I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the concept of a ‘capsule wardrobe’. Mostly because of Vivianna Does MakeUp who is working through her own capsule wardrobe. I started to do a bit of research on the idea and it seems there are all sort of versions and variations out there. The basic gist of it is to pick a certain number of items that form your basic wardrobe for a season, which is generally three months and these items are mixed and matched to create a variety of outfits. This is obviously not a new concept and the more you read, the more variations you find! Variations such as the number of items, picking a colour palette, what items are included and what are not. Some people include accessories in their capsule wardrobe, some don’t, others include shoes and outerwear and some don’t. One thing I found in nearly all versions is that it has to be relevant to you so it is suggested you pick a number of items that works for you although I’m guessing 100 pieces may defeat the point. Also if for example you don’t wear skirts, don’t include skirts in your capsule wardrobe. You get the drift.
After a bit of reading I was toying with the idea of creating a capsule wardrobe. The first step is to do an inventory type process on your wardrobe and this was my first hurdle. I had the number 37 in my mind (based on Vivianna Does Makeup who based hers on Caroline from Unfancy) and I realised I didn’t have 37 items I was prepared to wear for the next three months. In fact, if I was honest and took out all the pieces I don’t wear (I’m talking wear more than once every few months), I would have very few items. I was left with a sense of unease instead of what I thought was going to be clarity! Should the remaining pieces be my capsule wardrobe? Do I need to invest in more suitable, sustainable items? I knew if I was going to do this I wouldn’t include accessories, shoes or outerwear only because these three categories are a great way of changing the look of an outfit and if I was going to be limited to a certain number of items, I was going to need all the help I could get!
My mind was made up. If I was already thinking of this concept in a negative, limiting way, it wasn’t going to work. So, no I am not going to create a capsule wardrobe but, it has made me think about my wardrobe more carefully. I love shopping, there is no denying that and I’ve been in situations where my disposable income allows me to shop at my leisure and times when my shopping is restricted so I’m well prepared for any situation. The other thing I love is a bargain and getting value for money so my natural instinct when shopping (especially if I’m on a budget) is ‘how many ways can I wear this and can I wear it in all seasons?’. The only reason I mention this is because you need to be clever and resourceful when shopping and also because these are some key elements to what I think the idea of a capsule wardrobe is trying to teach us. Yes we need to be sensible with our money and there is no harm in keeping things simple but clothes and dressing is a form of expression and why should that be limited? Some of you who have successfully completed a capsule wardrobe may feel very differently and not limited at all. Maybe the term ‘capsule wardrobe’ is an unnecessary label as at times, who doesn’t feel like they wear the same thing over and over again? My gingham monochrome dress is a perfect example!
Although I am not running with the idea of a capsule wardrobe I think it is a good concept that could work for some. What I like more though, is investing in pieces that fit well, that I like and that can be worn with other items in my wardrobe across all seasons. Do we need to put a number on these items? For me the answer is no but if by taking this approach you save a bit of money and become a better, more responsible shopper, great, but I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, make sure you have fun doing it along the way!