Now this is a story all about how (tee hee) I built my capsule wardrobe and rediscovered myself in the process. How I literally changed my relationship with money and stopped wasting it on things I didn’t need or even like. How I stopped chasing trends and instead invested my time and energy in curating a collection of 43 pieces that look and feel like me.
Let’s back up a bit…
Not so long ago, I absolutely hated getting dressed. I was so uncomfortable in my clothes because my outfits didn’t reflect who I was. I started buying things for the sake of buying something new, hoping I could get out of my creative rut, but it didn’t help; I was so sick of buying clothes and then hating them a week or two later.
Thank God for Natalie of The Tiny Closet and Geneva of AP&AS. I read their blog posts on curating a small wardrobe built around timeless pieces. I started reading Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and decided it was time to let go of things that didn’t bring me joy. And so finally last fall, I purged my closet and went on a spending fast (I didn’t buy anything for like, five months). I had one goal: I wanted to always feel good about what I was wearing, whether I was heading to work, to brunch, or just walking around the neighborhood with Maya.
After steadily, patiently building my capsule wardrobe, I have a complete collection of 43 pieces that I absolutely love, that totally reflect my personality and personal style, and that I can mix and match in so many ways. I’ve definitely achieved my goal of creating a wardrobe that I can feel comfortable wearing no matter what.
Most of the items in my capsule wardrobe are new (I basically started from scratch), but there are some things in my collection that I’ve had for years, like my silk DVF shorts (I’m never getting rid of those). Other “oldies but goodies” in my wardrobe are this maxi dress, this maxi skirt, and these jeans. The new stuff in my closet comes from the same few places: J.Crew, Madewell, Everlane, ASOS (for jeans) and Reformation. I think a big part of the reason why my wardrobe feels so cohesive is because I shopped from the same few places that really fit my personal aesthetic.
When I started building my capsule wardrobe, I used Geneva’s 5-4-3-2-1 Packing Guide when deciding how many shirts I needed, how many pairs of jeans, etc. I ended up going with my gut and just getting things I thought I needed and stopping when I thought I had enough. My full inventory is below, and I’ve included links to the items that are still available (note some colors/styles that I have might already be sold out):
How I Built My 43-Piece Capsule Wardrobe
- 2 pairs of blue denim shorts (oversized and ripped // regular fit)
- 2 pairs black skinny jeans (waxed denim // ripped knees)
- 2 pairs blue jeans (mom jeans // skinny jeans)
- 2 pairs linen trousers (olive // black)
- 2 pairs tailored trousers (pink // navy)
- 2 pairs silk shorts (Zara // DVF)
- 3 skirts (orange maxi // floral midi // pink mini)
- 3 white cotton button-downs (long sleeves // short sleeves // sleeveless)
- 2 silk button-downs (mauve // pale pink)
- 3 silk blouses (striped // buttons in back // bright)
- 1 silk tank (in black)
- 2 cotton tees (white // black)
- 2 statement blouses (ruffle top // pleated bottom)
- 3 cashmere sweaters (black // navy // cream)
- 3 linen dresses (LBD // LWD // LYD)
- 2 bold dresses (coral // orange)
- 1 midi dress (pink and blue stripes)
- 1 maxi dress (splits up the sides)
- 1 cashmere cardigan (monogrammed)
- 1 poncho/cape (neutral)
- 2 blazers (fitted // oversized)
- 1 denim jacket (classic)
That’s my little closet! You’re about to see me in these clothes all the time, so consider yourself warned. I intentionally chose pieces that are pretty simple; that’s been the key to making a this work. If you’re going to build a capsule collection, not everything can be a standout or statement piece. Then you end up with too few options to work with, and you may find yourself shopping to fill in the gaps. I also tried not to incorporate too many different colors, again so that it’s easy to pair things together. Most of my pieces are neutrals. With the exception of my green silk blouse and yellow dress, the colors I wear are red/blush, orange, olive and navy. So even though I’m limited to 43 pieces, there are so many possible outfit combinations here.
My goal for myself this year was to edit my life down to only its most necessary, interesting, valuable and beautiful parts. Starting with my wardrobe may seem trivial to some, but for me, this was a huge step in learning how to adopt a minimalist lifestyle. Now that I’ve conquered my closet (and in the process, my impulsive shopping habits!) I want to take the same approach to my diet. I eat whatever I want, whenever I want, and I eat a lot. I need to be more mindful of what I put into my body and more intentional about keeping it healthy from the inside out.
Editing down my wardrobe has been such a good experience. I love living with less. I love that every time I open my little closet, I’m surrounded by things I really love and feel excited to wear. I love that I have something to wear for any occasion. This process taught me how to be a thoughtful shopper. Instead of making bad, impulsive decisions, I shopped with a purpose, and it really paid off. I didn’t realize how dependent I was on the act of buying things, and I was wasting so much money! I wasn’t being a good steward of the blessings God gave me, and now I feel much more responsible and for once, actually content.
Let me know what you think about my capsule wardrobe?
Did you (or would you) ever create your own capsule wardrobe?
What are your thoughts on adopting a minimalist lifestyle?
Share in the comments!