6 Month Check-In of Wearing a Capsule Wardrobe
This week marks 6 months since I discarded a vast majority of my clothing and replaced them with a Capsule Wardrobe. I know many of you are eagerly following along in this series to see if a capsule wardrobe is something that might work for your own lifestyle, so I am excited to update you on how it’s going, if I like it, what adjustments I’ve made, and more. Spoiler: it’s going great, and transitioning to a capsule wardrobe is easily one of the best things I’ve done for myself in a long time!
Capsule Wardrobe Series
This capsule wardrobe experiment is all about getting myself out of a workout clothes rut rather than becoming a fashionista. As such, this blog series is short and focused on cultivating and wearing a minimal wardrobe for the sake of simplicity, convenience, and self confidence. If you are here for DIY and organizing content, no fear! Below is the schedule for this series so you can either keep a look out for it each month or skip it as you see fit!
- Part 1: Getting Started with a Capsule Wardrobe
- Part 2: What Items I Bought for My Capsule Wardrobe & How Much I Spent
- Part 3: How My Capsule Wardrobe Fits In My Closet & Drawers
- Part 4: 6 Month Check-In of Wearing a Capsule Wardrobe (you are here!)
- Part 5: 1 Year Check-In of Wearing a Capsule Wardrobe (August 2021)
Alright you guys, there are many reasons I am a home blogger and not a fashion blogger (and why you don’t see my face very often): I do not like to be in front of the camera. But I figured you all would enjoy seeing the capsule wardrobe executed “in real life.” So I put aside my 100 million different insecurities and channeled my best fashion blogger persona to capture some outfits for you to see. I didn’t remember to take pictures very often, but hopefully what I show in here will give you a sense for how things mixed-and-matched from day to day.
Overall Impressions of Wearing a Capsule Wardrobe
As I sit here right now…in my new favorite jeans paired with a simple sweater, leopard belt, and riding boots…I can tell you (without a doubt) that I’ve gotten dressed in “real clothes” more in the last 6 months than I have in the previous few years. I would say at least 5-6 days out of every week, I am wearing one of the Capsule Wardrobe outfits. I am usually in comfy “athleisure” type clothes the other 1-2 days.
I think the main reason I am so willing to get dressed every day is because it’s now so easy. Not only are the outfit guides super helpful (more on this below), but because all the basics mix-and-match fairly seamlessly, I can put pretty much anything on and look good. It’s both motivating and freeing to not agonize over getting dressed every day!
In all honesty, I am amazed at what an effect the mere habit of getting dressed has had on my mood and feelings toward myself. I genuinely feel more put together, motivated, on top of things, presentable, and ready to get to work when I am fully dressed by 9am (the new workout habit is also helping with this!). I realize that…at 40 years old…I am clearly an adult. But for the first time in a long time, I don’t feel like this overwhelmed young mama who looks a disheveled mess. Rather, I feel like a grown, responsible, presentable adult! Took me long enough, ha!
Hacking the Outfit Guides
One of my main goals with this entire experiment was to make getting dressed practically mindless. So from the get-go, I wanted the Capsule Wardrobe program to literally tell me what to wear every day. However, the outfit guides were constructed to be more of suggestions than a schedule. For example, the outfit guide would show 3 (different) outfits in a row using white jeans. I’m obviously not going to wear white jeans three days in a row, so I had to figure out a way to make the program work a bit better for me.
Instead of following the included calendar layout, I printed out the bigger versions of all the outfits and re-ordered them in a way that rotated the larger staple items (e.g., pants, sweaters). I bound them into a little book for the Fall season, and I was literally able to turn a page each morning to a different outfit. With 16 outfits included for the season, I repeated an exact outfit only 1-2 times/month. Not only did this “hack” completely take the brain work out of getting dressed (as intended), but I was really forced to explore different ways to wear all the capsule items instead of relying on a few combinations over and over. When I came across a combination I just didn’t like or want to wear again, I simply removed it from the little booklet (although, this only happened once or twice!)
