Why I Got Rid of My Wardrobe


This spring I got rid of my entire wardrobe. I did it because I have been wearing yoga pants as clothes for far longer than I like to admit–even before I had a baby. On a daily basis I actually have a delusion that I am going to do yoga. Due to the lack of actual exercise happening in this fitness gear, my husband has been begging asking me to treat myself to new clothes for quite some time.

Don’t get me wrong, I had a closet full of clothes. I had lost all the baby weight, so most of them fit. But I never seemed to have anything to wear. Post-baby, I felt certain styles like strapless dresses, v-neck tops, and short(ish) skirts just weren’t working for me anymore. Hence the head-to-toe work-out attire. I knew a shopping trip needed to happen, but I had no idea where to start. After all, most of my clothes came from a quick grab-n-go during a “drive-by” of the woman’s section at Target.

If you are similarly wardrobe challenged, you probably also have that friend who always looks so cute-and-put-together. You love to hate her—especially when she has “it all together” while wrangling a toddler the same age as yours. Around the time that I was contemplating these big questions about getting my act together, my super cute-always-put-together-friend posted this on Instagram.

Hater’s gonna hate.

Seriously. This is her closet? I had three thoughts immediately upon seeing this photo of her closet.

1. MBN (must be nice) to live in the ‘burbs and have closets for miles. I bet this is her second overflow closet {insert jealousy}.
2. Who the heck has the space to decorate their closet with artwork. I can barely get the door closed on mine.
3. Where are the piles of cute stuff I always see her wearing?

Months went by, and my cluttered wardrobe continued to accumulate. One day at a play date, my cute-always-put-together-friend casually mentioned that she follows a fashion blog called Unfancy and does a “wardrobe capsule”. I may have rolled my eyes at the thought of following a fashion blog but decided I should take a gander.

After all, I looked like this:

And my closet looked like this:

What did I have to lose?

I started to read about wardrobe capsules. Caroline, the Austin-based blogger of Unfancy (who is currently on hiatus), describes a wardrobe capsule as

a mini-wardrobe made up of really versatile pieces that you totally LOVE to wear.

She advocates for maintaining a 37 piece wardrobe: 15 tops, 9 bottoms, 9 pairs of shoes, 2 dresses, and 2 jackets.

It didn’t take long to make my move. After bedtime one night, armed with a couple of giant garbage bags and equally giant glasses of wine (for bravery) I completely emptied my closet. I donated most of it. I kept a few of the nicer things and sold them online, which helped to fund the rest of the pieces I needed to complete my wardrobe capsule.

Pre-capsule, my wardrobe was like the Cheesecake Factory menu. It went on for days, was disorganized, and overwhelming. The majority of my options didn’t fit right, didn’t look right, or I just plain didn’t like. On the other hand, my capsule wardrobe is like a fine-dining restaurant. I have fewer choices. However, the decision is easier to make, and I can be sure that all of the choices will be amazing.

Amazing, right?

It has been a month, and I haven’t worn yoga pants in public (not even once). My new wardrobe is comfortable, flattering, accessible, flexible, and overall just really cute. Sounds impossible, right?

If you think this minimalist wardrobe idea sounds as crazy I did, here is a preview of my wardrobe capsule. I quickly grabbed 10 pieces: 3 tops, 3 bottoms, 3 pairs of shoes, and 1 dress.

A capsule “sampler platter”

Then, in a matter of a few minutes, I made 12 outfits with these 10 pieces and the help of a few accessories. Take a look.

In case you are wondering, I did save my yoga gear. I actually wear it when doing yoga now. I also kept a few pairs of pajamas and comfortable clothes to have around the house. And for special occasions, I will continue to use my go-to source for fun dresses, Rent the Runway.

Not only do I look better, but I feel better. The clutter I cut out of my life has lifted a huge weight off my shoulders. Decluttering expert Marie Kondo says there are two types of people: Those who can’t put things away and those who can’t throw things away. I am both of those people.

This experience has taught me that no organizational system will help me organize my space—the only solution that will last is to dramatically cut down on the number of possessions that I own. Since tackling the closet, I have made my way through every nook and cranny in the house. No knick knack, vacation souvenir, or old book is safe.

I have struggled with clutter for a lifetime, but I finally feel like I am getting on track.

I have always loved having a smaller house and the intimacy that it provides our family. I do not fantasize about having a bigger closet or home. But I do need to find a way to fit what I really need inside of the space that I have.

