Discovering Who We Are, Fabulous, Style

A Midlife Wardrobe that Makes You Feel Great

One of the great aspects of growing older is my intolerance for things I don’t like.  With the countdown clock ticking, I just don’t have the time waste on things I don’t like or are indifferent to.  My wardrobe has been the biggest recipient of this.  Simply put, I won’t wear anything I’m indifferent to and don’t own anything I don’t like.  My clothes and my closet actually make me happy for the first time since …ever.

It started a while ago on Pinterest when I kept seeing pins about minimalist or capsule wardrobes.  I was drawn to the idea.  After 60 years my large walk-in was bursting with clothes I rarely wore.  There were the big clothes, the  too

small clothes, the “what-was-I-thinking?” clothes, the “it-was-on-sale” clothes, the “looked great on friends group”, the  ” I liked it in a magazine” clothes,  the “its too worn to ever be seen again” group and the “I’m sure it will come back into style” group.  The smallest group were the clothes I actually wore.When my husband asked whether or not I needed more closet space, I wanted to say yes but I knew that the real answer was, “NO, I need fewer clothes”

So I began to research what a capsule wardrobe was. There are a lot of different definitions but simply but it’s a small  wardrobe that mixes and matches, all the clothes fit and you like everything (EVERYTHING) that you wear.

Bingo.  That’s what I wanted.

So,  I went through my closet and drawers and got rid of everything I didn’t like– everything.  I was ruthless. I made sure to touch everything.  If a piece of clothing didn’t make me smile it went in the donation pile.  That may seem ridiculous, but even tee shirts and comfy clothes fell easily.  During this process, I discovered that even the smallest items have a positive or negative effect on me.   Each time I touched a piece of clothing that may have been practical but that I didn’t really like or care about, I’d remind myself that life is now just too dang short to put on something that doesn’t make me feel good.

I gave away a lot of clothes.

What I was left with was a wardrobe that made me happy.  Imagine, opening each drawer and smiling.  Well, I can.

Then I made a list of what I had, what outfits could be created and what pieces I needed to fill in. I went to Pinterest and found lots of capsule wardrobe frames.  I found one I liked and fit my lifestyle.   I decided on a color palette that made me look fabulous (because I will no longer accept anything but fabulous) and that I enjoyed looking at, then I went shopping.  I did not go shopping for the fill in pieces from the give-away pile.   There were very few things I needed but I was going to make sure that the new pieces were things I really enjoyed putting on.  For example, I needed a black pair of jeans.  I was donating pairs that didn’t fit right, hung funny, well.. I just didn’t like them.  I went out and got one pair, just one that was everything I wanted in a pair of black jeans.  Just one.  The money I spent on that one pair was much less than all the other pairs I was donating.  It was good quality, would last AND I loved putting them on.
Using this process, I didn’t need to be aware of how many pieces I had in my closet because the number dwindled naturally.

Now after living with my capsule wardrobe for the last 6 months, I’ve discovered:

*I’m never tired of what’s in my closet because I like everything
*I like taking care of my clothes, not because there are so few, but because I appreciate each piece from my socks to my evening wear.
*I feel as though I have a larger wardrobe because everything mixes and matches.
*I was able to travel throughout Europe for three weeks, one medium sized suitcase, and never wore the same outfit twice.
*I don’t enjoy clothes shopping anymore because I’m not looking for clothes to fill in a whole in my fashion heart.

*It’s wonderful to know that at every moment of my day I’m going to put on something that fits and makes me smile, even my Saturday work-clothes are fun to put on.

Who would have thought that fewer clothes would equal more freedom and self-respect?  Well, everyone who has tried the capsule wardrobe.
As Always,


  1. I love this. I’ve always thought about doing something similar, but my tastes get so fickle I just wasn’t sure. Maybe someday! But I definitely need to do a full on closet cleaning and donate a ton of stuff. Might be the inspiration I need. 🙂

  2. I’ve gotten rid of a lot, but still have a way to go. I still have the “I might wear this one-day” pile to get rid of. It’s funny I had tons of clothes and always small closets. I got rid of the clothes and moved into a house with a huge walk in closet. Now, it’s more of a play room for the grandkids with a small amount of clothes!

    1. Beth Author

      The “I might wear this one-day” pile was almost as tough as the “I’ll be that size again” pile.
      I did save some clothes for grandchild dress up though.
      Thanks for stopping by,

  3. Sue

    Hi Beth it must be something to do with 60! I will be turning 60 in August and feel the same way about my wardrobe. I have been wanting to do exactly what you have done. At this stage I’ve gone through and removed all the clothes I don’t want or need. Now you have inspired me to look at some capsule wardrobe ideas from pinterest and go from there. Thanks! Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond

  4. I gave this a good start the first week of the year. Getting dressed to go out to dinner the other night I realized I need to do more. Thanks for helping me keep that idea front and center. Also reminding me that I should love my socks too. I somehow skipped those!

  5. Your post made me smile! I love the capsule wardrobe idea. I’ve been working on my closet for a year now, trying to to get it to the point where everything mixes and matches. It is amazing how many different outfits we can make this way!

  6. Great post. I just did this a month ago. Took me four hours to clean out everything of mine and my husband’s and give lots away. When you have things that WORK, it’s a snap to put something together.

  7. I think this is the best piece I’ve read about “curating” or creating a wardrobe. So smart that you did this. A few months ago I moved. I just thought I was cleaning out my closet, but there are sweaters in my drawer I’ll never wear. I’m doing it your way! Thank you! Brenda


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