{Fall Capsule Planning}, Sewing

{Fall Capsule Planning} Part 2: Identify what you have

On to part 2 of how I am planning my fall capsule!  In part 1 we went through the exercise of identifying what we need.  Now it’s time to identify what we have.

If you’re anything like me, you probably have a wardrobe full of clothes that you have acquired over a number of years.  I, like many, tend to get very attached to my clothes.

When I look at an article of clothing, I see more than just a piece of fabric and some thread.  Instead, I see the hours I spent making it and the show I was watching at the time.  I see the date night dinner or Easter Sunday brunch when I wore it.  So while throwing away a piece of fabric may sound easy, it’s a lot harder to toss those experiences that I associate with a particular article of clothing.

But still, clutter in my closet and home make me feel like there is clutter in my mind, so I’m going to try very hard this fall to really narrow down the clothing that I see in my closet and drawers every day.

So with all that in mind:

Step 1: Spend Some Quality Time With Your Closet

Even if you hate your clothes and lament every day that you have nothing to wear, I’m pretty sure you can find something in your closet that fits in your plans.  Even if you plan to replace it later (future sewing project!), the whole capsuling thing is a lot less scary if you have a few pieces to start with and know that you won’t be walking around nekkid tomorrow.

So spend some time really going through your closet.  If something is ill-fitting, get rid of it.  If you look at it and think, “Wow, I was stylin’ in 1994,” out it goes.  (Trust me, it’s not coming back in style.  And even if it does, it will be different).  If you’ve worn something so much it literally has holes in it, send it to the trash or rag pile.

Step 2: Identify the remaining pieces that fit in your color scheme.

Once you’ve weeded out what doesn’t fit, is way out of style, or is more appropriate for dusting your mantle, gather up the remnants of your wardrobe.  Now pull out the color palette you just did and see what fits.

If you’re working with a palette of gray, navy, ivory, maroon and deep green, set aside that bright yellow t-shirt.  I’m not saying that you toss them because, hey, you may want them come spring when we all put away our dark, dismal colors and pull out the pastels and brights.  Instead of tossing these types of items, I got a big ol’ plastic crate and loaded it up.  Those clothes are all safely tucked away in my attic, waiting for reassessment in the spring.

It may be that come March I will pull a bunch of them out and add them to my spring/summer capsule wardrobe.  Absence makes the heart grow fonder, right? Or it may be that without the daily visual reminder of all the experiences that I associate with that garment (remember our discussion above?) I’ll be able to fully cut the cord to those items in a way that I can’t now.

Step 3: Reassess Your Plan and Fill In Items You Have.

Now that you’ve narrowed the closet down to (1) things that fit and look semi-decent and (2) that fit in your pre-planned fall color scheme,  We need to reassess the plan we came up with in Part 1 and start plugging in garments.

When I really looked at the clothes in my closet, I discovered things I wanted to wear this fall.  I had forgotten about some items in the clutter of my closet.  And some were items that I didn’t necessarily forget about but just looked at with fresh eyes.

After I revised my fall plan (which you can see in this Google spreadsheet — just click on the page titled “Revised fall plan”), I ended up with 63 items in my fall capsule plan.  Still well within the “ish” of my 60ish-piece plan!

I also discovered that I had more of the items I wanted than I thought I had.  For example, a chambray button up was on my fall plan.  It turns out, I had one in my closet.  I don’t love it so I do want to sew a replacement, but it certainly reduces the urgency.

All-in-all, I found 5 pieces already in my closet that I thought I was going to have to make.  I will still make some of those pieces, but they have fallen further down my priority list.

What was the last pleasant surprise you found in your closet?  Stay tuned for Part 3…


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