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  • Holly Bousman

Capsule Closet

At one point in 2019, I was feeling very overwhelmed and I decided that picking out what to wear each day was something I did not want to think about anymore. I'm creative and I consider myself fairly stylish, but I was over the whole pick-out-a-NEW-outfit-every-single-day thing. I didn't realize why until I heard the phrase "Decision Fatigue."

Decision Fatigue is the theory that people make better decisions at the start of their day and worse decisions as the day goes on. It has been proven to be mentally taxing to make many decisions in a short time, and, even if you're not aware of it, you could be making irrational choices by the end of a decision-making session.

So, as many successful people have done (like Steve Jobs) one way to reduce your decision making is to create a capsule wardrobe for yourself. I now have a closet full of key pieces in only four colors and I am LOVING how many other decisions I can focus on during my day.

Here's how I did it:

I had a closet full of all the colors in the rainbow, I could barely squeeze new pieces of clothing into my closet. And then, as it turned out, I was unintentionally buying double or even triple of basically THE SAME piece of clothing, while altogether forgetting about a piece I actually needed. I was frustrated with the multiples and I wanted to see where the "holes" were in my wardrobe.

1. I took ALL my clothes out of my closet and laid them in a Grid on the floor of living room. The Grid was A LOT bigger than this one pictured and I structured it like this:

1 Column for each Color

(I did a column for R, O, Y, G, B, I, V, + White, Black, & Nude)

1 Row for each Kind

(hats, scarfs, jackets, shirts, pants, skirts, dresses, rompers, etc.)

2. I sorted all my clothes into it’s appropriate spot on the Grid.

- If I had two of something (for example two blue jeans), I stacked them on top of each other in the same spot on the Grid. So some piles started to appear.

- If I did not have anything to put into a category (for example: black jacket) I would leave that spot in the grid blank. So some holes started to appear too!

- Of course, you’ll add or subtract Color and Kind categories depending on what you own. And just do your best deciding which color or kind it is, if you’re not sure.

3. I wrote down which pieces I was missing so that I would be sure to buy them the next time I went shopping.

AND I sold or donated most duplicates. I also picked just a few Colors and Kinds to keep front and center & put the others away.

The picture above shows some of my core pieces. I think black and white are foundational colors, so I made sure to keep those. Next, I picked my favorite colors, the ones I love to wear. I chose green just because I like it, really no other reasoning there haha, but I chose blue because I wear denim a lot and I doubted I would stop wearing denim anytime soon. I was right! I still wear denim all the time.

I still have a few pieces in other colors, but I keep them in a separate closet so that I don't have to make a decision about them regularly. I keep something red for Christmas or Valentines, and I have a few Sports Team-colored things for when we go to games. Mostly, though I am wearing the same four colors and the same pieces over and over and over.

How I mix 'n match:

I try to use a "rule of 3" to make sure I'm wearing 3 pieces of clothing and mixing in 3 colors.

For example: black pants + white shirt + blue jacket.

black shirt + white jacket + blue pants.

It's made my life soooo much simpler. It's easier to say yes or no when deciding to buy something at a store.

Instead of, is this cute? To which the answer is almost always YES! Instead, I'm asking "do I already own this piece?" "Is this the right color?" "Will this fit in with the other things I already own?"

Have you tried this? What do you think? What problems have you run into?


bousman babe


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