Author Topic: Spin Off: Creating a minimalist/capsule wardrobe - Most recent update page 15  (Read 130850 times)

ZiziPB

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Re: Spin Off: Creating a minimalist/capsule wardrobe
« Reply #50 on: May 13, 2015, 01:38:33 PM »
I do think that the idea of a capsule wardrobe w/o enough clothing for 1 week (like complete changes of clothing) or even 2 weeks is simply unrealistic for many people. Even more so if you workout or ride a bike to work. I can re-wear something more than one time - but I absolutely don't have time during the week to deal w/ laundry and I'm likely to get really tired of only 2 shirts.

I personally hate accessorizing. I find scarves to be baffling and distracting - "What is this thing hanging on my chest." So - YMMY.

And I just have to have enough underwear so that I am not conserving and have absolutely no risk of running out. Its pretty nonnegotiable to me. They take up little space, last a long time, are critical for my comfort, and are relatively inexpensive (at least mine are).

I totally agree with your points (other than your attitude towards scarves - I absolutely love scarves and have a huge number of them :-). 

I have read about project 333 and always felt that it would be too restrictive and impractical for me.  Maybe once I FIRE, I can try something like it but for now, I have too many different needs:  I need clothes I can wear to work Mon-Thu (business casual with the emphasis on business), clothes I can wear to work on Fridays (business casual with the emphasis on casual), occasional true business clothes that I need if I am doing client presentations or have meetings outside the office.  Then I have exercise gear for working out, some hiking/skiing/biking clothes, lounging around the house clothes (I change into something comfortable when I get home from work) and casual weekend wear that's presentable enough to run errands, etc (I refuse to wear sweats outside the house).  When I FIRE, I am hoping that I can completely do away with any work related clothes.  I feel like a lot of advice on Project 333 is geared towards women who don't work outside the home and basically just have one category of clothing (what I call "presentable casual").

For now, I am focusing on getting rid of anything that doesn't fit and that I don't like to wear.  Given that I have gone up 2 full dress sizes in the last 4-5 years, that means I had to replace all of my bottoms and dresses and a good number of my tops as well.  All of the size 4, 6 and S size clothes were lingering in my closet in the hopes that I will get back to them, but recently, I have decided to just let them go.  I have been purging and consigning anything that was still of value and donating anything not worth selling.



smalllife

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Re: Spin Off: Creating a minimalist/capsule wardrobe
« Reply #51 on: May 13, 2015, 02:14:21 PM »
I have read about project 333 and always felt that it would be too restrictive and impractical for me.  Maybe once I FIRE, I can try something like it but for now, I have too many different needs:  I need clothes I can wear to work Mon-Thu (business casual with the emphasis on business), clothes I can wear to work on Fridays (business casual with the emphasis on casual), occasional true business clothes that I need if I am doing client presentations or have meetings outside the office.  Then I have exercise gear for working out, some hiking/skiing/biking clothes, lounging around the house clothes (I change into something comfortable when I get home from work) and casual weekend wear that's presentable enough to run errands, etc (I refuse to wear sweats outside the house).  When I FIRE, I am hoping that I can completely do away with any work related clothes.  I feel like a lot of advice on Project 333 is geared towards women who don't work outside the home and basically just have one category of clothing (what I call "presentable casual").

For now, I am focusing on getting rid of anything that doesn't fit and that I don't like to wear.  Given that I have gone up 2 full dress sizes in the last 4-5 years, that means I had to replace all of my bottoms and dresses and a good number of my tops as well.  All of the size 4, 6 and S size clothes were lingering in my closet in the hopes that I will get back to them, but recently, I have decided to just let them go.  I have been purging and consigning anything that was still of value and donating anything not worth selling.

Just a note about Project333: exercise/lounge wear is excluded, and it's all about making it work for you (33 includes x and y, but not z for example).  I have the same work environment you do and manage just fine :-)  Tops are all inter-changable from nice casual (weekend) to business casual, heavy reliance on dresses, and a general smoothing of the business and casual lines.
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ZiziPB

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Re: Spin Off: Creating a minimalist/capsule wardrobe
« Reply #52 on: May 13, 2015, 02:38:53 PM »

Just a note about Project333: exercise/lounge wear is excluded, and it's all about making it work for you (33 includes x and y, but not z for example).  I have the same work environment you do and manage just fine :-)  Tops are all inter-changable from nice casual (weekend) to business casual, heavy reliance on dresses, and a general smoothing of the business and casual lines.

Yes, I can see how someone could make it work, but as I said, I feel it would be too restrictive for me at this point.  But it is a process and I will probably get there at some point.  When I first started reading MMM, I was convinced that people with really low grocery budgets were liars - now I am one of them.  However, it didn't happen overnight.  It took me almost 2 years of slow changes in how I shop and what I eat.  So with the slow purging of my closet (I have been at it for about 6 months now) and some changes in attitude and the way I dress, I have a good chance of getting down to 33 pieces in another 18 months or so :-)



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Re: Spin Off: Creating a minimalist/capsule wardrobe
« Reply #53 on: May 13, 2015, 03:13:00 PM »
Replying to follow!  I am still at the "too much clothing" phase but it's a dream of mine to pare it down.  I love all the blogs and support - keep it coming!

One question:  what pants do y'all buy that are not jeans and yet don't need to be pressed/dry cleaned?  I work in a casual blue jean environment now so it's not a huge deal yet, but as I work my way up the corporate food chain I will have to shed my solid color t-shirt/jeans/flats work "uniform" for something nicer.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2015, 03:36:13 PM by kmt88 »

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Re: Spin Off: Creating a minimalist/capsule wardrobe
« Reply #54 on: May 13, 2015, 03:47:36 PM »
Replying to follow!  I am still at the "too much clothing" phase but it's a dream of mine to pare it down.  I love all the blogs and support - keep it coming!

One question:  what pants do y'all buy that are not jeans and yet don't need to be pressed/dry cleaned?  I work in a casual blue jean environment now so it's not a huge deal yet, but as I work my way up the corporate food chain I will have to shed my solid color t-shirt/jeans/flats work "uniform" for something nicer.


