Some include outerwear, some don’t…usually PJs and workout clothes are not included. Some people include jewelry and sunglasses, some don’t. Bottom line, the “rules” of a capsule wardrobe can vary a lot, as do most things “minimalist”. It is always best to personalize them. You are unique, after all.
There are a couple reasons I like the idea of a minimal wardrobe…
1) When I was first bitten by the minimalist bug, I did a pretty severe pruning of my wardrobe. I donated a good 1/3 of my wardrobe.
2) Decreasing my wardrobe was awesome, because after the pruning, everything I pulled out of my closet looked good on me and made me feel awesome.
3) Because of reason 2, getting dressed in the morning was much simpler. None of that putting something on, deciding it didn’t look good and hanging it back in the closet. If I didn’t think it looked good, it was no longer in my closet to begin with!
4) Just like reason 3, getting dressed in the morning was much simpler, because there weren’t nearly as many choices.
My wardrobe is fairly minimal in comparison to that of many of my friends and even what it used to be. However, I find things have a way of sneaking in…that great sundress you found for a steal at $5, the skirt your friend gave you because it didn’t quite fit her…the sandals you found buried in the hall closet that you forgot you owned. New stuff comes in, stuff gets worn and decisions need to be made on what stays and what goes. Committing to a capsule, means you are less likely to shop, unless it is to specifically replace something in the capsule. Ex, if you are committed to only 33 items, you will shop less and think long and hard before buying anything new.
It seems like a capsule wardrobe would be fairly easy if you live in a consistent climate. For myself, thinking of a spring wardrobe, I’m reminded that today I am wearing shorts and a tank top, while just 4 days ago I was wearing long pants, a sweater, wool blazer and 2 pairs of socks. This makes planning a capsule wardrobe a bit difficult. I worry that the concept is too rigid. I wouldn't want to exclude clothes I love just to hit an arbitrary number. However, because I love the idea, I don’t want to poo-poo it. Maybe I just need to remember that my goal is not minimalist…it is enoughalist.
What would I put in my Spring capsule? Without looking in my closet, I did a quick listing of pants, shorts, capris, long sleeve shirts, sweaters, t-shirts, tank tops, dresses/skirts, jacket, shoes, scarves….my quick and dirty number is 60. That seems like a respectable number considering that I have to dress for 40F – 90F, work and casual. I’m sure I’m forgetting about awesome pieces of clothing that I will want to include, but that’s okay. I think I will take a look and see where I am now…and then decide where I want to go. I'm sure I'm currently above 60 items, but maybe some of those need to go? I shall see...
Do you own so much you feel like you never have anything to wear? I challenge you to check out one of the blogs or books below and take a closer look at what’s in your closet. And please, share your thoughts on the size of your wardrobe in the comments below.
I am intrigued by the concept of minimalism. I read blogs and books on the subject. I have donated and tossed boxes and bags of unused stuff. I would love to get rid of more. I feel stressed and uncomfortable in messy or cluttered space. I find the less cluttered my home is, the calmer my mind.
I would love to consider myself a minimalist, but I just can’t. Why? Because despite my efforts to rid my home of junk, it seems like I still have way too much stuff to be considered a minimalist. My home is fairly clutter free…just the typical trouble spots (the transient papers that pile up in the kitchen and in my office, the hallway closets that became the catch-all for anything without a home, the garage which catches any outdoor clutter, etc). I look at people I consider true minimalists (Leo Balboa, Joshua Fields Millburn, Ryan Nicodemus, Francine Jay…just to name a few) and I think “Wow, I’m not even in the same league…I’m still surrounded by stuff”.
Then just recently I was reading a book, “Essays by The Minimalists”, written by 2 of my favorite minimalists Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus. In the book, there was an essay about not relating to the title “minimalists”. Apparently there are many of us out there that love the concepts, but can’t quite connect to the term, minimalist. So what do The Minimalists suggest? Pick a different word.
After a bit of soul searching, I decide I subscribe to the concept of enoughism….I am an “enoughalist”. It has a nice ring to it…sort of sounds like a character from Sesame Street, right?
Why did I choose this word? Because, it helps me put my belongings in perspective. For example, when thinking of my wardrobe, I don’t want a minimalist wardrobe. I could never have the clothes I love and feel like a minimalist. I don’t want a closet crammed full of clothes either, I want just enough…no more, no less…just enough, for me. Given this new concept, do I have still have too much stuff? You betcha! But I am now on my way to being the perfect enoughalist, which is a much more realistic goal for my life. I only have to figure out, "what is enough for me?" Should be simple, don't you think? (sarcasm)
But how about you? Do you want to be an enoughalist too? Stay tuned for a few more blog posts to inspire you on becoming an “enoughalist”. ;-)
Do you know the word “tincture”? If you are familiar with herbal remedies, you may…but often, people I speak with have never heard the word. That’s unfortunate because it is a great way to use herbs .
If you have ever seen an herbed vinegar (a fancy decanter of vinegar with a sprig of tarragon perhaps), then you have seen a tincture. Typically, the idea behind a tincture is that you extract the medicinal (and culinary) goodness out of your herbs into either alcohol or vinegar (you can also use vegetable glycerin if you want something for children).
I typically use alcohol for stinky herbs (ones that don’t taste very good in teas) or for a blend that I will use for more of an acute issue. I use vinegar for more tonic herbs…something I might want to take daily and even incorporate into my food.
So, how does one make a tincture you ask? It’s very simple. Get yourself a mason jar, add a bunch of dried herbs, and then fill it up with either vodka or a good apple cider vinegar (ACV). You can also use rum or brandy….the higher the alcohol % the better. Seal it up and set it on your counter. Keep it out of direct sunlight and away from any heat sources. Let it sit for several weeks (3-6), gently inverting to mix every couple days. The longer you let it sit, the stronger your tincture will be. When you’re ready, strain out the herbs and you put the liquid into a nice container. I like to use a bottle with a dropper for alcohol tinctures and a vinegar cruet for vinegar tinctures.
So what will you tincture? You could start with a nice culinary vinegar, since most culinary herbs do have medicinal properties. Basil, garlic & thyme with ACV is delicious and it’s antibacterial & antiviral.
Do you have a nice herbal remedy tea blend? Tea is a great way to take herbs, but when you are traveling or unable to easily make tea, a tincture is a great option. Take a small jar, add in a bunch of your loose tea, then add vodka or vinegar to cover. Let sit, strain and enjoy!!
Don’t get too caught up in amounts. Fill the jar about ½ full of herbs then fill with liquid...if you want a stronger product, fill the jar ¾ with herbs. It’s all good! Just get it in the jar ASAP so you have your tincture ready when you need it!
Tracy Martorana is a Nutrition & Wellness Consultant, Meditation Instructor and Herbalist...hoping to inspire you to live your life from a place of Holistic Wellness.