Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Learning: Experiments with Capsule Wardrobe - January

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that taking a picture of yourself every day can be very revealing. As I mentioned on my Instagram feed, I am not a huge fan of taking selfies... and certainly not every day! But my aim at the start of this project was to post one daily photo on Instagram to hopefully show others how many choices there are when it comes to creating a wardrobe, not just with limited items, but also with thrifted or handmade clothing.

Of course, I am mainly aiming to teach myself a number of things along the way. I assumed there would be lessons in creativity when it comes to working with fewer things. There have been those lessons and I am really enjoying that aspect of the project so far!

But I am also learning things about fit and flatter that I hadn't noticed so much until now. One lesson concerns the length of my sweaters. I like the length of the sweater in the large photo below the best. But when I look at the rest of the photos in the collage, I see that there are no others that length! In fact, I have always preferred slightly longer sweaters (which is obviously why I have more of those!) such as the cream colored one and the raspberry one in the bottom row.

My hand-knit navy sweater is not as long as those two, which is good, but I can see that I will adjust my knitting to closer match the tan sweater or at least keep the lengths of my knitted items more in between the blue and the tan sweater lengths. I also could have used more waist-shaping in my navy sweater: another note for future projects.

I already knew this, but I like skirts and dresses more than pants (or even skirts/dresses over pants!). I want to find more of those for future capsules or to replace pieces (maybe some tops) in this one.

I'm going to give up the striped sweater. Not only is it thin, but it is worn and more pilly than I'd like and I just don't like it as much as I used to. I've swapped it out for another old sweater, but one that is in better condition and is more versatile. It was one that I did not initially want to put away in storage, but did so in keeping with the item number allowed for Project333.

I am also done with the raspberry sweater. This was one that my daughter, Maia, was going to donate and I thought I might try it. As you can probably tell, I am not one for wearing a great deal of color; I like neutrals. My kids are always trying to get me to wear more color and so I do try different things from time to time. But I always slowly end up weeding them out! That's a waste of money. I think I do better with having colorful accessories. The raspberry sweater, though, was an easy one to try because it was free and it was already here. But I don't really care for the color on me and it's not one of those pieces that Marie Kondo has taught us all to think about: it doesn't "spark joy".

One more piece I'm saying goodbye to is one that I just got (ugh!) and that I wore once before I started this project. I have tried it on a few times, but have not selected it for an outfit yet. Despite people telling me they liked the sweater the day I wore it, I don't care for how it fits me (just a little too tight) and despite the fact that I think the cut edging on the hem looks cool on the hanger, it doesn't look as good on me. In fact, I often feel that when people tell me they like an item of clothing that I am wearing, but I don't once hear that I look nice, I am suspicious. I feel like they notice the clothing more.

I'm not saying that every time someone might say, "I love your jacket!" or "That's a nice sweater," that I don't take it as they mean it. But as many designers and stylists say, you want a person to notice you and not your clothing in particular. Anyway, that's how I felt about this sweater and am letting it go too. Thankfully, since my clothes are mostly thrifted, it is not a huge loss financially. In fact, I think I paid $3.99 for this one:

I actually bought this one because of a sweater that I saw and loved on Julianna Margulies a few seasons back on "The Good Wife." I may still knit one similar, but one that fits better.

So, that is two items down that I could replace with something from storage. I just haven't gotten around to looking again yet and I'm okay with that for now. I am currently knitting a sweater (and am hoping I will like the fit... it's out of chunky yarn, which is always a roll of the dice!) and I am finding I have plenty to wear as-is for now.

If you are doing a capsule wardrobe, what have you learned? And if not, do you think you would ever try it? Do you give yourself personal challenges? Courtney Carver, founder of Project333, just wrote a terrific piece that articulates some of the reasons I like to give myself personal challenges on a regular basis. Hop on over and have a look and enjoy this January day!

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