I grew up in a house filled with color.
My parents created a bohemian, sophisticated, vibrant home for me and my sister to romp through. Unorganized handcrafted green bookshelves were filled with everything from The Complete Works of William Shakespeare to the complete works of Michael Crichton. A floor-to-ceiling yellow sideboard held tens of family portraits, lumpy kid art, and family heirlooms, sometimes layered three deep. Music was constant both in its presence and diversity. The ocean was our second backyard. Whenever friends visit my parents' home for the first time, I am almost always immediately met with "oh, this explains a lot." What does any of this have to do with a capsule wardrobe, you're wondering? To sum up, this is the story of why in a sea of neutrals, my capsule wardrobe is home to the flashiest pair of floral pattern pants you ever did see. It's a demonstration of how I aspire to live with less, while honoring a predisposition toward eclectic kitsch.
I have always adored my parents' taste and style in all its bold glory, and it has taken me three post-college apartments to figure out how to reconcile a love for the striking colors of my childhood with a penchant for subdued hues and clean lines in a way that almost works. My personal style (home and fashion-wise) lies somewhere within the intersection of uncluttered minimalism and tropical print curtains. Think integrating an ever-growing collection of globes and Mexican blankets into an all-white and airy bedroom. Though I still haven't quite figured it all out, I have decided that 2015 will mark my personal push to refocus my style, and de-clutter many aspects of my day-to-day.
For the majority of my adult life I have prided myself on finding the best sale and scoring the clearance item to top all clearance items. I've spent countless hours pursuing bargain and thrift stores in search of that one-of-a-kind piece—trips which almost always concluded with my not finding THE ONE but rather walking out of the store with three just-okay garments. I rationalized my purchases ("It's 70% off, it would be crazy if I didn't buy it."), and spent money I didn't have on clothes that weren't quite right. I purchased something new from Nordstrom Rack, or worse, Forever 21, for every occasion, and I ended up with a closet full of poor-quality clothes that I neither loved nor wore regularly. Eventually, after my husband and I got back home from our December 2014 nuptials, I realized that something had to change. I had amassed so many new clothes for events leading up to the wedding that our small San Francisco apartment started to feel half its size.
Enter the capsule wardrobe.
The concept of a capsule wardrobe is not new, and I encourage you to stop by Unfancy for the full how-to. I began by purging my closet of all ill-fitting, cheaply made, or worn-out items. Parting was sweet sorrow, but my grief dissipated when I was reminded that Phase Two meant replacing my old cheapies with a handful of well-made, quality, splurge pieces. Toss out three no-brand purses and replace with one Marc Jacobs? I think yes! The end result is a 40 piece wardrobe filled to the brim with clothing I adore—clothing that fits me well, and makes me feel like my best self. Beyond the styling, however, the capsule wardrobe has given me time to focus on other passions. I have recently discovered my love for calligraphy, and have been able to spend money that would have surely gone toward another unnecessary skirt on materials to help me hone my lettering skills. It's absolutely freeing.
My capsule wardrobe feels like a first step in finding the balance between the colorful, messy, spontaneous aspects of design (which I adore and am drawn to) with an organized, soothing, effortlessly cool atmosphere (which I crave and aspire to create). I often think of these needs in tandem with the tide-like qualities of being an extroverted-introvert. Sure I'll be loud and effervescent and carry on boldly, all the while knowing full well that I will need to recede for an afternoon or two to reestablish some calm. I look forward to sharing all sorts of rambling musings about clothing and style, calligraphy and DIYs, and my quest to live beautifully with less in posts to come.
photography by Celeste Noche
P.S. Thanks mom & dad! Sorry I was such a little shit in high school!