(Originally published February 21, 2018)
Alright friends, I am officially here to sing the praises of planning your individual outfits 30 days in advance. Does that seem weird? I don’t care. It has been completely freeing to not have to think about what to wear each morning. I’m doing this every month for the rest of my life.
Okay, so it’s only been six days, and maybe this enthusiasm is a little premature, but let’s go over some of the pros and cons of this experiment thus far:
- I don’t have to make a decision about what to wear when I wake up in the morning. Maybe getting dressed isn’t a stressful activity for you, but all the piles on my bedroom floor will tell you that I normally end up changing in and out of three different outfits each morning before eventually deciding on the last one simply because I ran out of time. Choosing my outfits ahead of time from 19 carefully curated items that I love has significantly reduced the morning outfit panic I actually thought was a normal part of my daily routine. My mornings are nice now! I drink coffee and read celebrity gossip and trust that I knew what I was doing when I set up my spreadsheet.
- It’s easier to plan laundry – and there’s way less of it! When I look at my spreadsheet and see what’s coming up in the next few days, I know that I need to motivate myself to throw specific items in the washing machine in advance. This is much less stressful than getting to the end of the week and realizing that all my clothes are dirty and I actually have nothing appropriate to wear to work. With 19 items, I’ve got two loads of laundry a week, max, and I’m more careful not to get things dirty during the day so that I can wear them a few times before washing. (I’m also a big fan of steaming! If you’re not steaming, you’re not living!)
- My outfits are better. By planning my outfits in advance in one intensive session, I had the opportunity to be really thoughtful about each one, how I liked the items paired together, and how I wanted to space individual pieces out over the 30 days. Even with a small wardrobe, I used to find myself forgetting about certain items and combinations that I liked, and I’d end up wearing outfits that felt meh. Only 1/6 outfits have been meh thus far, so that’s a pretty good love-to-meh ratio, imo.
- The weather has been totally uncooperative. When I chose my 19 items and set up my spreadsheet, I thought it was a pretty safe bet that I could expect February to be consistently winter; however, the universe sought to both thwart and delight me with several days in the 60-70 degree temperature range. Today it was almost 80! Don’t get me wrong, I love a good unseasonably warm day, but I don’t love it in a wool turtleneck. This hasn’t set me back too far, though. Luckily I’ve been able to make some shoe and/or outer layer adjustments and keep the outfits otherwise as-planned.
- Some items are not going to get worn as many times as others. I can already tell that my black boots, blazers, and silk sleeveless shell are not capsule MVPs. Maybe they’ll surprise me, but I had a tough time incorporating them into a lot of outfits on the spreadsheet, and I’ve already ditched the white blazer and black boots once each in favor of other items. Maybe this is really a pro instead of a con, though. If my spreadsheet isn’t perfect and I’m learning what items are and aren’t as versatile as I thought, I’m making progress for future wardrobe planning, right?
- Lastly, and this really is a con, I have NOT lost the urge to shop. I had hoped that this experiment would distract me from wanting new things by showing me that what I owned already was perfectly adequate, but if anything, I’ve spent even more time thinking about shopping than before I started. I went on an all-out Poshmark BENDER earlier this week and almost ended up buying a really pretty Eileen Fisher dress that I did not need (the seller rejected my low-ball offer, thankfully). It’s kind of exhausting to spend this much time thinking about shopping, but I really don’t know how else to fill that void. I am an American woman. I want stuff. Apparently, learning to not constantly want stuff is a bigger commitment than just making a spreadsheet of outfits and calling it a day.
Overall, I have not found this challenge to be so difficult. I started with a pared down closet in the first place, so it’s not like capsuling is completely new to me. I’m enjoying it, I’m planning to soldier on, and I hope to get back on the bandwagon of posting more consistently for all of you (are there any of you? hellooooo?).
And lastly, I wanted to take a moment before I sign off to just say a little bit more about what this blog is and what it is not. First and foremost, this blog is about me. I plan to write about capsule wardrobes, sustainable fashion, retailers I like, and so on, sure, but at the heart of it, this is a place for me to talk about my experience of getting dressed. I’m not a fashion blogger. I’m just a person at the intersection of Needs to Get Dressed Every Day and Enjoys Exploring Her Feelings on the Internet. There are a lot of places where you can find actionable tips on how to adjust your own closet and shopping and lifestyle habits, but I don’t intend for this to be the primary one. Come for the outfit pics, stay for the feels. I promise, at least, to always have an abundance of those.