I don't drink alcohol, in part, because addiction runs viciously through my veins. For years, I fought a sugar addiction and just when I thought I had it mastered (face palm) God showed me a new one: Add to cart, add to cart, add to cart. An addiction to new, to the anticipation of something fun in the mail, to fleeting sparkle this world has to offer.
And so one April I gave up buying clothes for the month. It sounded easy, but proved to be embarrassingly hard, and left me changed. I've been trying out this "capsule wardrobe" idea for the last year, not to limit the amount of clothes I have in my closet, but to limit the amount of impulse buys I purchase for a quick burst of joy.
It's been challenging and rewarding and really really sweet. God is so ready to step in with his deep fulfillment as soon as we leave room, y'all.
What I do:
1. As we're exiting a season, the first thing I do is go through my clothes to remove anything I didn't wear or don't see myself wearing again. Pilling sweaters, jeans I couldn't sit in (because please), cute jackets I never once put on, etc. I also make a mental note of what worked and didn't work this season. Stretchy jeans and warm tops were a win, cardigans without buttons actually got in my way. I'll remember this for next year. Check.
2. Then I look at my clothes for the upcoming season. Are there items I know I won't wear? (Donate). What gaps do I realistically have?
We seem to have a tendency to buy clothes for an imaginary life. For example: "I'll wear this at Spring weddings or out walking on the beach!” Which is great if you actually have weddings to go to this Spring or plan to be walking out on the beach frequently. But for me, I may attend one wedding? And we have a total of 7 beach days planned this year. So one appropriate outfit will do it :)
3. With my actual clothing gaps, I make a list and set out to find those items within a week or two. My goal with a capsule wardrobe isn't to have this tiny little closet where only 31 pieces are allowed; it's to cut myself off from freely purchasing whenever the urge strikes.
So March 1-15 I can grab what I need for Spring. And then, unless something vital rips over the next few months, no more clothing purchases. Which is so freeing! I don't need to glance at Target's new pieces, I don't need to pursue fashion bloggers Instagram accounts, which constantly beckon me to buy more.
I. Am. Fine.
Spring- March through May. I focus on tees, loose bottoms (linen pants are a favorite of mine), dresses, and warm weather shoes.
Summer- June through August. I focus on tanks, shorts, and bathing suits.
Fall- September through November. I focus on long sleeved tops, jeans, and cold weather shoes.
Winter- December through February. I focus on sweaters, outerwear, and things like leggings.
Where I shop:
I get 99% of my clothes from one of two places.
The first is ThredUP. I love ThredUP for a few reasons (not sponsored, by the way).
I value ethical shopping, but I have a hard time finding companies within my price range or style. So an alternative way for me to ethically shop is to buy secondhand. I used to shop at Goodwill, but this isn’t practical with two little ones and honestly, it was getting harder for me to find pieces I really loved there.
But on ThredUp I can search specific brands I know I love, and then narrow down by item type, color, size, price, etc. It makes the search really easy! "Madewell chambray tank." Check!
Prices are usually a good deal, though occasionally I’ll think “I could definitely get this item for less money at the store on a big sale.” But then, of course, it wouldn't be secondhand :)
I’ve learned that it’s just not worth it to keep pieces I don’t love so when my products come, I try them on with a critical eye. If it isn’t a 100% fit, back it goes. They now have a $2 restocking fee per item, but that’s worth it for me not to have an item hanging in my closet I’m not ever going to enjoy wearing. Just this month I ordered 6 things and returned 2 because they weren't perfect.
Overall, it's a great experience. I definitely recommend at least browsing if you haven't before!
Pro tip: If you like an item, add it to your cart ASAP and then decide if you want to buy. Items can stay in your cart for 24 hours before someone else has a chance to snag it!
The second place I shop is an online clothing boutique called August Cloth.
I originally began shopping from August Cloth because my friend, Crystal, started the company. And I'm always going to support my friends :) But I quickly saw the value of buying from a clothing boutique vs a big box store.
For one, the clothes are beautifully hand picked by one girl. If I like the first five things she releases, I'm probably going to like it all because the same eye is approving of and offering the items. It’s like a specially curated closet to choose from!
She's a real life mom of three (almost four!), business owner, wife, church goer etc. Her life looks like mine in many ways so we’re looking for the same type of clothes. Easy, modest, versatile, comfortable, cute. I don't have to sift through a lot to find a winner... I love almost everything.
Additionally, the clothes are just a higher quality than what I was grabbing from Target or Old Navy. Their detailing is just a little extra, the materials are luxurious, and the fit is more flattering. People always comment when I wear a top from August Cloth. "That sweater is adorable, where is it from?" Because the products are noticeably special. And if I'm not going to be shopping all year long, I want my buys to feel like wins.
Bonus: Everything comes packaged in a way that makes me feel special. The whole experience feels like a treat and I love knowing my purchases are supporting a family running this Kingdom race as hard as they can!
Okay, one more extra place I shop... Dear Mushka. Ha! But truly, I only choose and design tees for the shop that I actually want to wear. I always make an extra for myself; they layer well and point me back to Jesus.
Want to hear me talk more about this? Follow along on Instastories where I'll show you my Spring picks!