How To Purge Your Closet For A Capsule Wardrobe
So you want a capsule wardrobe? You may be wondering, where do I start?
What a great question to ask. You know, I've heard over and over again that everyone is a fool and no one really knows what they are doing or how they got where they are, and no one really has anything figured out.
Comforting, right? No one is truly an expert.
Except for maybe surgeons - let's keep them on a pedestal. But hey, even then, if you watch Grey's Anatomy (because that show is so realistic), someone may be a Cardio-Thoracic God/Wizard, but their life is in shambles.
What's my point?
My point is: I sort of had no idea where to start in simplifying my wardrobe and I won't pretend to be an expert in this. Remember how this blog is more of a journey? So, I scoured the internet, read millions of other blogs, hid away from the topic for a couple weeks, and then dove in with a f***-it attitude and did things my own way. And I'm still not done. In fact, I've only just begun.
The point is: You just have to start somewhere.
I am going to share some steps to accomplish and then maybe we, together, can have a more simplified life and end up with a capsule wardrobe fit for modern, driven muses that wear skinny jeans, blazers, and pumps (or you know, whatever it is that you wear).
So here is my first step, for now:
Purge the closet
And cry a little inside... I'm only halfway kidding. I purged my closet and was left with a very sad amount of clothing (hence the confessions in my last post). There are many blogs and books that give tips on de-cluttering and purging your material items - and I've read them all. Or at least it feels that way (still not an expert). Here is an amazing quote on the matter:
“You cannot overestimate the unimportance of practically everything.” - Greg McKeown
That seems a little pessimistic and extreme, but I interpreted it like this: Our society has gotten to the point of having so many things that we've truly lost sight of what is important in our lives. I don't think our wardrobes should be another one of those unimportant things. In fact, I do not believe any item in your home should be unimportant. I don't mean assign meaning to what you already have. Instead, purge. Get rid of of your junk. Including the junk in your closet.
When you've accumulated so much stuff, each blouse or shoe and each piece of jewelry is just another thing. You feel nothing towards it. I think our wardrobes should be an extension of who we are or want to be. I think each piece of clothing should be something we love and feel amazing in.
“When a woman says, ‘I have nothing to wear!’, what she really means is, ‘There’s nothing here for who I’m supposed to be today.’”–Caitlin Moran
Make every piece in your closet represent who you are and who you want to be. When I took out all of the pieces in my closet that didn't match that criteria, yes, I was left with a tiny amount of clothes, but it shot me in the direction towards finding out what my closet is going to look like when it becomes an extension of myself vs. being filled with unessential, unimportant things. Only keep what already gets you excited. Only keep what gets you pumped and ready for the day. Only add what does the exact same.
I am looking forward to my closet inspiring joy (as Marie Kondo speaks about in her happy book - which I highly recommend). This book started my whole plan to purge my entire home. It has not been a cake-walk and I don't take her advice as God-sent. In fact, I never take any advice wholeheartedly, but I always appreciate some fresh perspective.
One of my favorite pieces of advice she gives is to touch everything in your closet.
Take it all out. Throw it on the bed (neatly) and feel every piece you own. Think of how you feel when you wear it. Imagine how you look in it and if it inspires a smile or fear. My boyfriend makes fun of me because whenever we go shopping (whenever I drag him to watch me shop and "spend time" together) I always walk around the store and touch everything. I suppose I am a very tactile individual.
Divide the pieces into piles. Here are the four that most everyone will recommend:
- Love it. Keep it. This is me.
- No. You are trash. (Kondo would disapprove of this statement and recommend that you thank that piece for the purpose it served in your life - this can be weird and fun.)
- No. You can better serve someone else (donate).
Here's something I recommend you keep in mind - an additional pile:
- No. Not now. Maybe later.
This pile seems dangerous, but here's the deal: it's fall right now. Technically. But I live in South Florida where Fall doesn't seem to ever exist or happen (maybe a few days out of the year). However, I am highly influenced by the fashion and styles I see in my online world. Pinterest is filled with rich, fall colors and cozy looking sweaters with boots and hats galore.
I started to plan my Fall capsule wardrobe thinking - I need all the sweaters! I have no boots! Oh no! Go away bright, happy colors of summer. I need black and white and deeper colors. So when I was purging my closet, I wanted to get rid of every piece of colored clothing I own. This is unrealistic because come spring time, I am going to want all of those colors again and be sad I so hastily threw them out.
So separate a pile that is technically a maybe for future seasons and re-evaluate when that time comes. Also, another lesson from this anecdote is to be realistic about your surrounding climate. As much as I want more sweaters, I do not foresee being able to utilize them other than when I travel north for a few weeks.
So instead I will embrace fall with its colors and be happy instead of disappointed that I get to wear my blouses with a jacket instead of sweaters with a coat.
And with that, I leave you to start your own purge.
Do whatever you need to do to start getting your life towards a simplified direction. But most importantly...
Do you see a purge in your near future? Share in the comments below and check out my post where I get real about cleaning out your closet.