Capsule Wardrobe Challenge: Let's Go (micro) Shopping

Image // via.

Image // via.

Can you believe that 2015 is just a sleep away?

I personally got sucked into vortex of preciousness known as my nieces and nephews back in Chicago and got a little behind on the Capsule Wardrobe.  Luckily with my list and budget in place, I know exactly the few items I need to procure before January officially begins.  

And, of course, though this is a Challenge but also meant to be Fun, if we happen to kick-off a day or two late it ain't no thang.  

That being said, and this might be the one time you'll hear it from me -- it's time to go shopping! 

Or micro-shopping as I'm calling it, because let's be honest, we don't want this to spiral into some Cher Horowitz-worthy Galleria binge.  

So before you run screaming to the mall with all your credit cards flying out of your pocket, let's get clear on the rules.

In a Capsule wardrobe, mediocre items have nowhere to hide.

Capsule Wardrobe shopping rules:

  1. Stick to your list.  This is the key difference between shopping as you previous knew it and shopping as a minimalist.  Gone are the days when you wander around the mall seeking inspiration and leaving with 3 sale sweaters that don't fit right but were such a good deal.  Know where the holes are in your closet and allow your current pieces to inspire you before leaving home.
  2. Stick to your budget.  Remember, you set your budget not only to be mindful or minimalist, but also to inspire creativity and for the thrill of a challenge -- don't cheat yourself out of that!  (Also, I've included a few friendly tips below if you find your stash dwindling.)

Capsule Wardrobe Tips (to make following the rules a bit easier):

  1. Shop vintage/used.  My November shopping spree is a great example of why vintage rules.  Theory silk tank = $7.  Zara blouse = $10.  Bad ass vegan leather jacket = $25.  Sure, shopping vintage can take more time and a bit more patience, but the payoff can be huge, especially when you're looking to make a budget stretch.
  2. Swap with friends/family.  Growing up with two sisters, I essentially had 3 wardrobes to chose (steal) from.  I never realized how massively this impacted my clothing choices.  Now as adults living in different states, we still get together and give each other items that we might be sick of ourselves but are still in great shape. 
  3. Don't shop sales.  Now sales aren't all evil, what I really mean is don't buy something just because it's on sale.  If there happens to be an item on your list which fits you perfectly that is also on sale -- then by all means buy it.  But don't let rosy-colored sale goggles make you end up with an item you don't love.  In a Capsule wardrobe, mediocre items have nowhere to hide.
  4. Repair what you already have.  When you invest in good pieces, they tend to stand the test of time.  But much like a car engine or amazing hair cut, they do require some maintenance.  Rather than getting a new pair of boots, get your old pair re-soled and polished.  Find a leather shop that can fix the strap on your favorite purse.  It costs a fraction of buying new and is kind to the earth.  Win - win.
  5. Alter what you already love.  I've found as my wardrobe gets smaller, I've become more and more particular about fit.  Through my 20s and into my 30s I've discovered certain shapes that work for me.  I've also discovered that few things feel more glamorous than a garment tailored specifically to your measurements.  For $10-$20 you can update an old favorite to make it truly fit you.  

Share with us in the comments below! 

What tips have you used in the past to stay on budget?  What are you most nervous or excited about as we get closer to January 1st?