Thursday, 9 November 2017

How I built an Autumn Winter Capsule Wardrobe


Y’all have to excuse the unfinished mess of room that I am shooting in at the moment (yup that house renovation thang is still ongoing… slow and steady wins the race, as they say). However, I did say that I wanted to stop using that as an excuse not to post, as I am enjoying writing on the reg, so without further ado, let’s embrace the mess and talk capsule wardrobes!

I avoided the idea when it was the buzzword a couple of years back. The idea of narrowing down a wardrobe to its bare minimums just didn’t seem like it’d suit an indecisive gal like myself. Surely, I need and wear pretty much everything in my entire wardrobe? Wrong.

My mindset did change after watching the minimalism documentary at the beginning of the year. Not only did it make me realise that I probably don’t need EVERYTHING that I’d piled up, crammed in and squashed down, but it was also quite stressful trying to find anything to wear in the morning amid the clutter, and so I found myself sticking to the same three or so outfits I had in rotation (wash - pile - wear) and forgetting about the rest.

Firstly I undertook a mammoth wardrobe clear out, filling four bin liners of clothes and shoes for charity and setting aside a few items for depop. It’s always hard to be brutal so with every piece, so if you struggle being ruthless ask yourself the following questions: “Am I going to wear this, at some point this year?” and then, “Am I REALLY though?” 

I figured, if I didn’t wear and item this year, I for sure won’t like it next year, and if my some strange miracle I do still like it, chances are my butt won’t fit in it next year, because I am planning to embrace age, gravity & nature’s pear-shaped course.

Within a week, my life was sartorially clutter-free.

I thought that’d it be it, new wardrobe, new me, but no, the mischievous ghosts of shopping past, were still lurking, following me around the internet with Topshop’s newest faux-fur numbers, Zara’s finest selection of printed shirts and before I knew it, my rails were bulging once more.



More than anything, I wanted to make sure I was actually wearing the majority of pieces I owned, so I succumbed and looked up, ‘How to make a capsule wardrobe?”

I came across the Project 333 challenge, which invites you to dress with 33 items or less for three months. Starting in Mid-October, three months would see me through to the back-end of winter, which seemed doable.

The next thing I did was  go through my wardrobe again and pick out anything that was distinctly ‘summer’ – denim shorts, playsuits, even my beloved lightweight dungas – and pack those in to storage bags in my main wardrobe. 

I decided that my new curated wardrobe would be put together on a spare clothes rail, separate to the main wardrobe, and in clear daily view. No out-of-sight out-of-mind happening here!

I then started throwing what was left into piles by category – coats & jackets, jumpers, trousers, shirts and tees. Within each category, I tried to make sure, that I had a mix of different styles that would allow me some versatility for whatever I had planned…

Coats & Jackets

Given the season, I allowed myself a few choices in this category. As mentioned in my last post, I had treated myself to a new faux-coat this season – a little 70s style big-collared dream, so I told myself that’d be my ‘fancy’ coat. The piece I’d wear if I was going out for the day, or needed a nice cover-up for the evening. I had a couple of trench coats, so I packed away the lightweight options for summer, and kept a more winter-appropriate navy trench and a heavy-weight cotton olive trench, that I could layer over jumpers & jeans for work. With the colder months looming, I did make sure to include a few other jacket styles – my classic leather biker, a long-line jersey gingham coat and a striped blazer suit jacket.

Jumpers

I am always cold, so I made sure to add a selection of knits to the rails. I love the colour-block styles at the moment, so I went for a shorter waist length version, a longer baggier jumper as well as a couple of roll-necks

Trousers & Skirts

I rarely wear dresses these days, I barely wore them in the summer, so I knew I had to refrain from adding these in. Favourite dresses that I wot ever get rid of, were safetly stored away in garment bags, and on the rail, I only added one dark burgundy tea dress and a super versatile button-up denim skirt from Joanie that I would be able to style with a heap of different things. Trousers & jeans are my go-to, so my selection includes three pairs of jeans (a black and dark indigo straight-leg and a baggier pair of vintage levis), and a couple of pairs of trousers (navy striped straight-leg, vintage military blue fatigues, blue cullotes and a bolder mustard-yellow cigarette pant for when I need some colour).


Shirts

I had a moment on Zara. I always have moments on Zara, but this time I was somewhat impulsive but also fairly sensible, stocking up on a bunch of printed shirts, that would give my day-to-day working wardrobe a lift, rather than just purchasing pretty one-time wear pieces. There’s… stripes, stars, oriental print body’s, silky bird prints and even a fun zebra print. I’m telling you this because if anyone hears me complain that I need new clothes or I can’t find anything to wear, call me a liar. These shirts are the business; smart enough for work, pretty enough for a dinner-date. I’m SORTED.

Tees

Let’s not forget the basics. Whilst we are entering non-tshirt territory, I will be layering up with a comfy tee base under most outfits, for the majority of the time so I included eight tees in my selection. When packing away my summer stuff, I did try and eliminate the tees that got a lot of wear over the summer months, to add a sense of newness to my A/W dressing, and to fool myself into thinking I have new clothes to try week-on-week. The Saintly Leo tee was an essential buy, and will remain an essential in my capsule collection.


Accessories, Shoes & Extras

I’ve decided one pair of sock-boots, vans, black flats, dr martens Chelsea boots and my trusty converse is all I need to get me through the next couple of months. I’ve also hung up a baker boy hat (for bad second-day hair) and one super special occasion dress (winter weddings, yas!)



All in all, I narrowed my wardrobe down to around 37 pieces. Slightly over the target set by Project 333, however, I reasoned that as long as I’d managed to curate a selection of seasonally appropriate garments that I am confident I will actually wear and enjoy styling for the foreseeable future, I’ve made a good start. Seeing all those pieces together on one rail, makes me happier in the knowledge that I’ll be able to easily to say no to new purchases, and as advised “do more with less”, mixing and matching each week to add a bit more variety to my everyday look

Now just to see how long it lasts! Whether I can stick to only these pieces for the next three months, will be a challenge, but I’m going to give it my best shot. 

Two weeks in and so far, so good - wish me luck!

Much love,

L xo
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