It’s been almost a year since I started my capsule wardrobe! You can read about how I just went for it and why I am the way I am here. And for a quick refresher, my capsule wardrobe started at 120 pieces for all four seasons. That’s not including underwear, outerwear, shoes, or accessories. The goal was to get to 100 pieces, but I didn’t quite get there for my first go around.
So how did it go?
This was in no way restrictive for me. I bought more things throughout the year and this didn’t stop me from buying clothes. It just made me more mindful of what I was buying. For the most part I swapped in my new purchase by replacing something else. A stretched and worn out t-shirt got replaced with a new one from Madewell. Those jeans that kept sliding down my butt without a belt after a couple hours of wearing them, got replaced with amazingly well fitting ones from Lucky Jeans (they are also super stretchy!!!).
One of my goals when I started doing this wasn’t just to minimize the amount of clothes I have, but to upgrade what I have. I didn’t just want stuff that was OK anymore. You know, the stuff you buy for cheap because you’re out and you deserve it, leaving you with less of a budget for that nice thing you could actually use that you find later on… I actually wanted stuff I LOVE, would wear all the time, and would last. I certainly made headway on that goal this past year. I’ve noticed how my idea of “expensive” and “quality” have changed. I don’t worry as much spending $30 on a t-shirt anymore from places I know make realllly good t-shirts that will last and fit well. I’d rather spend that $30 on one good shirt than spend $30 on two t-shirts that will stretch out at the collar and get holes in them after a couple washes.
Also, I never once felt like I didn’t have enough options. I never once thought “oh man! I wish I hadn’t gotten rid of –fill in the blank–!” This didn’t make me feel like I was wearing the exact same thing every day of the week. The key was to pair things differently as much as possible. That favorite tank top of mine got paired with different color pants, different patterned button up shirts and sweaters, and different accessories all the time. It always felt fresh and creative.
This year, as I was taking stock of my entire wardrobe again, I decided to finally do it and pair down to 100 items! I started by pulling out ALL my clothes and laying them on the bed. I started with a number higher than 120, because I didn’t always replace an item when I bought an item. And that was OK! That’s why I went through everything again a year later.
Now let me tell you! After doing this for one year, I had a whole new understanding of myself. I was able to go through this pile of clothes and pull out all the stuff I STILL never wore with no issue at all. Yes, you read that right. There were still things I never wore out of 120 items. I pulled out t-shirts that were just colors I didn’t wear all the time, all my 3/4 sleeve cardigans (cause who wears sweaters at the office that don’t cover your arms!!! It’s chilly yo!), and that maxi skirt I keep telling myself is a staple but have to force myself to wear. I also learned that I don’t like to wear long sleeve t-shirts. When it’s finally the type of weather when I would want to wear a long sleeve shirt, it’s actually cold enough for a sweater and I never touch the long sleeve shirts because they are too thin. So I started collecting more sweatshirt style tops instead. Thick enough to keep warm but not a full on bulky winter sweater.
Just pulling out that initial pile of stuff I knew I wanted to get rid of, got me right back down to my original starting number of 120 pieces. From here, I started a separate pile of the 20 items I slowly picked and deliberated over to pull out of my wardrobe to get to 100. I let that pile sit there… and looked over the 100 pieces that were left. Would I be able to do it? The answer is, yes. There are two things in that pile of 20 I can see myself missing in the long run. I do like them. But I have plenty of other stuff I like just a tiny bit more, and I really wanted to make my ultimate goal of 100 pieces! So all the stuff I pulled out will be going into an IKEA bag to a local consignment shop soon, and then donating the rest. I’m taking the plunge!
While I was going through everything, I posted to Instagram stories throughout and got lots of questions! So a couple things to consider from the questions I received.
- I work full time at an office, but our dress code is super casual. I can wear jeans and t-shirts all day, every day!
- MY goal was to get to 100 pieces of clothes for all four seasons. But remember, my first year I didn’t even meet that goal. You don’t HAVE to start with a super strict number if it’s too hard. That may end up causing you to get rid of something you would want to keep because you aren’t sure yet and saying “screw this!” to the whole thing.
- You don’t HAVE to get rid of everything. For myself, I will be donating everything and getting it out of my house. But if that is a bit too drastic for you, that’s OK! Get a plastic bin and stash your reject pile out of arms reach for a year. If you forget what’s in the bin after a year, it’s safe to say you can donate it!
- Formal wear – I don’t go to too many events through a year. But when I do, I found that I would want to go purchase a new dress specific for the event anyway. So I have been shopping for a new dress for each event, which makes it more fun for me leading up to the event, and then consigning it afterwards. I take all my clothes to Uptown Cheapskate to try to consign before donating. Another option for formal wear is possibly Rent the Runway. I haven’t used it yet, but I’ve heard good things from people who have.
If you’d like to see that Instagram story, I have it archived as a featured video on my IG profile that can be viewed whenever! Now go forth and purge your closets with confidence! Set your own goal and know you don’t have to be too strict with yourself just starting out. As I learned this first year, I ended up learning more about myself than anything else, and that’s not a bad deal!
Last modified: January 8, 2018