I even had closet space to add my own piece of art, courtesy of up-and-coming local artist Ashlee McClung,
I even had closet space to add my own piece of art, courtesy of up-and-coming local artist Ashlee McClung,

I don’t want to spend a lot of time dealing with clothes everyday, but I also don’t want to live in yoga gear. I can say that changing my wardrobe has changed my outlook on life. It has helped my confidence and attitude about how less really is more.

I can save my time and energy for what matters the most.

I have a seasonal wardrobe capsule for my son in the works. And in the future, I may even try to apply it to maternity wear. Interested in reading more? Check out why I got rid of the toys.

For more inspirational links from our archives, check out how to do multiple looks with 1 black dress or add a little “excitement” to the basic pieces you already have in your wardrobe.  And if you just have to keep some of those yoga pants in your wardrobe for painting (or exercising) here’s Dallas Moms Blog’s favorite workout gear for all occasions. 

Do you think you could trade it all in and start fresh?

If you’ve been inspired by this post, we want to see your new wardrobe!

Tag #DMBWardrobeCapsule & @dallasmomsblog and show us your results! 


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  1. Nobody mentioned Madame Chic, Jennifer L. Scott from the Daily Coinnoisseur who is also a mom to two young children and is extremely well put together using a “French” 10-piece wardrobe plus various basics. Very nice.
    Another good resource for more casual capsule wardrobes is Travel Fashion Girl which focusses on versatility though it might feel too young for some. However, I found inspiration and I am a grandmother…!
    I feel I have lived and learned re. wardrobes and capsules 🙂

  2. Hi Denaye,
    what a great article. I’ve been trying to ignore the Wardrobe Capsule movement for months now, because the thought of digging through my closet is just too overwhelming. Regardless of whether I wear them or not, my clothes are like my armor. But like you, my daily uniform is yoga gear and it is time I transitioned into something a bit more put-together. With the seasons changing and Spring finally here in Toronto I think your blog post is the push I need to get into my closet and start the purge. With wine, of course! Thank you for the inspiration!

  3. Thank you thank you thank you!
    I am so very inspired. I am ditching my daily five-dollar-oldNavy-Vneck-tee-a-day routine. making my wardrobe list now! and bravely selling/donating everything else.

  4. i must be shopping in the wrong places because if I wore the clothes I love that often they would only last a month or two. Clothes are so cheaply made nowadays!

  5. Okay, I’ll be honest: I started reading with a “yeah my fat butt, 37 pieces of clothes, she’s crazy” attitude. But as I read, you write in such a… , friendly “real person” way. You hit on exactly what I’ve been going through for a REALLY LONG TIME — all I ever wear is workout clothes (I’m still trying to get rid that stubborn baby weight I gained 16 years ago) even though I have a LOT of clothes in my closet. I have a few things that are really nice, a few that I hate but keep because I have to have SOMETHING to wear, and a few that I don’t know why the heck they’re there in the first place. So! I think I’m actually going to print out your article and hold onto it… we’re moving to another state in 17 days. This is a good opportunity to get rid of a lot and start thinking about what I want to consider *worthy* of my new closet! Also loved that you gave us a little fashion show! So thank you, Denaye! I no longer think you’re crazy lol

  6. You have inspired me! We are going into winter so I need to swap my clothes anyway. Good time to actually take a good look and do some serious purging!!! I am going to post this on my facebook page Sizzling Towards 60 to inspire others.

  7. So glad to see this. Yoga clothes seem to be the attire of choice for moms, and they all look like sloppy crap.

    It is great to see you clean yourself up! I bet you feel better now that you look better! Also, bet your hubby appreciates it too!

  8. This is great. I have what it like to call a Floordrobe. In all honesty I usually only wear a certain section of clothes at time like I’m stuck in a wardrobe time warp. A huge problem is have is I am a bargain shopper. I haven’t paid more than $5 for a top in years. And jeans general rule never more than $15. Usually I can get shorts for $5. So I literally can spend $50 and come back with my little Hyundai Excel’s back seat up packed.
    With all my piles of clothes things always get lost and forgotten.
    I’m hoping to use your story as inspiration to make a difference dp at least I don’t have any more Floordrobe’s around the house 🙂

  9. Love the idea! I’ve trying to psych myself up for something like this and now I have a little more direction.
    Most importantly…what color is the wall behind you in the pictures of you modeling the clothes? 🙂 I’ve been looking hard for a good color for my walls! ☺️


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