a bright, glam, maximalist capsule wardrobe

Capsule wardrobes are everywhere right now. But most of them seem to be made up of snooze-worthy neutrals: lots of black, white, and gray. Those that have “a pop of color!!!!” include, like, one navy/olive/eggplant top or scarf. PASS.

And yet I’m realizing that even though I’m a maximalist in some ways (bright colors! ruffles! asymmetry! leopard print! layers!), I don’t actually want a closetful of crappy fast fashion. I have the bizarre-o desire to save my money for quality clothing I love to death and that will last.

GASP! Is this maximal minimalism? (Minimal maximalism? Messy simplicity? Bright, uh, something?)

Inspired by my stylish frayun Kelly (of Feminist Sticker Club and Cat Sticker Club fame), I’m toying with the idea of slowly creating a capsule wardrobe…but one heavy on PINK and SHAGGY TEXTURE and SHINE:

bright pink capsule wardrobe

(Gold miniskirt: Never has it been so clear that “versatile” is subjective. THAT PINK SHAG COAT THO)

Seems like the point of a capsule wardrobe is to buy fewer, better things that delight you; wear them often; and keep them for a long time. (“Better” being a vague catchall for quality, fair-trade, eco-friendly, etc. etc.)

I, erm, basically have the opposite of a capsule wardrobe. While I typically assuage my consumer guilt by shopping at Goodwill and frequently purging stuff from my closet (thanks, Marie Kondo!), this results in a sort of CHURN ‘N’ BURN that doesn’t actually reduce my consumption. I admit it: I’m a (fashion) commitment-phobe. Novelty gives me a rush.

confessions of a shopaholic gif

Anyway, I stumbled on the blog A Small Wardrobe and LOVE these guidelines for shopping:

– Only buy things that are exactly what I want.
– Only buy things that fit perfectly.
– Only buy things of good quality.

If only everything in my wardrobe fit those guidelines!

Notice that price isn’t part of the equation. As someone who, ahem, has difficulty sticking to a budget…

confessions of a shopaholic

…I know this means I have to patiently save up for nice stuff, NOT BUY A TON OF IT ALL AT ONCE. This will involve the dreaded Delayed Gratification I’ve heard so much about. (Hrrumph.)

In any case, I’d like to think zany, bright, colorful capsule wardrobes can exist. Jenna Lyons of J.Crew claims that leopard-print is a neutral. Why not?







  1. My threshold for buying is higher than it used to be. I love fashion, and I love finding pieces that work well for me and that I will wear again and again. But I was definitely buying too easily for a while. I’m still purging some of that. Anymore I just want my go-to pieces plus a few specialty items. Okay, a few more. I’m not spartan! And sometimes my favourite dress just isn’t the one anymore. We all need some novelty. It’s good for our brains.

    Ima agree with #1 and #3. I agree with #2 to a point. A lot of people won’t find a perfect fit off the rack. Alteration is sometimes just part of purchase.

    I add sustainability to my purchase criteria. I suck at thrifting, but I’m buying less, yah? I always read both hang and fabric tags. I want to know where something was made and what it’s made of. And maybe even come from a line that I know uses dyes that are less harmful. But—it all comes with a price, I know. I try to buy sustainable because I can afford to, and hope that the industry keeps moving in that direction so more people can afford to do so until sustainability becomes the norm.

    I like your capsule collection! I will not ask about its sustainability. 🙂

    • I LOVE THIS: “We all need some novelty. It’s good for our brains.” 😀 YES! And totes agree on alterations. I need to find a good tailor (and not be afraid to go)!

      Kelly turned me on to Alternative Apparel–I dunno if they’re fair trade, but they use eco-friendly fabrics. And Reformation is great about using surplus fabric (but too expensive for me). I definitely want to get away from polyester. Yuck!

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