Dockers, black and khaki. I wear men's because they fit better equally poorly on my weird body and have usable pockets, but the women's also come in no-iron, and they really are.

handsnhearts

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Re: Spin Off: Creating a minimalist/capsule wardrobe
« Reply #55 on: May 13, 2015, 04:04:59 PM »
I just line dry and make sure they are lying nicely.  I never iron.  My sister sometimes says I should, but no one at work has ever commented.

MsPeacock

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Re: Spin Off: Creating a minimalist/capsule wardrobe
« Reply #56 on: May 13, 2015, 04:39:50 PM »
Replying to follow!  I am still at the "too much clothing" phase but it's a dream of mine to pare it down.  I love all the blogs and support - keep it coming!

One question:  what pants do y'all buy that are not jeans and yet don't need to be pressed/dry cleaned?  I work in a casual blue jean environment now so it's not a huge deal yet, but as I work my way up the corporate food chain I will have to shed my solid color t-shirt/jeans/flats work "uniform" for something nicer.

I like some of the dress pants at Express. They are often on sale. They styles are called something like "Editor" and such (depending on the cut). They can be machine washed and hung to dry.  I have some that I've had for years and other than becoming too small for me (damn them!) they have help up incredibly well. Regular price is about $70, but you can get them on sale so frequently that you shoudl never have to pay full price. http://www.express.com/clothing/studio+stretch+wide+waistband+flare+editor+pant/pro/9198452/cat920009


I'mma gonna post something about what capsule is vs. 'uniform vs. minimlaist but I have to get my kitten to stop climbing on me!

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Re: Spin Off: Creating a minimalist/capsule wardrobe
« Reply #57 on: May 13, 2015, 05:00:48 PM »
I'mma gonna post something about what capsule is vs. 'uniform vs. minimlaist but I have to get my kitten to stop climbing on me!

This is a great idea, so I'll throw in my own distinctions for these terms. I think of a minimalist wardrobe as a Project333 type approach, where you limit the number of items you have. For me, I'm not quite at the minimalism of Project333, but I do have a one-in, one-out rule to keep my closet from growing. I probably have about 40 pieces, not counting loungewear, shoes, or accessories.

A uniform is a particular aesthetic that drives the pieces you own (rather than the number of pieces themselves). Thus, of the 40 pieces above, I veer toward dark-wash skinny jeans, knee-length A-line skirts and dresses, solid cardigans, and a handful of basic or slightly printed shirts to wear under the cardigans. These items come mostly in black, gray, and red.

A capsule wardrobe as a particular set of clothes for one area of of your life (i.e. you may have two capsule wardrobes--an in-office capsule and a in-the-courtroom capsule for lawyers, or at-the-office capsule and an on-the-road capsule for traveling business people). The most frequent capsule wardrobes I've seen are the in-office capsule (for varying fields), the at-home/weekend capsule, and the SAHM capsule. Because I have a very casual work environment and try to be fairly put together on evenings and weekend, I don't separate my wardrobe into work/play capsules.

Beardog

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Re: Spin Off: Creating a minimalist/capsule wardrobe
« Reply #58 on: May 13, 2015, 05:06:16 PM »
One thing that has helped me when I go shopping is to bring a list (I actually make an Excel spreadsheet) of my current clothes.  One column is pants, another column is tops, the third is sweaters/jackets.  This exposes the weak points and helps me buy things that will help fill the gaps. 

ZiziPB

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Re: Spin Off: Creating a minimalist/capsule wardrobe
« Reply #59 on: May 13, 2015, 05:36:52 PM »
Funny how different personalities affect the way we deal with our wardrobes.  It would never occur to me to count my clothes or put them in a spreadsheet. But I love to iron!  Ironing is my meditation time, zen activity. I iron lots, including sweaters, pillowcases and duvet covers, tea towels ;-)



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Re: Spin Off: Creating a minimalist/capsule wardrobe
« Reply #60 on: May 13, 2015, 06:06:08 PM »
Funny how different personalities affect the way we deal with our wardrobes.  It would never occur to me to count my clothes or put them in a spreadsheet. But I love to iron!  Ironing is my meditation time, zen activity. I iron lots, including sweaters, pillowcases and duvet covers, tea towels ;-)

Hah, in my entire life I've ironed one thing, and the process recommitted me to never buying clothes that require ironing.

Emilyngh

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Re: Spin Off: Creating a minimalist/capsule wardrobe
« Reply #61 on: May 13, 2015, 06:33:12 PM »
Jumping in to say that I tried project 333 about a year ago and it totally changed how I view clothes.   I have actually found the process very freeing and not at all restrictive.

I now continue a modified version of project 333 for all of the clothes that I wear out of the house.   For a season, I keep 21 items in my wardrobe that consist of 7 bottoms, 7 tops, and 7 extra misc items depending on the season (eg., these extra items consist of sweaters and jackets in the winter, skirts and dresses in the summer, some combo of these items in fall and spring).   I then have 5 pairs of shoes per season (generally black boots, 1 pair of black or tan wedges/heels, 2 pairs of neutral flats and 1 pair of brightly colored flats), 1 jacket or coat (with one pair of black gloves and ear muffs in winter), 2 scarves to choose from in months other than summer, 3 pairs of earrings, 1 bag (currently alternate one for spring/summer one for fall/winter, but may get rid of the summer bag and only carry the one same bag year-round), 3 pairs of earrings, and 1 pair of prescription sun glasses.   So, 34 items in the summer and up to 39 in the winter. 

 I do switch them out more often than every 3 months, though.   I keep about another 5 pairs of shoes and 20 items in another closet and switch items out when the seasons change enough that I feel my current clothes are inappropriate (so, probably more like every 2 mos on average). 

I also have a dresser with work-in-the-yard clothes, pj's, etc that I don't wear out of the house.

Dressing this way has really simplified my life.   I never feel like I have nothing to wear anymore, I love my clothes more, I dress better when leaving the house, but am also more comfortable, I buy less, and I have a clearer idea of my style.   Overall, I can't say enough good things about project 333.   Seriously, love it.

