Unless you have been living under a rock, you know what a capsule wardrobe is or have at least heard the term. But in case you need some clarity, here is a very simple definition for you: A capsule wardrobe is a collection (usually small in number) of items of clothing that one wears all season or year. The point of a capsule wardrobe is to focus on simplicity by reducing the number of clothes a person has to sift through each day to get dressed. Typically, capsule wardrobes are limited to less than 50 items of clothing, excluding accessories.
I’ve tried very hard to love this concept. Closet purging is something I enjoy, so theoretically I should like the idea of having a smaller collection of clothes to wear. But I don’t. In fact, the thought of choosing my very favourite pieces and wearing only those for a whole season makes me nervous.
Here’s why the capsule wardrobe idea bothers me:
- Reading about how little clothing other bloggers choose to keep makes it seem like having a lot of clothes is materialistic. I’m very confident that “materialistic” is not a word people would use to describe me! The assumption that having a lot of clothes automatically means someone is materialistic is so untrue!
- I like all my clothes. I’m a very intentional shopper, so everything I own fits well, matches other items in my closet, is suitable for my time and place in life, and is good quality. Trying to pare down my closet to a small number of items would be wasteful because I’d be getting rid of items I truly enjoy wearing.
- I like variety in my fashion choices. Restricting my clothing choices to just a few pieces would make me sad and likely unmotivated to get dressed each day.
- Planning outfits for a whole season is daunting. Sometimes I want to wear a long skirt, sometimes a shorter one. Other days I want to wear a dress. Sometimes I want to wear solid colours and other days I like to wear patterns. I can’t possibly know what I’m going to want to wear a week from now, much less a month!
- Occasions or events might come up unexpectedly but I won’t have anything suitable to wear since it wasn’t planned. Not super important, I know…but what if we’re asked to help someone move and all I have in my capsule wardrobe is too nice to risk getting ruined? Or we are invited to a fancy event with a dress code far nicer than my casual clothes? If I had donated all my other clothes besides what’s in the capsule I’d have to either purchase something new or deny the invitation.
I’m not saying capsule wardrobes aren’t valid! They can be very useful to some people, but they are not for me. As I mentioned in point number two, all my clothes are carefully considered before they ever actually make it into my closet. My mom gets frustrated with me sometimes when we shop together because she will see something she think I should buy but I refuse because it either doesn’t fit my lifestyle (for example, a very fancy dress) or it’s not on my shopping list. My mom is the sort of person who will find a reason to wear a fancy outfit, even if that reason is to buy groceries or get coffee with a friend. I admire that about her but it’s not something I can or wish to do.
I certainly don’t advocate excessive shopping and having clothes you don’t wear but there is nothing wrong with owning AND wearing a lot of clothes. For curiosity sake I decided to take an inventory of all the clothes i have in my closet. These numbers are not meant to discourage you for having less or more. I’m simply sharing for the sake of sharing.
Here is what I have: 33 dresses, 19 skirts, 47 tops (including tees, sweaters, blouses), 16 cardigans, 12 tank tops (for layering) and 4 pairs of pants. Are you surprised by that number? Did you think I’d have more or less?
The capsule wardrobe concept might not be for me, but that’s not to say you shouldn’t try it. I’d love to hear youth thoughts below in the comments or on Facebook.
Speaking of FB, if you have not already joined my Modest Young Women group, I invite you to do so!