A Capsule Wardrobe // My First Season In Review

March 18, 2015


Back in November, I was psyching myself up for another (pretty much bi-weekly by now) wardrobe purge, and I decided that maybe it was time for a new approach : build a smaller, more focussed wardrobe of clothing I would actually wear… That was AW1415. It is now SS15, so I thought I’d recap on the process so far and have a look at what I’ve learnt before I start all over again for Spring.

There are lots of different approaches on the net to minimising your wardrobe. I pulled inspiration from all over and interpreted the bits that worked best for me. These fell into two categories:
1. Developing a Personal Style Uniform
2. The 5-Piece French Wardrobe

A Personal Style Uniform
The first thing I did when starting down this road was to take the time to define my personal style uniform. This was 100% the most valuable step for me in building a capsule wardrobe. Figuring out the key elements that made up my outfits and the themes that ran through my style choices, was the starting point to the whole process. Once that was done, I could then easily purge my wardrobe of anything that didn’t “fit” the concept, as well as see the gaps that needed to be filled. Having a personal style concept made poor purchasing decisions almost impossible and made it a hundred times easier to get dressed in the morning, because I always knew the look I was going for. To find out more about how I went about defining my personal style, check out this post.

The 5-Piece French Wardrobe
The other minimalist wardrobe concept I really liked was the 5-Piece French Wardrobe. The “5-Piece” part refers to a limit of 5 new trend-based or statement clothing purchases each fashion season, but the concept is about creating a capsule wardrobe of statement and investment pieces, supported by well-chosen basics: a quality over quantity approach. Based on this principle, and with my style concept at hand, I set about defining my basics for AW1415. You can see them here.

I ultimately came up with these 32 items:
15 tops (6 short-sleeved tees, 3 long sleeved, 3 collared shirts, 1 jumper, 1 cardigan, 1 turtle neck,)
7 bottoms (4 jeans, 3 trousers)
4 outerwear
6 shoes (2 sneakers, 1 flats, 2 boots, 1 heels)

After a few months, here is what I’ve learnt:
.specific numbers aren’t really important to me, it’s more about making sure that I actually wear and love everything in my wardrobe.
.so since I wear skinny jeans and a t-shirt 85% of the time, I can definitely justify having more than one of each colour available…
.I should separate my smart and casual wardrobes. I’m casual almost everyday, so I don’t need heels and trousers in my everyday wardrobe, but I do need a mini wardrobe for dressy days.
.The more I wanted to keep my wardrobe minimal and in line with my style concept, the less I actually wanted to shop.

I’ve created an updated everyday basics wardrobe based on what I’ve learnt from these past few months, which I’ll share in my next style post (Sunday).

My Five Purchases
I didn’t get a chance to test out the 5PFW’s five-item cap this time round, because I was working on building up my basics wardrobe. All of my purchases were for basics, which don’t officially count towards the limit, but here they are anyway!

New wardrobe additions AW15:
Alexander Wang black tee
&otherstories dark grey t-shirt
Zara pointy boots
ASOS boyfriend tees
Lot78 white t-shirt
ASOS blue ripped jeans

I also got a couple of items as Christmas presents:
All Saints leather jacket
Black Chucks

Do you like the idea of a capsule wardrobe?


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