Monday, 1 September 2014

On Living with Less: Fall 2014 Capsule Wardrobe

It's a funny thing, the relationship we develop with STUFF. Day-to-day, I don't feel like I have an inordinate amount of THINGS, but every time I go camping, I am struck by how little is really needed to exist and be happy in life. Give me a tent, some food, a change of clothing, and some beautiful scenery...and I'm generally happier than I am when I'm surrounded by a perfectly lovely home and stocked closet. I think that the more STUFF we have, the more of our lives must be dedicated to caring for, protecting, using, corralling, and keeping THINGS. In a strange way, the more we acquire, the more of our lives we owe to our possessions rather than our thoughts, feelings, emotions, or experiences.

Over time, as I've worked to simplify other areas of my life (decreasing clutter in my home, distancing myself from people who do not bring love to those around them, reducing the amount of processed foods I eat, etc), it has started to feel like my closet has become more of a burden than a source of joy or creativity.

To jumpstart that creative spirit while simultaneously cutting down on the STUFF in my life, I've finally decided to commit to a capsule wardrobe.

And here it is, ladies and gents. Without further ado, here's my 37-piece fall capsule wardrobe for 2014 (September-October-November):

Final fall 2014 capsule wardrobe

The breakdown:

Tops: 15
  • Thin, layerable chambray (Francesca's, not online, similar here)
  • Maroon layerable sweater (new, here)
  • Dolman sleeve cardigan (will purchase in October, options here, here, here, here, here)
  • Black and white striped long sleeve (old, similar here, in grey, in navy, short sleeve)
  • Plain black tank (here)
  • Plain white tank (here)
  • Thicker, longer chambray (for covering the bum when wearing leggings! ;) (old, similar here)
  • Black and white striped tank (THE best layering tops! here)
  • Blue dolman sleeve crop sweater (old, similar here, here)
  • Grey graphic tee (here)
  • Sleeveless floral cowl neck tank (old, similar here, here)
  • Purple silky tee (old, the one pictured is here but crazy expensive, similar)
  • Blue crossover long-sleeve top (old, similar here)
  • Black plaid buttonup (old, similar here, popover, here)
  • Grey waterfall vest (old, similar here, here)
Dresses/skirts: 9
Pants: 3
  • Black skinny pants (thrifted but here)
  • Dark skinny jeans (old, similar here, here)
  • Grey work pants (old, similar here)
Jackets: 5
Shoes: 5
Total: 37 items (8 new, 9 within last year, 20 more than a year old)

The Process:
  1. I know I spend most of my time at work or at casual events with my friends/boyfriend. So I picked outfits from my Pinterest boards (Work and Play) that would suit those activities, outfits that I want to recreate during the three months of this fall capsule. I picked 30 outfits, because this capsule is for about 90 days and I don't mind rewearing exact outfits 3 times within 90 days :)
  2. Then, I simply wrote down all the items worn in my inspirational outfits ("black skinny jeans, striped long-sleeve shirt, black blazer, black booties, infinity scarf"). After a while, repeating elements emerged (skinny black pants, jean jacket, stripe top, etc). 
  3. Then I wrote out all the items in a list and paired them with items that I have in my closet currently. Example: "bright colored skater skirt: green pleather skirt". 
  4. Items for which I had no counterpart in my closet became my shopping list, like so: 

Want to know the craziest part? Here are the 30 inspiration outfits I pulled, all of which I can create from my capsule wardrobe...and this only accounts for 23 items of the 37 I'm allowing myself! To finish out the capsule, I added items (in italics above) that I already own which will mix and match well with the other 20 pieces.

One last thing: because I made a plan to budget closet staples over the course of the year, I don't actually have all of the items in the capsule wardrobe yet. In October I plan to add in a chunky, cozy knit cardigan and an infinity scarf.

What do you think of my capsule? Think I can stick to it for 90 days??

If you'd like to see many more outfits that can be created from this capsule, check out my Fall 2014 Capsule Wardrobe board on Pinterest.

Happy Labor Day everyone!

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