Friday, 27 February 2015

Project wardrobe: how to build a capsule wardrobe

How-to-build-a-capsule-wardrobe

At the beginning of the year I mentioned that I wanted to sort out my wardrobe which is currently overflowing, yet I probably only wear about 10% of it. I decided that I wanted to build a capsule wardrobe that reflected my personal style better, and to be more sensible when it comes to shopping. A capsule wardrobe is a small core of items that you then base your wardrobe on, consisting of pieces that are fully interchangeable with one another, so if you're getting dressed in the dark (me most mornings!), whatever you've picked out should go together and you're therefore able to get more out of your clothes without thinking too hard about it.

If you're looking to simplify and streamline your wardrobe, here's a few tips to help you on the way which I found really useful.

Define your personal style
Whether you're quite trend-led or have your own distinct style, it's key to identify how your existing clothes can work better for you. I felt that I didn't really have my own style until I asked a few of my friends. To me this ideal of personal style is the outfit that your friends imagine you wearing when they think of you. My personal style, which now completely makes sense after it was pointed out is a a combo of a couple of different outfits or uniforms; mainly a skirt or jeans and a shirt/top/jacket for work and usually something a bit more relaxed like Levi 501s and a tee or jumper at the weekends. I am a sucker for oversized loose shirts and dresses (COS and I are great friends). I don't tend to stray much outside of this and I don't really embrace trends.

Go through everything, ruthlessly!
Yes, this is the boring time consuming bit, but it's the most important step. I went through everything I owned and if it didn't fit into one of my 'uniforms' and certainly hadn't been worn for more than a couple of months but it went into storage. I didn't want to go all crazy and chuck 90% of my wardrobe out on a whim so this seemed like the sensible solution. Well-loved and worn pieces went in the keep pile and anything that had seen better days or hadn't been worn in yonks/didn't fit went in the get rid or pass on pile. As I was being super strict and focused on the job in hand this wasn't as hard as I thought. The pile that I was left with to keep was seriously tiny compared to what it was before and was the perfect base for my capsule wardrobe.

Assess the gaps
Now that things were a hell of a lot more manageable, I sorted through everything and began to build possible and interchangeable outfits that centred around my style aesthetic. From here I could see that I needed more basics such as well fitting t shirts, jumpers and skinny jeans. This then formed a little shopping list to help me build my wardrobe up a little and not wear the same clothes all the time. The amount of clothes you need to have will really depend on how you wear them and how often you want to do your washing etc, so find a balance that works for you.

Focus on quality
I'm a firm believer in investing in staple basic items as they do serve you well over the long term. I tend to spend more on plain t-shirts, jumpers, jackets and dresses, which are the core of my work outfits. I buy most of my clothes from Zara, Whistles, COS now, as even though it can cost a bit more, they really do last. I've gone through countless pairs of Topshop Leigh jeans over the last couple of years, and at £40 or so this really starts to rack up. So I still need to invest in some better quality jeans (and boots which I live in), and stop buying cheap tatt from Primark etc that only lasts a couple of washes. Depending on your budget, I'd really recommend identifying what you wear most and aiming for the highest quality that you can for these pieces. Pretty much everything we buy now is mass produced and the quality is so hit and miss. If you stick with classic pieces as well you will get so much more out of them. Embrace trends if they appeal to you, but don't spend a huge amount on things that you won't be interested in three months later. Not every trend suits everyone, so try and pick out pieces that fit in with your own style and make them work for you.

A month on I'm so much happier with how I dress. Everything has a home and can be found easily, and I've worn everything in my wardrobe so far. As for the things in storage, they're going to stay there for a couple of months and if I don't reach for them then they'll go too. I'm hoping that now I have a wardrobe of clothes that I really love and of much better quality, as well as a better attitude to shopping that I will be able to save money going forwards.

So I hope you found this useful. I would say that there are so many different ways of sorting out your wardrobe and not every method works for everyone, so its worth having a go and stepping back and seeing if you've got to the point you want to before trying another tact.

Have you tried to build a capsule wardrobe and if you have, do you have any tips to share?

Laura

The post Project wardrobe: how to build a capsule wardrobe appeared first on Lelore.





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