January 2021 Closet Audit Capsule Wardobe -
Fast Fashion Royal Blue Turtleneck
Fast Fashion Royal Blue Snap Button Cardigan
Everlane Relaxed Silk Shirt in Real Blue
Fast Fashion Chartreuse Snap Button Cardigan
Fast Fashion Forest Green Snap Button Cardigan
Wore 3 times in January
Everlane Mustard Yellow Cashmere Crew Sweater
Sea Life Circle Skirt w/ Pockets - Made To Measure on Etsy
Fast Fashion Talbots Tweed Pencil Skirt
Fast Fashion Banana Republic Taupe Skirt
Fast Fashion Long Abstract Animal Print Pencil Skirt
What’s not included:
Intention: The intention of the Closet Audit Capsule Wardrobe series is to assess the color, fit, style, and fabric of each garment.
Action: At the end of the month I will remove items I consistently don’t reach for, find unflattering, uncomfortable or in need of constant adjustment while wearing.
Additionally: This capsule also gives me the opportunity to try clothes from a recently received hand-me-down bag to give them an honest evaluation as to whether they are worthy of my in-progress closet curation.
Spreadsheet or StyleBook App: I'm also using this as an opportunity to start outfit tracking again whether in my Style Book app or a spreadsheet, to assess which clothing, footwear and other accessories I'm reaching for most and what the CPW is working out to be. Just a nerdy-fun thing .:)
Shoes I Reached For This Month:
These Birkenstocks - the finish makes it surprisingly versatile and elevates a casual outfit a bit. They are also super comfy especially because of the wide and spacious footbed. (Note: Wearing these in January bc I’m home all day)
Emerald Handmade Vintage Style Leather Booties from etsy
Spenco Orthotic Arch Support Loafer - these are a little loose on me so they rub at the heel on my right foot (problem area for me) if I wear them a lot without thick socks, but they are great for wearing at home! All Spenco shoes have wonderful, supportive footbeds and I highly recommend them - just get the right size ;)
- Chartreuse snap button cardigan - Pilling, stretched out, terrible for heat regulation
- Forest green snap button cardigan - same as above
- Royal blue sparkly top with cutouts - Although I think the top is pretty (hand-me-down), I found the cutouts and overall to be annoying and I think it’s too much pattern/bling up around my face. I’d rather reserve that for fun earrings.
- Blue cowl neck sweater - I found the neckline was never laying how I wanted it to and the button details, while cute, make it less versatile. The synthetic material was not good for heat regulation.
- Paisley dress - I received this from a swap years ago and have worn it a lot, but I realized I was keeping it and wearing it year after year not because I actually loved it or felt great in it, but mainly just because I had it and I could make outfits with it. It is actually too big for me, but I would belt it and no one would know. I considered that I could have it altered to actually fit me but then I thought no. I’ve used it well for years and it’s still in great condition. It will serve someone else and I can give that attention to another garment I truly love.
- Yellow dress - This dress was cute and I had fun wearing it a couple times in January, but at the end of the day I got rid of it for a few reasons: It’s a little shorter than my preference, it also has cut outs at the shoulder that I find cumbersome, and it actually had some stains that I couldn’t get out after washing twice.
After removing these 6 items I was on a roll and removed a few more items in January:
- Navy long sleeve shirt - was going to keep it for layering but tbh the neckline was stretched out and it wasn’t a snug fit so that’s not good for my kind of layering at all.
- Black and white stripe tunic - was getting pilly and the neckline was way too wide for me. I was constantly readjusting it while wearing it. I’m over that!
- A fit/flare tank with embroidery at the top that I have loved, but the pilling has gone too far!
- Black top with sequins down the sleeve - neckline is too wide, always adjusting and bra straps always showing plus sequins were too flashy and when they start falling off it’s a scene.
- Tiered polka dot maxi skirt - I kept this skirt for a long time and it wasn’t that i loved the pattern, and it was actually stretched at the waist and too loose, but after much thought I realized I love the style and silhouette of it. It’s flattering and an easy breezy wear for summer, although I’ve layered it in colder months too! So while I did remove it, I will keep a skirt with a similar style in mind to replace someday, no rush.
- White/Off-white leather skinny belt
- Basic Headband
- Everlane Cotton Crew Neck Sweater in Bone
- Everlane White Leather 40 Hour Flats
- Pact Black & White Long Sleeve Organic Cotton Tees
What is a capsule wardrobe?
Let's define capsule as it relates to clothing per Oxford Languages: "(of a collection of clothing) consisting of a relatively small set of key items"
Some people have a truly minimalist wardrobe and their capsule wardrobe consists of only those key items and nothing more. Their capsule wardrobe stays almost the same year round, depending on climate.
For the vast majority, though, the idea of a capsule wardrobe is a lot less intimidating and extreme. The idea is to set aside a small selection of the clothing you own and mix and match those pieces together for a period of time of your choice. During that time you can remove the rest of your clothing and enjoy a really spacious and open feeling closet.
A Few Benefits of a Capsule Wardrobe:
What is a closet audit?
