Last year around this time, I lamented about capsule wardrobes and subsequent products shilled by bloggers to populate said capsule wardrobes. The tone of the post was sour, as I felt disheartened that by being monetized, a sustainable practice is frequently being made not-so-sustainable. Don’t get me wrong. I am the worst at not minimizing shopping; however I made a conscientious effort to cut down and just be more mindful about what I ordered via my Year of Less weekly series throughout 2022 and now my Fewer + Better weekly series. While the practice was eye opening, I wanted to take the opportunity of being forced to live out of a suitcase to experiment with a capsule wardrobe. Quite literally taking my recommendation from the post from last year, to walk the capsule wardrobe walk. This is my experiment with programming a month around a capsule wardrobe, dressing within restrictions, and writing about the experience and challenges, thereby providing value to the reader.
why a capsule wardrobe now?
This experiment is happening in the early spring, as we will have just moved back to the states from abroad. While I am writing this in November of 2023, I suspect we will either be house shopping or in escrow at the time this is published. (Hopefully the latter.) We will not be able to get our stuff in storage in the states or stuff to be moved back to the states from Asia until we move into a home into which we can move our possessions. So I will not be seeing my stuff for awhile.
I am embracing this timing to try something new.
planning for a capsule wardrobe
The most challenging event I had to plan for was the tri-transcontinental flights. Add managing a toddler on top of that. I knew I wanted to wear my Toteme striped sweater and black bootcut denim. This is a black and neutral color story, which I decided to base my capsule wardrobe around.
Black is a wardrobe staple for me, especially when I am in Philadelphia. My Canada Goose coat is black, as is my Chanel Classic bag, both of which I knew I would want on my person throughout this transition.
Leading up to the big move, I considered all of the items that would fit the color story, and the subsequent combinations I could get from them. As I thought about pieces already in my closet that would be perfect for the capsule wardrobe, I moved it to a special section for suitcase-bound items.
what is not part of my capsule wardrobe
I am not considering pajamas, undergarments, or athletic clothing to be part of my capsule wardrobe. I am training for a half marathon. Consequently, I am going through a rotation of running leggings, sports bras, and training tops. This clothing could be a capsule wardrobe in and of itself. I am choosing not to include it because training is four days a week and I don’t want hard and fast rules to result in not working out.
I am not counting jewelry, nor shoes nor headbands as part of the capsule wardrobe. I packed my favorite jewelry on my person in my carry on. I packed shoes that would match and be proportionally complimentary to the pants and skirts of the capsule wardrobe in my checked luggage.
This is what made the cut: