The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up And The Key To Capsule Wardrobes

The biggest myth of the capsule wardrobe is that the result of this lifestyle-change will look the same for everyone: 30 monochromatic items hung on a clothing rack in a white room near a succulent garden. But what if a 30 item wardrobe isn’t the goal? What if looking like the capsule wardrobe bloggers isn’t the objective? What of a capsule wardrobe isn’t simply having less? But instead, what if capsule wardrobing is about creating a closet you love?

This is where our friend Marie Kondo’s #1 New York Times Best Seller, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, comes in. As Kondo walks the reader through the journey of tidying up, she makes clear that the goal isn’t simply throwing things away. Instead, the goal is being surrounded by loved possessions. By possessions that “spark joy.”

She describes her own story of shifting perspective from what to throw away to what to keep:

I had been so focused on what to discard, on attacking the unwarned obstacles around me, that I had forgotten to cherish the things that I loved, the things I wanted to keep. Through this experience, I came to the conclusion that the best way to choose what to keep and what to throw away is to take each item in one’s hand and ask: “Does this spark joy?” If it does keep it. If not, dispose of it. This is not only the simplest but also the most accurate yardstick by which to judge.

This key insight to Kondo’s work can help radically dispel the myths around the capsule wardrobe lifestyle. At the end of the day, creating a "capsule wardrobe" is not simply about getting rid of clothing but about making sure that your closet is filled with clothing you love - because, simply, if you love it, then you’ll wear it. A new intentional life of shopping and dressing - that’s more personal than ever before - slowly emerges through this change of perspective, change of habits.

But this change doesn't simply come about through barreling through our closets and homes and discarding like crazy people. Because, if this is all we're doing, then we'll simply re-buy these things next season. Instead, this change comes from reminding ourselves of the goal:

After all, what is the point in tidying? If it’s not so that our space and the things in it can bring us happiness, then I think there is no point at all.

What’s the point of capsule wardrobing if it’s not to surround ourselves with loved items that we’ll wear again and again - with a closet that we can open every morning that makes us excited to get dressed? So, we're listening carefully to Kondo as a guide for how to tidy up and how to move forward and shop:

We should be choosing what we want to keep, not what we want to get rid of.

Find the items you love, that you wear again and again, and hold on to those. And don't add things to your wardrobe that don't spark joy. Creating a capsule wardrobe doesn't mean throwing away the clothing you love. Instead, it means waking up every morning to a closet that gives you joy. Now that is truly life-changing.

And after you've tidied up your closet using the KonMari Method, try out Cladwell. Start with a free trial.


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JUST IN: What's New In The Cladwell App?

You’ve tried our app, been with us through the very beginning of its life, hoped and dreamed for newer features, and shared those ideas with us. Thank you so much for taking the time to tell us what you’d like to see in the app. You’re helping us make the app the best it can be! Our developers have been working hard to create Cladwell version 1.2 and the time has come to share it with you, the world. We hope you like it as much as we do.  

Below, you’ll find descriptions of new features that you’ll notice in version 1.2 of the Cladwell app. Below below, you’ll see what’s coming up soon (aka, what the Cladwell team is working on right this very second)!

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VERSION 1.2 FEATURES

Log your outfit from the closet

Tap on an item in your closet, then choose “show outfits”. From there, log any outfit you’d like. Example scenario: “I know I want to wear my high waisted jeans, but what should I wear with them?”... tap on those high waisted jeans, scroll through all possible outfits, log the one you choose. This new feature will help your logging be much more accurate, not to mention give you access to logging every single possible outfit in your closet!

Refresh an outfit from the home page

Don’t like an outfit on the home page? Simply tap the “...” in the bottom corner of the outfit square and choose “refresh this outfit”. The outfit will be replaced with a new one. Magic!

Log an outfit from your history

Outfit repeating is a-okay with us. Now you can choose to log an outfit from your history. Tap on the calendar from the home page, scroll to that outfit you loved last Tuesday and log it for today. Easy peasy!

New clothing items added

We had some issues adding new items to the database, but our amazingly talented developers fixed them all and the new items are rolling in! Check out hundreds of new items - from tweed suit jackets to black cork sandals to wide leg pants. You asked, we listened. (Note: if you have any item requests, let us know here: cladwell.com/feedback).

Free trial! 

Each subscription now starts with a three-day trial! Not only can you tell your friends about Cladwell, but they too can experience the Cladwell app at no cost for three days! In addition, there are a few new pricing options - including an annual subscription for $39.99. We'll save you from doing the math; that's saving you 60%!

*For the more technical folk, check out our Release Notes for Version 1.2. 

 

COMING SOON

Create separate closets

Within your closet, create smaller closets ("capsules"), then choose outfits from those closets. For example: categorize all your business casual items for a Work Capsule, then choose to get outfits only from that closet Monday through Friday. Have a different closet called Weekend Capsule for your more casual, not-appropriate-for-work outfits. 

