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Of Simplicity and Capsule Wardrobes

The concept of a capsule wardrobe has been on my radar for the past year or two. It seems every time I log on to Facebook, scroll through Instagram, or browse recent blogposts I find someone else sharing the twenty-seven articles of clothing they have paired their wardrobe down to and are discussing how they will mix and match and create a standard uniform for the days ahead.

So when we downsized from a three-bedroom (and eight-closet) house to a studio apartment almost a year ago I decided to jump on board with the whole capsule wardrobe concept. I got rid of six bags of clothes and was left with just the essentials. It was a great winter of wearing only black leggings and rotating through the four tunic shirts I owned, throwing either my black sweater, flannel, or jean button down shirt over the outfit depending on the weather. “I wonder if the community will notice I’m wearing the exact same thing for the fourth day in a row?” was a common question I asked myself as I walked out the door each morning.

 

But what I loved most, even more than wearing leggings everyday (which is pretty much the greatest thing in the world), was finding a way to make my life simpler. I owned only what I loved, what made me comfortable, what was functional for my lifestyle. I loved that my last thoughts as I fell asleep each night were not about which outfit I was going to wear the next day, and I loved eliminating a step in the morning as I took another pair of black leggings out and pulled on the shirt I wore the day before.

Simplicity is my favorite word these days. I am eager to eliminate the extraneous details that drag down the pace of the days and embrace a lifestyle of less. Less clothing options, less food options, less possessions, less space to clean, less complexities to sort through. And with all that less there is more time for the things I truly value. Spend less time on choosing clothes each morning and there is more time for sipping coffee and doing yoga. Spend less time worrying about the things that really don’t matter that much and there’s space to pursue the best things.

It’s like that one time there was a crowd of five-thousand who all cared more about listening to Jesus teach than packing their sack lunches. There they were, all gathered at the feet of their master, soaking in the new way of life that he offered, forgetting for a few moments the details of daily life and simply enjoying the presence of Christ. And at that moment, when they had less than they were accustomed to having, when there was a potential to feel a lack gnawing at their bellies, that was when they experienced abundance. More bread and fish than they could have ever planned for, more food than they needed. Less equals more.

You know what’s funny about having fewer clothes hanging in my closet? I never felt like I was lacking. Because I intentionally minimized the things I owned to what I really liked and felt good in I felt I was living in abundance. Having less made me feel like I had more.

I think that’s the point of simplicity. Getting rid of the excess so we can experience the abundance. It doesn’t have to be about the clothes hanging in your closet, or the amount of square-footage that makes up your house. Maybe for you it is more about the activities that fill your days, or the conflicts that riddle your relationships, or the worries that plague your sleep. When we have less than we have more.

 

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Oh, you were wondering about the clothes that make up my capsule wardrobe? Well, I’m still experimenting with my summer dress code. But I think it looks something like my three v-necks t-shirts (white, gray, and black) from Target, two basic tanks, a super comfy pair of lightweight drawstring Old Navy shorts that kind of resemble pajama bottoms, some athletic shorts, and a few knee-length skirts. And of course – chacos. Every day all day. Happy summer!

 

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