Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Thought on Capsule Wardobes: A Year later


So its nearly a year since I started, what was at first an experiment on working with less clothes in a Capsule Wardrobe.
Learning to shop less was one of my primary aims as my unnecessary spending and my wardrobe habits were spinning out of control. Pieces worn once or some not at all. My wardrobe became like narnia.. not entirely sure what the heck was back there.

Blogging and daily social media posts of #OOTD photos had created some nasty habits for me. The constant need to keep up, the constant need for the latest fashions and passing phases, the 'I need this item so i can post it on social media' mentality was exhausting my mind as well as my bank balance.

But after a long hard look at my, quite frankly, ridiculous wardrobe and bank balance, i decided to try a seasonal capsule wardrobe.
Last Spring i started by clearing out my entire wardrobe and only put 45 items back in.
I ran with those items solely for the entire Spring season. Then came summer and i did it again, Autumn was one of my favourites and then winter, which we're still in.
Through the year i flexed to suit some weather conditions, allowed myself the odd spend here and there and wore what i had repeatedly.

It felt good.
It felt good to wear great items over and over again. It felt good to get my monies worth from items i'd spent my hard earned cash on. It felt good to not feel pressured (all be it my own pressure) to live up to social media standards.

Over the time i felt like i got to grips with what worked with a capsule wardrobe (lots of neutrals and lots of easy remixable items) and what didn't (too much patterns, clashing colours and dresses).
I learned that buying quality over quantity is far better than shopping cheap sales buys that i would never wear, or only ever wear once.
That investing in great jeans is key, especially if you're a jeans lover like me.
I learned what style suits my lifestyle, rather than shopping for outfits that inevitably weren't me.
I learned a lot about my shopping habbits (Hello, i'm Rachel and I'm an emotional shopper) and when i like to shop and how.
I learned that clothes don't define me, but they are a rather great expression of who i am.
So i guess you could say I learned a lot.



However, sometimes the neutrality of my wardrobe bored me and left me feeling lacking. I couldn't conjure up any excitement from the pieces and it made me realise that i actually do love to add in quirky, fun, fashionable pieces.
This past season i have been left perplexed, once again standing in front of my wardrobe and before you know it that dreaded thought floods in "I have nothing to wear".
I ended up feeling un-enthused by my options. The neutrality becoming mundane, the remixes all already remixed.
Suddenly the capsule doesn't seem so shiny anymore.

The other thing i noticed was how some Capsule Wardrobe advocates will shop spending £250+ at the beginning of each season to buy their pieces for the duration. This is great if you have excess expendable cash to do this. I don't.
I'm a picky shopper, i pick pieces up through the season, and especially watch out for sales too.
The couple of times i shelled out some money to buy new things at the beginning of the season when they were full price, i would find they'd be in the sale a mere 8 weeks later, leaving me a bit miffed that maybe if i'd waited i could have saved my pennies. Granted this can happen whenever, but it happened a few times and did make me see that splurging at the beginning of a season to fit the Capsule Wardrobe dates, wasn't for me.

So, what does this mean? Am i now going relegating the Capsule wardrobe and returning to my old ways as a shopaholic?
Well no of course not. I'm dumb but i'm not that dumb.
I've learned SO much from this past year. I'm now A LOT pickier with my clothes. If i order them and i'm not 100% i send them back the very next day, i don't sit on them and ponder until its too late to return. I try things on in the changing rooms, and again if i don't absolutely love it, i don't buy it.
I also work on a one in one out rule, leaving my wardrobe at around 55 pieces. I won't allow myself to get overrun by clothes again, and it means everything i do own, i love and want to wear.
I sell anything i no longer have need for or don't feel is 'me' any more on my Instagram sales account or ebay.

I've also come to accept that. although i am more frugal with my clothing purchases, I'm still allowed to buy the frilly interesting 'fashionable' top; if i like it and know i'm going to be able to get good wear out of it, then i buy it.
Outfits are an expression of our personality, and getting dressed each day is a little glimse in to our make up. Express yourself well. Life is short after all.]