Customize an outfit to log

Replace items within a recommended outfit with any of the items in your closet. Example: love the recommended outfit but the shirt is dirty? Tap the shirt, choose another shirt from your closet, then log the outfit. Ta-da!

 

As always - if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out.


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The Summer Wedding Survival Guide For Guys

Weddings can be difficult to navigate. What exactly is cocktail-black-tie-semi-formal attire? But worse even than this jumble of words are the invitations with no directions at all. You’re on your own. And you better not screw up. This couple’s wedded bliss depends upon you picking the right pocket square.

That was a joke. Keep breathing. And keep reading. We've been slowly gathering every wedding tip and trick we can find from every Cladwell employee in the land (who knew you could have a heated discussion about dress shoes vs. leather lace ups?), and here's the wealth of wedding guest wisdom we've collected.

Cladwell's Wedding Tips:

1. Begin with what you own.

           We’re about to give you a wealth of inspiration in our casual to formal looks - so start where you’re at. If the wedding is casual and you own pants, shirt, and bowtie, then you're set. 

2. If you need to add, add – but get creative.

           If you’re going to a formal wedding and you need a suit, then go get a suit. Sorry, no other option (see suit search tips below). But that doesn’t mean you need to go drop crazy amounts of dollars. Ask around to see if you can borrow from a friend. Try renting a suit or shoes

Here are some looks you can create, starting with what you already own.  

 Summer Weddings - Dressed Down: 

These looks are appropriate for "casual" weddings. Casual looks in the summer usually go along with morning or afternoon weddings that are outdoors or in more low-key venues. If you're unsure of the dress code, then throw on a blazer to dress it up (it's always better to be a little overdressed, because you can always ditch the blazer). 

Look 1  

  • Patterned button down

  • Navy dress pants

  • Leather lace-ups

  • Leather belt

  • Patterned tie

Note: You probably already own these items for work. Don't be afraid to try a little pattern mixing and wear some color.

Look 2

  • White button down

  • Khaki chinos

  • Leather lace-ups

  • Leather belt

  • Patterned bowtie

Note: Dress up your chinos with a classic button down and bowtie. 

Look 3

  • Blue patterned blazer

  • White button down

  • Khaki chinos

  • Leather lace-ups

  • Leather belt

  • Patterned bowtie

Note: You don't need to own a suit to dress up your casual wedding look. Sometimes you only need a blazer. Here are some tips for finding one you love.

Summer Weddings - Dressed Up

For your semi-formal and formal weddings, chinos won't cut it. These will all involve a nice suit. Here's where to find one: 

1. Your local shop ($$$).

This is your most expensive and best quality option. You'll pay the big bucks, but you'll also leave with a suit that's perfectly tailored to you - that's gonna last for quite some time.

2. Online tailored suit options ($$).

These options allow you to order suits tailored to your measurements without quite the expense of a local shop. We recommend Suit Supply and IndoChino. These sites let you pick out your suit and then walk you through how to send in your measurements.

3. Local retailers ($).

Men's Wearhouse: the store's more tailored, modern cuts are limited but it's a good location for a classic affordable suit. 

Here are some looks you can create, starting with your brand new (or old favorite) suit.  

Look 1

  • Blue suit

  • patterned button down

  • Brown leather belt

  • Brown leather dress shoes

Note: The no-tie look can work for outdoor afternoon occasions (but when in doubt, go with the tie). 

Look 2

  • Blue suit

  • White button down

  • Brown leather belt

  • Brown leather dress shoes

 

Look 3

  • Blue suit

  • White button down

  • Blue tie

  • Brown leather belt

  • Brown leather dress shoes

Note: This look can work for your formal afternoon or evening weddings.  

Look 4

  • Black suit

  • White button down

  • Black bowtie

  • Black leather belt

  • Black leather dress shoes

Note: This is for your nicest evening weddings if black-tie isn't mentioned on the invitation. If it is, then you just have to suck it up, rent a tuxedo, and pretend to be James Bond for the evening. Rough life.

We get that wedding attire is hard to navigate, so check out some more articles if you need a little more inspiration or guidance. Go here for a specific wedding dress code guide, here for a live conversations about all things related to weddings for the guys, and here and here for some tips for the ladies. 


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Ladies, Here's What to Wear to a Wedding as a Guest

Let's talk about the weddings where there's no mention of what to wear on the invitation? No life-changing "cocktail attire" note at the bottom. First off, we suggest: fear not. Stay calm, work with what you own, what you can rent, or what your friends own.

Secondly, we put our heads together and pulled together our wedding looks for all occasions - so allow us to show and not just tell.

