Libby’s Wardrobe Capsule Challenge, aka Downsize Your Life

Disclaimer: this is a rambling lifestyle/downsize your life post, so there is no recipe. However, I did make oatmeal raisin cookies at 7am this morning and you can find the recipe here. So, make some oatmeal raisins and build your wardrobe capsule!

I read this article about a ‘capsule wardrobe three month challenge’ a few months ago and was intrigued. I bookmarked it to tackle later and didn’t think much of it until today. After brunching with one of my best friends (at Bru Burger, are you noticing a theme?), we came back to my condo and talked about healthcare, hospitals, and life. She just finished her residency at a hospital in FL and I just finished a stint in public health and I have a few health related clients. We discussed how much of an appreciation for life and other people’s battles you develop after experiencing not only your own health issues, but also as a result of following another person’s medical experience. I’ve touched on my own health issues and am thankful for everyday that I can get out of bed, migraine free and able to walk without feeling dizzy. Most of my friend’s patients were in the ICU and had severe injuries. The project I am currently working on involves mental health and there is such a stigma associated with anything to do with ‘mental’ illnesses, as if someone can just snap out of it. This is a long way of saying, it was a good discussion in knowing what is important in life; friends, family, love, God, and Winston (in no particular order). Fast forward to a few hours later and I found myself overhauling my closet.

The article instructs you on how to create your perfect 37 piece clothing wardrobe for a season. You are to only wear these 37 pieces during this time. This does not include workout wear, purses, or pajamas. However, it does include shoes. I have a feeling this is where many of my friends stop reading…..SHOES?! I am happy to report that I did it with 32 PIECES. Yes, you read that correctly. I had five pieces to spare, but decided to stop when I was content with my pile.

I went for a mix of my favorite pieces and included high and low end. I’ve provided labels to give you an idea of what I splurge on and what I go really cheap on. Case in point: splurge on nice flats. Go cheap on the $30 Urban Outfitters sandals. Splurge on oxfords, go cheap on tanks and tees. I try to buy anything really nice on sale, because nothing is worth full price. Insider tip: if you’re somewhat tiny (aka Libby size): buy the KIDS Burberry quilted coat, size Youth L. You’ll save at least $200 compared to buying the women’s. Wait until Saks or Neiman Marcus have their Friends & Family 25% off event and you will really save on something you will have forever. I inherited my grandmother’s Burberry skirts and not only is it meaningful to wear something she wore, but it’s a classic that will take you anywhere.

Just so we’re all on the same page, clothes are not what make the person. That said, I have always loved clothes and continue to become more and more confident in my own style as I get older. It is the ultimate way to express yourself without saying a word. I can remember what i was wearing on certain days. It’s part of the memory. The dress I wore on the last day at the Cleveland Clinic. The Milly blazer I wore for a celebration at the Statehouse. The black leotard with pink hearts that I would not take off when I was little. The pink and white oxford I wore when I first confessed to someone I loved them years and years ago at IU. Only person I ever said that to that was not related to me and while the love may not be there, I still have that oxford and my bravery!

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I also find myself always wearing the same things over and over. I feel guilty if I buy anything too nice. I am one of those people that saves the really good stuff and never wear it. That makes complete sense, right? Wrong. Life is short. Figure out what is important to you and only hold on to those items. Live in a way where you grow to appreciate what you do have and I am not talking about only possessions. Appreciate the people and blessings in your life too!

A little inspiration from Oscar:

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So, what made the cut, you ask? Here it goes:

  • JCrew white linen shorts (the best!), LOFT navy eyelet pants, Paige white jeans and Paige blue jeans
  • Lily Pulitzer romper (not practical, but it makes me happy)
  • pink skirt, navy skirt, white skirt (All Talbot’s because I am hip like that)
  • Ralph green gingham shirt, JCrew pink and navy ginghams, striped tank (Old Navy), LOFT white cotton shirt, white eyelet shirt (Old Navy), Brooks Brothers striped oxford, two silk tanks (Old Navy), Tory Burch navy polo (the buttons make it fancy)
  • Yellow JCrew sundress, Sail to Sable lime green tank dress, Banana Republic black dress, and LOFT gray dress
  • Brooks Brothers navy cardigan
  • Burberry kids quilted jacket
  • Gap jean jacket
  • Sole Society navy loafers, white Converse, striped Old Navy loafers, Tory Burch black Reva flats, Urban Outfitters sandals (best purchase I made this summer)

I plan to only wear items from my capsule for a month, instead of the three month challenge, but I will re-evaluate in September and see how I did.

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– Xx (from Winston too!)

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