I am not a gal who has ever given an extensive amount of thought to the clothing that I put on my body. Which seems counter-intuitive given the fact that I have a degree in fashion design and have my own clothing label.
I do truly love fabrics, sketching, designing the perfect details, getting the fit of a garment just right. And I love what good clothing can do to support the work and lifestyle of women.
But here’s the thing: when I dress myself, I always dress for comfort.
And since I have an in-home studio, that means I spend a lot of time in my knit pants, slipper socks and fuzzy hooded sweatshirt. Dressing for comfort is great in theory, but when I am dressed like a couch potato that is usually what I feel like being. On those rare days that I am feeling extra punchy and put together an ensemble fit to leave the house in, I approach my work with more confidence and ambition.
I was not always so fortunate to have my very own studio. When I started Nine56, I was living with my parents. And most of my time spent working on the computer was at our kitchen table. Please don’t get me started on how distracted I was with snacks behind every cupboard. But aside from the temptation of crunchy goodness, working in my parents kitchen kind of made me feel like the work that I was doing there was about as important as a high schooler working on her math homework (aka not the important work of a kick-ass entrepreneur building her very own brand).
Now that I work in my own studio, I have my table where I do my desk work facing the rest of my studio. I look up and I see my drafting and sewing tables, my clothing racks, my patterns, and I feel like a total girl boss who is ready to rock.
My tools facilitate my work. I want clothing that facilitates my work too.
Since I moved to Wisconsin with my husband last year, I have been focusing on simplifying other aspects of my life. Things like the food we put into our body, my free time, my thoughts etc. And although I had been focusing on not buying so many new clothes, I hadn't given tremendous thought to the integrity of the clothing in my closet and how each piece was serving me.
The whole idea behind a capsule wardrobe is to curate your closet so that every piece serves you and facilitates your work.
Once you have spent some time editing out all of the clothing that you never wear or is uncomfortable or makes you feel like someone you’re not, you can see what clothing items actually matter to you.
In your capsule wardrobe you will have only clothing that you love. You know it will look good on you, be comfortable, easy to wear and wash.
And this, my friends, does a lot more than just save your wallet.
When you dress with less you remember that you don’t need so much ‘stuff’ to be happy. You get to skip one difficult and potentially stressful decision in the morning. Let’s face it, you will probably have a lot more of those to make as the rest of your day unfolds. It creates space in your closet and that feeling of lightness is something you can carry into the rest of your day.
My husband always asks me when it’s time to unmake the bed at night, why I have so many throw pillows on our bed (yes, this inspiring minimalist still loves her throw pillows!) I only have four but he doesn’t understand their purpose. I tell him that they make me happy. He responds with something along the lines of: things can’t make you happy. Which, my sweet husband, is true.
But the thing is, the environment that we create for ourselves does matter. It does impact our mood, productivity, and I’ll go so far as to say happiness.
The tools (clothing and throw pillows included) we decide to have or not have in our environment impacts our work.
A capsule wardrobe can be a constant reminder that we don’t have to chase anything to be happy. And from a material goods standpoint, all we really need are the tools that help and encourage us to show up as ourselves and put our best work into the world.
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