Who remembers Gok Wan’s Fashion Fix? The show on TV encouraging women to embrace a capsule wardrobe. Back then it was a revolution. The concept behind a capsule wardrobe is to own a clothing selection that create a set amount of outfits catering to your lifestyle routine. While there’s no magic number, Caroline Rector – a fashion blogger who created her own capsule wardrobe back in 2014, suggests to ‘aim for 50 or few pieces’.
With fast fashion now in favour, social media has taken away the magic of minimalism. Celebrities don’t wear the same outfits twice – a concept drizzled down to influencers and those who uploads daily photos. It’s this fear within us – ‘we are no longer fashionable’ or, ‘I don’t want to look like I don’t have clothes’.
Repetition felt uncool
Growing up, some of you will know I had terrible insecurity. I felt constantly compared to my sister who loves fashion and shopping. Her confident personality portrayed she was a guru to it all while I wilfully fell in the background. Comments such as: “You’re easier to shop for; first dress and you’ll like it“, and “It’s funny how different you and your sister are. You’re not into clothes are you?” damaged my esteem.
My sister herself lapped it up: “Let’s be honest, I am the one who is good for fashion and you know makeup. I have a better fashion sense so I will tell you what to buy”.
After a year focusing my Instagram feed on fitness, I decided to show more lifestyle blog photos. I felt tremendous pressure to not upload a photo with any clothing the same. This included jeans and trainers. I took some of my mum’s old tops for selfies and dressed myself in loungewear pieces. I also checked the sales and did what I could to post a daily photo in something new.
There are certain shades of limelight that can wreck a girl’s complexion – Audrey Hepburn – Holly Golightly
I still thought my choices were bad and no one would ever think to admire my style. But then the moment came. Updating my blog layout and branding my image, I scrolled back to my previous photos. The majority were absolutely meaningless. Likewise, the outfits the same. They didn’t represent me or my look, and I don’t want to continue this pressure of not wearing pieces twice.
So why a capsule wardrobe?
It’s back in fashion perhaps to spring clean our obsessive need for clothes. Unlike before when capsule wardrobes first became established, this time the rules appear more relaxed; you have freedom to choose.
A capsule wardrobe can:
- Help you figure out your look
- Create more positive outfit days
- Save the environment – fast fashion is highly damaging
- Reduce outfit stress
- Potentially save money
With that being said, here is how to organise one:
If you’re going to organise your wardrobe, it makes perfect sense to source inspiration. You want to make sure you keep everything worthwhile. Mahalakshmi from the blog: Melange of Words, put together a fantastic post on: How to create a mood board.
I have a mood board that inspires my blog, social media and closet. I sent it to my friend who replied: “Oh, you’re really influenced by 60’s glamour”.
Can I tell you the craziest thing – I was keeping clothes purely because I haven’t worn them a lot or there’s no photographs of me in them.Surely, I should remove them, as there’s a reason they’re not in photos. I took baby steps to get rid of old clothing.
For a capsule wardrobe, you have to look at pieces and honestly ask:
- Do I like this enough to wear soon?
- Does it go with other items in my closet?
Removing clothes from your closet is hard at first but hang in there because the after effects are super rewarding. If your outfits are in good condition, it’s nice to donate and know someone else will appreciate.
Mix and Match
There’s no point having a pair of neon trousers if you don’t have anything for them to go with. A good way of knowing what’s worth keeping and what’s not, is to put together various outfit combinations. If you need inspiration, I love Jasmin’s 10 x 10 outfit challenge.
A capsule wardrobe won’t work, if you have all sorts of pieces that don’t mush into outfits together.
Fashion is all about happiness. It’s fun. It’s important. But it’s not medicine – Donatella Versace
Write what you need
We all know about basics – a good jacket, jumper, neutral tops etc. Basics you will wear numerously.
With spring and summer looming, we’re most-likely considering a shopping trip. We often think about individual clothing items. As an example, you’re shopping and you say – I love this skirt, I need summer clothes – I love these wedges – I need summer clothes – a yellow top – I need summer clothes.
This leads you to bulk buy without considering if the tems work with your closet. With a capsule wardrobe, you want to ask yourself what’s missing first before shopping.
For me, my list involves:
- Another pair of cropped trousers
- 2 skirts (day and evening)
- Maxi dress
- A couple of summary tops – sleeveless
Then choose price
Ideally, buying less clothes means you can invest in quality. Decide what’s worth the investment. I would rather spend more on a pair of cropped trousers I’ll continue wearing, as oppose to summary tops lasting a couple of months.
A capsule wardrobe = mindfulness
Ultimately, a capsule wardrobe forces you to think. Have you ever wanted to look a certain way or have a certain piece, yet keep shopping without purchasing it? How many times for example, I’ve told myself I’ll search for a jumper similar to Audrey’s in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I go out and choose the opposite.
When you declutter and limit the belief to keep spending, you evaluate what’s worthwhile. All clothes add up – including fast fashion. And what we all forget, is that style icons are not known collectively. If Audrey Hepburn is your style icon – you think – black dresses, cropped trousers, trench coats etc. If it’s Mary-Kate and Ashley, you picture bold, luxurious clothing that’s hard to pull off.
My only competition is me. Therefore, I can always win and never lose – The Style of Laura Jane
What are your thoughts on a capsule wardrobe? I would love to know if you have any tips or whether you prefer the idea of fast fashion and a lot of clothing. This is my Instagram.
If you loved this post, read: Classic Style: Make Your Wardrobe Timeless