There are several YouTubers and bloggers I follow who live by a capsule wardrobe. They don’t just live by it; they fully recommend it, citing how wonderful it is to know they can get out of bed in the morning and easily choose an outfit that will colour co-ordinate and work for them. I have been fascinated by this, but to be honest, I’ve always thought it wasn’t really for me, I mean, if you want to see the state of my wardrobe/dressing room, then take a look at the tour coming soon to my YouTube channel! However, for four weeks at the beginning of the year, I went to stay in America (accompanying Chris on a work trip) so I really didn’t have a choice as everything I wore for a month had to fit in my suitcase. I’m currently typing this on the plane coming home and I thought I would share how I got on with my experiment with a capsule wardrobe….
Firstly, if you’re not familiar with what exactly a capsule wardrobe is, then here’s a very quick explanation: It’s about choosing a limited number of items carefully so that the various separates you have will all go together. The idea being to go for quality over quantity and encourages careful thinking before a clothing purchase, rather than buying fashion items on a whim.
There are two main reasons why I wondered if a capsule wardrobe would be right for me. Firstly, I am dreadful at going into my dressing room (I know – I count myself incredibly lucky to have a whole room!) in the morning and spending ages on trying to decide what to wear, particularly when it’s a day that combines working from home and then going out to see people. Over my lifetime, those minutes of indecision would probably add up to a whole week!
Secondly, I agree with the principles of slow fashion, rather than fast fashion. Too many clothes are discarded due to being last season’s trend, and as it was so cheap in the first place, what does it matter? Or for being poor quality so it didn’t last long. I’ve done some research in the environmental cost and ethics of the fashion industry and it’s shocking. In my clothing business, Threads Of A Fairytale, I recycle unwanted fabrics to make new items and that’s my little contribution to improving the situation. I’ll be honest, I’m not so good when it comes to my personal life. I love shopping!
Anyway, I began by making a list. (I usually always begin by making a list, regardless of what it is!) I do this when we go on holiday precisely for my first reason – so no-one must wait for me while I try and work out what to wear! Also, so that my suitcase packing is efficient as possible. (I don’t want to be taking things I never end up wearing. That space could have been for something new I bought!) I planned to take two weeks’ worth of clothes and brave an American washing machine half way through the trip. I spread out a load of clothes over the bed and worked out what would go with what so I’d have enough of a variety so as not to be bored, but at the same time being practical and frugal. In the end, not counting underwear and leggings, I took precisely twenty-seven items.
*Two pairs of trousers.
*One pair of jeggings.
*Seven long sleeved tops.
*Two pairs of boots.
*Oh and a coat.
(Blogger confession. I actually also packed a couple of other dresses purely for the purposes of blogger photo-shoots. I’m not counting them as I didn’t wear them at other times!)
The conclusion: A capsule wardrobe is not for me! Yes, it absolutely did make getting dressed quicker in the morning, but oh my goodness, it was so dull! In order to find items that go together, you end up picking plain colours; neutral colours; ordinary, soulless styles – particularly for the separates. And anyway, I’m more of a dresses kind of girl – they’re more comfortable because there’s no waistband digging in and I think they suit my figure.
The other thing is that although it is a bit annoying; it’s also actually quite fun choosing what to wear every day. I’m not sure I want to take that away after all. I do want to speed it up a little though!
So, what have I learned from trying a capsule wardrobe? I am generally pretty fussy when going shopping anyway, but it has helped me think a bit more about what sort of things to buy. There’s one easy solution to not wearing boring tops and trousers, and that’s not to buy any! I also realised how many items I own that can only be worn with one or maybe two other items in my wardrobe, and I would like my clothes to be more versatile than that. I do have more interesting tops that will go with a plain skirt or pair of trousers, but I didn’t pack them for this trip because they weren’t versatile enough.
Also, I had planned on having a thorough wardrobe clear-out anyway, but now I am keener than ever to get started. Make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel so you don’t miss out on those videos. (It’s going to take some time!)
Here is my YouTube video to watch to go with this blog post:
Do you do the capsule wardrobe thing, or are you haphazardly picking and choosing random clothing items every day like me? Let me know below!