One area in my house that is really organised, is my wardrobe. It wasn’t always like this. I used to have a wardrobe bursting full of clothes. Everything was creased, crammed into drawers and not very well looked after. Despite owning all these clothes, I felt as though I had nothing to wear, and I kept adding more, more, more.
So, what changed?
A few jobs ago, I worked in an office in the centre of Bristol, right next to the shopping centre. Each lunch break, I would make my way into town, more often then not, coming away with a new top, or pair of jeans.
One day, I was sifting through all my clothes, putting together a bag for the charity shop, and I put in some lemon yellow jeans. (You only have to look at the above picture to know that lemon yellow jeans aren’t really my style). They still had the tag on, they’d cost me £35 and I had never worn them. They’d been stuffed in my drawer for however many months; only to end up being given away. What. a. waste.
Not only this, but we were saving for our first home at the time, and progress was slow. I had spent all this money on clothes I didn’t need, delaying being able to afford our first home, and I didn’t really feel like I liked anything in my wardrobe very much. I started to look online for a solution. This is where I first came across the term ‘Capsule Wardrobe’.
What is a Capsule Wardrobe?
The wonderful thing about choosing to own a capsule wardrobe, is that you get to decide what it looks like for you. Courtney Carver has 33 items of clothing which she wears for 3 months before rotating. Others have a core wardrobe of ‘staples’ and buy 2 or 3 things per season to keep on trend.
A capsule wardrobe doesn’t have to only consist of monochrome clothing, although mine mainly does. (Essentially it’s my secret ambition to be a French Voguette). You only need to search for inspiration on Pinterest to see 100’s of well curated colourful capsule wardrobes. You don’t have to have a specific number of items either. (Although, again, I do – I like numbers, it keeps me organised). Maybe if you have to wear smart work-wear you would choose to have two capsules, one for work and one for casual.
Basically, for me, having a capsule wardrobe boils down to being mindful about what you bring in. You get to set the specific parameters that work for you.
My Capsule Wardrobe
My capsule wardrobe is a well edited collection of 40 items of clothing, which I wear year round, I don’t have anything in storage or swap things out seasonally*. (I actually started with 50, but this felt too much so I curated it down to 40). I have a very strict one in, one out rule. This list of 40 doesn’t include sportswear, pyjamas, underwear or shoes. (However, I only have a small collection of things within each of those categories too.)
I have an ongoing wish list of things that might need updating, for example my white t-shirt is looking a bit tired, so I’ll probably buy a new one soon(ish), but I hardly ever buy anything on impulse.
I regularly wear every item in my wardrobe. It’s never struggle to decide ‘what to wear’. Everything I own matches so putting outfits together is easy and most importantly, I like it all. In case you’re interested in the specific breakdown, (I know I would be) this is exactly what I’ve got:
- Tops: 20
- Jumpers & Cardigans: 7
- Trousers & Shorts: 8
- Skirts & Dresses: 2
- Coats & Jackets: 3
*I should mention that I do have a small, hopeful little collection of maternity wear, I’ve tucked away in a drawer for now.
What are the Benefits?
I feel like the list of benefits could be an entire post in itself, but in the interests of keeping it brief:
- More space; my drawers and wardrobe aren’t crammed with stuff. I can see everything at a glance.
- More money; I still spend money on clothes, I probably often spend more on individual items than I used to. But because I can afford better quality, and I try not to buy fast fashion or anything too ‘on trend’ everything lasts me much longer so I spend much less on new clothes overall than I used to.
- Better for the environment; its no secret that our planet is struggling to keep up with the fast fashion industry. Not to mention the appalling working conditions for garment workers in fast fashion. (If you haven’t seen Stacey Dooley’s Fashion’s Dirty Secret’s I would encourage you to watch it). Buying fewer items of clothing can only be a good thing for the planet. I try to buy second hand (around 25% of my wardrobe is previously loved), or sustainably made clothing wherever possible. I’m not always getting it right of course; and I’m not going to get rid of perfectly good things I own, just to buy something more ‘sustainable’.
- More time; less clothes = less time washing, ironing, mending, shopping etc etc etc.
I’m going to write a separate post about how I curated my wardrobe, it takes a little bit of upfront effort, but once it’s done, it’s a very easy process to keep up with. Trust me, I think you’ll love it.