My Capsule Wardrobe: first attempt


I’ve now got all the rest of my family sick with a tummy bug. Well, that’s not strictly true as Gabriel is pretty much better now, but he still needs to stay indoors and away from other children for another 24 hours.

Anyway, I’ve had a fair bit of thinking time over the last few days and one of the things I’ve been thinking about is clothes. Specifically, what I need to stay cosy and reasonably stylish for the winter, as after clearing out the stuff that’s now too big for me my wardrobe is sorely lacking in appropriate clothing. Back in 2015 I spent some time trying to wrap my head around what a capsule wardrobe would mean for me–I devoured the Colette Wardrobe Architect posts and was a regular visitor to the blog Into Mind–but for some reason I never quite figured out how to whittle my clothing into any kind of coherent capsule. I’ve never been a particularly minimalist person, and while I’m increasingly drawn to the idea it’s tough to figure out how to downsize my possessions. I also have a fair few items of clothing that I’m attached to, but that only go with one or two other things. I KonMaried my wardrobe a couple of years ago, but it was in need of another overhaul.

Yesterday I reread this post on Un-Fancy and suddenly something clicked. I went to my wardrobe and followed her steps. I put all my special occasion clothes at one side of the wardrobe (behind the door that isn’t so easy to open) and put all of my out of season clothing into a box under the bed. And I was left with… very little indeed. But rather than feeling alarmed, I felt strangely relieved. Like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. In fact, I felt the same way I feel when I look at my bookcase (books were the other thing I KonMaried back in 2015): every book there is one I truly value and they give me joy. I know I could pull any one of them off the shelf and find something interesting to read.

So, I’ve got a capsule of sorts now, but I think I need a few more items to get through the winter with outfit options. Caroline on Un-Fancy suggests 37 items, excluding accessories, special occasion wear, workout clothes, underwear, loungewear, etc.

I don’t think 37 quite cuts it for the British climate, where we need plenty of layers to deal with the changeable weather. Here then, is my plan for a 40 piece capsule wardrobe to suit my needs:

  • 9 tops
  • 9 layering pieces (cardigans, jumpers, shackets etc)
  • 4 pairs of trousers (or in my case, leggings/jeggings)
  • 6 skirts
  • 4 dresses
  • 4 pairs of shoes/boots
  • 4 coats/jackets/gilets (outerwear, basically)

My current count is as follows:

  • tops: 8, three of which I’m not entirely sold on and would happily replace. Need 1, replace 3
  • layering pieces: 8, two of which I would happily replace and two of which need repair/finishing. Need 1, replace 2, repair 2
  • Trousers: 4
  • Skirts: 6 (one of which needs repairing) Repair 1
  • Dresses: 3 (one of which is really a spring/summer dress, so could do with being swapped for something warmer) Need 1, replace 1
  • Boots: 3. Need 1
  • Coats: 3. Need 1

So as you can see, there is room to make/buy a few things to round out my wardrobe and give me more outfit options.

Here is my wishlist:

  • Tops: a turtleneck top, two long sleeve tees, one more dressy top
  • Layering pieces: a chunky jumper, a boyfriend cardie, and a longline open sleeveless cardie of some kind.
  • Dresses: a sweater dress and a dungaree dress
  • Boots: a pair of ankle boots
  • Coat: a fake fur coat – leopard print, preferably!

Some of these I plan to make (the tops, dresses and possibly the cardies), and some I’ll be looking around for as I should hopefully get some money to spend on clothes for Christmas. Maybe I’ll get lucky on eBay in the meantime, though!

img_6485I’ve also started having a play with my Stylebook app and putting together outfits using the options I have (see left for an example). It’s made me realise that even with that few clothes available, I still have plenty of choice in putting together different outfits. Of course, they might not go together well in reality–I haven’t tried that particular combination just yet so I can’t comment–but if I do find outfits that work really well I can input them to keep a record and aid my memory. Really useful when trying to get dressed super fast before Gabriel wrecks my bedroom!

I realise this might seem like over-thinking and self-indulgence of the highest order, but I want to put in the thought now so that I can spend my time making (and money buying) clothes that I will actually wear. And wear until they fall to pieces, preferably. That’s the ultimate goal. Spend less and make less, but have more fun doing so.

In addition I had a think about colours, and put together a tentative colour palette to guide my choices. I followed this post on Into Mind, and came up with the following. Excuse any crapness of the colours–it was the best I could do with my set of colouring pencils. Maybe at some point I’ll dig out my watercolours and make another attempt (adding a forest green and olive which just looked wrong in the pencil), but for now, this is it:


That’s chocolate, maroon and french navy as the main colours, black and grey as the neutrals, and pinky-purple, purple and red for the accent colours. Most of my wardrobe is already in these colours, so it’s just a case of going with what I know I like to wear 🙂

So, anyone else out there ready to declutter and embrace the capsule wardrobe concept? Or minimalism of any kind? Or does the whole concept of less stuff bring you out in hives?





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