The Anti-Capsule Wardrobe

14.1.16

 HOW TO REALISTICALLY STREAMLINE YOUR WARDROBE


The phrase "capsule wardrobe" gets bandied about all over the place and is an idea I've toyed with on more than one occasion.  It has its merits; a cleaner, well-considered collection of interchangeable outfits and I do think some of the 'rules' make sense.  In fact, I'd love to be one of *those* girls who can live with a minimalist, rotating collection of clothes but it just ain't me.

So in tackling the concept of a capsule wardrobe, I've collated the widely accepted Rules and either challenged or accepted them.  Whether you choose to strip it right down or follow my more, easy-going advice, the result *should* be a more streamlined wardrobe.

Remove all but 37 items | Depending on where you look for advice, various items are excluded from this....but who honestly has time to count?  My wardrobe isn't overflowing and I've recently successfully culled over 5 bags of unloved garments, but I'm pretty sure I'm still over the limit.  Don't sweat the numbers.  Everyone's wardrobe needs are different and if you're satisfied that you've made a decent attempt to clear everything out, then that's good enough for me.  And it should be for you, too!  Ask a friend for moral support help if needs be.  I invited my sister along and she was ruthless.  Be sure to use the 4 piles approach: keep (if you love it), store (if it's seasonal or isn't quite working right now), donate (if it's good enough quality), throw (if it's not worth anything to anybody) in order to speed up this process.

Go for key pieces, alongside complementary basics with statement extras | Yeah so this pretty much sums up my wardrobe, but I think I've made clear that I won't be restricting myself on quantities!  If a jumper fits me well you can bet I'll have bought it in more than one colour.  Key pieces are my classics (well cut trousers, a leather jacket, LEOPARD PRINT!), basics make up the bulk/abundance of my wardrobe and extras tend to be accessories where I really invest my money.

The 'store' pile goes away for 3 months | In theory this is a great idea and if it works for you, so much the better.  Set a reminder on your phone - the seasonal things may come back into use, and you might find that something which you didn't love before is now ticking all the boxes for you.  In my case, I never revisited my 'store' collection and it just gathered dust.  I did semi-stick to the rules however....if, when you remember to go back and check, you haven't felt the desperate urge to wear any of the packed up items then it's time to get rid.  I ended up chucking it all.

You're on a shopping ban for 3 months | Let me start by explaining that this magical "3 months" roughly represents a season.  But please, who has the willpower to avoid shopping for that long??  Even if it's just picking up odd bits here and there (that roll neck jumper I didn't even know I *had* to have), I'm not sure cold turkey is the way to go.  Like I said, more power to ya if you manage it, but it just doesn't seem the realistic approach.  By all means if you're a spendaholic whose shelves are overflowing then try to cut down....even if you allow yourself to just buy one new thing a month.....but there's nothing worse than missing out on buying something because you didn't get it there and then.

2 weeks from the end, start planning for what you need to buy to plug the gaps in your wardrobe | I think I've covered this above, and if you're like me you'll have been buying bits and pieces as and when.  I do think there's sense to this rule though - if it's approaching winter and you know you'll need a new coat then it makes sense to plan in advance and perhaps save a little to enable you to purchase one ready for the cold.

Go on a spree and buy for your next season | If you've followed the rules but spent your money elsewhere during the season then you may find yourself a little stuck here when it comes to replacing items you've got rid of.  Alternatively, revisit your storage pile and see what you can switch into your current wardrobe for the weather ahead.  On another note, I also feel like the storage pile only really works if you've got the space to store.  If I spring clean I like instant gratification, and it's only since moving to a house from a bedroom in my parents' house that I've had the room to tuck away unloved items.

So my take-home advice for cleansing your wardrobe? 

Find out what works for you.  Take the rules with a pinch of salt - adapt them into something that fits in with your lifestyle, your personal style and your goals when it comes to clearing through your cupboards.

And that's the realistic approach.

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