Can a Capsule Wardrobe Curb My Shopping?

For quite a while now I have been very interested in capsule wardrobes. I’ve read various blogs and viewed multiple Pinterest posts on the subject. Many people who have tried them rave about how simpler and easier dressing became. Time spent figuring out what to wear and shopping was now freed up for other interests or responsibilities. Yet, with all the research I had done, I never could take the leap to try one. Why not? Mostly, I wasn’t sure how I could choose so few pieces of clothing and mix and match them together. I also feared I would quickly become bored of the capsule pieces! I couldn’t possibly envision myself wearing the same things over and over!

Still, every time I heard someone mention a capsule wardrobe, my neck would straighten, my eyes would widen, and my curiosity peaked! A few months back I started seriously contemplating implementing one and I began searching for the method that would work best for me. Would it be 33 pieces or 50? Would I limit shoes and accessories or only clothing? Did I need to choose a color palette, and if so, how many colors are allowed? What if I couldn’t figure out how to create more than four outfits with what I’ve chosen? Would I need to continually rotate other clothing in and out of the capsule? With all of these questions and concerns, this minimal wardrobe life was getting more and more complicated to me! So I stopped thinking about it.

Then recently a friend sent me a link to the Get Your Pretty On Fall 2018 Capsule Wardrobe Style Challenge ( It cost $39 to join, and you receive all the information needed to create a seasonal wardrobe capsule. A list of every clothing and accessory item required is provided, plus suggestions (and retail links) to where you can purchase these items if you don’t already own them. A “substitute” for each item is also given, in case you just don’t like that item or don’t want to purchase it. Furthermore, and for me most importantly, you receive images of how to mix, match and style the pieces to create 23 days of outfit ideas from all the capsule items. This seemed like my kind of capsule wardrobe since it took all the guesswork out. Plus, how easy will it be everyday to already have an outfit idea all put together…no thinking required…no changing my mind over and over. The membership also includes access to a Facebook group where everyone who joined can share ideas and pictures.

I now needed to decide if a capsule wardrobe would be right for me? Would the ease of dressing each day bring me joy and extra time? Once I had my capsule items all together, would I then rid myself of the urge to shop for more clothing? Could a capsule wardrobe be what I’ve always needed? Might it be life-changing?

I decided to try and find out. I joined and received the list of required items with images and purchasing links. Since I really am trying not to purchase any additional clothing right now (I really can’t since I already spent this month’s clothing budget), I was concerned that I wouldn’t have all the items on the required capsule list. I feared that if I didn’t have all the items, I would feel the urge to buy them, which would be counterproductive for me right now.

Luckily, this did not happen since once I started going through the list I learned that I had all but two of the necessary items already in my closet (seriously, with the amount of clothing I own, how could I have been concerned?). I was only missing a vest and a long sleeve striped t-shirt. However, my daughter had a couple of vests and I was able to borrow one of hers. I did have a short sleeved stripe t-shirt which I felt I could use for the first month and then could purchase a long sleeve version next month once the weather got colder. I already owned all the recommended pants, cardigans, shoes, and bags. My completed capsule wardrobe consists of the following 38 items:

25 items of clothing (6 bottoms, 11 tops, 1 blazer, 1 vest, 1 denim jacket, 4 cardigans, 1 dress)

2 handbags (black and burgundy)

2 belts (black and leopard)

1 scarf

8 pairs of shoes (I added 3 more than the are a weakness)

I created my own set of guidelines for implementing this fall fashion capsule so that I could enjoy the ease of a limited wardrobe, but also avoid the boredom of repeated items. Here are my plans for modifying the capsule to best suit me:

  1. Choose one of the pre-styled capsule outfits each day during the week. On the weekends I can choose to wear clothing I own outside of the capsule items. This will allow me a “break” and might help prevent getting bored of the capsule.

  2. Take selfie pics for each outfit I wear so that I can create a capsule look-book for better reference going forward.

  3. Swap in warmer versions of items as weather dictates. For instance, I’m starting off the fall capsule using short sleeve t-shirts and open toe booties. Once the weather starts to really get chilled, I will change out some of the shoes for closed toe and knee high boots. I will also add long sleeve t-shirts if necessary.

  4. Allow for the addition of two additional tops if I feel the need for more diversity. This would bring the total capsule items up to 40.

  5. The capsule list includes jewelry suggestions, but I will use my own ideas for which jewelry I decide to pair with the outfits,

  6. Keep a list of any items I feel the need to acquire or upgrade for purchasing next month. For instance I may want to purchase my own quilted vest or purchase a warmer beige colored cardigan.

What am I hoping to gain by doing all this?

I have several reasons for taking on this fashion challenge. First, I’ve been curious about it for a long time and I’d like to see for myself the benefits of a more minimalistic wardrobe. Perhaps, I will learn that I can be happy and feel fashionable with much less. Maybe if I learn how to love dressing with less, then I will also learn to shop less. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? Secondly, having a set, planned out wardrobe for the season or even just for one month will hopefully help me stick to my goal of not purchasing anything for a bit. I "shouldn’t" need anything unless something from my capsule wardrobe gets ruined. If I start to feel a pull to go shopping, I will use my "urge strikes tool" app to help work through the moment and also remind myself that the capsule is full, and there is nothing more I need right now.

It will be interesting to discover how well I do with wearing the same combination of 38 items. I wonder if I’ll be eager for the weekends to arrive, just so I can choose something different from my closet…or perhaps, I’ll enjoy the ease of the capsule so much that I'll adhere to it for all 7 days of the week. My prediction is that I will not be a longtime capsule wardrobe user. I just don’t think it is truly in my nature, as I love too many different styles of clothing, fabrics, colors, and so on. I am not easily convinced that I will be content with such a limited amount of choices. Most likely, after a few weeks I may start to feel disenchanted and stifled too. But you truly never know until you try, and that is what I’m doing! I will keep you posted in my weekly check-ins!

Have you ever tried a capsule wardrobe? I'd love to hear about it!

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