The idea of a capsule wardrobe is, to me, kind of a maximalist way of being minimal. That is, for someone with a truly minimalist wardrobe, selecting an array of thirty or forty items to get you through a season is purely crazy. My husband laughed and laughed, and counted that he only had about 50 things in his closet, for summer and winter, and that includes everything but shorts, sweaters, socks, and underwear. (Also, at least 5-10 of those things are identical duplicates. Not just “this looks the same to me” but 100% identical.)
It’s harder for women. We’re the locus of most of the fashion pressure in the world. Our bodies are the site of conspicuous consumption. Even my best meaning and most feminist of husbands likes me to have pretty new clothes. Also, women’s clothes are more event-specific (i.e., there is a larger gap between my professional and casual wear than there is for my husband.) and usually made to be more disposable. It’s a messy place.
So, we’ve come up with the idea of the capsule wardrobe, to convince ourselves that we could get by with less, if we really wanted to. I thought I’d play along for the summer, because summer is interminable here and you need to do something. And I would like to know if I can get by with less, if I really wanted to. I’d like this set of clothes to get me through until late June, at which point I may reevaluate out of desperation. (It will be well into October before I need warmer clothes in the rotation.)
Caveats and exceptions: I’m not counting accessories, because I don’t have that many and because this is more than a one month project for me. I’m not counting exercise clothes or grubby cleaning clothes, but I am including “take the dog to the park” and “sit around and watch TV” clothes.
Ten Bottoms: 4 pr. shorts (khaki and navy, in various lengths), 3 skirts (grey, khaki, and navy), 3 pants (light and dark skinny jeans, cream “khakis”)
Three dresses: One simple knit, one shirt dress, one fancier but not too fancy.
Five tank tops for layering that could be worn solo: black, orange, purple, blue, and pale grey.
Five tank tops for solo wear, that could be layered: floral, embroidered, green with detailing, navy with detailing, and a green print
Two solid T-shirts: charcoal and lime
Five lightweight button ups for layering: green, white, pale green, chambray, and blue striped
Heavier layers: Sheer grey cardigan, olive cropped canvas jacket, navy wool cardigan