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I get asked about capsule wardrobes A LOT.
People watch my Instagram Stories or see photos of me on the blog and say things like, "I see you wearing lots of different things. It seems like you have a lot of clothes. How do you deal with that?" So, I just wanted to address it directly.
First off, in case you don’t know what a capsule wardrobe is, it’s basically the idea of having thirty pieces of clothing (or less) - kind of having this neutral wardrobe that’s easily mix and matchable. Basically, it goes hand in hand with minimalism.
There are SO many different ways to do a capsule wardrobe. Some people have ten pieces of clothing or less, but thirty or less is about where most people fall. You basically want to keep your wardrobe really minimal.
The idea is that having less clothing options frees up your time in the morning and helps you make decisions about what to wear. It’s a simplification thing. I definitely agree with it and totally get it. And, I know having less clothing will make the decision-making process easier.
So, then, maybe you’re wondering… Why don’t I have a capsule wardrobe?
I love clothes!
I am a person who loves getting dressed!
Having a larger wardrobe allows me to be creative, and being creative in this way adds to my joy. For me, this is part of an abundant life, and brings more joy to my daily life.
It makes me sad that no one dresses up for things anymore. When Brian and I go out for date night, someone almost always says, “Wow, you dress really nice.” It’s not that we go black tie or anything, we just dress well.
I’ll put on earrings, a cute top, trouser jeans and maybe some heels. I spend time doing my hair and makeup, and Brian will dress nicely, too. We love dressing nice for each other - it’s just how we are. I absolutely LOVE dressing up!
If we go to events, or even church on Sundays, we’re always the only ones that are kind of dressed up. I was just raised that when you go to church, you’re going into the House of God and you should dress nice. It’s not a legalistic or religious practice, I just really like it. Plus, it makes me feel good!
You could totally dress nice with a capsule wardrobe, but that isn't my point.
I love putting an outfit together, it’s my favorite part of getting dressed. I feel beautiful and put together when I take the time to really choose my clothes.
I mean, I’m a mom of four and I work at home… Sweatpants and t-shirts are pretty much my daily thing.
It might seem funny to you, especially if you’re not a person who cares about this kind of thing, but it’s a joy for me. A small, simple joy!
My transition began a few months ago. I was not really into what was in my wardrobe.
I felt that since I teach other moms about how to be minimal, I needed to have a minimalist wardrobe. I was also in a season of really needing to simplify every area of my life. I just needed everything to be as simplistic as possible because I had a lot going on and didn’t really care as much about getting dressed.
At the time, it kind of worked for me, but I quickly found myself slipping into this place of not feeling happy - of not being excited to get dressed in the morning. And, not to sound overly dramatic, but I kind of felt a little depressed whenever it came time to get dressed.
I was feeling unhappy and worn down, and anytime someone would ask about my clothes, I’d just give this automated answer like, “Yeah, here’s about how many pieces of clothing I have. Here’s how many jeans I tend to keep,” etc. It was definitely minimalistic, and it was great for the simplistic part of things, but it wasn’t making me happy AT ALL.
But, then, I had this lightbulb moment where I realized, you know what? I really MISS being creative in this way. I don’t dress really loud or crazy, my style is actually very simplistic, so you’d think a capsule wardrobe would work for me, but I just love having options (and I also really love shopping with my little girl and during my alone time. another simple joy for me!). For me, it’s worth the extra time that my wardrobe takes from me because it’s a joy of mine.
I decided to forget it. I’m not gonna go through the motions and live this legalistic approach to minimalism (which is something I teach against anyway), and I’m just gonna do what I want to do.
I chose to let myself be FREE in this area of my life, and went shopping!
Now, when I see something that is beautiful and I really love, I just get it and don’t worry about how many pieces of clothing I already have.
So, yeah, now I have a fairly large wardrobe. It isn’t massive, but it definitely doesn’t fit into the definition of a capsule wardrobe, and I am SO happy.
I literally run up to my closet and look in it, trying to decide what I am gonna wear most days. Or, if we’re going to have a photoshoot for the podcast or blog, I have fun putting together the outfits I’m going to wear.
I love clothes and I love having things that make me feel amazing. That make me feel beautiful, make me feel thinner and lighter and allow me to dress for my shape in a way that makes me feel better and more confident.
Truthfully, I think if I wasn’t doing what I’m doing now, I could easily do something in terms of helping other women feel un-frumpy and getting dressed in a way that flatters their shape. I love that kind of stuff!
I think that the key message here is that minimalism doesn’t have anything to do with following rules that don’t make you happy.
It’s not about suppressing yourself and just deciding that since you’re a mom, you have to be a super minimalist because it will save you time.
Don’t make it legalistic. If you love to cook and bake, and decide to suppress yourself by not buying the kitchen appliances you need for cooking and baking, you’re following minimalism just for the rules. If that is what it’s about for you, you're gonna run out of steam very quickly, and you're gonna find yourself really unhappy.
If you don’t get what the heck I’m even talking about, I hope this message still gets across to you. This is something I deeply care about. The point of all of this, for me, is joy. Living a life and having a home that makes me feel excited to be home, to get dressed, and excited to be with my kids. It helps me to feel focused on the things that matter to me, and my wardrobe is something that matters!
The whole idea behind my course, Your Uncluttered Home, is that minimalism is not about legalism.
It’s not about following these rules or living a certain way and practicing minimalism just for the sake of being a minimalist.
It’s about clearing the clutter in your home and in your life and your heart and asking, what is taking away from what really matters to me?
If something brings joy to your life, like my wardrobe brings to mine, it is not taking away time from what matters, and it isn’t something you should suppress.
I want this to be a message of freedom for you. Here's your permission to make minimalism work for you and make it something that brings you joy.
Let this be your permission to have what brings you incredible joy. And to have what makes you love your life more.