Last week, I wrote about my
breakdown moment of truth about my clothes. It’s time for a change, and while
there are many other areas of my home that could use this change more than my
clothes closet, apparently it’s where I’m starting.
I first read about the idea of a capsule wardrobe years ago when Hayley from Tiny Twig did a 31 Days project on it. Way back then, I started a Pinterest board the way she’d recommended, so I could get an idea of my style. Some trends emerged pretty quickly, but I never did much with it. I don’t spend a lot of money on clothes – in fact, the vast majority of clothes I own were given to me. And when you’re just grateful to have pants that fit and aren’t threadbare, you aren’t going to worry about whether they’re the right cut or fabric. The good news is that by this point, I have such excess that I’m pretty sure at least 70% of my future wardrobe is already in my wardrobe, and it’s just a matter of finding it and digging it out.
Step 1 for me is figuring out what I like and want to wear. On Pinterest, it becomes apparent that I like layers with jeans – tanks or tshirts with cardigans – and fun jewelry. I also like striped/nautical tops. Lots of solid colors, not many patterns. Okay, I can run with this.
I also like the look of longer tops and short dresses over leggings. This is also practical for me because, as a work-at-home mom, I am not exactly inclined to put on structured pants. I don’t like structured clothes regardless, so this is a big deal for me. I need to acknowledge this fact and run with it, not work against it and pretend I will convert to buttoned waistbands at some point.
So, step 2 for me is wading through what I already have and shedding things that clearly don’t fit with my general style. This is an ongoing process of having repeated “get real, Ashley” moments with myself. Am I really going to wear this ever again? Do I even like this? Do I feel cute or pretty when I wear this, every time I wear it? If there’s even a little bit of “meh” in my answer, I put it in the go-away pile. I’m obviously wearing something every day, and if it’s not ever going to be this particular something, there’s no sense holding onto it.
It’s really hard for me to let go of things right now. It’s too hard to actually get rid of them yet, especially the nice ones...I’m just piling things on a chair in my room. Not a long-term strategy, but at the same time I know it’ll get me there. I already feel so much relief every time I go to get dressed. A lot of these things are nice enough to consign, which is both good and bad because if I consign them, I'll need to hang onto them for months before the shops take this season of clothing again.
In the meantime, the hard part for me is going to be figuring out exactly how big I want my wardrobe to be – true capsule size, or more like capsule-inspired – and then deciding what is really going to stay and what I need to add when it’s all said and done. (Light-gray cardigan, I’m coming for you.)