« Last Edit: May 13, 2015, 06:38:29 PM by Emilyngh »

nzmamma

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Re: Spin Off: Creating a minimalist/capsule wardrobe
« Reply #62 on: May 14, 2015, 03:07:06 AM »
I highly recommend the blog Into Mind for help determining your personal style and building a functional wardrobe. Start here: http://into-mind.com/2014/11/03/10-step-wardrobe-revamp/

This is a great site. Thanks for the link!

SecretMinimalist

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Re: Spin Off: Creating a minimalist/capsule wardrobe
« Reply #63 on: May 14, 2015, 06:11:45 AM »
My minimalist approach:
- 6 dark dresses, one for each day of the week plus a spare;
- ballet flats and cardigan for the commute (plus a coat in winter);
- heels and smart jacket kept in the office to dress up for important meetings.

The dresses are machine washable and don't need ironing so last a long time. Mostly from Marks and Spencer's (they are based in the UK but deliver internationally, free to USA/Canada/Aus/NZ/some euro countries). Some are thin merino wool wrap dresses from Mac Pac in NZ - worn on really hot/humid days as they don't get sweaty.

Keeping the jacket and heels in the offices minimises the amount of time worn so they last longer.

Cougar

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Re: Spin Off: Creating a minimalist/capsule wardrobe
« Reply #64 on: May 14, 2015, 07:32:23 AM »

really late to this party/thread but clothes and budgeting on clothes is a thing i have spent a lot of time considering since i became a mmm or minimalist(my opion of my mmm lifestule).

POINT ONE:
95% of the people you work with daily dont even pay attention to what you wear as long as its not inappropriate. i have tested this many times by wearing the same thing two days in a row and have yet to have someone say that i wore that yesterday.

SO, i wouldnt worry about buying anything over your basic needs unless it means somethin to you.

POINT TWO:
as a part a of point one, since no one really notices what you wear, why spend more than you have to. i used to be a jos. a bank fan, but coming to this conclusion; i am now a stienmart and academy fan.

and since i'm beliving that no one really cares what i wear, i wear a lot of the same. i have several of the same brand of shirt from steinmart just different colors because they were $30 each and my pants and shorts are all the same brand also, just different colors. i figure i can basically wear the same shirts and pants repeatedly to work for 2 years before they wear out and will have spent less than $300 on all of them.

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Re: Spin Off: Creating a minimalist/capsule wardrobe
« Reply #65 on: May 14, 2015, 09:43:25 AM »
Great thread! I started decluttering my closet and found multiple dark wash jeans in great condition, about ten. For my capsule wardrobe, I definitely need two, maybe three (I live in jeans). I'm not sure what to do with the rest. Should I keep them in storage or do I donate and rebuy when needed?

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Re: Spin Off: Creating a minimalist/capsule wardrobe
« Reply #66 on: May 14, 2015, 09:46:25 AM »
Great thread! I started decluttering my closet and found multiple dark wash jeans in great condition, about ten. For my capsule wardrobe, I definitely need two, maybe three (I live in jeans). I'm not sure what to do with the rest. Should I keep them in storage or do I donate and rebuy when needed?

How much storage do you have? Is it humidity/bug safe? Will you be moving soon?

Ie, for me, I would HAVE to get rid of and rebuy. Very small apartment, no storage. If you live in a home and have a perfectly good place to put a box? And think you will stay the same size? Absolutely keep them and rotate in as the other wear out.
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handsnhearts

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Re: Spin Off: Creating a minimalist/capsule wardrobe
« Reply #67 on: May 14, 2015, 09:52:24 AM »
Do you actually wear all 10?  Or are there some that fit better, feel better and you always reach for those?  If there are some you avoid because of some reason, get rid of those!


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MsPeacock

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Re: Spin Off: Creating a minimalist/capsule wardrobe
« Reply #68 on: May 14, 2015, 10:35:35 AM »
Great thread! I started decluttering my closet and found multiple dark wash jeans in great condition, about ten. For my capsule wardrobe, I definitely need two, maybe three (I live in jeans). I'm not sure what to do with the rest. Should I keep them in storage or do I donate and rebuy when needed?

I think the general idea would be to keep only 2-3 pairs that you like best - are the most comfortable, attractive, fit the best, etc. and let go of the rest.

I have been shifting my way through some blogs and it does seem that some writers use a "capsule" in the sense that they pick key items that they will wear for several months and store the rest. Then when the seasons change or whatever, they switch out the items in their collection for another capsule. So, they aren't aiming to keep a low inventory of clothes overall - they are just making a capsule of set outfits that they will wear for ease of daily wardrobe planning. In those cases capsule =/= minimalist.

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Re: Spin Off: Creating a minimalist/capsule wardrobe
« Reply #69 on: May 14, 2015, 10:58:07 AM »
Still working on it, but I've downsized my wardrobe a LOT over the last couple of years. Right now it's basically:

Casual:
- 2 pairs of jeans
- 5 shirts (3 long sleeved and 2 short sleeved)
- 2 sundresses
- 1 hiking outfit
- 1 ballet leotard
- 1 set of workout clothing

Office:
- About a dozen tops
- Seven bottoms (3 skirts, 2 pants, 2 capris)
- One dress
- About 6 sweaters/wraps/cardigans in different colours/styles/thicknesses

I also have a tango gown, little black dress, and one other formal dress for fancy occasions.

I could probably get rid of a few more of my office shirts, but don't really have any pressing need - I'll probably just wait until things wear out and then not replace them.

One of the tips from "Life Changing Magic" that I quite liked was when she said NOT to have off-season clothing in storage, and to have everything available all the time. So if you get an unexpected cold snap in the spring, your sweaters and long sleeves are right there rather than in a box somewhere.
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Re: Spin Off: Creating a minimalist/capsule wardrobe
« Reply #70 on: May 14, 2015, 11:40:36 AM »
I also feel I look better in classic styles but sometimes want something with an edge.  One of favorite work outfits is a pencil skirt, with a rock T-shirt (usually greys and black colors), statement jewelry, blazer, and heels.

