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Capsule Wardrobe

Five Final Tips - Starting a Capsule Wardrobe

Capsule Wardrobe, PersonalAmanda MohinaniComment

If you've been following along on my blog for the last couple weeks, you'll notice that I've been sharing my thoughts about how to begin a capsule wardrobe! Post #1 was about being willing to risk having less, post #2 was about making your own rules, and this 3rd and final post is all about the different tips and tricks I've learned along the way. I hope it's helpful to you! 

Let's dive in!

Tip #1. Study your style

If you've followed posts #1 and #2 and have begun to whittle down your closet to pieces that you love, you may notice a common theme among your clothing. Right away when I first started, I noticed that I had a large amount of tops, and they were all bright colors and patterns! But as I studied other capsule wardrobes that I loved on Pinterest and blogs, I noticed myself being drawn toward those outfits that were a mix of just a few simple and neutral pieces (Caroline from Un-Fancy is still my wardrobe hero). It became pretty apparent that I had the habit of purchasing colorful and loud tops because they were easy to quickly pair with jeans without a lot of thought - but it drastically increased the amount of clothing I owned, and made it difficult to mix and match items together! 

Over the last year, I began to slowly filter out stand-alone pieces, and only purchase items when they were able to be paired with several other clothes in my closet! Studying others' style and intentionally creating your own style will reveal which items you're drawn towards, and which pieces are missing from your wardrobe. (Plus, it's a fun excuse to surf Pinterest!! As if I needed one...)

Tip #2. Bottoms multiply your options

As I mentioned above, my natural tendency has always been to purchase a variety of tops and wear them only with my favorite pair of jeans - easy, right? But as I studied and experimented more, I found the more bottoms (pants, shorts, skirts, whatever floats your boat!) I had, the more options I had to create different outfits. That made my few (but intentional) tops more versatile and less boring. My dark jeans will always be my favorite and most comfortable go-to bottoms, but finding a good pair of light jeans, black jeans, purple pants, and green pants (I still enjoy the bold colors!) has multiplied the options I have, and diversified my tops. 

Tip #3. Completer pieces do their job well

This one is pretty self explanatory, but it's definitely worth mentioning! Finding versatile cardigans, jackets, vests, and blazers will easily and swiftly change the mood of your outfit. You can wear the same top and bottom two days in a row, and if you pair it with a different jacket or blazer, it looks completely different! Yay for less clothing and more options! 

Tip #4. Rock your accessories

I'm not a jewelry girl. Somehow necklaces and bracelets always seem to get in my way, and I'm still awkward when styling them! If that's you... welcome to the awkward club!! But, I do have a love for fun scarves and big 'ol earrings - and thanks to my short haircut, you can actually see them when I wear them! Colorful earrings and scarves can spice up a neutral outfit in ten seconds flat, and add color! Yay color! 

Tip #5. Invest in your pieces

If you're building a capsule wardrobe that will last for a long time, you'll be wearing a lot of the same clothes over and over. And with time and use and many washes, cheap clothes will eventually wear out! It's better to spend more on one piece that you know will last you a long time, then to buy five pieces that sort of fit within your wardrobe. This comes back to knowing the rules you've set up for yourself, and the budget you have! Maybe you only buy one or two new pieces every few months or even once a year. But as you begin to recognize your style and which pieces you want to purchase, you'll be more willing to spend more on quality materials. (I'm still working on this myself!)

Bonus: Tip #6. Consider ethical fashion

This is something I'm still researching and figuring out for myself, so I definitely don't have all the answers! Bonus tip! Here's my thought: if you're going to be spending more money on quality materials, why not purchase it from companies that provide fair wages, safe work environments, and maybe even help support international artisans through fair trade? It's worth a thought. I'm excited to begin discovering how I can help support companies I believe in (like Noonday), and I invite you to do the same! 

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I hope this series has been helpful to you as you journey towards being content and resourceful with less. I'd love to hear from you about your own experiences with a capsule wardrobe and what you've learned along the way! 

Making a Plan - Starting a Capsule Wardrobe

Capsule Wardrobe, PersonalAmanda MohinaniComment

Welcome to part two of my journey into a capsule wardrobe! I began this whole process about a year ago, and if you want to get caught up, you can click here for part one. 

Starting a capsule wardrobe can be intimidating and scary unless you have a plan. I am ALL about plans. And lists. And budgets. So when I began contemplating the capsule wardrobe idea,  I followed these basic steps. 

