I just realized that it’s been a little over 2 years since I wrote this post & started my Capsule Wardrobe. It’s ironic how I really planned to chronicle this journey for you guys but somewhere along the way, it became more about self reflection & I didn’t really feel comfortable with sharing as much, because honestly, I was still in the throws of figuring it out for myself. In fact, the only real post I ever wrote, other than the first one, was this post about Making Old Things New, which ended up being super popular & making it’s way around Pinterest a time or two.
Sometime in 2016 I read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo & you guys, it changed me. Like, in a way no other book ever had. It changed everything for me. The way I looked at my things. The way I looked at future purchases. The way I looked at stuff I didn’t even really want but just kept around anyway. You guys. It changed me.
So I read thru the KonMari book like my hair was on fire & then I got out the trash bags. Did I mention my husband was out of town? A big rule in KonMari is that you are not allowed to throw away someone else’s possessions. Ok, maybe it’s not a rule but it’s definitely recommended. And technically, since we are married, everything is 50% mine, so I didn’t think this rule applied to most household items. I took some liberties with our shared items & while I recall this time in my life as exhilarating, my husband looks back on this as the time I ‘made him give all this stuff away’. The devil’s in the details, I say. And I’ll also note, we have a far fewer VHS tapes lingering in plastic tubs in the basement. And since my husband didn’t actually read KonMari I basically had to explain to him that anything we/he had that didn’t bring him explicit joy should be removed from our home. Such an easy concept, right?
THE CAPSULE WARDROBE
Through KonMari, you approach each type of item, instead of one room or section of your house, one at a time. And when we got to the clothing section I couldn’t wait to dive in. Here were the biggest takeaways for me when Konmari collided with my Capsule Wardrobe (CW).
- Numbers aren’t necessary. When I first began my CW it made sense to set a predetermined number of clothing items I should have. Once I cleaned out my closet I was actually left with very few things at all, so I was well under the number I’d given myself. Which meant… shopping? Sure why not. Not having very many items of clothing paired with focusing on the number of clothing items you are allowing yourself to have creates a slippery slope. I’m sure you can see that. I found myself buying (& sometimes regretting) certain things because 1, I either really needed a particular item or 2, it was a latent purchase. Latent meaning, I was still in my learning phase of minimalist fashion. It’s a bumpy road.
- Focus on how an item makes you feel. Again, the feelies. I can so relate to feelies. Now, since I wasn’t focusing on a number of items I could focus on how that item made me feel when I wore it. Did it make me happy? Did it make me feel good on the inside? Did it match my idea of what I wanted my personal style to be? If so, I felt comfortable to make the purchase. I did this knowing that all purchases served a purpose. But once the purpose was served, it was ok to move on from that item of clothing guilt free. It didn’t make sense to hold on to something for any reason – it was expensive, it might fit later, my style has evolved & it didn’t work in my wardrobe anymore – once an item had served it’s purpose, I could gift it or thrift it, guilt free. Each item had a purpose, even if that purpose was a lesson in latent purchasing habits.
- Let all your clothes be seen. Something that really stuck with me in KonMari was the idea that we really don’t need to be seasonally storing our clothes anymore. Because of air conditioning, I wear cardigans year round. Because of layering, I wear sleeveless tops year round. Why was I boxing up my clothes & storing them away for a season? Especially, living in the midwest, where the seasons can change daily, it didn’t make sense to move things out of reach because items could be worn at any time of year. Also, by putting things away, I would often forget about them. Forgetting about items turned too easily into making another purchase – mistakenly thinking it was something I didn’t already have. So, now everything lives out & within easy reach.
- Start organizing your clothes a better way. I can honestly say I love the folding method of KonMari. I’ve even taught my kids to do it. I love the closet organization & the underwear organization & the little sushi rolls in my drawers. I love it.
- Purchase wisely. Something that’s always been on my heart in one way or another is the power of purchasing. My goal with turning to minimal fashion was multi level. While doing my best to fine tune my personal style, I also wanted to try my best to be aware of where my purchasing dollars were going. While I realize this isn’t for everyone, it’s something that works well for me. When making a new purchase, I do my best to let it fall under a tiered system of fair trade, then ethically sourced, then small business, then responsibly made, then thrifted. Meaning when I look for a new item to add to my wardrobe, I’ll do my best to seek out fair trade first. If I can’t find what I’m looking for, I’ll move down my tiered system. If then, I feel like I’ve really exhausted all my purchase options & still can’t find what I want, I make a decision to either not make the purchase or make the purchase knowing it could have been better, meaning, sometimes you just have to make a purchase & know that your focus is progress not perfection. Check out this post on How to be More Mindful with Purchases.