Making the Switch to Minimalistic Style

So the other day, I started making preparations for my very first capsule wardrobe–a big step for someone who has been an avid shopper and fashion follower for the last several years. I’m really excited about making the switch to a more minimalistic style, but there are a few notes I’d like to share about my journey so far:

1. Make your own rules.
I loved the way Caroline Rector of the blog Un-Fancy created her capsule wardrobe BUT, there’s one major difference between Caroline’s style and my own: the 37-piece capsule does not consider office attire. Most of Caroline’s looks were casual in nature, which I love (don’t we all?), but they are outfits I consider “weekend wear”.  Since I will also need office-appropriate outfits, I will either need to create two capsules (one for weekend, one for the office) or one capsule with greater than 37 pieces to account for the additional looks. I encourage you to also take your lifestyle into account and create rules that work for you, but remember: less is more.

2. Store off-season items by season/capsule.
I live in a small apartment, so space is sacred. I store off-season clothes in a storage unit outside of the apartment, and I re-mix my closet twice a year (once in the spring and once in the fall), mostly because it means less trips to the storage unit. But it also means that I get a mass overhaul two times per year and am “stuck” with it for the next 6 months. Items remaining in storage are not differentiated by season, but rather piled together in one large Rubbermaid box.

This year, I’ve changed my approach.

Instead of storing off-season items outside of the apartment, I made some room in the top of our bedroom closet (which required some closet cleaning–double bonus!) and packaged clothes in a labeled storage bag by season/capsule, so that I can easily swap out clothes at the end of each season, meaning four times per year versus two. This way I’m not hanging fur and holiday metallics in my closet in September when I won’t need them for several months, AND I’m also not cluttering up my wardrobe (or my mind) with pieces I won’t wear.

3. Minimizing doesn’t have to mean throwing out–at least not yet.
I mentioned in my last post that after my closet clean out I still had 125 items in my wardrobe (includes both office and weekend). I started to get nervous wondering how I would downsize to only 37(ish) items including outerwear and shoes.

I’ve decided that, at least while I’m getting started on this journey, I’ll pare down to my 37 items but still store items that don’t make the “capsule cut” for the season, juuuuust in case. After a few seasons, I imagine I’ll have a firm understanding of my style and comfort level, at which point I can be more willing to totally remove. My perspective is that I’d rather start with less, than start with more. If it’s not enough, I can adjust as I go. I’m expecting the first few capsules to be the most difficult adjustments, but I’m still very much looking forward to the challenge and lifestyle change.

4. Utilize the web.
There are some really great resources out there for any of you interested in minimizing your wardrobes as well. I’ve been doing a lot of research and I’ve found some great articles on the blog Into Mind. The 10-Step Wardrobe Revamp is a great tool to get you started, specifically the Closet Detox Cheat Sheet. Seriously, print this out and take it with you to your closet (I did). It will help you decide on whether to keep or dispose of every item in your closet. I have been pinning some useful reads on my Pinterest board here as well, if you’d like to follow along.

Are any of you guys trying this with me? Let me know so we can share experiences!

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