capsule wardrobe.

I’m jumping on the bandwagon!

Have you guys read about the capsule wardrobe “movement” before? I’m assuming so; it’s all over the internet (I got my recent inspiration from ViviannaDoesMakeup). A capsule wardrobe basically means sticking to a collection of clothes for a 3-month period – a season – without buying any new items. This includes clothing and shoes; it does not include underwear, workout clothes, pjs, bathers, jewellery, handbags… etc. Personally, I have also decided to keep separate a few fancy items in my wardrobe for special occasions – a few dresses and pairs of heels – just in case. I’m hoping that this little experiment will help de-clutter my home, allow me to choose outfits more easily, but also to help me establish my own sense of style.

I’ve kept up with Caroline’s blog Unfancy (which is coming back from hiatus! YAY!) and pined jealously over her wardrobe and minimalist attitude towards clothing for some time now: I’m a very organised person, so the idea of a more streamlined wardrobe really appeals to me. Last night, I finally got my shit together and cleared out my closet, making lists of items I need to replace, or add into my current wardrobe. Below is a little list of the steps I took, but Caroline has a much more detailed plan (and planner!) over on her blog.

THE CLEAROUT

The first step in this process involved taking every single item of clothing out of my wardrobe, and putting it on my bed. Yes, there were many coat-hangers scattered about my bedroom. I had way more clothes than I realised…

Next, I sorted my clothes based on how much I loved them. My “must keep” seasonally-appropriate clothing I put straight back into my wardrobe. The rest I put into piles: my “must keep” seasonally-inappropriate clothing to pop into storage, “maybe” items, “no” items (for charity or throwing away), and “to fix” items.

I found it surprisingly easy to sort out what I definitely did and definitely did not want to keep (why were some things even in my wardrobe?!); what was a little harder was establishing my true feelings about my “maybe” pile. I asked myself some questions about why I wasn’t in love with them; did they not fit correctly? had they worn out? did they not go with other items in my wardrobe? and disposed of them accordingly. I’ll be letting some friends rifle through my clothes before sending them off to the local op-shop.

THE SUMMER CAPSULE

During the summer, I tend to opt for simple outfits – denim shorts and a tee, boyfriend jeans and a tee, a skirt and a tee, and trousers or a skirt with a sleeveless blouse for work. I tend to prefer skirts to sit below-the-knee, and I like all my bottoms to be high-waisted. Each person’s capsule will depend on their needs – if you have a very corporate weekday job but like to wear jeans and tees on the weekend, you might need to create two separate, smaller capsules. Luckily for me, I can incorporate most of my casual clothes into my workday wardrobe.

While 37 items worked for Caroline, I found that my summer staples sat at around 45. This included 4 pairs of pants (two are work-appropriate), 5 skirts, 4 dresses, 9 casual tops/tees, 7 work-appropriate sleeveless shirts, 2 work-appropriate sleeved shirts, 2 cardigans, 2 jackets, 3 pairs of sandals, 3 pairs of casual sneakers, and 2 pairs of work-appropriate flats.

THE NEXT STEP

I planned out all possible outfit combinations with what I had left as my capsule. This helped me establish a list of things that were missing (a white tee!), and helped me realise that a few items really needed replacing. We’re almost through this season, so Summer’s wishlist is a little small; but I’ve already got my eye on some bits and bobs for my autumn and winter capsules!

Midi skirt (I currently have one that doesn’t sit quite right on my hips), replacement tees, replacement spotty blouse, chambray sleeveless top, and trousers for work.

LESSONS LEARNED

One of the most important things I realised through this little experiment was that I need to invest in some higher-quality clothes! I have lots of cotton-based skirts, which don’t pair well with cotton-based tops (they look a little cheap) – I’ll need some blouses and silky shirts, or some structured skirts, to bring my outfits up a notch. I also need to get some higher-quality flats for work. I’ll be aiming to shop for slightly higher-end brands in future. I also realised that while, in the past, I preferred wearing dresses and skirts in summer, I’m currently more drawn to pants paired with a short-sleeved blouse. This may be due to the shitty “summer” weather we’ve had lately, and the need to layer up. It may also be due to the fact that I found I had plenty of skirts; very few which I felt good in. I get the feeling that each year’s summer capsule will change based on the trends and the weather forecast!

 

I’d love to know your thoughts on the capsule wardrobe! Is it something you’d consider? I’m hoping that if nothing else, it’ll help curb my shopping addiction! If you’d like me to continue posting updates on my capsule wardrobe experience, let me know in the comments below!

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