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.

Writing New Year’s Resolutions

fullsizerenderMy New Year’s Eve Outfit

{Tahari dress (vintage), Banana Republic Turtle Neck (discontinued), Ann Taylor Loft Tights (similar here), Tahari Flats (discontinued), Chico’s Necklace and Earrings (discontinued)}

This is the second year where Philip and I are not only writing resolutions as individuals but also as a couple. When I write resolutions I usually look at my mental well-being, my physical health, and the environments I make for myself (home, work, etc.). I ensure to take a look at what my resolutions were the year before: I can repeat items that need improvement or relish a job well done for accomplishments. The beginning of last year I had my resolutions in a frame on my desk so I could remember daily what I was striving to achieve. Later in the year when I no longer had a personal desk I instead posted them on the fridge. This year I plan to post a copy on the fridge for both Philip and I, as well as in our Home Base Binder.

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I enjoy using Emily Ley’s New Year’s Family Meeting Printable to help me get my thoughts organized.