In my attempt to simplify my life, I decided to try a capsule wardrobe. Have you heard of them? It’s about decreasing what you have in your closet and creating a simple, minimal wardrobe. There are hundreds of websites devoted to capsule wardrobes with numerous articles about how you can take 30 pieces of clothing and create 1000 outfits (or something like that).
I like the concept of decreasing the number of clothes in my closet and I’ve been able to downsize my wardrobe. I realize, however, I will probably never reach Capsule Wardrobe nirvana and that’s okay. My goal in all areas of my life is not to minimize or even downsize. My goal is to Right-Size.
So, my goal for my wardrobe is simple. I want to have as many clothes as I need to enjoy life’s adventures. No more, no less. Just enough.
Why a minimalist wardrobe or a capsule wardrobe doesn’t quite work for me:
- Too confining. I have never been one to follow rules well, so that may be my problem. But why 30 items? Is there a magical number in 30?
- Not enough Variety: I like to have a little more variety than I can create with just 30 items. Minimal wardrobes seem to be comprised of 3, maybe 4 colors. I found I wanted about 6 which increased the number of clothes I ended up with.
- Only one season at a time: I don’t want to have to change my wardrobe each season. I don’t want to pull winter clothes out of a box and go through the process of deciding and building that season’s wardrobe. I want simple. I want all of my clothes in one closet. When I travel, I can be at the beach, in the mountains or across the world. I want to be able to just grab the clothes and pack for the climate I am going to. I don’t want just a summer wardrobe or a winter wardrobe hanging in my closet.
So instead of following the guidelines of a capsule wardrobe, I decided to take what I like about it and create my own guidelines. I decided to Right-Size my wardrobe instead.
What I like about Capsule Wardrobes:
- Because you use just a few complimentary colors, everything goes together to create multiple outfits.
- You only keep the clothing that you love to wear.
- It saves time. Fewer items mean no rummaging through your closet, trying to decide what to wear.
- Having a capsule wardrobe is great for travel.
How I adapted a Minimal Wardrobe/Capsule Wardrobe to work for me.
Instead of limiting my clothes to a certain number, I decided I wanted to have just enough clothes for what I needed and for what would comfortably fit in my closet.
For more variety, I chose to work with six colors in my wardrobe: Black, Grey, Blue, Burgundy, Olive Green, and white. Adding these extra colors expanded my options and gave me more variety. They are also the colors I like to wear the most.
I increased the amount of jewelry I kept. I found I could change the look of an outfit simply by changing my jewelry. I chose an amount I was happy with and that would fit in my jewelry box.
I doubled the number of shoes that are in the typical capsule wardrobe. I wanted more variety than just 3 or 4 pairs of shoes.
I don’t know the number of items I ended up with but all my clothes fit comfortably in a standard reach-in closet. That includes workout clothes, sweaters, jackets, purses, etc.
How did I do it? The first thing I did was pull out every piece of clothing in my closet and tried it on. With each item I stood in front of the mirror and asked myself three questions:
- Does it fit?
- Have I worn it in the past year?
- Do I love it and does it look great on me? (I know that’s 2 questions but I ask them together. Sometimes I love something but it doesn’t look good on me. By combining these questions, I am more apt to get rid of it.)
If I answered no to any of these questions, I got rid of the piece of clothing. I only kept the items I enjoyed wearing.
When I finished, I noticed my clothes were all the six colors I mentioned above. I also noticed that all items were able to be used in at least 3 different outfits.
Once I finished with the clothes, I went through the jewelry, shoes, and accessories. I checked to see if they matched any of the remaining clothes in my closet. If they didn’t, I didn’t keep them. If they did match, then I asked myself the same three questions, I asked when going through my clothing and got rid of all the items that I answered no to.
When I was finished, I had my Right-Size wardrobe.
One day I may count the number of items I have in my closet and how many outfits I can create with them. I doubt I will though! I have the Right-Size wardrobe to fit my needs and fit my space. And I enjoy wearing everything. That’s good enough for me!
Looking for more ideas on ways to rightsize your home? Check out my post on The Best Way to Declutter Your Home Fast When Downsizing