Image Via Here (and they talk about capsule wardrobes.. could be worth a read)
I promised the grand (not that grand) unveiling of my summer Capsule this week, but what i didn’t envisage when i set myself that date was half term holiday week and being busy entertaining a 5 year old. Which is cool and all because its beautiful weather and we’ve been to the beach, and returning today because some one is obsessed with fossil hunting, we also have a Zoo trip scheduled ( with the specific request of a rhino and giraffe) and a day out with friends.
So all in all a lovely busy week ahead.
Leaving me not much time to get my arse in gear and get my capsule sorted.
So i’m giving myself a week off. A week off from clothes… i mean i will be still wearing them and all, ‘cos quite frankly without them its a truly scary site, but I will be going super relaxed and not bothered in the slightest type-style.
But in the background and every spare minute, I am making lists and mentally compiling what my summer wardrobe needs.
I pulled down a lot of my summer clothes this weekend, it seemed like the perfect time as the Sunshine was out and the days have been beautifully long and warm, so my head was firmly in summer mode (watch it rain all next week now), so I now know what i have to work with and what i may need to purchase to fill any holes.
I’ve started a little shopping to buy a some things that will blend others well and am getting my head around it all for the season. It’s hard to shop/organise with hindsight as you really don’t know what you’re going to be dealing with for an entire season.
Anyway, I’m babbling. Can you tell i’m fully loaded on caffeine, 5 hours sleep and 3 strong cups of coffee will make you babble like a baffoon apparently.
The main reason for today’s post is to bestow unto you some of my knowledge on Capsules from my Spring experience.
I’ve had lots of lovely comments and messages to say that the hole Capsule thing is exactly what they need.. so here goes.
My Top Tips for starting a Capsule
- Take everything out of your wardrobe. EVERYTHING. Put it on your floor/bed ready to go through. Put back in to the wardrobe the amount of coat hangers that you’re going to be working with in your capsule. Mine was 38 so I put back in 38 coat hangers. It helped me visualise how many pieces were going back in
- Make Piles: If you’ve not worn it in a year put it aside for giving away/selling. If its the wrong season, store it. If you love it keep it in the ‘Keep’ pile.. simple but effective.
- Sell, Get rid, Store. Going on from the excellent piles you’ve made, decide what you want to keep, what you don’t like anymore and what you want to store. In the get rid pile i split it into a further 3 pile: Give to Friends, Charity shop, Sell. I give friends and family first dibs on anything, i love to give clothes away and see them have a new lease of life. If it’s something in really good condition that is branded then i will usually sell it on Ebay. Anything else I give to charity or Cash4Clothes (you get a small amount of money, but it all goes back in the pot)
- Anything made from selling clothes goes in to the pot for buying new pieces that will fit well in your capsule
- What does your lifestyle require? This is quite an important contributing factor, there’s no point planning in 15 cocktail dresses if you’re really not a dressing up person. My life doesn’t require anything other than smart-casual at the best of times, so for me I know that casual with a hint of smart is all I need.
- Now look at what you own (after you’ve removed all the things that aren’t you’re best and favourite). A key piece of advice would be, try them all on. I didn’t do this last season, and a few gained pounds later and suddenly a couple of my items no longer fit (nice). But, make sure you are comfy and genuinely like your clothes,and that you would happily wear it and not just putting it in because it’s on-trend/seen on somebody else/was pinned on pintrest (I also did that with a certain black skirt.. which ultimately failed me).
- Make a list. I number a page with 1 to 38. I then list my pieces i have that i want to keep on the list in order of Tops, Bottoms, Dresses, Jackets, Knitwear. Start with 10 tops, 10 bottoms (skirts, shorts, jeans) and 6 Dresses, then add in or take away knitwear and jackets as and how is best for you (nb: I’m not including shoes or bags in my summer capsule.. more on that soon.. entirely up to you of course if you want to include them in your number, i did in Spring and my number was a nice round 45).
- Work to a (loose) Colour Scheme. I really found this helped when putting pieces back in to my wardrobe. I new that i loved neutrals, denim and had a kick of red and khaki as well. This worked well for me in Spring as it makes each piece easy to remix. The colour scheme only has to be a loose one as the odd colourful top is fun too, but as long as it can be worn mulitple ways (see point below)
- Are your pieces Intermixable.. ie not 30 dresses. Look at each item, can you picture at least 3 ways to wear it with other items? Its a great way to keep your wardrobe interesting through the season.
- See what is missing. Are there any glaringly obvious holes in your capsule? Do you have lots of tops but not enough bottoms? Make a note of anything you may need to shop for later.
- Just to stress.. this isn’t an exercise in shopping, wherever possible, use what you have and add in around it. You’ve got a loose colour scheme and know what colours will work best with what you already have, there’s no point going out and buying something completely off the wall that won’t go with what you already have. Obvious fact, but so easily done. Shop for pieces that will help glue the rest together. It may be a great jacket or the perfect jeans. But something that will make other items you already have come to life.
- Buy quality. You will be wearing and washing these items a lot! So when you shop look for the quality in items, is it a brand that you know? Does it look like it will wash and wear well? My favourite brands so far are Madewell, Warehouse and Whistles. Each time i shop from these i know my pieces last me years.
- Denim BFF. This is a personal one, but denim is a central point of most outfits for me. Because I work from home, am a mum and have a generally casual lifestyle denim is a huge contributing factor to my wardrobe. I made the mistake of buying some cheap skinny jeans, but the knees gave out and they went all saggy. This goes hand in hand with above, but invest in jeans.. They don’t have to be super expensive, but it will definitely help. My £20.00 jeans were hanging by the end. I’m looking at replacing with some Levi’s and Rag & Bone. High street wise I’ve found River Island jeans great quality and people speak highly of Topshop jeans of course too.
- I don’t include any work out wear in my capsule… not that i work out, but i know lots do. For me its dog walking/hiking clothes. I have separate jeans and trainers for those tasks that i don’t include in my capsule. I keep them in a draw by themselves and reach for them when needed.
- The number of your capsule is not important. You may work to 50 pieces or 25 pieces. Its all about what works for you and is less about numbers and more about making items work hard for you without having to shop constantly.
- This isn’t a total shopping ban, as like a diet, cutting yourself off can induce binge worthy consequences (I’ve done the 100 day no spend twice.. binged bought both times afterwards). Just don’t go overboard as it defeats the object. I shopped for 2 pieces half way through my Spring capsule and those two items helped transform a number of outfits and lifted my capsule just when i needed it. I didn’t beat myself up about it, sometimes needs must.
- Allow for fluidity. If something really isn’t working for you, no matter how hard you planned it, it’s ok.. some-things just don’t work. Swap it out. There’s no point keeping it in if its making you unhappy and disabling your capsule. Also flexing in raincoats and such if needed (lets pray they aren’t) is a good idea.There’s no way of planning for every eventuality whether that be a really fancy doo or weather issues, just allow yourself to flex, look at what you own and see if there is something suitable for you to use for that occasion.
And if you made it through that, well done!!
I hope that has helped as a loose guideline, the thing is there are no hard and fast rules, this is just advice from my perspective. I loved not shopping all the time, it freed up so much mental capacity that i started doing other things (and yes I used to online browse that much!). I also love the fact that I am getting my monies worth from my clothes and that none of the pieces are just lingering somewhere in the back never seeing the light of day.
This works for me, it actually makes me really happy.
I would love to know your thoughts on Capsule Wardrobes and if you do them or would consider them.. Let me know in comments below!