The goal of the Kicking Butt in 2012 series is to establish practical habits in our everyday lives so we can enjoy it instead of simply surviving it. I’ve been experimenting with these habits over the past couple of months and it really has made an enormous difference in my life.
How many of us have stood in front of a closet bursting with items and said to ourselves, “I have absolutely nothing to wear”? Ridiculous, yes, but frustrating all the same. There are people who seem to look effortlessly dressed every time you see them. What’s their secret? I set out to answer to this question and here’s what I came up with: The Capsule Wardrobe.
A capsule wardrobe is a collection of clothing which can be mixed and matched to create a wide variety of outfits. The idea is to slim down your wardrobe and make the most of a few classic pieces. Having a capsule wardrobe is not just budget friendly, it makes it much more simple getting dressed in the morning; which as I’ve noted before, is really hard for me.
I got the idea from a brilliant website called Project 333 which advocates choosing 33 clothing items to wear together in a 3-month period. Four capsule wardrobes, one for each season. If you follow the guidelines to the letter, your 33 items must include clothes, accessories, shoes and outerwear. The rest of your clothing is to be boxed up or donated. The Project 333 website is filled with all kinds of tips and success stories from people who have tried it. The idea of living simply and with less stuff definitely appealed to me; I decided to give it a try.
I’m going to be completely honest here: This is HARD. Thirty-three clothing items is an insanely small amount. Although I wanted a minimalistic wardrobe with less fuss, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to cut it down to 33 pieces. I am very new to this ‘kicking butt’ thing; I needed to start slow. The Project 333 Getting Started page notes that:
“This is not a project in suffering. If you need to create a version of Project 333 that works better for you, do it”.
Yes! I decided to choose 33 items of clothing and allow myself as many shoes and accessories as I wanted. Outerwear was additional as well. Much more doable. I made a list with numbers 1 to 33 and started filling in the blanks. I made sure to list the clothing that I actually wear regardless of its trendiness or how much it cost. I donated a large portion of my wardrobe; and, not quite ready to completely let go of it, I put the rest in my basement.
Here is my list:
1. long belted sweater – grey
2. long belted sweater – multi-colored
3. cardigan – brown
4. cardigan – ecru
5. cardigan – grey
6. cardigan – black
7. cowl neck cape sweater – brown
8. fitted t – pink
9. fitted t – white
10. fitted t – grey
11. striped tank -grey/white
12. striped dolman sleeve shirt – grey/white
13. sleeveless blouse – black
14. blouse – pale pink
15. sleeveless sequin blouse – nude
16. sleeveless knit shirt – grey floral
17. oxford shirt – blue
18. oxford shirt – white
19. oxford shirt – white (textured)
20. oxford shirt – floral
21. short sleeve knit dress – grey
22. long sleeve knit dress – brown
23. long sleeve knit dress – grey
24. sleeveless polkadot dress – green
25. sleeveless floral dress – yellow
26. light weight blazer – army green
27. skinny jeans - blue
28. skinny cargoes – army green
29. baggy cuffed jeans – blue
30. wide leg jeans – blue
31. jeggings – black
32. maxi skirt – black
33. faux fur capelet – white
All of my capsule items, 1 through 33, are pictured in the photo at the top of this post. Those are not the actual pieces I own, they’re just very similar. You see, most of the items are basics: tees, cardigans, jeans. I like to layer a lot, so a capsule wardrobe suits me very well. I can create all kinds of unique outfits just by pairing things differently. While choosing 33 items was hard and boxing up the rest of my clothes was excruciating, it has been fairly painless living with a capsule wardrobe. I really haven’t even thought about the rest of my clothing.
Through my capsule wardrobe experiment I’ve learned to live with less, rid myself of a lot of clutter and streamlined the chore of getting dressed every morning – which, as much as I hate to admit it, is very hard for me.
Care to see some of my capsule items in action? These are outfits I wore a couple weeks ago and shared for “What I Wore Wednesday”. As you can see, accessories add a lot.
Have any of you folks tried something like this? How did it go?
Linking up with The Pleated Poppy’s What I Wore Wednesday!
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