The Capsule Wardrobe Experiment: The Essential Piece

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Phase one of the Capsule Wardrobe Experiment was scary but liberating. I felt free to let go of pieces that weren’t serving me anymore and it was glorious. I celebrated. I took three HUGE bags of our clothes that were in bad condition to H&M to be recycled. (Not at all awkward, by the way). Then I donated some more that were in good condition. I hung-up or folded-up the lucky ones- I knew that I loved these pieces and that they still had more to give. The “maybes” were packed into a box and put out of sight in our closet.

Things are looking good at this point. I decided to sit with this selection for a couple of months before really cutting totally back to 33 pieces. The idea behind the capsule wardrobe is that you have 33 pieces of clothing for 3 months at a time- this creates a capsule. Some pieces will crossover into the other capsules. Theoretically, you would end-up with about 75 pieces of kick-butt clothes that fit you well, represent your style, and coordinate fluidly. Sounds like a dream right? I think so too.

Part of my problem with this experiment is that I am a newly re-located Texan. I just moved here from Southern California where seasons don’t really exist. Here in Central Texas, it gets really hot and really cold. I come from a land where flip flops are worn year round. You can see how this is scaring the crap out of me. I’m trying to sort out what type of clothes I’ll need for each season but I haven’t experienced them all yet.

All that being said, I’m holding this all very loosely and providing myself a lot of grace. I really love this post by Courtney of The Project 333. This is so much more than about clothes. It’s about a way of living. My philosophy about clothing, consuming, spending and style has to change. My perfectionism needs to take a back seat to grace.

Grace is the essential piece. Grace not only for the logistics of building a capsule but also for guilt that bubbles up while I let go of pieces. I felt bad about having bought something I never really wore and getting rid of things that were expensive. And then there’s this other thing… I also felt bad about my body. I didn’t really see that coming. I had a lot of pre-kiddo clothes that I was hanging on to that just won’t fit me anymore. My body has changed. Like my good friend likes to say, “ Same square footage, different floor plan.” In the past, I would have put myself on a very restrictive diet and done whatever I could to MAKE those jeans fit. Now, I’m older and wiser. Diets don’t work. Not permanently anyway. I just don’t buy into that BS anymore. So instead, I’m accepting my body where it is and I will offer those skinny jeans on the sacrificial chopping block. They are my peace-offering.

mmm… Before I go, maybe I should mention that before I offered up those jeans, there was a lot of frustration. Self-loathing. Even very crafty compromising. I got REAL creative with my compromising…

You know those hair elastics? Yeah well, I remembered an old trick from when I was pregnant. Do you know where I’m going with this? People, I was skipping, hopping and jumping around my bedroom trying to squeeze into these dang skinny jeans. Once they were finally on, I took my hair elastic and did the loop trick. HALLELUJAH!!! They’re ON! But now you can see my underwear in front because obviously the zipper isn’t coming up. No problem. I grabbed a super long tank and threw it on, then covered it all up with a nice flowy t-shirt. Genius. I do have my Masters Degree, you know.

I felt pretty good about myself for exactly 10 minutes until I realized this was the worst idea EVER. What happens if I get found out? Not only will my polka-dot chones be exposed but so will my insecurity. Not to mention my husband could very possibly actually, physically DIE laughing and if he didn’t, I would never hear the end of it until one us did. So, I took a deep breath (off popped my elastic loop, jk) and said my good byes. I’d rather just suck-it up and give them to some teeny-bopper who actually belongs in Juniors-sized skinny jeans. Hopefully they wont’ mind the broken belt loops on either side of the hips. I’ll let you deduce how that went down.
A few of you have shared that you’ve decided to participate in this experiment too! How’s it going for you? Is anyone else experiencing weird feelings that you didn’t expect?

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3 thoughts on “The Capsule Wardrobe Experiment: The Essential Piece

  1. Jaclyn, thank you so much for creating this honest blog of your story. You and your family are incredibly strong and inspiring. (I’m a client of Kathryn Hunt Maudlin and would love to connect directly as I am at a cross-roads of taking the adoption path for our second child; first is our son, 3.5 year old Dylan). It is so challenging to understand what is the right path even when I’m trying to listen to what God wants for us. We’ve looked into fostering, fertility treatments, private adoptions…the sea is endless and time is going too fast. We started looking into fostering back before Dylan was born and now are at the cross-roads of IVF or private adoption agency. I so appreciate any words of advice, even as brief as it may be given you now have a busy family in your hands! love & light, Lauren (lauren@citruspublicrelations.com)

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    • Hi Lauren! I apologize for not checking my blog messages more frequently! I would love to connect and see where you are at now. I will email you this week. Take care.

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