While my normal clothes are much better than my maternity clothes, my wardrobe still leaves much to be desired. I don’t enjoy shopping for clothes so I only do it when I really need to, and it’s been too long. I don’t have a single decent-looking pair of pants that fits; I just wore a hole through the knee of my last respectable pair of blue jeans and I’ve been wearing a pair of maternity pants to church as all my dress pants are too tight. I mostly wear t-shirts, although I have a couple polo shirts. I own more sweatshirts than sweaters. I do have some nice dressier shirts, but now that I’m a stay-at-home mom, I only wear them to church. And I won’t even talk about undergarments.
In January, I came across the concept of a capsule wardrobe in a couple different places. The idea resonated with me as very practical; have a small number of clothes that you like and that go together and just wear them. I already wear a pretty small subset of the clothes I own, so the idea of having a limited number of clothes doesn’t faze me. It just would require an investment of time and energy to figure out what those clothes should be, and some money to buy them. Several different websites I looked at said that the first step in creating a capsule wardrobe was to clean out the clothes you already have. That made sense.
While I don’t add clothes to my wardrobe often, the ones that make it in usually stay until they are worn out. That means that older clothes that are still in decent condition but don’t fit or I don’t like anymore just take up space in my dresser or my closet and never get worn. I had clothes from before Peter was born (he just turned twelve) and even several things from when I was in high school (I don’t know that I want to admit how long ago that was). My closet was crowded, but most of the items towards the back hadn’t been worn in years. I kept buying more hangers instead of getting rid of clothes I never wore. So I decided it was time to clean out my wardrobe.
First I did my dresser, one drawer at a time, and then my closet, 10 hangers worth of clothes at a time. I emptied everything onto my bed, then sorted it and put back what remained. Different websites I had consulted gave different pieces of advice for sorting. I basically made piles of clothes to throw away, clothes to donate, things that belonged elsewhere in the house, clothes I loved (this was a major sorting criteria on the sites I looked at, but I knew before I started that it would be a pretty small pile, so I tried not to dwell on it), and clothes that I didn’t love but I would keep for now.
I ended up with seven bags of clothes to donate, along with a reasonable pile of clothes to discard. In all honesty, I probably should have gotten rid of more, as I did keep several items that I rarely or never wear. Perhaps next year, I can go through my clothes again, and if I have acquired a few more items that work in my wardrobe, I will be more comfortable letting go of the ones I kept that I probably shouldn’t have.
It’s been valuable clearing out the junk. I found some clothes that had gotten buried that I’ve started wearing again (like the yoga pants I bought several years ago when I took a Bollywood dance class–yes, that actually happened). It’s nice to have more space in my dresser and my closet, so I can see more easily what I have, and I don’t have to dig through things that I won’t wear. I also took the opportunity to reflect on what clothes I really like and why, to try to get a better idea of my style.
As for actually creating the capsule wardrobe, I haven’t taken the plunge yet. I have excuses–I’m busy doing other things, there are limited options for clothes shopping where I live and internet shopping for clothes can be hit-or-miss, I’m still breastfeeding so that impacts the kinds of clothes that are practical for me to wear. But I do like the idea and I’m trying to talk myself into spending the time to do it. I’ve cleared out some junk and that’s progress, but I still need to add things to my wardrobe, and it would be good to do it intentionally. I will report back on how it goes. (Eventually. I’m not the most punctual blogger.)