The Capsule Wardrobe: An Experiment

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For the past few months since moving I have worn the same five items of clothing on repeat: a coat, a pair of jeans, slip-on shoes, some boots and a jumper. OK – maybe six because I alternate the jumper between my black one and my grey one. Riveting stuff in the style department, eh? I just wasn’t too chuffed with my wardrobe. It felt ‘bitty‘ with items that I’d panic purchased for an event because I felt I had ‘nothing to wear’ – that old chestnut – and trusty pieces that I wore over and over again, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but caused me to end up in a style rut. One night I was sat, most likely procrastinating, thinking how I could get over my wardrobe funk when I remembered a blog that Jess Lively had pointed me in the direction of. It’s called Unfancy and it’s by a lovely lady called Caroline who blogs her experience of living with a 37 piece capsule wardrobe (shoes included in that number), that she mixes up every three months seasonally. It took me approximately 10 seconds of reading her site before I knew that this was something that I just had to try.

And try I have. It’s been about three weeks now since I made the jump to a capsule wardrobe and so far so good. I began as Caroline suggests by clearing out my wardrobe, setting unwanted pieces aside for friends and charity bags and taking a real look at my lifestyle and what’s actually practical. I filled out her free workbook which helped me pin point exactly how I wanted to break the 37 items up and in end I did her recommended breakdown of 9 pairs of shoes, 4 coats and jackets, 15 tops, 7 pairs of bottoms and 2 dresses. The number thing wasn’t too horrifying for me because my wardrobe count was pretty near that number anyway, but I got giddy at the thought of 37 pieces that worked interchangeably and I could actually wear and enjoy every single item of.

I ended up stripping what I owned back to the bare bones and began rebuilding it, trying to pick out things that could work for formal and informal occasions and giving myself some comfy options for working at home days so I don’t just sit in my PJ’s – something that was seriously lacking before. I thought more practically about what I need and what I want my style to be. Oh so deep. It’s taken a while to get everything together but now I’m one happy bunny when I open the doors. Of course there’s a smorgasbord of monochrome going on but there are hints of prints, blue, burgundy and khaki that break things up a little and give me options if I fancy playing with a bit of colour.

The tough bit is going to be going cold turkey with clothing shopping until early December, where I’ve made a note in my diary that it will then be time to mix things up a bit for winter. I’ve already thrown Whistles a few lingering glances when I’ve wandered past. Come on girl – you’ve got this (just thought I’d insert a little pep talk there). I’m an avid ASOS browser/procrastinator, so I like the idea of not needing to occupy my headspace with thoughts of nice coats and leopard print boots on the reg and I’m sure my bank balance will too. Let the experiment begin…