Some love for mini-capsules

How many things you think you can learn from wearing the same shirt over and over again? Legit question! While I have definitely learned more from other experiences, such as forcing myself to talk to strangers and taking a MOOC on Buddhist philosophy (which is awesome by the way), doing a mini-capsule challenge of 10 items x 10 days inspired by The Style Bee, has not been totally useless. Here is what I’ve learned, so that you don’t have to do it yourself! Just kidding, you should totally do it. If you want to – not here to boss anyone around.

Ten items, a million tentatives to get the cats to leave me shoot my folded clothing in peace

1 I don’t mind repeating outfits

I used to dislike repeating outfits, always looking to find new combinations among my clothes. When I started the 10×10, I was also thinking about doing 10 different combinations. I even had a spreadsheet with the variations that I could do! Surprise surprise, what I learned was that reducing your wardrobe can make you realise that it is not that important what you wear. Instead of inspiring my creativity to combine pieces in new ways, it just helped me to get a bit more over the whole outfits-as-self-expression thing. I wore some outfits twice and some clothes almost every day and it was perfectly fine and not boring at all. It did help that I spent half of the challenge one a wedding weekend in Northern Italy – it is almost never our clothes that we are bored with, but almost always our lives. Takeaway: less clothes, more holidays.

Day 6 in the same jeans, happy as a clam in Slovenia

With the challenge over, my enitre 33 piece wardrobe suddenly seems huge! I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t happy to wear some of the other clothes in it though.

2 Getting real about aspirational items

I had included a pair of red ballerinas that I rarely wear, thinking that this could be a good occasion to inspire me to use them more. Instead, I wore my Adidas sneakers 8.5 days out of the 10, and worked barefoot in the office 1 day, because of the blisters I got from walking to the office in my ballerinas. I finally had to accept that the damn things HURT LIKE A BITCH! To the donation pile they go.

Before I started purging my wardrobe, I was a big hoarder of pieces that were just not right, but which I had been holding on to for some reason. Reasons included: it was an awesme thrift find (like the red shoes), it was expensive, it was a gift, I used to love it when I was 2 sizes smaller, it would look great on someone with a better style than mine. All super solid grounds for storing ill-fitting/uncomfortable clothes I never wore anyway.

Love sneakers. Love Love Love.

Even after the purge, some of these have seemed to cling on. So far, capsules and minicapsules have proved to  be a good way to force my hand to say bye to these veterans, and I have never regretted getting rid of any of them.

3 I can pack a suitcase in 2 minutes and get dressed in 30 seconds

Even with the 33-piece capsule, there are mornings when I spend a long time deciding on what to wear. I loved the ease that the 10×10 brought to getting dressed- especially as I wore the same jeans-sneakers- leather jacket combo almost every day. Also, packing for a weekend away was done in 2 minutes, I kid you not.

So, have you tried any mini-capsules? Or are you inspired now to take the plunge? I’d love to hear how it goes.