Tomorrow marks the eleven week anniversary of starting my summer capsule wardrobe. Today is the 66th outfit comprised of the 45 pieces that I chose in early June. I post my daily outfits on Instagram where you can see, in detail, what living the capsule life has looked like these last eleven weeks.
For the first 6 weeks, it was a honeymoon. It was new and exciting and I really did love it. There was no going back. I was already thinking about my fall capsule.
Did it achieve what you wanted it wanted it to?
My goals in creating a capsule wardrobe were simple: I wanted to be excited about wearing any of my options, I wanted to feel good in everything that I wore and I wanted it to be minimalistic. Once I decided to commit to the capsule lifestyle, I also decided that I wanted to use this as a tool to try to encourage myself to wear clothes that I wouldn’t normally, such as dresses.
I achieved all three goals – for the first six weeks. By week seven, I was no longer excited by what I saw in my closet. I was bored. Now, it’s mid-August and I am really bored. But, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I think that would be true of my summer wardrobe whether I had done a capsule or not. And I don’t believe that boredom is a good reason to accumulate more stuff. This whole experience has been a great lesson for me in contentment.
I was more intentional about trying to switch things up so that I wasn’t wearing the same outfit repeatedly. Which led to making combinations that I wouldn’t have done without my capsule. That felt like a win to me because even though I was wearing the same items, it didn’t feel as repetitive.
What have you learned?
I don’t wear dresses. Even when I only have 45 items in my closet from which to choose, and a quarter of those items are shoes, I still don’t choose a dress to wear. I really like both of them that I have, but not enough to pull them off the hanger and wear them. I don’t know why. I can’t explain it. I just know that when I’m standing in front of my closet trying to decide what to wear, and I see those dresses, my first thought is always “Nahhhh……”
What would you do differently?
I would include less “off-season” items, and by that I mean the items that I included for what I consider to be cold summer days. I included a jean jacket, cardigan, 2 – 3/4 sleeve tops and 3 long-sleeve tops. I get very warm very easily, so it takes serious temperature drops for me to wear anything more than a t-shirt on my arms in the summer. I have worn each of those “warmer” items a handful of times, but I know that if I would have 3 of those items instead of all 7 that I would have been just fine. And I would have enjoyed having 4 more t-shirts or tank tops that would have been worn more than those long-sleeved options have been.
Through 52 days I’ve worn each of the 7 cooler weather items once.
Will you do a fall capsule?
If you would have asked me eleven weeks ago, I would have excitedly said “YESSS!” While I don’t have that same level of enthusiasm now, I am going to try this again in the fall. I’m wary of trying to choose a wardrobe that works as well on Labor Day as it does on Thanksgiving. Theoretically, my fall capsule wardrobe would be for September, October & November, but the weather change from the beginning of September to the end of November in Minnesota is drastic. I’m not sure how to make it so that I have what I need for that weather range, but also don’t feel like I’m including items that will only be worn a few times.
For instance, I like to wear shorts until the first or even second week in September. For all of you who don’t live in the frozen tundra, that may seem obvious, but it’s a little bit of a stretch here. I am stubborn, however, and insist that shorts season should go into September. So, the question becomes, do I include one or two pair of shorts in a fall capsule that will, realistically, only be worn handful of times? I’ve thought that I could just not include them and break the rules and bust them out for the 4 or 5 times in the short window of time where my wanting to wear shorts overlaps with the starting of my fall capsule.
Which lead me to start thinking about whether I really need a definitive capsule wardrobe to achieve my goals. Couldn’t I achieve the same thing by just super-minimalizing what I have in my closet and drawers?
I believe that the answer is yes. But, for me, and I would presume a lot of other people,the self-imposed constraints of the capsule wardrobe give me parameters in which to work to give a framework to that desired minimalism. Creating the capsule wardrobe is the means by which I draw the line for what I want my minimalism to look like. It’s a way to hold myself accountable. Not everyone needs that framework, but I’m discovering that I do.
If I had it to do all over again, this is what my summer capsule would look like:
Who’s with me on the fall capsule? Let’s do this together!