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A Mini Capsule Wardrobe and a Learning Experience

I'm back from Portland, OR, and have successfully brought back half of a suitcase worth of thrift finds. That's right. I traveled with just a carry-on, and only packed half of it... so I could shop more. I hate packing, because I typically save it until the last minute, cram a bunch of stuff I think I might need or like in my suitcase, and then leave the house riddled with anxiety thinking I've forgotten something. And then I just end up wearing the same stuff over and over again anyway. This time, though, partially because I'm unemployed these days (lol, crying), I packed ahead of time, and chose pieces intentionally. For some reason, this brings me a lot of joy, so I want to share it with you as well!

I'm skipping things like undergarments here, because I just want to show you what I chose for outfits. Before we start, though. Quick question... Have you heard of Garanimals? It's a children's clothing line that I saw a commercial for probably over a decade ago. Since the rise in popularity of minimalism and capsule wardrobes a few years ago, I've thought a lot about Garanimals, because capsule wardrobes are basically just adult Garanimals. They're a collection of clothing items carefully selected (or created) to all match with one another. Garanimals are a lot more fun than most of the striped t-shirt and three washes of jeans capsule wardrobes I've seen on line, though.

You all know I am tiptoeing into minimalism into some parts of my life (and yes you can tiptoe into minimalism AAAAAND go on a huge shopping spree at Beaverton thrift stores), and because of that I've of course toyed with the idea of a capsule wardrobe in the past. This is one of the areas I strive for more midimalism than minimalism, though, because I've found I'm just not built for the capsule lifestyle. I like shopping too much, and a I like to switch things up in my wardrobe pretty often. When going on a trip, however, flexing that capsule muscle makes a lot of sense. So that's what I did for Portland.

I packed eight pieces: three bottoms, three tops, and two jumpsuits. I actually only ended up wearing two of the bottoms out of the house, and didn't ever wear the jumpsuits (so I'm not including photos of them here).Instead, I wore my plane clothes for an extra day! Kicking myself because I could have saved even more space for even more thrift finds, but you live and you learn! I made sure that every top went with every bottom, and packed accessories that helped with those pairings and also helped to change up the outfits. Bringing two belts, for example, made a lot more sense and saved a lot more space than packing more clothing. As for shoes... I brought three pairs, but only ever wore one. So again, you live and you learn. One of the pairs of shoes was so tiny and thin that I justified bringing them even though they weren't really necessary. My mom actually ended up borrowing them, though, so I have no regrets about bringing them.

Here are the outfits I made out of the tops and bottoms (click to enlarge!)

I had a lot of fun choosing the pieces I brought with me, and how they'd all go together. I wanted three different types and lengths of bottoms, and tops ranging in formality. That's why there was a very loose, super casual tank, a classic striped tee-shirt, and a more formal (but not that formal) button up top. I'll definitely be more intentional with what I'm packing in this way next time I'm on a trip. Fewer clothing, and more of an idea of what outfits could be made with what I brought actually helped me keep the space I was staying in less messy. I found things more quickly, and even when there were things strewn about, there weren't enough of them to be an overwhelming mess.

Was my capsule perfect? Absolutely not, but it freed up space and time for me. And for that, I think it's worth it. I really recommend being intentional about what you pack in this way. It really allowed me to enjoy my trip a bit more knowing exactly what to wear everyday. Do you live the capsule wardrobe life daily? Or could you never? OR could you, like me, do it for a trip?

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