8 Tips For Choosing The Right Clothes For Your Spring Capsule Wardrobe: What I'm Learning From My #14springcapsule Challenge.
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I'm on day 5 of my spring capsule wardrobe challenge and I'm already questioning my choices! The 14 pieces I chose for this 14 days of dressing in a capsule wardrobe challenge are proving to be hard to mix and match when the weather keeps jumping around. I knew the weather is unpredictable this time of year, and that this capsule wardrobe challenge would be difficult because of the back and forth from warm sixty degree sunny weather to freak'n cold and snowy, but I wasn't expecting it to be THIS hard! So, I sat down and jotted down some thoughts about my process so far and what I have learned.
I came up with 8 Tips For Choosing the Right Clothes For Your Spring Capsule Wardrobe. Part of the reason why I decided to challenge myself with the 14 days of dressing in 14 items capsule wardrobe challenge is to gain some clarity as to which items I still love, what works for me, what I need to change, and which pieces I may need to acquire in order to REALLY feel good about my seasonal capsule wardrobe. I hope these tips help you choose the items for your spring capsule wardrobe. I'm planning on following them too, when I'm ready to curate my spring capsule wardrobe. Let's hope that winter will disappear soon, so that spring may return in all her glory and we can actually wear spring clothes without having to swathe ourselves in fifteen layers of winter woolens to stay warm!
8 Tips For Choosing The Right Clothes For Your Spring Capsule Wardrobe.
1. Know your STYLE IDENTITY and SEASON. Whether you are a fan of Kibbe types, David Zyla's seasonal archetypes, or the classic "Color Me Beautiful" system, it's extremely helpful to have an idea of what works for your body type. I'm talking about lines, shapes, textures, colors. Most women have an intuitive knowledge of what suits us best, so if you are just starting out on your style journey--trust your intuition, your sixth beauty sense. My style identity Pinterest board is here if you want to take a peek for inspiration, or just out of curiosity. I highly recommend either cutting styles you like out of magazines or starting a Pinterest board where you pin the styles that call to you. If you don't know your color season or image archetype(s), Pinterest is a great resource for helping you along that journey.
2. Read "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up." This book, more than any other has been such a source of inspiration to me. It's helped me to find the things that ACTUALLY spark joy for me and to know when to part with the rest. The process she has outlined in this gem of a book for sorting through clothing (and properly storing clothing) was so useful! Another book I am keen to add to my library, that I keep hearing amazing things about is "The Curated Closet." I would recommend starting with this book if you are just beginning your journey towards slow living and capsule wardrobe curation.
3. Follow Marie Kondo's advice (from The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up) and get all of your clothes and put them in one pile on the floor. When I say all, I mean ALL. Anything that's in storage, bring it out. If you live in a place with four distinct seasons (like me) you may need to create a seasonal capsule wardrobe rather than have a capsule wardrobe that works all year long. Even though I curate my capsule wardrobe at the start of each season, I tend to keep articles of clothing that can be worn all year round. For example: under layers like camisoles can be worn in the summer and in the winter. If you are curating a spring season capsule wardrobe, go ahead and sort through all of your clothes using Marie Kondo's method. Pack away anything that is out of season (like heavy winter coats). Try to only keep in season items in your wardrobe. I personally use a clothing rack for hanging most of my in-season clothes. I also have baskets on a shelf for storing lingerie, socks, sweaters, and items that should be folded.
***TIP*** If you are just starting out and are feeling a bit lost, rather than attempt to curate a capsule wardrobe now, I'd recommend returning your clothes to your closet. Every time you wear an outfit, either put it at the back of your closet, or turn the hanger around the opposite way from how you usually position it. After one-two months check your closet to see which items you wore the most. Keep those and think really hard about what to do with the rest. If they are items you might need for special/every once in awhile events go ahead and keep them, otherwise GIVE THEM AWAY!****
4. Now that you have sorted through your clothes, decide on a color palette and TRY TO CREATE AS MANY OUTFITS AS POSSIBLE USING THE CLOTHES YOU WANT TO INCLUDE IN YOUR CAPSULE. This tip was mentioned by theminimalistwardrobe.com in her post. This is what I neglected to do when I choose my 14 pieces for my 14 day capsule wardrobe challenge! Major hand to forehead moment on my part!!! Hence, the reason I am writing this post. This is where knowing your color season really comes in handy. Most people recommend using mostly neutrals for your capsule wardrobe, with just two or three at most other colors to add interest. While this system works for those who need a more conventional style for work, or for those who look best in classic styles, this might not be the best option for EVERYONE. Again, know your STYLE IDENTITY. Then you can choose a color palette that fits YOU.
