece I left with and can absolutely visualize it in the wardrobe I have right now. I didn’t shop for the closet I wish I had, or buy things thinking they would revolutionize my style and turn me into an instant fashion icon. I bought pieces that are very similar to the other pieces in my closet that I love and wear day after day.

I usually shop to make myself happy, for a quick picker upper, or to alleviate some other dissatisfaction. And I hate that I have a habit of buying new things to try to chase happiness – worse is that I know it doesn’t work and I still do it anyway! So part of this capsule wardrobe journey is to get me to shop with intention and encourage me to find satisfaction outside of possessions and find healthier ways to deal with my insecurity.

It was such a cool experience to buy a few carefully curated pieces, put them in my closet, and see how well they fit. It also feels like I’ve done something nice for myself. Instead of shopping for the wardrobe I wished I had or the person I thought I wanted to be, I bought clothes for me, right now, as I am. And I feel so loved.

Have you had similar shopping experiences? Or any tips to help avoid misled purchases? I’d love to hear them!


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

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