Lessons I’ve Learned from My First Capsule Wardrobe

At the beginning of June, I came across this idea of creating a capsule wardrobe, a small collection of clothing items designed to serve all your needs for the season. As someone who has always loved the self-expression of style, I was surprised that this concept caught and held my attention so fiercely. Wouldn’t this minimalist approach be limiting? Wouldn’t I get bored? Wouldn’t the BtS audience get bored! Still, I couldn’t quite shake the thought that there was something in it for me and so I decided to give it a go this summer. Here’s what I learned.

Creating a Capsule Wardrobe Raised My Standards

When you are only going to have x-amount of shirts/pants/sweaters in your wardrobe, you want every one to be something you love and enjoy wearing. All sorts of mediocre, well-worn clothes I’ve kept in my drawers for ages didn’t make the cut. I realized that if I didn’t choose them this season, how likely was I to choose them the next? Suddenly, it was easy to let go.

The Simplicity of the Capsule Wardrobe Put Me at Ease

No more decision fatigue! No more sifting through piles of clothes in overstuffed drawers. No more looking for a shirt that will match those pants and vice versa. If something was in my dresser or my closet, I knew it fit, was in a good state of repair and worked with something else that was close by.

I was also surprised by how much the spaciousness in my storage put my energy at ease. There was room for my clothes – and for me – to breathe!

It’s Not Forever! This Capsule Is Just for a Season

It was important to me that I was creating a capsule for a season, not forever! It wasn’t about getting down to the bare bones or making irrevocable decisions about the way I dress. I didn’t have to find the one perfect pair of pants that would last a lifetime or donate everything that wasn’t chosen right now. If I loved something but it didn’t go with my vision for the season, great! I put it away like a treasure to be discovered next time.  If I wanted to experiment, great! I could play with something for a season and if it wasn’t for me, I could let it go for the next.

A Capsule Wardrobe Travels Well

To end off our summer and celebrate Justin’s birthday, we went on a three-day trip to the Niagara region. It was amazingly easy to pack. Everything I had in my seasonal capsule worked well together and was ready to go in a snap!

My Capsule Wardrobe Gave Me Clarity

Living with my choices helped me refine them. Even within my limited selection, I could see what I went for again and again and what I never reached for. This experience has helped me get even clearer on what I love and what works for me.

I’m clear that a base of white, black and grey with the addition of seasonal colours works for me and I love it. I’m clear that I will only wear things I can move in and that accessories are a priority. I’m clear that though I love me a whole lot of classic, I enjoy at least a little something that’s “on trend.” I’m clear that for me, sparkle is an essential part of everyday living.

Clarity Is a Money-Saver

I discovered that a capsule wardrobe saves you money beyond the simple fact of having less clothing. The biggest impact has come from keeping me and my finances focused on the right clothing! No more buying a bunch of stuff I don’t wear and then not having a budget for what I actually need. When you pull together everything you can from what you have, it becomes very clear what it’s time to invest in. Instead of spending on a dozen random shirts, I was clear that finding a good summer pant that would take me from work to adventures about town was what I needed.

And Yes… I Cheated

In the first couple of weeks of my summer capsule, I felt like wearing a shirt I hadn’t chosen. I dove into my “archives” and put it on. Immediately I fussed with it, not quite liking how it was sitting on me or how it worked with my pants. Aha! That’s why I didn’t choose it! Instead of proving the limitations of the capsule wardrobe, my little cheat reinforced my capsule choices and gave me the confidence to go further; without hesitation I donated the shirt.

Will I Do It Again?

A resounding yes! In fact, I’m in the midst of switching over to my fall capsule now. I’m starting with noting the structure of my summer wardrobe (i.e. how many pants, shirts, etc.) since it worked so well and letting that be a guide. I’m letting go of summer items I didn’t wear and I’m pulling out fall possibilities from what I already own. I’m getting curious about what’s inspiring me right now – the colours, the shapes, the mood – and paying attention to what I’ll be doing this season. I’ll also see what shows up  on my dreamboard. All of that will help guide my way as I design The Jamie Collection – Fall 2015!

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3 comments

  1. Joy says:

    I’m intrigued by your capsule wardrobe article and experiences. I will give it a try! I have 5 cotton blouses that don’t feel good on anymore but have dragged my feet on letting them go. Will do that! The Sparkle class has given me the desire to wear jewelry again and I want fun clothes to enjoy too! You are helping to change lives Jamie! I feel I’m going into a new phase of life and it’s exciting! Thanks for your advice!

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