Nine Weeks Into My Capsule Wardrobe Experiment...

Tomorrow begins Week Ten of my capsule wardobe experiment.   

This hasn't gone entirely as expected or planned, but this has been such a worthwhile experience, I intend to continue, with a new capsule in mid-December.

Let me bring you up-to-date on all of this...

I.   My reasons for starting this capsule wardrobe experiment:

To spend less time thinking (obsessing) about clothing, and what I was going to wear.   

To reduce the amount of wardrobe items in my home, as part of a large decluttering project.

To spend less money overall, especially on things I don't need or love.

In this regard, the experiment has gone very well!   I have made real, measurable progress.   I realize these goals are not boxes to check off.   They are lifelong processes.

II.   Changes to My Capsule:

Ironically, as I stopped obsessing quite so much about my wardrobe.... I stopped being quite so careful in maintaining the capsule.   As a result, the capsule itself changed.    Some new items came in, some items were purged.   There were several reasons for this:

Non-wears:   Two words, infinite angst:  Weight Gain.   This has been the sole reason for non-wears that have happened since my last post.   Either the the item doesn't fit properly due to weight gain, or the item was something I paired with the things I am currently not wearing (due to weight gain).

Instead of allowing myself to dwell on negative thoughts, I decided to make substitutions from my existing wardrobe, including purged items that I intended to consign.  This has worked out well.   If I had to take a guess, my current wardrobe is around 55 items.   I am probably wearing around 40-45 of those on a regular basis.

Colors that looked great in the spring and summer, don't look the same in the changing light of fall.   I understand the 'why' behind the old "No-white-after-Labor-Day" tradition:  white can look very harsh in the slanted, dusky light of autumn.   I also found that my olive safari pieces of summer look faded and dusty in the fall light.

Most of my bright white pieces were purged.   Some were replaced with winter white and cream, or not at all.    Olives have been purged altogether, to wait for next summer.

Items that crept in from my closet, which were not part of this original capsule.   This was an organic process:  An unexpected temperature shift.   A backlog of laundry.   Something that goes really well with a weight-gain item that was already added to the capsule.   Being at my place, and pulling a substitute for something I left at JC's.   Wanting a little variety.  

I've realized that One Capsule To Rule Them All, is hard to put together, because any pre-planned capsule is going to be a little bit out-of-season by the time you are halfway through.   This is an ongoing process.

Items that I Purchased:   There have not been many of these, and happily, they have all been thought-out, and extremely useful.   Items include:   A pair of black leather equestrian boots.   A St. John black zip-up jacket that is an upscale duplicate of my black zip cardi.   A sexy black halter that I'm able to fit a bra under.   A black turtleneck, winter white slacks, and a winter white sweater.    These have already been seeing frequent wear, and it helps mitigate the negativity of the weight gain. 

III.   What I Have Learned Going Into the Next Capsule:

I've been able to narrow down, pinpoint, and get specific with what I want my wardrobe to say, and to do for me.    My current capsule, and the outlying items, are a great fit for my lifestyle, and I think that will only improve with time.

I've also learned that nothing is written in stone.  If I want to add something, I'll add it.   If I want to let go of something, I will.   No coulda, shoulda, woulda's.  

I am continuing my curation process, purging more items than I acquire.   I'm holding to a one-in, one-or-two-out process.

I've created a list of questions that I ask myself when I am deciding whether to keep an item, or purchase a new one.   I will talk about this in a future post!

I also have a list of 'benchmark' items, i.e., items that I consider set a high standard in terms of quality, and expressing my style.     This is very useful for making choices of keep, purge, purchase.   Again, I will talk about this in a future post!

IV.  My Plans For My Next Capsule:

1.   To create a capsule that will start in mid-December and run to the end of February, possibly mid-March.

2.  The clothing in the current capsule that doesn't fit, are all things I love.   I am going to set those aside, for future capsules.

3.   If one of those items fits again, I will allow them into the December capsule.

4.  More dance class-to-street style.

What about you?   Do you spend a lot of time thinking, planning, tracking, obsessing over the contents of your closet?


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