Thursday, October 22, 2015

The time I got rid of all my clothes.

I'm going to start off this post by saying that I, in no way, think I'm the best person to give advice on fashion. I do love clothes and online shopping is my jam. However, I've struggled for years identifying my own personal style and creating a wardrobe that works for me.

Like most women (and some men!.. namely my husband), I would stand in my closet each morning before work or going out in the evening and say "I have nothing to wear!". Meanwhile, two closets in my house were brimming with clothes and I was hard pressed to close the drawers of my two dressers.

Bottom line, I simply wasn't a good shopper.
I didn't plan.
I bought more out of want than need.
I was impulsive.
I didn't look after my clothes.

Frankly, I was overwhelmed.

I came across the blog UnFancy which shares the concept of a capsule wardrobe. One post in and I was hooked. It was really an ah-ha moment for me. The more I read about it, the more I felt like it was describing me and what I was searching for in a wardrobe.

So what exactly is a wardrobe capsule? You can read more about it here but essentially it's creating a mini wardrobe of versatile pieces that you really love to wear. Makes sense, right? Absolutely. But getting there is the real battle. Whether you like your clothes or not, getting rid of them is really, really hard. It almost feels like throwing away money.

I went through all my clothes and sorted them into four piles.
  • love/keep
  • give away
  • sell
  • unsure
The 'unsure' pile was pretty big at first but as I kept coming back to it, it got smaller and smaller until most of those pieces disappeared into other piles. I gave a lot of pieces away, which always feels good. Selling was very successful. I made $450! Believe it or not, the love/keep pile was the tiniest of them all. The reality was that I liked a lot of my clothes but I didn't love them. I was wearing the same things over and over.

What started out as stressful became quite liberating and enjoyable (almost addicting!).  Surprisingly, what was left hanging in my closet, was something I'd been searching for all along - my personal style in a nutshell.

  • Comfortable (If it's not comfortable, I won't wear it or only wear it once)
  • Neutral (black, grey, beige, cream, white) with a few pops of color
  • Soft breathable fabrics and some denim
In reality, I wasn't left with very much. Unless it was something I saw myself wearing soon and often, it didn't make the cut. I actually ended up in a position that forced me to do some shopping. I know, terrible news.. The capsule wardrobe states that you should be working with 37 pieces and i didn't even have that. While I didn't feel the need to follow it exactly, I definitely was missing a few key pieces. I needed a little bit of everything to complete my wardrobe.

That being said, I am still working on my wardrobe. It takes time to find things that you love, fit well, wash well, and work with the rest of your wardrobe. It's not for everyone but I shop mostly online. I personally prefer to try things on at home, read reviews and find I get better better deals than in store.

Again, I'm not here to give fashion advice but some friends and coworkers have heard about my attempt at creating a capsule wardrobe and asked me to share my experience. It's really the best feeling to open your closet door and feel great about wearing anything I see hanging there. I'm down to using one closet and half a dresser! The only time that I feel like I have no clothes is when I'm behind on my laundry.

While I'm at it, I also thought I'd share some of my favorite pieces that are on repeat. I'm quite selective when shopping and these are pieces that I find versatile and comfortable. As you can see, I'm a very casual dresser.

Obviously I have an unhealthy obsession with Aritzia. I love the style of their clothes and the soft fabrics. I could get lost in the website for hours. A disclaimer... I kept almost ALL my dresses. I love them all and decided it would be the one thing I'd let go. Also, the capsule wardrobe does not include workout clothes and pyjamas, although I definitely dwindled those piles as well in the process.

Have any of you attempted a capsule wardrobe? I'm totally curious to hear about your experience. If not, is it something you'd like to try?


  1. This is a very interesting post - I go through my wardrobe here and there and end up keeping these maybes - they are things that I "should" like but just can't seem to find an opportunity to wear - or anything to wear them with - your post really makes me think I should just ditch them! I was wondering what to do with more formal stuff, so glad to hear you kept all your dresses :) Also for my work I need more formal pieces - but now find my casual stuff for weekends is grubby. I need an overhaul!! Time to check out that capsule post...thanks for the inspiration Jane!

    1. Get rid of the maybes! lol Yes, I think that if you are casual at home and more formal at work, you definitely need more clothes and it's much more challenging.. I'm lucky that as a teacher I can be quite casual so I have lots of crossover. Let me know how it goes!

  2. I am intrigued by the idea of a capsule wardrobe and I love how you talk about really defining a style when doing it. I think that's been my problem. I cut down my clothes and then they slowly grow again because I buy more stuff I only wear once. Such a waste of money!

    1. That was the best part. I think I'm currently spending the same amount that I was on clothing but on nicer things that I am actually wearing vs impulse shopping.

  3. Would you mind sharing where/how you sold your clothes? I haven't had much luck with that in the past and was hoping for some tips.

  4. I sold them on a local Facebook group.


Love hearing from you! Thanks so much :)