I had often dreamed of having a capsule wardrobe but never intentionally acted on it. In theory it sounded amazing to have a few select, neutral pieces that all paired well with each other for endless combinations. When my friend V announced that she was taking on the #winter10x10 capsule wardrobe challenge I was ready to give it a shot. It was created by Lee Vosburgh and Caroline Joy. Those participating would choose 10 items of clothing (yes, a pair of shoes counts as one item) and make different outfits out of their choices for the next 10 days. We would Instagram our looks to encourage others around us. Sounds simple enough right?
Day 1 I hopped on the bandwagon a little late but after deciding I would join in, I took a mirror selfie wearing my favourite cozy wool sweater and faux leather leggings. Day 2 was all about the wide-leg pants and stripes. I was a little annoyed by the fact that my purse counted as one whole item – gaaaah! I guess I could have just stashed everything in my pockets like I normally do nowadays (aside from baby stuff of course).
By day 6 I came to the stark realization that I had actually done this whole capsule wardrobe thing before…
I remember in the year 2000, spacing my clothes apart in my closet to look like they took up more room for my own personal satisfaction! At that time I was 12 years old, zero money, zero job and I recall owning a total of around 9 wearable pieces (I can recall each item in my head to this day). I was growing like a weed.
When I started the #winter10x10 challenge I was optimistic at first. After the baby spit up on a few items and I needed to throw 2 of my three pairs of pants into the wash I got a little frustrated. I am still wearing my shirts with stains on them because who has the time to do laundry that often? The one sleeve has a really gross blotch mark that I cannot get out with regular spot cleaning so I simply rolled the sleeve up so I do not have to look at it.
I also was not enthused once I realized that it was my 12-year-old self on repeat. The novelty wears off really quickly if you have previously spent part of your life having an accidental capsule wardrobe! (ha ha) What conclusion have I come to in all of this?
A close friend of mine recently told me about “Lagom” which is a Swedish word meaning “just the right amount.” I realize that in all areas of my life I actually aim to have balance, rather than only a little or too much. My wardrobe proved to be no different!
While I have been clearing out my closet for the past couple of years and now have a very compact collection of clothes I cannot say I have a minimalist, capsule wardrobe nor do I want one. I like to surround myself with things of quality that I use time and time again but enjoy not having to do laundry every couple of days! Now I know many capsule wardrobes are bigger than 10 pieces, but I also don’t like being held back in the sense that if I do really like something (and it doesn’t have to be practical or match with much) I can purchase it and enjoy it just the same. For me, not too much but not too little feels just right.
What are your thoughts on capsule wardrobes, or downsizing your closet in general?
Follow my Instagram account for more looks @joannapopillustration