Capsule Wardrobing

80/20 Capsule

Happy day, dear reader!

Seasons are changing here, and I am in the process of cleaning and storing my winter-only clothes, and starting to put together my spring capsule wardrobe. I grew up in a distinctly 4 season climate, and working my capsules helps me maintain that 4 season feel, even now that I live somewhere with far less dramatic seasonal changes. I find capsule planning fun, because it challenges both my analytical and creative sides. This time as I was jotting down my thoughts I wondered… “How does the Pareto Principle play out here?” If you don’t know it as the Pareto Principle, you’ve probably heard reference to the 80/20 rule. There are hundreds of examples out there. Most people wear 20% of their clothing 80% of the time,  80% of software issues are caused by 20% of the bugs, 80% of results are achieved with 20% of the effort. Then I heard another 80/20 that caught my attention… An ideal wardrobe is made of 20% clothing and 80% accessories.

Note: I do NOT believe in an ideal wardrobe. Perfection doesn’t exist. There is ideal for me, right now, but that’s as far as it goes!

80% Accessories/20% Clothing?

My mind… “Hmmmm. That should be an easy enough experiment! Maybe I should make my spring capsule 80/20, or 20/80 (depending on which way you think of it).” So if I define clothes as: the main things I put on my body like tops, bottoms, and dresses, and accessories as: shoes, bags, scarves, and jewelry, how would this work? What about things like jackets? Where do they go? Now I am intruiged; I like a wardrobe challenge. Last fall I did a Baker’s Dozen Capsule (or 13 items for 31 days), and loved it! Every time I do a style challenge, or shopping fast I learn something new, and I am a learning junkie. (Not the worst of habits out there, mind you!)

“This sounds pretty easy. It’s more clothing than I had in the Baker’s Dozen, but the period would last longer. It’s certainly more shoes and accessories than I had when doing Project 333. I know… 80 accessories sounds like a lot, but that’s where my wardrobe variety comes from.” Stop! Once I start making excuses, I know it’s time to do something. So I’m in. 80/20 for spring (and I think the 80 will have to carry through summer as well, but that’s still negotiable.)

20 Clothing Items

Choosing my 20 turned out to be harder than I expected! Choosing 13 items in the fall was easy. Everything HAD to go with everything else. But for spring with 20 items, I wanted both a colored bottom and colored tops, which undoes the Garanimals structure of a tigher capsule. Once I got past that, a cold snap came in and altered my feelings about some of my original choices…

Many of the capsule wardrobes and planners you see on the web are all neutrals, or heavily neutral. I love color, and wanted to avoid the neutrals and all solids trap. It doesn’t suit my coloring or my personality! Four of my five dresses are prints, and my colors and neutrals are split about 50/50 (9 colors and 11 neutrals). Even my bags are colored!

5 Dresses: To support my 2018 Resolution to “Dress” more.

(1) Dark Floral  (2) Cool Neutral Animal Print  (3) Confetti Print Wrap (4) Chambray Wrap (5) Aqua Border Print

6 Tops:

(1) White Linen  (2)  Pink Sweater  (3) Lavender Tee  (4) Jade/Teal Blouse (5) Chambray Shirt  (6) Blue Linen

Four of these were in my 2017 Wardrobe Top 5’s. I think I’m seeing a pattern here…

3 Sweaters:

(1) Grey Merino V-Neck  (2) Blue Ivory Stripe  (3) Pink Cardigan

Warmer weather swap: Grey and Striped Sweaters will be swapped out for a blouse or tee equivalent.

6 Bottoms:

(1) White Jeans (2) Grey Plaid Trouser  (3) Blue Kick Flares (4) Frayed Levis  (5) Blue/White Animal Print Pant (6) Red A-Line Skirt

Warmer weather swap: Wool Skirt for Shorts, Frayed Levis for Skinnies (much lighter weight!)

80 Accessories

Good grief! No, I will not subject you to that kind of tedium, but a general breakdown falls along these lines:

15 Pair of Shoes (I’ve kept 2 pair of boots that will swap to sandals in a few more weeks. Nights have been in the 30’s, and cold toes make me miserable! This exercise is not meant to be a punishment.), 5 Bags, 10 Scarves, 40 Jewelry Pieces, 5 Belts, and 5 Outerwear Items. Outerwear has turned into: my red trench, grey moto sweater-jacket, long cream jacket, jean jacket, and one yet undecided… (Probably my tweed short suit jacket.)

I started March by pulling most of these pieces and hanging them on a rack in my room. Anything I have worn is staying in the capsule, but the final items just made themselves known this past week. (That cold snap, again!) Accessories are being added as the days pass. I may just wear what I like and stop adding when I reach my limit. That’s a less analytical and more intuitive way to go about building this capsule, but I want to try and see how it works!

So what do you think? Am I crazy, or is it something you’d try? Anyone else up for a challenge? Join me! And please feel free to add your thoughts to the conversation below! I love to hear from you!

Stylishly yours,

And a heartfelt thank you to Catherine at Not Dressed as Lamb for the Link-Up!


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