The Capsule Wardrobe Challenge: join me?

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There is a reason that people like President Obama and Steve Jobs wear the same thing everyday: to take the guesswork and the decision making out of getting dressed so they can focus on bigger decisions.  (You know, like running the world or a multi-billion dollar company.)

The idea of a "uniform" is universally praised as an act of efficiency and as beneficial to overall mental acuity over the course of the day.

That being said, I'm sure we're all in agreement that black turtlenecks and navy suits are not exactly the pinnacle of fashion.  

And while I do admire the efficiency of the whole "work uniform" thing, I also know that I do like to express myself more through my clothes.  I like trying out new combinations.  I like dressing to the weather and dressing to my mood.  I like if I'm feeling a little under the weather the feeling of flannel or cashmere against my skin. I like to layer on work days and show selective skin on date nights.

Not that it's any surprise to my husband, I want the best of both worlds.  I want the ease and efficiency and fiscal benefits of a limited wardrobe AND the joy of creativity, playfulness and diversity in my clothing.

Which leads me to the New Minimalism Capsule Wardrobe: a small, seasonal, micro-closet of my favorite clothes.

Now while I would like to take credit for this brilliant strategy, the mother of the seasonal minimal wardrobe is actually Courtney Carver with her Project 333.  I've been following her for years and am so impressed by the vision it took to create such a popular challenge.  

However, much like how the strictness of the 100 Things Challenge actually made me feel stuck and stressed instead of lighter and freer, wearing exactly 33 items for 3 months felt a little rigid to me.  So I'm giving myself some flexibility in creating this wardrobe.  

The Rules.

  • I'm sticking with her 3 month timing and her most of her rules around what counts and the item (all work/day wear, shoes and jackets) and what doesn't (jammies, undies, workout clothes).  
  • I'm choosing to not count jewelry (I already have a very minimal jewelry box), and
  • to go with 37 items instead of 33 (you know, cause prime numbers are good luck -- I made that up, but it seems totally possible, right).  

I also chose 37 items because one of my biggest sources of inspiration for this project is Caroline of Un-Fancy.  She's the one who convinced me that a capsule wardrobe didn't have to just be about efficiency, but could be about the joy in honoring your preferences and your things.

My goal is not to create a uniform, but to actually encourage more creativity and daring in getting dressed while thoroughly appreciating the garments that I have.  I've decided that this winter I want to feel cozy, creative, and confident, loving, patient and bold.  And I will choose my items accordingly.

If you'd like to join me, I'll be starting this project on January 1st and wearing my winter capsule until April.  This gives us just under 4 weeks to get ready.  

This Week: Survey your closet

  • Figure out what garments you have and love and definitely make the cut.
  • Choose the number of items that feels right to you (challenging but exciting).
  • Find inspiration for how you want to feel this winter season, whether that means what fabrics are against your skin or the emotions you most desire. 
  • As always, share your thoughts on the Capsule Wardrobe Challenge in the comments below!