closet, en route

Annas winter capsule wardrobe

by Anna

Is a simpler life anyones goal for 2015? I did not exactly put simplicity on my list but I want to build, wear and maintain a capsule wardrobe. This means 37 pieces of clothing for each season. I work with the meteorological seasons which means I wear my winter clothes from december through february. However with the unpredictable German weather I decided to have a month-long transition period aka overlay. Meaning I still keep my winter clothes handy in march. (And I won’t be stuck with springy tees and cotton cardigans when there is snow blurring around.)

I stuck with the 37 pieces rule of Un-Fancy but left warm outerwear coats out of the equation. Fyi I own and wear three of them. Shoes are included in these 37 pieces. PJs, workout wear and homewear are not included, neither are festive/formal dresses. That sounds like a lot of exclusions, no? So let me tell you what 37 pieces I solely wear.

So here is what I wear
Pants: burgundy, black, highwaist, carrot, overalls, +new green
Skirts: tulle, wool
Dresses: woolwhite, waterfall, stripes
Cardigans: cabel, fleamarket, norwegian, grandpa, ikat
Sweaters: black/white, orange, waves, grey, black, olive, woolwhite, hoodie
T-Shirts/turtlenecks: flowers, snowflakes, ornaments, black, black turtleneck, waterfall purple, blue, pale pink, stripes
Shoes: brown lace-ups, white booties, pink suede, ballet flats, snow boots

Also I divided my clothing rack with a scarf. On one side are the garments I have already worn, on the other side those I have yet to wear. If at the end of the capsule wardrobe I find that something was not at all worn, I will have to leave. With three items left on the unworn side I rather doubt that though.

How is this going? This is my second capsule. I did one for fall and told noone about it. That was my test run because I wanted to know if people noticed if I wore the same pieces over and over. Like my mum asking me if I had a new favorite cardigan. But although I wore the same cardi for almost five days straight on christmas break, nobody said a thing. Which is good.

I am doing this capsule thing to simplify dressing in the morning and to find out what I truly love to wear i.e. to learn of my very own style. I already ditched some winter pieces while putting together this capsule and what I find impractical and unconfortable of the items in my current capsule will leave at the end of march. The thing is that I mainly shopped my own closet. That is because I want to minimize.

My goal is to find pieces that I love and wear and not to swap stuff (that does not get worn) for more stuff (that does not get worn). So I start out with a wardrobe from pieces that I already have. During the transition period I take notes of what I still need and then look and shop for the right item to fill the gap. These pieces must be what I want in color, match many of the other garments, be comfortable and of good quality to last not only through this capsule but best through many more capsules as well.

For this winter I needed another pair of pants. I wanted comfy and colorful (in my capsule not necessarily everthing matches everything) and bought these mint&berry jeans in teal. They are a great fit and I love them a whole bunnch already. I brought them in for the grandpa vest that was not warm enough for winter. Also I am still looking for a replacement for my striped longsleeve tee because I is just too worn and baggy. I had hope that this striped turtleneck would work but it turned out the neckhole was very tight and felt like a grip around my throat.

My capsule wardsobe get worn at work and at home. And it gets dirty a lot, little hands smear banana or snot on me, I drip on myself when feeding one of the kids or and outside I get muddy feet on my stuff when picking a little one up.

For winter I included shoes but excluded coats. Even though I have pretty much worn every garment in my capsule already I think I could even downsize some more. On the other hand I did include coats as well as shoes in my fall capsule, so that’s what will happen in spring, too. From there on I will see if I want to narrow down some more. Think 30 pieces?!? Exclude skirts completely? (I tend to wear dresses when I want to be fancy…) Limit shoes even more?

Bottom line: I love it! I am not sure yet wether it is limiting my selection or the open racks that make me see everything in one place. But the items I chose get worn. Obviously I still have clothes that I tend to reach for more often. This also is what makes me thing I could limit myself even further. Like come to the point where I love all the items in my closet equally… Ok, this my be utopia.

What I know for sure is that I know what is in my closet or more acurately on my rack. Since putting together this caspule there have not been any surprises as in “oh, I still have that”. I am more aware of what I own. And that’s a great way of decluttering…

Would you be interested in a recap at the end of winter?


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