Friday, April 29, 2016

Capsule wardrobe - 1 year later

Because of my upcoming travel schedule, I went ahead and switched out my capsule wardrobe today. This will be my 5th capsule - making this the almost 1 year anniversary of my capsule wardrobe experiment. As I was sorting through the pieces, I started to reflect on the experiment.

I have no regrets. I tried this on a whim, starting from Project 33 and ending up with the Unfancy model of 37 items. I excluded outerwear and bags but included shoes. I used one purse for the first capsule year, and then switched in August to a similar purse and retired the 7 year old original purse to Goodwill - trading a Target $2.99 purse acquired in grad school for a sleek black leather The Sak acquired free from the back of my grandmother's closet because she loved The Sak but the purse was too young and hip for her. It was perfect for me; because it is the only bag (besides work) I carry, I do not include it in my capsule.

My first capsule was easy - it was summer. The capsule was biased towards shorts and T shirts, reflecting the life of an academic mostly writing from home or in the lab. The second capsule was hard. This one was biased towards work clothes and I really didn't know my style. I felt uncomfortable a lot of the time and really flashy.

Third capsule, how I loved thee! This was the best capsule yet. I was figuring out my style and I was really happy with everything in this capsule. I felt comfortable in my own skin and I felt well put together and professional. More importantly, I was able to identify and target some holes in my capsules. With the help of the Pocket Stylist, I actually purchased new pants and planned to get them tailored for the next capsule. I embraced my style - darker colors, tailored pants, cardigans.

My fourth capsule had issues. The beautiful pair of tailored pants is still in the bag to go out for tailoring, and while it was in the count, it was never worn. A sweater got ripped. A pair of dry clean only pants (one my favorites) ended up in the wash and came out at half size. Hems fell out of two other pants in early April and they joined the tailored pants in the repair bag. Another shirt got a perfect coffee ring on it that never came out. A heel snapped on a pair of shoes. I ended 7 items down - below even Project 33. I was so busy for most of April I spent the month in a panic about not having anything to wear because I never had time to do laundry.

So why stick with the capsule? Honestly, I loved the mental space it gave me. I knew I looked good in everything I wore, and I never had to think about shopping. When I accidentally found a piece I loved, I knew it. It literally changed how I felt about clothes and about my body. It gave me a huge boost of confidence in an otherwise chaotic and trying semester. It simplified my life - provided I remembered to do laundry.

Capsule 5 will be June, July, August. As I will be away for all of May, there was no point in including May in the rotation. It is a summer capsule for a person mostly working from home with maybe 1 day a week in the office. It is an easy capsule. And . . .maybe I will actually get all those items to the tailor over the summer.

1 comment:

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