Why My Autumn Capsule Haul Was Small & How To Build Basics In Your Wardrobe

…but still full of leopard print

As I’m over three years into my capsule wardrobe experiment I find myself brushing over it more and more. It’s less of an experiment these days and more just a way of life. I have a small wardrobe. I’m trying to cut down on the amount of material things that I buy. I’m trying to make the most of things I already own and find new ways to wear them. A capsule wardrobe just makes sense. I feel like I’d be doing some kind of version of a capsule wardrobe at this point in my life whether I was documenting it or not, just without the label.

If you’re still a beginner to the idea, or feel that you need some more convincing then have a look at this post which describes the first steps to overhauling your clothing to fit a more streamlined approach (or you know you could just pre-order my book which has a WHOLE chapter dedicated to the idea!), but for those who’ve dabbled for a while, perhaps you’ve reached the same stage that I have? My autumn capsule haul was one of my smallest hauls that I’ve done so far (although it included six items, only four were purchased in the past few weeks for the season ahead). Why is that? I’m going to dissect that idea today because in an ideal world I’m sure we’d all like to be purchasing less. HELLO SAVINGS ACCOUNT…

I reckon that there are a couple of reasons for reaching this happy place plateau with my current capsule wardrobe situation:

Firstly I’m trying to save money. As much as it pains me to say it, there are more important things to save for than a RIXO Leopard Print Silk Shirt (although I wish there wasn’t). Big adult things take priority and Mark and I would also like to do some real cracking holidays next year that require some saving up for. So although there are many £250 coats that I would LOVE to add to my wardrobe, that money will be better used elsewhere.

Secondly, I just haven’t got as much time to put into the upkeep of my closet. I’ve managed to fit in the whole switch-a-roo (you can see that here), but in terms of trawling websites for new buys? I just ain’t got the time and yes that loud sigh you could just hear then was my bank account doing a long-overdue exhale.

And finally, the biggest reason of all – I just actually really enjoy my wardrobe! I like the clothing that’s hanging up inside. I’m really excited to wear it all! Over the past few years of doing the capsule wardrobe I’ve been able to edit my wardrobe into a selection that suits my tastes, my lifestyle, my practical needs and have got it to a place where I feel quite content. Having a foundation of basics means that I’ve always got something to wear, even if not the most imaginative ensemble ever. Still need a bit of work to up your basics game? Here’s how…


Notice what basics are right for YOU. Ok so it’s time to buy a white t-shirt, some black chelsea boots and a black blazer, right? NAH. What might constitute as a basic for me, might be something that you find yourself never wearing, and actually everyone’s ‘basic’ foundation of their wardrobe is going to be different. Screen what you wear for a week to a month, notice the patterns and note down the items that you find yourself wearing the most frequently. They are your basics.

They don’t have to break the bank. It’s might want to go all-out and buy the most expensive items once you’ve identified your basics, but a higher price tag doesn’t exactly guarantee higher quality. Cotton items for example are pretty cheap to make, whether they’re a thicker higher-quality cotton or not, so never break the break for a basic t-shirt. Also don’t investment in high ticket white items. White clothing just doesn’t have longevity in it, especially if it’s something that sits under your armpit. Take a moment to consider these types of queries before you jump in at the deep end.

Don’t buy multiples. It might be tempting to buy like three of your favourite black t-shirt, but in reality it’s rare that we need duplicates of the exact same item. Often it’s nice to have a handful of t-shirts that are just a little different and unless you’re on holiday or the washing machine has packed in, it’s easy to enough to rewear what you already have. If you do want to buy repeats then make sure it’s an item that you’ve worn before multiple times and you know that it’s good quality and is something that you wear repeatedly in your wardrobe.

So there you have it. How to stock up on basics if you’re currently lacking and hopefully content capsule wardrobe nirvana awaits once you’ve formed your foundation. Maybe there won’t be a winter capsule wardrobe haul this year? Or maybe I’ll finally have to buy the Whistles Faux Fur Leopard Print Coat that I can’t stop thinking about it and even had a dream about last night. Find out in two months time…

Photos by Emma Croman

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