The Capsule Wardrobe Diaries: I CHEATED

Well Friends, I cheated.

It was bound to happen, right? And do you know WHERE it happened? Nowhere glamorous, that’s for sure.

I’ve made it through several trips to Target.

I overcame a layover in the Charlotte airport where I saw so many cute things I wanted at Brooks Brothers (does that make me old?).

I bypassed my usual stop at Vineyard Vines in Boston.

I actually tried stuff on at Lily Pulitzer in Nantucket and wanted everything….boy, did I want.

But where “it” happened was at Sam’s. Yes, Sam’s. As in the Wholesale Club.

Yep, and I can’t say it’s the first time I’ve bought clothes from there. I get some kind of weird satisfaction from sifting through all those tables of clothes and finding a jewel in the rough. Bargain shopping is in my DNA. I’m pretty sure if there was a genetic test like 23 & Me that included a screening for bargain shoppers - I would clearly have this genetic condition.

In my family we are garage sale kind of people. We are TJ Maxx and Marshall’s and Ross kind of people. We are the clearance aisle at Target kind of people. We are end-of-the-season sale kind of people. We are Black Friday get up freakishly early kind of people.

My parents. My grandparents. My aunts. My cousins. All of us. Genetic condition. These are my people.

We love a good deal. There is something enormously satisfying about a bargain. You kind of feel like you’re cheating the system. Like you’re practically making money because you’re saving so much off the original price.

And - OH! - when you find exactly what you’ve been looking for and it fits perfectly and it’s on sale….it’s like the rays of Heaven are shining down and the angels are singing Hallelujah. It’s the unicorn of shopping.

But the truth is…this is not how it usually goes down. Usually it’s like - Wow look at this price! Maybe I need this. Wonder if it will fit. (goes to dressing room to try on). Well, it’s a little tight in the arms. The huge flower print isn’t really me. But it’s kinda cute. Not sure what I’m going to wear with it. But for this price I’m just going to get it. It’s Such. A. Good. Deal.

Before you know it you have a closet full of “good deals”. A kitchen, a toy room, a garage full of “good deals.” It seems harmless, and even smart, at the time. But is a house full of stuff you only kind of like, that you only use or wear a handful of times, smart or worth it? Think of the money and clutter energy you would have saved if you would have forgone all of those okay-ish “good deals” in your life.

Part of this Capsule Wardrobe Experiment was born of a desire to spend less. It is truly an act of discipline that I am struggling through. And of all the things to break me: a white puffer vest from Sam’s. (hits hand to forehead).

First of all, (here comes the justification) I love vests. I really do wear them all of the time.

Second of all, I’ve been needing…ok wanting…a new white vest since my white Patagonia vest got ruined with makeup stains all over the collar. (I know, gross, right? The collar tips rubbed against my face and picked up my foundation. Couldn’t get it out).

Third of all, this white vest has black lining so the makeup issue would not be a problem.

Fourth of all, this is a really great price.

Guess what? I thought about God and I thought about you all and I did it any way. I justified it right to the check-out counter along with some Christmas socks for good measure (ok, I really do need some socks. Still haven’t gotten new underwear.)

I Cheated - but black lining.JPG

I feel like a failure. Much in the same way as when I cave into a piece of banana bread or a glass of wine that I swore not to have. We set goals and boundaries and expectations for ourselves and then…we fail. And it sucks.

As I loaded my car full of my Sam’s goodies I thought hmmmm…does this mean I’ve totally ruined the whole experiment? Should I just go over to Target and Dillard’s and that cute boutique across town and see if there’s anything I like? What if I just say I’m ONLY going to buy new workout clothes or shoes…those are kind of freebies in the Capsule anyway. Should I quit and start over with a new Capsule next season?

Does this sounds familiar? Because I realized, as I have realized throughout this whole experiment, that this is exactly what we do when we “mess up” on our food goals. We justify, we manipulate the boundaries, we cave, we cave deeper and then we vow to start over.

It’s the classic yo-yo.

What’s interesting, though, is that as I was driving home and thinking of all of this I was like - Heck no, I’m not starting over. I’m SIX WEEKS into this thing and I’ve been doing dang good. Yeah, I’ve relied on wearing my work-out clothes a little more than I wanted and I messed up with this vest but that would be so dumb to stop now. I have a whole month left. I worked so hard to create this Capsule. I’ve been wanting to do this for FIVE YEARS. I’m in way too deep to let a $16 vest ruin this.

And you know what, I thought about too! You all again. I knew this is exactly what you would tell me. It’s exactly what I tell my clients. Why do we let a few bad decisions overpower so many good ones???? You’ve probably heard me use the mantra - Progress not Perfection. I am chanting it now, Sister. Oh my goodness what progress I’ve made over the last six weeks! I am still startled every time I walk into my bare closet…but there’s a peace about the whole thing that keeps me going.

No ma’am, no sir, no way, no how. I am not stopping now.

And guess what? I got home and tried on the vest. It’s too boxy and unflattering. It’s not a Heck Yeah. So it’s a Heck No. I’m returning it and getting back my $16.

Thank you, Jesus, for discernment.

Thank YOU, friends, for the accountability.

Now tell me. Are you a bargain shopper? Do you ever want to throw in the towel when you mess up? Please tell me I’m not alone in this crazy thought process! Let me know below!