Planning my first Capsule Wardrobe a.k.a. me having a full on meltdown.
Do you ever think you’re one way, and then when push comes to shove you realize you’re not who you thought you were?
When Emily told me about the Capsule Wardrobe; it seemed like a no-brainer. Not just because I want to do everything Em does (which I totally do). But because I live in a tiny Brooklyn apartment, and have gotten rid of so many clothes since moving here, and I have a pretty limited clothing budget that I feel like I already am living a ‘Capsule’ lifestyle. Em mentioned she’d been planning hers for the last few months, and thought maybe I wouldn’t have time to do it so soon.
Pshhh…of course I did.
This will be easy. Why did Em think it was such a big deal?
Well, I printed out my Capsule worksheet, and got to work. My first ‘push comes to shove’ moment was when I went through my closet to get rid of clothes I didn’t wear or that no longer fit within my lifestyle. Feeling pretty confident that I am not really attached to material things I started the purge. Well, after two hours, many tears, and a FaceTime pep-talk from Em I realized I was totally attached to my clothes. Even ones I hadn’t worn in years. It felt wasteful to get rid of them. But the biggest struggle was regret. Remembering how much I paid for something I only wore a few times and now was collecting dust in my closet.
I was frustrated with myself for having rarely-worn neon yellow pencil skirts and unflattering sweater dresses that I paid full price for.
On top of that there were so many things that didn’t make sense with my lifestyle. The reality is I work from home and work out a lot. There are many days where I’m in yoga clothes, no make-up with my hair in a bun. My life is either really casual or I’m getting completely done up for a night out or a sharp right turn for a client meeting. The only consistent items in my wardrobe were lululemon pants and oversized men’s button ups.
By this time I was in full on meltdown mode:
I don’t have any style.
I dress like a boy.
My closet is full of things I paid a lot of money for that I never wear.
Thankfully my friend Lindsey was with me and Emily chimed in via FaceTime. Both said I had to let go and give grace to myself. We all have things in our closets we wish we’d wear more, or are bummed when we remember how much we paid for them. I felt like that was my entire closet. Encouraged to let go, and learn from my past purchases I piled two huge bags into a cab and headed to Buffalo Exchange to sell my clothes.
I had a slight inner panic attack as I was handing my clothes over to the sales clerk and they bought my clothes for pennies of what I paid for them.
But then when I left the store I felt lighter. Physically lighter because I wasn’t carrying those heavy clothes anymore, but also lighter on the inside. I knew I’d be going home to a near empty closet, but I could go through what I had, figure out what I needed based on who I am, how I live, and my lifestyle and learn from all the purchases that didn’t make sense and move on.
I wanted to do it all in one day, and buy all new things, and take pictures, etc. But for me it’s been a process of almost a month now. With a list of investment pieces for the season I don’t feel tempted to go into stores haphazardly for an impulse buy. I know what I want, have made a budget, and am patiently getting things as I truly need them.
So far I’ve bought four things: two skirts, a pair of trousers, and a cardigan. I need a pair of black flats (I literally own zero pairs of flats), and then I should mostly be set for the fall.
I share all this with you because yes I run a women’s lifestyle and fashion blog. But this does not come easy for me. It’s not second nature for me to put outfits together, and I don’t really like shopping. I’d much rather be outside playing. I’m viewing this as a journey. A works in progress, and an opportunity to get to know myself better style wise in the sense of dressing in a way that reflects who I really am as opposed to who I think I should be.
With so many other things I’m learning in my life right now this is just another thing that is teaching me to be present, patient with myself, and let go. I’m grateful that I had a melt down. Had I not I would not have realized how frustrated I was with my style, and how attached I had become to things. Things in the end are just things. They’ll all end up in a trash dump at some point. And I want to remember that, and keep my focus on things that truly matter to me.
I’d love to know your thoughts and if you have any questions please let me know! For now here is my first outfit: boyfriend jeans, flowy peplum top + leopard heels. I think I’ve worn this to at least a dozen meetings, and it’s an outfit I don’t even think twice about. I know it’ll look cute on me, and I feel pretty in it. Check and check!
Shop the look: