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.