Yep, coppin' your style. That sounds like a kick-ass outfit, and totally would go over well in my library workplaces.

Thanks for the inspiration! (Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, amiright?!)

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Spin Off: Creating a minimalist/capsule wardrobe
« Reply #71 on: May 14, 2015, 12:20:51 PM »

One of the tips from "Life Changing Magic" that I quite liked was when she said NOT to have off-season clothing in storage, and to have everything available all the time. So if you get an unexpected cold snap in the spring, your sweaters and long sleeves are right there rather than in a box somewhere.

This is what I do (partially because I don't have storage, also). Maybe it depends on climate, but I find there are VERY few items I go an entire season without wearing at least once. We don't really have extreme seasons here, so layering and mid-weight items constitute the bulk of my wardrobe.
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Redstone5

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Re: Spin Off: Creating a minimalist/capsule wardrobe
« Reply #72 on: May 14, 2015, 12:57:57 PM »
What about sewing? I'm not sure if that's been suggested yet?

I spent $60 on a basic clothing sewing course at my local sewing shop five years ago and it's saved me many hundreds of dollars since, even including the $400 sewing machine I bought in my pre-moustache days.

It's amazing how quickly you can learn this skill once you decide to do it. I always think sadly that if kids in a sweatshop can be taught, I can learn it too :( And also, at least I can avoid supporting sweatshop garment manufacture.

I've had three pregnancies so I've worn a wide range of sizes and my body shape has changed as well when I lost the weight again each time, but I've been able to make simple shirts, shirts, and dresses and then alter them to fit my current size when needed. I'm pretty busty so I love being able to make better fitting clothes than any I could buy in the store. And you can make your clothes as fancy and original as you like and no one will be wearing the same thing at the party. 

Even though fashion fabric can be pricy, there are many ways to buy it on sale, and in the US I believe the free shipping deals are amazing (sadly not always available to Canadians). And you can wash the fabric first to make sure that it won't fall apart like so many garments that I have bought.

It's great for kids too. When my son started taking off his pajamas in the night and waving his diaper around in and hour and a half I was able to sew him some simple pajamas that he couldn't take off by himself.

It's a great hobby (as long as you can resist buying a huge pile of fabric you don't use), and you can even start a side job doing alterations for friends if you get good at it.

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Re: Spin Off: Creating a minimalist/capsule wardrobe
« Reply #73 on: May 14, 2015, 01:18:00 PM »
What about sewing? I'm not sure if that's been suggested yet?


I love sewing, but anything I've made from scratch does not look polished to me- I'm just not good at it! 

However, I'm ok with adjusting something already made and can do basic adjustments like hemming, taking things in, repairing holes, rips, etc.

lifejoy

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Re: Spin Off: Creating a minimalist/capsule wardrobe
« Reply #74 on: May 14, 2015, 01:26:54 PM »

I will alway reject any notion of aging out of anything.  I'm not sure how old you are, but I'm almost 40 and I hope I haven't aged out.   

Ha, that's what I thought too when I was your age.  I felt confident about my looks and rocked most any outfit I put on ;-)

Fast forward 8 years and I am now in the throngs of perimenopause: rapid weight gain, the deep wrinkles in my face and neck becoming more and more visible (genetic predisposition - they take on the same pattern as they do in a lot of women in my family), gray hair...  I am as self-conscious about my body as a teenager and I have definitely aged out of a lot of styles that simply don't work for my, ahem, more stately silhouette.  And, it's not like I've gotten really large but somehow all of a sudden I truly feel middle aged.  I went from size 4 to a size 8 and I feel like an elderly elephant.

+1

 I would have said the exact same thing as RunHappy at "almost 40" - but now I am "almost 50" (OMG.... Aughhh) and while it used to be that I could pull anything off - I was tall and thin - shifts in weight...uh... distribution, weight gain (and I am not overweight, just heavier), wrinkles, being physically unable to tolerate heels, etc. At some point I just couldn't pull off the same things. It becomes that whole "mutton dressed as lamb" phenomenon. We have all seen it done and know that the effect almost always is to make you look older rather than ageless or younger. (Some recent outfits from Madonna come to mind.)


Anyhow - so far I've gathered that we all want:

1. Clothes that are easy to take care of

2. Some defined personal style that can be used as a basis for purchasing clothing. Many of us are bad at figuring out what that personal style is.

3. Sometimes our idea of our personal style doesn't fit what we purchase or what is flattering or easy to take care of

4. Many of us are "bad at shopping."

Other universals in our struggle/quest for a workable small wardrobe?

I guess I should start my 10 year phase out of concert tees.  Hopefully I'll be FI by then and won't need to care.

The above comment that I bolded reminded me of this awesome fashion blog:

http://www.notdressedaslamb.com/

Redstone5

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Re: Spin Off: Creating a minimalist/capsule wardrobe
« Reply #75 on: May 14, 2015, 02:23:20 PM »
What about sewing? I'm not sure if that's been suggested yet?


I love sewing, but anything I've made from scratch does not look polished to me- I'm just not good at it! 

However, I'm ok with adjusting something already made and can do basic adjustments like hemming, taking things in, repairing holes, rips, etc.


I talked to my sewing instructor about that issue as I've had it myself and she says that fabric choice can sometimes be the problem. Sewing shops often sell fabric as "fashion fabric" when really it's not the same quality as garment fabric that a clothing manufacturer would use. I've found that spending more money and/or time to get the really good stuff has made me much happier with the final result. My figure after three kids is a little "bumpy", if you know what I mean :) I've found that a thicker fabric with good body and a colourful pattern has worked the best for me to hide figure flaws and give a more professional (less homemade) look.

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Re: Spin Off: Creating a minimalist/capsule wardrobe
« Reply #76 on: May 14, 2015, 02:49:55 PM »

I have been shifting my way through some blogs and it does seem that some writers use a "capsule" in the sense that they pick key items that they will wear for several months and store the rest. Then when the seasons change or whatever, they switch out the items in their collection for another capsule. So, they aren't aiming to keep a low inventory of clothes overall - they are just making a capsule of set outfits that they will wear for ease of daily wardrobe planning. In those cases capsule =/= minimalist.

