dispatches from the front lines of an instagram challange
If you read my last post, or follow me on Instagram, you might have noticed that I am taking part in a capsule wardrobe challenge for the rest of January. Called #itsfrommycloset20x20, it’s hosted by the people over at the accounts @sarah_chuck, @styleapproximately, @animalnecklaces, and @bashfulleo on Instagram.
For the challenge you select 20 items you already have in your closet and wear only those items for 20 days. It’s the type of thing that has no hard and fast rules, so you can decide how to best make it work for yourself. I’ve decided not to include shoes or outerwear, and only focus on the actual clothing. If we weren’t in the depths of winter I might have decided to include outerwear, because in other seasons you can have a bit more fun while needing less layers for overall survival.
Maybe I’m taking the easy way out, but they way I figure it, the likelihood of me making any purchases before now and the end of the month is very small. Anyway you slice it, I am already wearing things that I had in my closet, so what’s a bit freedom with the footwear?
I will never be sold or try to sell you on the concept of a capsule wardrobe as the entirety of your wardrobe. I honestly don’t think that is what they are designed for, and on a personal level I know I could never make it work. If you manage to live your whole life out of a single capsule wardrobe, congratulations, but in general I think they should be thought of more as tools rather than a goal for your whole closet.
You know how I am always talking about how much I love packing? It’s because I love planning out limited-time capsule wardrobes. Which is how I think they work best. A capsule should be a part of whole. If you need to wear a certain style, or adhere to a strict dress code at work, having a capsule wardrobe for that which exists within your full wardrobe is perfect. Maybe you live in a city and go on a beach holiday once a year – perfect place to put a capsule wardrobe.
Outside of packing trips, which I always approach as a capsule wardrobe, I don’t necessarily take the traditional path when it comes to a capsules. I semi-plan out my outfits for each week, and a pull a few pieces at the start that I know I will either wear, or that I want to work in somehow. So for me joining this challenge is taking my normal habit just a little bit further.
A lot of what I choose are favourite pieces that I wear a lot. I know how they work with everything in my wardrobe, and know that I will feel cool and comfortable no matter what comes up during those 20 days. I also threw in a few “wildcard pieces”. These are the items that I love but get less use in my day to day life. I feel like having a challenge with a limited number of pieces is a great way to push me out of my comfort zone and force me to style them in ways I haven’t before.
This is the break down of my items:
- Dresses X2 – one is a wild card
- Skirts X2
- Trouser X4 – one pair is a wild card
- Jumpers X7
- Hoodie X1 – wildcard
- Tops X3
- Suit X1 – counted as one item, but can be worn as separates, because I am a cheater.
I tend to wear jumpers as tops, so the tops I have included are more like layering pieces. For the bulk of the challenge a jumper will be my main shirt. I also don’t plan the individual outfits as I’m prepping, instead I think about how many things each item can pair with. For instance I know that of all my tops and jumpers combined, 7 of them can be worn with any bottom I picked. I know that if I want to wear the full suit, I have 4 possible tops that would work with it. I do the actual outfit building either the night before or day of, but already knowing what can slot in where makes it really easy. I try not to pick anything that doesn’t have 3 or more matches unless I know it will serve a very specific purpose.
Now I realise that this may sound boring, and truthfully a lot of capsule wardrobes ARE boring (sorry, not sorry. don’t @ me). But I figure out how to have colour and pattern in mine to keep things interesting and feeling like me. This is where having a really good grasp on my whole wardrobe and style comes in handy. I know how all of the pieces of work, and what kinds of things they work with. So even if I haven’t put two items together before, I’ll have a good sense of what will work before I even try it on.
We’re already a few days in, and so far it has been really fun! I’ve worn 2/3 wildcard items already, and am thinking that my next step will be wearing two of them together. My favourite part is the planning and prepping, so I know that the hard part for me is going to be keeping it up as we get further along. I’ll have to dig deeper into actually styling the pieces and looking at the combinations so I can keep it fresh and exciting. Which is the whole point of challenges like this.
So follow along with me over on Insta, and in a few weeks I’ll have a recap of the whole experience.
And let me know in the comments if you think I’ll make it through the whole 20 days!