the papercraft lab

Winner and A Capsule Obsession

About the LabAnandiRCComment

I know, I promised I'd announce the winner of the giveaway on Tuesday, and I did notify her, but kinda forgot to post it here as well. My 4.5yo chose a winner and JulieE is the lucky gal! Her awesome August Citrus Twist PL kit is on the way to her as we speak!

I haven't been feeling very papercrafty in the past week. I have been working on editing photos for a client's scrapbook and also planning out my new obsession. I'm working on my fall Capsule Wardrobe. 

It starts with shoes.

It starts with shoes.

A woman named Caroline started her blog Unfancy to document her adventures with a minimal wardrobe, and posted her "rules" and lots of photos of her outfits. Her lifestyle and clothing choices are so different from mine, yet her project totally speaks to me.

I first remember reading about a "capsule wardrobe" in passing in Bridget Jones' Diary about 15 years ago. 

One day last week I went through my daughter's clothes in preparation for school. I narrowed down each category of items to 10 or fewer: long sleeves, short sleeves, pants and skirts, sweaters. She chooses her own clothes and wears the same handful of items repeatedly so I wanted to make it easier for her to find and put away her clothes.

I did the same for her 22-month-old sister and now it's much easier for us to dress her in the morning.  Not only that, it actually makes less laundry for me.  Yes, I have to do it more frequently, but the piles seem smaller.

Later that night, feeling accomplished, I saw my friend A's link on Facebook about building a capsule wardrobe. Because it was late and I was in veg mode, I clicked through. And it rocked my world.

In bullet point form, because it is so simple and beautiful, here's the explanation:

  • You have a set number of clothes (she chose 37, including shoes and outerwear)
  • This wardrobe lasts for a 3 month season
  • Plan for the next season in the last two weeks of the current one - what to keep, what to pull from storage, what to buy
  • Buy no new shoes or clothes during the rest of the season
  • This "capsule wardrobe" doesn't include loung-y stuff for home, PJs, workout clothes, athletic shoes, handbags or jewelry

With a limited number of items, you are choosing very carefully what fits well, what you love, and what coordinates well with the other pieces in your closet.  You also are forced to choose quality items that will last through 3 months of reasonable use (and more, assuming you are going to save things for next year). 

This concept also gives you the flexibility to buy some cute new things each season so you don't get sick of everything. 

What I love is that everything in my closet will be something I WANT to wear and fits well and looks good. I am SO far from that right now - my post-BabyM wardrobe consists of a few remaining maternity tops I can't seem to let go of, a bunch of random cheap shirts from Target or Amazon that don't really fit well but were "good enough", and multiple pairs of sweatpants.

So I purged my closet. Got rid of the final maternity shirts, the shirts that are all stretched out or stained, the things that don't really fit and the things I was keeping ONLY because they fit but that I didn't like.

Right now I have about 27 items total, including shoes, for the Summer season, which runs through the end of September. I didn't want to buy new summer items, so I'll just make do until fall.

I'm tweaking her rules a bit - I'm aiming for 40 pieces because 37 is too prime (and odd). Due to the weather in Seattle, we don't really have distinct fall/winter seasons or clothing needs, so my next capsule wardrobe season will be 6 months long (October - March).

So far I've ordered a few pairs of shoes online to try on. My first real pair of rainboots so I can join my kids in playing outside during Fwinter (you heard it here first!), a pair of low boots and a pair of trusty Seattleite clog-y "comfort shoes" to wear day to day.

I'm planning a shopping session, hopefully this weekend, to do my least favorite thing - try on pants. 

Since I'm really excited about this process and it appeals to my project management side, you'll probably see a few more posts about my Capsule Wardrobe.

If you're doing it too, I'd love to hear your tips and tricks!

See related posts at The Papercraft Lab