Would love to know your thoughts and feelings on your clothes and shopping habits. let me know in the comments below.
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15 comments

  1. I've been really toying with the idea of doing a capsule wardrobe. I've already chucked away a lot of items but I still have way more than 45 pieces. I'm really worried that I would get bored but I might just have to take the plunge and see how it works for me. It was really interesting hearing you thoughts on the capsule wardrobe process.

    Rachael xx.
    theteacozykitchen.blogspot.co.uk

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  2. I do a capsule but do through out my other clothes. They tend to be in other drawers. I get bored after 6 weeks and can't even last a season in one capsule. I won't buy clothes just to capsule them. I more alighned to finding interesting new ways to wear my existing clothes. That might be contrary to capsule. I am keen to not buy much.

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  3. Im trying to cut out my expenses for clothes too and I've been working on a capsule wardrobe for me too , I haven't started yet but I'm definitely more picky and careful with he clothes I shop
    X,abril
    The color palette

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  4. I shopped only in charity shops for a year and that was also very helpful - not only did I hardly spend any money, shopping was much more exciting and fun!

    -Kati

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  5. I loved reading this! I also love the idea of the capsule but I think I'm more into less pieces instead of a strict capsule. Your post inspired me to keep working on this.

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  6. I like colours and patterns so a traditional capsule is not for me. However I do keep a strict eye on what I get and buy very little so I get the most wear out of it which is still within the guidelines. While I have lots of clothes, I make sure I wear as much of them as possible at every opportunity

    https://retrocasual.wordpress.com/

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  7. I read this post twice. TWICE! I want to throw everything out!! I want to figure out how to sell some of my clothes--because I have so many. I want to know how to not become so attached to every darn thing I own.

    Luckily, on March 5th, I have the opportunity to participate in a local sale. I already have 5 bags filled. And that's just the start.

    I think you could follow up this post with how you've become successful in selling your clothes. That's what I'd like to know.

    Wow! Only 55 items?! Kinda sounds dreamy!

    Love, Ann from Kremb de la Kremb

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  8. I've been using capsule wardrobes for a year too. I love it. It makes getting dressed so much easier. Like you, I know what suits me better than I ever did. I used to shop for a life I wanted to lead, rather than the life I was actually leading. Now it has to work in my wardrobe in order for it to gain entry.
    I'm the same with trying things on and keeping them only if I'm 100% sure they're a good purchase.
    I'm glad you have Instagram sales, I love the patterned Warehouse shirt I purchased from you in December. Everyone comments on it, it's an usual piece for me but it fits right in with my capsule :)

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  9. I followed your lead last year, Rachel. Read a bunch of articles on "capsule wardrobes" and "curated closets" and revamped my own closet. Mind you I've always edited my wardrobe twice a year...have for a couple of decades. I have a tiny closet, and a small house so it's always been necessary for me. Plus I don't need the guilt of NOT wearing what's hanging in my closet. I use a local consignment store a couple of times a year to sell my "gently worn" items.
    Like you I grew a bit bored with my minimal wardrobe near the end of the summer and had to buy a couple of new items. But overall I have benefited from having fewer items in my closet. Less guilt is one benefit. And a bit more cash from selling my old stuff!

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  10. I love this post Rachel and love your style too! Like you, I'm trying to work with a capsule wardrobe and buying quality over quantity as I find better made clothes last longer.

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  11. Love this and what an amazing experience. I adore that it's made you more selective but that you want to feel freer in your choices too. I end up being too dismissive with clothes. If it's PMT time, I often blame the clothing not the water retention and end up discarding lots of pieces I love. Good for the charity shops of course but I need to be a bit kinder to myself and my wardrobe. Adore your style babe xx

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  12. I am super impressed that you did this for an entire year. I know I could certainly be better about not buying willy nilly, but I do know that I get quite bored with a limited clothing capsule. For example on vacations---I'm great about only taking what I need, but at the end of the trip, i'm really tired of those clothes. In fact, I usually don't wear them again for quite awhile!
    So let me take my hat off to you for doing this capsule!!
    jodie
    www.jtouchofstyle.com

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