Closet 101

More Confessions of a Capsule Wardrobe Wearer

More confessions of a capsule wardrobe wearer via thelovelylauralife.comLast week I shared with you “my picks” for fall this year: a few new-to-me additions + some pieces I just felt deserved the spotlight.

I explained that I thought it was the next logical step in the “sharing process” since my last two all seasons capsule updates looked almost identical with just a few swaps. AND I did this without regard to what may or may not be beneficial to you: my awesome reader + friend.

So I’d like to first pose the question that I probably should have asked before hitting “Publish” on that last blog post… Which would you benefit from more + like better?

Option A. Continuation of an entire wardrobe share in the form of a seasonal blog post with photos + links to all pieces. An overview of pieces removed and/or added and the thought processes behind those removals/additions.

Option B. A real time view into my closet shared on an easy to find page on my blog with photos + links to all pieces. A detailed seasonal blog post spotlighting the pieces removed and/or added and the thought processes behind those removals/additions.

Option C. Some other sharing process I haven’t thought of yet that you are going to enlighten me on ;)

Now’s your chance to speak and up let me know what you’d really like to see me share. Lemme’ hear your thoughts in the comments!

—-

Okay, now that that’s all cleared up I have even more sharing to do today:

At the end of this past winter, after three successful capsule wardrobes per the Unfancy model I sorta had a vision. I envisioned me having this minimal piece closet that worked year round: one in which I wasn’t packing up my summer capsule when the first week in September was in the high 50’s, only to have to unpack it the very next week when the  the high are in the 80’s. Sigh, #midwestweather

I also envisioned me having the ability make purchases year round, so that I could have a little more flexibility in the thrifting department.

All while maintaining the spirit of the seasonal capsule wardrobes I’d been experimenting successfully with for the past 9 months.

Well guys, I must have messed something up because I totally feel the want creeping back in. Do you know what I’m talking about? That senseless desire for new stuff. The itch to look and look some more and finally feel compelled to buy something you’ve convinced yourself you actually need? Yeah. I’ve been calling that the want.

Here are just a few of the zillion questions + thoughts I’ve been pondering for about the past month:

Dressing a postpartum body is tough stuff. It’s ever changing + requires you to extend a lot of grace toward yourself — something I’m not so sure I’m good at.

WHY do I want All Of the Things?!

Building a versatile, high quality wardrobe takes time. BUT I WANT IT NOW. Why can’t I be more patient?

Why am I still impulsive? I thought I’d overcome that?

Maybe I should have stuck to the “only buy seasonally” rule?

Maybe I should have kept a larger budget?

Maybe I should have gone on a shopping strike…

Did I prematurely pursue a year round capsule?

I’m in such rapidly changing season of life, should I have stuck with a seasonal capsule and only taken it 3 months at a time?

Should I switch back?

Am I starting to feel unsatisfied because I loosened the reigns to much? Too little?

Why do I always want more stuff when I start to get down?

Maybe I changed too many rules at once?

Maybe I pursued too many goals at once?

How am I ever going to stop being an emotional shopper?

Why do I always feeling like buying more stuff when I become unhappy?

Especially when excess + clutter makes me very unhappy?

What the heck do I have to be unhappy about?

Yikes. Always so many words with me, right?  I’m honestly not sure if there is a take away for you here — out of that free thought word dump craziness that just happened up there. Maybe to let you know that you’re not alone? Maybe to assure myself that I’m not either?

Just to be clear, I’m not making any decisions right now: about continuing with a year round capsule, switching back to a seasonal one or coming up with some new plan all together.   This I have a least learned; I’m going to let this one simmer for awhile.

Maybe if I just continue to dredge through all this uncertainty it will all get a lot clearer again?

I definitely still want you to weigh in on your preferred sharing process method though!

Thank you so much for reading.  Seriously. I don’t thank you nearly enough.

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27 Comments

  • Reply
    Kat
    October 1, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    I honestly don’t know how you should share… I just like reading posts with lost of words and a few pictures thrown in there. I’m not big on shopping from a blog post, because nothing fits me the way I think it will, ever. I WILL say, however, that I feel so similar to you in that word dump… Almost as if I wrote it myself. I will ALSO tell you what I do with my wardrobe.

    I DESPERATELY wanted to do a seasonal capsule, because, CAPSULES ARE AMAZING! However, I live in southern Florida and it’s still 95 every day and tolerable at night… and in the middle of winter it is frigid one day and sweltering the next. So what I have settled on is ONLY having items in a certain color scheme, that will pretty much all match with everything else. As the seasons change, I will swap out some styles/colors that are no longer appropriate (like I will put away any sheer tanks or bright colors in fall/winter and put away plaid flannels and fluffy socks for spring/summer).

