A few weeks ago I posted my travel capsule and a few outfits. I was gone for a little over a month. I had laundry facilities available. I also had varied activities (from hiking to presentations at a conference and a public reading) and lots of weather to contend with. Including plenty of snow.
Despite my ability to do laundry, if you look at my list in that post, you'll notice that I in no way achieved Claire's ...um...clarity.
Her 10 item capsule wardrobe has always appealed to a part of me -- and you'd think a trip like this would be the perfect opportunity to put it into play. But somehow, I couldn't bring myself to do it -- and I'd really like to try to understand why.
I brought at least 27 items along on this trip -- and that doesn't count some of the gear, the shoes, the belts, scarves, and bags. That sounds like a lot, doesn't it?
Even so, if you look at my outfits...you will see a lot of repetition. I didn't even take photos every day, because really, I was wearing the same top with different jeans, or vice versa. Admittedly, part of the repetition was because I had to do a lot of layering. It was colder than expected, so I wore more of my items together with other items than I might have done in a warmer year. And that meant my few sweaters got a huge amount of wear.
In fact, the only things I didn't wear at all were two light coloured linen tees, brought in case of warmer temperatures. (I did wear two darker coloured ones). The dresses were only worn twice each -- but that is pretty much what I expected given the range of activities. I only got to wear my Okalas twice -- again, due to temps. Everything else I wore (and washed) multiple times.
So...here's the thing. On a daily basis I saw far more people than I see in my regular life. Some rotated, and some were the same people every day. Regardless, I didn't mind the fact that they were seeing me in the same or similar clothes all the time. In fact, it didn't enter my mind that it might be a problem. So worry about other people's reactions is not my reason for wanting a larger wardrobe.
Also, I liked the ease of simply putting on my FFB shirt-or-sweater-with-jeans. After all, this is my work-at-home uniform, too, so it felt easy and comfortable, and I felt presentable and prepared for all situations I encountered. And although the setting was uber-casual, I brought along several of my favourite higher-end items (including my Reiss jacket and some premium jeans) and truly enjoyed wearing them.
And yet, by the time I got home I was so happy to be able to choose something else!!
This makes me think that even while a part of me longs for the simplicity of 10 (or maybe even 20) items -- it's not likely to work for me over the long term -- unless I simply replaced most of those ten items every season (because, like Susie, I have a very strong tendency to reach for my newest items first when I get dressed.)
At minimum, I would probably seek to replace most of the tops and/ or dresses -- I really can't see replacing jackets/ coats/ or even pullovers/ jeans every year. And I'm not sure that would be any more cost-effective or helpful to the environment.
It's a real dilemma, this business of figuring out how much is enough. I so admire Claire and Lisa and all the rest of you who are trying to do this. I guess I will continue to muddle along for now, but I would really like to get a clearer handle on what will work best for me and keep my wardrobe within those limits.
Thanks for reading these long ramblings if you have got this far. And I would love to hear any thoughts you might have.
Some of the outfits, below, along with some of the neighbours.
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