Capsule Wardrobes

My best friend and I are moving to Tallahassee soon. I’m extremely excited to be in a new place. I am not excited to pack. So I did what every procrastinator would do and downloaded the Pinterest app to my phone again. I did this to find packing and moving tips.

Aside from helpful things I’ve done I’ve also:

  • Figured out my wedding color palate. (I’ve been single for almost 8 years)
  • Found healthy recipes to try. (I haven’t turned on the stove in 4 months)
  • Pinned a million pins having to do with babies. (22 year old virgin right here)
  • Discovered Capsule Wardrobes 

I did bold that on purpose. A capsule wardrobe. What an idea. I’m absolutely floored. I LOVE the idea of a capsule wardrobe. But I’m worried. I immediately started making excuses for why it wouldn’t work for me.

“I like color too much”

“I don’t own enough neutrals/basics”

“There’s no way I could get my closet down to 37 pieces”

I currently work in a Consignment shop, and I’ve been slowly (painfully) going through my closet and getting rid of things I don’t need. I’ve gotten fed up and angrily gone through my closet(s) about 5 times now. This is what my main closet looks like right now:

Yes. I do have two closets. Insert back story:

When we moved into this house I moved into a smaller bedroom with built in bookshelves. I kept buying clothes and my closet was bursting. I tried everything I could to get more space in my closet. Aside from, you know, actually getting rid of anything. I used coke tabs to layer my clothing but that just made me think I didn’t have hangers when I did, and I was too lazy to re-layer my clothing when it was clean. My best friend on the other hand, the one with the master closet that has more space then he knows what to do with, started a relationship and had practically moved out. His closet sat there not even knowing it’s full potential. He eventually decided he was going to move out on the agreement that should he move back in, he would move back into the master bedroom. I readily agreed dreaming of all the space I was going to have. I moved my closet over that day, and it was full. I put my closet in this bigger space and it flourished. Aside from the fact that it was packed from day one I continued to buy and get more clothes, and was constantly out of hangers. I am the kind of person that I don’t do laundry for months at a time because I have that many clothes.

IMG_3967IMG_3968 IMG_3969

When my best friend and his boyfriend broke up and he moved back in it was really hard. When my best friend moved out everything was done slowly. It took me almost a month to clean out my previous room into the master. When he moved back in everything had to be done in a day. All of my furniture had to be moved as well as my closet. My closet had expanded so much there was no way I could fit it all into one closet. After begging, and because of the time crunch, my best friend agreed that I could use the other bedroom in the house to hold my stuff so we could get everything moved. So we basically piled all of my things into the other bedroom, and I slowly moved what I could into my tiny bedroom to make it work for me. But even now, five months later, I still have two closets, and up until last weekend I still had stuff scattered all over the other room.

In short, I own way too much stuff. Clothes worst of all. The picture up there? Only shirts. That is just all the shirts I own. That does not include sweaters, cardigans, or dresses. Just. Shirts. I should also mention that any t-shirts I’ve gotten free over the years (school clubs, VBS, camp, work, etc) are folded in the sterilite drawers under those shirts.

I own too much and I know I don’t need it. I started to really realize this when I was perusing pinterest (on the kids and parenting tab) and saw an article on Living Well and Spending Less about the author taking her kids toys away. (I’ve linked to that article). From there I continued to look through her posts and found the 31 days of spending zero. I read each post associated to this challenge and was blown away. As a broke college student who just got approved for her first credit card and has already maxed it out the idea of not spending any money in a month appealed to me. I didn’t do it although I wish I had. Many of the posts were about organizing and only buying necessities. Since we are so close to moving, my best friend and I tried to only buy milk, eggs, bread, and cheese when we went shopping and try to use the rest of whats laying around in our cabinets and freezer. This also didn’t last long, but as I scoped out her blog I saw her post for her “40 hanger closet” I loved the idea. Probably because I love those huggable velvet hangers. I knew I had too much and since we’ve started talking about moving I’ve wanted to just leave everything behind and start over new.

I’ve been trying really hard to make this happen. I’ve purged my closet 5 or 6 times and still have a bajillion items in my closet. I just counted. I have 47 tank tops. 64 tops and 9 button ups. These totals do not include my “college tees” or the overflowing basket of dirty laundry, or my basket of clean laundry waiting to be hung up.

