According to good old Wikipedia, the term 'capsule wardrobe' was coined by Susie Faux in the '70s and made popular by Donna Karan's 7-piece collection. There are so many definitions and example out there on what makes a good capsule wardrobe (which gets overwhelming the more you read into it) but I believe the essence of a capsule wardrobe should be versatile and loved pieces that you wear often and reflect your personal style.
But this post is not about me teaching you what a capsule wardrobe is, because truth be told I'm still trying to figure it all too. The idea of a capsule wardrobe drew me in because I got so damn mad at my mess of a wardrobe. It was overflowing to the point that multiple cupboards and clothes racks were full and items of clothing were scattered in all rooms of the house. Not an exaggeration. My wardrobe was not overflowing in a good way. There were clothes from years and years ago, clothes that I didn't like, clothes that never really fit and clothes that I never wore. But as I began decluttering and downsizing, I found that the real challenge was not in getting rid of clothes that were obviously not working for me, but in the pieces that bought recently or that I actually still liked. Pieces that I thought were still good enough for my wardrobe.
My mum is a somewhat mild example of a hoarder (my grandma is bordering on severe). She can't stand to donate or throw things away if she can think of some use for them (it's always "I can wear this at home" or "I haven't even worn it yet!"). It's the fear of being wasteful that compels her to things that are still 'good enough'. This led me to realise that when you're only buying things that are 'good enough' and aren't willing to sacrifice quantity for quality: you'll never be satisfied with what you have, because you keep buying to try to fill this void of 'not enough'. Instead of a few great buys, you're opting for many never-quite-enough items (that are often cheap or convenient) that have an even shorter shelf life. I'm not really referring to high-end items here — I don't believe that more expensive or 'brand' items always equates to better quality or guarantees greater satisfaction. When I say 'good enough', I'm referring to the habit of buying poor quality items just because they're cheap or on sale, not because you genuinely love them. If you do, and you would purchase it at full price (if money wasn't a problem), then that's a bargain. I personally hold out until items I love go on sale, but I also get easily drawn into big sales that end with me buying things that I like, but don't love, because it was so affordable.
It took me a few months into 2017 to really think about how much my Mum's thinking affected me. I had always thought I was good with curating and only buying items that I loved and fit with my personal style, but when I found that I was getting stressed and frustrated more often with my mess and my bad shopping habits, it dawned on me that my overflowing wardrobe (that I just kept adding to) was negatively impacting other areas of my life. Which is so not okay. Something's gotta give.
So I decided to really take this seriously and I resolved to keep decluttering and downsizing until I really found peace and happiness in all areas of my life. I'm not just doing some spring cleaning or the occasional tidying up. I am completely changing up my lifestyle and the way I live my day-to-day. I'm channelling all the positive Marie Kondo vibes.
The inner hoarder will not win this time.
Who else is with me?!
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