It’ll be a long time before Sphynx ever becomes a fashion blog, that’s for sure, but part of my quest to kill the consumer aspect of myself has been to explore and embrace the ‘capsule wardrobe’ idea.
‘Capsule wardrobe’ is one of those terms that I’ve heard thrown around by those craving minimalism in their lives. Until now, I’d never taken any interest in it. I’ve always taken ‘capsule’ to be alternate for ‘boring and uniform’, which for a girl who gravitates towards interesting fabrics, textures and designs has assumed to be far too restrictive to be enjoyable.
New Year, new challenge and all that jazz, I decided to throw what I thought I knew to the wind and try it out. The steps I took are below. I used Cladwell’s Capsule system.
- Get everything out of your wardrobe, drawers and laundry basket and put it in one big pile. Then, give your storage spaces a really good clean.
- Make two piles: the first is things that you love and wear all the time; the second is everything else. Move Pile 2 out of sight for now.
- Hang up/fold the items in Pile 1, putting strictly seasonal items into storage, ready to be brought out when needed when the next season rolls around.
- Take a look at what is left in your wardrobe. It actually looks pretty good, doesn’t it? Suddenly you start realising you have loads of things to wear, that you actually like. Funny isn’t it; you get rid of loads of items and are left with so much more wear-appeal.
- Suddenly, your personal style can be seen; it isn’t drowning amongst items that no longer fit but hold sentimental value, things you bought in the sale because they were ‘such a great deal’ only to have the tag still hanging on a year later, and things that simply don’t make you feel great. Pay attention to the pieces you kept, including the colours, textures, fabrics, patterns and shapes. You love all the items you kept; what about them ‘wows’ you? How do they make you feel? You can take some time and make some notes about this to get those things ingrained, or take to Pinterest and create a wardrobe board, if that takes your fancy. The point of this is to learn what you actually like. Get to know yourself.
- Think about your lifestyle. It is no good keeping clothes that you don’t wear because you don’t live a certain lifestyle. If you work from home, invest in comfortable loungewear; if you walk everywhere, invest in practical footwear. This is a vital step in designing a capsule that works for you. You need pieces that work with all the weekly activities you engage in, including work and free time. Be honest with yourself about how your time is allocated; if you only go on a night out once a month but spend most of your week working from home, your wardrobe should mostly consist of well-designed, comfortable basics with a nice dress or two thrown in; not vice versa.
- Once you know what you like and have got your head around how you spend your time, you can think about your shopping list. You will need to add in some interchangeable items to help ‘glue’ together the other pieces in your closet. What pieces are you missing? Some of these things you might be able to salvage from your Pile 2; the others will have to go on your Shopping List.
- Now that you have your shopping list, you can have fun with it, but this time you’ll be taking a different approach as you hit the mall; you will be shopping with intention. Buy the pieces you need to create a completed capsule wardrobe for that season. If you buy well, the pieces will last you for years to come.
- Every new season you can reassess your capsule, putting away items that are no longer suitable with the change in weather. You can also pull out items that have been in storage and think about a few additions you may want to add. This is the only time you do your shop throughout the year; once at the start of each season with the intention of creating a slightly tweaked capsule for where you are at that point in your life and the year.
The idea is that your wardrobe is always filled exlusively with things that you love – no half-assed garb in sight. The idea is that you invest in pieces that are well-made and built to last; made by people who were paid fairly and treated humanely for creating your garments. The idea is that you are fulfilled with what you have, rather than feeling the need to buy, buy, buy. You wear everything you own; everything has a purpose.
We are constantly bombarded with sales and marketing ploys that tell us we won’t be happy until we buy yet another item. Just like the fast food industry, we have a fast fashion industry, and it simply won’t do.
We are destroying our planet with our insatiable need to acquire more and it will not end unless we decide to climb to higher ground and see our behaviour for what it is: greedy. We are constantly trying to get more for less, at any expense, and aren’t finding ourselves any happier. What we are actually finding is we have cluttered homes and minds, which is certainly not conducive to bettering ourselves.
Have a think about it. Create a capsule and get on track to decluttering your home in 2016. Opening up the doors to a wardrobe filled only with pieces that flatter you and give you confidence puts you in a very good position to be successful at whatever you set your mind to.