Capsule Closet Challenge

Amongst a certain set, it seems to be very trendy to create a “capsule” wardrobe.  Usually this involves discarding all of the clothing that one hates, and then purchasing a smaller volume of things that are “high quality” or “classic” pieces.  The person in question then proceeds to cast aspersions on clothing from retailers like Target and somewhere between $250 – $1000 later they have at least part of a new wardrobe.

I’m gonna be honest, y’all.  This is ridiculous nonsense and I am not buying it.

Partially because I don’t understand how people wake-up and suddenly hate Every.Single.Thing.They.Own and partially because I have owned many garments from Target that have survived (and in good quality) for more than one year and some for more than five.

For the past few months, you have seen that I’ve made it a goal to avoid purchasing clothing unless it is “essential.”  To that end, I’ve obtained three new white camisoles, and a branded pullover from my employer that allows me a free pass to wear jeans on any day of the week.  But that’s it.

I’m sort of finding myself at the point where I want to see if I can possibly stretch this goal out for another 10 months and make it a year.

Like the experiment I did…three years ago (?) where I only wore skirts and dresses to work for a summer and then I just stopped wearing dress pants to work altogether because I realized that I hated them.  Though I still have one pair JUST IN CASE there is some sort of emergency where I absolutely cannot wear pants.

But back to the No Clothing thing.

The reason I think this is do-able is because (1) I already have a very full closet (2) I really own all of the clothing that I NEED (3) If I don’t wear it in the next year, I should for sure be getting rid of it (4) I am hoping to be pregnant at some point after Critter’s first birthday and I have a fully outfitted maternity wardrobe as well, so really I have two full wardrobes.

So it can be time for this thing.

When I decided that my current closet-turned capsule wardrobe was going to be A Thing, I will be honest, I was suddenly struck with the urge to go out and shop for EVERYTHING. But I didn’t. So there’s that. 

I only have one caveat.  I swear it’s not supposed to be a loophole, but it’s there because I’m not a glutton for punishment.  In the next 10 months I can replace items.  So, new work shoes, new running shoes, new yoga pants, underwear etc. if I wear them out.

If I epically fail at this, I know you’ll understand since the whole idea is one part crazy to begin with.  I think even if I bought 10% less clothing in a year, that would be a win!  That being said, if this challenge is something that you’re interested in (even if only just for a month, or to get through to the Spring!), please leave me a comment and share your progress. A couple of my girlfriends have already comitted (one for the full year, two for the next quarter) and I am excited to see what we learn!

I have no idea how often I’ll check in on this one. Monthly?  Quarterly?  When something gets replaced?  If I conduct a closet purge?  We’ll see. 


7 responses to “Capsule Closet Challenge

  1. This is an interesting question. Since we started budgeting and managing our money differently in January, we’ve had many other priorities besides clothing. The result has been that I have barely purchased any clothing at all this year! Two dresses off eBay, a deep discount dress at Banana Republic, new bras and underwear, and… that might be it for the entire year. Now that things are leveling off and we’ve discovered new tools in our budgeting software, we’re actually ramping *up* the amount of money we spent on clothing to be on a better replacement schedule for the things we’re wearing out. While I’m glad we have accomplished many other things with our money besides buying clothes over the last ten months, I’m more than ready to start buying again!

    • Most interesting! I want to hear about what sort of replacement schedule you start implementing and what ramping up looks like. Also, since you have basically been living the challenge, have you learned anything???

  2. Exciting plan! A big $$ saver for me was not buying clothes for about two years. I think I wore some things that were not “so stylish”, but it works. I did buy a few jeans and, like you said, running shoes as needed but nothing else. As much as it’s good for your already full closest and budget, just wait until you save the time it takes to shop because you just aren’t. Very cool!

    • Lady, I just felt like you would have something to say about this! Past Kat would probably be horrified by this decision but really, like the amount of time I can even spend thinking about getting dressed is zero. I am also feeling fortunate that in MN, an acceptable winter outfit is Many Layers of Things.

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