It's time to get real with you, friends.
Building a capsule wardrobe is tough work. When you're reading around all of the already established blogs, you tend to get a sense of, "Hey. This looks super simple. Simple means easy!" I have some news for you. Simple does not mean easy.
I'm not trying to push anyone away from the idea of simplifying their wardrobe and life, it's just important to not expect ease so you do not get so frustrated when you hit bumps in the road - and trust me you'll hit bumps. I most certainly have.
And since I have hit what feels like million road blocks since I've started this journey, I've decided that instead of waiting until I've reached perfection (impossible!), I will share the trials and tribulations, as well. Then when we finally do achieve some resemblance of a capsule wardrobe, we can rejoice together and feel the true accomplishment! Isn't that exciting?!
Also, if you have a better idea of what you're getting into, then we can thoroughly enjoy this crazy experience together. Sounds pretty okay, right?
I started mulling over the process of a capsule wardrobe back in late October. I stumbled across the blog Un-Fancy, which isn't the first blog to promote the capsule wardrobe idea, but it was how I first discovered it. And I think she has done it the best. Her blog feels much more human and approachable than some of the other big names. I have found their sites to be sort of cold and tough to navigate.
Anyway, she even goes as far as to break it down for you and provide a workbook to build your capsule wardrobe. She shows off various combinations of her wardrobe that she has loved and it is crazy inspiring.
Her photography is beautiful and her posts are so... sweet. I love going back and reading the old posts (they are all old posts because she is on a blogging break, so there has not been any new content for quite some time now).
However, something that I have found frustrating - and maybe this is just because I had misguided assumptions to begin with - was that the process was made to seem so easy.
I keep wanting to use the word simple in place of the word easy, but I do not believe those two words are interchangeable.
Especially in this context. Getting to a place of simplicity requires a lot of consideration and determination. But imagine when simplicity in your closet is reached... There are a multitude of benefits to be had:
- Clear sense of style
- Ease getting dressed in the morning
- Quality clothing that inspires joy
- Fatter wallets, from taking breaks from shopping
- Sense of accomplishment
- More time to focus on what really matters
In this post, I would like to share with you a bit of the process I have been experiencing since deciding to move towards a capsule wardrobe. I want to share all of this, not to intimidate you, but to provide a clearer sense of what you're going to experience throughout the process.
I may have even disillusioned you with some of my previous posts, but hey, that's why this blog is called Cat On The Moon. We all have mood swings. I consider these mood phases.
Sometimes I am light... sometimes I am dark. Sometimes I'm a little of both. Lucky you gets to experience these sides of me. Joy!
Find Your Why
I've already used a ton of italics in this post, but I really want you to get into why (heh heh) you are striving for a minimal and simplistic wardrobe.
If the bullet points above weren't enough for you, take some time to journal about why you are working towards creating a capsule wardrobe. If you don't journal, then talk it over with your significant other or best friend.
Make your words concrete so that you can either go back and read what the purpose of this goal is or have your friend/boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse/mother remind you. Create some accountability for yourself to stick with your ambitions. You may be wondering: Why should I spend time on the why?
Because when times get tough, you're going to need a point of reference. I have had a break down or 72 where I've just had no clue why I was expending so much energy on my damn wardrobe and this damn blog when all I wanted was simplicity.
My boyfriend was there to remind me. "Caitlyn, you want simplicity and to share your process." And I also had to remember simple does not mean easy. Getting to where I want to be is taking time, energy, and focus.
And that's okay.
In the words of the great Steve Jobs:
That's been one of my mantras - focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it's worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.
Speaking of moving mountains... let's tackle the mountains of clothes in your wardrobe. See what I did there? Oh yea...
Purge Your Closet
Purging your closet involves getting real with yourself and getting rid of what doesn't make you happy.
I've touched on this in a previous post and do not wish to be completely repetitive. Since that post, I've purged my closet two more times. I'm the reaper of my own wardrobe. The first purge was incredibly hopeful and full of excitement. I was all (in a sing-songy voice):
Tra-la-la! Throwing away my clothes! Only leaving what brings me joy! Only keeping what represents who I am! Being so productive! Making big changes in my life! Being so zen! I'm the next Marie Kondo!
And in that moment, that is exactly how I felt. I felt liberated and pumped about what was to come next, but that isn't where the story ends. I also felt an extreme sense of loss afterwards. Once the high of the purge died down I also began to feel sadness and despair. My security blanket of clothes to look at but never touch or wear was gone. And I did do a little bit of crying inside. Saying goodbye can be a very tumultuous experience for me.
But fear not. Yes, you will feel this pain. Yes, it friggin' sucks. However, you can choose to embrace it. Embrace the suck. You can choose to sit with it. You can choose to understand what it is and where it's coming from. And you can use it to reconnect with your purpose. Your why.
Your purpose is there to keep you going. So when you're feeling a little distraught, you can perk up again because you can say to yourself, think of the freedom I'll gain once I make it through these steps. And you know, maybe your emotions won't be so dramatic. In that case, good for you Glen Cocoa.
No, but really. That's great.
Just be open to what you may really be feeling. Happiness, fear, excitement, content, contempt... any emotion is completely fine as long you allow yourself to feel it completely and then move forward with the end in mind.
If you'd like a quick refresher on how I purged my closet, please take a look at this post. It breaks down the process. Overall, you're looking to only keep items that haven't lost their quality, fit well, and make you feel good and happy.
You should also be realistic about your lifestyle so that your wardrobe matches how you spend your time.
You don't want 5 party tops if you go out only once a month. Just like you don't want 5 dresses if they make you feel uncomfortable.
Also, keep in mind that this process doesn't ever really end. Hopefully you can take a break once you've gotten to the point where you've curated your capsule wardrobe. But, maybe you'll stain one of your shirts and it is no longer wearable. This wardrobe isn't about suffering, it's about growing into simplicity.
I have purged my closet three times now and I am still quite a distance from getting my wardrobe together.
Keep your eyes on the prize, but realize this is all still a journey.
Remember: This process isn't easy, but keep your why in your mind, and eventually we will have a capsule wardrobe put together.
Tell me, what is your why for creating a capsule wardrobe?
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