Beauty and Style

A winter capsule wardrobe (my first one!)

December 17, 2015

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I’d been inspired by Vivianna Does Makeup and her capsule wardrobe to give it a go myself – and I’ve actually gone and done it! Just to recap, the basic premise of  a capsule wardrobe is that it’s a small collection of clothes that you love and that you can mix together – usually about 30 items (I’ve linked to some of my favourite capsule wardrobe bloggers below if you want to find out more). The idea is that it takes the time and stress out of deciding what to wear so you can spend that time doing something else.

capsule wardrobe

It started with another big wardrobe purge – and I honestly felt a bit sick about the amount of clothes I was getting rid of again (all I could think about was the money I’d wasted). But getting rid of all those clothes did make me feel really motivated to give this a go properly and start making better buying choices from now on.

One of the key rules of a capsule wardrobe is that once you’ve created your capsule, you don’t go clothes shopping. Instead, you have a capsule wardrobe for each season, and although you might add to it when you change over for the next, you go for three months without buying any clothes.

I decided not to buy anything new for a few weeks – to just live with the clothes I’d kept and see where the holes were in my wardrobe. For me, the idea of approaching my wardrobe as a whole and mixing and matching more pieces was a big change in mindset. Until I started my capsule wardrobe, I had been guilty of wearing pretty much the same jeans, shoes and coat all the time and only switching up the top. Now, I’m trying to wear something completely different every day to force myself to experiment a bit more.

I also made time to work through a wardrobe planner, which was so useful and helped me figure out the clothes I actually need for my lifestyle: comfortable, practical clothes for working from home/hanging out with kiddos. If you’re wondering how to fit smart work clothes into the mix, there are a few options: expand your capsule wardrobe to incorporate both or think about having two separate capsules – one for work and one for home. Try searching Pinterest for ‘work capsule – you’ll find lots of advice and inspiration.


After that, I slowly started buying a few things. This wasn’t actually as fun as it sounds – it felt like I was forever waiting for online orders to arrive and then having to return them! The thing is, not only do I have no time to go shopping, but I don’t have any stamina, either; I always feel exhausted after visiting one shop. Even though I wouldn’t say my capsule wardrobe is complete, I’m pleased with what I have bought so far and have now decided that that’s it: no more shopping until the beginning of March (three months from now).

As far as capsule wardrobes go, mine is a bit small – I’ve only got about 23 items, which is a lot less than the standard 37, but I’m going to go with it and see what happens (anyone who knows me probably won’t be surprised, as I’m renowned for coming on holiday with only a tiny bag). As I said, I found the shopping I did do quite stressful, so I’m not going to force myself to buy anything else and I see this very much as a work in progress.

Technically, I have actually been living with a capsule wardrobe for the past couple of weeks and it’s been so easy: I’ve probably worn a different outfit every day and I’m hoping this variety will be easy to continue! By the way, a little tip I picked up from Anna was to unsubscribe to all newsletters from clothes shops. I was subscribed to H&M, Gap, Boden etc… and was guaranteed to click on an offer at least once a day (dangerous!), so I agree it’s best to remove temptation.

As I’m always curious about these things, and I thought you might be too, I’ve listed my new wardrobe below. Some things are very old and I couldn’t find anything similar, but I’ve linked to everything else, where possible.

A 23-piece winter capsule wardrobe

From top left: cashmere jumper; cardigan (similar); black t-shirt; navy swing top; stripy t-shirt; charcoal jumper; denim shirt (similar); maternity t-shirt (I love the baggy fit!); plaid shirt; sweatshirt (similar); dogtooth trousers; black skinny jeans; boyfriend jeans; joggers; pleather skirt; blanket scarf; leopard-print pumps (similar); ankle boots; pleather jacket; parka; trench coat.

If you’re interested in starting your own capsule wardrobe or want to find out more, then I would start with Unfancy, but I also really like Project333 and Truncation.

I’d love to hear what you think…are you tempted?

P.S. Why you need a trench coat in your life, how to dress casually and how to make sweatpants look stylish.

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    Reply Jen January 7, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    Very impressed you got it down to 23 items (especially for a winter capsule). I’ve found since I started my capsule I’ve become the fussiest shopper – when I was updating recently I lost track of the amount of things I sent back. I blog about my capsule wardrobe, if you’re interested in reading about my experiences (

    • Reply Rachel January 10, 2016 at 9:27 pm

      I actually just got got sick of shopping for it! I’ve been tempted to add a couple of extra items, but I really want to make it to 3 months without buying anything! So far, it’s not been too difficult.

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