capsule wardrobes + contentment

Very closely linked to minimalism is contentment. Can we be content with less? Is our treasure in heaven enough, truly? Or are things the real joy? What is the purpose of life? You know, regular thoughts for a Thursday morning.

1 Timothy 6:6-7 is simple and clear and why the heck isn't it my life verse, if I had such a thing?

Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world and we cannot take anything out of the world.

But stuff screams for our attention. Clothes, gadgets, home decor, books, makeup, accessories. Everything. Every season (read: every 4-6 weeks) stores have a completely new selection of things that we are tempted to believe will complete some part of us. The newer, slightly different shade of a colour we already own two shirts in. The ever-so-slightly darker washed jeans that are exactly like our ever-so-slightly lighter washed jeans at home. New is sexy and stuff is awesome and it feels good having MORE.

But what does the Bible say is more? Great gain, even? Godliness and contentment.

This basic and foundational truth can be applied to every area of life, and I trust you're each reading this knowing that what works or is important for me today, may not be important for you today. Maybe someone else today or you tomorrow, but my current passions and convictions don't have to be yours. And God's word in 1 Timothy 6 can work itself out differently for you. Maybe for you it's contentment with your family or lack thereof? Contentment with your husband or lack thereof? Contentment with your financial situation, living situation, health situation, all the situations! But for me, one area of my life has needed work for a while, and I alluded to it in my last post on minimalism. Clothes. 

I love shopping and I love clothes. It doesn't help that I live in Montreal, a very fashion-forward city, and that we have many younger friends who are top notch fashionistas. I don't have to scour pinterest to find out the latest fashions, I just take out the garbage and see ten people on the street sporting them. And these days budget doesn't necessarily have to limit you - there are loads of stylish clothes offered at bargain basement prices, with coupon codes and online shopping and free shipping to boot.

With all of this on my heart and a conviction that things needed to change, I listened with eager ears as my friend described to me the capsule wardrobe. My friend also loves clothes, also lives in the city, also is sick of the pressure to always be on-trend, also is on a budget, and also wanted to slim down her wardrobe. She started reading the blog Un-Fancy, and was motivated to start a capsule wardrobe. Everything she said described exactly what I was aiming for. She was preaching to the choir and now, the converted.

Here's the deal: a capsule wardrobe is "a mini wardrobe made up of really versatile pieces that you totally LOVE to wear". The author of the blog Un-Fancy limited herself to 37 pieces per season, but that's flexible. The benefits seem glaringly obvious and would be huge in the battle for contentment. You basically go shopping for clothes 4 TIMES A YEAR (or less)! You avoid the pressure to keep up with the Jonses, emotional shopping, and overspending. You place less value on things, and are content with the things you have. After all, you purposely chose them and are actively deciding to not beck to new trends or tempting sales or retail therapy.

My first reaction to this, aside from the instant love and admiration, was Hmmm.... that won't work for everyone. Maybe obvious, but still feels worth mentioning. If you're not done having kids yet, it won't work. If you're currently in a season of weight-loss, it won't work.

But this could also blow up and become an uglier beast that my original discontentment. John Calvin rightly observed that our hearts are idol factories. We are very skilled at making anything - even good things, nay, especially good things - into idols. Capsule wardrobes? Minimalism? Totally game for idolatry. Absolutely likely to become the ultimate thing. Because the answer to our discontentment isn't a capsule wardrobe, though I think that will be helpful and I'm excited to give it a go. The answer to discontentment is contentment, and the only place where we can find such a thing that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, is Jesus Christ.

Right now the kids and I are memorizing 1 Peter 1:3-9 and I can't help but see the parallels as I seek to limit stuff in my life and pursue contentment. With this in mind (and on heart), I'm eager to try out this capsule wardrobe idea. I'll report back soon. Always with the understanding that no matter how many things we tweek, solutions to contentment are not found in this world, but are divine and free.


  1. I enjoyed this post. Working in retail and having a love for clothes, I am very tempted to buy when I see a new trend I like. I always have to ask myself a few questions before I can swipe the card "why am I buying this?" "will I wear it multiple times?" "do you have something else like this already?" or "remember the last time you bought something thinking it would make you happy and it sat in your closet" It's quite the conversation I have with myself, but important so I do not buy things I don't need.

    Also thanks for tying it all back to the gospel and laying it out there that our hearts can make anything an idol. Praying we all find our joy and contentment in our author and creator.

    1. Oh my goodness, I can only imagine! Working in a mall surrounded by the latest trends would be so tempting! Love that you ask yourself those probing questions, Amanda. Its not wrong to enjoy what you wear, and not wrong to be inspired by trends, so long as they don't have a hold on us or create dangerous habits (over-spending, hording, materialism, etc). Love your heart!

  2. I love your blog! I think you're right that pursuing a capsule wardrobe can become an idol (just as, truly, anything can)...and it's very easy to become self-righteous about minimalism. At the same time, I love how much it flies in the face of the materialism most of us live in, neck-deep. I think as long as it is the gateway of a deeper journey towards developing a healthier, more Christ-like view of things, that it can be a very good pursuit...even if, during a pregnancy for instance, you couldn't pursue it 100%.

    1. aw, thank you! and yessss to everything you said! xo