If you’ve been around on Youtube or in the bloggersphere for a while- you might have heard of a ‘capsule wardrobe’. – The concept of having a streamlined wardrobe, in which you keep key pieces you know that you can wear and intermingle all the time. Or as it’s creator described it, “a collection of a few essential items of clothing that don’t go out of fashion, such as skirts, trousers, and coats, which can then be augmented with seasonal pieces.”
It’s a way of organising your closet, that has hit the mainstream and I’ve been wanting to do this for SO long- but I’ve never had the time/ motivation to actually motivate myself to dive into the hell pit that is my clothes collection and sort it out. Well, folks, the day has finally come- so I’m going to take you for the ride with me!
For starters, let me just point out that this project is about sensible, staggered and more useful purchasing- when it comes to buying clothes. It’s about buying things that you can keep and then leaving you able to add bits in and out as season and style changes. It’s not an excuse for me to buy more clothes, but more a way to edit my wardrobe.
The classic capsule wardrobe only has 37 items of clothing (not including underwear, sports clothes or loungewear) but for me- this project is far more about keeping the things I actually love and that have use and value… and gifting away or donating the things that I have no more use for!
Where to start?
Some of the advice that is suggested in any of this books or blogs you read about it, is to make a daily week in your life- and then the clothes you would most likely wear in those places. Since I spend the majority of my week in the office, I rarely need to dress up and going out OUT is a much rarer occasion than it used to be, this is what my week is looking like:
Work: I get to wear super casual and super relaxed clothes to work, so jeans, jumpers, nice blouses, and tops.
Social/ Weekends: Most of my weekends involve chilling around the house, going to the cinema, out to dinner and every now and then going for drinks or dancing with my girlfriends. It means that I need a couple of nicer things for going out, but primarily a chilled out wardrobe.
Home: I slob around in my dressing gown and PJs the majority of the time I’m at home with Luke. So comfort comes first here!
There’s a really great video here from the Anna Edit on how she’s been making the transfer if you’d like some more information about actually going about building one yourself:
So, now I understand the basics- here’s what happened when I began my own clearout:
Underwear, bras, tights:
I have an unbelievable amount of socks, pants, and tights. Like seriously- our chest of drawers is fit to bursting. The problem is, a lot of the stuff I own- actually no longer fits. My boobs seem to have taken on a life of their own this year and have gone up a size or two, which means several of my bras are no longer comfortable or fitted. My clear out meant that I threw away anything that I literally felt was strangling me to death in the boob jail department- so now:
To buy: New bras that actually fit nicely. Yay TMI!
Trousers, jeans, leggings:
I genuinely have a friend who has about 25 pairs of jeans, so I was feeling a bit smug at the fact I own only 6 pairs. Admittedly three of these are plain blue ones, one is black, one is black with rips and the other is blue with rips. I’m wondering how many items of clothing I’m actually needing to keep here- and because jeans are such a staple part of what I wear to work, I’m tempted to keep all of them for now. (Why am I such a hoarder)
I don’t own leggings really anymore- because I think they look awful on my body and they just drag an outfit down- but I really want a couple of pairs of nice trousers that aren’t jeans. I’m thinking about investing in this sort of thing for work!
To buy: Smart trousers
Tops, blouses, t-shirts:
I have 26 tops. Bloody hell, I mean- do I really need all that?? I’ve decided to keep three nice blouses for work because quite often I’ll be expected to dress smarter. I’ve also got three checked shirts- which are leaving the wardrobe since I literally never wear them- and I’m donating a few t-shirts and vest-tops that are decent enough quality to charity. That should leave me with still too many- but at least they will be ones that I actually like and will wear eh?
To buy: NOTHING. I am a bloody tops maniac.
Skirts, shorts, dresses:
I’ve got three pairs of denim shorts, three nice skirts and an absolute abundance of dresses (literally it was all I wore at one point in my life) I’ve had to put a few of the skirts in the reject pile, as I haven’t really worn them since I was 18 and had no hips- those babies wouldn’t go on if I lost all the weight in the world nowadays.
From my excessive dresses collection, I’ve decided to part with some of the cutesy little girl ones that I had back in the day- because my style has changed so much since then. I’m keeping one or two for the odd family event, afternoon tea, general summer pretty stuff- but the majority are going to the charity shop.
I’m keeping three of my LBDs for going out events and also because black dresses are absolutely timeless and have served me well.
The problem that I’ve really been having though- is that I’m sentimental about clothes. I’m still dithering over whether to give away the dress I wore at my graduation. It’s beautiful, pretty and I loved it at the time- but I can’t see any occasion in the future that I’m ever going to want to wear it. GAH.
To buy: Nothing yet- see what I want in the summer.
Ah my babies. I love a jumper and I love that winter fashion means I can just snuggle up in these all the time. But honestly, the amount I have is bordering on madness. In my capsule clear-out, I’ve thrown out a couple of jack wills ones that are too small, a couple of knits that have shrunk in the wash and one or two that are frankly just sitting collecting dust. I probably don’t need anymore, but I can’t resist a damn pastel sweater so…
To buy: Replacement knitwear for all the stuff I failed to wash properly.
I’m really not a bag person at all. I haven’t had a proper handbag… um…ever? I prefer to carry most of my stuff in coat pockets or slung in a rucksack. So this decluttering was pretty easy. I’ve got two going out bags, which I’m keeping for useful purposes- and one rucksack. I’m wondering if I’m getting to the age where I should probably invest in something though… the burden of Luke’s life is not being able to give me his shit to carry hehe.
Jewellery and makeup wise- I’ve been doing a huge clear out lately (which I’ll probably detail more in another post)
To buy: A handbag- because I’m an adult now who should probably accept I need one
Coats and jackets:
I just counted and I have 4 denim jackets, one bomber jacket and one winter coat. (Plus two raincoats) I’ve decided to give up one of my denim ones to the clothes bank- but at the moment, I’m struggling to part with any of the other ones. They’re one of my wardrobe staples, but this project is about streamlining the contents of my closet. HELP.
To buy: Nothing. I need to get rid!
My shoe collection is pretty basic: two pairs of adidas trainers, one pair of converse, one pair of winter boots, three pairs of heels, one pair of flats, one pair of sliders.
The thing that I feel like I’m actually missing is chelsea boots. I used to have a gorgeous brown pair, but it looks like they got lost in the move.
To buy: Ankle/ chelsea boots.
It’s been fun actually having a declutter of all the crap that I seem to have accumulated over the last few years- and it means that a lot of the purchases I’m going to make into 2018 will be the things I actually need, rather than just want.
I’ll be donating most of the stuff to a clothes bank or charity shop near me- but if you’re reading this and you know me- hit me up! I’ve got plenty to share around 🙂