I cannot believe I’m already writing this post wrapping up my fall capsule. Over the past (just under) three months, I have gotten dressed 77 times and posted about half of those here. The other half were school spirit Fridays or weekend looks that I didn’t post, because let’s be honest, sweats aren’t really blog-worthy. Here are some lessons I’ve learned, good and bad, over the course of the capsule.
- I didn’t miss shopping. This surprises me more than anything. I mean, shopping is my thing. When people ask what my hobbies are…it’s Pinterest crafts and bargain hunting. One of my biggest fears when starting the capsule wardrobe was that I would really miss shopping. Or not be able to stick to it. That’s actually one reason I wanted to start blogging – to hold myself more accountable and not just let the capsule idea fade once a great deal appeared in my inbox or Instagram feed. But honestly, I didn’t miss it. In fact, I hadn’t realized what a time suck and stress (I’m using that word lightly here) shopping was until I started looking around for a few items to round out my winter capsule. I posted more here. Which leads me to…
- More time. There’s no question that life is busy. Life with kids is busy. Life with a newborn is busy. Life with teaching, kids, and a newborn is busy. Not shopping (and returning) freed up a lot of time. Which is good because I didn’t really have much to spare. Now on weekends I’m not trying to sneak away to look at the Target clearance racks during a minute of down time. Instead, I read, or just sit and relax for a minute, or spend a few moments giving one of my kids some extra attention.
- Finances. There’s no question that shopping adds up. Even bargain shopping. All of those little $10-15 deals aren’t much on their own, but buy 8-12 of them over the course of a month and it starts to add up. Adding another baby into the daycare situation, plus the older kids activities has us on a pretty tight budget this year, so cutting back on my shopping habit was necessary anyway. In the past though, I’ve always found ways to justify the spending because they were such. great. deals. all of the time. And by not shopping for me, I’m also not shopping as much for my husband or kids or our house, so we’re limiting our clutter and bettering our finances. Win win!
- It’s easier to get dressed. With a closet of items that more or less coordinate and more or less fit (more on that later), it’s much easier to get dressed each morning, especially on the days when I’m feeling uninspired. I don’t have to try on ten different outfits to find one that I feel good in because I’ve already picked those items out and gotten rid of the rest. It’s more a matter of choosing what’s right for the day’s activities and weather. Our morning are nutty enough, so it’s a huge benefit to be able to pick an outfit and go.
- I’m more comfortable in my outfits. Because the capsule forced me to be more picky with what I kept in my wardrobe, I got rid of any items I didn’t love and didn’t feel great in. Not only are my clothes more physically comfortable (no items that required tugging or adjusting or pulling down were allowed), but I also feel more mentally comfortable. Is that a thing? What I mean is that I don’t feel like I’m wearing something that I love for someone else but am trying to make it work for me. You know what I’m talking about…when you just feel off all day because you’re outfit isn’t you. And that has been my ultimate goal this whole time.
- I didn’t get bored. I thought limiting the number of pieces in my closet would make my wardrobe feel boring, but it really didn’t. Granted, I didn’t limit shoes, jewelry, or scarves so that helps. Overall though, I didn’t feel like I was getting redundant with my outfits and I didn’t get sick of the items at all. If anything, I discovered I loved some of them more than I even thought.
- More wear on my items. My favorite pieces from the capsule were worn repeatedly and I definitely noticed some wear and tear. You all know I love a deal, which means most of my items were from lower quality stores, so it’s really no surprise that they didn’t hold up to the repeated wear and washing. Buying higher quality items and taking better care with my laundry is something I need to work on.
- Dressing for others. I don’t know if this is good or bad, but I realized how often I think about if the internet world will like my outfit. I put it in the bad section because I think that’s more of a downfall of being public with your wardrobe, not so much the capsule itself. It’s good though that I realize this and can move away from it and can dress for me.
- I took fewer risks. I didn’t go outside of my comfort zone much with the wardrobe, which is a place I feel I took a step back. I started posting daily outfits to Instagram two years ago because I was in a rut and I wanted to feel more put together. Then I got inspired and added a ton more color and print into my wardrobe and started really putting myself out there stylewise. I feel like the capsule set me back a bit there. I chose very safe pieces and put them together in very safe ways.
- I don’t need as many pieces. In my fall capsule I had 37 items + 6 I switched in for weekends + 5 more tops I wore for our spirit Fridays. A bunch of those weren’t worn or were only worn once (see more below), so I realized pretty early on that I could have/should have chosen fewer items. I think I was scared to feel limited. For my winter capsule I will be even more selective.
- I’m a commitment-phobe. I know I need to spend more on some great investment pieces, but that scares the crap out of me. I’m nervous I’ll spend big bucks on a great sweater only to not love it next year. I know realize that this is because I really don’t fully trust myself or my style choices yet. I think personal style is always changing and evolving, but I also think there are classics that we can invest in and know we’ll love forever. I’m just not quite there yet. But, I’m only 3 months into this capsule/personal style journey, so that’s ok. Baby steps.
- Size matters. Probably the number one rule of building a capsule is to pick items that fit you and that you feel great in right now. Oops. I didn’t do that. I assumed my weight would keep dropping postpartum so I chose a few items that would fit once that happened. And it didn’t. I think I might have jinxed myself into hanging onto this weight! 😉 Lesson learned. Pick what fits now and if your size really changes over the course of the capsule bend the rules and swap out items.
- Blogging is hard. A non capsule-related lesson I learned is that blogging is hard. All of it. Finding time to take pics, not making weird faces in the pics, editing the pics, writing content, and putting yourself out there. It’s not as easy as it looks and it takes a lot of time. I’m using this week break to re-evaluate my goals for the blog and to come up with a way to post, but make it fit into my life.
I’m a total math geek, so you know I had to do a bit of number crunching. 🙂
Of the 48 items hanging in my closet:
- Nine of them were never worn
- Ten of them were worn once
Of those ten, I looked back at the outfits and I easily could have picked an alternative from my closet. So crazy, right?! Even with a limited closet, I could have easily only worn 60% of it for the past 10 weeks with no problem.
Overall, I’d call my first capsule season a success. I have been working on my winter capsule and can’t wait to share it with you next week. If you’ve been on the fence and considering giving the capsule wardrobe a try I would highly suggest it!! At least once.