As I’ve gone through other Wardrobe Capsule blogs (I’ve read EVERY. SINGLE. POST. on Un-fancy) I’ve started really purging the small things.

For instance

  • Bras
    • the nice/unworn ones made it to the consignment store
    • the worn/damaged ones made it to the trash can
  • Underwear
    • All my old/stained underwear made it to the trash can
    • All my pretty/unworn underwear were folded pretty and put in the back of the drawer. (I can’t purge everything)
  • Socks
    • Socks that were worn down or had holes or had been single in my drawer for over 3 months were tossed.
    • Unworn/crazy toe socks and the like made it to my “oh shit box” where I keep giftable items like fun socks, bath and body sets in scents I don’t like, and any kind of item I don’t want but looks nice. I use my oh shit box when I’ve forgotten a friends birthday and want to give them something. Or any other holiday for that matter, or for when I find out someone is in the hospital.
  • Pants/Shorts/Capris
    • I’m honestly disgusted with the amount of jeans I had that were not wearable. I probably threw out 10 pounds of denim.

That list could go on and on, but the point is I started slow. Went through a pile or drawer at a time and felt accomplished until I looked at the big picture. I still had too much bulk in my main closet. What’s important is that I was aware. I started to pack up my sweaters because I felt that they would be an easy item to pack first. (I had to do 2-3 loads of laundry to find all my sweaters) I carefully rolled my sweaters so I could make them fit in the box I was packing and there were a few sweaters with tags still on them that I knew I wouldn’t wear because they weren’t my style. I was able to immediately put them to the side. When I put the lid on the box I realized I could still take out about half of the sweaters I had just folded.

That picture is all the sweaters I took out of the box. I got so excited I did a quick post to twitter explaining how proud I was of myself and in the process sold a few of them to a friend. But if you’ll notice, there’s two neon green sweaters in this pile. I still have a neon green sweater I’m keeping. There’s also two lightweight grey long sleeved shirts. They’re in different patterns, but they are extremely thin, and have been about two sizes too small since the day I got them. It felt good to purge these items and I felt better. Now I just need to do it to the rest of my closet.

I really have been benefiting from reading blogs like un-fancy because it’s making me question my purchases. I went to the mall with a friend the other day in search of the perfect plain white tee. I’ve gotten into the habit of wanting to buy everything on sale, and immediately headed to the clearance section because I’m pretty good at finding shirts for $2.97 at Old Navy. Going through I found this awesome short sleeve sweater shirt.  It was a really comfy material and even though I have a similar item in my closet in blue, I’ve never liked how the blue one looked on me, but the way these sleeves were rolled and the fact that it was a neutral had me running to the dressing room.

I tried it on and the sleeves looked great, but I felt like the bottom of the sweater was too clingy, and I didn’t feel 100% comfortable in it. I couldn’t get it to pass the guidelines I’ve seen online. It didn’t fit great, I didn’t know how to style it, and when I thought about it, a sweater wasn’t a great idea for Florida summer heat. I came out of the dressing room proud of myself. I confidently hung it back in clearance. My friend was at a loss.

“But it’s only $7” he shouted. “You’re planning on loosing weight” “You can put it in your closet for later!” He tried to convince me. But I couldn’t do it. I was too aware. It wasn’t going to make me happy to buy that sweater, even though it was so cheap.

Later on, during the same mall trip, I found a very cute tiny black purse at claire’s for $15-17. This is an item I’ve been wanting for when I go out to clubs. It’s tiny and black which will match everything and I could fit my phone, keys, credit cards, and cash. I decided to wait, and now I’m itching to go get it. But I made myself wait. It’s been a few days and I’ve thought about the tiny purse several times. I’m confidant that I will go back soon and buy it. But I’m shopping smart now.

The thing that keeps running through my head is “Spending is not saving” this is one of those quotes that changed my life. I can’t find the article I found it in, but I remember reading it several times. So thank you Ruth for bestowing that quote on me and changing my life.

I’ve got that urge to take everything out of my closet and sort it into piles. But now I feel like I’ve adequately explained my closet and how I’ve stumbled upon the greatness that is capsule wardrobes.



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