Is there anything more upsetting than going to get dressed, and staring at a wardrobe full of clothes, but having nothing to wear? I mean, there is – poverty, genocide, poor health, not winning the lottery, to name a few – but excepting those very serious things, I think this easily ranks the list of my top five upsetting day to day things.
I’d had enough; inspired by pinterest boards and blog posts on capsule wardrobes, I decided that 2017 is the year that I take back control of my clothes.
Most capsule wardrobes are made up of around 37 pieces, including tops, bottoms, outerwear, dresses and shoes, but excluding accessories, underwear, nightwear and workout gear. This would not work for me.
I have over 100 pairs of shoes, I love them all, and wear them. To me, shoes are accessories to dress up an outfit; in the same way that most people would add a statement necklace, I will add concept heels. However, I do concede that there are some staple shoes required for a capsule wardrobe and I will be including them; fancy trainers, flats, flat sandals, black court shoes and nude court shoe. I already own most of these, but I did buy some new trainers for spring.
Once you have decided on the size of your capsule wardrobe, you need to think about the purpose of the clothes you need. My time is mostly divided between the office, working from home and walking in the Welsh countryside. I rarely go for nights out, and if I do it is only to the local pub or the cinema. Our local is frequented mostly by fellow walkers and dogs. Sadly, I have little use for going out and party clothes. I do have a couple of hen do’s to go to in the summer though, so I need 1 or 2 nice dresses.
After you have decided on the style you like and the clothes suited to your activities, it’s time to organise your existing clothes. Brace yourself, because it’s going to get messy!
This capsule is for my work wardrobe, so I am focusing on my smart/smart casual items. I will be doing a similar thing with my casual clothes over the next few weeks.
My work clothes were divided into several categories:
- It Fits, I like it, and I wear it often.
- It fits and I like it, but I don’t wear it often.
- It fits but I don’t like it.
- It nearly fits and I love it.
- It doesn’t fit but has sentimental value.
- I will never fit into this again.
- It doesn’t fit and I don’t like it.
You will now have lots of piles of clothes. As the saying goes, you need to break some eggs to make an omelette, so try not to stress about the mess.
- Clothes that fit and I liked – I put these into smaller piles – seasonally appropriate now & to be worn in summer/autumn/winter. These were then packed away into my seasonal clothes storage bags.
- clothes that fit and i liked but didn’t wear were considered- why didn’t I wear them? Was it self confidence, the season, or just not my style. Depending on the rationale, these were either put in the Yes pile, donated or stored away.
- Clothes that had sentimental value were packed away in storage bags.
- Clothes that almost fit were packed away in the appropriate seasonal storage bags.
- Clothes that didn’t fit were taken to a charity shop.
- Clothes that were old, damaged or really worn were thrown away.
I was then left with an almost empty wardrobe… which explains why I can never find something to wear. Unfortunately it was a lean month in the dragon household, so I couldn’t just go out and buy all the new clothes I wanted.
I decided that I needed some staple items to mix and match until I could buy everything else.
From my current wardrobe I utilised:
- 1 pair black jeans – never worn.
- 1 pair indigo jeans
- 1 black crotchet sleeve top – never worn
- 1 white and gold blouse
- 1 sheer black blouse
- 1 sheer monochrome polka dot blouse
- 1 sheer monochrome striped blouse
- Several plain black vest tops
- Several plain white vest tops
- 1 striped cocktail dress
- 1 black wool skirt
- Black court shoes
- Nude court shoes
- 2 x Black flat shoes
The black skirt is a bit too big, and quite heavy for the spring-like weather we’ve been having, but it’s better than nothing.
It’s now time to go shopping!
I decided that I needed to get a few more shirts, a new skirt, and a light jacket as a bare minimum. I also decided to fight against my natural attraction to all things brightly coloured and shiny, and purposefully picked a neutral palette. So that I didn’t spend too much money, I went to Peacocks, which is a discount clothes brand, for the majority of my purchases and splurged on the jacket, trainers and bag, as these would be going with every outfit.
When you go shopping, try everything on!! The aim of this task is to end up with a set of clothes you can wear without any stress. Don’t worry about what size things are; think about the fit and purpose of the item. I ended up buying some things 2 sizes up, because I wanted a looser fitting shirt to wear over jeans. If the size label upsets you, you can always cut it out when you get home. No one will know.
I ended up buying:
- 1 white shirt
- 4 blush pink shirts
- 2 blush pink vest tops
- 1 striped 2 in 1 shirt/jumper
- 1 striped jumper
- 1 black and white polka dot skirt
- 1 blush pink jacket
- 1 nude mini satchel
- 1 pair blush pink trainers
I will take a better picture of the trainers and bag at some point. These are from River Island’s website.
My Spring 2017 Work Wardrobe!
I am really happy with the results, not only does this look beautiful in my wardrobe, it is really easy to mix and match the clothes, as there is nothing clashing. I can pair my shirts with a skirt for an office appropriate look, or jeans if I want to look more smart casual.
The neutral colours scheme also means that I can wear my outrageous shoes, or different coloured statement jewellery, without clashing and/or giving people headaches.
I have a couple more things I need to buy on the work front (specifically 2 smart work dresses, a plain black and a plain grey skirt and some black trousers), but mostly I’m done. I will show the pictures of my jeans with the casual capsule, coming soon, they go in the other side my wardrobe, which is not photo-ready.
The idea going forward is to wear the items in the capsule wardrobe only, doing no clothes shopping for the full 3 months until the next season. I will let you know how I get on!
Next month I will be focusing on organising my casual wardrobe, which is where the biggest problem lies…
Let me know your thoughts about capsule wardrobes, and if you experience stress getting dressed, in the comments below.