Let's start with a definition for audit: "an official inspection of an individual's or organization's accounts, typically by an independent body"
Applying that to your closet - A closet audit entails a thorough investigation and inspection of what is in your closet! Most people will do this on their own, although you can hire help if you're in the position to.
Generally an initial closet audit includes taking out everything from your closet(s) and literally counting every item you have and how many items you have. While the end number of items in your closet is person to your needs and preferences, it can be interesting to see the total figure of items you have. Definitely write this down at the beginning so you can look back later.
After taking inventory (or during), put each item in one of 3 piles:
The Keep Pile consists of pieces you definitely love and know you want to keep!
The Hold Pile consists of pieces you're not sure about. Maybe they are really functional but you don't love them, but you can't pass them on until you have a suitable replacement. Maybe they are new-ish or were gifted/hand-me-downs you received and you're still tryin to see if you want them in your curated wardrobe - if they fit your personal style and lifestyle.
The Donate Pile consists of (obviously) pieces to donate. You've made peace with them. Maybe you've worn them a ton, maybe they're just not your style anymore. Maybe you finally came to grips with the fact that even though you spent a lot of $$, if it's just hanging in your closet causing you guilt then it's costing more than simply letting it go would. Some of these pieces you may be able to sell online or pass on to friends as well!
There's an amazing free Minimalist Wardrobe Workbook that will help you with this from encircled.
If you're Canadian your Minimalist Wardrobe Workbook is here.
Growing up our family didn't have a lot of money, so we always shopped the super-clearance racks. By the time I moved out, I had bins upon bins of cheap clothing. It was literally a burden, but I was not accustomed to letting things go. Especially if they were "still good". It dawned on me at some point that all of those "great deals" actually added up to a lot of money, little by little, and many of those clothes didn't last long due to poor quality or weren't really my taste. Buying for the price tag instead of buying a style that makes you feel great wearing it or something that fills a gap in your wardrobe is a mistake I've made countless times.
This decade started my downsizing of ... well everything, but we're focusing on clothing here. I passed on at least 60-70% of my (admittedly huge) wardrobe and swapped out tons of patterned tops for solid t's and cardigans. These worked great for casual outfits with jeans or with skirts.
The errors I made:
The combination of the second and third bullet points were what made the quantity of items truly an error.
At least half of the items I bought were not colors that flattered my hair/skin tone. I loved the color, I loved the style. Still, I either never reached for them or didn't feel great in them.
Lesson Learned: You can love the color, the style, and how it looks on someone else, but you don't have to buy it!
I also started to learn more about fabrics and the need to read descriptions and labels carefully, especially when shopping on line. Although the listing images looked identical, when I bought some follow up cardigans to ones I loved, they arrived made of inferior materials - poly, rayon, spandex blend. These cardigans quickly stretched out, pilled up, and felt terrible on. They didn't breathe well at all since I was basically wearing plastic.
Lesson Learned: Don't assume every color of the same style of an item sold from the same place is made of the same material. Always read the labels.
Sustainable and Ethical Fashion
At the tail end of my 20's I started to learn about ethical and sustainable fashion, something I had never thought about before. I never thought about the "true cost" of all those unbelievably cheap clothing items. I never thought about what fabrics would be better for the environment and even feel better and safer resting against my skin! Not only did this add many layers to deciding what/if to purchase something, but it was a whole new way of thinking which required a greater investment each time. But rather than trying to do everything perfect, I'm really trying to embrace progress over perfection. The most sustainable thing any of us can do is buy intentionally and make good of what we have or do decide to buy.
What is a closet audit capsule?
I'm merging the concepts! At least in my mind :)
It's a capsule designed to help further audit and curate your closet!
Whereas capsule wardrobes are thought of as sections of your already curated wardrobe.
I've already been through an overall closet audit (more than once). I've already removed a lot of clothing over the past several years. I'm still in an ongoing auditing phase. There are items I'm struggling with and areas I want to learn more about. I want to hone in on my personal style more. I want to understand why I love the pieces that I love - is it the fabric? the color? the silhouette? And I want to understand why I don't love other pieces that I thought I would when I purchased them. There are some pieces I don't love but haven't been able to let go of yet. I aim to get to the bottom of that.
Each month I will curate a Closet Audit Capsule. During that month I will be able to really assess if I want these pieces in my closet going forward. This is a hyper-focused, refining closet audit over a period of time rather than in one day.
You should know, while I love keeping it casual and comfy, I also love to dress up, even when I'm stuck at home 24/7 like during this pandemic. So the area I still need to refine most is my dress clothes, which is uncommon for most people. All the principles still apply to whatever style you enjoy wearing! :)
At the end of the month I will share an update of my findings! What I learned, what I released, what I'm still stumped on. I'll share wardrobe gaps I've identified and items I'm considering to fill those gaps. Feel free to share your recommendations! I hope you enjoy the journey and that it can help you in any way, but tbh it's just as much for me as for anyone who stumbles on it.
Entire Closet Audit Capsule Series:
Black Friday / Cyber Monday
Closet Audit Capsule Wardobe
Comfy Button Up
For The Home
Health & Beauty
How To Style
In Search Of
Mott & Bow
Not Perfect Linen