The Capsule Wardrobe: Journey so far…

Today I thought I’d bring you up to speed with my capsule wardrobe journey so far.

I first came across the idea of the a capsule wardrobe at the end of last Summer. I had Grace at the end of May and spent the whole Summer disguising my wobbly Mum-tum and tree trunk thighs in “suck-me-in-stetchy-jeans” and basic vest tops because none of last year’s Summer clothes fitted and I didn’t want to spend money on clothes in larger sizes that I knew I’d never wear again. By the end of Summer, having sweated my balls off in jeans for three months solid,  I was very ready to buy some new clothes to boost my self-esteem a bit.

I felt like all my clothes for the last three years have been boring, shapeless, maternity and breastfeeding friendly clothes and I was sick of everything. And with no more babies planned, I pretty much knew I was going to send my entire wardrobe to a charity shop and start again. It felt liberating but so overwhelming.

I made some impulse purchases on ASOS of some knitwear but I wasn’t 100% happy with it. And that’s when I stumbled online across the idea of a capsule wardrobe. The site that started it all for me was www.un-fancy.com. The basic concept is that you build a small but intentional wardrobe of really good quality pieces that you love and which make you feel amazing when you wear them. Your capsule transitions through the seasons and is tailored to your individual lifestyle.

The site suggests a process that starts with emptying your current wardrobe, taking each item and being really strict about it – if it doesn’t fit exactly right, it itches at the seam, you find the button annoying, you hardly ever reach for it because you’ve got two oatmeal jumpers and you prefer the other one etc… then you put that item aside to be donated or re-homed. Ask yourself do you love it and wear it right now? No more hoarding of clothes you plan to slim into. I did partially break this rule because after having a baby,  I think its realistic that I’ll fit back into Summer 2015’s clothes by Summer 2017 but if this rolls around and those clothes don’t fit, then they will have to go.

The site suggests your capsule comprises of exactly 37 pieces but I haven’t been too strict with sticking to that. However once I’d got rid of all the pieces I knew wouldn’t make the cut, I was well short of that number and needed to make a shopping list to fill my gaps.

Because I’m on maternity leave I didn’t really have to worry about incorporating workwear or going-out clothes in this capsule, I just needed warm, stylish items that would work with my current lifestyle needs which is heavily skewed to being at home with the children or going on long walks and lunches out with my maternity leave crew.

I didn’t just rush to buy everything in one big dump which is kind of how the site suggests you tackle it as I didn’t want to impulse buy. Speaking of which, I returned the ASOS knitwear I had bought in favour of investing in some wool and cashmere pieces from Marks and Spencer which has kind of become my first port of call for basics now. I’ve finally broken my ASOS habit of impulse buying cheap clothes to arrive next day and never wanting to wear them because they are never quite right or they last about six washes and then look tired. The capsule wardrobe is about buying less but wearing more.

So that brings us to now. Since October I’ve been wearing my Autumn/Winter capsule and feeling great. Everything fits. Everything meets my needs. Everything is good quality. I’ve got my mojo back. I feel like the clothes I present myself to the outside world in are a fair representation of the person I am again.

I didn’t feel I needed to add much to transition from Autumn to Winter, which is great because it means I’ll get a solid six months wear out of most pieces. I did add a faux fur stole which satisfied my craving for fluffiness without buying a fur coat which I knew I’d probably toss aside pretty quickly as I have better quality warm coats that I love. I asked for a basic black cashmere cardigan for Christmas and I’m in love with it. Now I’ve had a taste of how luxurious cashmere feels, I’ll never buy a cheap synthetic piece of knitwear again.

When the January sales launched it felt so freeing to know that I wouldn’t be buying a single thing – I know I don’t need anything for the Autumn/Winter season and won’t buy just because its cheap.

Right now it might be the actual middle of Winter but I’m already starting to think about how I’ll transition to a Spring capsule and this is the really exciting bit for me. I love Spring/Summer but I always hate my clothes and spend the entire time feeling uncomfortable and self conscious. This feels like an opportunity to really nail it and invest in some dresses, skirts and shorts that I will actually love.

Lots more posts coming up to bring you along on my journey into the Spring/Summer season.

Are you a capsule wardrober? I’d love to hear your tips.

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