Practical advice on how to curate one from your own wardrobe

Is your new year’s resolution to sort out your clothes? Not to buy clothes, buy less or even have a wardrobe clear-out? Curating a capsule wardrobe can really help to own the process – the decision then becomes choice, challenge rather than, seemingly, sacrifice.

I had fallen foul of too many a sales tag before I decided to change the way I thought about my clothes. The build up of clothing- some unworn, some barely, some loved but now hidden in the dense cloth forest – was my daily view in getting dressed. So many clothes but nothing to wear!

I have been doing capsule wardrobes for a while now. It definitely takes a few goes to work out what works. I love the Project 333 as a great base for a simplified wardrobe. I was strict at the beginning but I got more flexible in that, if I hadn’t worn something in the first 2 months and there didn’t seem as though it was going to see the light of day in the 3rd month – I would swap it out! To be clear, I only swapped 2 items last season… not an entirely different set of 33 items, ha ha!! That may be considered cheating.

Last year, I was thrilled to be asked to write a piece for the Style Coaching Institute on my sustainable styling ideas whilst I train to become a Style Coach. Capsule wardrobes area brilliant starting point for a more sustainable, greener wardrobe.

I do enjoy the process of planning a capsule wardrobe and for Winter 2019/2020 it has been no different. This is probably because I love winter clothing. Afterwards, I love seeing my neat and tidy wardrobe and being able to pick out an outfit that works together easily.

I never intended to go out a buy a whole new wardrobe – firstly £££, secondly, that’s quite a terrifying thought of what to buy, colours and styles to go for from scratch. The best place I could start was at home, with the known. I’ve found you can build on and really hone your style from there!

So, here are my practical top 10 tips on curating a capsule wardrobe from your own home:

  1. Check your diary – what’s coming up in the next 3 months? Are you going on holiday? A wedding? What specific outfits will you need to wear for work?
  2. Curate for your REAL life, not your fantasy one. Yes, those 10 pairs of gorgeous stilettos look amazing … but if 90% of the time you’re commuting to work/on the school run/ at the supermarket/at the gym, they may not be the most practical choice.
  3. Don’t worry about the ratios. There’s no set formula for how many tops/bottoms etc. but if you start on the basis of 1/3 tops, 1/3 bottoms, 1/3 outer and accessories, you won’t go far wrong!
  4. Help is out there – where you go for a Style Coach service, take the Project 333 challenge, use Instagram or Pinterest for inspiration or, simply, phone a friend – it can feel emotional and overwhelming the first time so a little support goes a long way.
  5. Start from scratch – take everything out. Yes, the ones lurking, crumpled, at the back, in the dark, probably under shoes… those ones. This is also a great time to clean the wardrobe 🙂
  6. Declutter as you go! This is the perfect time to get rid of those items not worn for a age, and not likely to be! Leave yourself only with good options. Win-Win!
  7. Utilise what you have. The process allows you to really take stock of what you already own – do you already have items that will satisfy the events from point 1? Environmentally, the most sustainable clothes are the ones in your wardrobe . Plus, they won’t cost you a penny.
  8. Identify any gaps Shopping before this stage is not advised. This can be quite a task for those on ‘retail therapy’ but that’s the point. It’s about taking back control of your wardrobe spending. Make a list, check it twice… For extra sustainable brownie points, opt for vintage, second-hand or sustainable brands.
  9. Once you have chosen your items, pack away all your other clothes, out of sight, if you have the space, or to one side, if not. This way, after 3 months, you will be more excited to see them! Absence makes the heart grow fonder and all that jazz.
  10. Switch things around in good time. I know when I am coming to the end of my 3 months as I start to look at clothes online! Shop your wardrobe first! You may have just forgotten about something that’s similar to what you’ve got your in your shopping basket!

It’s a learning process, starting at home. It’s finding out what works and what doesn’t – identifying the gaps in your wardrobe and researching sustainable options. I hope you have found this useful, let me know if you give it a try! At worst, you’ll find the back of the wardrobe again!

Previous capsule wardrobes:

Autumn 2019

Summer 2019

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