DH Closet Challenge

The Cost Of A Capsule Wardrobe (Week 46)

September 21, 2014


Newly refreshed spring/summer wardrobe.

Newly refreshed spring/summer capsule wardrobe.

I’ve had a few reader questions recently regarding the cost of a capsule wardrobe.  I don’t think there is any one answer to this question.  One’s personal budget and preferences for materials will always influence the cost of a wardrobe.  But as long time readers of Shopping Brake know, one thing that I really enjoy to do, is to crunch some numbers!

Today, I’m going to review the costs of my current spring/summer and fall/winter capsule wardrobes.  I’m also going to include the cost of my current Fall French Capsule Challenge wardrobe.  Since I’ve been tracking the Cost Per Wear (CPW) of my wardrobe for a few years now, I have the purchase price for everything currently in my wardrobe, including the boutique.

(For today’s purposes I’m going to include the total cost of the wardrobe and the cost by categories.  If you are interested in an item by item cost breakdown for one or all of these wardrobes, let me know in the comments section and I’ll write a new post taking a closer look at the wardrobe you are interested in.)

Now onto the number crunching!

Keep on reading

Last Days Of Summer (Week 45)

September 14, 2014

Final Spring/Summer Wardrobe.

Final Spring/Summer capsule wardrobe.

I took one last look at my spring/summer capsule wardrobe and decided to refresh this wardrobe now that it’s the end of the season.  Originally I was going to wait until the start of the spring/summer season to update my wardrobe, however, I still have quite a few items left in the boutique, so I figured why not update this wardrobe sooner rather than later.

The photo above was my final spring/summer capsule wardrobe from this post.  Out of these items, a few pieces have become worn out and I’m ready to pass them on.  I’ve also noticed, despite having a much smaller wardrobe than I’ve had in the past, I still favor some items over others.  The items I’ve been passing over all season I’m also going to move on to a new home.

Keep on reading

Analyzing Spring/Summer (Week 43)

August 31, 2014

Final Spring/Summer Wardrobe.

Final Spring/Summer Capsule Wardrobe for 2014.

Now that we are moving into fall, I thought it would be interesting to crunch some numbers from the spring/summer side of my working closet.  The photo above is my final spring/summer capsule wardrobe, minus the two workout outfits which I keep folded in a dresser.  I’m going to answer the same questions covered in my fall/winter analysis (part I) and (part II).

Keep on reading

Summer’s Winding Down (Week 42)

August 24, 2014

Top with a few holes.

Top with a few holes!

I recently swapped one top which had a hole in it, for one top from the boutique for my spring/summer capsule wardrobe.  Replacing items because of visual wear and tear is becoming a slow, but increasing occurrence as I continue with The DH Closet Challenge.  The new top is perfect for this time of year, it’s colors remind me of fall, but I could still pair with with my navy capsule (identified in this post) during the summer months.  Here’s what I added in from the boutique.

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Back To The Shoes (Week 41)

August 17, 2014


One in and one out.

One in // One out

I wasn’t expecting to return to my shoe wardrobe so soon, but DH was cleaning out his shoe wardrobe the other day and offered to help me with mine too.

  • My first round of shoe purging was here. At this time I added a few pairs and purged a few pairs, but ultimately ended up increasing the size of my shoe wardrobe to 20 pairs.
  • Later I analyzed my shoe wardrobe here.  This time around I realized that I could purge 60% of my shoe wardrobe (12 pairs) and still own enough shoes to cover the various occasions for my shoe wardrobe.  Fellow reader Lynn passed along great advice in the comments section of that analysis post:

“Sometimes it is easy to get carried away with the idea of a minimal ‘perfect’ wardrobe

and forget that the true issue is to buy less and buy what you really need.”

Following the comment, I decided to focus on discarding instead of replacing shoes as they wear out.  Over time, this will decrease the total number of my shoe wardrobe.

Keep on reading

The Boutique Is Still Open

August 14, 2014


The boutique after updating for my fall/winter capsule wardrobe.

After 10 months of participating in The DH Closet Challenge the boutique is still in business, althought it has shrunk in size and is down to 2 shopping bags and only 48 items  (47 items after my fall/winter wardrobe update and 1 item added after shopping a sale [denim shirt]).  Since I’ve already updated my fall/winter wardrobe, there is a very good chance that most of the items in the boutique are going to sit for yet another year unworn.  After all, my fall/winter wardrobe has only has 55 items in it right now.  If I wanted to close the boutique today, I would have to either:

  1. Donate all of the items remaining in the boutique
  2. Update my entire fall/winter capsule wardrobe with boutique items, then donate the leftovers

I often list the contents of my seasonal wardrobe, but I have not listed the items in the boutique.  Here we go:

Keep on reading

Pre-Planning Fall (Part Three)

(This is part 3 of a 3-part post on Pre-Planning Fall, for part one, click here and for part two, click here.)

July 31, 2014


The boutique after updating for fall/winter.

This is the boutique after updating my fall/winter capsule wardrobe before shopping my favorite sale.  I only have 2 bags left!

As each bag is removed:

  • The shelf is easier to clean because I don’t have all of these bags to move before I dust
  • The lighting has gotten brighter because nothing is blocking the light
  • The closet feels calmer because there is less overall clothes and disorder

Do you remember what the boutique used to look like?

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Pre-Planning Fall (Part Two)

(This is part two of a 3-part post on Pre-Planning Fall, for part one, click here.)

July 27, 2014


Top row: From the boutique // Bottom row: Items to purge.

After reviewing my criteria for updating my fall/winter capsule wardrobe, it’s time for the fun part—putting these steps into action.  While updating my fall/winter capsule wardrobe, I also wanted to be sure I included everything from the boutique that was part of the mini capsule from this post (second photo).

Here’s how the clothes moved in, and out, of my closet.

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Pre-Planning Fall (Part One)

(This is Part One of a 3-part series on Pre-Planning Fall.)

July 24, 2014

Even though I still have 1-2 months of warm weather, my favorite sale just started and it got me thinking in advance about my fall/winter capsule wardrobe.  But before I shop this sale, I want to figure out my wardrobe holes/needs are so that I can go into the sale prepared with a list instead of just randomly wandering around looking for whatever catches my eye.

I finished the fall/winter season last year with 54 items in my capsule wardrobe.  And I have an additional 64 fall/winter items sitting in the boutique among 3 shopping bags.

I’m going to use the following three steps to update my wardrobe:

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Something Old, Something New

July 17, 2014

Top Row: Adding Out Bottom Row: Taking Out

Top Row: Something new and Bottom Row: Something old

Recently I have:

Now it’s time to donate old items for the new items.  By donating 1 old item from my working closet for each new item I will be able to maintain the size of my spring/summer capsule wardrobe and prevent an overstuffed closet from wardrobe creep. I’ll tackle the shoes in a future post, for today, I’m going to focus on the clothing items.  In addition to the reasons why I am removing the item, I’m also going to include the cost per wear (or use) of the item.

What is cost per wear (or use)?

Keep on reading