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Has Having a Capsule Wardrobe *REALLY* Curbed My Spending Habits?

Time for the real tea…

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Do you know when I first started experimenting with the whole ‘capsule wardrobe’ thing? 2015. That’s FOUR YEARS AGO NOW (I know I’m about 87 in YouTuber years – they work a bit like dog years you see). I tried things on for size the year previous to that, attempting a 10×10 of sorts without even realising what it was, but 2015 was when I really went for it. It was the combination of Marie Kondo’s ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up’ and the discovery of Caroline Joy’s blog that made me bite the bullet and I remember being so darn excited to embark on the ‘less is more’ clothing journey.

That year I. DID. IT. I took on Caroline’s advice of stripping my seasonally appropriate wardrobe down to just 37 pieces and loved it. That was for the first month before I realised that that number just didn’t vibe with me; I felt like I had nothing to wear and all my clothes were constantly in the wash (#SweatyGirlProblems). So over the years I devised a method, which included changing up my wardrobe every three months to house only the clothing that was suited to the season ahead, storing my other clothing away and keeping my rails neat and tidy to make my morning routine even swifter. I tried to only buy clothing at the beginning of the three month cycle to reduce impulse spending and invested more in high-quality basic pieces that should last for years to come. So four years on – where do I stand with the whole thing? Am I still as into it as day one? Do I still think it’s a good idea? Have I actually spent less time dithering over what to wear each morning and saved money? That’s what I’m unpicking today…

My excitement for beginning the capsule wardrobe all those years ago was off the charts. All I wanted to do was clear out my wardrobe, streamline my goods and organise. I was raring to go and nothing could stop me. I had a bag ready to go for the charity shop and I was fully prepared to fill it to the brim. I LOVED IT. But I will admit that it hasn’t always been smooth sailing. Have there been moments where I’ve thought I’d made a rod for own back promoting this capsule wardrobe way of life when all I’ve wanted to do is buy ALL THE CLOTHES? Of course! I’m human. Buying stuff can be a really fun and thrilling experience. Heck, I’ve been buying clothing since I could club together enough pocket money to buy a vest-top from Tammy Girl. I’ve gone of the rails a few times and made some dumb purchases. I’ve completely contradicted my own advice at points. My wardrobe has got crammed and I’ve had to re-streamline and felt like I’m starting the process from scratch again.

I ain’t perfect and neither is the capsule wardrobe process. There are times when I’m feeling it and times when I’m not so much. I particularly struggle whenever I travel, especially if I’m travelling to a place that requires me to dig into a different season’s wardrobe to what we’re currently in in the U.K. Right now I’m packing for two weeks away to two SUPER HOT destinations. That means that although I’m operating a spring capsule, I’ve had to dig into my summer stocks to pack and there’s something about that that puts me out of sorts somewhat. My wardrobe feels messy and I feel like because my mind is thinking about camisoles and flip flops, that I’m not using my spring capsule to its full potential.

So do I still think it’s a good idea? HELL YEAH. Ultimately a lot of us – especially in the U.K – don’t have a lot of wardrobe space and so displaying your clothing in a way that you can only see what is currently correct for the weather conditions, makes complete sense. It stops items that should be well-loved getting dusty and crumpled at the back of your wardrobe. It makes doing a visual audit of your wardrobe and getting ready each morning quicker. It means that you don’t put your shoulder out trying to dislodge a winter that’s well and truly wedged in. It makes sense from a storage perceptive more than anything else. I also think it fits in well with the sustainability angle that we’re all trying to lean more into. Buy less, buy better, rewear, reuse and recycle. It’s about wearing your clothing until it needs repairing. Finding your favourites and sticking to them till you’ve worn a hole in the elbow. A capsule wardrobe supports this lifestyle and for that reason alone, I’m still on board.

In terms of saving time in the morning when I’m picking out outfits for the day, I can 100% say that operating a capsule wardrobe in my closet has helped with that. Nothing will ever make you completely immune from the ‘I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR!’ moments, but I definitely feel like they are a less frequent occurrence since I began my experiment. I’m just more in love with everything that I own – across all clothing categories – and so it’s a rarity that I try an outfit on and don’t feel the end result. Where it perhaps hasn’t fared as well is with the money side of things. I feel like if I was to tot up the amount of clothing items that I’ve purchased since I began, and compared it with the amount that I would have bought if I’d continued to purchase things at the same rate as I was previously, then it’s definitely less – but the price point has shifted. When I began my capsule wardrobe I vowed to stick to quality over quantity, which tends to skew to a slightly higher price point. Of course during this time I’ve grown-up and have managed to up my earnings, so perhaps this shift is something that would have happened anyway – but Equipment Shirts* ain’t cheap – you know? So reducing my spending overall is something that I’m working on (and mentioned in Monday’s post), but I’d really like to focus on getting that number smaller when it comes to clothing. I aim to buy more vintage and second hand goods, and just be more mindful with higher price items – do I *really* need them and are they worth their price tag for me? It’s a work in progress, but with my spring capsule wardrobe haul being just three items this time round and one of them being a vintage find, it’s a work in progress. HAUL VIDEO COMING TO MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL THIS SUNDAY!

Still haven’t jumped on the bandwagon? Have a read of this post for my tips to create a capsule wardrobe in record-time with no-faff, no-number counting and no-BS. You’ll be a capsule wardrobe QUEEN in no time at all. Just give it four years… 

Photos by Emma Croman

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