Capsule Wardrobe Update

I've written a little in the past about my experiments with a capsule wardrobe and thought it was time for an update (see here for past posts). I guess this update starts as far back as last winter, which is further back than I realized! I was considering the state of my clothes. And the fact that I was still thinking about it a decent amount was an indication for me that things were not going as smoothly as I wanted. I wasn't completely comfortable with the clothes I had, I felt like I still had some things I wasn't that interested in, and missing things I was interested in. Although, what exactly I was missing was not clear to me. It turns out it can be difficult to choose exactly what you want without trial and error, and I was getting a bit tired of that part. I just wanted it all to be settled.

my uniform

In my frustration and quest for something even simpler, I started thinking about wearing a uniform, which is an idea I came across while reading about capsule wardrobes. It doesn't necessarily mean wearing the exact same thing every day, although it can, but wearing the same style of thing every day. A lot of people wear jeans and a t-shirt as a uniform. They wear that same idea every day. For a lot of reasons, I am not a jeans and t-shirt kind of person. Which begged the question, what sort of person am I?

Finding this question was much more difficult than finding the answer, which was hanging in my closet. I just consulted my most favorite outfit to wear, which was a black and white polka dot shirt dress that I wore with leggings. I realized I would wear that every day if I let myself. So I did.

My Uniform

That was probably six months ago and I'm still feeling pretty good about my breakthrough. I only wear dresses now, and my life is so much easier, and I'm very pleased about it. I don't have to worry any more about matching things, I just pick whatever dress I feel like wearing. As it gets cold, I can add leggings, long sleeves and sweaters. And SCARVES!!!

my uniform

Packing for our road trip was super simple. I never once felt like I had forgotten to pack something, or that I had over-packed. I actually didn't know that this was a possible state to achieve.

my uniform

A note about buying dresses: When I first started this experiment I just rotated through the few dresses in my closet, to get a feel for things and see if I really liked it. It became clear pretty quickly that this was my meant-to-be path. I've found that the Goodwill (our local thrift store) is the best place to get dresses. It's easy to shop there, all the dresses are on one rack. Plus, they aren't limited to whatever is currently in style, so you get a choice of lots of styles and colors. I've been very successful in finding dresses that fit well, mostly I think because I've tried on such a variety, a variety you wouldn't find in any store.

My Uniform

Now that I've tried on so many I know what I'm looking for and can weed out most options without a second glance. I don't do strappy or strapless because it's too stressful. I prefer above the knee, the shorter the better, either with a straight shift cut or with a high waist. Pockets are key. Why anyone bothers to make anything without pockets is a mystery to me.

So that's my story, for now at least. Although, I'm feeling pretty content, and I would be surprised if things changed anytime soon. I know several of you experimented with various things after my last posts, I'm curious how things are going for you now. Leave a comment below, or if you want to have a bit more involved conversation, meet me here.

Recent Comments

Violet Irisovna
Violet Irisovna Tue, 09/27/2016 - 12:21

I love this! I definitely want to reduce the amount of clothing I have (part of the problem is I have so many costumes, dress-up, Burning Man style clothes and they're hard to let go of - "But what if someday there's a Western themed party and I don't have my cowgirl outfit?"). I still like jeans and t-shirts for weekends and traveling, but for work it has been huge to switch to only dresses. All my dresses are so comfortable and easy to wear, and not having to match skirts and tops has been revolutionary!

Ania Archer
Ania Archer Mon, 09/19/2016 - 15:17

Thanks @Marisa, I'll definitely check it out and chime in :) I love this topic.

Marisa Lerin
Marisa Lerin Mon, 09/19/2016 - 08:11

Thanks for all the comments ladies!

@Ania: I actually just mentioned my accessories in the forum post:

Debbie Cramer
Debbie Cramer Sun, 09/18/2016 - 15:06

This was great to read. My capsule wardrobe doesn't feel quite right yet either. I love the idea of a uniform. Mind you, I do wear a uniform to work everyday as a nurse, but at home I would love to figure out my favorite type of outfit and start fresh from there. Thank you for sharing your insight and motivating me to try again.

Maude Landan
Maude Landan Fri, 09/16/2016 - 09:54

I have also wanted to create my own capsule wardrobe but have also had difficulties figuring it out. This is a great approach (picking one favorite thing to wear and starting from that point). Thanks for the post. I'm going to give this a try!

Tina Shaw
Tina Shaw Fri, 09/16/2016 - 09:10

I've kind of been in the same boat as you...and my capsule wardrobe has grown, just a little....I can't do as few as the original concept wants BUT it is still much smaller than it has been! And I probably could parse some more out. I do find myself still wearing the same things and never have been a dress wearing girl!

Ania Archer
Ania Archer Thu, 09/15/2016 - 12:04

Sunny, I don't think there is such a thing as age appropriate wardrobe anymore. You should dress for comfort and make sure it makes you happy.

Ania Archer
Ania Archer Thu, 09/15/2016 - 12:03

Great post, Marisa. My Capsule wardrobe became so tiny since I work from home most of the time, or work with pets who don't really care what I wear when I come to visit. I live in LA at this moment and my uniform is shorts and a top. If I could I would wear shorts and tops every day. Unfortunately, I get cold easily so I do have to on cooler days wear jeans (I love jeans) I work with dogs and other animals on a daily basis so long pants are the way to go for me to protect my legs from all those happy jumpy puppies. I have a set of clothes for more special occasions such as going out for nice dinner or an event. I always reach for the same things anyway. Last time I bought clothes was over 2 years ago and I got them from a thrift store. They are my favorite till today. I can see that you wear fun accessories with your outfits, how did you decide which pieces are your favorite and how much of necklaces and earrings and etc do you have? Did you just chose your favorites that go with everything, or do you have some pieces that match only certain outfits.

Sunny Faith Rush
Sunny Faith Rush Thu, 09/15/2016 - 10:31

This post REALLY made me stop and think - first of all, my wardrobe for the last 10 years has consisted of jeans, corduroy shirts and Merrill loafers. Both at work and at home. I hate shopping for clothes, and would really prefer just wearing a pair of yoga pants and a oversized shirt everyday. But your post made me stop and think - there have been the occasional event in which I had to wear something more upscale, and I was really comfortable in a long skirt and shirt. I might have to reconsider. I don't always believe in the "age-appropriate rules" that society has imposed on us, so at my current age of 65, I just might start being comfortable, instead of just casual.

Marisa Lerin
Marisa Lerin Thu, 09/15/2016 - 08:58

@Judith: Hope I'm not one step away from bankruptcy, but I do love Goodwill!! :)

Jessica Dunn✒️
Jessica Dunn✒️ Thu, 09/15/2016 - 08:52

I ended up reading thru your other posts and the forum chat. I had not seen those posts before today and had not heard of a capsule wardrobe even tho I do Pinterest - but apparently not enough lol! Being simplistic is always my goal. And frankly it does keep things less stressful when we have less. :) Kudos to you! :)

Judith Rance
Judith Rance Thu, 09/15/2016 - 08:47

This is the first I've heard about capsule wardrobes, but then I don't really follow fashion at all. I like the look you've created and especially like that you have found Goodwill. Everyone is on the recycle bandwagon, but if you mention Goodwill or thrift shops, people think you are one step from bankruptcy. Thank you for sharing. I'm going through my closets today!!!