Afternoon, casual:

For those morning or afternoon outdoor weddings, dawn your best summer dress and sandals, summer heels, or flats. Summer dresses include any cotton or, in this case, denim dress. Try mixing a dressier material with a more casual shoe (or vice-a-versa) for these occasions.

Wrap dress from Anthropologie, stitched sandal heels from Madewell.

Afternoon, dressed up:

If the afternoon wedding is indoors or you're getting the feeling that this outdoor wedding is not at any ordinary park but actually at Kensington Gardens (or just a nice country club), you'll want to opt with your more formal shoes
paired with a dress of nicer material. Knee length dresses are still appropriate but try dressing them up with more formal shoes, jewelry, or hairstyles.

Dress (similar) and shoes (similar) from Anthropologie.

Evening, dressed down:

If the invitation is past five o'clock, but black-tie isn't specified, then knee-length to long dresses are appropriate. Move towards darker colors or more formal materials and go boldly forward with your nicest heels and jewelry.

Custom dress from Fame and Partners, lace up heels from DSW.

Evening, dressed up:

Evening is evening. And if there's any mention of black-tie, then round up some mice to make you a ballgown, call up a friend to borrow theirs, or give Rent the Runway a shot. There are few moments in life when we get an excuse to get this dressed up, so honor the invitation, think old Hollywood, and enjoy.

 "Vintage Bebe" dress from mom, styled with some classic black heels from Target (pronounced "Tar-jay").

We hope this helps you navigate wedding season! And if you need some more tips and inspiration, check out some of our other posts for wedding attire for every occasion here and extensive tips for mens' wedding attire here and here.


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Wedding Outfits Made Easy

It's time once again to navigate the exciting (and often terrifying) waters of wedding season. If you need specifics about the formal, cocktail, black-tie, blue-tie madness, then check out the rundown here (and just to clarify and stop your rising panic, no, blue-tie is not a category). But, if what you really need is to use the time you'd spend shopping for all those dresses to take a nap or just breathe, then you're in the right place.

Here's our biggest and best tip for the the inundation of summer weddings: fear not. Really, truly. Read the invitation, translate to your wardrobe, find a dress you love, but fear not.

Weddings are occasions to celebrate loved ones. They are occasions to mark and celebrate the beginning of a union - not to cause you endless outfit anxiety. So, here are two "fear not" wedding tips that have saved us time and time again.

1. Forget Facebook. Re-wear if you want to!

There is an unhealthy stigma around re-wearing clothing. Especially to weddings. But let's face it, few of the weddings we attend even have the same guest list. So, what's caused this anxiety? Facebook. Did you know that Mark Zuckerberg of all people is actually causing your wedding guest anxiety? All those tagged photos are dictating our shopping and lifestyle choices. And that's just absurd. Somewhere along the road, we got obsessed with this idea of “outfit repeating” and we forgot that clothing isn't suppose to own us but aid us in our participation in daily life and celebrations.

So, here's the key: if you find a dress that you love, and you'd like to wear this favorite item again and again through the myriad of summer weddings, then be my guest. It's that simple. Especially if you want to invest in one quality dress that you love rather than 3 mediocre dresses. Remember, fear not.

Here's an example of a Little Black Dress from Kit and Ace that our very own content marketer Alexa has worn to countless weddings. Here are just three of the ways she wore her LBD. Grab out those shoes, statement necklaces, and Pinterest hair inspiration pages and get styling those favorite dresses instead of shopping for more.

Look 1:

Try styling your dress with sandals (heeled or not!) and some loose, wavy locks for weddings of the more casual outdoor variety.

Look 2:

If you're looking for a more formal, indoor, evening look, then pull out your black heels and that statement necklace. Don't have Pinterest level hair-styling technique? Yeh, em no. Try a low ponytail at the nape of the neck for the same effect/little effort. 

Look 3:

To shake things up, try out a pop of color. Do it. Pair your LBD with some colored shoes and lipstick. When your shoes are the focus, the dress that you've worn before no longer is! Finish off this bold styling with a simple bun and voila.

2. You don't have to own the dress.

To be clear, we're not talking about theft here. We're talking about sites like Rent the Runway if you need a super formal dress but aren't quite interested in investing. Or, our favorite option, is to shop your friends' closets. Find your friends/co-workers/stylish acquaintances who are in the same seasons of wedding attendance with similar body types. And ask away - but be sure to read the signs of whether they are the clothing lending type or not. Obviously, the key to this tip is to be sure to treat their clothing with care and always return items dry-cleaned (and maybe with a gift card to boot?).

This "fear not" wedding tip came from our very own developer Robin who invested in a beautiful Reformation dress that she loaned for a night to Jess, who works at the development shop next door.

Jess in Reformation

Robin in Reformation

We hope this makes your summer of weddings just that much easier.  And if you need some more tips and inspiration, check out some of our other posts for wedding attire for every occasion here and extensive tips for mens' wedding attire here and here.


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