Never have I had a closet as condensed as I have right now, and never have I felt like I have more to wear than I do right now. What’s been the game changer for me? How did I achieve this seeming synchronicity? Two words, capsule wardrobe.
Now these two words have probably crossed your path before, some of you may know exactly what I’m talking about, and some may have heard of this but still don’t fully understand what the meaning behind them is. I was the second type when my journey of minimalism was just beginning over a year ago. I was on a quest to minimize the stress in my life. In my modern day quest, I watched many documentaries, read many books, and came across many Instagram posts and blogs, as you do, about the minimalism movement. Before reading on, if you’d like an intro to what a capsule wardrobe is, I think the guys at Cladwell break it down beautifully, just click here.
When I first started to implement my mission of living with less I began with small changes such as doing a quick clear out of things I knew I could give away, I worked on building the habit of cleaning up after myself during my day, and Justin and I both took stock of the household items that we could sell or giveaway. Fast forward to a few weeks ago when I decided it was finally time to apply my new found philosophies to my most challenging of arenas, my closet.
I actually love shopping. I always have since as long as I can remember, first starting with shopping dates with my mom and grandma who also love to shop, and could probably even place on the podium if it were an olympic sport. I use it as a release and as a fun way to spend time by myself. So as much as I was drawn to the idea of a capsule wardrobe, I was a little scared that it would mean giving up one of my favorite things to do. I think that it’s really common for us to have a reason or two that stops us from trying something we actually really do want to try. But, if there is one thing that I have realized during this whole process of simplifying, it is that it in itself is not about restricting yourself. It is about freeing yourself, and for making more space for the people and the things you love. It is about defining and figuring out what that actually looks like for you. This means that the process is the important part, and it also means that it will look different for everyone.
So away I went one evening when I decided enough thinking, more doing. I took everything out of my half of the closet and started making piles. One was for clothes that didn’t fit the season- shorts in NY winter? yeah not gonna happen. The next pile was for items I knew I wanted to incorporate into my capsule, without question. Another pile was for the items I couldn’t bring myself to let go of but couldn’t really justify their place in my closet as something I loved. The final pile was for clothes that had been through this process a couple of times already and that I now realized I was ready to let go of and donate them so that someone else could enjoy them. Once I got going on this project, I found a flow and a feeling of peace. It was therapeutic to me to be clearing out that which no longer served me, a common theme in meditation, and here I was finding it in a physical act.
It has been about 4 weeks now, and I have taken notice of the revolutions a capsule wardrobe has brought to my life already. Some were expected, but many were unexpected. I’ll start with the obvious improvements;
1. I could see all of my items in one glance through my closet, this made for a pleasing aesthetic which made me happy each time I went to get dressed.
2. Putting away my clothes at the end of the day was something that came easier, rather than leaving piles on the floor. This eliminated a lot of time on the weekend spent tidying the mess from the week.
3. Laundry is actually something I consciously think about now, and I apply more thought and care into my garments and how they need to be taken care of.
And now for the more surprising effects;
1. I feel more confident in my own skin and my own style, and it’s being noticed by others. I am receiving compliments on my outfits and even about how I look happier! Proceeded by a “what have you been doing?” This is such a huge thing for me, not for the approval of others, but in the feeling of confidence in myself being so strong that it can inspire others.
2. In using the cladwell app, I get 3 outfit choices a day based on the weather and I am choosing to wear combinations I wouldn’t have tried in the past. I am trying out new silhouettes, new shoe pairings and new color palettes. The craziest thing is that they are things I’ve had all along, but couldn’t see in all the clutter.
3. The combination of a stronger sense of self paired with taking more risks with my personal style has also brought about a clarity and a vision for my work-life balance. It has helped me not only see my value, but present myself and my abilities as an asset. I am currently working on creating a new position for myself within my current job and, regardless of the outcome, I feel so creatively fulfilled!
I believe that I truly can create my own happiness, because I am. I am more in control of my life and of my experiences of it. I think that this is what most of us are actually searching for when we turn to buying and surrounding ourselves with more things, the never ending cycle of more, that never really satiates us. Our vulnerability as humans can be fragile, it can be overwhelming and leaves us feeling incomplete. Pair this with the cultural bulldozer of consumerism, with more streams of media than has ever existed before constantly telling us what we need, do we have a fighting chance? How can we fight back? By realizing we have a choice, to approach life differently. A choice to make decisions, not just fall back on our habits and the social “norms”. This is conscious living. This is engaging with your life, and deciding that while you cannot control all that happens to you, you can control how you engage, and what you prioritize in your day to day, moment to moment experiences. The more present we are, the more we can stop being so worried about the pursuit of happiness, and the more we can just be happy.
So for me, a capsule wardrobe is bigger than just a smaller closet. Minimalism is larger than just owning less stuff. For me it’s an improvement to my quality of life. They are tools I use in my recovery from a chronic illness, tools that help me have more energy to spend quality time with my family. That help me make decisions that better my life, like working part time at the salon so that I make sure I can do what I love but not be burnt out by it. They’ve helped me create a new career opportunity that uses my creativity but can be done remotely even when I have days that I can’t leave my bed. They have helped me to accept my life, exactly as it is, and realize that I am already happy, just the way things are. And they will continue to help me change the things I can, to bring myself more joy and happiness. The best thing that this process has taught me is that I trust that I deserve peace. I trust that inner peace is the key to healing myself, and that in doing so I can make the world a better place.
For anyone looking to start a capsule wardrobe or get more information on the minimalism movement I wanted to share a few of my favorites from my early days of research, below I’ll include links on the names of each resource to easily click.
The app Cladwell @cladwellapp
I’ll leave you with the Cladwell mission, which is why I support them so much and what really sold me in using their app to help in organizing my closet once I cleared it out. Want to start a capsule wardrobe? Leave questions for me in the comments below!
WE BELIEVE IN…
Your clothes can be 100% sustainable and slave free.No more slave to trends.
You can have your own style, whatever that style is.No more consumerism.
You can buy a small number of quality pieces.No more manipulation.
You can influence how brands create clothes.