I finally realized that also after googling capsule wardrobe - I had been equating capsule wardrobe with minimalist. I have a very small closet and no extra storage space, so I have to go minimalist, with maybe some kind of overlapping seasonal capsules.  I have so many things crammed into a small space that I no longer know what I really have! My home was constructed in the 1940's, when most people owned a lot less clothing.

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Re: Spin Off: Creating a minimalist/capsule wardrobe
« Reply #77 on: May 14, 2015, 03:45:17 PM »
There are some great comments in the thread! A few of the posts pointed out things that hadn’t occurred to me for dealing with my massive, messy pile of clothing, and I have a much better idea of how be more intentional in what I wear while actually spending less time (and money) thinking about clothes. My takeaway so far:

    -As suggested, pull out everything in my closet and drawers, and sort into keep, maybe, donate, and toss piles.
I suspect I can put together an entire functional wardrobe with the things I already have, and won’t need to shop for more clothes. It will be a small wardrobe, but that is the goal! At most I may need one or two light-weight tops for summer.

    -Recently ran across the concept of “sunk costs” in regards to items we own.  I periodically purchase colorful, patterned clothing in an attempt to brighten my habitually dark, monotone wardrobe. I wear each piece once or twice, and they get relegated to the further recesses of my closet. They fit and are comfortable, but they aren’t the things I reach for every morning. I hold onto them out of guilt and a concern for wastefulness, yet keeping them won’t recover the money I spent. I need to accept the sunk cost, and get rid of them – or at least relegate them to a maybe pile while I figure out if/how they will fit into the streamlined wardrobe.

    -More sunk costs – the recently purchased clothing that would have worked well with my body of a few years ago, but is not suitable for my now middle-aged body. This is a hard one. My proportions are different now, and I don’t yet understand how to dress this body. My attempts are frumpy and dreary; or too young and ridiculous. If someone else can wear and enjoy them, it is less wasteful than my hoarding of them.

    -Black, gray, blue and white is boring, but it is a simple color scheme that I can handle. As one poster pointed out, no one notices what you wear anyway.  I want to enjoy my clothing, but I seem to be most comfortable in simple, plain styles in a limited color range.  Clothing is not the area where I will “express” my personality.

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Re: Spin Off: Creating a minimalist/capsule wardrobe
« Reply #78 on: May 14, 2015, 04:02:43 PM »
Great thread! I started decluttering my closet and found multiple dark wash jeans in great condition, about ten. For my capsule wardrobe, I definitely need two, maybe three (I live in jeans). I'm not sure what to do with the rest. Should I keep them in storage or do I donate and rebuy when needed?

How much storage do you have? Is it humidity/bug safe? Will you be moving soon?

Ie, for me, I would HAVE to get rid of and rebuy. Very small apartment, no storage. If you live in a home and have a perfectly good place to put a box? And think you will stay the same size? Absolutely keep them and rotate in as the other wear out.
Thanks everyone! I decided to keep my favorite three and move the rest to storage box. I can shop the storage box when I have a need to 'shop' for jeans. Again, this is only the first pass of closet decluttering and the box may get tossed in second or future passes.

I experimented with the idea of capsule wardrobe for the past two days. Dark jean, flats and white cami with different tops - made it super easy to get ready and I'm loving the look :) I also cleaned up the formal wear part of my closet and found a few more pieces I like to wear.

Weekend plan: clean out casual wear part of closet.

I'm between sizes and losing weight. So I am going to box up clothing that is too small for me and revisit them a month from now. My target for a completely clean closet is Memorial Day weekend.

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Re: Spin Off: Creating a minimalist/capsule wardrobe
« Reply #79 on: May 14, 2015, 06:20:21 PM »
Jumping in because this is my current project!  I wear scrubs for work and jeans/t-shirts the rest of the time, which does simplify things a lot.  This week I pulled everything out of my closet and dresser and started sorting it out.  I want my clothes to be simple and reasonably minimal.  I need some barn clothes and some "out" clothes, and just a couple nice pieces.  Fortunately, I don't have to worry about professional dress.   

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Re: Spin Off: Creating a minimalist/capsule wardrobe
« Reply #80 on: May 15, 2015, 07:11:03 AM »
Jumping in to say that I tried project 333 about a year ago and it totally changed how I view clothes.   I have actually found the process very freeing and not at all restrictive.

Same here. There were lots of things I was keeping around for silly reasons (like "my mother bought this for me"--my mother has impeccable taste but a completely different style from mine, and thinks I'm two sizes smaller than I am). Donating them directly was too difficult, but putting them in a box and waiting to see if I'd use them? Easy. I did this over the winter and as of three weeks ago when it warmed up, that whole box of unused winter gear went to the donation box.

Summer is a little trickier for me because I feel like I need "overflow" items and less-loved pieces as sweat backups (eg in a hot week, I might go wear 14 shirts instead of 7 and need extras so I'm not doing laundry constantly) but I'm working on paring down the other stuff in my wardrobe--I don't need extra sundresses that don't fit me, or sandals that hurt my feet (regardless of how cute they are).

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Re: Spin Off: Creating a minimalist/capsule wardrobe
« Reply #81 on: May 15, 2015, 07:49:36 AM »
Jumping in to say that I tried project 333 about a year ago and it totally changed how I view clothes.   I have actually found the process very freeing and not at all restrictive.

Same here. There were lots of things I was keeping around for silly reasons (like "my mother bought this for me"--my mother has impeccable taste but a completely different style from mine, and thinks I'm two sizes smaller than I am). Donating them directly was too difficult, but putting them in a box and waiting to see if I'd use them? Easy. I did this over the winter and as of three weeks ago when it warmed up, that whole box of unused winter gear went to the donation box.

