For years, I have been fascinated by the capsule wardrobe, so much so that it ended up a centerpiece for my senior thesis project during my undergrad. Yes, the senior thesis for a sociology major at a business school. You read that right.
My research at the time was focused on the environmental and social impacts of fast fashion. The base idea was that our society is taught to consume, and finding ways to become more aware of and intentional with our actions. A large part of my research was finding ways we could reduce our impact through small steps. Enter, the capsule wardrobe.
I have had a very minimal wardrobe for a few years now (topping out at 40 pieces of clothing, at most), but it has always been a mish mash of whatever clothes I had around. When we moved aboard my sailboat, I had to reduce my closet even further, and realized that I don’t actually enjoy most of the clothes I own. Patterns and colors were all over the place and having less clothes meant everything should be able to go well together. On top of that, in all my research of winter capsule wardrobes for liveaboards (a.k.a. people who live on boats, like me), I found NOTHING. So, you’re welcome, female liveaboards who find this.
The whole stay at home, pandemic (oh, that thing) made it easy to skate by and not worry too much about how I looked. But at some point, I got tired of wearing 5+ year old clothes and plain sweaters. With the help of our very own blogger, Gianna, I began to go on my first American, online thrift shopping adventure (I used ThredUp).
Here you can see what I wear 80% of the time (and yes, I still dress well, even if I work from home and don’t go out. It’s fun!). I do have about 10 other pieces that make up my PJs, activewear/sailing attire, and a lazy day outfit (hello, leggings and soft sweatshirts). Living in a small, odd shaped home, I need comfy, flexible clothing to move around in. I also need to keep extra warm, since winter on a boat can be pretty damn cold. I wanted to go for a boho, cozy, comfy, and stylish look, and these piece help me get there. Plus, they fit perfectly in my closet (about the size of your average gym locker).
I also felt pretty great about thrifting most of my clothes and shoes – it fit with my values of reducing my impact on the environment. I feel like various pieces of my life are becoming more and more in line with what I care about. I live on a boat because I love travel and it brings me closer to nature. I work from home and run my own business, because I value my independence and personal freedom. Now, I have a minimal, thrifted closet that is both fun and better for the environment.
Here’s to cultivating a more intentional (and fun) wardrobe,
P.S. If you enjoyed this and want to see capsule wardrobes for future seasons, let me know in the comments below!