Unless this is your first visit to the site (and welcome if it is) you will know I am a big fan of the Capsule Wardrobe. Whilst we may dream of one of those walk in wardrobes with everything beautifully lined up in it’s own special sections the reality is most of us just want to leave the house looking and feeling good and don’t have the time or money to maintain that kind of wardrobe. So a workable capsule collection is the answer, but don’t think that means it’s boring.
As the Spring stock starts to trickle into the shops I always get excited about what’s new and what the possibilities are to update my wardrobe, have a nod to the latest trend but not lose my style identity. In the past I may have rushed out and bought those orange trousers but now I’m learning to really appreciate what I already have in my wardrobe and making sure that I wear it all and if not, question why it is taking up valuable space. And believe me I try hard to practice what I preach but there is still room for improvement.
I’ve started to question whether a capsule wardrobe really needs that many tunic style tops. Yes I really do love them all but – and here’s the real issue – my lifestyle means I don’t get enough opportunity to wear them. Much of my time is spent in my home office at my desk and whilst I still want to be groomed and presentable I actually have enough in my wardrobe to wear at my desk as well as more dressy pieces for when I am out meeting clients, running events and visiting brands.
So it’s time for a wardrobe weed, something I like to do twice a year at that transition stage between the seasons. Checking what’s in my wardrobe that I haven’t worn during the season that’s ending means it doesn’t get packed away again for next year.
It’s not a luxury to have a day just taking everything out of your wardrobe and trying out new outfit combinations, it’s essential if you want to be able to go to your wardrobe and put an outfit together in minutes. If you need to write down the pieces that make up an outfit and keep it near the wardrobe. Or – as one of my fellow style consultants suggested – make yourself a spreadsheet. You may think this is a little over the top but on the morning you have an important meeting and you oversleep you will be so glad you did it.
Include in this session taking items to the cleaners, getting shoes re-heeled, hand washing your cashmere scarves (top tip – get a washing machine with a hand wash programme) banishing any wire hangers that have crept into your wardrobe and making sure everything has enough room to hang without getting crushed. I can guarantee that if your wardrobe is so stuffed you can’t move things along the rail you have too much and probably only wear about 30% of it!
I’m going to try (!) and only add to my wardrobe if I remove as well. I want to buy more from brands and designers I really love and only things that will earn their place in my wardrobe and become long term favourites. And please don’t just keep things for “best” – wear all of your clothes or sell them, give them to charity or take them to a dress agency (see my post on Style Resolutions). Be brave and admit mistakes so you can have the wardrobe you really dream of having. Own less, wear more and love your wardrobe!