I don't know about you, but in the past when I would go shopping, I would go for fun. I would go without a plan. And most often I would go shopping to fill some void. Not that I would think to myself:
Hey, I'm feeling some sort of void. I should go to the mall to find happiness.
But hindsight is 20/20, my friends. I started to realize that when I would go to the mall with my friend, it was usually because I was feeling down. Which was usually caused by trying to get dressed for some event or outing.
Upon realizing I had nothing to wear that I would feel good in, I would get all sulky and feel the need to fix my problem by buying another outfit. That outfit would make me feel great in that moment, and then I would go through the whole cycle again each time...
Don't call up past me for advice!
Why am I telling you this story? Well, I want each and every one of us to think about our past shopping habits... and feel inspired that this is all going to change! This is why we're creating our capsule wardrobes!
We're going to learn how to become prepared for our capsule shopping . We're going to develop our capsule wardrobe so we always have something to wear that we love. We're going to find freedom and simplicity and world peace!
So, maybe not that last one. Not this way... But you get what I'm going for. Now that we know how to define our capsule wardrobe, let's do this!
Let's create a plan for shopping:
I'm going to assume that you're sticking with the more guided rules of a capsule wardrobe and the predefined numbers: 15 Tops, 9 Bottoms, 2 Dresses, 2 Jackets, 9 Pairs of Shoes (37 total items). If you're choosing your own numbers, just sub them in, or feel free to just loosen your grip a little on each specific number.
- Take Inventory
- Assess what's missing
Take inventory of your now purged closet. Either type or write out a list of your items, and place them under each category. Be sure to note how many you currently have in each section. Here is an example of where I am at:
- denim jacket
- gray moto jacket
- green moto jacket
- black ballet flats
- black d'orsay flats
- sand booties
- black and tan sandals
- white tee
- black tee
- gray tee
- black blouse
- wine blouse
- striped tee
- white button down
- black sparkle sweater
- black and white shift dress
- black and white print pants
- black faux leather pants
- black jeans
- gray jeans
- white jeans
- indigo jeans
So according to the rules, I still need 7 tops, 3 bottoms, 1 less jacket, 1 more dress, and 5 more pairs of shoes - totaling 15 pieces I need to shop for.
Looks like I will already be breaking the rules, because I love all three of my jackets and plan to purchase a blazer or two!
It's okay to bend the rules if you know it will lead to greater flexibility. I, for one, know that I really like to complete an outfit with my stylish jackets. So I am willing to sacrifice a pair of shoes or a top in order to do this.
Make exceptions for yourself. Consider these slight variations your little piece of dark chocolate so you can better stick to your healthy eating plan.
I also want to point out that I went through this step... a few times actually. Because as I was writing down each piece of clothing I had, I started to question each piece a little bit more.
Do I really like that cut? I think I actually avoid that shirt in the mornings. There may have been a stain on that one.
It's odd, but it was as if writing down each piece was like making more of a commitment to it... and it make me become even more selective. Like I was a signing a contract with each piece. I actually started crossing some items off and purging even more. I could really tell what items I was willing to commit to!
So now that you see what's there and how much you need, ask yourself:
What exactly is missing to fulfill my personal style?
You could, if you wanted to be brave, just go to the mall knowing how many of each category you need - keeping in mind your inspiration and knowing what pieces you need to create your personal style. And then BAM!... magically find pieces that complete your wardrobe in a holistic way.
However, I'm going to be honest with you. I tried that. And I left the mall with nothing, having felt like I wasted hours of my life and only gained a few thousand steps for that day - walking steps that is.
Some people need to learn from their own mistakes. I get that. But here is your chance to learn from mine.
Consider the entirety of your wardrobe before you start shopping. Because our options will be limited, we will need to do a lot of mix and match throughout our season.
So rather than just thinking, I need 7 more shirts, you can start to see the holes of what you're missing in order to complete the vision of your wardrobe. Like a puzzle!
If your color palette was to have gray, white, and red - but then you realize you only have one red shirt, well then it would make sense to plan on buying a few shirts in the red shade category. See?
Or maybe you will realize that you have plenty of skinny jeans, but they're all boring and you want something edgy because that was what you realized you were missing to actually achieve your personal style.
Maybe you've realized that you've got enough blouses for work, but what about the other aspects of lifestyle?
Assess the overall vision! And get specific. Know what you're going in for.
For example: 1 white shirt, 1 party top, 1 pair of black pumps... you get it by now.
Make a plan.
Now you will... actually buy things!
Do some online shopping before you brave the mall. Or, if you're familiar with your frequent stores, skip the mall! OR wait until your online purchases arrive, assess your selections, then go to the mall to either make returns or a few more additions.
This process may take some time. Give yourself a couple weeks or so. I've been actually working on this for months... a lot of things haven gotten in my way like holidays and tiny feet (I have to order dozens of shoes online and return 95% of them because my feet are so tough to fit and department stores rarely carry more than one size 5).
Also, it has taken me some time to come up with these steps!
And please remember: mistakes will happen. Life will go on!
Recognize that every mistake is a learning opportunity. We will learn about this process and we learn about ourselves and our style. I am beyond excited to start mixing together some outfits!
Do these steps seem achievable and approachable? Are you going to commit and join me?
I sure hope so!
My first capsule wardrobe is coming soon... so stay tuned by subscribing and never miss a post!