Summer is a little trickier for me because I feel like I need "overflow" items and less-loved pieces as sweat backups (eg in a hot week, I might go wear 14 shirts instead of 7 and need extras so I'm not doing laundry constantly) but I'm working on paring down the other stuff in my wardrobe--I don't need extra sundresses that don't fit me, or sandals that hurt my feet (regardless of how cute they are).

You're inspiring me to try.  I just added up in my head what I actually wear over summer and it's less than 33 items (not counting undergarments and work out clothes/shoes)

10 dresses (I hate laundry ... and this is what I wear during the work week).
3 cardi's
1 trouser
2 shorts
2 tanks
2 tees
3 sandals
2 flats


I think the dresses are helping my numbers despite the high number, if these were separates, it would be 20 items.

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Re: Spin Off: Creating a minimalist/capsule wardrobe
« Reply #82 on: May 15, 2015, 11:05:44 AM »
Has anyone come across any blogs with real life examples (pictures) of capsule wardrobes created using someone's existing clothing?  A lot of the blogs I see have beautiful assemblies of color coordinated pieces that are great to look at but my immediate reaction is 'oh, that's so nice but there is nothing like that in my closet so I need to go shopping".

I really like Mrs Peacock's real life pictures and would love to see more examples of that kind of thinking in this thread.  Real life inspiration not some aspirational collection of pictures from Pinterest.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2015, 11:37:33 AM by ZiziPB »



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Re: Spin Off: Creating a minimalist/capsule wardrobe
« Reply #83 on: May 15, 2015, 11:15:13 AM »
ZiziPB, I started on building my capsule wardrobe with things I have in my closet. As of now, I have only jeans, some skirts, a few cardigans and some t-shirts/camis. It is not restricted to 33 items (I currently have 16) but I try to wear from the capsule everyday (its been just a week now). However as I wear the clothes, I'm identifying weak spots (for example, I need a black jacket, a good black top, etc). These are on my list to shop when I go next. I'm sure as I wear clothes from my capsule, I can add the missing pieces either from my existing clothes or buy them as needed.

Right now, the things I dont use in my closet are boxed up so I can retrieve them when I truly need a piece. Also I haven't restricted my shoes or accessories. I might in future, but one step at a time. Hope this approach helps!

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Re: Spin Off: Creating a minimalist/capsule wardrobe
« Reply #84 on: May 15, 2015, 11:56:07 AM »
ZiziPB, I'm with you on the blogs posting pretty pictures of stuff I don't own. Not helpful. In the interest of anonymity, I'm not going to post pictures of my own pieces, but my general method has been to identify stuff that looks good on me now (not a past or future version of my body), is comfortable to wear, and doesn't have any special requirements, like, I can only wear this dress with this belt and these shoes, this skirt only looks good with one tank top, I can only wear this shirt to work on Fridays with a ribbon tied around one wrist, etc. Bottoms need to work with anything (jeans or plain black), dresses and tops ideally can go from the office to general use, and accessories/shoes are basic so I don't worry about matching.

Maybe if you post pictures of what you have, or list out every piece, we can offer advice on how to choose a capsule?

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Re: Spin Off: Creating a minimalist/capsule wardrobe
« Reply #85 on: May 15, 2015, 12:59:33 PM »
Has anyone come across any blogs with real life examples (pictures) of capsule wardrobes created using someone's existing clothing?  A lot of the blogs I see have beautiful assemblies of color coordinated pieces that are great to look at but my immediate reaction is 'oh, that's so nice but there is nothing like that in my closet so I need to go shopping".

I really like Mrs Peacock's real life pictures and would love to see more examples of that kind of thinking in this thread.  Real life inspiration not some aspirational collection of pictures from Pinterest.

I will post more pictures. I'd like to see what others are doing too. I agree about the online pictures -taken from shopping websites or something (they aren't the bloggers photos from the looks of it). I'd have to go out and purchase 20 things to create the capsule.

My weekend clothes need reducing too - but since they just sit in the dresser rather than occupying limited closet space I feel less pressured about this. However, this whole minimize/decluttering thing has really got me going and I decluttered my cosmetics (many unopened boxes of fancy face stuff that I received at various times - some purchased, some GWP, etc.). I will pass along to a friend and her daughters and they can pass it along further. Went from three plastic tubs of stuff (shoebox size) down to one. I am eyeing my bookshelves.... and I have been a lifelong book lover with a ton of books - but do I really need them? (And they are sooooo dusty).

I am going to peel a few more things out of my closet this weekend. Not too much more that I want to take out - but a few more things can go. I have bought a few things to round out the uniform (e.g. another white shirt).

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Re: Spin Off: Creating a minimalist/capsule wardrobe
« Reply #86 on: May 16, 2015, 03:30:58 PM »
I am loving this thread. I don't have a uniform as such but am working on creating an extended capsule wardrobe. Not too strict but pieces with purpose that actually go together. i am currently trying to figure out a colour scheme... I'm thinking tan and navy for neutrals... but am really struggling with accent colours. I always get compliments in plum and think forrest green looks good but feel out-of-date in both. Maybe I need to find a more current way to wear these. I used to love mustard and sky blue but have none in my wardrobe... why? I have no idea. I also but lots of coral and white but I am not sure these suit me... so many colours. Still a lot of narrowing down to be done.

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Re: Spin Off: Creating a minimalist/capsule wardrobe
« Reply #87 on: May 16, 2015, 08:04:07 PM »
Went and bought new slacks today and a blouse for an interview. I feel like this thread really helped me get my game plan in place and approach with a goal in mind. It still sucked immensely, but I succeeded, and that's what counts!

(Thank you whoever suggested Express- I ended up not getting my pants there, but it was a great starting point to get an idea of fit and drape to look for).
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Re: Spin Off: Creating a minimalist/capsule wardrobe
« Reply #88 on: May 16, 2015, 08:30:52 PM »
This thread is really helping me think through my closet/any new purchases. I hate shopping with a passion, and therefore tend to rush in, buy whatever I can find that fits, and get the hell out. This has definitely created a situation in which I don't have things that work together, I actively hate about 70% of my clothes, and I wear the same 5-7 things over and over again.