By the time Fall transitioned into Winter, I felt like I was getting the hang of mixing-and-matching the different items so I didn’t bother making my little booklet of the winter outfits. But without it to guide me, I floundered a bit more and started relying on a few favorite combinations. While wearing the exact same outfits from week to week certainly isn’t that big of a deal, I think falling into that habit could make the minimalist wardrobe feel boring and repetitive pretty quickly. By forcing myself to embrace the full array of outfit options, it doesn’t feel like I’m wearing the exact same outfit over and over…which I think is key to the long-term success of this kind of wardrobe strategy.
So…on my list of things to do is to make the outfit books for the other 3 seasons, so I’m ready to go all year long!
Making the Capsule Wardrobe Work for Your Lifestyle
I’ve had a few people ask me if I think the specific Capsule Wardrobe I used will work for Moms, or older woman, or working professionals, etc. Honestly, I think it will work for everyone!
Essentially, the wardrobe builder provides guidelines, and you pick whatever item you want to fulfill that guideline based on your own style, comfort needs, budget, etc. For example, the capsule wardrobe called for leopard boots. If I was working in an office that required business attire, I might have chosen fancier, heeled versions. But since I’m a Mom at home with her kids all day, I picked ones I can wear playing out front, making lunches, and running errands. The black pants I chose are jeans (instead of slacks), and the white top is a plain white t-shirt (instead of a blouse). Because the outfits are essentially plug-and-chug formulas, the items I chose absolutely look good together but also work for my lifestyle.
Is There Anything That Hasn’t Worked Out?
The scarves. 🙁
I have know…for years…that I can’t wear scarves. I am short, and I don’t have a defined chin (I call it my turkey neck, and it’s there no matter how trim I am). But I saw the scarves in the capsule wardrobe as essential to changing up all the outfits staples; and I thought if I found just the right ones, that I’d be able to pull them off.
When I wear standard size scarves, my face gets lost, I look heavier than I am, and they are always in the way with the kids. If I choose cute skinny scarves, I feel like Sandy from Grease, and Greg can’t keep his witty comments to himself. I’d love to find a way to make them work (I admittedly haven’t done much research on it); but until now, they’ve gone mostly un-worn, and I am debating getting rid of them altogether.
Have I Added or Changed Anything?
Like I mentioned in my previous posts in this series, you have to absolutely love each and every item because you wear it over and over. So if you don’t like the way something looks or fits, you’ll find yourself avoiding that item and the outfits it goes in (which can be tricky with so few clothes). After a few wears, the maroon jeans I originally bought didn’t fit comfortably and I found myself not wanting to wear them. I noticed the black jeans I adore (I seriously want them in every color) were available in dark red. So I swapped them out, and I now reach for them probably more than I should!
I also decided to add in some more colored t-shirts (which was actually recommended in the Capsule Wardrobe, but I tried to go as minimal as possible). I bought these 2-pack of Ts from Amazon (and I LOVE them), but I selected really neutral color combos (e.g., greys, whites, blues). I don’t know if it was the drab, icy winter that got to me, but I was suddenly craving more color in my outfits. So I added the pink set, as well as this flowered top (which is the same as the stripe one I also love). Just by adding these 3 shirts, I feel like I suddenly have a lot more diversity but in a way that still works with everything else I have.
Although I am doing my best to “force” myself to wear a vast majority of what I have, there are a few very favorites that I get excited about when I see them on the docket for the day. I’ve already told you about the jeans that I want in every color, but I also find myself reaching for the leopard boots and white striped top when I want my most comfortable, presentable, confident selections. It’s probably why I wore this exact outfit in a recent photoshoot 😉
Six months in, I will say that, without a doubt, the decision to revamp my clothing with a Capsule Wardrobe was worth every bit of effort and cost. Not only do I enjoy both looking and feeling better every day, but (as I mentioned here), it is so nice to have a compact wardrobe full of items I actually wear. Our closet has never looked better (full reveal coming soon, by the way!), and cleaning, folding and putting away my laundry is quicker and easier too. I am in no way bored with my clothing, nor do I feel like I am wearing the same things over and over. We’ll see if and how things change in my next update at 12 months! Stay tuned!
Alright my friends…what else do you want to know?!? I tried to cover most of my impressions from these last 6 months, but if there’s anything you’re wondering about, please leave a comment and I’ll update this post as questions come in!
Thank you so much for following along in this experiment so excitedly. It’s been a really positive experience so far (both in real life and here on the blog!), and I am just thrilled so many of you are interested in giving this a try too!