the capsule technique
Updated: Mar 21, 2019
Whether it’s the bubbly and ever so grateful Marie Kondo’s often wardrobe-focused tidying technique or Matilda Kahl’s brave choice to wear one outfit to work for three years, the minimalist lifestyle way of living has gained major traction, with closet organization at the helm. Check out how I got hooked below.
What is the capsule wardrobe?
In short, it’s a practice of editing your wardrobe down to your favorite clothes (clothes that fit your lifestyle and body right now), remixing them regularly, and shopping less often and more intentionally. This method of closet-reducing technique has become especially buzzy as of late. Many have jumped on the clothes-purging bandwagon—blogger Harben Porter has whittled her wardrobe down to 40 pieces, and Bay Area lifestyle blogger Jordan Ferney of Oh Happy Day! at one point, cut her closet down to an impressive yet terrifying 12 pieces. Eek!
While the, minimalist lifestyle has been a must for me and my family of 5 living the Bay Area,
I am constantly purging my kids clothes due to their rapid growth and our limited space. However, my closet was a different story entirely. Before kids I very rarely bought items out of necessity. With 13 years in the fashion retail game, impulse buying wasn't just a #mood it was a lifestyle. I bought items regardless of season, or which colors and styles looked best on me and often times regardless of fit. I bought everything from fast fashion to high end specialty pieces that were beautiful but not practical. I bought clothing out of pure love of the item with a heavy focus on color, texture, and print. This sounds romantic however it does not make for smart shopping or save on closet space. Shopping this way left me with a wardrobe that looked as if there were 13 different people in varying shapes, sizes and personalities living in my home and all sharing the same closet. While it is fun to shop this way I spent a lot of time trying to make my wacky wardrobe work together, and often wound up frustrated with "nothing to wear"
I needed a change and decided to "clean out" my closet. With no real structure I threw out everything that didn't make me happy to look at anymore. I threw out things that just didn't "feel" like me anymore and I threw out things that didn't quite fit after having my 3 kids. I bagged up my past life and drove it to the Goodwill down the street and the next day I cried because I had "even less than nothing to wear"
It wasn't until I came across the life changing blog of a magical woman by the name of Caroline Joy, that everything clicked for me wardrobe-wise. Caroline downsized her wardrobe and lived with a small, structured closet of 37 pieces. Unfancy was the journal where she shared her daily outfits and the lessons she learned along the way.
It wasn't enough to just get rid of a few things, I had to do a deep purge and really feel myself inside my clothes. As I tried on each piece (all 1 million and 2 of them) I asked my self what it's purpose was, and it became increasingly easy to decide weather I needed to keep it or not. After I purged I divided and boxed my items by season. I kept the pile of the current season items out. I divided those items by color story ( colors that work well together) and found that I had not 1 but 2 fun but focused capsules of about 42 pieces each. I spent all winter in those items and did not feel the angst of "finding" something to wear nor the urge to shop for anything new.
This was a new feeling for me and I was hooked! I stopped spending so much of my time outfit building because everything in my closet worked harmoniously together. I started being on time more often. I stopped shopping as a pastime because everything I owned I loved and served a purpose. My laundry day didn't feel so burdensome. I gained a new found confidence every time I got dressed because I had already taken the time to make sure that my clothes really worked for me and my lifestyle.
I am a strong believer in this capsule method because I know first hand how life changing it can be, and I love bringing my clients along on the ride.