Jul 17, 2017

My Experiences With A Capsule Wardrobe

My experiences with a capsule wardrobe. Full closet with colorful clothing.

"The only time a real-life 30x30 situation happens is if you take a trip that lasts 30 days."

I used to be really into fashion blogs. Ok, maybe not THAT into them, but there would be 3 or 4 that I read religiously and another 4 or 5 that I would kind of keep tabs on. Prior to discovering these blogs I had never really given much thought to outfits. I had worn them, obviously, but never really realized what goes into making an outfit and how to interchange the pieces to create a cohesive wardrobe. It was a very eye opening experience.

For a while it was very popular to do 30x30 challenges. Heck, it might still be, I've sort of left the fashion blog scene. Anyway, if you are unfamiliar, a 30x30 is where you would select 30 articles of clothing and only wear those items for 30 days. Thankfully you could be the master of the rules, so things like socks, shoes, necklaces and workout clothing didn't count toward that 30 item count...or maybe it did if you wanted an extra challenge.  Either way it was a way to push yourself to wear items in different ways to make it through the month.

I was intrigued by building a remixable wardrobe and trying a 30x30 challenge, but wasn't quite ready to take the plunge. That's when I read the sentence, "the only time a real-life 30x30 situation happens is if you take a trip that lasts 30 days."  It was from one of the bloggers I followed explaining why she wasn't going to participate in a 30x30 challenge on her blog. However, I WAS going to be in a situation where I only had a suitcase of clothing that I had to live out of for 30 days: I was moving to Hawaii.
My experiences with a capsule wardrobe. Luggage bursting at the seams.

Hubby and I were moving to Hawaii from Florida. The movers were coming a few days before we left Florida and then we were going to spend about 10 days in Oregon seeing family before arriving to Hawaii. We would be in Hawaii a couple weeks or more house hunting before our household goods (and the rest of my clothing!) would arrive. So I knew we would be without my clothing for at least 30 days so I took this move as a challenge and the perfect opportunity to test out my skills.

First I had to think about the weather. It was February so it was winter in Portland, but essentially summer in Hawaii. So I would have to  pack cardigans, jackets, and pants along with swimsuits, shorts and tank tops. It's funny I thought I would wear most of the cold weather items in Oregon, but Pensacola actually had near freezing weather and even some snow before I left. So I ended up wearing most of my cardigans and jeans in Florida. I was afraid that I'd get sick of my cold weather clothing wearing it so long, but it turns out that I was able to wear some more of my more temperate clothing in Oregon.

Second I had to think about which clothing to bring.  I had to make sure they all went together. Below is a photo example that I took to make sure things went together. It wasn't as limiting as one would think. I loved each piece and it was fun to see how they could mix and match to make different outfits. I made sure that each shirt would go with most, if not all of the pants and shorts I was bringing. I had cardigans in navy and burgundy which would match most of the tops and dresses. Finally I had accessories like scarves and necklaces that would tie the outfits together.

My experiences with a capsule wardrobe. Make sure the colors in your tops and bottoms coordinate. Also have a wide variety of bottoms: pants and skirts and colors.
Make sure the colors coordinate! This light blue shirt went with my jeans, yellow shorts,
burgundy pants, scarf, khaki skirt, white pants and blue cardigan.

As I was getting everything ready and packed into the suitcase I realized I had plenty of outfits, but it didn't fill my suitcase! It made me nervous to pack so light so I threw a few extra pieces in for good measure. I truly didn't know how long it would be before the rest of our clothing arrived. However as I was mulling over the outfits I realized I still had plenty of clothing to get me through nearly eternity so I removed one or two of the extra pieces. I can't say I perfectly fit with 30 pieces, but I was pretty darn close.

So how was it?
I loved it! Many of the items I chose were my favorites; items I would go to over and over again while at home. It was fun to push and grow and see how I could layer several of them with a scarf in the cold weather and then stripped down with a necklace and shorts in the warm weather. I'll admit there were some outfits I probably wouldn't wear again (I'm not sure my chambray top is the best for layering over clothing), but many of them I would wear again. It was just wearing my clothing...I just had less to choose from!

My experiences with a capsule wardrobe: example outfit. Jeans, shirt, cardigan, scarf, shoes.

At the time I would have said I was doing a 30x30, but really I was probably doing a capsule wardrobe. I think the main difference between them is there are no real rules to doing a capsule wardrobe. You don't have to fret over the 32nd item, just because of a game you are playing, nor do you have to stop wearing that clothing because a calendar month has passed. Some people even have capsule wardrobes that last a season or all year long. I think at that point it's just a small, minimalist closet. ;)

I really enjoyed trying to make the outfits and wasn't bored. It ended up being about 45 days of living out of that suitcase before we finally got our household goods and my clothing. I'll admit, I was so excited to see all my other clothing. I was like a kid in a candy store remembering all the other clothes I had missed. However, after about a week or so I was reaching back to many of the items I had packed in my capsule wardrobe. After all, they were my favorite articles of clothing and I couldn't stay away for long!

Have you tried to do a capsule wardrobe or a 30x30 remix?

Want to read about some other ways you can build an environmentally friendly closet? Check out this article where I highlight 10 different ways.

Don't forget to pin this so you can find it later!
My experiences with a capsule wardrobe. How I created a capsule wardrobe, based on the 30x30 clothing challenge, while living out of a suitcase for 45 days while traveling and moving with the military.

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