Capsule Closet Experiment

Downsize 2016 (aka preparing to move to NYC) included losing storage, furniture, home items, and clothing. Even after doing this initial sweep, I realized that my wardrobe was still overstocked with pieces that I didn’t love, didn’t wear, and didn’t want.

I didn’t realize how much I was willing to purge my closet once I start. I followed  advice from Marie Kondo where I touched each piece of clothing and asked myself “Does this bring me joy and confidence?” I then went through my pieces and checked for fit, wear, and function. What was left over is what I brought with me to New York. Most of the clothes that I “purged” I either sold outright, via consignment, or donated to local shelters. After getting rid of so much, I realized how little I had that I loved and would wear often.

Despite lustfully looking over Instagrams featuring countless amounts of clothes, my plan for 2017 is to create a functional capsule wardrobe that I can wear year after year, and replace the items in the capsule once the old ones are no longer functional pieces.I did some research on capsule wardrobes and read a couple blogs to prepare.

Here are my favorites:

How to Build A Capsule Wardrobe

The Capsule Wardrobe Challenge

Build a Killer Capsule Wardrobe

10 Reasons You Should Create a Capsule Wardrobe

How to Build a Minimalist Wardrobe

What to Include in Your Capsule Wardrobe

Capsule Wardrobe Mistakes

How I Made My Capsule Wardrobe Work

I went through all the clothes I had in my possession (per season) and made a wish-list of items I felt I needed as staple pieces. Instead of just jumping in and picking-and-choosing items based on pre-determined numbers I decided I would instead attempt to wear each item in my closet and at the end of the season, or sooner, remove items that were unused or I did not absolutely love. Prior to each season capsule I will store away all out of season clothes including shoes and accessories based off of my predetermined color palettes. I can’t wait to share with you my 2017 winter capsule that I have been wearing since January 1st 2017.

Closet Purge

Before moving to NYC I knew I had to downsize and my personal notorious area was my wardrobe. In middle school my mother introduced me to an allowance and taking me to a local goodwill once a week. I would buy random items that I thought were cool at the time. When I finally had my own car my junior year of high school, I tended to find my way to other department stores weekly. Though I thought I was acquiring a huge wardrobe for very little I really was not.

Most items were trendy, stained, poor quality or did not fit me well. The amount of items I had was also atrocious. I used to feel guilty about getting “rid” of perfectly good clothes, but my new approach of simplification actually makes life easier. I took some hints from 7 Tips for Cleaning Out Your WardrobeThe Wardrobe Clear Out and Wardrobe Investment Pieces and once again cleaned out my closet in preparation for my future plan of seasonal capsule wardrobes.

  1. Pull everything out- This allows you to clean your physical closet, but also allows you to see the total amount of clothes you have. This includes all accessories and shoes.
  2. Try on every piece- If there are holes, stains, or it is ill fitting you do not want it no matter how sentimental it is (exceptions only for wedding gowns).
  3. Organize your clothes by season- I utilized color palettes and textures to organize my seasonal wardrobe, but do what works best for you.
  4. Store your out of season clothes- Figure out the best method that works for you in your home. Some people use plastic bins, others might wants to get under-the-bed clothes storage containers. I store all my out of season clothes rolled in our luggage.
  5. Store your specialty clothes (gowns, formal attire, etc) – Do not store your specialty items long term in plastic containers, instead utilize Preservation boxes and Acid Free Tissue Paper or Breathable Garment bags. Make sure they are not stored in an attic or basement. The best things to do is store them in their hanging state in a lesser used closet.
  6. Donate, Sell, or Throw Away Items that don’t work- I knew I wanted everything (that is why I had it in the first place) but I had to be aware of what was realistic. I planned to eBay my higher end brands, sell outright to Buffalo Exchange my trendy pieces, and then donate the remainder that was in good condition to a women’s shelter/local clothing drive/university theatre costume department.

Fall Loungewear

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Ekoaraer Pajama Set

Fall in NYC is so unpredictable. One day I am in wool sweaters and the next I am questioning whether or not I could be comfortable in shorts. Keeping the temperatures consistent in my apartment has also been challenging, especially in the evenings when I am looking for the right clothes to lounge in. In the past, I would just wear leggings and over-sized sorority t-shirts but I realized I needed something items that were more versatile. I wanted items that could keep me comfortable and transition from summer to fall and fall to winter.

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one // cotton pants ($45)

two // lounge tee ($35)

three // satin set ($35)

four // jersey robe ($136)

five // satin pants ($44.95)

six // nightshirt ($58)

seven //  nightie ($44.95)

eight // henley set ($54.50)

nine // body suit ($58)

What I wore…

What I wore this week.

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Tuesday: Screening of China Town. Target top (similar here), Vintage Ralph Lauren Men’s Pants, H &M Belt (similar here), Tory Burch Flats.

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Wednesday: Presentation for Integrated Media. Boden Top, White House Black Market Pants (similar here), Maripe Pumps.

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Thursday: 10 hours of class and Advisory Council Reception at Feirstein GSC. Ralph Lauren Top (similar here),  White House Black Market Pants (similar here), Vintage Ralph Lauren Belt,  Blanket Scarf, Rampage Boots (similar here).

