Jessica Hickerson Photography » Blog

Kinda Minimalist and a Capsule-ish Wardrobe

I posted on Instagram stories last week that I was in the process of become more of a minimalist. While there are so many things I LOVE to collect (i.e. every time I leave the beach my pockets are full of shells, and its hard to leave Home Depot without a new plant…) but overall I feel like I am drowning in stuff. Our house is 800 square feet, theres only so much it can hold.

I’ve always been pretty good at getting rid of home items but lately I’ve been strongly considering starting a capsule wardrobe. I have a closet full of things I don’t wear and it honestly stresses me out daily. So I started selling my clothes online. I mentioned this on Instagram and the response was overwhelming! I receive so many messages asking me questions about how I’m doing it, what a casual wardrobe is, and even some advice from others who have attempted. So I decided to share a blog post about what exactly I’m doing and how I haven’t spent any money to do so.

Fair warning: I considered waiting to share this until I could say TA-DA I DID IT but instead I’m sharing the process. I’m still at the beginning and have a long way to go.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been going through my clothes and realizing how much of it I don’t use and don’t really need. I’m not a big shopper and normally get overwhelmed in a store, so I end up buying something that doesn’t fit perfectly or that I don’t love. I spend so much time in either workout clothes or just a tank top & shorts that it’s never really made sense to me to put a lot of thought into my wardrobe. So you can see as a photographer that has to dress up every weekend having the right outfit was always a problem.

The method to my madness was based on what I’ve read on various blog posts (like this) about capsule wardrobes. Basically it is narrowing down your entire wardrobe to less than 40 items. Every single thing you’re left with should be intentional items that bring you joy. No exceptions. (Side note: did anyone watch the Gilmore Girls revival on Netflix? I feel like Emily, “No joy!”) I love the idea of having quality clothing, getting rid of duplicates, and most importantly for me having a clean space in my home.

A lot of the questions I received on Instagram were about where and how I sold my clothes. I belong to various clothing re-sale groups on Facebook and you would not believe how willing (and excited!) people are to buy used clothing. This is especially true for baby clothes. — I have not spent any additional money on Dylan’s wardrobe since she was born. Everything I buy is funded by baby shower returns, or selling too small/ unused/ unwanted clothing on Facebook and an app called Kidizen. And no she will not have a capsule wardrobe because baby clothes are just too. darn. cute.

Anyways, back to me. I’ve had success in the past for selling some quality items of my own clothing in yard sale groups on Facebook, however it is a little more difficult because people want to try them on. Occasionally you can get a unicorn that is willing to just pick it up at your house and go about their day. For my first “purge” I’m currently going through I have about 30 items I’m selling in a clothing specific group with people all over the US. However, I am setting a time limit on it of two weeks. Whatever does not sell in two weeks will go straight to Salvation Army without a second thought. So far I have made $130 but it did cost $50 to ship everything. I say, better than nothing!

The true key to purging your clothes in attempting a minimalist/capsule wardrobe it’s taking every single clothing item out of your drawers and closet (and wherever else you stuff them 😉 ). Having to touch every item really makes you consider what you actually need. You then make four piles: keep, donate, sell, and “maybe.” Keep the best of the best, donate anything worth less than $5, and sell the nicer items. The “maybe” pile is stuff that you currently feel like you cannot part with so you put it in a bag and see if you go looking for those items over the next three- six months. If you don’t, they’ve got to go!

Like, why do I have two red plaid button up shirts? How does that even happen!

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This is where I struggled the most. I wear tank tops and t-shirts + shorts pretty much every day and feel particularly “attached” to them for different reasons. So far I got rid of about half of them, but only ones that didn’t fit or live in the bottom of my drawer. When I start doing a true capsule, a lot more will need to go.  But in a way I’m breaking the rules by keeping a little more (probably 10 tank tops and 4 pairs of shorts) because I’m a breastfeeding mama and in all honesty that can get messy!

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This was the start of my Items to Sell pile. I kept them all on hangars and photographed them right away. Little photography tip: use a white wall and good lighting- it helps make the sale!

Dylan was a great helper:)This was the first of three bags that I said buh-bye to!

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Above was my “maybe” pile. I had a tote bag for those items because I’m so oddly sentimental and a little bit of a hoarder, so I needed to limit the space for these items. Once the bag was full “Maybe” was no longer an option.

I hope this helps a bit! Like I mentioned before, I am at the beginning of the journey and still have a lot of work to do. But the past week I have been able to open and close my dresser without any “stuffing” and that has been a pretty great feeling:)Next up is doing this all over again in about a month and seeing what else I can get rid of.

Feel free to continue to message me on Instagram with questions!

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  • Amanda - I think we’re at a similar stage in life; I just had a baby girl in May. I’m struggling with what to wear right now because I still have a “pooch” so don’t fit into my pre-baby clothes, plus I’m breastfeeding so it has to be easy to nurse in. I don’t like shopping but need to because I need new clothes! And everything fits different than before so I don’t know where to start. Ah, this is a rambly comment haha but I’m basically wondering how you’re handling these things? Any suggestions for fave clothes that are nursing friendly?ReplyCancel

    • Jessica - Hey Amanda! We are definitely in the same stage and it can be so difficult! I kept in mind that I will probably be breastfeeding for one year, so while I need items that work for me during that time I also don’t want to go crazy buying specific items. I’m really embracing loose tank tops and vnecks that I can tuck and tie to give a different look. But remember you can lift anything up! :) Also I love my Levi 501s for holding in the mom pooch a bit, and tshirt dresses can be very flattering.
      I want to avoid shopping as much as possible haha! If I do buy something from here on out, it will be from a local boutique or online (current fav is http://www.carlyjeanlosangeles.com). I want to skip the “easy” places like Target because I know I’ll settle for just ok clothing from there. Plus shopping small feels good!ReplyCancel

      • Amanda - Thanks for responding! Settling for okay is exactly what I want to avoid and I agree, I don’t want only nursing-specific items. A year can feel long, but I know it will go by quickly!ReplyCancel

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