Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Minimalism, Frugality and Capsule Wardrobes

If you are frugal or a minimalist, the thought of a capsule wardrobe seems like such a great idea.  A capsule wardrobe is where you buy a few key pieces and mix and match them for more variety.  The problem that I am noticing when I am reading other blogger posts is that they are sending the reader to stores with lower quality items.  To me, this goes against both Minimalism and Frugality.

Anyone can run into a store and purchase a top for $3, but that top is probably not going to last the entire season if worn as frequently as a person would wear them using a capsule wardrobe.  Most capsule wardrobes have the buyer purchasing 9 or less tops.  A few of these tops cannot be worn alone (as in tanks), which cuts down on their usage.

I have yet to get an entire season from any item purchased from many of the favorites for capsule wardrobe creators.  As a minimalist, I want a wardrobe to last me several seasons.  I want a wardrobe where I replace a few items a year, not every single top I own because they are worn out.

I decided to purchase a wardrobe, but  running  cheap fashion stores just didn't seem right.  The first year, I hired a stylist.  I paid for four hours of shopping and I learned so much.  She helped me determine what styles of clothes look good on me and which ones I needed to skip without ever trying on.  I have a very short neck and each year, I would try on turtle neck after turtle neck and waste so much time.  She told me that turtle necks will never work for me, to walk past them and look for something with a lower neckline.  She said the lower neckline would draw attention away from the short neck because other skin was showing, and that V neck styles will look best on my body type.  She told me to stay away from sweaters with a rounded neck and instead go for ones with a lower v neck style.  Even though it was a few years ago that I hired her, I still use the information she taught me.

When I started my capsule wardrobe,   I went to second hand shops, quality clothing stores and thrift shops.  While in the stores,  I looked for quality.  I was able to purchase a lot of basics such as black pants and gray pants second hand.  The items were high quality but did not blow my clothing budget. I added one trendy item per season, and that was the only item that I did not look for great quality.  I knew I would only be wearing it for one season, so it was ok if it started to show wear later in the season.

Four years into my capsule wardrobe experiment, I've had to replace some clothing, but it has never been a strain on my budget.  I still have all the pants I purchased.  Mostly the blazers have gone out of style, but some of that is to be expected.

I love the idea of opening my closet and knowing that even though there aren't a ton of clothes in there, that I can easily find an outfit for the occasion.  

Want to create your own capsule wardrobe?  Here are a few blogs that can help you do that:

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