My Early Fall Capsule

I was really (and I mean really) hesitant to embrace the capsule wardrobe concept, because I kept seeing it done so poorly. People were overhauling their closets to embrace something that felt more “them,” even though that meant getting rid of tons of perfectly good things. But, as Andrea noted in Monday’s post, a capsule can be a useful tool for cutting down on consumption and feeling more satisfied with your closet, if it’s done with intention.

Some people aren’t shopaholics and won’t find this exercise particularly useful in the long run. But I’ve been obsessed with shopping for as long as I can remember and switching over to more ethical brands only helped curb my over-consumption for a little while. Once I got used to the higher price points, I adjusted my budget accordingly, so I still found I was buying too much.

So last week, I sat down at my computer with a blank Word document open and started listing, from memory, my closet essentials. Doing this exercise from memory was awesome, because it made clear what items I don’t care about and what I really love. When I got home, I pulled everything out that I hadn’t even considered placing in my capsule and took a hard look at them. Weird colors, strange cuts, ill fitting – almost without fail there was a good reason why I don’t wear or even think about these things. So I listed almost all of it on ebay (I think it makes a lot more sense to pass things on to people who want them rather than play roulette donating them to a thrift shop).

Capsule Examples:

*please note that image links are affiliate links.
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Almost everything I placed in my capsule is something I already own. As it turns out, I have a pretty good handle on what I actually like, it’s just that sometimes I get excited and buy stuff just for the heck of it. Most of it is ethically sourced, thrifted, or older, too, so I’m not just buying whatever I want. I’ve given myself a $200.00 shopping budget for 2 statement knit tops, a longer length dress, and black loafers, but I’m trying to make most of that money off of ebay sales, returning things I don’t want, and odd jobs.

I also decided to use a more fluid schedule. A lot of people who do capsules do four a year, based on the seasons. But Charlottesville has finicky weather and I’d rather not be too rigid with myself. I’m prone to feeling trapped by my own rules. So I’ll add in some sweaters at some point and stop wearing as many skirts.

Now all I need to do is make sure my closet is organized and ready to go.

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  1. Leah Wise
    September 30, 2015 / 12:13 am

    I'm sure it varies by person how effective the memory exercise would be. I am one of those perfectionist wardrobe people, so I tend to have a pretty good memory for what I have.

  2. Catherine Kowalik Harper
    August 7, 2015 / 5:53 pm

    This is a really great idea. I have counted the items in my closet, and I have about the same, around 40 something pieces total. I have no plans to do an actual capsule wardrobe, but in theory, I already have one. As a stay-at-home mom, I have very little need for many pieces, and I have a basic uniform that I wear year-round, with a few variations for each season. Plus, it doesn't get very cold where I live, so I can usually just add a cardigan for warmth and I'm good. I've finally stopped buying things that are pretty but won't get worn, and now I just replace things as needed.

  3. yellowdresses
    August 7, 2015 / 1:06 am

    Really glad that you've opened up to trying a capsule wardrobe! I've been a fan of a few capsule wardrobe bloggers but their focus is on the same things you don't like about them: seemingly constantly shopping, and buying unethical clothing. I agree and like your from memory take on culling your wardrobe. May have to try it myself, whenever I finally attempt a capsule.

  4. jesse.anne.o
    August 6, 2015 / 8:11 pm

    I also think the inventory-by-memory effort is pretty interesting. I have a bunch of basics that I do use but I wonder if I would remember exactly what I have.

  5. Julia | Fair for All Guide
    August 6, 2015 / 4:20 pm

    Sounds like a great exercise! I like the idea of writing down your favorite pieces from memory.

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