Closet Purge – Capsule Wardrobe

I have written several times about cleaning out your closet (usually this time of year), but I think it’s always a good topic to revisit.  Our closets tend to swell and recede like the tides in low country.  We amass things and then need to shed them like so much old skin.

This post is culmination of eight months of reflection, experimentation, and research.  I started the year knowing a) I was in a rut with my wardrobe (winter has a tendency to give you the doldrums), and b) I wasn’t wearing 80% of what was in my closet.  I gave myself a challenge to not wear jeans to work for a full 30 days.  Not only did I easily meet that challenge but it was also a useful exercise in really seeing what I wear and what I don’t wear (and wouldn’t be sad if I didn’t own it anymore).

IMG_0985IMG_0987Before – full closet

At the same time, I started coming across some articles about capsule wardrobes like this one and this one.  Capsule wardrobes are seasonal wardrobes made up of a limited number of pieces, usually around 30 or so (not including things like sleepwear, work-out clothes, etc.).  I was intrigued by the concept, owning less but more quality pieces.  Wearing the things that you truly love versus having so much that you barely get to enjoy what you have.

By April, I was more than ready to dig in and really pare things down. My goal was to be able to contain the current season’s clothes in my very small closet in my bedroom, and limit the remaining off season clothes to only one side of the larger closet upstairs.  While I still have far more than 30 or so pieces in my seasonal wardrobe, I did meet my goals. And, I’m pretty pleased with the results.  I pretty much wear everything in my closet, and enjoy wearing it.  I’ve had little to no feeling like I don’t like what I’m wearing or I’m uncomfortable in it.  I have not experienced the “I have nothing to wear” syndrome at all. Yes, there’s been repeat outfits, but not enough where my co-workers can predict what I’m going to wear each day.



After – full season wardrobe



After – off season wardrobe


After – multi-season shoes (flats & heels)

In June, I did a little shopping, and added a few pants and four tops to my wardrobe.  They filled the gaps I had when I did the purge, fit in nicely with everything I already owned, and have been worn quite frequently.  I also bought two pairs of shoes.  I did spend more on them than I typically would have in the past, but they’ve both been totally worth it.  They have both been staples this summer.

Now that we are at the changing of another season, I have identified more pieces that I can live without. But, I’m sure there will need to be some pieces added for the fall.  A refresh is always good…….and fun!

Have any questions about cleaning or organizing your closet, shoot me an email, and I’ll be happy to help with answers!

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