This post is part of a series on my low waste living experiments. My hope is to inspire you to take a step (not a plunge) towards a life that's tinted green by sharing which changes I've incorporated into my life.
I did a major closet cleanout the autumn before I started this blog. I’d been toying with the idea of creating a capsule wardrobe for a few months at that point. I was completely intrigued by minimalism and thought my closet was a great place to try it out.
Our closets might not seem at all related to an eco-friendlier life but they totally are. Clothing, at least for me, was an area where I was unknowingly creating a lot of waste.
I’ve always liked clothes. I like shopping, I like getting dressed and I like pretty things. I had a nasty habit of buying clothes simply because they were eye catching or because I liked the idea of them. It didn’t matter that I never wore pink or heels, I often found myself buying pretty beaded pale pink tops and too high heels. They would sit in my closet waiting for their moment which – unsurprisingly – rarely came.
I was mindlessly buying clothes the way I mindlessly used disposable coffee cups. I was always frustrated looking my closet full of clothes and still feeling like I had nothing I wanted to wear. I had plenty of clothes…but not a lot of those pieces were really suited for my life or personal style.
I made my first capsule wardrobe with the hope of getting in tune with my taste. I wanted to learn my style – the colors and silhouettes I was most drawn to when all the noise was tuned out.
After my massive closet clean out, I lived with a closet of 40 pieces. It wasn’t perfect. There were a lot of gaps but I made it work and was totally hooked.
Since then, I’ve tried to take my time in choosing what I add to my wardrobe. Sometimes I still make impulsive or bad purchases but for the most part I’ve curated a closet that works for me and reflects my style.
Making capsule wardrobes has helped me buy fewer things which means I’m using fewer resources, including my hard earned money. My closet is by no means a place where I can virtue signal. It’s not filled with sustainable brands or secondhand treasures. A lot of it is from regular, fast fashion brands. But a lot of it has also been there for years. I have t shirts and dresses from Forever 21 that have lasted year after year, wear after wear.
I didn’t overhaul my clothes shopping habit, I simply taught myself how to consider my purchases before I made them. It’s how I’ve saved many a pink clothing item from ending up in a trash bag at the donation center.
The reality is, we all already have a capsule wardrobe hiding in our closets. It’s just really hard to find with all that other stuff in there!
Not everyone will be into capsule wardrobes but experimenting with levels of minimalism can be fun! Use an upcoming trip as a way to start being intentional about what you pack. The simple act of paying attention to the versatility of your clothes will help you make better, hopefully less impulsive decisions around your future buys.
Also, the Summer 10x10 Challenge starts Friday and I want to invite you to join. The challenge involves picking 10 items from your current closet and wearing them over 10 days. No need to buy anything! I’ve participated for a year now (even while pregnant!) and they’re so much fun.
I’ll be sharing my 10 items and how I picked them on Thursday but take a look at Style Bee if you’re interested in learning how the challenge works from the challenge creator herself!