Monday, October 10, 2016

Final Follow Up: Wardrobe Challenge

If you haven’t been following along or didn’t see my posts in September about the wardrobe challenge, you might want to catch up here.

In a nutshell: I chose 10 pieces and wore those only through the month of September. My original plan was to supplement with the alarming number of scarves and blazers that I own. Mother nature had other plans, so things got boring and quickly. But it was totally worth it.

Letting Go


I really had TIME (30 days!) to consider my choices and build my wardrobe with pieces that I felt good in, that fit right and, most importantly, worked with one another.


I emptied my closet completely and put everything in our spare room.

Then everything came off the hanger, sorted by item (top/bottom, etc.) then season (summer/fall), then type (casual/dress, etc.). I tried everything on and then it either stayed put or moved to a donate or sell pile.

I revisited the piles after a few days, made any necessary changes and then moved onto the next group. In the top picture below the items on the bottom were for current capsule, across the top is summer. I stored summer away for now. The bottom picture is the donate/sell pile.

This made a huge difference for me. I could do 20 minutes at a time or 2 hours at a time. I had 30 days, after all, so it was truly at my leisure. No stress! I just shut the door and walked away when I got overwhelmed.
Pants (top)
Dresses/Skirts (bottom left)
Tops (bottom right)


To donate (left)
To sell (right)
The most important part of this process was allowing myself to let go of cute things - worn or unworn - and things I was holding onto out of obligation or guilt from paying too much.

What I’ve learned


I will never be the girl who gets dolled up to go to the grocery store. All those years of “What Not to Wear” down the drain. Stacy and Clinton would be so disappointed. So for that I have designed a 15 piece weekend capsule.

STUFF gives me anxiety. And yet, for some reason, I still buy clothes I think are cute or that I think I should wear and then bring it home, hang it in the closet and get overwhelmed when too much accumulates and I can’t wear it all.

Sure, with 10 items to choose from things got repetitive and I got a little bored. I was also able to mindlessly thrown an outfit together in just a few minutes and I felt confident every single time

This was the game changer I was hoping for.


Did I hit my goals and what is my plan moving forward.


I did this for 2 main reasons: to get back to my true style and to eliminate the stress of daily dressing. 

I accomplished both goals - sorta!
A true capsule wardrobe is in a 3 month/4 season rotation. I bit off a bigger chunk of time and went for 6 month/2 season rotation - Fall/Winter (October - March) and Spring/Summer (April - September).

During my purge, I realized there are some things I have duplicates of, but I also wear those items a lot (basic tees, leggings). I kept one item of each in rotation and left the others in storage so that I can shop my own closet when those get worn out. 

I was hoping to get down to 40 items for my work/date night/girls night out wardrobe. I’m actually at 72 (YIKES)!! I am confident my closet will continue to shrink, not grow. I've also done the backwards hang to see what I do or don't wear over the next 6 months. I'll also get a truer sense of what needs replacing and what does not.

What's in my closet: 30 tops, 14 pants, 6 skirts, 11 dresses, 11 blazers



My advice


Go for it. I had a lot of naysayers telling me I was crazy. Shut them down and prove them wrong. you can do it!

But...do your research 1st. This would have changed some of my approach early on.  The French wardrobe and the 333 Method are good places to start. If you have time, a Pinterest account and a desire to simplify, you should also research these before starting.

Finally, download the Stylebook app and am slowly adding items from my wardrobe into the database. This should help me when I am in a style rut. 

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