    I LOVE everything I own and it all fits me well. Instead of choosing a set number of items (because I like to have extras for those months when work is busy and laundry just doesn’t get done) I just make sure that everything fits neatly into my closet and dresser and if I put something on and have to take it off because it makes me feel bad, it goes in the goodwill bag, right then and there.

    Okay so that was super wordy and a bit all over, but that’s why I’m not a blogger lol. But I really hope that this helps a little, or at least shows you that no, you are NOT alone. :) :)

    • Reply
      Laura
      October 1, 2015 at 11:32 pm

      Ah! Thank you Kat! And thank you for sharing your take on a more minimal wardrobe. You’ve given me more good things to think about. :)

  • Reply
    Karin Rambo
    October 1, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    Oh man. I totally get EVERYTHING you are saying! I am also going through the post-partum body issue and it’s tough! I do the seasonal capsule model, but even when I shopped for my fall capsule I still felt the “I want all the stuff” feelings. It’s almost as if I had bottled those feelings up and then they came rushing back the minute I started shopping again. Maybe they never go away? Maybe it’s something you have to guard against forever? I hope not, but I’m not sure. I guess you can only do one thing right? Just take one day at a time and do the best you can. No one is perfect, so I guess it makes sense that we’ll never perfectly be able to resist feeling emotions about shopping. Thanks for your honesty… it is so appreciated!

    Karin
    http://www.truncationblog.com

    • Reply
      Laura
      October 1, 2015 at 11:31 pm

      If I could give you a virtual fist pump then I would. Thank you Karin :)

  • Reply
    Chelsea
    October 1, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    As much as an all-seasons wardrobe makes sense when dealing with fickle weather, I do find that the process of letting things “lie fallow” and pulling out items that you forgot how much you loved when a new season rolls around helps immensely with not feeling burned out on your clothes and tempers the need-to-shop impulses. I don’t have a formal capsule wardrobe, but maybe a six-month capsule would be a compromise? I tend to do a big switch over in the Spring/Fall, then a mini inventory and adjustment when it gets super hot/cold.

    • Reply
      Laura
      October 1, 2015 at 11:22 pm

      Yes! I think I’ve missed out a little on the excitement that surfaces in bringing back out the pieces that “lie fallow”, as you called it, so far. I like the idea of owning few enough pieces for them all to fit comfortably in my closet year round, but I’d be the first to admit that because I’ve flipped through heavy sweaters alongside my warm weather pieces all summer long there’s less of a refreshing feeling about getting to wear them now that the weather is cooling down. I’ve been pondering the 6 month capsule ever since I made the decision to pursue a year round one, it may be my happy medium :)

  • Reply
    Lo
    October 1, 2015 at 5:10 pm

    I always look forward to your capsule posts, and this one might be my favorite yet. If there’s any takeaway, I think it’s that you can cut yourself some slack! There are always going to be seasons of life, with changing needs, and it’s a totally personal thing. It’s helpful to me to remember that I really have the rest of my life to figure out the perfect wardrobe/system and things will cycle in and out until then. If I can curb some of the wasteful shopping and practice living with less in the meantime, then it’s a worthwhile experiment, but it’s not like I’m actually going to make it all work immediately and it’s not like I’m never going to have those want feelings again. Wishing you luck figuring out what works best for you, and hope you continue to share. Option B sounds cool, but pick what you feel is most conducive!

    • Reply
      Laura
      October 1, 2015 at 11:15 pm

      Lo, I always love your comments (and I enjoy your capsule posts too). You have a way with the words my dear. And thank you for reminding me that it’s all just one big experiment anyway.

  • Reply
    Tameeka
    October 1, 2015 at 5:29 pm

    Oh I totally agree on sooo many (all?) points here! 8 months post-partum with baby number 2 here and well ooof. My body is hanging on to those kgs, as I am still breastfeeding, with all its might. It makes getting dressed hard and it kinda hurts too. I also hate excess and clutter and have recently kon – maried all the things! only to go buy new jeans and tops cos i want something (anything!!) that actually fits and makes me feel good. In theory leading to better self care and better health choices. Well I hope so anyway :)

    I love your capsule wardrobe posts. I love the idea of a year round capsule and it makes so much more sense for where I live (Australia! HI :)) where we have mild winters – add a cardigan and a scarf maybe a jacket if its raining! and the change between seasons can tend to be a lot of a grey area. as for your questionOption B? then in theory I can pop over and check it out live? I love seeing your outfits (and life peeks) on instagram too.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Meeks :)

    PS – your chocolate milk recipe is a huge hit in our house.. :D

    • Reply
      Laura
      October 1, 2015 at 11:13 pm

      Ah! Thank you Tameeka! I’m feeling the love :) I am leaning toward Option B as well.

