“Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.”
-Psalm 139:14-16 (MSG)
In 10th grade I stopped growing so I was finally able to start purchasing clothing that lasted more than a year. Over the past decade, not only am I still wearing some of the same clothes (mainly sweatpants and hoodies), but during that time, my style has changed. My closet was literally a hodgepodge of clothes ranging from High School, college-age, newlywed, and first time mom. + a decade is a good chunk of time for a person’s style to change – I know mine did. So between outfits I used to consider “cool” but are no longer favorites and having a slightly different body size (birthing 2 kiddos will do that to you 😛 ), I reached a point where I was fed up. That’s when God dropped a reminder in my heart, and I’ve taken off with it. Capsule Wardrobe.
What’s a Capsule Wardrobe?
A capsule wardrobe is where you have 30-40 clothing items (shirts, pants, dresses, shoes, coats, jewelry, etc.) and they are interchangeable between multiple outfits. The heart of it is that not only do you only own clothes you love, but it also:
- Saves Money – because you’re not out buying new clothes
- Saves Time – because you’re not digging around that overflowing laundry basket trying to find that one favorite shirt because everything that’s clean just isn’t your jam anymore
- Saves Space – physical space and brain space
I have really felt the Lord working on my heart to simplify my life this year, and I’ve been intrigued by the idea of a capsule wardrobe for months. So when I decided I was fed up with not having anything fit properly, the capsule wardrobe roared at me. I felt like it was time to simplify my clothes.
What Inspired The Change?
After you bring kid(s) into the world, your body changes. Whether you’re a young mom or in your 40’s, just like every baby is different and every pregnancy is different, every recovery is different as well. For me, my first was born in the Fall, so I had 6 months before anyone cared about swimsuits and “that summer bod,” so I really didn’t pay attention to what my stomach looked like. Additionally, I was a stay at home mom, so I wore sweats or shorts most days with a t-shirt. However, my second was born in the Spring, right at the beginning of tank-tops and short shorts season. On top of that, I work in an office and with the disgustingly humid weather, I find dresses are my best friend. Despite people’s kind comments of “you don’t even look like you had a baby!” (what mom doesn’t love hearing that!? 😀 ) it is evident to me that I’m not physically where I want to be and I started noticing my frustration rising when maternity clothes were too baggy but pre-pregnancy clothes were too tight.
One morning while getting ready for church, I decided to put on a pair of jeans with the intention of tying a hair tie on the button and wearing a long shirt (talk about one of the best hacks ever 😛 ). With a few big hops while pulling up on the belt loops, I found, much to my surprise, that I could button them. Yes! I was back in my pre-pregnancy pants! But when I looked in the mirror, I noticed an obvious muffin top making its appearance. Ugg. 😦 Yes, they buttoned, but I still felt discouraged and not very good looking. I didn’t feel like I looked good, and it threw me off all day.
Yes, it was partly a heart issue on my part – seeking the world’s standard of pretty and negating God’s. But thankfully, one of my favorite Mama Podcasts opened my eyes when they talked about the postpartum bod, and I was reminded of a couple things:
- I was reminded that my body grew 2 humans (it grew bones, muscles, limbs, organs, etc.) and housed, fed and protected that tiny human for 9 months (that’s 273 days) in addition to keeping me alive and functioning. That’s is nothing less than a miracle!
- God’s version of beauty is long lasting and eternal. Culture has had different perceptions of beauty over time. When you stop and think about it, what was considered “beautiful” and “the perfect body” or “the current trend” has changed drastically from decade to decade. I mean, just think about the outfits in the 1800’s. What about 1970’s fashion? And can any one relate to the early 2000’s? I can. Ultimately, in a culture where trends are changing every year, I am so thankful to have a God who is steadfast, unchanging, and is far more interested in my heart than my appearance!
1 Samuel 16:7 (MSG) says, “But God told Samuel, “Looks aren’t everything. Don’t be impressed with his looks and stature. I’ve already eliminated him. God judges persons differently than humans do. Men and women look at the face; God looks into the heart.””
And to be real, I was sick of the laundry. Multiple loads sitting in a pile waiting to be folded. Guys, it got exhausting having unfolded clean laundry taking up space in my room, leaving me scrambling to find something to wear early in the morning and dreading folding it because it took so much time – even if I was watching Netflix while doing it…
How To Start?
I stood at my closet and touched every piece. I have a decent memory when it comes to outfits I’ve worn and if I knew I hadn’t worn that item in a long time, I threw it in my giveaway pile. Some things are seasonal, so I used my judgement (how many hoodies does a girl really need?).
Another tip I’ve heard it to completely empty your closet onto your bed and make 3 piles:
- LOVE IT AND WOULD WEAR IT RIGHT NOW! It fits. It’s right for your lifestyle. You feel comfortable and confident wearing it. Great, now put it back in your closet.
- MAYBE. This is for items that don’t fit quite right, the color is a little off, have sentimental value, or you’re keeping it because you paid a lot for it but you don’t wear it. Put all this stuff in a box and store it in the garage. You can always go get stuff out of it, but you probably won’t. If it’s still in the box at the end of your season, it’s time to say goodbye to it.
- NOPE. Self-explanatory. Donate, swap with a friend, or sell it to fund new purchases.
Not sure what your style is? One tip for making sure you have the right pieces is what you pin on Pinterest is what you want. Now be careful with this because Pinterest can also be a hindrance and an idol – desiring things we don’t have and being ungrateful for what we do, but it can also be a great place for inspiration. When it comes to clothes, you’ll post the style you’re most attracted to. How often have you said, “I wish all the outfits I’ve pinned on Pinterest would appear in my closet!”? Why not make it that way? Look through your board and pull out any of your clothes that don’t fit into your Pinterest style. This really helped me identify my style and gave me a vision for my wardrobe.
It’s important to remember that it is a process. Have fun with it and enjoy the time to recreate your style. And remember, trying something new and taking control of your closet can be a powerful reminder that it’s never too late to change your life—either by changing your attitude or by changing your environment.
Overall, my goal is to simplify my life, but simplifying my closet allows me to:
- have more time – because I’m not spending it looking for an outfit, trying it on, debating whether I can pull it off or questioning if I’ll feel good in it
- save more $ – because my money is being intentionally spent on items I know I’ll wear
- I can live my life comfortably – because I know my clothes fit and I’m not fidgeting with my outfit
I have by no means arrived at my destination, and I’m not sure if I ever will, but I am so excited to be continually creating and building my style!
Whether you decide it’s time for a change or you’re good with what you’ve got, I want to encourage you to ultimately find your joy in the Lord, not something trivial like clothing. God has given us clothes and loves that we can express ourselves through them, but we need to make sure we are ultimately glorifying Him and the temple He has gifted us. And if we put our style / the time invested in our style above the Lord or it holds no eternal value, than we need to reconsider. Remember friend, Psalm 139:14 says “body and soul, I am marvelously made!” With or without the latest trend. God has taken time to write a beautiful story for your life – stay classy and dress well 😉