Top from Finery (here)
When I started this blog in 2009, it was all about staying stylish on a shoestring. I tried to supplement my wardrobe with items found on eBay and in charity shops, as I've never had the disposable income to simply buy hoardes of new clothes on a whim. I did find that a portion of capsule wardrobing was concerned with buying better, and I completely agree with this-trying to buy better quality, better ethically, and better sustainably have been considerations for me especially in more recent years. But I did find that though I was spending less, because I was buying less, the items I was choosing were all carefully curated and still bought with some sort of discount or markdown. I can't stop being thrifty so easily!
The purpose, I think, of capsule wardrobing is to spend less time shopping. To spend less time considering what you need and more time enjoying what you have. Whilst I also subscribe to this thought, there are definite advantages to being considered when you're buying, especially in terms of saving money.
Let's say you wanted to buy a leather jacket. An investment purchase, something you might want to keep for several years. Would you buy the first one you found? Perhaps, but then what if you saw the same jacket elsewhere for a lower price? You'd feel annoyed that you missed the opportunity to make a saving, well, I would, anyway. I think there is something to be said for shopping around-comparing options, seeing where savings and deals can be made.
A few retailers have cottoned on to this and actually help you to save money on purchases. Finery, a brand I have shopped with for a year or so, give you 10% of your purchase back as vouchers once you've spent a certain amount on site. This means that you can often end up buying pieces at a discount, or you can save up you vouchers to buy a special item. ASOS are another good example; their 'saved for later' list allows you to keep track of items you might want to buy and then you can snap them up if they are discounted or go into the sale. This is another reason why I stopped limiting myself to purchasing for the capsule within the last week of the season-I might not be able to find what I'm looking for, or I might want to wait for an expensive item to be reduced.
I think the key to buying well is to ensure that you buy things that you truly love. I watch so many YouTube hauls in which clothes are shown off accompanied by "I kind of like it. It's ok. I might not wear it but I can't be bothered to return it." If something doesn't make you feel fabulous, it's not worth the wardrobe space.