Small Town Simple

The Simplicity Adventures of a Mother and Daughter

The Capsule Wardrobe – Revisited

Back in August, when it was 100 degrees outside and with Lauren’s help, I reworked my fall and winter wardrobe.  So much of that “work” was predicated on the idea that I didn’t have quite the right wardrobe for the life I currently lead yet I didn’t want to go out and spend money unnecessarily on clothes.  The morning’s effort revealed that I truly needed 1 warm coat, 1 pair of jeans and 3 warm sweaters.  And I set a budget of $125 dollars to complete the task.

wardrobe update

Since moving to my small town my whole approach to money has shifted. First, I have to admit that I’m not earning as much as I was while in my teaching career so that is a lesson in itself.  But what I’ve truly learned is just how often I used money to fill time, to fill a void or to relieve boredom.  So guilty of all 3! And my biggest downfall was books!  I owned lots and lots of books.  In fact, the saddest day when determining what to take with me and what to release when I was packing for my move to my small town 1-1/2 years ago was deciding which books would make the journey with me and which books I would have to leave behind.  Those that didn’t make the cut were transported to my nearest Half Price Books.  And I almost cried.  Then I thought – seriously??  I need a new relationship with my money and the ownership of things.  My sadness actually served as my wakeup call, my realization that I needed to live according to my values vs existing on whims and reactions to my daily state of mind.

wardrobe update

As Lauren and I both implemented minimal approaches to our lives, clothes have been a topic for us.  That has been driven by limited choices for shopping, the fast fashion world with its cheap quality and the environmental impact clothes have on our landfills.  Which takes me back to 1 coat, 1 pair of jeans and 3 sweaters.  Besides a budget of $125  I also opted to shop resale/thrift stores or if new – only on sale.  And I’m happy to say – I’m almost there!  While I haven’t found a warm coat yet (I do have an all weather coat and a sweater jacket) I have purchased my sweaters and jeans.  The jeans? It is never fun shopping for jeans because I’m short (5’2″) so I did opt to buy those new because I wanted a dark wash.  I found a pair on sale at JC Penney’s.  The tops?  All from a thrift store in our little town.  And yes, you will notice there are 5 tops, not 3.  All 5 of these tops will serve me well for the work I do.  And because I was staying well within my budget I opted to purchase the additional two.  What  have I spent to date?  $71.90.  Between the 5 tops and 1 pair of jeans I’ve averaged $11.98 per purchase.  One of the tops was brand new – tags were still on it when I snatched it up!  I  have $53 remaining to find me a coat so I am looking.  And I really hope to have change left over.  The happy part is that outside of that coat – I’m done with my shopping for the fall and winter!  And the books in the pictures?  They made the cut and traveled with me!

xo, Carolyn

4 Replies

  1. Linda

    Thanks for sharing your photos. It inspires me to continue my clothing challenge of buying secondhand for my fall/winter wardrobe.

    1. Linda, I’m glad the photos helped!

  2. Linda

    An update for you on my fall challenge – I stopped by my favorite consignment shop in my small town and found two skirts, still with original tags on them and an adorable animal print jacket to go with them. I was so excited!

    1. I love that! I’m not sure which is more exciting, the original tag or the bargain price – but either way, we are adding to a grass roots effort to buy local and keep it simple. Let us know other ways you find what you need from alternative sources!!

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