Is a Capsule Wardrobe for You?

There’s a growing trend these days to get back to a simpler time. More and more people are realizing bigger isn’t always better; that less is more. A favorite quote of mine comes from The Minimalists: “Minimalism is the thing that gets us past the things so we can make room for life’s important things—which actually aren’t things at all.”

If, after reading the word “minimalism”, you’re still with me, bravo. Most get scared off by that term. Don’t fear. It doesn’t mean you have to live in a stark, white room with no decor and wear the same pair of jeans and black shirt every day.

Speaking of clothes, I was talking to some people recently about capsule wardrobes. Have you heard of them? The idea is to have a wardrobe that consists of about 30-40 good quality, staple pieces that can be mixed and matched for maximum benefit. Then, each season (of which there are only four despite what retailers would have you believe), you add an item or two to complement the time of year.

I know what you’re thinking: Only 30-40 items? Is that including accessories and shoes? Are you nuts? But I bet if you paid attention to the items you tend to wear the most, you’d find that you wear 20% of your wardrobe 80% of the time.

I used to be someone who would shop for a new outfit anytime an occasion arose. Thanksgiving? New outfit. Wedding? New outfit. Tuesday? New outfit. Now I shop my closet first, and while I don’t exactly have a capsule wardrobe, all of my clothes easily fit into a standard-sized closet. Do I get bored from time to time? Sure, but adding those seasonal pieces a few times a year helps to mix things up.

Think of how easy it would it be to decide what to wear with a capsule wardrobe? With the average adult making about 35,000 remotely conscious decisions a day, I say anywhere you can relieve some decision fatigue is welcome.

Besides, by clearing your clothes clutter, you:

  1. More often wear things you love and feel good in resulting in you walking with more confidence. When you feel more confident, you’re more likely to take risks and seize opportunities.

  2. Can afford to buy better-quality pieces that will last longer.

  3. Are less apt to overspend on throwaway fashion throughout the year.

  4. Stop support of unhealthy and low-wage work conditions in countries where fast fashion is constructed.

  5. Ensure that none of your clothes end up among the 11 million tons of textile waste that are in landfills in the United States alone.

The idea behind living with less, whether clothes or something else, is about no longer being weighed down by things that you don’t love, need, or use. It’s about not having so much excess that you spend your life managing it or tending to it. It’s about your possessions serving an important purpose in your life — one that brings you fulfillment and satisfaction.

Being selective about what you choose to own creates a sense of openness and expansion in your life. With that comes more energy to pursue what really matters: your hopes and dreams, fulfilling your life’s vision, and forming deeper connections, including with yourself.

So this week, I challenge you to create a vision for your life — how do you want it to look and feel in one year’s time, and then evaluate if your current possessions support that vision or detract from it. Whether physical items, relationships, or beliefs, what is it time to let go of?

Have a great week,





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