I’ve never considered myself very stylish. I wanted to feel stylish but always felt like I was pretending when it came to clothes. ‘Who would I try to be this week?’ I grew up reading fashion magazines, thinking the women in them looked perfect. I wanted to be perfect too so I would try and dress like them. I never knew what my ‘style’ was. I just used to buy whatever the celeb I was into at that time was wearing or what glamour magazine told me to. If I saw a friend looking good in something, I’d maybe buy that. Like most women, I aimlessly built up a huge collection of clothes, shoes and bags that just weren’t right for me.
It’s a completely different story today. I’m down to 32 items of clothing, shoes and accessories to last me the entire year and I love wearing each and every one. It’s so freeing. No more ‘what the hell am I going to wear’ moments and whilst I still have those off days like we all do, on the whole I feel happy but most importantly comfortable in my clothes.
After a major wardrobe declutter 18 months ago, it dawned on me that I actually didn’t like any of the clothes in my wardrobe. A lot of them were trend items, really cheap, poorly made and would only ever last a year of washes – fast fashion. Once I’d overcome the initial feeling of panic, I decided to do something about it. It didn’t take much research to discover the idea of a ‘capsule wardrobe’ and it didn’t take much longer for me to fall head over heels in love with the idea of them. There’s nothing I love more than a project to obsess over and so it began. Over the last 18 months I’ve sold or donated every piece of clothing I owned, raising about £2,500 (I had a lot of stuff!), and replaced them with fewer higher quality items that actually suit me and my 5”2 frame and better yet won’t go out of style.
The official definition of a capsule wardrobe is a collection of a few staple pieces that you add seasonal items to in order to complete your wardrobe and keep it on trend. It’s a personal choice but I don’t do that. I have a year round wardrobe and I don’t add to it. If I want to buy something new, which is very rare now, something has to go. It’s called the one in one out method and it works really well for me right now. I still love to follow trends but I don’t buy into them. You could say it’s something else I decluttered. So, when I talk about my capsule wardrobe, what I actually mean is my entire wardrobe, everything I own.
I don’t define myself by them but I do love clothes and being the visual person I am, I really appreciate good design. Because I believe in having less items but quality ones, sometimes I’ll spend what others would deem a lot of money on one item of clothing. The harsh reality is that cheap clothes are cheap for a reason and to a certain extent, you get what you pay for. I want clothes I can wear time and time again that will last. We have to pay more for that initially but over the long term it’s more cost effective because the items don’t need replacing as frequently. I think this article by Sarah Ann Hayes explains this brilliantly. So far this year I’ve spent £0.00 on summer clothes because all the items I bought last year are just as good. They still feel just as relevant. This means more money for things that actually add value to my life – always travel in my case.
Over the last 18 months I’ve learned so much about discovering personal style and how worthwhile it is I could write a book. Committing myself to owning less made me think really carefully about what I allowed to make up my wardrobe. Little things like realising colour wasn’t my thing and accepting that about myself were such a confidence booster. I’d discarded all the items that had colour because they didn’t give me those butterflies. It’s a personal choice but having neutral colours makes putting an outfit together feel so much easier. I’m not someone who likes to be ‘noticed’, I’ll never be the girl that walks into a party wearing a bright red look at me dress. My style is much more muted and I’m ok with that.
With all this in mind, I wanted to show you what’s in my wardrobe right now – annoyingly some of the items weren’t available anymore, so I’ve replaced them with a similar alternative. The links below follow the order of the images in this little collage I’ve created for you. Like I said, some of the items are expensive but in their defence they are classic pieces and will last for years to come. I don’t feel the need to justify my personal choice but please don’t think I’m saying you have to spend this much on clothes – you don’t. Creating the right wardrobe for you is all about finding the right balance. The purpose of this post is to share with you what has worked for me. One size doesn’t fit all, there is no perfect capsule wardrobe formula and I’ve written more about that here.
- Black silk camisole / Long sleeve grey t shirt / Short sleeve striped t shirt / Short sleeve white t shirt / Short sleeve black t shirt / White silk button up shirt
- Black long sleeve turtle neck / White off the shoulder top / Stripe dress / Black slip dress / Denim shorts / Black skinny jeans
- Medium blue skinny jeans / Black tailored trousers / Black roll neck sweater / Black long sleeve sweater / Grey sweatshirt / Black tailored blazer
- Black trench coat / Black faux leather jacket / Grey coat / Black shopper bag / Black cross body mini bag
- Grey gloves (no link available anywhere in June, sorry) / Grey scarf / Panama sun hat / Black pointed flats / Black chelsea boots
- Black espadrilles / White sandals / Black pointed heeled court shoes / Black and white trainers
You’ll notice there are no leather items here. I’m a vegetarian and again that’s personal choice. I just wanted to include that little fact in case you were wondering.
I’ve got so much more to say on capsule wardrobes but I thought I’d leave it here for now. If you’ve got any questions or there’s anything else you’d like me to cover feel free to leave them in the comments below or email me.
I want to know if you’ve tried putting a capsule wardrobe together? What would you have in your year round wardrobe?
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