So what is this capsule thing you keep hearing about? It’s pretty simple. Get rid of pretty much all your clothes. Purchase an entirely new wardrobe on your current budget. Keep only 25 items. Forget patterns or colors, your outfits must be bland. Only wear expensive brands. Never shop and continue to wear the same thing over and over. No fun. Lots of rules. All restrictions. Period.
If you made it to the second paragraph, you just witnessed the definition of sarcasm.
But to be honest, anyone who says “they could never” create a capsule wardrobe mentions one or two or three of the above items as reasons for why “having a minimal wardrobe could never work.” If you’re looking for a way to have less clutter, having a capsule wardrobe can certainly assist. But that’s not the entire point.
We weren’t born with an inherent need to buy a jacket from H&M or shoes from DSW. Yet, these are the messages that bombard us on a daily basis and the expectations set by so many in our culture. Buy that, look like this. Wear this, feel like that. For some reason, when we follow along and purchase the things we are tempted to buy we never feel fully satisfied. It’s kind of like having one Reeses Peanut Butter Cup and thinking it will hold you over until dinner time. The quick euphoric purchase somehow always leaves us wanting more and feeling a little less. After all, there’s never any end goal, only a never ending supply of things we can’t seem to afford.
So what is a Capsule Wardrobe, really?
To answer the question, a capsule wardrobe is "an eco-conscious, sanity-saving solution to your endless search for what to wear." Like the name suggests, it's a minimal, interchangeable wardrobe with a finite number made up of clothes you actually love to wear. The concept is that when you shop you can work toward something: a finish line. You can start regaining control of your shopping habits and have sense of freedom from your closet. Freedom from guilt. Freedom from exhaustion. Freedom from comparison. Freedom from the fear of missing out. Freedom from perfectionism. Having freedom from your wardrobe comes from knowing you’re already enough - not from buying more clothes or more stuff.
To be honest, the number of clothes doesn't matter. In fact, there’s nothing inherently wrong with owning clothes. Clothes play an important role in our lives. However, this idea that by having more, we’ll gain more must be put to rest. Especially, when studies have in fact proven that the more we buy the less whole we become.
Already having anxiety about losing that sweater your mom gave you? Or those red heels you love? By all means, if these things are meaningful to you then hold onto them, tightly.
Having a capsule wardrobe is not about removing the things you love, it’s about making space for the things you do.
We all want to have more freedom, more time and more money. The real question is, are we all willing to make a change? It’s up to to determine if what you’re holding onto, is really holding onto you.