When I was pregnant with my daughter Piper, I unintentionally created a capsule wardrobe (you can read about it here!). As a result, I found it so easy to get dressed every day, whether I was working from my home office, running errands or going on a date with my husband. My choices were relatively limited—which was occasionally frustrating—but for the first time in forever, I ultimately loved all of the pieces I had to work with in my closet. I was able to mix and match outfits constantly, and I saved a ton of time when it came to getting dressed. Now that I’m a working mama, I have even less time to think about what to wear. I’ve taken over two giant closets in our home, but they’re full of clothes I seldom wear—dresses I’ve held on to since my living-in-New-York-City years that I “may wear someday,” trends I shouldn’t have fallen for, sentimental pieces. Excess items are an issue, too (do I really need 10 pairs of skinny jeans and 20 striped T-shirts?). So, in an attempt to simplify both my wardrobe and my life, I’ve decided to take a stab at consciously creating a capsule wardrobe this fall.
My first challenge will be to tackle my closets and decide what I can get rid of (through donations or consignment), what can be packed away for storage, and what I’ll actually wear this fall. (I’ll be packing up my summer wardrobe at the same time.) Can you believe that the above mess is what I’m faced with every time I try to get dressed? That’s my real, unfiltered, staged-for-Instagram closet. No wonder I struggle and feel like I have “nothing to wear”! I have an emotional attachment to so many pieces of clothing, so I know this part is going to be especially hard for me, but I also know that there’s really no reason to waste space with items I’m never going to wear again.
My second challenge will be to stop purchasing clothes and shoes until I’ve determined what I’ll need to complete my fall capsule wardrobe. Since I finally feel like I’m figuring out my sense of personal style, I’m trying to buy fewer and higher-quality pieces of clothing. I still have a hard time with this, though—especially because in the industry I work in, I always feel the pressure to keep up with changing styles and look “on-trend.”
A few tips for cleaning out your closet that I’ve picked up so far:
1. Pull out all of your fall clothes. (Before starting, try to determine an overarching color palette for your capsule wardrobe. Choosing one will make the elimination process easier.) The key to creating a successful capsule wardrobe is to pick easily interchangeable pieces that will allow you to create many different combinations of outfits.
2. Make three piles—one for your capsule wardrobe, one for giving away and one for storage (pieces that you won’t be wearing this season but that you may not necessarily be ready to part with).
3. Develop a general idea of the kinds of pieces you want in your wardrobe. I know I want mine to contain a few dresses, plenty of jeans, cozy sweaters, thin tops and blouses.
4. Start eliminating! If you haven’t worn it in the last year, or if it’s stained or damaged, put it in the reject pile.
I’ve also been thinking about how I want my fall capsule wardrobe to look. I’ve been saving images to my “Personal Style Inspiration” Pinterest board that encapsulate the type of wardrobe I’m striving for: a collection of clean, simple basics in neutral colors that can be easily mixed and matched, plus a few prints and colored pieces for fun.
I’ll be sharing updates on my progress—but in the meantime, I would love to hear any tips you have for streamlining wardrobes or resisting the urge to shop!