Capsule Wardrobe / Style

I’m Not a Fashion Blogger | Lessons Learned Part II



Photo c/o tutti del monte

It’s hard to believe it’s already been four months since I started my Capsule Wardrobe Experiment.  Even though I got off to a rough start, I learned so much about myself.  Most of it is common sense, but I typically learn best through first-hand experience.  And now that I’m gearing up for winter (my least favorite and most traumatizing season in New York City) I feel better prepared than in previous years.

A few of my biggest take aways have been…

I’m not a Fashion Fashion Blogger.
That’s the first thing I have to get off my chest.  I feel so relieved. Okay so that may be a little dramatic…  maybe I’m just not your typical fashion blogger

I’ve shot runway for years, and while I love seeing the new styles each season, they usually feel far removed from my life.  I’m 5’10 and have an athletic figure, so most of the clothes wouldn’t look good on me even if I could afford them.

When I started The Refined Woman three and a half years ago the goal was to be a place where readers could see real style worn by real working women.

Within months, though, I started feeling pressure to keep up with fashion trends, and I dreaded doing outfit posts.  I’m embarrassed to admit that sometimes I bought and returned outfits just so I could come up with a post.

Doing the Capsule Experiment has been the first time in two years  I’ve felt excited about doing style posts. It confirmed to me that I like feeling good in my clothes, but I’m not passionate about fashion trends.  Also, I don’t own a lot of clothes.  I own one pair of booties,  one pair of skinny jeans,  one long black skirt and a few other pieces.

Now that I don’t feel the pressure to keep up, I feel like I can be more myself — which means a workout outfit post is coming soon!

Capsule Wardrobe = Less Friday night melt downs.
Staring blankly at my closet then throwing myself on the bed in my robe minutes before I’m to leave for the evening whining “I have nothing to wear” is no longer my story.  Recently at a party someone complimented my top, and I jokingly replied, “Thank you, this is my going out top.”  (I have one going out top; it’s a Zara silk blouse from six years ago).

Getting ready has turned into a no-brainer.  My closet may be sparse, but it’s full of pieces I feel confident in and don’t have to think twice about.  I have my go-to outfit for client meetings, my go-to Friday night look, and my go-to working-from-a-coffee-shop-don’t-you-want-to-ask-me-on-a-date look.  There are less woe is me moments, and more time to ponder important things, such as which Nars red lipstick I want to wear:  Dragon Girl or Cruella?

If it doesn’t feel good, I won’t wear it.
Period.  Most of what I purged from my closet were pieces I really loved, but didn’t feel good in, like a beloved pair of jeans that fit me for two weeks each year, and a blouse that fell at just the wrong place.

If it’s between something that makes me feel confident versus a piece that makes me feel insecure, I usually go with confident. This revelation inspired me to sell two of my favorite pairs of shoes on eBay this week —  heels that were so high and pointy that my roommate was always afraid I’d break my ankle when I wore them. I’m using that money to save for a pair of shoes I can actually walk in.

Don’t rush to invest.
After I made my list of the items I needed,  I wanted to go and buy everything the same day.  Unfortunately there was the issue of my limited bank account. And the fact that it’s hard to find exactly what you want when you want it.  (I know…first world problems).

My lack of patience prompted me to buy a cardigan that I have worn twice because it is so itchy.  If I’d worn it for more than a second at the store I would’ve noticed this.  But I was so eager to complete my capsule that I bought it, and now it’s acquiring dust in my closet.  It will soon be on eBay, and I will try for round two of my cardigan conquest.

Although I didn’t learn anything life altering with my Capsule Experiment, I have learned some valuable nuggets.  I feel less of the urge just to go and buy something.  And I’m learning the virtue of patience and saving for something nice as opposed to instant gratification, which quickly comes and goes. And I feel free from trying to keep up with other bloggers and trends, and feel more permission just to be myself.

If this is what I learned from round one of the Capsule Experiment, I’m excited to see what round two has in store.



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