There have been a lot of lessons learned this past year – including those that relate to the importance of making the most out of one’s space. With the exception of cleaning supplies and PPE, the “less is more” mentality has been in full swing as we spent most of our time at home. We wore less makeup, fewer pants, shoes, and purses. What this all means, is that you’re only wearing about 25% of your closet and the rest of the items in there are simply taking up space. While Zoom fatigue is still the norm, the last few months have seen a slight shift in optimism for in-person gatherings as the vaccine continues to rollout. These meetups might not look or feel the same as pre-COVID, but if you’re like me and can’t wait for the day you can share a meal with a table full of friends, there’s one thing you can do to prepare to look your best as you wait for that coveted vaccine appointment. And that would be to cut your closet down to about a quarter of its current size by creating your own capsule wardrobe.
I know what you’re thinking — and trust me, I’ve been there too. By cutting down your clothing by this much, you’re going to embark on a physically and emotionally taxing journey. But hey, spending so much time inside is the perfect time for something like that. Of course, I’m not going to lie to you. It won’t be easy. Downsizing your closet can sometimes feel like giving away pieces of yourself and the memories you made wearing each item – which is why knowing the pieces you’re retiring from your wardrobe are going back into the world to be worn by someone else can be empowering throughout this process. Bringing these clothes to Goodwill and knowing my clothes, shoes and all the fun moments you had wearing them will help enable someone to make their own memories while looking great makes it that much easier to cut out the clutter and keep solely what you need.
This process will look different for everyone – everyone’s style is different after all! Yet inspiration can always be helpful, so below I’m sharing thoughts on what you can use as a guide for a collection of clothing that will truly be a reflection of your self expression and what you feel great in. Just imagine opening the door to your closet and seeing only items that you want to wear in that moment, that will make you feel confident and ready to tackle the day. It’s time to clean out the clutter, and let the best parts of you shine all the time.
It’s time to get rid of multiple iterations of the same shirt that have been sitting at the back of your dresser drawer, unworn, for the last year or so. As you go through your tops, section them out into piles. You should know what you might not fit into anymore (hey, this is the time to be honest!) and that can go in a donate pile. Sort another pile for what you love for specific occasions – and as you try those on, think through how often you actually get around to wearing them. Once a year? If so, it might be time to let go. Finally, go through your everyday tops. If there’s anything that’s faded or has been too well-loved, it might be time to cut ties and give it new life through donation, to be picked up by a crafty seamstress who could turn it into anything from a face mask to a skirt.
Skirts and pants can be more versatile. You’ll definitely want to keep some jeans, more professional solid-colored pants, and some fun patterned pants and skirts. Again, specific numbers here will be different for each person, but especially after a year of wearing sweatpants and pajama pants, it’s time to reevaluate your bottom selection. Typically – tops will be the star of the show. So when it comes to bottoms, you want to keep only what fits you perfectly and makes you feel good. A small collection of pants and skirts will get you by, as long as you have the right selection of tops to match them.
As the weather turns warmer, dress season starts to bloom again! Take a look through what you have in your closet and siphon off what is better for colder months versus the spring and summer. Love working from home in shorts and a t-shirt and don’t think you’ll wear a dress except for special nights out? Be honest with yourself and embrace the extra closet space, knowing that by reducing the amount of items in your closet, you’re increasing the amount of time you’ll be able to spend doing things you really love, instead of thinking through the options about what to wear for them.
We’d love to see your capsule collection before and after pictures, and your Goodwill donation piles. Be sure to tag @goodwillcolorado in your photos for a chance to be featured on our social channels!
This post was adapted from Goodwill Industries International blog post. Read the post here.