I’m not sure if this comes across in my writing but I’m late to just about bloody everything. My good friend Lauren even asks me to be ready an hour before we’re due to meet for drinks because I just can’t adhere to a time frame. Absolute rebel, I know.
Anyone else find themselves sat on the the bed in their towel staring at the wall for 45 minutes? Me too.
Naturally, attempting a capsule wardrobe would be no different. I am aware I’m late to the party however it gives me an edge. I trailed through blog posts and reviews to find out the mistakes made by those who had bravely capsuled before me.
As we’ve discussed previously I have already taken part in the Marie Kondo method. Picking up each item I owned and asking “does this spark joy?”.
When it came to my asking these questions of my clothes, I found myself saying “ew, God no!” to most of it. This resulted in donating four bin bags full of clothes to charity. I’m sure Scope were thrilled with my low cut “out out” ensembles and short shorts from times passed.
It’s quite unbelievable just how much clothing you accumulate throughout the years. Before doing a proper sort out I’d moved home at least four times and dragged that entire wardrobe around with me (not literally I try not to lift anything at all costs) when I only wore about 10% of it.
Even though I’d already let go of so much something still didn’t sit right with me. I still didn’t love my wardrobe even after the sort out. Had I not been honest with myself about what I really loved? Maybe not. Sometimes it takes a couple attempts to de-clutter your wardrobe because it holds emotions inside each thread. That top I could fit into when I was happy with my weight and that Avril Lavigne T- shirt was from a concert in 2008 so I can’t get rid of that.
I started researching about personal style, curated wardrobes and 37.8 piece collections but I still wasn’t convinced. I needed more help.
Most of my life I’ve felt like my clothes were wearing me. So unsure of my own personal style that I feel I’ve been dressing for a person I might like to be some day, not the person I am now who is actually pretty perfectly imperfect. Naturally I’m not stylish or fashionable and I can’t spot a trend from a mile off but why do I have to. It’s not my job.
If you think about fashion icons they all have a uniform. Something they’re known for and can always turn to to feel great. That’s what I needed. To find those few outfits I could interchange and KNOW I’m going to feel amazing in them.
After following Jessica Rose Williams blog for a while I knew her writing style was one I could relate to. Jess usually goes into the “why” you are doing something instead of “buy this and you’ll have a beautiful wardrobe” kind of approach. I purchased her E-book and couldn’t wait for Dan to bugger off so I could get stuck in.
How to build a year round capsule wardrobe
The complete step by step guide to discovering what your version of a simplified wardrobe looks and feels like to you
As you can imagine if you’ve seen any of Jess’ work the E-book is very aesthetically pleasing which helped me get excited about the task at hand. I made sure Dan was out of the house so he didn’t annoy me (sorry) and I got reading through before I started emptying any drawers so I knew what I was in for.
Led out as a four step process my brain didn’t feel too overwhelmed when I got started. Jess also gives you some key principles to check back in with as you go like..
“Striving to look like other people makes us loose sight of ourselves, always stay true to you”.
I’m not sure about you, but I need reminding sometimes that I’m not 5 ft 11, I’m 4 ft 11 and those trousers will not look the same on me as they did on Gigi. Also wearing that checked skirt will not turn me into Rachael Green.
Just as I’d hoped the E-book included a section to help you determine your why, questions about how your wardrobe currently makes you feel and how you’d like to feel when you look at it in the future.
There is a this/that exercise to help you find your personal style key words which helped me massively decide what to keep and what to let go of.
Information and ideas on mindful shopping and when to spend and when to save are included for the future too because if you don’t keep checking in, it can be easy to end up back where you started.
As an absolute Pinterest addict I was thrilled one of the exercises was to make a board for your personal style and once you start, a pattern becomes quite evident. I then chose three key words to describe what I could see and mine were..
Natural, neutral and simple.
Three of my favourite words, who figured.
When you get down to the de-cluttering you get everything out and create a pile on the bed as you would if you were completing the Marie Kondo method.
Second time around I was not so horrified by what I’d collected but be warned, if this is your first time it could be just as horrifying as looking back on your actual first time. Some clothes mountains can reach the ceiling but please be kind to yourself, no matter how much you own.
Everything a process and accepting where you are right now and making peace with it is such an important part.
Jess’ book took me about two hours to complete, three cups of tea and four biscuits. If this is your first attempt at simplifying give your self at least double that as you’ll need a break to come up for air from the clothes ocean.
I didn’t sort through my underwear, pj’s, gym stuff or accessories so they are not included in my final tot up below.
My year round capsule wardrobe currently contains:
30 pieces of clothing
3 pieces I’ve set aside to see if I miss them
18 pieces of clothing I said goodbye too
No part of the e-book will give you a list of “essentials” you need to buy. Essentials are different to each and every one of us and it was refreshing that once I’d finished I didn’t feel like I needed to go and buy twenty new items of clothes.
I do however have a list a few things I would like to add to my wardrobe when the time is right and I find something I love. In it’s new simplified form it’s easy to see where I might benefit from something, instead of shopping when I had no idea what I owned and coming home to find I’d brought the same top twice. Please tell me I’m not the only one who’s done this?
Having a wardrobe of X amount of items isn’t important to me as long as I only own things I love and need and feel a sense of joy and calm when I look at them.
A few friends have asked how I survive after getting rid of so many clothes but the truth is it’s no different than before. I only ever picked these 30 items up out of the 200 anyway, now it’s just easier to find them.
If you’re thinking of dipping a toe into a capsule wardrobe then I can’t recommend Jess’ book enough.
My “style guide” now sits in the top drawer of my bedside table and it reminds me of my favourite colours, dream style key words, go to uniforms and the feelings I want to always associate with my wardrobe. You know, just in case I forget and start trying to dress like a fictional character again.
Lots of love,