The Capsule Wardrobe Experiment: The Essential Piece


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?


Keeping it Simple: Capsule Wardrobe Experiment


I’m sure you’re all shocked that the author of a blog called “Kinda Crunchy” jumped on the minimalist wardrobe bandwagon. I just couldn’t help myself. It was just too awesomely crunchy to pass-up. There were a few factors that contributed to my decision. One of them being that I felt like every morning I stressed over what to wear because I had too many clothes that didn’t really fit or weren’t really “me.” I started reading about de-cluttering and clearing out space in your life and how it creates more inner peace and all that good stuff and who doesn’t want that? No one doesn’t want that. (My mom just vomited in her mouth.)

So, I kinda started clearing stuff out. Tiny understatement. I went from filling half of a walk-in closet plus three stuffed-to-the-brim drawers, and then maybe also some boxes of stored stuff from a past pre-parenthood (aka pre-Jelly Belly) life to now requiring only one row of the walk-in and half-empty drawers. I used this method. Check-it out. It’ll change the way you view your stuff forever. It empowered me to be BRUTAL when de-cluttering. Sweater from {insert relative here} from {insert holiday here} that doesn’t really fit? You will guilt me no more into taking space in my closet. That one shirt that was my favorite forever but now has a little hole and is faded? Peace out, your glory days are like dust in the wind. How about that other thing that I bought because it was kind of what I needed but not really but was irresistibly on sale? Gone. Wait, but not that other thing that my husband says is cute on me but isn’t really my style and I feel awkward every time I wear it? This ain’t your home Mama, bye. If I don’t feel good in it, if it doesn’t “bring me joy,” if I don’t feel happy that I get to wear it then there is no space in my closet or my heart for this item.

You guys/Y’all, this was incredibly difficult. I’m trying to sound all BA (that’s how Christians say “bad ass” without actually swearing) about it, but it caused me physical pain. I’m almost embarrassed to admit that. Crunchy people: you know that feeling when your recycling bin is full and it’s trash day so you just toss that cardboard box which is CLEARLY recyclable into the normal land-fill destined garbage bin? AGONY. Squishy people: you know that feeling when you toss that generous serving of leftovers knowing you could totally have it for lunch tomorrow but you don’t really want to so you hastily shove it down the disposal, hoping your family never knows? THE HORROR. It’s that, “I’m being a wasteful selfish jerk” feeling. Uckgh. It feels slimy.

So how did I cut through the slime and embrace this process? I followed this blog post like it was an IKEA assembly guide. I held tight and I BELIEVED that in the end, this would all work out. The author, in her glorious simplistic way said this in a nutshell, “Your stuff served its purpose. You can thank it for what it did for you but now it can no longer serve you and needs to move on.” Make peace with saying good-bye, you’re only hurting yourself by keeping it because it’s cluttering your space. I don’t know that I really believed it, the stuff I wasn’t wearing a lot, was in my way though. For this reason, I appreciated the step that had me sort out my items into 4 categories: Continue reading

Crunchy Confessions

So I just took a “How Crunchy Are You?” quiz from Mama Natural and I am disappointed to report that this was my result:



I mean come on, I’ve been “Kinda Crunchy” for almost two years now and I haven’t even made it past “Newbie” status?? I’m sad.

Buuuuut…. Reality is, I have some crunchy confessions to make.

If something is on sale and I mean, it’s like a really good deal, I’ll buy it even if it’s not organic. UNLESS it’s in the dirty dozen… but usually, I just can’t pass up a really good deal, it’s torture. This goes for pretty much anything, not just produce. I’ll buy the super soft non-recycled toilet paper. I do feel kind of bad about that, but it’s so soft.

And as for beauty products… Oy. I’ve tried to convert to the all-natural, all-organic stuff but it’s either really expensive or it doesn’t work or both. My hair looked like I put mayo in it the last time I used an all natural conditioner. Not cute. Unless you’re married to Oscar Meyer, that’s not going to fly.

Now, in my defense, I have really crunched-up in other ways. My husband can attest to the fact that we’ve had recycled toilet paper (“Why does our tp look like the kind from my Elementary School?”) and I am now a huge fan of essential oils (aka “White Witchcraft”). So while I may not grow my own food and go out in public sans shoes, I think I’ve become a little more than Kinda Crunchy.

What about you? How do you fare on Mama Natural’s quiz?