Craig is so good at buying me gifts and in the past, has loved lavishing me with many more gifts than he really should purchase. Since “gift” is one of my love languages, I love it of course, but with following the principles of Financial Peace University, our gift budget has been cut significantly. Last year for Mother’s Day, he gave me $500 cash to go shopping with and i had a blast buying a few items of clothing that cost more than I would normally spend, but I’m happy that I splurged because the items have held up well and still look brand new even though I still wear them often.Needless to say, I was curious to see how Craig would handle gift-giving with Mother’s Day this past Sunday…
He gave me $100 to budget and spend however I wish. I was elated but also horrified.
We are four months into our journey to financial peace and I have just gotten used to not spending money on me. There are so many things I really do NEED because I have literally worn out so much of what I have, that I want so much to make the most of this $100 and I really don’t want to waste a single penny of it!
I love the intentionality that this process naturally brings to our finances but I just seem to be spinning in circles, not knowing where to being in spending my precious $100.
So… Where to begin?
It was one of my goals this year to finally buckle down and make a capsule wardrobe. I already have a very limited wardrobe after losing a lot of weight and not wanting to get a lot of new items since I plan on losing a lot more. As of right now, I have only been buying pieces here and there that fill a void in my wardrobe. I think I really have already been doing the capsule wardrobe thing, but not being as intentional about it as I want to be as a whole so that most of the pieces will fit together.
What is a capsule wardrobe, you ask?
Well…. Guess what? The whole idea and process of building and creating a successful capsule wardrobe is new to me too… I have been intrigued by the idea for some time but I was also a little intimidated by it. I didn’t want to buy things that I wouldn’t usually wear and I certainly don’t have loads of money to buy a whole new wardrobe. However, during the last several weeks, I have done some research and discovered that you can use the principles of a capsule wardrobe and make it your own.
WHAT IS A CAPSULE WARDROBE?
Well, first things. If you’re new to capsule wardrobes you probably have no idea what I’m referring to. So, here’s what I gathered:
An effective capsule wardrobe has:
- a specific number of KEY/STAPLE quality timeless pieces
- these pieces can be used in different combinations with a specific number of VARIABLE pieces
- producing several fashionable interchangeable outfits
- these outfits are suited to your lifestyle, location and style.
- the whole idea of a capsule wardrobe is to de-clutter, save money and simplify.
KEY/STAPLE pieces are items of clothing that won’t go out of style and in neutral colors such as black, grey, white, brown and beige. These pieces can easily be transferred to the next seasons (if applicable). For example: black tailored slacks, skinny blue jeans, black blazer, white blouse, etc. You may pay more for quality key pieces but in the end you will save money – sometimes you can get really good deals on staples pieces.
VARIABLE pieces are items of clothing that are usually specific to a season (if applicable), in different colors or patterns and can be trendy. For example: a floral summer shirt, or thick wool winter sweater. Several of the key and variable pieces should be able to be mixed and matched to form several different outfits. Together, the key and variable pieces form a capsule wardrobe.
Ideally, a proper capsule wardrobe should offer plenty of outfits without it being apparent that you have a minimalist wardrobe.
I will be starting a new job in a few weeks that will be taking me out of my house for work 4 days a week. This is a new world for me as over the past 5 years, most of my work has been done from home and in a “virtual” environment. I figured that THIS would be a great time to begin putting these capsule wardrobe principles into practice and FINALLY have my proper capsule wardrobe.
Since I am currently working hard on a weight loss journey, I am going to need to be very careful about the items I select for my wardrobe so that the pieces will allow for my shrinking body and not have to purchase all new pieces before the next season.
WHERE/HOW DO I START?
Everything I have read suggests that you give yourself 5 weeks to start your capsule wardrobe. I know it sound like a long time but I think that is a realistic timeframe to really get yourself ready and organized. Myself, I didn’t want to jump into it without having figured what or if I could keep my existing wardrobe and without figuring out exactly what this wardrobe would consist of. Based on all of the research I have done, this is the schedule I plan on keeping as I intentionally walk our building my first capsule wardrobe:
WEEK 1-3: ORGANIZING AND DE-CLUTTERING:
Determine and organize what will be in your capsule wardrobe:
Decide now what is include in your capsule wardrobe. Do you want to include your accessories such as scarves, bags, etc.? What about your workout clothes or lounge wear? This is completely up to you and you will design the structure of your capsule wardrobe based on this. Myself, I decided that I would not include the following:
- Winter coat, boots, hats, mittens, scarves, etc.
- Accessories such as jewelry, glasses, headbands, bags, purses, etc.
- Workout clothes and sleep wear/lounge wear.
- Bathing suits / beach wear.
- Formal attire.
- Underwear, socks and bras.
- I did include scarves into my wardrobe only because I have waaaay too many scarves and I knew that the following exercise would be a good way to see what ones I actually wear.
Begin the Process of Examining and De-cluttering (takes up to 3 weeks):
What will you keep from your current wardrobe? This is really hard to decide so I decided to put my current wardrobe to the test by trying a simple exercise (see below). I’m not going to lie, this is the hard part… no one (including me) likes to get rid of clothes or shoes (sigh). If you have items in your closet that you have not worn in over a year… they have got to go. The bottom line: if you fully commit to a capsule wardrobe, you will eventually have to get rid of some stuff, after all – the whole meaning of this is to create a minimalistic and simple wardrobe. However, don’t panic yet… the good news is – the stuff that you ACTUALLY wear on a regular basis you can keep and what you don’t wear you don’t have to throw out or donate right away.
Make sure all your laundry is done and everything is folded and/or hung up where its suppose to be. Turn ALL your hangers the other way and turn ALL your clothing in drawers/shelves inside out. Put a reminder in your phone or write a note on your calendar for 3 weeks from this day. After you use a piece of clothing toss it in the laundry basket. When it’s nice and clean again, hang it or store it in the drawer the proper way (hung the proper way and folded inside… in? – wait, what’s the opposite of inside out?). At the 3 week mark you’ll discover exactly what you wear on a regular basis. Here comes the hard-ish part: all the remaining items – toss into a garbage bag for now and store somewhere’s where you won’t see it.
At this point, it’s also a good idea to organize and de-clutter your entire wardrobe. For example, even though I’m not including pajamas or lounge wear into my capsule wardrobe – I followed the above exercise with them too – just to make some room in my drawers.
I don’t have a lot of clothes to begin with, so I don’t think this will take me 3 weeks to accomplish. I’ll keep you updated, for sure, and please let me know how it is going for you as well!
WEEK 4 & 5: DESIGNING AND IMPLEMENTING:
This is where the magic will really happen. The next two weeks are completely dedicated to designing and implementing your capsule wardrobe. You’ll design exactly how you want to structure your capsule wardrobe – how many key and variable pieces you’d like, what items from your current wardrobe you’d like to use and what items you will have to buy.
What do you think? Are you on board? I’m excited to share this process with you and I’d love to hear your thoughts in a comment below! These two Dave Ramsey quotes are my motivation for being intentional about my closet:
“Your situation ultimately comes down to your decisions
and what you are willing to sacrifice to make a change.”
“The only person you control is the one in the mirror. “
Wow…. that should help me focus and be super intentional about how I spend this $100 in building my capsule wardrobe. I’m excited to see what items from my current closet will stay and which items will finally hit the road! Leave me a comment letting me know your thoughts on the whole capsule wardrobe concept!