Hello Readers! Wow! What a week it’s been! In fact, the last two weeks have been crazy in our household. Last Monday on Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, my husband Ryan started with his new company in a field he’s been trying to enter for quite some time: logistics. Both he and I are nerds in that sense. We both rocked at Tetris as kids, and we’re both excellent at literal coordination and logistics. I am a complete klutz physically, but I do very well with coordinating schedules, organization, and figuring out the logistics of schedules. And Ryan is very much the same. In fact, we did logistics in our previous jobs where we met. It was a major part of our days. Anyway, he’s really excited and eager to excel in this career path, and I’m excited because it means so many opportunities are available to us. Aside from the increase of our income once his training period is over, we also are enjoying a better schedule. It is so nice to have him home at a decent hour instead of sometime around 9 or 10 at night! And to have weekends and holidays free will be fantastic for our family and for our out of towners that visit from time to time.
Aside from that, I personally have been reaping the benefits of his new schedule since I started on my first round of 21 Day Fix Extreme for this year just last week. I don’t want to tell too much about it as I will cover more of it next week when I am almost finished. But I can say that this time around I have already been more successful than before. My first day, for example, was last Monday. And while I had a severe migraine all day, mostly due to lack of sleep, I still did very well. I even opted not to have one of my fruits! I didn’t cheat. I didn’t stray from my meal plan, except for once. But I’ll explain that next week.
Instead, I really want to talk about my capsule wardrobe this week. I’ve been trying to not give too much away about it, but I’ve been really excited and optimistic about it. Last Tuesday, I attended a luncheon and presentation on the capsule wardrobe with my mother in law. It was the one meal I cheated with on my 21 Day Fix so far, but I had planned on that happening. Anyway, I was really excited about this presentation because it’s exactly what I’ve been doing with my own wardrobe. Let me tell you about my experience with the capsule wardrobe.
I stumbled upon a pin about “Project 333” on Pinterest in late September, and I was instantly intrigued about it. If you don’t know, Project 333 is a challenge to wear only 33 items for 3 months. This doesn’t mean that you can only wear something once in three months; it means that for three months you are limited to only 33 articles of clothing for 3 months. It’s a small time frame for the capsule wardrobe, and it’s what a lot of people seem drawn to. I, personally, was intrigued by the idea of having a wardrobe that I loved and felt confident in.
At the time, you see, I was still in a state of depression. While I still have my bouts of it right now, I suffered greatly from it in the Fall. My late father and my paternal grandfather both passed away within a week of each other during my pregnancy, and that loss has haunted me as I was still in shock during my pregnancy. I stayed in denial and pushed aside my grief because I was pregnant. And when I finally started my own grieving process everyone else was beginning their closure. So, it has been an uphill struggle for me to find peace and comfort when everyone else has moved on.
To add to that, I was extremely depressed about my weight. In high school, I was very self conscious about the little pudge I had. While people still comment that they never saw me as overweight, I was technically overweight. But my rectangular frame meant that all of my pudginess was proportional. And then, after high school, I suddenly lost the weight. I was skinny until just after my wedding in January of 2015. At that point, I was pregnant and I had quit working. And while I was taking a few classes at the local college, I wasn’t on my feet as much as I had been at my previous job. Before, I had typically walked five or six miles a day at work, which I tracked with a pedometer. And then I wasn’t doing anything but sitting in classes and at home. I also quit smoking shortly thereafter, and the oral fixation began in which I started eating to occupy my mind. Overall, I gained 60 pounds during my pregnancy. And then I gained 20 more out of depression afterward.
Needless to say, this past Fall I was very unhappy with myself. I barely got out of my pajamas unless I had to go somewhere. And when I did venture outside, I stuck to about three outfits, even though I had a closet full of clothes. So, when I saw the idea behind the capsule wardrobe, I was intrigued and eager to feel comfortable and confident in my wardrobe. And I started planning.
My original idea for a wardrobe would’ve amounted to spending thousands of dollars right away, but window shopping online via Kohl’s (my go-to store that I have loved since I discovered it) gave me some insight into my own wardrobe needs. I like classic looks, and I like comfortable pieces. And while I do like my classics, I’m not a fan of straight black and white only.
So knowing my style and my fashion trends, I looked in my closet to figure out what I liked and what was working for me. And inspiration struck when I came across a red wool skirt suit set that I had. It was in my size and something I had received as a hand me down after gaining weight. I had kept it because I loved it and thought that someday I would feel confident enough to wear it to an interview. I loved it but I had never worn it because I had nowhere to wear it. It was too nice for any old day, but it was useless in my closet. And yet I was drawn to it because it was a classic pencil skirt set with a collarless blazer and big pearl buttons. While it was a classic pencil skirt set, it was unique because of the color and the cut. And suddenly, I started to see other pieces in my closet and drawers that were similar in design: pieces that I loved and pieces that were classic but unique.
And my wardrobe jumped out at me from there. I immediately started tossing out pieces I hated or that no longer fit me. I had kept all of my old prepregnancy clothes because I had naively believed I would bounce back to my old sizes. And I still had my well worn and ill fitting pregnancy clothes that I was sick of seeing. All of that was tossed out. And almost immediately I realized a few key elements about my wardrobe:
- I had a lot of clothes that fit within my capsule wardrobe wants, although most of what I had was unique while still classic.
- I had a lot of black!
So, I broke the first rule of the capsule wardrobe and I purchased a couple items, mostly non-black shirts. And while I have made a few purchases since October, I have spent a lot of time looking for what I need, evaluating each need, and determining if it’s truly necessary. In all, I’ve only purchased five tops, one dress, two blouses,one cardigan, and one pair of slacks. The rest is from my closet. And I currently have 39 items, including shoes, for my entire wardrobe year round. I have a list of ten purchases and four replacements that I want to get within the next year. But, a lot of my purchases have been to replace what’s already too worn to wear or stained. And the same goes for my wish list. For example, this past week I realized that while I love my red wool pea coat, it isn’t practical for everyday use because it’s more dressy. It was great for the holiday season, and it does well for right now. But it’s difficult to wear it out to play in the snow. So, I decided I want to get a Winter parka. But then I realized I could get a 3-in-1 coat set with a down parka and a outer windbreaker shell that would also fulfill my “rain coat/windbreaker” need. So, instead of buying two coats, we have plans to buy a 3-in-1 coat either in the Winter clearance sales in February/March or next Fall during the Fall/Winter coat sales.
Anyway, one thing I do love about doing the capsule wardrobe is that it has helped me become picky about what I buy and what I want. I have a clear and concise idea of what holes are in my wardrobe, and I only shop for certain pieces in certain colors. My color palette is:
MAIN COLORS: RED, BLUE, BLACK
NEUTRALS: BEIGE, WHITEACCENT COLORS: PINK, BROWN, GREEN, LEOPARD/ANIMAL
And that’s my wardrobe. I am still working on my year round capsule of 50 items only, but I may add a couple, depending on needs. And I’m starting to focus on what I want to do with my other wardrobe needs–intimates, workout gear, pajamas, etc–and I think that wardrobe will also be limited to 50 items total. After all, I do laundry so frequently that I have no excuse for seven work out outfits, and don’t get me started on my intimates and socks!
And so, there is still more for me to do with my wardrobe. But I am ten times happier and more confident with it now. I get excited about getting dressed each day, even if I’m home all day, and I love every piece I put on now.
Until next week,