Thursday, June 16, 2016

Capsule Wardrobe- Finding a Solution

Hi, it's me again. Still in the trenches of sick children who spend all day watching things and nibbling very little.

I was attracted to the capsule wardrobe not because it's a fad- although one that has been revived from the 1970s- but because it makes so much more sense.  As I said before we already wear clothing based on season.  My method before wasn't very effective.  I was making pieces do double duty.  It sounds practical to wear the same dress year round while adding tights and a cardigan to make it winter ready.  But is it really?  I don't think so anymore.  The problem is that you wear that dress out very quickly not to mention that you become bored with it.

Well what's wrong with boredom.  Shouldn't we practice detachment?  Yes, but there's a balance to everything.  Christ doesn't want us to deprive ourselves to the point of misery.  The world is tough and miserable enough.  Having things that serve you AND bring you joy is perfectly fine.  You are not loving Christ less by loving the things he gives you.  Rather you are appreciating the beauty of diversity which he creates.

That said I'm not saying you should load your closet down with stuff.  It defeats the purpose of having a practical and joyful closet if you aren't using or appreciating the things Christ has given to you.  The amount of clothing of course will vary from person to person.  A nun may only need and find joy in having two habits.  Whereas a professional who is also a parent will be using and appreciating different pieces in different settings.  So it's up to the individual to discern what things they should have.

With a capsule, your clothing gets a complete rest.  It also gives you time to practice good stewardship.  You are able to replace worn out items at the end of seasons for the fraction of the cost instead of realizing in the middle of season that year long dress has a big hole in it.

There's also not boredom or the temptation to buy into "fast fashion."  Fast fashion is cheaply made clothing that flows with what's trending.  In the past people made their clothes or their clothes were more costly so fashions didn't change as quickly.  My mother tells the story that she had a classmate in high school who she thought highly of her fashion sense.  Eventually someone pointed out that her classmate owned one or two skirts and a handful of shirts that she rotated because it turns out that this fashionista was too poor to afford anything else.  This is what you should be striving for in a wardrobe.  We should go back to the basics and figure out a way to use them more practically.

You can afford better made clothes if you only own a few pieces that you rotate periodically.  Who wants to purchase a blouse that falls apart after a couple of washings?  Not me.  Who wants their core staple clothing to be things that were trendy 10 years ago?  Not me either.  So quality is key.  A well-made timeless core of clothing and a few outlier pieces should be it.  Think Chanel (although realistically I don't think many of us can afford a real Chanel dress but you get the idea).

Last post I left you with my dilemma.  I sat for a while staring at my closet.  First I mulled it over.  Then I shifted things around.  And then I had an epiphany.  Why can't I have a sweater or two in the Spring/Summer capsule for early spring weather or cold indoor places?  Why can't I have a few short sleeve shirts in the Fall/Winter capsule for warm days or to go under a sweater?  Why don't I just start moving things around by color scheme and see what happens?

And then like magic things got so so so much better.  I only ended up discarding a few pieces half of which I should have discarded a while ago because they were falling apart.  And this is what I noticed much to my chagrin....I already have capsules, but I've been mixing them.

The verdict:
Spring/Summer
Base colors- browns, white
Accent colors- green, pink, and yellow

Fall/Winter
Base colors- black, grey
Accent colors- purple, blue, and red

My Spring/Summer capsule has a few holes in it to make it work.  For instance I have this green dress that I'd been pairing with grey leggings.  It would fit better in the capsule if I had a different color pair of leggings that I could use with something else.  So I bought a pair of tan leggings.

My Fall/Winter capsule seems a bit overwhelming to me.  I'd like to downsize but I hesitate because I realize that in the Winter if you layer (which you should) you'll end up with more pieces than in the Spring/Summer.  So the goal is to live in the capsule for a season and decide what I really do need and what I don't.

Pictures for another day.  Yes?  I'm still working on kinks, but I'm definitely much happier with my wardrobe since I'm basically making what I already have work for me.  That's the beauty of using a capsule wardrobe.


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I love to read your thoughts. Thanks for sharing!