At heart, I’m a real minimalist. My dream is to have a clutter-free home – sadly, I live with a toddler and a hoarder… When I first read about capsule wardrobes, I became OBSESSED. For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, the idea is that you cut down your wardrobe to a total of just 30-ish items of clothing; these should all go with each other so that you can effortlessly mix and match them to create lots of different outfits. In theory, every piece should be something both that you love and that looks good on you.
This is isn’t about me being a slave to clothes and fashion. I don’t think I’m a particularly stylish person, but I do like clothes, and I like to look nice. What appeals to me about the capsule idea is that having a wardrobe filled with items that all look good and all work well together takes the stress out of getting dressed in the morning, because you can always find something to wear.
Step 1: The wardrobe clear-out
While I love the idea of having a full-on capsule wardrobe, I’d have to actually buy quite a lot of new clothes to make it work, as my existing ones don’t mix and match that well. For now, I want to take the principles of a capsule wardrobe and use them to streamline my wardrobe.
My first tentative step took place a couple of months ago – it involved a ruthless clear-out of my closet. I don’t know about you, but although I have plenty of clothes, I seem to wear only a handful of them – either because I no longer like the rest, or because I never liked them, or because they don’t fit any more. Sometimes, even the clothes I do like get buried at the back of my wardrobe and I forget they exist.
Anything in there that didn’t fit had to go (having had a baby, there were all kinds of in-between clothes taking up space). Anything that I’d not worn for a long time went too. I reckon I got rid of nearly half my wardrobe – there were so many redundant clothes!
I also put anything that wasn’t seasonally appropriate in vacuum bags and under the bed (I used to laugh at Nicky for doing this as I didn’t see the point). Even though I don’t have many clothes that are just for summer, losing them from the equation gave me a bit more space, which allowed me to actually see my clothes in the morning when I’m getting dressed.
Step 2: Changing bad shopping habits
Unfortunately, since then, the clutter has crept back in. I feel like I can’t see all my clothes easily and there are quite a few things that survived the first cull but haven’t been worn since. Since I haven’t missed anything that I initially threw away, I feel ready to get on with closet clear-out, round two.
However, this time around, I’ve realised that one of the key things preventing me from streamlined wardrobe bliss is the way I shop. I don’t feel like I buy that many clothes, but there are definite shopping bursts throughout the year, and these purchases all add up. Embarrassingly, I already know that of the things I’ve bought over the past few months, there are quite a few I’m not going to wear. I’d really like to start buying fewer, better quality pieces that fit me well and will last, rather than raiding my favourite shops (Primark and H&M).
With that in mind, my end-of-year resolution has been to not buy any more clothes until after Christmas, in the hope that I’ll avoid impulse purchases by giving myself time to think about new buys first. I’ve actually managed to hold off buying anything new since mid-October, although I’ve been very tempted. I’ll let you know how I got on in the new year!
PS – if you’re thinking of getting rid of your clothes, Traid will come to your home to collect donations.
PPS – you need to add these to your capsule wardrobe.
What about you – is your wardrobe stuffed with stuff or slick and streamlined?
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