Wednesday, September 21, 2016

A Capsule Wardrobe for Those Who Hate Shopping

The capsule wardrobe! It's a shopping diet - get rid of your habit, save yourself money, and break the cycle of consumerism that fuels low wage sweatshops! All of that reasoning is sound and admirable, but it isn't what attracted me to this idea. Confession time...

I hate shopping.

Especially clothing. I am overly frugal, difficult to fit, and have serious commitment issues (even to an article of clothing on a rack). Having been entirely absent from the fashion world since...well...most of my life (excepting 2000-2004, thanks to Carrie Bradshaw), I had never heard of a capsule wardrobe until two weeks ago. I mean, seriously, do you see my closet?! Well, no, you can't. Not really because there are too many items in there and they are so many different styles that it seems I have a multiple personality disorder. Trust me - it's a collection of hand-me-downs, clearance finds, and decade-old remnants of what used to be 'style'. I shop for clothes only when I reach a point of frustration that pushes me to do so. So, I am coming to this whole 'capsule wardrobe' idea from a different angle.

But before I get too far ahead of myself...

 What is a 'capsule wardrobe'? 

At its simplest - a capsule wardrobe is a small, mix and match wardrobe from which you can easily put together multiple outfits for an entire season. Beyond those principles the specifics vary widely. I stumbled across this whole idea through Project 333 and Un-fancy on Instagram so I am mostly (but not exactly) following their rules. Here are my personal guidelines with the differences noted under each rule:
  • Includes: 33-37 items, including clothing, accessories, outerwear and shoes.
Many people exclude shoes. I chose to include shoes because...confession time again...I am a former Shoe-a-holic. It used to be, back when stores carried small shoe sizes, that I had a rather large collection of shoes (think 50+ pairs). So in the interest of not relapsing on my shoe addiction, I am including shoes in my item count.
  • Excludes: underwear, sleep wear, and workout clothing 
Project 333 excludes "in-home lounge wear" but that's where I get in trouble as someone who works from home so I'm including it my item count. Otherwise I easily rotate through my four ill-fitting camo t-shirts in steady succession.
  • Rotate every 3-6 months.
Since I don't have any rotation of items and I don't shop on a regular basis the thought of rotating every 3 months actually causes me more stress rather than less. The point is to decrease stress but increase style so I'm giving myself some extra time to reevaluate and rotate items.
  • Make new items myself rather than buying them (excluding shoes and belts)
Part of the reason I hate shopping is that my body shape is so far off from ready-to-wear sizing that even if I find a clearance item that I like, it probably doesn't fit well. Sometimes it's an easy fix - like taking up straps or a hem (which I will likely forget to do until the time I want to wear the item). And I actually came across this whole 'capsule wardrobe' idea because I have started to invest more time into making my own clothes. This could prove disastrous - I have little experience making clothing for myself. Who knows? Follow along and find out. 

Why a 'capsule wardrobe'? 

Doesn't that create a flattering silhouette?
Since I work-from-home educating little people four days a week and then once a week I educate other people's children in an extremely relaxed environment; it is easy for me to get by wearing 'lounge wear' almost everyday. It doesn't happen on purpose - I am often so focused on getting everyone and everything else ready that I seriously forget about myself. All of a sudden it's now time to leave the house when I realize that I haven't looked in the mirror, brushed my hair, nor changed out of sleepwear. Nothing says "Take me seriously," like a ponytail, a free 5K race t-shirt, baggy bermuda-style shorts, and a worn out pair of keens.

Now, I will never be someone who has a meticulous, full-on morning routine of hair, make up, and a thoughtfully chosen outfit. It's just not who I am, but I would like to present myself to the world in something that doesn't say "Queen of Frumpy". Sure, I'm physically "comfortable" but I'm so under-dressed for life that I don't feel "comfortable." There has to be a middle ground between looking like I just rolled out of bed and runway couture.

How do I start a capsule wardrobe?

I have to admit - I am a bit intimidated by this process. Most of the inspiration and guidance out there is way more 'hip' and 'trendy' than I am, ever have been, or even seek to be. And...I've somehow made it well into my thirties without having a clear sense of style. Seriously, my Pinterest boards have multiple personality disorder when it comes to fashion. But I am starting here - a complete Wardrobe Inventory & Make Goals/Guiding Principles - and I'm blogging it out for the sake of mental clarity and accountability. Want to tag along? Join me here and on Instagram #CapsuleWardrobe2016

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