It seems that everywhere I turn these days I’m being encouraged to streamline my wardrobe. Wardrobe Capsules are a hot topic on Pinterest and in the blogosphere; 33 or 66 pieces that will take you too the moon (or Mars) and back again. 5 Key Things You Can’t Live Without. The Only 10 Items You’ll Ever Need Ever. Wardrobe Capsules For Every Reason and Every Season.
I’m having a hard time getting excited about capsuling or streamlining my wardrobe anymore than I already have to by virtue of the limit on my MasterCard. The whole concept makes me feel constricted, as if I’m being forced to color inside the lines with a small box of crayons. Is it really so terrible to want to have more than 5 key pieces or (heaven forbid,) 10 pairs of shoes, in order to have options when sartorial opportunity comes knocking on the door?
I LIKE to spread my fashion wings and have choice. I was always the kid who gravitated to the dress-up box and rummaged around looking for outlandish and outrageous combinations. The more colorful the better. Wardrobe capsuling, by its very nature, requires you to be somewhat monochromatic, or at least mono-huematic, thereby ensuring that the mix and match opportunities will be stretched to the absolute mathematical limit. While I appreciate the discipline that can be achieved from this approach to dressing (as well as the added time bonus when it comes to packing and traveling with a minimalist wardrobe), at the end of the day I get a vicarious thrill opening my closet doors knowing that I can choose between different looks and styles and vibes and feelings to suit whomever I happen to be at that particular point in time.
Maybe it’s the contrarian in me, but every time a new fashion trend or method takes root, I find myself going in the opposite direction. So while books on downsizing and monochroming your closet are flying off the shelves, I’m out stocking up on brightly colored sundresses and linen shorts in every color of the rainbow.
So if you’re stuck in a rut or feel like a slave to a capsule system, I’m offering you a get out (of the closet) jail free card. Try something new. Go to a store you have avoided in the past; trade in your safe jeans and T-shirt for a bright sundress… ditch the black on black for a bright jewel tone or luscious pastel that matches the flowers in your garden. Go ahead and buy an extra pair (or two) of sandals that make you smile or sneakers that caress your feet… you can never have too many pants that make you feel like a super model or dresses that make your eyes shine.
And the added bonus of having too many clothes in your closet… less laundry, so you have more time to enjoy the summer sun…