Lessons from the Capsule Wardrobe


I've been working with a capsule wardrobe since October and as the first segment of the wardrobe comes to a close, I wanted to discuss a few lessons that I've learnt whilst undertaking this project. I was under no illusion that it would be easy; aside from my shopping obsession and love of fashion I also work in a shopping centre and consider charity shopping a legitimate hobby, so I knew it would be challenging, to say the least!

The purpose of the capsule wardrobe can be found in more detail in this post and starting to feel 'owned' by my possessions was really getting me down. I decided to give this project a try for a couple of reasons; to see if I could being just one of them. That's not to say it was an easy first segment of the project; this stretch from October to December has taught me several things about the good and bad elements of a capsule wardrobe.

- The first capsule is all wrong. I made lists, plotted and planned and meticulously built my capsule at the start of October; and by December I was packing away things I hadn't worn once. This was because I picked things I really wanted to wear over things I actually knew I would wear. A couple of the things weren't weather appropriate. Some of them were repeats of other things (I had about 8 tee shirts) but realising where I went wrong has helped me to be more thorough when planning my next capsule.

-Neutrals can get boring. Despite my love of anything non-colour, when there's no other interest in your wardrobe whatsoever it can get a little dull. I've been sure to include a couple of splashes of colour in my Winter capsule, as well as a few different prints.

-The way you shop will change. Whereas I would simply shop based on things I liked/prices/things I already had, I realised that shopping this way meant reams of tops that ended up on my Depop after one wear; multiple pairs of black skinny jeans, a trillion flat black ankle boots. Shopping according to need is so different; I have got one pair of amazing black ankle boots; the perfectly fitting pair of black jeans, a handful of tops that fit beautifully and that I love to wear. I don't impulse buy any more. When shopping for my Winter capsule I did pick up a pair of boots on impulse, and they sat under my clothing rail for 2 days before I returned them. If you love something, you'll wear it straight away. If you don't, well, maybe you don't love it/need it as much as you thought.

-I haven't saved any money. The biggest thing I thought would come from the Capsule Wardrobe project would be that I'd suddenly have pots of spare cash, and I don't! I think that this is because even though I am buying less, I am investing in nicer pieces that cost a little more than, say, a couple of cheap tops from Zara. Although the money I am spending, or have spent, is working harder in my wardrobe and I hope that once I've bought into the key pieces, I'll only have to refresh them every so often.

-It makes getting dressed a breeze. Everything goes with everything, and everything is lovely. I do have to keep on top of the washing more though!

-It's ok to deviate from the rules. About halfway through this first section of the capsule, I realised that a good section of the items I had picked just weren't working. I didn't feel comfortable in some of the items, and I didn't like the fit of others. So, I donated a lot of my initial picks to charity, but I only replaced with items I already had at home. Initially I thought, I'm failing at this project! but then I thought, well, it's good to see what works and what doesn't; and if I have other options at my disposal, I might as well use them

Do you have a capsule wardrobe? I'd love to know how you are getting on!

XO Amie
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