It’s that time of year again to change up my wardrobe, so I thought I’d share a little peek into the process of how I do it. One immediate change is that this year I’m dropping the ‘capsule’ side of things, although I love the idea, in practise, just a straightfoward, minimal and simple wardrobe works better for me, fewer numbers and rules, and more simple outfit love.
Now, if you’re new to minimal wardrobes, the basic idea is that wardrobes can very easily become overcrowded, leading to the ‘I have so many clothes but nothing to wear’ issue that all of us are far too familiar with. The minimalism side of things (basically) suggests we only own items that we truly love, meaning that you love whatever you wear. Simple.
I’ve scrapped exact numbers, but I know from previous years that roughly 40 items, often a little less, makes a great wardrobe for me. It tends to be smaller in the summer, and a few more in the cooler seasons as I like to layer up.
First things first, I pack away anything very obviously a summer item, such as silky dresses and thin shorts, and unpack any autumn/winter items stored from previous years. I get started by putting together my favourite outfits. I’m a fairly simple dresser, so this involves jeans, comfortable shoes and a layer of warmth. I like wearing dresses but am not a huge fan of tights, which sadly are a requirement in our British temperatures, so that tells me that I’m most likely looking at more ‘bottoms and tops’ outfits over dresses and skirts.
Actually laying out your outfits can feel a bit odd but seeing them in front of you can be so helpful. If anything sticks out as something you don’t like or can’t see yourself wearing, put it straight in the donate pile. Be ruthless! Keep anything from your favourite outfits as definite ‘yes’ items, and then see what other items you can mix and match in. Seeing your outfits visually like this can also help spark a little more creativity in pairing things you may not have thought may worked, which I find can often give a new life to previously unloved items.
In looking at your clothes this way, I find it means you start your wardrobe with what you love, and work out how you are going to wear it every day. Previously I’ve started with what I think I want to wear, but found in practise it wasn’t something I loved, and ended up with a wardrobe full of things I didn’t want to wear. This way, you’re creating a closet full of clothes you adore!
Once I’ve gone through the clothes I already own, I look for gaps or anything new I would want to add to my wardrobe. I’ve got pretty good and clearing out, selling and/or donating unworn items so I often have spaces at the beginning of a new seasons wardrobe. In planning this way though, it helps you work out exactly what you want to add, which saves mindless seasonal shopping, preventing you from buying unnecessary items that may go unworn. For example, in sorting through my clothes this year, I’ve realised I’m down to two thick-knit jumpers, and as this is an item that goes into the majority of outfits I put together, I’d like to add in at least one more.
This form of planning may seem a little over the top to some, but it’s brought me so much joy to an aspect of my life that was never previously there. I now love putting outfits together, and genuinely love everything I wear. It also adds a new more intentional aspect to my wardrobe as I no longer mindlessly shop for things I don’t need, and when I do buy new things, it is always a conscious decision, meaning no item of clothing, or money, is wasted. I’m planning on adding 3 new items to my wardrobe this season, which is far less than in previous years, and after that I think my simple autumn wardrobe will be ready to go!
Do you have a simple or capsule wardrobe? I’d love to hear your thoughts on it!