I’m switching over to my summer capsule this week. A lot of the pieces will carry over from my first capsule, but I am finding some shirts and pants getting less comfortable and I wanted to substitute in a few more tank tops now that it’s warmer and this pregnant body is like a furnace.
I recently became overwhelmed by my closet and wardrobe and realized I’d lost a bit of my style keeping up with the fashion I was seeing on Instagram – read more here. I want to challenge myself to stop impulse shopping, to wear pieces I feel good in, and to discover what style I truly love (not just what looks cute on others).
My intention is to mix-and-match only these items for the next couple of months. I will re-evaluate toward the end of July when I’m in the postpartum and breastfeeding stage.
(A lot of my items were poshmark, ebay, or thredup finds, so they are no longer available in stores, but I linked similar items)
There are numerous approaches to the capsule wardrobe, but here I’ll summarize a few of the most popular approaches.
Choose a set number of items to rotate every season.
Caroline at Unfancy chooses 37 pieces (shoes and outerwear count). Every season (3 months) she creates a new capsule. The number doesn’t have to be 37. Find a number that forces you to really pick and choose wisely, but also gives you enough options for your lifestyle. For example, if you work, you may need extra pieces if your weekday and weekend items don’t overlap.
Project 333 suggests choosing 33 items including clothing, accessories, jewelry, outerwear and shoes. There is also a Bonus rule, where you have 3 additional items to rotate out with 3 new items throughout the season. Project 333 also advises seasonal (3 month long) capsules. I like this idea because you can rotate in items that might not be as versatile – like a fun print dress or pants that you love, love, love.
Keep a given number of hangers in your closet year round.
Ruth at Living Well, Spending Less uses the 40 Hanger Closet system. You get a set number of hangers and that’s it – that’s the number of clothing items you can have in your wardrobe at any given time. This approach gives a little more flexibility in the timing of switching out clothes, but the idea is still to choose items you really love and get rid of the excess.
You could also consider this a year round capsule – I’ve seen a number of capsule wardrobes created by choosing to do a year-long capsule of 50 items. This may be a good option if your climate doesn’t require major wardrobe transitions.
Choose what works for you.
This is not supposed to be torture or a punishment, so choose a system that works for you. It also isn’t supposed to be mindless, narrowing your closet of 100 items to 75 may not be quite the impact the capsule wardrobe is supposed to make. Challenge yourself!
What works for me. (for now)
I have decided to start with a bit of a mix of the above rules. I kept the number 37 in the back of my mind as I cleaned my closet, created a wish list, and shopped. 37 is my favorite number and I’m about to turn 37. It seems like a good way to spend my 37th year is 37 clothing items at a time! That being said, I did not include accessories, shoes, or outerwear (yet). I gave myself this leniency because I do have items included that I will only wear to work as well as items I will only wear on weekends included in my capsule. Maybe in the future I will push myself a little harder, but for now that’s what works for me.
My current capsule is at 30 items. I am giving myself a couple of weeks to complete the capsule as I’m not 100% sure what I need. I’m going to wait to see what piece(s) I feel are missing as summer break begins and my belly continues growing. I am thinking a lightweight swing dress may be good for a hot summer. Or possibly some comfy shorts? I don’t want to buy something I won’t wear just to get to the magic number 37, so I’m holding off until I see what holes I find as summer break begins. At this point, I feel like I’m also outgrowing items every day!
I also have a few layering pieces (a neutral cardigan, utility jacket, denim jacket, denim vest) I’m still wearing due to a cool mornings.
I have boxed up all of my other items until I am ready to create my next capsule.
Who wants to join in the challenge and create a summer capsule with me? It’s only 3 mooonths….(said in a very convincing manner). I’d love the company! Remember – you aren’t getting rid of the rest of your closet forever, just boxing it up to try out 3 months living with less.
Stay tuned…next week I’m going to post a sample capsule for non-maternity wear!
Another way to shop: