So here’s the thing, I’m not sure I’m capable of being a “capsule wardrobe” person. I’ve always been the absolute opposite of a minimalist in all things in life. Overflowing bathroom cabinets, the same top in All.The.Colour.Options, more shoes than Imelda Marcos. You get the idea.
But recently I’ve been making a concerted effort to actually think through what my wardrobe is missing, now that England is definitely moving towards winter, and make a list of pieces I think will work well with my existing clothes and add something to my wardrobe; a classic check shirt, a new grown-up winter coat, some flat black boots I can actually walk about in all day.
Part of this was the realisation that over the summer I pretty much wore the same half a dozen outfits the whole time, inadvertently creating my own capsule wardrobe of sorts. This, coupled with seeing Anna’s super inspiring posts / vlogs about her own capsule wardrobe experiment, has made me wonder if it’s something I actually could do.
Anna’s posts led me to Caroline Rector’s blog Un-Fancy where she documents her capsule wardrobe. There was a sentence on her blog that really resonated with me, explaining that the spirit behind living with a capsule wardrobe shouldn’t be about “guilt, competition, or extremism”. Amen to that!
I’ve always hated reading articles about decluttering and clearing out your wardrobe because the advice was always so alien to me. I’m definitely one of those people that hangs on to things “just in case” or for sentimental reasons so the super ruthless approach is never going to work for me. Caroline’s approach seemed almost revolutionary to me. Definitely head over to her blog to read more in her own, far more articulate words, but she talks a lot about flexibility and finding an approach to a capsule wardrobe lifestyle that works for you, plus she emphasises not beating yourself up about how much you have and how you could have done worthier things with the money you’ve spent on clothes. What I took from her blog was that instead of viewing a stuffed closet as something to be guilty about, look at it as a chance to put something good back out into the world by being able to share something you have been lucky enough to be able to own and afford. For me this means giving some pieces to friends who I know will love them and get lots of use out of them, packing up some of my barely worn winter coats and donating them to a local women’s refuge and donating items to charity shops that support causes close to my heart.
I still feel like I’d be nothing but a complete failure at trying to live with a capsule wardrobe but I’m definitely inspired to give it a try. The recommendation seems to be to have a capsule wardrobe of around 37 pieces that includes outerwear, tops, bottoms, dresses and shoes (but that excludes accessories, jewellery, underwear, sleepwear and workout clothes) and keep those items in rotation for a full three month season.
I’m going to think about it seriously over the next few days but it’s something I think I’d like to challenge myself to do. I’m not planning on doing any drastic clear outs just yet as I’m very much not convinced this is something I can succeed at long term but nobody *needs* as much stuff as I have and I’m sure I can live quite happily with a more pared down wardrobe. Or if not happily, I can certainly survive with what will still be a lot more than many people have. If nothing else, my bank balance will thank me for not shopping in December and January!
What do you think about capsule wardrobes? Do you have one? Is it something you think you could do?