The Start of My First Capsule Wardrobe: Spring 2016

Ok, so this is something I have been mentally toing and froing with for some time.
I’ve gotten to the point in my little life where i have found a simple style that I like.
I tend to shop the same styles, occasionally adding in key trends here and there.
But even though I have found my style and simplified, I still shop profusely when i don’t have the need for anything.
Well in the land of Rachel, shopping is a national pass time. I love to shop.
Just like when I entered in to both my 100 days no spend I am once again at the realisation that i literally do not need more clothes. And yet i still find myself shopping.
Having simplified my style a lot over the years, I am finally happy with a lot of the things in my wardrobe and find myself reaching for the same familiar pieces over the fast-fashionable, or uncomfy/ill-fitting pieces.
Basically my wardrobe was a whole big mess.
Some of the stuff I love, some I don’t.
I’ve been researching capsule wardrobes per season (as opposed to the whole year).
The thought of having a carefully curated small(er) selection of clothes that you love to choose from everyday, rather than a shit-ton of pieces that are mostly mediocre at best, appeals to me greatly.
So I got to researching. I had been following Caroline’s blog Un-fancy for the past year or so and  have read it in depth and studied the form of how she always looked great for such a small wardrobe. It honestly fascinated me.
I started pinning inspiration like this and this and started to mentally compile my own Spring Capsule.
I felt excited about this new approach to clothes, like really excited.

So I actually set to it and pulled EVERYTHING out of my wardrobe.
At which point I realised that I had WAY to much stuff. Ridiculous amounts.
I pulled out 103 coat hangers worth of hanging stuff, 35+ pairs of jeans (of which I regularly wear maybe 7 of them), 12 skirts, and then copious amounts of non-hung stuff that was shoved in to the shelf space (I actually counted 17 striped tops.. 17!! Who needs 17 striped tops ffs!)
And for your pleasure and my embarrassment here is what it looked like:

Oh the shame!
In my defence (only slightly mind) it is also the winter/spring switch over, which does mean all the bulky knitwear out. But still, bloody ridonkulous amounts of stuff.
I can see stuff there that i haven’t worn in over a year, and i can also see a couple of favourites.
But the main point is, there’s way too much of it.
I work from home, some days nobody bar my son or husband see’s me (sometimes just Neo as Salvatore works away). I do not need this amount of clothing.

The thing with blogging is you end up with this feeling of always needing a new outfit for a new blog post, or even something new to mix in with old.
It came to the point where I thought, I love you guys (blog readers i really do, you are amazing my friend), but who am I shopping for? Not that I’m blaming you here, no no, it’s all my own doing.
The need for a different outfit everyday like I’m freakin’ Victoria Beckham for crying out loud, was getting absurd.
Social media with its #ootd made me feel like I should be posting a completely different outfit everyday and never the same thing twice, ‘cos that’s not worth doing right? Its not worth showing as you’ve already seen it.
But thats real life. Who doesn’t repeat outfits?! I mean unless you are VB or of similar celeb status, but really, wearing an outfit again and again is totally normal and something I am re-programming myself to realise, actually good.
It means I am getting my monies worth out of what I do buy.
It means my style is cemented and not fleeting, and I get to wear pieces daily that i love.
That’s not a bad thing surely?

Enter the capsule wardrobe

So the common number for a capsule I found when doing research is 38 including shoes (but not accessories or bags)

But in all the Spring edits and capsules, none of them included coats for such diverse weather like we have here in the UK at this time of year.
Spring here means one minute frost and Baltic temperatures, one minute it’s a heat-wave.
April-May can be horrendous or glorious. There is just no way of knowing. And when planning a wardrobe around those factors, well it makes it increasingly difficult.
So I’m going to go out on a limb here and say if I need a coat, I will allow myself to wear one of my coats, because pneumonia for a simpler way of life seems a little counter-productive.
But one things for sure, I wont be buying another coat (there’s just one exception there which i will get on to).

For the past week I’ve been trialling my capsule to see where there are holes, what I’m happy with and what I’m not. It currently stands at 42 pieces and in all honesty I think I could do with maybe 3 more to feel totally comfy, everyday for the foreseeable. There’s been mornings when there has been blind panic that i haven’t got a certain item. But also knowing where to draw the line is important, because otherwise you end up with a wardrobe like I had previously, which totally defeats the object.
So 45? What do we think? Down from literally hundreds. I know it’s slightly more than some (less than others) but the main thing is i guess to work with pieces that you are comfortable with. And this is my comfy.
I don’t want to be stressed thinking i wish i would have kept in that extra couple of items because i was just sticking to a majority rule.
Also as its still so chilly here right now, I can see me needing to take some of the thicker pieces out as they won’t be appropriate in May (she says with trepidation).

Also no spending on more clothes for the foreseeable.
So far I have only bought 2 things for the capsule*, everything else are pieces I already owned and loved. So definite £££ saved.
But there are a couple of pieces I would like to replace, firstly my black jeans are on their last legs (ha), and my trench coat which was second hand is a little snug and could do with replacing.
So if I buy anything that will be it, I may just see how it goes… but if I see the perfect replacements that fit like a glove and I feel they will be investments, then I may buy them. I don’t want this to be a gruelling task like the 100 day no spend, I want it to be a re-conditioning, and a happy easy experience.

( One of the multiple lists i made adding and taking out pieces and working out what goes with what.
And my super pleasing 42 piece wardrobe. It has honestly NEVER looked like this. I open it every morning with sheer delight)

Tomorrow I shall disclose my complete capsule!  
I’m excited!

