Small Town Simple

The Simplicity Adventures of a Mother and Daughter

The Capsule Wardrobe

It is becoming more common – this idea and implementation of a capsule wardrobe.  It is rooted in the idea that we don’t need nearly as much as we think we do.  So much of what hangs in our closet is based on whim, a sale that we think we can’t pass up, a purchase to fill a void, or a dash out for a special occasion – usually purchasing something we won’t wear again.  But creating a capsule wardrobe eliminates all of that.  In fact, a well thought out capsule wardrobe works for us instead of us being held captive by an overstuffed, “I don’t have a thing to wear!” closet.  Some people utilize a number for their wardrobe.  Courtney Carver’s journey began with her Project 333.   Others let space determine the size of their wardrobe.  While pondering a capsule wardrobe I decided to let budget be my guide.  And because it will be a small budget, every purchase must count with the end result definitely being a minimal but workable wardrobe.  I opted to do this by season – so fall and winter are my focus.  I remember last year when it was so cold and icy, my sister told me “I don’t have the right kind of clothes for this weather!”  I didn’t either so that was my starting point.

Step 1:  I had Lauren go into my closet and help me edit.  She pulled out what was nubby, stained, too reflective of my teaching career, too big and a few mistakes.  I got a few “uh – no’s” along the way.  That trimmed my fall and winter wardrobe down to what I actually liked wearing, what was warm and what could be layered.  So on to Step 2.

Step 2:  Just what do I need?  Because my current career requires so much more time outside than I’ve ever spent in my entire working life, Lauren and I tackled the “needs” list.  It turned out it was pretty easy.  A warm coat tops the list, 3 warm sweaters and a new pair of jeans.  Once all the extra that was no longer worn was out of my closet and neatly stacked for the donation pile, it was actually easy to see where the gaps were!

Step 3:  The budget.  I am approaching this as a challenge.  I don’t want to spend more than $125.  I know, I know…you are saying the coat alone will cost at least that much.  But I plan on shopping resale or major sales.  I have spent a lifetime hearing about others putting outfits or wardrobes together from alternative sources and they spent minimal money.  I was always working so hard and such long hours I was the person retailers counted on…run out and buy it when I needed it.  AND!! pay full price!  So this time I am doing this my way.  The minimal way! Creativity vs. cash.

I’ve got to say, I’m excited about this prospect.  I will keep you posted!

 xo, Carolyn


5 Replies

  1. Linda

    Love to hear this, as I’m planning to purchase fall/winter wardrobe pieces at resale shops this year. Please keep us updated.

    1. Hi Linda: I will definitely keep you updated on my search! Good luck on your search as you pull together new pieces from creative sources! Carolyn

  2. Botanic Bleu

    Great advice! I keep trying to whittle down my closet full of clothes, but I really like what I have. ;} I do have two more bags ready for Goodwill. Little by little, I’ll get there.

    I stumbled upon your blog via Facebook. You are doing a great job! I am adding your blog to my list of blogs to read and to follow.

    Judy Stringham

    1. Judith, I understand! I’ve been intrigued by the idea of having a really functional wardrobe and each piece is enjoyed and worn so I just kept at it. Then Lauren came in and finished the job! I do have to give her credit!!

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