Oh to be that stylish girl, who looks effortlessly chic in her classic tailored combinations, with her neat colour co-ordinated wardrobe. That, unfortunately, is not me. I am more the girl who loves a bargain, likes to wear this seasons trends, spends way too long putting a look together, has a wardrobe stuffed to bursting point with unorganised and even, dare I say it, unworn clothes and after all of that still moans ‘I’ve got nothing to wear!’. If that sounds like you then read on, because I fancy being a bit more like that stylish girl and in order to do so I am going to need to capsulate my wardrobe!
First things first, let’s take a look at the definition of a capsule wardrobe:
- A collection of essential clothes and accessories.
- A basic collection of co-ordinating clothes that can be combined to produce an outfit for every occasion.
- A range of clothes, usually comprising about 24 items.
Did I just read that right? 24! OK so this my friends, is going to be harder than we thought. Where to start? Well I’m thinking a clear out is probably in order first. To do this properly you’re going to need a bit of time, so I would recommend doing it on a weekend when you have no other plans. You will need to gather together every item of clothing you own. Empty your wardrobe, your drawers, under the bed, even pull out stuff from the laundry bin, I literally mean every item you own. I imagine you’re going to get quite a shock when you look at how much stuff you’re actually got, but we will get it down I promise. The next step is to split everything up into four piles, as follows:
It goes in this pile if:
It goes in this pile if:
- It doesn’t fit quite right.
- You’re not sure about the colour.
- It has sentimental value.
- You paid a lot of money for it, but don’t actually wear it.
It goes in this pile if:
- It is hideous – what were you thinking?
- It has a hole, button missing, frays etc.
- It doesn’t fit you.
This will depend on what time of year you are having your clear out, but if for example it is the summer and you have a winter wool coat that you love, then pack it away in a labelled box ready to be used when the weather turns cold.
So, what to do with these piles? The NO pile is easy: give it to charity, sell it on Ebay or think about have a clothes swapping party with friends. Either way, you do not need these items in your life any more! Perhaps, most difficult is the MAYBE pile and you are going to have to be absolutely brutal with yourself here. Chances are, if it’s made it into the MAYBE PILE, then it may as well be in the NO pile, because why keep anything you don’t truly love. However, at this early stage of sorting I’m willing to overlook a couple of garments. So go on, whilst I’m not looking, sneak that dress you used to wear clubbing, but has cocktail stains all down the front of it, into a box that you can hide away in your loft and be done with it. Just promise me, it won’t make its way back into your wardrobe.
You should be left with the LOVE pile, but even this is likely to need a trim down. It should be quite clear by now what your style is and what type of clothes you enjoy wearing. Now, you need to think about your lifestyle: do you wear different clothes to work than you would at weekends for example? If this is the case, then you are going to need more than the suggested 24 pieces, but don’t worry this is only a guideline. What’s most important is decluttering, adding structure and organisation to your wardrobe and coming up with clothing combinations that will make getting dressed in the morning a breeze.
Fashion stylist, Gok Wan, explains, “The idea of a list of basic items has its place, but see them as the foundation of your wardrobe not of your style because if you simply stick to them you will end up with a very generic look. The way to do it is to pick one or two trends every season and introduce elements of these to your wardrobe to bring your key pieces up to date”. We’re allowed our key, go to, classic, items but can mix it up a bit with a couple of seasonal trends, I am loving that advice.
There are three ways you can go about the next step: 1. Do it yourself, 2. Enlist the help of a friend or 3. Download one of the many wardrobe styling apps. Apps, such as Closet, Stylebook and WiShi, all help gather your looks together, giving you styling tips and advice in the process. Project 333 is a minimalist fashion challenge that invites you to dress with 33 items or less for 3 months. They say you should try to stick to the following list of items in your wardrobe:
1 pair of sunglasses
1 utility Bag
1 pair of jeans
2 pairs of shorts/capri trousers
1 pair of smart trousers
2 lightweight jumpers
2 vest tops
1 button down shirt
4 pairs of shoes
1 trench coat
Quite a daunting prospect isn’t it? I must admit I am still to master the capsule wardrobe. I’ve had a good old clear out, so that’s at least something, but I really struggle with the not shopping thing and how do you get a variety of colour in your wardrobe when you are limited to so few items? I get way too much of a buzz from finding a beautiful bargain and it’s a habit that is proving hard to beat especially as it is one that I don’t particularly want to give up. Please let us know how you’re coping with a capsule wardrobe and send us your photos for some style inspiration.