Style & Beauty
Style June 26, 2018
Be smart about decluttering in order to find the wardrobe you really need.
You create a capsule wardrobe when you limit your closet down to 30-something items. It might sound crazy and it’s easier said than done, but it might be worth the trouble. If you’ve ever looked in your closet and thought, “There’s got to be a way to tackle this mess,” then a capsule wardrobe planner might be in order.
As young women who likely still have a lot of student debt to handle, going out and buying new pieces to create the perfect capsule wardrobe might not be an option. The whole point of the capsule wardrobe is to downsize. This helps reduce the waste that textiles account for so we stop buying more clothing. It’s also a way to hold onto the pieces you need and love.
If this sounds appealing, here’s a planner that you can try.
This is just like any kind of resolution or goal that you’ve made before. In order to complete any kind of resolution, it helps to have specifics. Before you start your capsule wardrobe planner, you need to know your goal. What’s your number? Are you looking to whittle your wardrobe down to 30 items? 40?
Don’t underestimate yourself. You can downsize more than you think.
You need to be realistic about what you need. If you’re going to need a dress for one or two events the whole year, then you don’t need ten. If you want to go really dramatic and limit it to one, a little black dress is a way to go.
Seasonality is also an important factor. If you’ve changed climates recently, then you could donate some of your climate dependent clothing.
Go through your life and think about what you need. If a piece of clothing doesn’t match those needs, it’s probably going away.
Having a hard time figuring out what you can do without? Try writing it down. You’ve got your occasions and your needs written out (work, school, special events, etc.) so you can get more specific. Here are some categories to think about: T-shirts, button-ups, blouses, sweaters, jeans and pants.
Remember that goal number that you wrote down earlier? Start divvying it up between the categories that you’ve listed. You can change it later as you start downsizing. That way if you are really in love with your different jeans but aren’t so into your T-shirts, you can move the numbers around accordingly.
Take a look at what you have. Where are the repeats? Do you have five pairs of blue jeans? Try weeding it down to two.
You’re trying to limit your clothing, not limit your options. Get rid of similar items so that what you have left in your capsule will still allow you to play around and make new outfits.
What neutrals do you like? White, beige, tan, navy, black and blush can all work well as neutrals. You don’t need to have all these colors in your wardrobe, but the more you have, the more that you’ll be able to mix.
Know yourself. Black is the classic neutral color, but if you hate wearing it, there’s no need to keep it.
You don’t have to go without color here, but try to maintain a neutral item in each of your categories that you listed earlier.
If you own style staples like a denim jacket or a white shirt, hold onto them for now. While you might get rid of them after the final round of downsizing, they’re worth keeping in mind for mixing and matching.
The final step in the capsule wardrobe planner is the KonMari method. This is a popular method people use to declutter not just their wardrobes but their homes as well. Kristen Bell even did a video on the KonMari method with the help of the method’s creator, Marie Kondo.
The KonMari method, detailed in the book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” is simple. You only keep the items that “spark joy.”
The empowering aspect of this is that it only has to do with you. It isn’t about making impressions or dressing for other people. If it’s something that, when you hold it in your hands or you wear it, makes you feel good, then keep it.
We don’t like to think of ourselves as materialistic, but sometimes objects such as clothing really do “spark joy” and there’s nothing wrong with that. So keep what makes you happy and donate the rest.
But do get it out of sight. Box it up or put it in bags and stash it somewhere where you aren’t going to have easy access. You just don’t want to be tempted by it easily.
This way, if there’s something you are really missing, and you jumped the hurdles to get into the box, you know that item is worth keeping. If you don’t miss it after a few months to a year, get rid of the whole thing. Don’t look through it again. You did without it for a long time and didn’t miss it, so you won’t miss it if it is in someone else’s hands.
So you’ve used the capsule wardrobe planner and you’ve decided, finally, to get rid of your clothes. But where can you go with them?
Goodwill and Salvation Army are always looking for donations and exist in most towns and cities.
There are also places to recycle your clothing. Planet Aid has yellow bins for donations located in 19 states. Check the website to see if there’s a bin near you. Planet Aid claims that recycling clothing is better for the planet than simply donating clothing since there’s not a high enough demand it. They also send some of the donations overseas for exchange in other countries.
Many stores now offer garment collection as well. H&M collects clothing and, for each kilogram collected, donates 0.02 euros to local charities. Madewell will give you $20 off of a new pair of jeans if you recycle your old pair for their Blue Jeans Go Green program. The recycled jeans turned into housing insulation.
Using this capsule wardrobe planner, you found the wardrobe that you love. Do you really need to add to it again?
As mentioned before, fashion is piling up in the landfills. Shopping less is a very tangible way that you can help the planet.
Downsizing and giving clothing away to those in need or those who will recycle it is a good first step to making sure those clothes don’t end up in the landfill. However, stopping unnecessary consumption is also super important.
Try borrowing clothing or renting it if it’s something you need to have only once. Make an effort to mix and match what you have before going out for something new.
If you are really desperate for something new, try to shop ethically. Make sure what you buy is something you are in love with, something you will love for a very long time.
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