My approach to clothing is changing! I started to use the principles of the capsule wardrobe. Many bloggers have gone before me, but now is my time to join in. Simply put, I want pretty, sustainable and ethically made clothes; I want to be happy with my clothes; I want to buy less miss-buys (that make me unhappy); and I want my clothes to go together better so to more easily make stunning outfits. Also, I want to have proper clothes for all occasions and, you know, for me.
My old approach
For some years I’ve been aware of the many ethical problems in the fashion industry. However, I used to simply withdraw from the conversation, because I hardly bought new clothes. I just set out to ‘use up’ the clothes I already owned (mostly gathered in my teen years and early 20s – I’m 25 years-old now) and supplement with new-to-me second-hand items. And okay, I would get some new organic cotton or otherwise okay basics occasionally. And sometimes something else new when I felt that it would help me look okay and deal with my wardrobe situation, but rarely.
All went fine for a while, but now comes the time when I want to dress well. This has to do with me transitioning from girl into woman and from student into working adult. I simply want to dress my age and express myself as I am. Not as my clothes from my teenage years. And of course, second-hand items can be anything and that’s great, but I also just want to allow myself to look good – without feeling guilty about it.
At this point I feel as if something has to change. Many of my old clothes trigger feelings of guilt in me. I can feel guilty or bad about not being able to successfully choose clothes for myself, about making bad decisions. This current closet situation reminds me of all my miss-buys, of the money I spent on it, of the resources used to produce and transport them, of the energy I personally spent and spend on my appearance and on how often I am not satisfied. I have a full closet but most items I don’t like to wear (anymore) yet don’t dare to throw out because of ethical reasons and my personal story. Maybe I can wear them again some time and be happy. Maybe I can learn to be less insecure and vain and just be happy with what I have and how I look.
I now realise that I can do something about this! I think that the capsule wardrobe approach can help me to manage my wardrobe.
Previously I wasn’t interested in the capsule wardrobe approach. It occurred to me as if following it would mean that I’d have to throw out a lot of clothes, because they do not fit the criteria. This does not strike me as sustainable at all. Even if you donate your clothes, changes are that no one will use them again – but you if you decide to keep them and take ownership. This can be done through combining the non-perfect items smartly, right?
Now I see that the capsule wardrobe approach helps with exactly that! It helps you to gain more clarity on your style, on which items go well together and on which new items would make a great contribution to your current collection of clothes, so to prevent miss-buys. It also helps you to get a better overview of the clothes you own and of outfit possibilities, helping you to pick awesome outfits more easily. This can save quite some hassle and confusion in the morning.
The capsule wardrobe
The capsule wardrobe is explained in books and on loads of weblogs. I got my information from several weblogs (mostly UnFancy), which works fine. This means that I do not have all the deets so I will not tell you all. As always, I will just share my own findings.
The general idea of the capsule wardrobe is this: The number of 37 items appears to be used by many people. These items are chosen before the season starts, meaning that the capsule wardrobe and its outfits are thoroughly planned.
This allows for: having a clear overview of the clothes one can wear; having a neat, well-organised closet; being aware of which items go well with which items; being creative with your clothes! Using only a small amount of clothing items challenges you to get creative. You are less likely to get overwhelmed from all the options and more likely to actually find new combos that work well! Or so I am imagine.
The clothes that are not in your capsule wardrobe of the current season one keeps in storage. These clothes can be used in other seasons. Also, the capsule wardrobe does not have to include underwear, accessories, pyjamas, lounge wear and sports wear. These items don’t count as one of the # items and you are free to use what you like. This is convenient, since use of accessories works well to get more variation in your outfits.
What is included in your capsule wardrobe? Tops, bottoms, dresses, shoes, jackets and coats. An example of 37 items, as given here by Caroline of UnFancy, is: 9 pairs of shoes, 9 bottoms, and 15 tops, 2 dresses and 2 jackets/coats. She adds: ‘To me it feels generous yet minimal.’ Read More