I can wear fairly casual clothes to work, but I tend to push it and wear really casual things. My goal (using this thread as inspiration) is to figure out five work-appropriate outfits that can also be worn on weekends. I'm excited about the purging the closet part, but dreading the shopping bit that will have to happen on the other end.

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Re: Spin Off: Creating a minimalist/capsule wardrobe
« Reply #89 on: May 17, 2015, 01:36:44 AM »
Here is a blog I forgot to mention before -

http://www.puttingmetogether.com/p/building-remixable-wardrobe-series.html

I tend to ignore the blog stuff, but her remixable series and wardrobe from scratch series have some good ideas in them that have made me think.

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Re: Spin Off: Creating a minimalist/capsule wardrobe
« Reply #90 on: May 17, 2015, 02:46:04 AM »
It's so interesting to read all the different takes on this.

I've done a lot of reading of minimalist sites (like project 333) and what I've decided for myself is the following.

1. I'm definitely happier with less stuff around.
2. I don't like the idea of "having" to have a certain number of things although counting what you do have can provide you with interesting information.
3. I like "interesting" clothes. The idea of a basic uniform holds no appeal at all. I don't do accessories (apart from earrings) but I love bright colors and weird cuts that certainly wouldn't appeal to everyone.
4. I buy nearly everything 2nd hand (because I love shopping at thrift shops - it's a hobby!) and I've got some really expensive dry clean only stuff that way... and I've never had anything dry cleaned in my life. It all goes into the washing machine. I don't believe in separating clothes and I only know how to use one cycle on the machine (it's not in English so I don't really have any idea what the buttons do) and yet the amount of things I've ruined is surprisingly tiny. As someone else mentioned if you got something cheap you're much more likely to deal with the risk of ruining it. (I don't ever use the drier though). Clothes are often much tougher than the label would indicate.

The key for me seems to be to regularly go through my wardrobe and anything that doesn't make me happy is removed. I want to be able to grab out any piece of clothing and know that it fits, I like it and that it's wearable. I try not to keep clothes that are just "ok", if I don't love them I get rid of them. That's the goal anyway - it's not always as easy at it sounds when I type it!

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Re: Spin Off: Creating a minimalist/capsule wardrobe
« Reply #91 on: May 17, 2015, 03:43:26 AM »
Here is a blog I forgot to mention before -

http://www.puttingmetogether.com/p/building-remixable-wardrobe-series.html

I tend to ignore the blog stuff, but her remixable series and wardrobe from scratch series have some good ideas in them that have made me think.

Great blog.  Thanks!



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Re: Spin Off: Creating a minimalist/capsule wardrobe
« Reply #92 on: May 17, 2015, 04:39:34 AM »
I second Putting Me together, it is really very helpful. She makes discussing clothing interesting and I realised it was easier to have a capsule wardrobe where you can make different outfits with quite a small number of clothes.:) It takes the effort out of getting dressed everyday.

You can also go on Pinterest and see what season you are by your colouring and that helps you look at colours that suit you. I realised I had been buying clothes in the correct colours because I liked them and hopefully they do suit me. It's winter, spring, autumn, summer but you have different versions within that season. I think it is clear, soft and warm as I remember.

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Re: Spin Off: Creating a minimalist/capsule wardrobe
« Reply #93 on: May 17, 2015, 08:33:15 AM »

3. I like "interesting" clothes. The idea of a basic uniform holds no appeal at all. I don't do accessories (apart from earrings) but I love bright colors and weird cuts that certainly wouldn't appeal to everyone.


My uniform is not boring ... here is a selection of my summer dresses.  It's still a uniform because I minimize on the cover up (cardigans normally) and shoes.  And the color palate either has a black or navy background.

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Re: Spin Off: Creating a minimalist/capsule wardrobe
« Reply #94 on: May 17, 2015, 11:42:13 AM »
I did the big closet/dresser pull and inventory, and totaled up 132 items.  That includes scrubs, scarves/shawls, dressy clothes, pajamas and bathrobes, shirts, pants, shoes, riding breeches and boots, coats, and workout clothes.  Of those items, 9 are t-shirts I don't wear but have kept for sentimental reasons because I plan to make a t-shirt quilt.  With that in mind, they've been removed from my closet and bagged into the sewing closet.  I have some things that I wear regularly, but I have too many duplicates right now (scrubs, socks, and yoga pants/tanks).  Those are being tucked away for me to pull from as my others get too worn out. 

I pulled out one plastic tote and packed away 25 seasonal items and "extras" -
8 heavy sweaters
3 underscrub shirts
2 pr thin wool layering leggings
1 pair yoga pants
2 tank tops
6 scrub tops
3 scrub pants
Big bag of extra socks

That leaves 98 items.
10 pants - 2 jeans, 3 farm pants, 1 dress slacks, 2 yoga pants, 2 hiking pants
7 camisoles/tanks
7 short sleeved shirts (2 are dressy)
7 long sleeved shirts
6 light spring/summer/fall sweaters, worn over a tank or shirt
4 dresses
2 skirts
8 outerwear - coats, sweaters, sweatshirts
9 scrubs - 4 tops, 4 bottoms, 1 jacket
10 scarves/light shawls
14 pr shoes
6 riding clothes - breeches and riding boots
8 nightclothes/bathrobes

I do need farm clothes (pants, shirts and outerwear) separate for clothes I can wear out, or everything will be destroyed in short order.  All my pants fit in one drawer with a ton of extra space, ditto for my shirts, and I have other clothes hanging in one small section of the closet.    The shirts are almost all identical Target cotton shirts, long or short sleeved, in an assortment of colors.  I'm considering adding some of those to my extras bin, since it still has room.   

My goal for trimming down now is scarves/shawls (which I love but rarely wear), outerwear, and shoes.

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Re: Spin Off: Creating a minimalist/capsule wardrobe
« Reply #95 on: May 18, 2015, 06:11:03 AM »
Coming back to add a few more photos. Today breaks from the uniform a bit because I have a patterned shirt on and my cardigan in on my chair because it is too hot in my office (something that almost never happens). Same Lands End soft elastic waist dress pants (Navy) as per usual.  There are a few pictures from other days. Love these Lands End pants (they feel like sweatpants but look acceptable for the level of professional dress for my office) and the HM pants w/ the cargo pockets.