Side note: A lot of this I learned directly from Un-Fancy (Check her out - she does a fantastic job of explaining everything!) and other Pinterest people, and some of it I made up on my own. Proceed with caution: I am long winded. :) 

Step 1. Pick a time frame

If you're going to begin an experiment, I think it's important to set a reasonable expectation on how long you want to try it out! When it comes to your wardrobe and your style, the last thing you want to do is begin a process that takes forever while you hate every second of it. So if you're going to try a capsule wardrobe, stick with it for a month, a season, or a year and then reevaluate.  

I decided to try a capsule for a whole year because I was pretty well convinced that this would work perfectly for me - and because a good friend of mine who had fabulous style had already tried it a little bit and loved it (thanks for being my guinea pig, Jess!). However, in the back of my head, I knew that if I didn't still love it after a few months, I had no problems stopping. With no guilt!

And that, my friends, is very important.

Step 2. Make your own rules

Here is where you decide how many pieces (or a range!) you want to stick with, and what kind of pieces count. You get to customize your plan for your lifestyle. Do you want to overhaul your entire closet? Go for it! Do you want to experiment with your every day clothes and leave your workout clothes out of the picture? Own it! 

For me, I decided to try to stick under 40 pieces of clothing (picking one arbitrary number didn't seem flexible enough for me). Then I decided it was realistic for me to count only my tops, bottoms, completer pieces (cardigans, jackets, etc) and shoes. I left out all underwear (for obvious reasons), workout clothes, lounge-wear, painting/work clothes and shoes, and dressy items because they are used so infrequently. This gave me a framework to begin with and seemed a whole lot more attainable! 

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Step 3. Go through your closet

This is where the magic happens! First of all, take everything out of our closet. EVERYTHING. Lay it on your bed (make your bed first!) and start by picking up each piece one by one. If you absolutely love it and the way you look in it and would wear it every day then put it back in your closet. If you like it, but don't love it, then set it aside in pile #1. If it doesn't fit you, flatter you, or feel good - get rid of it in pile #2. Once you're done, get rid of pile #2, but keep everything in pile #1 - just hide it out of sight. If, by chance, you find that you miss anything out of pile #1, then you can still go get it! But I think you'll find that once it's out of sight and out of mind.... you won't miss it one bit. 

When I went through everything in my closet, I had a pretty large pile #1 and a fairly small pile #2. Pile #2 immediately went to my nearest clothes donation drop off, and pile #1 went into a large trash bag that I saved in the corner of my closet. Get this: I saved pile #1 for almost a year. It was only recently that I finally got rid of it! But do you know how many times I went back into that pile for clothes I missed? Zero. I missed nothing! But I'll be honest... it was still comforting to know that all my clothes were right there in case of a clothes emergency (is that a real thing?). 

Side note: I chose to separate my summer clothes from my winter clothes during this step. All of my off season clothes (that I loved and didn't make it to any of the piles) went into our other closet until it was the right season to wear them again. That means your closet is only full of the things you can wear today! 

Step 4. Make a budget and shopping list

By now you have a beautifully clean closet with all of your favorite pieces of clothing. It feels airy and light, and most beautiful of all - simple. I'm such a sucker for simplicity! Up until now you've been intentional about what you currently own, and this is where you get to be intentional about what you want to buy in the future! Revisit Step 1 (your time-frame) and Step 2 (how many pieces and what kind) and decide how often you want to shop, what you want to buy, and how much you want to spend. 

For example: I allowed myself to go shopping for one week right after I went through my closet. Then I decided no more shopping - for three months! Every three months (when the season would change) I would allow myself to go shopping for about a week (visit a few different stores, try on different things, return things, etc) and then I wouldn't shop for the rest of that season. It's incredibly freeing, but also immensely strategic! Use those three months to make lists, research and pick out what you want next, and set up your budget. Remember to be intentional! 

I currently still use a note on my phone to track how many pieces of clothing I have in each category, and which pieces I want to buy in the future. Keeping a list helps me see what I currently have and which pieces I want to purchase in the future. 

And these were my previous capsules! 

Step 5. Give yourself grace

This may seem like a long and complicated process - I promise it isn't. But if it's intimidating for you and it seems overwhelming and unnecessary, maybe capsule wardrobe isn't for you! That's is totally ok! Or maybe you go back up to Step 1 and 2 and make different rules! Remember to give yourself grace. The whole concept of a capsule wardrobe is to bring freedom and ease to your life so you can love what you wear and find confidence in your style. Experiment. Try new things. Find what you love and stick with it. 

I hope this is helpful for you!! Next week I'm excited to share some final things I learned throughout my year long experiment - and boy, did I learn a lot! Can't wait!