The seasons are in transition, which always has me stopping to think about the clothes I have for the season ahead. In this case, it’s mid-September and still in the upper 90s here in the South; but in any case, my mind is set on cooler fall temperatures ahead!
So as I stood in my closet over the weekend and thought about the items I had available for fall, I felt stuck.
I searched through all my clothing and couldn’t help but think, “I have all these items hanging up in my closet, but I really have no cohesive outfits and nothing I love to wear.”
Have you ever been there?
I went through my entire closet last fall and donated about 7 bags full of clothes and shoes I never wore, but here I was again. Staring at a bunch of clothing I kept but haven’t worn since.
Now let me back up a minute — I actually don’t have a ton of clothes. I just have a ton of outfits and pieces I never put on.
I’m a work from home mom of two girls under 4. My main wardrobe consists of athletic clothes and loungewear (if you’ve seen my stories on Instagram, you know what I’m talking about)!
And the truth is, I suffer from major mom guilt whenever it comes to buying myself anything, so 90 percent of my wardrobe was purchased way back before I had kids. I actually found a number of pieces I still had from high school and college — how bad is that??
I’ve been under the notion that I shouldn’t buy myself clothing since I had my oldest daughter. That I should buy my family clothing. Take care of the house and everyone else. And not really worry about me or what I’m wearing. Who cares, anyway?
Well, I’ve been trying hard to break that habit of not allowing myself to spend time and money on ME! Of feeling guilty and feeling like I need to justify every purchase I make for myself.
And since I’ve been trying to break that habit, I decided to spend the weekend on me by going through my closet, determining what I loved and what I didn’t. Making note of what I needed and what I had that was just way too outdated so I could actually start looking for clothes for ME! Clothes that I actually love and want to wear.
I’ve heard lots of talk about capsule wardrobes being used to simplify and make getting ready in the morning easy. I love that idea! But everything I’ve read about capsule wardrobes comes with lots of steps and guidelines.
I wasn’t ready to go that far just yet! As you know, I love to live in the “ish”. I like to make things simple for myself and personalized for me.
So I took what I’ve been reading and created this super simple 6 step process to create a wardrobe capsule-ish from (mostly) what you already have in your closet so you can discover what you truly love to wear and never have to exclaim, “I have nothing to wear!” ever again.
HOW TO SIMPLIFY YOUR WARDROBE WITH THIS 6 STEP WARDROBE CAPSULE-ISH PROCESS
STEP 1: PURGE YOUR CLOSET
It’s as easy as it sounds! Some people like to pull everything out of their closet and sort their clothes into piles: Love it, like it, sell/donate it.
I don’t want that kind of a mess, so I take several passes as my closet and pull out everything I haven’t worn in at least a year or simply don’t love anymore.
I do this 2-3 times until I am struggling to pull out any items, being very critical each time I go through my clothes.
I then make piles to either donate or sell!
And I’d like to note here that this really didn’t include any of my athletic wear or sweats – those are staples for me as a work from home mom. So while I purged these piles a bit to get rid of what I didn’t wear, I won’t include them in my capsule-ish wardrobe!
STEP 2: ORGANIZE YOUR CLOSET BY COLOR AND ITEM
Once you’ve critically taken everything out of your closet that no longer brings you joy, you will likely begin to see some common themes.
Begin organizing your clothes by item and by color. Make an inventory list of what you have, and start to list out your common themes and what you might need more of in order to pull together some good, cohesive outfits.
In my case, I noticed that I had a good neutral base color palette with a lot of navy and pink. I also had some pops of mustard in my closet and a few pops of green as well.
I had tons of dresses and very few tops. Noted!
STEP 3: DETERMINE YOUR COLOR SCHEME AND VIBE FOR THE UPCOMING SEASON
Now that my closet was purged and organized, I used my common themes of the clothing items I love to pull together a color scheme and vibe I wanted to go for this fall!
I wanted a creamy neutral base palate with the main colors of navy and berry pink for the season. As an accent color, I chose to use mustard yellow.
As for my vibe, I’m cravy a comfy casual look and outfits that match! Your vibe can be whatever fits your lifestyle! For me – I really needed those good day to day casual outfits that could be dressed up or down a bit depending on the occasion.
STEP 4: PUT TOGETHER A SHOPPING LIST OF THE ITEMS YOU NEED TO ROUND OUT YOUR WARDROBE
Now comes the fun part! Once you’ve determined your color scheme and vibe, you will have a sense of the items you need to go shopping for in order to round out your wardrobe!
Think of items that will help turn one outfit into multiple as well as good layering pieces for when the weather changes so you can wear your outfits for longer.
Depending on where you live, determine whether or not you need heavy jackets, winter boots, sandals, flats, scarves, etc.!
Remember – don’t go crazy! Think about staples that you truly love. Don’t just shop to shop (unless that’s your thing, then by all means)!
STEP 5: PULL OUT ALL THE ITEMS THAT GO ALONG WITH STEP 3 FOR THE SEASON
You might want to do this step before you make your shopping list. I got a good sense of what I needed from where my closet was lacking, but it could be easier to create your shopping list after you have all your seasonal vibe items pulled out!
Either way, now you’ll want to go through your closet and pull out your very favorite items that go with the season ahead (for this example, fall) and that fit into your color scheme and vibe for the season.
I proceeded to pull out 4 pairs of pants (all some form of denim) that included white, gray, and both a light and dark denim.
I then went for basic layering pieces including plain white, gray, and mustard t-shirts and tank tops.
Next I went for cardigans that could go along with the above. I pulled out creamy white, oatmeal, and berry colored cardigans, both light and heavy.
Once that was done, I pulled out a handful of light to heavy sweaters in navy, berry, and cream.
I grabbed some vests and light jackets including a denim jacket, as well as a couple lightweight scarves. Again – the fall is pretty hot down here in the South, so I don’t need anything heavy for several months!
Then the fun part – I pulled out all the dresses, rompers, and jumpsuits that went along with my color palette and vibe, making sure I could dress them up or down and wear them for many different occasions. And of course making sure I could add a light sweater or jacket depending on the weather to ensure they could still work for months to come.
I grabbed a few pairs of shoes that I knew would go with the weather from our hot, hot fall through to the cooler, rainy fall.
I didn’t focus on a certain number of items, but more so items I knew I could use for many different combinations of outfits throughout the season! And outfits that I could easily mix and match because they all stayed in the color scheme I had chosen!
This won’t be my entire wardrobe, by the way! This will be the main cozy casual wardrobe I can easily choose from when I’m searching for a good, cohesive outfit so I’m not wasting time staring blankly at the full yet empty closet in front of me!
Which leads me to the next step….
STEP 6: JUMP FOR JOY AT YOUR NEW SIMPLE (YET CUTE) WARDROBE!
You’ll be amazed at how you feel when you simplify your wardrobe. There’s something to be said about the whole ‘less is more’ feeling!
I didn’t realize how my cluttered closet was actually creating unnecessary stress in my life! Now that I have a clear idea of many different outfits I can create in my chosen color palette and vibe, I’ll never need to wonder what to wear again.
And now that I have a clear list of the items I actually NEED to help round out my capsule-ish wardrobe, I will be able to shop with intention and find many items I will truly wear instead of shopping aimlessly and purchasing items I’ll never really wear.
So if you’ve been wanting to try a capsule wardrobe but feel overwhelmed by the steps involved, I encourage you to give this capusle-ish process a try to get you started on the right foot!
Do you think you’ll try it this season? Let me know!