    • Reply
      Laura
      October 1, 2015 at 11:28 pm

      Oh, and I’m glad to hear about the chocolate milk! ;)

  • Reply
    Andrea
    October 2, 2015 at 3:19 am

    Hmm, I don’t know that I have an useful advice. I’m only one week and one day into my capsule experiment! I think I already sort of broke a rule. I’ve been wanting one more piece for my capsule and I couldn’t find it thrifting, so I ended up at Boden and came away with a dress and a skirt….when I told myself I really was looking for a cardigan-jumper type of thing. (and as an aside, I just remembered that I still have one item, a dress, in transit, as something I ordered for my capsule turned out to be the wrong size. Sigh.)

    So I’m not one to ask for advice on this. I like seeing what you put in each capsule, it kind of helps me to get ideas of what should be in mine when I see other peoples. I am beyond imperfect in this sticking to 33, I don’t include coats or shoes (as I live in London and the weather has many and varied temper tantrums throughout a single day, so I might wear my winter coat for the morning and need my wells and mac by the afternoon). I’d say keep going the way you are and think and think and think some more before you make any changes. Maybe you just need more time to see if the year round capsule will work for you.

    • Reply
      Laura
      October 2, 2015 at 3:00 pm

      Andrea, thank you so much for your thoughtful words. You’ve given the best advice, I will surely take much more time deciding how I move forward.

  • Reply
    Emily Worth
    October 2, 2015 at 11:08 am

    I would love to see more pictures of you wearing your clothes. I’m suffering from hating my post-pardum body right now, too. And my baby is almost one! I just haven’t bounced back as quickly with the second baby. I have been really strict about what I buy and adding to my capsule as time goes on. But, things aren’t fitting me as well and I start to nit-pick about my baby belly and how it hangs over my jeans :( I would love to see photos of you. I think it would be inspiring to see the outfits you pick and you embracing your post-pardum body. Because, we all need to! We battled for these body changes :) Thank you for your blog. I really love when I get notifications that you have posted!

    • Reply
      Laura
      October 2, 2015 at 3:08 pm

      Emily, thanks for your comment! Let me first start off by saying I don’t hate my postpartum body, and you shouldn’t either! :) A mama’s body is truly a marvelous thing. I do however wish I could speed up the postpartum process sometime and, like you, struggle with dressing it. Several of my favorite pieces don’t quite fit me just yet, mainly in the bust (#nursingprobs) and I know I can’t just go re-buy everything in a larger size! Gah! So I have begun to feel like I’m working with an even smaller segment of my already small closet. It’s definitely testing my creativity and my level of contented-ness. Also, I absolutely LOVE your suggestion of wanting to see more photos of me actually wearing my clothes. I’ve been pondering this very idea for about week now and I think you just gave me the answer I needed :) And thank YOU. Thank you, thank you thank you!

      • Reply
        Emily Worth
        October 2, 2015 at 3:29 pm

        No, thank you thank you thank you! I shouldn’t have said I hate my body. I really don’t. I just struggle with dressing it and feeling beautiful. I need to find my new post-baby beautiful feeling :) And rock on with your bad nursing self! I am almost to a year and I know it takes commitment! I am reminded of that when I accidentally wear a dress I have to completely remove at the conference room at work in order to pump…oops #thingsyoucantmakeup
        Thank you for your blog and never stop writing! I love the capsule. It has truly made me more confident when I go shopping. And more patient to wait for the pieces that I truly love!

  • Reply
    Gigi
    October 3, 2015 at 10:41 pm

    As a Minnesotan I feel you’re Midwest weather pain. I was wearing sandals last week and now I’m digging out hats and gloves! Personally I find a year round wardrobe hard. As posted before its not as exciting. Plus I feel like I’m wasting space having shorts in my dresser when its subzero haha. A solid three or six month one has worked well for me the past couple years. But to each their own. Find what works for you. I’ve heard of people doing 30 day capsules and loving it.

    Congrats on the new addition to the family! That being said, as much I love reading new posts you should post when its not a burden. Maybe you could Take pictures of what you wear and do a weekly post of what you wore similar to http://www.thismomsgonnasnap.com/ .

