I’m heading into my 4th Capsule wardrobe – Autumn 2016, Sydney Style.
I first came across Project 333 in about February last year, right in the middle of my initial declutter and donate phase. I wasn’t sure that I could live with 33 items. (Surely not including shoes??) But I thought I would give it a try.
I haven’t quite made it to 33 items – but always around the 35-37 items mark.
How I do It:
I have a Google spreadsheet that I’ve listed all my clothes in. Each quarter I go through and audit my wardrobe and plan the next season. I’m a bit late this season – but summer hasn’t really let up yet – so my summer clothes are still very much part of the repertoire.
I list all the clothes down the left – broken into categories:
- Overs (jumpers / cardigans etc)
I use the next cell to indicate the colour of the item – this just helps with mixing and matching.
Then I put a “1” in the column to indicate that the item is in that seasons’ capsule. At the bottom of that column, it totals the number of items in that capsule. This Autumn is currently sitting at 35.
At the end of the season, as I’m planning the next, I mark off in the next column if I wore the item or not. I also keep notes about the item in the furthest column. Since starting LCHF, I’m losing about 1 kg a month – which means items become too big. Some are not great quality and lose their shape or get stained.
How I Plan:
Initially, I used Pinterest as a resource to help plan my capsule approach. Search Minimalist, or Project 333 to find gold. This post from Wardrobe Architect about colour planning was particularly helpful.
Un-Fancy is the ultimate place to go to start planning a capsule. You can start here.
I also use Un-Fancy and Pinterest as a source of inspiration for styles and pieces. I try to ‘evolve’ the capsule each season to keep up with the fashion. I do this by picking out one or two pieces that will update the look of the capsule. These are generally smaller items such as accessories (scarves etc) or shoes.
How I’ve Found It:
Overall, I love having a reduced capsule wardrobe. For me the key benefits are:
- Everything just goes together. I used to be attracted to very bright colours, and a wide variety of them. Now I try to pick one highlight colour a season, and then everything else is more neutral. This just makes mixing and matching so much easier.
- I look more put together. Thought has gone into the construction of the wardrobe, so I don’t have to ‘construct’ or experiment with outfits during the seasons. This just means I make less fashion faux pas
- Everything suits me. Because I’ve put some thought into this wardrobe, I’ve taken the time to read up on styles that suit me. I love the idea of flowy tops, but they do not suit me in the slightest. So I’ve eliminated them from my wardrobe.
- It’s just easier to get going in the morning. I’ve eliminated the umming and ahh-ing each day.
What I’ve Learnt
- Buy better things. You do wear these items more frequently. There’s not a great deal of variation between my four season wardrobes – so some of these items are worn throughout the year, generally once a week. It is worth spending money on getting better, and ideally more ethically made things. Not only do they last longer, they look better because they hold their shape.
- Better things can be hard to find. I decided that I would stop buying ‘fast fashion’, I decided to go to bigger, more expensive brands. I bought 2 tops from one ‘good’ brand and 3 t-shirts from another. Of the two tops, one got a hole in the first week (which they replaced – it’s OK now). The other lost its shape and got holes in the armpit by the end of the season. Of the three t-shirts, two have lost shape within 6 months. So back to the drawing board, researching better and more sustainable brands!
- People do notice (a bit). I have a reputation at work for not wearing colour. I find that strange, because two years ago, I had a reputation for bright colours! It’s not that anyone really cares, but people do notice that you have a particular style.
So that’s my experience of a capsule wardrobe. How have you found it? Do you have any questions? What have been the best bits for you? Any tips on sustainable or, at least, long-lasting brands?