Today, I’m coming at you with some reflections on my summer capsule. You’ve already seen the pieces I included in this wardrobe (and an explanation of why I began this experiment in the first place) plus 30 outfits I created using these items. After committing myself to this process for the last three months, I’ve learned a ton! About myself, and my approach to shopping and style. Overall, I’m really happy with the progress I made this season. I think I have a better sense of the pieces that fit me, and I’m learning to place less emphasis on shopping. I’m also starting to really understand my own, unique approach to style – which will help me continue to cultivate a wardrobe that I truly love! Here are a few more specific lessons that I’ve learned this season.
- I do better when I have fewer options. This is a fundamental concept behind the capsule wardrobe project, and something that has really worked well for me. I’m quite the perfectionist, and also much prefer when everything is well organized. For this reason, a closet featuring a defined set of items that are hand-chosen with thought and care simply makes me happy. In the day to day, having fewer clothes available also makes it easier for me to chose an outfit and ensures that any combination I put together will be cohesive and flattering.
- Higher quality pieces, and less of them, really do make a difference. After wearing the same 29 pieces for the past three months, I’ve really begun to notice the difference that quality makes. For instance, my cheap black ballet flats versus well-made leather boots: yes, the boots may have cost me more, but they have also held up incredibly well, while the flats are literally falling apart. This is a good reminder that investments, when made well, can be really worthwhile. Of course, I’ll still continue to buy some of my clothes at stores like Target and Forever 21. But I’m also giving myself permission to spend a little more on high-quality items when I really love a piece and it will last me for years.
- When choosing pieces, think about how you spend your time. This is an important idea that escaped me the first time around. It’s easy to shape our closets around the type of life that we wish we had. Maybe this means a rack full of stilettos or twenty bikinis. But try to be realistic: if you only go out once every few weeks, none of those heels will get much wear. One thing I realized this summer is that I now spend most of my time in the office. This means that the majority of my clothes should be work appropriate – primarily jeans, sweaters, and blouses. I also realized that I love to wear dresses, but didn’t include any that I can wear to work. With my sundresses relegated to weekends, I’ll definitely be including a few dresses in my fall capsule that are appropriate for the office.
- Try to choose a theme for your capsule. I didn’t do this for my summer capsule. Instead, I simply chose a mix from the items I already had. It worked well for my first capsule, because I didn’t have to purchase any new pieces and I had the chance to see which of my clothes were true favorites. But I think that it’s easier to be more excited about a new capsule if all of the pieces adhere to a theme. Maybe this is preppy, boho, or black and white. Choosing a vision to inform your choice of pieces will also make it easier to put together interesting and varied outfits. For my fall capsule, I’m experimenting with a theme of navy and neutrals.