  • Reply
    dressing a postpartum body / dos and don’ts | The Lovely Laura Life
    October 5, 2015 at 8:00 am

    […] my heart, thank you. I will forever be grateful for the wonderful responses I received from you on my last capsule post.  Your comments were nothing but encouraging. At a time in which I let myself be completely […]

  • Reply
    Lacey
    October 8, 2015 at 5:26 pm

    You and your posts are awesome. Never forget that. Good job, Mama!

    • Reply
      Laura
      October 9, 2015 at 3:56 pm

      Much love Lacey! Thank you so much. :)

  • Reply
    Mel
    October 12, 2015 at 11:45 am

    Just wanted to second all the other commenters in that I really enjoy your capsule wardrobe posts. Also you should try to be easy on yourself, because frustration can turn into self judgement SO easily!

    I too recently gave birth (6 month ago tomorrow!) to my first – and I found it overwhelming to come back into my closet and have to keep trading sizes & cuts as my body returned to semi-normal.

    As a result I have been obsessed with building my capsule wardrobe that accommodates BF. In the end it all gets a little obsessional and “navel gazing” – as another blogger put it – but browsing online for the PERFECT boot has been a way of just focusing on me occasionally during these intense new mother months (and it fits in during naps & BF sessions!).

    However recently I have realized that my use of thrifting as a cheap source leads me to cheat in regards to shopping. That pressure – the “buy it now because it will not be available tomorrow!!!” -definitely spurs “the want”. So to compromise – I have been using the ‘french 5 wardrobe’ rule – which means you are allowed to buy unlimited neutral basics within your budget (easy with thrifting) but only 5 new statement pieces per season. Because – with my changing body & seasons I could not commit to a 33 capsule right now.

    Also another thing that spurs “the want” is constantly having to shop/replace pieces for the babe. How do you deal with that? I start googling sock moccasins and eventually end up looking at camp socks for myself. The online market place is so tempting!!

    • Reply
      Laura
      October 12, 2015 at 1:01 pm

      Mel, you are so right! Negative thoughts easily lead to more negative thoughts. And congrats on your little guy/gal! :) I totally agree with the thrifting cheat tidbit –and I thought that it could only help me ‘save’ money… ;) Also, I’ve heard of the French 5 but wasn’t sure of it’s guidelines, I like it! Definitely an easy modification to better adapt the capsule method for the postpartum season. For me, shopping for babies usually replaces the feeling of needing to by something for myself, but I couldn’t agree more about the online shopping experience being a very tempting thing. Blah! I appreciate your kinds words. Thanks so much for commenting :)

  • Reply
    Speaking Life + This Year’s Anthem | The Lovely Laura Life
    January 4, 2016 at 3:52 pm

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  • Reply
    My Capsule Wardrobe / Winter 2015 + What’s Working and What’s Not | The Lovely Laura Life
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    […] capsule wardrobe (outlined in this blog post.) I’ve detailed my plan, the process and the many bumps along the road and today I’m sharing with you that I’ve decided: to go back to using a […]

  • Reply
    Lessons Learned + Tips I’m Using to Create My Spring Capsule | The Lovely Laura Life
    March 14, 2016 at 9:02 am

    […] before about the many different lessons I’ve learned from practicing a capsule wardrobe (here, here, here, here, and here… whew!) and at the end/beginning of each capsule I find it very […]

  • Reply
    Liz Shittu
    September 20, 2016 at 1:20 pm

    Hi Laura! At this point this post is a year old, so I feel a bit silly commenting but just wanted to comment on post-partum shopping/wardrobe. I’m 2 years post partum after baby #2 and the changes don’t stop. You will likely change again after weaning, unless you have an iron will + amazing workout routine. I now have a “small sizes” bin, a “large sizes ” bin and hanging up is what fits me this month! Occasionally, I have to re try on every pair of pants and rotate out! Just when I thought I had got down to my pre-pregnancy weight I went on a little gourmand binge and was back in my postpartum (non-maternity) clothes. Keeping these clothes out of site but not getting rid of them altogether helps keep the shopping urge (and body image depression) at bay.

    • Reply
      Laura Blanton
      September 21, 2016 at 7:28 am

      Honestly? I love that you’re commenting on a post that is a year old — I find it encouraging that stuff I’ve written that long ago is still resonating with others. And yes! My second is now 18 months and I continue to find my body changing now that he’s weaned. For now I plan to get several items altered and just go from there. I’m a huge fan of shopping your own closet first and not producing even more waste by getting rid of everything only to have to re-buy everything when you know you are in a fluctuating season of life — so I love your solution here. :)

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