Wednesday, January 21, 2015

why I won't do a capsule collection

keep it neutral with a pop of color In the past year or so, a huge trend in blogging has been doing a capsule collection. For those of you who don't know what that means, you basically take a certain number of clothes (that you either already own or buy), and you wear that, and only that, for a certain amount of time. It's meant to teach you to buy less, live with less, and be more creative with what you already own. Awesome goals and in theory, totally makes sense.

I've had several people ask and email about why I haven't done a capsule collection, and my answer is...I don't want to? 

The long answer is this: I'm already limited in what I can wear every day. What I can wear now in school under a dress code, and starting in June when I'm on rotations, is restricted to business casual. I already don't wear a section of my closet, clothes I purchased and loved, because they aren't professional. That means when I do finally get to wear them, like when I go out with my friends or on a date with my boyfriend, I'm super excited to wear my lower cut tops, skinny jeans, or dresses I can't wear to school. So for me to restrict myself even more doesn't really make sense or really serve a purpose.

I think that's also why you don't see a lot of women who have clothing restrictions at work do capsule collections on blogs. It's already hard enough to be creative while being restrictive to work pants and pencil skirts, so cutting out a large part of the clothes you are already limited to... it's like triple as restrictive. It just isn't as easy (or frankly, interesting) as if you could just wear your jeans and sweaters and t-shirts and mix and match to make them work. Not to say it can't be done! Adina does it for her job, and MK does capsule/suitcase collections for business casual all the time. 

The thing is though, that the fundamental reason for a capsule collection is something that is really appealing. I'm clearly not a minimalist, and the urge to shop is something I have to fight with every day. But since I started blogging, I've been really working on defining my style, only buying things I love, buying less, and re-wearing what I own. It's fun to see the difference 2 years makes - look at this past month's budget compared to 2 years ago. The pieces I bought are cohesive, they make sense for my closet, and they are things I'll wear for years because they are timeless. Sure, it's not a 30x30 that makes me re-evaluate everything in 30 days, or a 37 piece capsule collection that I go on a shopping spree for beforehand, but it's like a real life learning experience about knowing yourself. Could I buy less? Absolutely. But I do think I'm a smarter shopper and lover of clothes than I was 2 years ago. Not as quick of a fix, but it worked for me. 

In addition, I'm already wearing certain things over and over and over again. I wear the same black pants, maroon scarf, tan cardigan, striped shirt, black boots ALL THE TIME. To the point where I look at recent posts and say "shit, I've posted that same maroon scarf 4 out of 6 times...yikes". So I'm already rewearing a lot of things I own, but because I love them, not because I don't have a choice otherwise. 

So in closing, I will not being doing a capsule collection now, or probably any time in the future (but never say never!). What I am doing is trying to build a working wardrobe, both by buying new versatile pieces, and by sorting through the things I already own. That is actually a huge thing for me right now because I'm moving at the end of May, and moving in with my boyfriend. I only want to bring things into our home that I love and need, and that's my own personal idea of minimalism / capsules / and loving what you already own.

how to wear a blanket scarf
Dress: Target [very similar]
Coat: Banana Republic [similar]
Scarf: Target [exact in stores | similar online]
Tights: Target [exact]*
Boots: Vince Camuto [exact]
Watch: c/o Shopbop [similar styles]
Purse: Kate Spade [similar]

* I suggest sizing down - these are in small! But so so warm :)