Before I start, I want to add a quick disclaimer. This will not be your typical capsule wardrobe post with stunning photos of gorgeous clothes that look like they have been lifted straight out of London Fashion Week. Sorry to disappoint, my fashion photography skills and general dress sense are not (and never will be…) up to that level. But before everyone closes their browser windows, here are 3 reasons to stay:
- If you have considered building a capsule wardrobe yourself but don’t know where to start. Maybe you have looked into it before but got confused or discouraged with how many pieces of clothing you are allowed or articles that say you must have a black pencil skirt. Speaking from personal experience there…
- If you want to see how a capsule wardrobe can work in day to day life. Because there isn’t a set formula that will work for everyone. What works for you will depend on your job/hobbies and what you get up to in an average week. I can show you what I have done but that doesn’t mean it would work for you, its all about tweaking it for your individual lifestyle.
- If you are reading right now thinking “What is a capsule wardrobe???” I’ll do my best to explain, bear with me.
What is a capsule wardrobe?
A capsule wardrobe is when you narrow down your clothing choices to just pieces that fit, are good quality and most importantly, that your love wearing. At some point everyone has stood in front of a stuffed wardrobe and said “I have nothing to wear!” or worn the same few outfits over and over while ignoring all the other options. Sometimes too many options can feel paralyzing, there is such thing as too much choice. A capsule wardrobe takes the stress out of getting dressed because instead of choosing from 30 tops, (some which don’t fit and some which still have tags on that make you feel guilty every time you look at them…) you are choosing from a handful of tops that you like and know definitely fit.
I first came across the idea of a capsule wardrobe while reading about Project 333. The idea behind Project 333 is that you choose 33 pieces of clothing/shoes/accessories (not including underwear, pajamas or gym clothes) to wear for that season, 3 months. Head to the website linked above for more information. I loved the idea of sorting through all my clothes and keeping only items that I loved and that I knew I would wear that season. Don’t worry, clothes for other seasons are packed away for later, not binned! I followed along for a few months but life happened and slowly more clothes crept in.
Lately I’ve been a bit down about the state of my wardrobe. It isn’t as bad as it was before I tried Project 333 but there is room for improvement. This time I’m not focusing on numbers and I’m making sure that whatever I end up with will work for me. The whole point of a capsule wardrobe is to make your own life easier, so if you are thinking of giving this a go yourself, watch out for these 3 pitfalls;
- Comparing yourself to everyone else. Especially if their lifestyle is nothing like yours. It’s easy to over compare and feel like you aren’t doing it right or that your capsule will never be as good as *insert fashion blogger here* Remember this is to make your life easier.
- Must have pieces. Articles with titles such as “10 must have pieces for your capsule wardrobe” will tell you to buy a pencil skirt/chambray shirt/blazer. If these are the kind of things you wear at work/weekends/everyday life then go ahead and buy them. Just remember they are only “must have” if they fit in with your lifestyle.
- Obsessing over numbers. With Project 333 I found that 33 items was doable and a good starting point for me. In other articles or websites it might state a different number as the perfect number. Basically there is no perfect number, don’t worry if yours is higher or lower than somebody else.
I spent an hour or so going through my clothes and removing anything that didn’t fit, had holes in it or that I simply don’t wear. Next I boxed up all my summer clothes, won’t be needing those for the foreseeable future! I whittled down until I was happy that what was left in my wardrobe was suitable for autumn, comfortable and clothes that I enjoy wearing. Here’s a quick run through. Remember the disclaimer at the top of the page about my photography skills…
My Capsule Wardrobe
- 3 pairs of jeans: 2 mid blue, 1 dark blue (not pictured)
- 3 bags: 1 cross body (hanging in photo) 1 giant black rucksack and 1 smaller silver/grey rucksack (not in picture)
- 4 T-shirts: 2 navy, 1 blue/white patterned and 1 terracotta.
- 1 navy cardigan.
- 3 long sleeved tops: 1 terracotta, 1 navy/white stripe and 1 mustard (not pictured)
- 1 long sleeved check skirt.
- 3 jumpers: 1 cream patterned, 1 blue striped and 1 blue/grey hearts.
- 1 black leather jacket.
- 1 blue hoody.
- 3 pairs of shoes: Sketchers, boots and sandals. To cover all weathers! Kept downstairs on shoe rack so not in photo.
- 1 blue wool coat.
I admit I wear a lot of blue and navy! The jackets/coats aren’t pictured as they are hung up in the coat cupboard. When I finished I counted everything up and was surprised that it is only 24! I thought for a while about choosing/buying more to add in but I’ve decided not to at the moment. Firstly because I’m not focusing too much on numbers and I don’t feel like there’s anything missing right now. Secondly because I may add some thicker jumpers as the weather turns colder and my birthday is coming up in November. My family tend to buy me clothes so my wardrobe will probably grow then. The bottom line is I don’t see the point of adding more clothes right now for the sake of it. I can add if/when necessary.
The other thing I should make clear is that this is just my day to day wardrobe. In the other side of my wardrobe I have a small selection of smarter clothes for interviews and a couple of dresses for parties, weddings, christenings etc. I don’t count these because I so rarely wear them but I need them for special occasions. Also I’m lucky that I wear my everyday clothes to work and don’t need a separate work wardrobe.
So that’s my autumn wardrobe sorted. Do you have a capsule wardrobe or would you consider it? Let me know in the comments.