I recently came across The Every Girl blog post on making a Capsule Wardrobe – and became quickly intrigued. Over the past couple of years, I’ve really scaled back my wardrobe and focused on quality more than quantity. So this seemed right up my alley. The basic premise is that for three straight months you keep only 37 items of clothing (including shoes and outerwear) in your closet for wearing. Each season you rotate some pieces out so that you keep it at the same number. I know that I am guilty of reaching for the same items again and again, so this capsule idea is very appealing. And I adore the idea of opening my closet and loving every single piece staring back at me.
Over the past year, I’ve been working on weeding out old items from my closet and slowly replacing them with higher quality, more versatile pieces that will last longer. You may wonder what, if anything, this has to do with self care. I think that as a stay at home mom it’s been hard for me to buy things for myself, knowing I’m not bringing home a physical paycheck. So I would skimp and buy inexpensive things or not much at all. It wasn’t that my husband minded. In fact, he’s always encouraged me to buy things for myself – it’s me who has held back for some reason. Well, not anymore!
For one, I’m done having babies and that helps a lot, not being in an “in between” size anymore. I hesitated in between pregnancies spending too much on any one item because I didn’t know what my body would be like going forward. Now that I’m confident our family is complete, I feel like I can make more of an investment in my wardrobe. And as I’ve mentioned, I’ve come to the realization l feel better about myself when I put together an outfit rather than don my typical mom uniform of workout clothes. Those are best saved for ‘staying at home’ – a misnomer for me because it’s something I rarely do. And lastly, I have changed my mindset about feeling I shouldn’t splurge just because I don’t bring home a paycheck. What I do all day long is hard work!
I started reading up on fashion blogs to get a feel for which items are essential pieces and work well with several different ensembles. I still have a lot of work to do in this department but little by little, I’ve made some progress. The past few date nights I actually felt like I had some clothes and shoe options to work with! Prior to that, I was always changing at the last minute, trying to find something more flattering or that better fit the occasion.
What to do with the discard pile? I’ve sold many items at consignment stores and through Poshmark, an app I have on my phone similar to ebay but just for women’s fashions. Some went to goodwill, of course, and another pile went to a girlfriend.
Another option is donating to Fashion Project and receiving a $40 gift card to Nordstrom for every five designer items you send in. This one’s a double win because they also sell your clothes and donate part of the proceeds to a charity of your designation.
[photo credit: fashionproject.com]
As I’ve gotten rid of older clothes, I’ve been shopping here and there to fill in the gaps as our budget allows. One thing I’ve been on the hunt for is dresses now that it’s warmer. But without going out and spending upwards of $100 for each one, I’ve been hitting up consignment stores instead. On one recent trip (sans children) I scored 8 pieces and paid just $90. Two of the items were new with tags – such a steal. I forgot how much you can find at stores like these – I guess I need to frequent them more often!
Another way to add quality pieces without breaking the bank is shopping at stores like Nordstrom Rack and Marshall’s – also don’t forget to check out gilt.com and Rue La La for discounted prices on designer items.
I’ve really enjoyed the process and have come away with a few shopping dates with girlfriends as a result. It’s fun being creative and most importantly, knowing I value myself to put time and effort into ‘me’ each day!