My Capsule Wardrobe Experiment: Part One – Why I Decided To Pare Down

updated May 4, 2019
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(Image credit: Chocolate Heels)

Not my wardrobe. Sigh. (It belongs to Amanda of Chocolate Heels.)

In the middle of 2015, I wrote a post on ways to reduce clutter in the closet and money spent on clothing. Among the ideas presented was the Capsule Wardrobe, an idea which has long been hanging around the internet, but which really took off that year. Call it the KonMari effect or just something in the air, but I could barely open a lifestyle blog last year without hearing about the capsule wardrobe and how much better it would make my life. And because I never met a gimmick I didn’t like, I decided to try it.

(Image credit: Unfancy)

Thanks, Un-Fancy!

About Capsule Wardrobes

In short, a capsule is an edited collection of clothing that works together to meet your clothing needs for a given period of time.

Like I said in my original article, the concept is nothing new, and in fact is probably what most wardrobes looked like before relentless media and fast fashion came along, making us think we needed a new outfit every other week. It’s also not difficult. Most people instinctively use capsules when they travel, for instance, packing items in a similar color scheme that can easily be mixed and matched, dressed up or down.

Our recent infatuation with capsules is thanks in no small part to the blog Un-Fancy by Caroline Rector. Caroline was all over the lifestyle sites last year (see her feature on Who What Wear and her Lively Show episode), winning hearts and closets with her fun, approachable version of capsule dressing. Crucially, Caroline focuses on what you can gain from dressing with less: more money, more time, and better style.

(Image credit: Reading My Tea Leaves)

Muted inspiration from Reading My Tea Leaves

Why I “Needed” One

Besides the old “too many clothes, nothing to wear,” you mean? Honestly, I’m not a total hoarder. I love getting rid of things just as much (possibly more) as I love acquiring them. But with limited space in my London flat and a desire to save money for more important things, last year saw me looking at my wardrobe as an area in which I could really cut back.

Also, I had a lot of clothing, most of which rarely saw the light of day. I’ve always loved fashion (I even did my bachelor’s degree in it, and used to spend my days designing clothing before I started designing homes), but was beginning to feel overwhelmed by the extent of my wardrobe. Despite loving (in theory) most of the items I owned, I never seemed to wear most of them, and getting dressed in the morning was becoming the most stressful part of my day—and as an adult with a job, that’s saying a lot.

Re-edited from a post originally published 1.27.16-NT