Capsule Dressing

When we moved to our condo and I had to make do with a significantly lesser closet space, I weeded out my closet of about a third of my clothes. Then when my son was born, of course he needed his own closet/dresser space so out went some more clothes. Unlike most women my age, I don't have closets overflowing with clothes, but when I started implementing the capsule dressing project, I was surprised to realize that I still had way too many pieces of clothing that I don't regularly use or use at all. For a quick read on capsule dressing, please click here

The basic idea behind creating a capsule wardrobe is curating your clothes, shoes and accessories to include only items that you will actually use and then to mix and match them. This eliminates decision fatigue to effectively lessen early morning stress (i.e. "What will I wear?! I'm already running late and I have nothing to wear!!!"), keeps your closet manageable and simplifies your entire life. The last may seem quite a stretch but really, once you realize that you can still be happy with a fraction of your things, it opens up the door to minimalism and eventually frees you from the chains of consumerism.

To be honest though, I don't experience decision fatigue when it comes to dressing up because I pretty much know what's in my closet and I have long figured out what works for me so I tend to stick with those pieces or variations of those. In short, I am a predictable dresser and I'm perfectly fine with that because although I have never been fashionable, I do know what flatters my body, and that I believe is more important than subscribing to the latest trend. But I am guilty of buying favorite items in multiples to the point that I'm surprised to find out after a shopping trip that I have a similar white top or dress lurking inside my closet.

Clearly a favorite, this blue top has been with me pre, during and post baby bump

For my own capsule collection, I veered from one of the basic rules and chose some pieces that I don't usually wear. When I went through my clothes, I saw some dresses that I forgot I had and the black sequinned skirt that I bought on a whim and have only worn once. Those went into my first capsule in order to force myself to get more wear out of them.

A month into my first capsule and I'm totally enjoying the experiment. My dresser drawers are no longer filled to the brim and are much easier to close, more importantly, I can already plan my week's outfits in my head in less than a minute.

In order to come up with my own capsule wardrobe, I went through these four easy steps:

  1. I went over my clothes and categorized them into three piles: (1) always wear; (2) sometimes wear and (3) had hoped to wear but never did. There's no need to explain the first and second piles, but the third pile is where my "aspirational" clothes went. Dresses that are a size or several sizes too small because I was convinced that I would lose those last 5 pounds. Tops that looked great on my favorite fashion blogger but utterly ludicrous on me, etc. You know what I'm talking about.
  2. I got rid of the third pile. You can sell them, give them away or trash them altogether. Whatever mode you decide, just get rid of those clothes. Believe me, you won't miss them.
  3. Chose 35 pieces from the first and second piles. The number is not really important. Project 333 bats for 33 pieces for easy recall, since it's 33 pieces for 3 months (kaya siya Project 333. Brilliant!). I ended up with 35 because I had a batch of clothes of being laundered when I came up with my capsule, and when the laundry arrived, I wanted to include some of my newly laundered clothes so I added two more pieces to my original 33. No big deal. The idea is to have a good mix of clothes that you can mix and match, so that you won't get tired of wearing them for the next three months. 
  4. Boxed the pieces from the first and second pile that I didn't choose. After three months, when it's time to come up with another capsule, I intend to bring out the box and use those pieces first to create my new capsule before buying new clothes.
I didn't include my pambahay, workout and weekend clothes into my 35 pieces, choosing to focus my capsule wardrobe on my work clothes. Formal and party wear were also not included. I did however, include my shoes into my 35 pieces and picked three pairs of flats and one nude heels for work, but I did cheat once and used my black pumps to go with a black sheath dress. Ooops..

Doing this capsule collection really opened my eyes to the fact that I have more than enough clothes. It also re-introduced me to my closet so I don't feel the urge to buy more clothes because I know I already have something similar waiting for me at home. Aside from freeing up closet space, it has likewise saved me from impulse shopping. Diba? Win all the way!

I highly suggest capsule dressing to everyone out there, or if you're not yet ready to take the plunge, to at least go through your closet and viciously edit it so that you'll only be left with pieces that you actually love wearing. By introducing this change into your life, mornings will be easier and closet clean-up sessions will be significantly lesser, not to mention the bundle of cash that you'll be saving in the long run.



edelweiza said…
I just found out about capsule dressing. Thanks to this post, Jill. I don't have many clothes like other girls, but just like the concept of capsule dressing, I have pieces (mostly classic/basic ones) that I usually just mix and match regularly. :)
Jillsabs said…
I'm now a big believer in keeping a lean and mean closet too. It's such a relief to know exactly what clothing pieces I have available just by glancing at my dresser and closet.

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