5. Make a list of any upcoming events, types of outfits you are required to wear (such as work uniforms or outfits that adhere to a dress code), outfits you tend to wear on days off, etc. Write down EVERYTHING. It's important to plan. This was also an oversight on my part when I was planning my 14 day capsule wardrobe. I failed to take into consideration the fact that I need old clothes when I engage in homeschool activities with my kid (like baking bread on Mondays and painting on Thursdays), that I wear yoga pants often because I actually do yoga every day, etc. Think about YOUR LIFESTYLE. A capsule wardrobe isn't just for business professionals. It can make getting dressed every day so much easier for everyone. It also helps you feel positive about yourself when you are dressing in clothes you actually love and that express your style identity. If that means wearing yoga pants almost every day, so be it, as long as that is authentic for you.
6. Choose a number. Not everyone is in agreement about how many items should be included in a capsule wardrobe. Think about what it realistic and doable for YOU. Don't try to follow anyone else's system, unless you feel like you need that added structure (if you are just starting on your capsule wardrobe journey as an example). Last season, I limited myself to 35 items (that included my mittens, scarves, coat, winter boots, and jewelry). Although I felt pretty good about what I was wearing, I also felt like some of the fun and joy of creating outfits was missing.
I LOVE clothes. Dressing up has always been one of my very favorite things in the world. I'm trying to be a conscious consumer who advocates for slow fashion, but does this mean I shouldn't do what brings me joy? Sometimes, shopping at thrift stores and vintage clothing shops and acquiring new items is something that I need to do in order to feel authentically ME.
I'm not going to limit myself to a set number of clothing this time around, but I am still going to make sure that everything I include in my capsule wardrobe goes with everything else. I'm not going to buy new (or new OLD) clothing just to be buying something, but I will give a lot of thought to what items I need to fill out my wardrobe and spark that sense of childlike joy and wonder in me. Then, I will look for those items and will choose to purchase them from sustainable/ethical/slow fashion brands, OR (more likely) purchase secondhand (which really is the most sustainable option).
I feel like my number will be around 45, but who knows? It could be more, could be less. Think about what is realistic for you, and don't feel guilty if you end up with more items than most people think appropriate to be considered a "capsule wardrobe."
7. Add fun, just in case items. Are there items you haven't worn, but keep thinking you will wear one day? Do you smile and feel happy every time you see those particular items? My tip: add them to your capsule wardrobe. Force yourself to wear them. If they don't feel right, go ahead and pass them on to someone who will appreciate them. Chances are you love those items for a reason. Maybe they remind you of your child self, or a dear friend, or bring back memories of a certain place you visited on a wonderful holiday. If you genuinely love them and feel happy wearing them (if only every once in awhile) go ahead and keep them. For years I had this kaftan type of shirt that a friend whose family was from India gave to me long ago. She was actually my older sibling's friend who gave me the shirt when I was a gawky adolescent. She had such amazing style and the shirt always made me think of her. The color wasn't my best color, but I always felt happy whenever I wore that shirt. I literally had this shirt for twenty years, until it fell apart! It wasn't exactly my style, or color, but I kept it for so long because of the amazing memories and how I felt every time I did wear it.
8. This last tip is for those of you who might be struggling with finding your unique style, or feeling good about your spring capsule wardrobe. It could also be just for fun for those of you who feel pretty happy with your seasonal capsule wardrobe. Look through old photographs. Think about who you were when you were a kid. That was when you were most authentically YOU! Try to reconnect with your child self. She may have a thing or two to share with you! Also make note of the outfits your past selves wore that looked AMAZING. What was it about those styles that you liked? Are there elements you can add to your current look? You probably don't want to recreate the entire look, or you could look completely dated, but try to add some elements from those FABULOUS OUTFITS to your current look to keep it fresh and keep you feeling INSPIRED.
So, those are my 8 tips for choosing the right clothes for your spring capsule wardrobe. I'd love to hear about your journey towards curating a seasonal capsule wardrobe. Which items are you most excited to add to your spring capsule wardrobe? Let me know in the comments, or shoot me a message on Instagram.
You might want to read my blog post about Creating a Spring Capsule Wardrobe so you can participate in the 14 day challenge. The 14 items I chose for the 14 day challenge are here.
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