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Sunday, March 19, 2017

My take on the capsule wardrobe

     Last month I turned 70. Now I'm not telling you this so you'll say, "why you don't look a day over 68."  But rather to marvel at the fact that I've gotten to this age and still have so much to learn. I'm sure I've acquired some knowledge in all these years and hopefully I'm able to pass some of it along to others. But with the internet so many new ideas are opened up to you. Many that you might never come across otherwise. It of course can be a source of much misinformation, but that's a whole other topic.
    You might or might not be aware of Marie Kondo and "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up". And by extension the whole minimalist movement.  This all hit a cord with me because I am a pretty organized person. I would go through stuff periodically and either donate or have a garage sale. But the saying, "you don't need more room, you need less stuff", really started to resonate with me. Another thing that got me thinking, and it might sound a little morbid, but I don't want my kids to have to deal with too much stuff when I'm gone.

     One area that has needed work is my closet. Deep down I knew I had too many clothes. In the past I'd made some half-hearted attempts to pare things down. If I bought something new I would try to get rid of one old item. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn't. I recently ran across the concept of the capsule wardrobe. If you're not familiar with this search on Pinterst. You'll get all the information you'll ever need on the subject. Here's a couple of sites to get you started: How to start a capsule wardrobeGet started.

     I read quite a bit about this idea. I thought, "this makes good sense, but how can I apply it to my situation." I'm a retired senior, my needs are different then a working 20 or 30 year old. But that's what I like about it, you can adapt it to your life style. Some sites give you a list of must have basics, many of which I'd have no need for. One thing all have in common, they say start with what you have. So that's what I did.
     I took everything out of my closet. And then I got tough with myself. Some things I hadn't worn in several years. "But it's cute" or "I might wear it someday", NO, out it went. I also found I had several items that really didn't go with anything else, OUT. 

Here's my discards

     I then started to put together outfits from what was left. It is suggested you do your wardrobe according to seasons and only hang a three month season in your closet at a time. Although Wyoming does have four seasons; fall, winter and spring can be very unpredictable. One day it can be 60 and sunny the next it is snowing. So I decided to put definitely summer in the guest closet and switch it out for definitely winter when the time comes. I'm keeping everything else in my main closet.
     Next it was time to go thru my shoes.  The following is a photo of all my shoes, not including boots (I had 7 pairs).

     I took each pair and besides comfort, did they go with more then one outfit. I managed to reduce by 11 pair. I even got my husband to go through his clothes and shoes. Although he didn't have near the number I did, he was still able to get rid of items.
     Some of the sites I visited had as few as 10-15 items while others had 30-40 per season. When I finished I counted and found I had an average of 45. I don't think the number matters as much as what works for each individual. I still think I probably have more clothes then I need, but I'm going to work with what I have for now. As I wear my outfits hopefully I will be able to pare it down some more. Or maybe I'll find this is the right amount for me. Either way I'm giving myself the challenge of not buying any new clothes or shoes for one year. This might sound extreme but from looking at the amount I have discarded and what I have left, I obviously have plenty.

These two photos are my closet now. Before there were no spaces between the hangers.

     When I do finally decide to buy something new I'm going to be more deliberate about my purchases. I don't want to get something just because it's cute or on sale. I want what I buy to go with more then one item that I already have. I want to really love it. Comfort is important also, not just style. Although I like to stay up to date, I don't want to be a slave to fashion (I never have understood torn jeans). This will be an on going process and learning experience. I'm excited to see where it leads me. 

A thought to ponder: "Buy less. Choose well. Make it last. Quality, not quantity.                                   Everybody's buying far too many clothes." 
                                                                                      Vivienne Westwood

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