For the last year I’ve had a capsule wardrobe, (I know, yawn, who hasn’t). Last January, after a weekend of sifting through my clothes, and getting rid of bits, I realised (as I stuffed a pair of bright yellow jeans into a bag destined for the charity shop) I was donating clothes I’d only worn once or twice. This was not good for my bank account and not good for the environment. I was on a mission to find another way.
I first heard about the idea of a capsule wardrobe on the blog un-fancy which talks about the joy of living with an intentional wardrobe. Over a weekend, I quickly devoured all the articles I could find on capsule wardrobing. I read all about the delights of having fewer clothes; that it would be easier to pack to go away, easier to do the washing, less expenditure would mean higher quality items when something new was needed and on it went…
A year on I have experienced all those things; but I’ve also experienced something more, a change in mindset I wasn’t expecting. So to kick off 2018, here are three benefits to having a capsule wardrobe I wasn’t expecting.
1. A new found love for the things I do own
All the advice I’d read told me to only keep the items I absolutely loved. Things which made me feel amazing when I wore them. I remember thinking; I don’t feel like that about any of my clothes, I just had things I thought were fine, and things I didn’t like any more. My capsule wardrobe was curated from my ‘fine’ items, thinking I would slowly update them for amazing items I truly loved that had thus far deceived me in the shops.
However, a year on, with a few very minimal updates to my wardrobe, I’ve fallen in love with many of my ‘fine’ clothes. A grey jumper I only previously wore around the house on the odd occasion has become one of my favourites. Some heeled black boots I seldom wore to work, now make me feel elegant and chic. A bracelet, my then boyfriend, now husband, gave me years ago has become something I wear daily and really treasure rather than something shut in a draw for weeks on end.
I would never have expected that more space in my wardrobe and fewer outfit choices could lead to a change in the way I felt about these items.
2. A better understanding of my figure, and more body confidence
You know that feeling when you try on all your clothes and just don’t like anything. The ‘fat’ days; where nothing looks right, or you just don’t feel good. Previously, I used those days as motivation to buy new clothes. Perhaps that new coat, or top, or shoes will fit me better and make me feel better about myself. (Inevitability the thrill of a new purchase wore off quickly).
Now, impulse buying isn’t an option, I use those moments as fuel for working out if I have gained a few extra pounds. So indirectly my capsule wardrobe is helping to keep me healthy. If I haven’t gained any weight, and am just having an off day – I quickly and easily pick out my old faithful items; they fit the same as they always did and suit my figure and shape. I don’t push myself into keeping up with the latest fashions, i wear what feels good and what I know suits me.
3. I started taking better care of my possessions, without even thinking about it
Since starting my capsule wardrobe, I’ve noticed that I’m looking after things better, without really trying. Dry clean items are taken to the launderette regularly, so I can keep wearing them. I polish my shoes to keep them looking shiny and new (this is something I haven’t bothered with since I was in school – I don’t think I ever kept shoes long enough to need to polish them, which is a pretty horrifying realisation!) in addition, I have them repaired and resoled as needed.
Any stains are dealt with immediately, before the item spends a week at the bottom of the laundry basket and the damage becomes permanent. Buttons are sewn on quickly to keep all items usable. My whole wardrobe is kept in good condition, clean and ready to wear.
As you can see, having fewer clothes is contributing so much value to my life. I will never go back to having a wardrobe which is bursting at the seams, packed with clothes I don’t like or wear. Do you have a capsule wardrobe? What benefits have you seen from curating a more intentional selection of clothes?