Have you ever done a capsule wardrobe?
If not, would you ever consider?

* which I also bagged on the Shopbop Friends and family sale, its 25% off everything I believe with the code INTHEFAM.
Shall be going through my whole capsule tomorrow but I managed to bag a Zoe Karssesn sweater and a pair of Levi white jeans which is exactly what I wanted in my capsule (and within the 42 pieces.. I had already included them).
Definitely worth having a look as there’s some bloody good savings to be had.

Ps. Also selling lots of new pieces on ebay here, uploading more today too.


  1. April 5, 2016 / 1:42 pm

    I tend to swing between manic shopping periods and then being disgusted with how much I have and not wanting to shop at all! I admire you going for the capsule thing! I will be interested in following your journey!

    • April 8, 2016 / 11:05 am

      I've been known to do the same thing Whitney! But, enough was enough, literally! I had clothes everywhere and a lot that i didn't wear. I'm excited and more than a little apprehensive but so far (1 week) I'm actually loving the simplicity!

  2. April 5, 2016 / 3:19 pm

    I've been thinking about a capsule wardrobe for a while now! I'm hesitant, but I feel like everyone that's done it is glad they did!

    • April 8, 2016 / 11:06 am

      yes you're right there Sarah, I hadn't thought of that. What's the worst that can happen ay? So far a week in i'm really enjoying it..

  3. April 5, 2016 / 10:11 pm

    I guess I had a capsule wardrobe (20 pieces) out of poverty for most of my life. It has been nice to actually buy things and replace stuff now I have employment. The shoes are a bit out of control, but I do wear through them fast and I am rigorous in removing things no longer worn. Also it is nice to have work clothes.

    So… no. I do not want a capsule wardrobe any more. I want some choice, I want more than two colours. I want more than one look.

    But goodluck! 🙂

  4. April 5, 2016 / 10:11 pm

    I guess I had a capsule wardrobe (20 pieces) out of poverty for most of my life. It has been nice to actually buy things and replace stuff now I have employment. The shoes are a bit out of control, but I do wear through them fast and I am rigorous in removing things no longer worn. Also it is nice to have work clothes.

    So… no. I do not want a capsule wardrobe any more. I want some choice, I want more than two colours. I want more than one look.

    But goodluck! 🙂

    • April 8, 2016 / 11:08 am

      When i was 18 i literally had a handful of tops and 3 bottoms on constant rotation. And d'you know what? I didn't even care. I had a ball in my early years and it didn't matter if we wore the same thing out one week after the next. Nobody cared as everyone did it. The mentality has changed these days i feel, where everyday needs to be a different outfit day.
      But, i totally understand Anne, enjoy the variety, i know i sure have over the years. Its super fun to mix it up!

  5. April 6, 2016 / 6:01 am

    That's a lot of clothes ! How many jeans ? I get how it all builds up though. Looking forward to seeing the capsule wardrobe, but right now I'm heading over to ebay !
    Laurie x

    • April 8, 2016 / 11:09 am

      It was a shameful amount of clothes. And i live ina teeny house too, so they were literally everywhere!LOL!

  6. April 6, 2016 / 9:46 am

    WOW you are brave, Rachel! I'm looking forward to seeing what your capsule wardrobe consists of! What did you with the rest of your clothes? Sell them? Charity? I usually just pass my stuff on to the charity shops as selling here in Portugal isn't so easy!
    Suzy x

    • April 8, 2016 / 11:11 am

      Thanks Suzie, the capsule is now on the blog if you fancy a gander.
      With the rest of my clothes, i stored everything that i love and hope to remix in future, if i loved it it stayed. And then i have given lots to friends and family, charity and a few things that were in immaculate condition i have sold on ebay (which went for pennies, i'm not a big ebay fan) I didn't know that its difficult to sell things in Portugal. is Ebay not big there?

    • April 12, 2016 / 8:58 am

      Hi Rachel! I do use eBay here but so many people in the UK won't send abroad or, if they do, they charge a small fortune to send here! It's quite annoying sometimes. I've sold stuff on eBay from here but because the postage is a little more than within the UK, people are put off, which is understandable I suppose. But none of this puts me off. If I really want something, I'll have it sent to my mother-in-law in Essex lol!! Suzy xx

  7. April 6, 2016 / 8:16 pm

    You are so brave to do this! I DREAD to think how much I own!!! Good luck!
    Ooh, it's my 11th blogiversary today!!! Come and join in the celebrations!x

    • April 8, 2016 / 11:11 am

      Holy Sheet! haha! 11 years blogging, wowie Kezzie! Well done, what a marvellous milestone.
      And yes, brave? more like mad, haha!XX

    • April 8, 2016 / 11:12 am

      Holy Sheet! haha! 11 years blogging, wowie Kezzie! Well done, what a marvellous milestone.
      And yes, brave? more like mad, haha!XX

  8. April 9, 2016 / 10:59 am

    Well, I have a confession to make – I probably do have and need 17 stripey tops! Sad but true but them I'm a stripy top addict!!!
    Bravo though for honing it all down. It does get ridiculous sometimes doesn't it? I'm in the process of totally revamping my wardrobe – I've been doing over the past year, each season, revamping segments. I doubt I'll ever be able to do a capsule wardrobe but I am making my wardrobe more efficient if only slightly smaller!
    And honestly, I love it when I see bloggers wearing the same pieces but coming up with new ways to wear them because as you say, that's real life. That's what most of us have to do because we're not celebs and uber fashionistas that earn thousands of pounds from blogging and have walk in wardrobes so please don't doubt yourself.

  9. April 18, 2016 / 5:41 am

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