I’m forever seduced by a single rail of clothing on Pinterest. Would’t it be wonderful if this was my entire wardrobe?- I ask myself. Better still, how would I do with a suit, cashmere jumper and just a single white gent’s shirt? A capsule wardrobe- every minimalist’s dream.
Of course I know it’s rather unrealistic because gym for example? On the other hand, just a handful of times are what I’m wearing on a daily basis, with an addition of leather trousers and a coat (or two) in the winter.
Having got rid of mountains of clothes (I’m too lazy for eBay so I just donated all the items that looked nice and were in good condition) on one occasion, I went into editing frenzy, constantly taking away from my closet but not really adding anything new for a while. I wanted to identify what I really needed in my wardrobe before shopping (yup, you’ve guessed, lunchtime Zara addiction is long gone).
The first step for me for to really think about my lifestyle. In my twenties I was a girl about town and had a closet full of evening dresses- Versace halterneck, DVF red slip, you name it. I remember once scouring the while of London for a replica of Eva Green’s purple dress she wore in Casino Royale (I found a similar one in Pandora dress agency). After I changed my lifestyle from a party girl to business owner 😉 for a while I still kept buying cocktail dresses and complaining that I had nothing to wear. Duh.
So the first principle of building a capsule wardrobe was for me to evaluate my lifestyle. I may be forever seduced by Instagram accounts of eternally sun seeking girls but I live in cold Britain so we all know where this is going 🙂
Second principle of building capsule wardrobe may be obvious to me now, but again, it wasn’t so obvious when I was in my twenties. I shopped as if I had a body of a 6 foot, super skinny model, and then complained I didn’t look good in my clothes. I mean, it sounds incredible silly now but I wanted to be this tall, tanned girl with no belly fat and long legs and I shopped for her and not myself. I kept buying tops that only looked good on super flat chested girls and was annoyed when my breast kept escaping from the tops, right, left and centre. Now I know that if I wanted to hide my breast, I should have got a well cut shirt. I know how to make my legs look longer and arms slimmer and it doesn’t involve supermodel clothes but I least I look much better than before.
Third principle was to learn what I feel comfortable in. I learned it the hard way, spending money on clothes I thought I needed to wear. Do you remember when everybody wore the Galaxy dress by Roland Mouret? I’m sure the original version was comfortable and well constructed, but the knock offs on the high street were anything but. I worked in a law firm and everybody wore it so I kept squeezing myself into the dresses, even thought I felt like I was in prison. I remember one particular trip to Bicester Village where I bought a more expensive version of the dress and a jacket, which seemed appropriate for the office, but I felt like a frump in it. I hated both. I should have spent the money on a silk shirt and an A-line skirt and I would still wear it today. I hope someone bought them in our local Oxfam and had better use of them them. Even though it was merely 3 years ago I would never make this mistake again. Nowadays I don’t really compromise. If I can’t find anything I like, I leave it. The right thing will eventually turn up.