Hello, everyone! So in trying to write this second installment of my “capsule wardrobe” creation series, I’m having a surprisingly difficult time trying to piece together a post that communicates the process I took very well. A lot of the quick decisions were made instantaneously in my head, and it’s hard to try to put them into words. But I will do my best to take you step-by-step through the thinking process of my “systematic purge” in preparation of my capsule wardrobe.
If you want to know the specific questions I asked myself as I was going through the items, you can find the general outline in this post. I did add one additional question with the new “capsule wardrobe” mindset…”Is this item seasonally appropriate?” Whatever wasn’t, but fulfilled the other requirements for keeping it, was placed in storage until the appropriate season.
Can I just say, I actually enjoy this part of the wardrobe building process the MOST (yes, even MORE than actually shopping for new things). I know. I’ve weird like that.
To start, I pulled out EVERY article of clothing in my closet and plopped them on my bed. This was my Spring 2016 wardrobe (a lot of layer pieces, thanks to another extremely long winter and cold spring here in Michigan…grrrrrrr!!). As I have mentioned before, I honestly did not have an overwhelming number of items in my closet to begin with (29 articles of clothing). I took some photos of the items so you could see what I had to work with.
(please ignore the mismatched blankets on the bed…the hubby is a blanket hog and, lest I plan on freezing to death overnight, we have to have separate blankets)
Button-up Shirts – (left to right) J.Crew Factory Popover Shirt, Madewell Collarless Popover Shirt (in buffalo check), Old Navy Plaid Tunic Top, Madewell Wellspring Tunic Popover Shirt (white), J.Crew Factory Shirtdress (that I wore as a tunic shirt)
Dresses – (left to right) J.Crew Factory Women’s Military Dress, Gap Sleeveless Shift Dress, Madewell Afternoon Dress, gifted dress from Korea, Gap Plaid Cotton Dress
Jeans – (left to right) Levi Jeans Bootcut, Levi Jeans Skinny, Levi Jeans Straight Leg
Dress – Gap Roll Sleeve T-Shirt Dress
Shorts – (left to right) J. Crew Factory Oxford Shorts (beige and navy)
Skirt – LOFT Outlet Utility Skirt
Tops – (top left) Anthropologie Dipped Kiri Tee (moss); (bottom left to right) MSU t-shirt, Gap Vintage Wash T-Shirts (in black, heather gray, striped, and white)
Outerwear – (bottom right) Banana Republic short sleeve jacket; (top left to right) J.Crew Military Jacket, American Eagle Denim Jacket, Geoffrey Beane 3/4 Sleeve Peplum Jacket; (middle left to right) Banana Republic Factory Knit Hooded Vest, Gap Factory Hooded Zip-Up Sweatshirt
So in preparation for my Summer 2016 wardrobe (don’t even ask me to explain what the temperatures have been like…there is no rhyme or reason to Michigan summer this year), I sorted my existing items into three piles – a keep pile (as in keep in the closet for summer), a seasonal pile (to store for cooler weather), and a give away/toss pile. This is what the initial piles looked like.
Obviously, a lot of the outerwear went into storage until cooler weather comes again, as well as a lot of my long-sleeved items. The J.Crew Factory Military Dress could have worked, being short-sleeved, but the material was so thick that I knew the abnormally hot Michigan summer would leave it utterly soaked with sweat.
As for the giveaways…I wore the Gap shift dress for a couple of weddings, but simply did not like how it fit on me. But I kept it until now because I felt so frumpy from all the extra baby weight I had on me until recently, and I thought that was simply how I looked in a dress (I was wrong…it was the dress, not me I found out). The J.Crew Shirtdress (that I bought thinking it was a tunic shirt) did look nice on me, but I hated the stiff material and never wore it. I kept it for over a year, thinking I could grow to love it. I finally decided to let it go from my closet this time around. Finally, the beige J.Crew shorts seemed like an obvious keep (especially since I planned to keep the navy ones…more on that later), but I simply hated the way it made my legs look. So despite their utility in hot weather, into the “give away” pile it went.
While the number of articles of clothing in my closet was limited, I’m ashamed to say that I had a WHOLE LOT MORE tucked away in storage bins downstairs. But to my credit, I made sure to also systematically purge these bins at the same time as my closet. While no photos of what was “purged” from my storage bins were documented, I did take a photo of the final “give away” pile I ended up with…
Crazy, isn’t it? And I thought I had pared down so much with my “Closet Chronicles” purge. Turns out I had a far ways to go in order to obtain that streamlined closet of only pieces I loved and actually wore AND a reasonable number of items in storage (went from 4 bins PACKED TO BURSTING with clothes, to just 2 not-so-bursting bins (which now also contains the seasonal items I have stored away from my closet), leaving one storage bin for all my old maternity clothes I had packed away in a suitcase, and another for the 3 pairs of boots I decided to keep for next Fall/Winter (don’t even get me STARTED on how many I had to begin with…it’s sickening!).
As for the “keep” pile, I will share the specific pieces that I actually ended up keeping for my capsule wardrobe in the next blog post because I ended up actually paring down that pile even more. Some of those kept items were even pulled from the said storage bins that, amongst the landfill of clothes I could never wear again but held onto, also held a treasure trove of a few pieces I had forgotten about but was more than happy to re-introduce into my closet (it was almost like shopping…but BETTER, because no additional money was spent!).
Finally, as a bonus, I also went ahead and rid myself of some long kept accessories that I had purchased but didn’t wear at all anymore. These are mostly jewelry items. I was able to get rid of about 60% of them, keeping only the items I valued (or were of great value themselves).
My “keep” pile – All of these items are either ones I already wore a lot, would compliment my capsule wardrobe very well, and/or were items of sentimental or intrinsic value. All of the items, save the two statement necklaces to the left, the ring in the plastic bag, and the shark tooth necklace are real gold/pearl/platinum/diamond jewelry, which is why I wanted to keep them.
The “give away” pile – All of these items served me well for a time. But since introducing a baby (now toddler) into my life, I don’t have the luxury of wearing jewelry often…and these are the pieces I reach for the least. So…these are the ones I was ready to part with.
So now, this is what my jewelry collection looks like (the jewelry box was one I purchased at a thrift store when I first got married). I think this will serve me a whole lot better than having piles of trinkets I never wear anymore and simply cluttered up my dresser drawers.
There you have it folks! The deed was done, and it was greatly enjoyed. I love feeling like a huge burden has been lifted from my shoulders through the purging process, which is likely why I like it even more than the shopping that most other people usually find more enjoyable.
See you all again next week, with another installment of the “Capsule Wardrobe Chronicles!!”