 

What I Wore…

What I wore this week.

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Monday: Meetings at Brooklyn College. Jessica Simpson Sweater (similar here), Ann Taylor Pants (similar here), Versona Flats (similar here). Buddha Necklace from Mom’s trip to China in 2008 (similar here).

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Tuesday: Meetings in DUMBO. American Eagle Outfitters Top (similar here), NO Pants (similar here), JSlides.

Wednesday: 5 hours of classes, Conan at The Apollo, Walking Tour of Midtown,  Arbonne Team Training Call. Ann Taylor Top, Rampage Jacket, Ann Taylor  Loft Pants (similar here), Steve Madden Booties (similar here).

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Thursday: 10 hours of class, Young Alumnae Board Conference Call. Arrow Silk Top (similar here), Old Navy Jacket, Ann Taylor  Loft Pants (similar here), Nine West Boots (similar here).

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Friday: Blog content and homework. Free People Top,  NO Pants (similar here), Nike Shoes (similar here).

 

 

Fall Shopping Wish-List

1. Blanket Scarves from ilymix- Brings you extra warmth, and is super versatile. You can buy these here. They also have a tutorial on different ways you can style and tie their blanket scarves

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2. Striped Jersey Top from H&M- I love stripes, but I always seem to go through the classics fast. This shirt is light enough that I can wear it on days that go warmer, but perfect for layering for much colder days. You can buy it here.

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3. Black High-Waisted Jeans by BDG- High-waisted pants look better on me than any pair of hip-huggers. I am in deathly need of a pair of pure black jeans that I can wear casually. In my opinion, black is the great base color for most fall outfits. Get these here.

4. Leggings by Fabletics – My favorites are the Gaviota, Brogan and Clover (shown above). See the entire collection here.

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5. Superstar by Adidas– I am excited to transition out my light cloth converses for some heavy leather lace-ups.

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6. Brown Leather Jacket by BLANKNYC- Nordstrom has some amazing fall jackets out right now. This one seems absolutely perfect! It has zippers, details, is actually faux, and you can choose to have it in either black or brown. This is easy to dress up or down.

7. Some basic tops- Fall usually has everyone pairing jeans because lets me honest, sometimes slacks and capris just aren’t warm enough. To combat this mundane repeat-cycle, always have a cute top if you can’t have some cute bottoms. {Left to Right: Lush Tee, J.Crew Ruffle Top, Free People Mesh Tee}

What I wore…

What I wore this week.

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Monday: 5 hours of class and meetings in Dumbo. Esley Top, White House Black Market Pants (similar here), Nine West Ankle Boots (similar here).

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Tuesday: Homework and Blog. Fabletics Tank, Fabletics Sweater, Ann Taylor Pants (similar here), Leather JSlides (similar here).

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Wednesday: Casting, 5 hours of class and homework.  Ralph Lauren Top (similar here), Crochet Scarf (made by me), AEO Belt (similar here), Lucky Brand Jeans (similar here), Steve Madden Booties (similar here).

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Thursday: 10 hours of class. Vintage denim top, Cynthia Rowley Sweater,  Maurices Pants (similar here), Leather JSlides (similar here).

What I wore…

What I wore this week.

Thursday: 10 hours of class and student social. {AEOutfitters Black Lace Tank, Vintage Black Rabbit Hair Sweater, Ann Taylor Loft Ankle Pants (other colors here), Calina Leather Slides}

Friday: Shooting a short in Ft. Greene. {Vintage Denim Dress, Anthropologie Belt (similar here) , Calina Leather Slides}

Saturday: Shooting a short in Bed-Stuy.  {Sedona Puffer Vest, JoJo Jacket, Madeline LeggingCalina Leather Slides}

 

Autumn Transition

Change is inevitable. Seasons change, people change, and so do bodies. However I was still horribly distraught while transitioning out my summer wardrobe and switching it for my fall pieces, all my knee-high boots no longer fit. Since moving to New York I have gained a bunch of leg muscle by walking everywhere, but I didn’t think it would be so much that my boots would no longer zip up over my calves by inches.

Last fall knee-high boots were my go-to pieces: I could pair them with dresses, wear them in the rain or snow with pants, and honestly look chic with very little effort. Instead of wallowing in my lack of options I went online and bought a black pair and brown pair of booties, items I had been putting off buying for years since I felt I had no use for them. Now I have the opportunity to try different styles I haven’t tried before.

[Left: SINCHI by Nine West , Right: Whendy by Steve Madden ]

For those that are interested, my Ralph Lauren Black boots (similar here) and my Rampage brown boots (similar here) will be going up in my Poshmark Closet very soon.

I Spy A Kite

[Originally published in September 2011]
{Skit night: Just Ginger Dress, Forever 21 earrings, Kenzie wedges, thrift store belt}

Rush went very well! I was asked back to 5 houses (that is really, really good) on skit night and then 2 on Pref night. I saw the houses, I wrote down my #1 choice and hoped for the best. Yesterday I opened my bid card and YES! Kappa Alpha Theta, my favorite, offered me a bid!!

[The bid card]
[door decorations]
[my new family]