Spring Capsule Recap and the 5 Lessons I Learned from Capsule Wardrobes

Born from a lack of closet space and a general sense of frustration with my wardrobe, last September I decided to try a new-to-me concept, the capsule wardrobe.  Love it or hate it (boy did I discover it’s quite the polarizing style blogger issue!), the capsule wardrobe concept was exactly what I needed to whip my wardrobe into shape.

I had three primary wardrobe problems that the creation of a capsule wardrobe helped me solve. One was a lack of space; after our spare bedroom became Jona’s nursery, my clothes and shoes had to find a new home in our tiny, shared bedroom closet. My second problem was an excess of stuff. This excess became even more apparent with the space issue. Getting dressed became a frustrating exercise; I couldn’t see half of the stuff in the closet, and much of what I had either didn’t fit my body or my lifestyle. This led to my third problem, which was despite all the options I seemingly had, I only had a handful of things that truly worked for my life and were also things that I loved.

Paring down my wardrobe and only having a set amount of clothing items to choose from (for me the number ranged from 40-50, including shoes) helped me in all three of those areas. While I’ve decided not to create another capsule for summer (and likely won’t for other seasons to come), I do plan to take the capsule wardrobe lessons learned and continue to apply them to my wardrobe. 

When looking at what I wore for my spring capsule, several themes emerged. Here are my spring capsule looks from the past three months, broken down by theme. (My favorite from each theme is marked with a little heart.) 

25 spring looks from a capsule wardrobe | www.shealennon.com

5 Lessons I learned from having capsule wardrobes:

{one} I still have plenty to wear with a smaller wardrobe. What made me (and many others I’m sure) hesitate about trying a capsule wardrobe was the fear of getting bored. I like options. I don’t want to feel like I’m wearing the same 5 outfits every week. However, I never got bored or felt like I had nothing to wear during the past several months. Quite the opposite, I felt that having fewer clothing items pushed me to be more creative with how I wore them or how I used my accessories. 

{two} Too many options stress me out. I am a terrible decision maker. I had 5 majors in college (at 3 different colleges by the way) and have done all or part of 3 different grad programs (also at 3 different schools). With all that, I still don’t know what I want to do with my life, so can you imagine my struggle to choose which shoes to wear if I have 30 pairs to choose from? Since paring down my wardrobe, I no longer experience that too-many-options brain shutdown that was a regular occurrence before.

{three} Spend more on fewer, higher quality pieces that will stand the test of time. I am and will always be a budget-minded bargain shopper. However, my mindset has changed a little. Rather than trying to get as much as I can when I have a set amount to spend, I instead try to prioritize the things I need the most and buy the best quality I can for my budget. Do I still love to get a good deal? Yes. Do I feel the need to buy ALL the good deals? No.

{four} Accessories help make closet workhorses work harder. If you’ve been reading my blog for long, you’ll notice that I have a few favorites that I wear tirelessly (I’m looking at you chambray shirt, chambray dress, and jean jacket!). Yet because I change up the accessories I wear them with, it doesn’t look like I’ve been wearing the same outfits all year. Scarves, necklaces, belts, and shoes can all considerably change the look of an item. (See my recent chambray dress week for proof of that!)

{five} When I love something, I wear it often. I used to feel guilty for wearing certain pieces all the time while seeming to neglect others. Now I know that I only do this when I truly love a piece of clothing, so I should aim to fill my closet only with things I want to wear all the time. Similarly, I know that when something just sits in my closet, unworn, it may be time to part ways. 

Have you tried a capsule wardrobe? I'd love to hear your thoughts on capsule wardrobes (good or bad)! 

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