Growing up, I loved clothes. I didn’t necessarily always have the latest styles or trends, but I put effort into looking my best with what I had. As an adult, with a steady income, my closet filled up to overflowing rapidly. Shopping was my preferred way to spend my free time, and I loved buying the latest styles. I also loved getting a great deal, so I would look for sales and clearance racks, and end up with cute clothes but ones that didn’t go together very well.
I found that even with a closet jammed so tight, it was a daily struggle to find something to wear
My first instinct was to purge items I hadn’t worn in a while. I tried turning my hangers all backwards and donating anything I didn’t wear in the subsequent months.
Then I’d refill my closet with more disjointed outfits. But still end up wearing the same outfits week after week.
Even when I became interested in pursuing minimalism a few years ago, my closet didn’t change. I eliminated the excessive home decor, seasonal decorations, toys my kids had outgrown, kitchen duplicates, and so on.
But I couldn’t apply minimalism to my closet because I was sure I’d have nothing to wear. A bit ironic, since I already felt like I had nothing to wear despite the mountains of clothes I owned.
Project 333 sounded terrifying to me – why was 33 the magic number? Was I a failure if I owned 34 or 35 items instead?
Then it struck me that it was all about the design of the clothes – all about planning outfits that went together well but still looked great. I saw blogs like Everyday Savvy that published really cute capsule wardrobes, and thought, I can do this.
After all, I am a planner by nature. I make lists for everything and do math for a living because I like to solve puzzles or problems. How is a cute, small wardrobe any different? It is just another puzzle, another challenge.
And I can’t say no to a challenge. So I took it all out of my closet. And here is what is there now:
I wish I’d taken a before picture, but imagine all 3 racks completely full. The bottom messy section belongs to my sons, not me (more about that some day soon).
I took 4 big trash bags to consignment, 2 bags to donation, and stuck two boxes into my spare bedroom closet “just in case”. Recently, I eliminated one of those two boxes.
But when I went in my closet in the morning, I couldn’t figure out what to wear. Despite my meticulous outfit planning, my memory was terrible (at least first thing in the morning), and I could not remember any of the outfits I’d designed, or when I’d last worn them.
My capsule wardrobe failed me, and I was ready to give up and go back to my old ways.
If there’s one thing I hate, it is failing. So instead of rushing to the mall, I went to my computer. I decided that a list of outfits wasn’t enough, I needed pictures and I needed them in an order that would make sure I wouldn’t be repeating too often. That’s how I ended up with my first real capsule wardrobe. You can see what is in my closet now here, and what I wore the first week here. I’ll share the rest of my outfit plans a week at a time from now until fall.
Sharing this with all of you gives me more motivation to find a way to make this capsule wardrobe thing work. So thank you!