Having a capsule wardrobe seems like the staple all minimalists have. As a result, when I first began my own minimalist journey, my closet was the first thing I decided to tackle. I began working through my wardrobe at a time when I lived between three homes, and I was moving constantly. Logistically, it just made sense for me to minimize how many things I needed to move from one place to another. I also was working on weight loss, so it was easy to get through some of the clothes that didn’t fit me anymore.
But I thought it was too much.
When I finally sat down and went through all of my clothing items, individually evaluating what I loved and what I didn’t- I found most of them went into the “not love” pile. At the end of it, I had 28 clothing items, including shoes, tops, and bottoms. Seasonal tanks, work-out gear, and college shirts (I am a former student leader and at the time needed them for events) were not counted in this number.
I felt very overwhelmed by the lack of clothing in my closet. I felt like I didn’t even really “love” the things sitting in my closet that was left. It was nowhere near the perfect “feel confident all the time” wardrobe I somehow thought I would magically have once I sorted through everything.
First, I contemplated going out and just buying myself a new wardrobe altogether. I did a lot of research on capsule wardrobes, and what should be in them. What clothes would fit with my day to day life and style and what capsule already had most of those things…And then the feeling of dread started.
I hate shopping. Especially for clothes. It was something I enjoyed about a capsule. Less shopping, less stress, less worrying about the fact a shirt didn’t fit in the size I wanted it too. And somehow I was putting more stress on myself than I ever had to have the “perfect” number of clothes and the “perfect” wardrobe. But who decides that number for me?
Through this, I learned that there is a mental closet with the physical one. That we need to break free of what we think is the right way to do something, and sometimes take our own path to reach our own goals.
Many of the articles I have read about capsule wardrobes say that the biggest leap is just going for it. So, that is what I am going to do. The clothes I currently have, I know I will wear, and slowly I can begin to build up a wardrobe that I feel 100% confident in, without breaking my college student wallet. The clothes I have is currently all I really had access to anyway. Many people try out different capsules before they find the one that works for them, and I am going to try this out as something new. And, if I could give out advice about capsule wardrobes, that’s what I would tell people. It’s about progress, not perfection.
I challenge you to do something similar. Go through your clothes. Purge yourself of those pants that you maybe want to try to re-fit into one day. Toss those clothes you keep because you hope that one day you will have a reason to wear them, or hope that one day they will magically flatter you. Get rid of the clothes you don’t love, wear or give you joy. Take the leap, and take the journey your own way.