How I Created a Capsule Wardrobe for Winter | Enduring All Things

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

How I Created a Capsule Wardrobe for Winter

Back in December, I finally bit the bullet and started making progress on something I've been wanting to do for a long time... Create a capsule wardrobe!

If you don't know what a capsule wardrobe is, let me try to explain it... 

A capsule wardrobe consists of a small number of versatile clothing items to be used for an entire season. The idea is that with fewer items to choose from, you can be more creative and get more out of your closet than if you have a closet full of clothes you never wear.
That was my problem. Through this process, I found out that I have almost 400 items in my wardrobe. 400. Granted, this includes shoes, outerwear, lounge/pajamas, workout attire and accessories. But still.

I'm proud to say that after creating my winter capsule, I got rid of/am getting rid of 45 items... Okay, maybe I'm not so proud. But I also put 75 items away to save for another season. I'll deal with them later and probably get rid of a lot of them as well.

My winter capsule has 35 items in it including shoes and outerwear. This capsule will last me at least through February. Depending on the weather, I may keep this capsule for an extra month. Once spring gets here though, I'll create a spring capsule with some roll overs from my winter one and some items from storage.

What my capsule doesn't include is lounge/pajamas, workout clothing, special occasion (fancy dresses, my Georgia jersey), bathing suites, any kind of under clothing (camisoles, tights), and accessories. I've cut down on a lot of these things. Especially accessories. But I still have way too many. I'll keep working on it.

So here's what I did to create my Winter Capsule Wardrobe...

First of all, I read a bunch of blog posts about capsule wardrobes. I really liked Caroline's blog, Un-fancy! Her entire blog is focused on her capsule wardrobes. Here's a post she wrote about tips for building one!

I used Caroline's free capsule wardrobe planner.

I filled out the lifestyle section but not really as a pie chart like she suggests. I measured out my week counting each day and each night as separate units so a week had 14 units. Then I had 4 clothing categories to assign to those units: Pajamas/workout/lounge, Really Casual, Nicer Casual, and Dressy.

For example, on Sunday during the day I'll wear a dressy outfit to church but then at night I'll wear nicer casual. On a Friday during the day I'll wear lounge while I work from home, but at night I'll wear nicer casual or dressy for date night. I wear pajamas/workout/lounge on most week days but sometimes I'll go somewhere at night and wear casual. I think you get the picture.
I also had to consider that I will be going to Georgia to work for a week in the office at least once in a season. So I took all this into consideration and decided that my wardrobe break down should look something like this:
  • Pajamas/Lounge/Work out = 45% (but not counted in capsule)
  • Casual = 20% (37% w/o number 1)
  • Nicer Casual = 15% (27% w/o number 1)
  • Dressy = 20% (36% w/o number 1)
Since I'm not counting pajamas/lounge/workout clothes in my capsule, I recalculated the percentages without that category. That's what's in parentheses above. After creating my capsule, here's what my breakdown actually looks like:
  • Pajamas/ Work out = 0%
  • Casual = 34%
  • Nicer Casual= 36%
  • Dressy = 30%
That's not too bad I suppose.

After going through all that and deciding what kind of wardrobe my lifestyle requires, I created a list of all my clothes. I did this while I was in Georgia for work. Because I was out of town, I couldn't look in my closet to see what I had. This was good because anything I couldn't remember, didn't make it into my capsule. If I didn't remember I had it, it probably wasn't that important to me and therefore didn't need to be included.

After I created that list, I moves things around and came up with 35 items to include in my capsule. Here it is if you're interested.

As I said before, I kept a separate list of lounge wear, pajamas, work out clothes, and accessories because it's not supposed to be counted in the capsule but I have way too much. And I wear it a lot because I work from home. Seeing it all listed out helps me realize that I need to purge that stuff, but I'm having the hardest time! Most of my t-shirts are from fun events and things I don't want to get rid of. And I'm not even talking about all the social club t-shirts from college that are stuffed in the top shelf of our closet.
Anyway, I think winter is a little harder than maybe summer because cardigans and outerwear have to go over something else which counts as two (or more) items. Also, I love sweaters and it's really hard to only keep a few in my closet. And I hate counting outerwear toward my capsule. But I gave myself 5 extra slots this season for outerwear.

Sorry if this post seems sort of all over the place, I kept thinking of more things to say about my experience. I'm loving my capsule so far and I just feel so much better having all the things that I never wore out of my closet.
Have you ever created a capsule wardrobe? How was your experience?
Thanks for reading!

P.S. I recently created an Amazon Store full of all my favorite blogging tools, books, music, beauty products, nerdy products, and more! Check it out here!
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