The Capsule Wardrobe Diaries: Clothes Binging
Ok, ladies. Week 2 of the Capsule Wardrobe Diaries and once again, I find myself addicted to clothes like a fiend.
I’ve been avoiding this. My workout clothes have their own separate zip code in my closet. There’s so much. I feel like I’m starting from scratch and, let’s face it, I could create an entire capsule wardrobe based solely on exercise and lounge wear and never touch my regular clothes. It’s not been that long ago that this was my wardrobe! Listen, there is nothing wrong with navigating the world in yoga pants, it’s just that while I’ve been doing that, I’ve continued to spend and jam my closet full of clothes for this phantom girl who never wears them. I’ve got to pick a zip code, people. I can’t live in two places at once.
If my plan is to live in my workout wear, why do I keep buying more jeans and dresses and cute shirts? Why do I continue to get boxes from Stitch Fix full of clothes that I feel pressured to buy so I don’t waste my $20 processing fee? Why do I spend valuable time wandering the aisles of boutiques and Target eagerly seeking more prey? Why do I keep scrolling through pictures on JCrew and Gap? Are clothes my crack?
Not only that, I keep buying more workout clothes since I “live in them” at the same time I’m buying all of these other clothes that never get worn. Again, it’s like trying to live in and pay for two houses at once. The buck stops here. The buck, the moola, the dinero, the benjamins: All. Stop. Here.
The fact is, as much as I love the comforts and casualness of athleisure wear, I don’t feel as motivated, productive or attractive when I wear them. It’s amazing what a shower, real clothes and lipgloss will do for productivity. There was a time when my babies were all still at home pooping and spitting up all over me. I lived in whatever was not in the dirty clothes basket. It was lucky if I changed out of my p.j.s (which also doubled as my workout and day wear)!
But now they’re all in school. There’s more time and less spills plus I’m interacting with my clients more through video. I may work from home, but there’s something about getting out of my home vibe and into my pro vibe that makes me work more efficiently..
So here goes. As per my personal Capsule Rules, I’m holding myself to only 1 day a week that I get to stay in athleisure wear. Otherwise, this experiment would be pointless because I’d live in my Splits 59 yoga pants.
Here’s how I edited my workout wear:
7 —> 3 jog bras
11 —> 3 workout tops
9 —> 3 pair shorts
5 —> 1 tennis skirt
12 —> 5 yoga/workout tights (some calf, some ankle)
11 —> 3 shirts
1 fleece vest
2 athleisure pants
Again, I cringe when I realize how much I actually have and am keeping in the capsule. You’d think I was an exercise instructor or avid crossfitter. Nope! I walk and do occasional HIIT workouts or play tennis. That’s it. Certainly nothing that warrants this excessive amount of workout clothes. I suspect I will not wear all of these items but because I’m still shellshocked by all of the empty space in my closet, this is all I’m willing to part with right now, K?
I created this category because I wasn’t sure what to do with my Beautycounter, Bronco, Jesus and Nantucket shirts. They are event/time specific and I don’t want to store them but I also don’t want them to count in my capsule. I’ve got them on a shelf all of their own, ready to bust out when I need to rock some home-team spirit. I’m leaving for Nantucket in a few weeks and will definitely want to be twinsies with my Jesus Camp sisters in our matching Peter Beaton shirts (which are really more my spring colors, but I go to Nantucket every fall).
We are also right in the middle of Bronco football season here in my Friday-Night-Lights kind of hometown in west Texas so I need to have those handy too. Go Broncos!
Remember that the only “rules” of a Capsule Wardrobe are your own. The idea is to challenge yourself, but also make it fit into your life. If you need a whole other category, that’s your call sister.
You know how right before you go on a diet or new eating plan you kind of binge on all the foods you vow to stop eating? Am I right? We try to cram every forbidden food into those last days of “freedom” before the hard work of discipline sets in. I’m realizing that I did just this thing, except with clothes, not food.
I had in the back of my mind all summer that I may attempt another capsule wardrobe. Re-reading the French books reignited my interest but I knew the only way I had a chance of succeeding was going public for accountability. (Thank you, again, for being my accountability partner!) As the end of summer neared, I started having some internal panic about what I was about to do. Drastically cut my clothes options? Vow not to buy anything for the next three months? Why am I doing this to myself again?
I have to keep reminding myself that this is a choice of self-improvement. This is a spiritual and mental challenge. This is an act of discipline.
But I’ll be darned if I didn’t go off on a bender first.
I was at the Galleria in Houston. It was like the mothership calling me home. I started pep-talking myself with justification for the spending I was about to do.
“You never get to shop anywhere like this!”
“Better buy it while you can!”
“Get it out of your system now so you won’t be tempted later!”
“Just go for it - you’ll be disgusted with yourself and have that much more motivation to stick it out later!”
Oh, friend. The twisted things we tell ourselves. I realized this is the same verse, different song. How many times have I told myself:
“You never get to eat in a restaurant like this.”
“Eat it while you can.”
“Get it out of your system now so you won’t be tempted later.”
“Remember how disgusted you feel with yourself right now so that you’ll never want to feel this way again!”
These are the things we tell ourselves when our sense of choice or being in control is threatened. It’s like the angel and the devil sitting on your shoulders battling it out for who’s going to be boss. When the angel says we’re not eating sugar for six weeks, the devil says, oh yeah, watch this! And before you know it, you’re in the worst sugar coma of your life.
I did my best to put myself in a clothes coma. I felt like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman with my arms full of shopping bags. Of course my stuff was from the likes of Target and J. Crew, not Rodeo Drive, but, still, it was definitely a binge and I was on a shopping high.
This, of course, made it infinitely harder when it came time to create my Capsule. That’s when the remorse and disgust set in. What the hell was I thinking? crossed my mind…..oh, at least 200 times. Did I really need these jeans from Zara with the big sparkle stripe down the side? Or the ones with the red and white stripes that I convinced myself would be perfect “Bronco” jeans for football season? I don’t even like football! Do I want to give a coveted spot in my Capsule to this slogan shirt from Target? Again, WTH?!
The answer had to be yes. I bought these things in a frenzy of rebellion and now I was going to have to own it.
Aren’t we weird? We want healthier bodies and less clutter but we continue to self-sabotage by rebelling against discipline. We want to remain in control, when, really, we display none whatsoever.
Tell me your thoughts. Are you a binge then purge kinda gal? Clearly, I am. Are you trying a Capsule yet? Tell me everything in the comments!