I didn't get more weeded out of my closet this weekend. I'm going to run w/ the uniform for a few weeks and then reevaluate what I have. Putting a hold on any additional clothing spending for now to let the dust settle.

RE: The uniform = boring. I don't think a uniform has to be boring. I will say, that I really struggle with prints. I have almost no clothing with any sort of pattern on it at all. Today's shirt is a very rare exception and I mostly look at it and feel a real struggle w/ "matching" it to something. I like solid color tops, bottoms, classic looking shoes,.... So, that may be very boring. However, I also love clothing that is well cut and fit appropriately (not that all mine achieve this). I think boring is one of those things that is subjective - and a uniform doesn't have to mean monochromatic or solid colors or no accessories, or only dreary colors. I do think it means having a fairly narrow definition of what you will wear and sticking to it in order to make dressing easier, limit clothing purchases, and having a collection of clothing that you really like, feel comfortable in, suitable for your activities, and attractive.

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Re: Spin Off: Creating a minimalist/capsule wardrobe
« Reply #96 on: May 18, 2015, 08:44:53 AM »

Coming back to add a few more photos. Today breaks from the uniform a bit because I have a patterned shirt on and my cardigan in on my chair because it is too hot in my office (something that almost never happens). Same Lands End soft elastic waist dress pants (Navy) as per usual.  There are a few pictures from other days. Love these Lands End pants (they feel like sweatpants but look acceptable for the level of professional dress for my office) and the HM pants w/ the cargo pockets.

I didn't get more weeded out of my closet this weekend. I'm going to run w/ the uniform for a few weeks and then reevaluate what I have. Putting a hold on any additional clothing spending for now to let the dust settle.

RE: The uniform = boring. I don't think a uniform has to be boring. I will say, that I really struggle with prints. I have almost no clothing with any sort of pattern on it at all. Today's shirt is a very rare exception and I mostly look at it and feel a real struggle w/ "matching" it to something. I like solid color tops, bottoms, classic looking shoes,.... So, that may be very boring. However, I also love clothing that is well cut and fit appropriately (not that all mine achieve this). I think boring is one of those things that is subjective - and a uniform doesn't have to mean monochromatic or solid colors or no accessories, or only dreary colors. I do think it means having a fairly narrow definition of what you will wear and sticking to it in order to make dressing easier, limit clothing purchases, and having a collection of clothing that you really like, feel comfortable in, suitable for your activities, and attractive.

Can you tell me about the black shoes you're wearing in photo number three? Love em!

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Re: Spin Off: Creating a minimalist/capsule wardrobe
« Reply #97 on: May 18, 2015, 10:28:18 AM »

Coming back to add a few more photos. Today breaks from the uniform a bit because I have a patterned shirt on and my cardigan in on my chair because it is too hot in my office (something that almost never happens). Same Lands End soft elastic waist dress pants (Navy) as per usual.  There are a few pictures from other days. Love these Lands End pants (they feel like sweatpants but look acceptable for the level of professional dress for my office) and the HM pants w/ the cargo pockets.

I didn't get more weeded out of my closet this weekend. I'm going to run w/ the uniform for a few weeks and then reevaluate what I have. Putting a hold on any additional clothing spending for now to let the dust settle.

RE: The uniform = boring. I don't think a uniform has to be boring. I will say, that I really struggle with prints. I have almost no clothing with any sort of pattern on it at all. Today's shirt is a very rare exception and I mostly look at it and feel a real struggle w/ "matching" it to something. I like solid color tops, bottoms, classic looking shoes,.... So, that may be very boring. However, I also love clothing that is well cut and fit appropriately (not that all mine achieve this). I think boring is one of those things that is subjective - and a uniform doesn't have to mean monochromatic or solid colors or no accessories, or only dreary colors. I do think it means having a fairly narrow definition of what you will wear and sticking to it in order to make dressing easier, limit clothing purchases, and having a collection of clothing that you really like, feel comfortable in, suitable for your activities, and attractive.

Can you tell me about the black shoes you're wearing in photo number three? Love em!

They are from Kohl's and about 4 years old - maybe 5 even. The sole have been replaced once and is peeling off again. I love them too - wish they would last forever. Zappos might have a close approximation.

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Re: Spin Off: Creating a minimalist/capsule wardrobe
« Reply #98 on: May 19, 2015, 04:22:28 AM »
Another photo - and I would say this is very much the "uniform" - I have several of these Lands End sweaters in a variety of colors and 3 pairs of these pants (black, navy, gray) and white shirts. Plan to rotate some variation of this for the most part.

My challenge this week - assuming the pants remain presentable - is to wear them all week and just change out the tops. Same as next week. Being able to do so would let me cut a few "extra" pants out of the closet.

How is everyone else doing w/ weeding down, streamlining, identifying a style, or any of the other minimalist/capsule/uniform goals?

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Re: Spin Off: Creating a minimalist/capsule wardrobe
« Reply #99 on: May 19, 2015, 05:25:26 AM »
Another photo - and I would say this is very much the "uniform" - I have several of these Lands End sweaters in a variety of colors and 3 pairs of these pants (black, navy, gray) and white shirts. Plan to rotate some variation of this for the most part.

My challenge this week - assuming the pants remain presentable - is to wear them all week and just change out the tops. Same as next week. Being able to do so would let me cut a few "extra" pants out of the closet.

How is everyone else doing w/ weeding down, streamlining, identifying a style, or any of the other minimalist/capsule/uniform goals?

I posted my summer wardrobe (with a quick photo) in the project 333 thread.http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/throw-down-the-gauntlet/project-333-summer-2015-clean-your-closet-and-choose-your-items/msg665533/#msg665533

    I've had it out a couple of weeks and overall it's working.   We'll see how well it continues to work over the next few months.   I'm traveling out of state this weekend for a memorial service and I've already mentally packed from it with no issues.