Updated: Jul 22, 2020
💋 Minimalist capsule wardrobe 💋 What’s that you say? I had come across Bea Johnson’s Ted Talk on Zero Waste. She has been a Pioneer of the Zero Waste lifestyle since 2008 and part of it to her means “reducing what we do need.” She states that in a normal closet, people only use 20% of their clothes and the other 80% is the “what ifs.” I find this true because a lot of my clothing was bought for a specific occasion such as a trip or a party and then afterwards, I’ve maybe used that outfit just a handful of times since then if ever again. Regarding the “what ifs,” I also relate in that I totally do save clothes in the slim chance that I may need them again. Gotta save that windbreaker in case I have a 90s themed party to attend or that floral dress for a luau! Haha! Johnson may not have used THOSE specific examples hahaha but decided that she wanted to only keep her 20% and minimize her closet! Because her wardrobe is so minimal, she’s able to pack up her entire closet in her luggage in a snap if she needed to. That must make packing for trips so simple! I wanted to do a challenge to see if I could minimize my closet to 20% and fit it all in my luggage! I might have narrowed it down to 30%, but it still fits and I’m proud of myself for narrowing my closet down to less than half :-) *disclaimer, I may have sat on the luggage to close it plus used the extender zipper to create more space haha! But I still can say that I’ve made progress from what I originally had!
(pls excuse what appears to be me biting the camera in the end hahaha)
Do you think you’d be able to have something similar to a 15 piece wardrobe like Bea Johnson does? She says having less doesn’t mean you have less options. Can you believe from her wardrobe that she can create 50 looks?? I had more than 15 pieces in my capsule, but what I was able to do was minimize my closet to pieces that are versatile and could match more easily. I also wanted to narrow down my closet to pieces that I really really loved and not just things that looked cute for one specific occasion.
After completing the capsule challenge, this is what my closet looks like after I was able to minimize my wardrobe to about 30% of my closet space:
So how was I able to drop my closet size down?
Criteria and categories of clothing that I personally wanted to keep (your own criteria may be completely different):
Neutrals: matches easily and looks expensive and classy per youtuber Dearly Bethany. Her style is what I'm dreaming for!! From what I have seen, her wardrobe mainly includes browns, tans, white/creme, black and denim.
Colors: Now that I'm older, I feel like neutral colors personally suit my mood and aesthetic more than pastels (which were my go-to for the LONGEST if you've seen my IG! haha). Though, I am now gravitating towards a different color palette, I still do want to have pops of color in my closet.I've choosen to keep the colors that I felt looked nice with my skin tone and simply that made me happy to wear. For me those colors are orange/rust, lavender, mustard.
Comfortability: I’ve had outfits that I thought were cute, but just not comfortable to be in or was a wardrobe malfunction waiting to happen. I opted to keep the pieces that were easy to throw on and comfy to be in all day.
Quality: making sure that I’m investing in pieces that will last and to do my best to research that the workers are getting paid a fair wage to manufacture my clothes (:
Versatily: clothing for many different purposes that I can mix and match. I’ve bought pieces that didn’t really match anything that I previously owned and I would have to buy MORE things to work with that ONE article of clothing lollll. It’s like the story, If You Buy a Mouse a Cookie, except it’s if you buy a girl a pair of statement shoes, now you need a whole outfit to match it smh haha! I want to easily be able to throw outfits together quickly.
Layerability: San Diego has ever changing weather throughout the day. Depending on the season, sometimes it will start off ice cold in the morning then progressively gets warm to HOT and then cool again. I want to be able to layer and remove clothing as necessary *not in that way but thas yo business if ya do ;)
Simplicity: Basics that will never go out of style and will stand the test of time! This could be a white top that can be paired with a skirt, pants or under a dress or jumpsuit. A piece that is multifunctional.
To minimize space further, I have these “S-shaped hangers for saving space” from Amazon and I love them! Initially I was going to hang all of my work scrub pants on them, but ended up using them to sort similar colored clothing together instead. They save so much room! I bought a pack of 6 in the mint color for $22.99 USD.
After I organized my closet with only the clothing that I wanted to keep (with my pup, Momo's help), I sorted the remainder of my clothes into these piles:
Donate pile: These are the things that you are able to part ways with and can donate to your local Goodwill or charitable organization of your choice.
Sell pile: Maybe once the lockdown is lifted, you can sell your clothing online (currently I just don't want to give the mailmen and women extra unecessary things that they have to deliver), have a garage sale or sell at the swapmeet. My sister has had success selling on an app called Depop. It’s a great place to buy secondhand too. A tip to remain sustainable while doing so is to reuse mailers if you can or purchase some biodegradable ones with proper disposal instructions to ship your items in if you feel inclined to. *But before hopping on Depop to sell your clothes online, PLEASE read the covid-19 safety updates on their page to ensure that you are complying with the safety guidelines of selling and buying in your region. Safety first my dudes! 🤘🏼
Trade with friends pile: After quarantine, try having a swap with your friends and trade clothes at someone's home! Make a party out of it!
“Shop from Your Own Closet” pile: These would include clothes that you may still use later. A YouTuber and minimalist by the name of Simple Victoria suggests saving your other clothing somewhere in your house so that you can “shop from your own closet” maybe during different seasons. For example, in San Diego it doesn’t get very cold, so I would probably save my winter clothes in a box to “shop from” during a different time of year that I may otherwise not even need now.
So is a minimalist closet something you would give a try? I’ve watched a bunch of videos of people living a minimalist lifestyle and one thing stays the same for many of them. They say that having less things allowed them to have both a decluttered space and mind, which enabled them to focus on the important things in life to them. I love that so much and as someone who loves clothes, loves shopping and who one could call “materialistic,” this lifestyle intrigues me and I really do want to move towards that direction. Whether this is something you would like to try or not, always take the necessary steps to live a life that aligns better with your inner being. Cultivate the life that you want for yourself. For me, that was taking a simple step of looking inward and reducing what I already have by starting with my closet (: With a smaller closet, some immediate results that I have found is that I take better care of my belongings, now I know where everything is, and it takes me less time to get ready! The end result that I'm striving for is to be more appreciative of what I already have 👐🏼💗
Always here to support your continued growth 🌻,
Judi Bloom 💋
P.S. Here is the link to Bea Johnson’s Ted Talk on Zero Waste that I had mentioned earlier if you’re interested in watching 💕