ethical fashion

Capsule Wardrobes + Why I Got Rid of Most of My Clothes

As a fashion student, a girl with three sisters that are all the same size as me, a fashion blogger since high school, and a general hoarder of things (yes it’s true I still have a windbreaker from elementary school), my closet was constantly overflowing. I could literally go weeks without doing laundry and still be able to find clean things to put on.

Even worse, I barely wore some of these things, and like a true sucker, I would keep items that really had already been loved to death – for example, I JUST parted with this dress from an old blog post (January 2015….) that literally had a GIANT hole down the side of it. But if I wear it with my denim jacket, it’s like the hole isn’t even there! And it’s still cute! 

Ok, yes, Theresa. This dress is still your style and super cute. But please for the love of god, clean out your closet and STOP wearing things with holes in them. You’re an ADULT now. Sort of.

While I was at it, I figured WHY just stop at the things in my closet that are a little too loved? Why not get rid of the rest of the crap in there that I’ve sort of abandoned over the years, to0?

And so I started looking into a capsule wardrobe.

After searching through blogs, people watching, and a little bit of pinterest stalking, I came to the decision that my DREAM wardrobe could be classified under the word? phrase? description “minimalist-trendy-french-woman.” Of course I’ve already made it clear that in addition to be obviously incredibly NOT french (my Duolingo lessons stopped at “je suis un fille”), I am not a minimalist in any sense of the term. I’m like a maximalist, honestly, and I’d wear 6,000 layers at once if I could do it without looking like a marshmallow.

Uh, can’t this be me? So effortless and cool! via

So I had a LOT to do.

To start, I pictured my perfect capsule wardrobe – eventually, I would probably want about 5 items in each category: five jackets, five pants, five tops, whatever it is. In a dream world, all of my items would go together. I would be able to go in blind and pick out a few pieces and end up with a cute outfit. And most importantly, I wanted quality over quantity.

I wish I had taken a photo of my closet to start – I have a small walk-in closet, a dresser, and a hanging rolling rack in my bedroom and ALL of them were full. Plus my years as a student athlete meant I had enough athletic gear to quite literally dress an entire cross country team (which was great when I was running sometimes twice a day, but not so necessary for someone who works out “when I feel like it” and does yoga in my living room “occasionally”).

But after my deep clean?! All of my everyday clothing fits on my rolling rack, with my athletic clothes tucked neatly into my dresser which is no longer overflowing with workout tees that are too small on me. I got rid of FOUR trash bags worth of clothes – I sold one to Uptown Cheapskate (kind of weird because I work there???), donated two to Goodwill, and actually ended up trashing a bag that wasn’t even good enough to donate.

Look how BEAUTIFUL this is!

All in all, here’s what I kept:

  • Long sleeve shirts, 4
  • Short sleeve shirts, 6
  • Sweaters, 4
  • Jackets, 4
  • Pants, 4
  • Shorts, 4
  • Dresses, 3

And I’m SUPER excited to rebuild, get a few new quality things that I think I’m missing (next in line: a boyfriend cut blazer and high waisted trousers, because I’m basically a #professional, duh), and slowly replace some of the lesser-quality items I have now with even better items.

Despite the fact I have less to work with, I feel like I’m letting myself be even MORE creative in my clothing choices. It’s easy to wear something “stylish” when you’re wearing fast-fashion sweaters and statement pieces that fall apart after a wear or two. It’s harder when you actually have to work with what you have, figuring out the best ways to layer, and partnering things you had always overlooked before.

So when was the last time you deep cleaned your closet?


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