Capsule Wardrobe: 5 months on


Current (disorganized) closet

The capsule wardrobe I wrote about way back here in October and again here one month in, is pretty much still in effect. I did live from the same wardrobe for 3 months and really didn’t see much I didn’t like in my closet and continued it into month 4. But as we’ve turned into March and the sun occasionally has started to shine, I’m starting to feel the drag of my {primarily} grey toned closet. So I’ve made some changes.

I will say that during my entire capsule experience I have had certain pieces I don’t count towards my ‘number’; items like layering pieces I never wear out of the house (San Francisco sweatshirt circa 2007, that would be you). These are things I throw on over pjs, or that I put on to cook spaghetti sauce; items I don’t really care about getting mucked up, or put on because I’m always bloody freezing, but things I would never want to be seen in in public.

This is the biggest problem for me in terms of the capsule experience, those items that end up being worn in the evenings, or the super warm cardigan I only wear when I’m at home (and generally, absolutely freezing). The weather in London certainly does not help me out at all. We can have 3-4 seasons in one day, which makes it very hard to figure out a seasonal 3 month wardrobe. I’m finding my fall capsule also needs winter items. I’ve read plenty of articles of late of people ditching the current 3 month capsule project and moving towards a more 6 month capsule. That way they can take their closet across seasons, still in a reduced number, but with a few more items for those of us that live in a hard to predict, or fluctuating weather area.

The other problem I’ve faced now that the sun has been shining, is the need for color. I do like color, and I am especially in love with this piece I bought at London Fashion Weekend from Winser London. I bought it in the Winser Blue color and I think I am pretty much in love with it. It could work as a dress with boots and tights (and a slip underneath) or with leggings. I found this piece from Boden that I think will be fun with jeans, black pants, or a denim skirt. Of course my clothing crush is Claire Underwood, as espoused in my Pinterest board: all things Claire. Who wouldn’t love to have her closet??

Not exactly realistic. I don’t have a car to drive me around, so 4 inch heels (Louboutin’s of course), are pretty much out. I also don’t think she cleans her own toilets, and I unfortunately, do. But still, if you have to have closet goals, Claire Underwoods is the top of my list. {I also love her hair. I have been considering going for the CU pixie for almost a year now. I’m {this close} to deciding to do it.}

I’ve done one of those self-assessment type of things on personal style, and I’ve come to these conclusions:

  • I like classic, tailored pieces. The more refined the better. It’s all about clean lines.
  • Clothes that fit my shape, and nip in at the waist are the most flattering. So, while I own a few oversize items that I like, they don’t truly flatter me. A waist you can see is a good thing (whether it’s the trend or not).
  • I’m more of a no-more-than 2-3 colors per outfit person, and in my Pinterest inspiration board, I’m drawn primarily to items that don’t have prints.

The biggest issue is making this work in my current lifestyle. At a minimum, I’m walking 2 miles a day to and from the kids bus stop. As I said before, the weather plays a big factor between rain and cold. When it’s nice out, I enjoy wearing skirts and dresses. I am limited in footwear options because the sidewalks are uneven, and in typical european fashion, are not one solid bit of tarmac. They tend to use cement tiles, which means they are all different heights and bumbling an ankle is pretty much a given in heels (especially the nice looking skinny ones that go with skirts and dresses). If I open up my Spring/Summer bin in my closet, there’s not a lot I feel like keeping. I can reduce and reduce my closet and donate to the charity shop. But refilling and replacing the items I get rid of….that’s an investment especially if I follow the logic of buying quality, long lasting items. I do see the importance of spending $50 on a t-shirt that lasts through 250 washings, versus the $15 t-shirt that lasts through 25. But justifying ponying up $50 for the long-lasting t-shirt is still a bit of a struggle.

So, are my wardrobe goals and expectations realistic? Maybe. If altered to a degree for the next year of city of living, I think they can be. The biggest take-away from my capsule experiment has been refining what I really want to wear. I tend to be a very bad (especially online) impulse buyer. I am trying to work on it. I need to clearly see what I want my wardrobe to be, and remember that the cute flower print button down, or fantastic boho dress, and trendy a-line skirt really doesn’t flatter me or match up with my closet.

My mantra needs to be to set my goals, and sticky note them to my forehead, my computer, and my bank card.

2 thoughts on “Capsule Wardrobe: 5 months on

  1. I love this post! I’ve been working to refine my wardrobe for a few years, pairing it down to only that which I truly like and wear (but it’s definitely easier to make the investment in quality pieces gradually over time vs all at once in a single season).

    Briony x


  2. I really enjoyed reading this post. I’m always trying to streamline, declutter and refine my wardrobe but I too struggle going into spring as most of my clothes are either winter jumpers or dressy dresses and I walk at least two miles a day to the train station and back. When it comes to a bright weekend outfit I’m stumped! Katie x


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