On Monday I talked about the many magical lessons I learned from completing a capsule wardrobe. I wore 30 pieces (tops, bottoms and dresses) for three months. Laughs were had. Tears were shed. Chaos ensued.
Refresher: A capsule wardrobe is essentially a versatile (read: mix-and-matchable) mini-wardrobe that rotates every three months. You plan and shop for that season’s capsule a few weeks beforehand, but once your designated “season” starts, you’re on a shopping fast.
While I’m still stoked that I completed my three-month challenge, and I strongly believe you should too, I’m a capsule wardrobe drop pout. Here’s why.
The challenges of starting a capsule wardrobe
Spoiler alert: I didn’t quit because it wasn’t worthwhile, it was a waste of time or I just didn’t like it. On the contrary; I was challenged and stretched and truly learned how to view my wardrobe in a new and more holistic way.
The real reason I’m not moving forward with another season?
It’s time for a new challenge. Plain and simple.
That said, there were plenty of rough patches and days where I just wanted to wear whatever the heck I wanted. So before you jump into a capsule wardrobe of your own, here are a few of the speed bumps I hit.
Choosing what to keep was very stressful
First, it took me days to finally pare down to 40 pieces. DAYS, PEOPLE. As I said before, bit by bit I’d take out a few more tops or jeans from my “maybe” pile that I would sadly pack away, knowing that it would be three long months before I would don them once more.
It felt wasteful to get rid of (donate) so many clothes or to store them away. The thought that kept running through my mind: Why have so many clothes I love and not be able to wear them?? (Side note, this line of thinking was not correct. It was simply how I was pushing back against the process.)
I felt restricted
Part of the thought behind a capsule wardrobe is saving time by not having to pick out clothes, freeing you up to do the things that matter to you. Here’s a little bit more on that. I believe this is an incredibly admirable (and almost universal) goal.
However, for me, I get pleasure from picking out my outfits. I find actual joy in being creative with my clothes. So spending less time doing something I love doesn’t add up. Plus, I’m such a critical dresser that it took me just as much time as it did before.
I left out my statement pieces
Like most people, I have a few pieces that I love, but I don’t pull out very often. So I decided to forgo those pieces in favor of more neutral and versatile ones. I hated having to pack them away, even if I only wear them now and then. And if I were to continue with a capsule, that Navajo-printed men’s button-down I wear as a dress (judge not, that ye be not judged) would have no place in my closet.
Why should you still try a capsule wardrobe?
If you’re anything like me, you will:
- Learn a ton about yourself from the very process of winnowing down your closet — before you even put on your first outfit.
- Be forced to think critically about your clothes in a whole new way.
- Be very challenged, both in your creativity and in your mindset. When you can’t shop as a stress outlet or frivolously spend, you have no choice but to start to consider why you make the purchases that you do. Is it because that new piece actually brings you joy? Or is it because you had a bad day and you “deserve” it?