Monday, May 25, 2015

First Steps to a Capsule Wardrobe- Guest Post

After talking about capsule wardrobes the past three Mondays, we have been amazed at the number of people who have decided to give it a try.  This week I am thrilled to be able to share with you a post from a blogging friend, Cristi!  Not only has she braved the 34 Weeks of Clean with us, but now she is braving her closet as well.  Make sure you hop over to her blog Through the Calm and Through the Storm and show her some love!   Thanks Cristi!  If you have a story you would like to share, let us know.  We would love to have you!

For the past twenty weeks, I've been tagging along with Michele as she's issued 34 Weeks of Clean challenges. A few weeks ago, she started talking about closets and clothes.

Based on her recommendation, I pulled every single article of clothing out of my closet and ended up with a huge mess of clothes piled on my bed. All of the clothes that didn't seem quite right (too small, too faded, out-of-date, etc) were set aside to go to Goodwill, and my newly organized closet was finished by the time my husband returned from his weekend hiking trip.

Just as I was sitting back admiring my newly organized closet, Michele and her daughter Ashton started to talk about capsule wardrobes. Uh oh. I had a sinking feeling they were fixing to suck me into another one of their crazy schemes.

I've actually thought about a capsule wardrobe before. Two summers ago, I set aside thirty-three clothing items and resolved to only wear those things for the next 33 days. I remember loving the plan when I was doing it, but I can't remember exactly why I stopped using my capsule wardrobe. My best guess is that I kept adding clothes when the season changed, and thirty-three items became fifty-something items and then I quit counting and let all of my clothes options take over my closet.

Since I was inspired by Ashton's and Michele's posts about their capsule wardrobes, I've revisited the idea in my own closet.

Ashton's idea to divide her favorite clothes among her four capsules was pure genius! I've always packed away winter sweaters when summer rolls around, but I've never thought about rotating through items that can technically be worn year round. Just because I love a particular t-shirt does not mean that I have to have it in my capsule throughout the year.

That idea was just the answer I was looking for when it came to my overflowing basket of t-shirts. (Can you believe Michele questioned whether I had a t-shirt problem? There's only 25-30 of my favorite shirts in there.)

Seriously, though, I always lumped my short sleeve t-shirts together and kept them out year-round. I wear them by themselves in the summer and under cardigans in the winter. (Arizona winters mean that I rarely needed to worry with long sleeves under cardigans.) 

Dividing up the basket of shirts was far less painful and a lot more practical than giving away half of them.

Some of my choices were easy. I wear black and white v-neck t-shirts often, especially the ones I have that are made out of a nicer quality cotton. They definitely go into my current capsule. I put the white crew-neck and black/white polka dot t-shirts away to wear under sweaters later this fall or winter.

Other choices were more difficult. I have a small collection of "fun" t-shirts to wear on lazy days when I want a bit of a pick-me-up. I can wear them out of the house, but I rarely do. Instead of keeping the Superman (SuperMommy) shirt, the "I run to burn off the crazy" shirt, the Mrs. Incredible shirt, my OU t-shirt to wear during college football season, and an Oklahoma Christian t-shirt all in my closet at the same time, I just picked two. Actually, I could probably get by with one, except that I'm afraid my running t-shirt is shrinking funny and will have to be thrown away before long.

I also divided up my favorite Life is Good brand t-shirts into two piles. I love all four of them, but two for now and two for later in the year works just fine.

I had grand intentions of going through all of my clothes, dealing them out into four capsules, and then neatly putting back this season's chosen items. I was then going to share with Michele and all the Family, Faith and Fun readers what my final capsule for this season looks like. Unfortunately, it's a lot harder of a project than I thought it would be.

I really did try on all my clothes when I cleaned out my closet. Trying them on does not however ensure that I really love them. I sometimes put on an outfit and then decide a few hours later that I don't really like it after all. The dress I wore to church a few weeks ago turned out to be a few inches longer than I'd like. If I felt frumpy wearing it that morning, it needs to go in the giveaway pile. Similarly, today is the last day that I'll wear the peach shirt I pulled out of the t-shirt basket this morning. As the day went on, I became increasingly frustrated by the way its stretched out hem was hanging loosely.

Because I can't make decisions based simply on a marathon session of trying on clothes, I'm postponing the final reveal of my complete summer capsule wardrobe. My goal this week is to try on some of the clothes that I haven't chosen to wear in quite some time. Maybe I'll find a few new favorites -- favorites worth keeping in my capsule.

If Cristi had to describe herself in 25 words or less, she'd write:" Follower of Christ. Military wife. Nurse (via on-the-job training). Homeschooling mom. Allergy-friendly cook. Aspiring photographer. Chauffeur. Blogger. Runner. Friend. And much, much more."

Her blog, Through the Calm and Through the Storm, started six years ago as a way to record her youngest daughter's wait for a heart transplant and continues as a way to record all the crazy days she loves.


My Joy-Filled Life

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