On 10 Years of Capsule Wardrobe Dressing

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I think I re-started this blog mainly because I started to feel a psychological shift. 10 years ago was the first time I went abroad long-term and while I had already started thinking about a sartorial identity long before… I never thought to streamline it until around this time 10 years ago. Nor did I think the concept of streamlining would pay off long-term dividends.

I kind of came across the movement for capsule/curated wardrobe dressing by happenstance and by necessity. I originally got to capsule wardrobe by another source of fashion inspiration, European Streetstyle. I was looking on Chictopia, Lookbook.nu, Sartioralist, All The Pretty Birds, Vanessa Jackman, Garance Doré etc. around early 2009 knowing that I would be studying in European countries and wanting to blend in and not look like a tourist.  Then the bouncing around countries for professional/academic reasons coupled with the fact that both of my parents were downsizing meant I needed my wardrobe to wear multiple hats. 

I think I found the core essence of my style identity around high school, but I wasn’t ready to really embrace it. I embraced it partially out of social necessity but what I didn’t understand that fully accepting my style identity also mean fully accepting the socioeconomic background that values black excellence but also requiring a constant double consciousness that is fully aware of how I dress in response to whiteness. It requires being fully aware of my privilege due to my social class and socialization and yet always vigilant to disadvantages of my demographic. 

In discussing the tracking of my wardrobe with an instagram friend in recent weeks, I realized that I had really embraced the capsule wardrobe. Is it 33 pieces total that some bloggers have subscribed too? Absolutely not, not when I’ve consistently lived in 4 season environments and the fact that I like fashion. I’m also closer to Angie of YouLookFab’s philosophy that it is okay to have multiple capsules for different areas of your life, although with COVID the lines have blurred much more in my case. It’s closer to about 75-90 pieces in total not including jewelry, socks, pyjamas, underwear and sports clothes. That said, I created a post that tallied up my wardrobe nearly 10 years ago in a previous post in a previous blog. In comparison to then and now where I re-tallied my current wardrobe ( now via Excel) my numbers have surprisingly not changed give or take by 10.

Today my sartorial identity is a source of comfort, it’s my armor. The constant curation process that I go through is now a source of pleasure. I enjoy the hunt of looking and waiting for that perfect piece. I also really enjoy that my wardrobe is at point where it’s compact but also diverse enough that I don’t ever get bored.

What is your capsule wardrobe limit? Did/Do you aspire to have a capsule wardrobe? And if not, why not?

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