The Capsule Wardrobe. If you’ve heard of it, you probably have some kind of emotional reaction to that phrase. Some women thrive in minimalism and champion the capsule wardrobe. Others (like me!) are fond of the idea of a capsule wardrobe, but the actual commitment is too challenging and intimidating. If you’re not familiar with the concept, capsule wardrobes consist of a small number of clothing items that have been intentionally chosen. There are many different “magic numbers” for capsule wardrobes, but they usually consist of 40 pieces or less- total. That includes shoes and outerwear and accessories. That number sounds like a lot, but the average woman has over 100 items in her closet. Restricting your wardrobe to such a small number of pieces can initially feel suffocating, impossible, and pointless.
One of my favorite bloggers, Caroline Rector of Unfancy, presents a more freeing version of the capsule wardrobe that feels less like a punishment and more like an adventure. She defines the capsule wardrobe as “ a mini wardrobe made up of really versatile pieces that you totally LOVE to wear.” I’ve found that no matter how many items I own, I always gravitate towards my favorites. Some of those items are things I’ve acquired recently, but I think it’s because I have used Caroline’s principles to edit my style and wardrobe. My recent clothing purchases (within the last year of reading her blog) are a more accurate representation of my style, and fit my lifestyle more comfortably. I’ve moved past the feeling of “having NOTHING to wear” while staring at a full closet. What I have discovered though, is that the items I didn’t intentionally choose are still sitting in my closet, taking up space, and never being worn. The capsule wardrobe is sitting in my closet right now, but is just surrounded by a lot of excess. I would bet that your closet is in a similar situation.
In an effort to take another step towards the capsule wardrobe, I’m participating in Caroline’s 10×10 summer challenge.
“Here’s how it works: Pick 10 items of clothing from your closet. Include tops, bottoms, and shoes for your everyday life. Don’t include accessories, bags, PJs, or gym clothes — they can flow in and out freely. Then, for 10 days, create a new outfit each day using your 10 items.
No need to buy anything. No need to throw anything out. No need to commit to minimalism forever. No need to overhaul your wardrobe.
Instead, it’s all about trying something new and having fun. Like a lot of fun. This isn’t a serious, rule-based challenge. I mean, sure it has guidelines, but really, it’s less about the success of the challenge, and more about what it teaches us along the way.”
If you feel suffocated by your closet or your laundry pile, join me in this 10×10 challenge! You can find tips for creating your 10 day capsule in Caroline’s latest post here. My goal is to experiment with the capsule, and eliminate a lot of the other “excess” items at the end. The official challenge begins tomorrow (Monday, July 10th). I’ll write posts on days five and ten to document my experience with the challenge, and will be sharing a post each day on my Instagram.
Here is a breakdown of my ten items, and a few photos of outfit combinations for inspiration. I chose one dress, three tops, three bottoms, a kimono, and two pairs of shoes.
1. Overalls (Gap Outlet) 2. Black Dress (Madewell) 3. Striped Tee (Target)
4. Grey Tee (Target) 5. Floral Kimono (Forever21) 6. Denim Shorts (Target)
7. Mules (Payless) 8. Gold Sandals (Target) 9.Striped Tank (Gap) 10. Jeans (Old Navy)
I’ll be spending most of my week working from home, but will be going to Omaha for a belated anniversary+birthday trip with Ben. I chose a Madewell dress that can be worn with sandals during the week for a casual look, but dressed up on Friday evening for date night. The rest of my 10 piece capsule consists of neutral and cozy pieces that can be mixed together easily.
If you decide to join me for the summer10x10, shoot me a message on Instagram or my contact page. You can follow along with Caroline’s Unfancy posts and my own outfit posts on my Holland Avenue Instagram.
Thanks for reading!