Ever gone to your wardrobe and realised that although it is bulging with clothes, you have nothing to wear? I think this would be a true statement for many women. The issue is not that there are no clothes in the wardrobe, it’s often simply that there is nothing appropriate to wear for the occasion.
This happens most often to me when I am looking for something to wear to go out to dinner or to meet with friends. If I wanted to wear something that I usually wear to work, it would be fine. These clothes would most likely be entirely appropriate for the situation but I can’t get dressed as if I am going to work and then go out to dinner. I just can’t do it.
One of my problems is that even when I buy myself something nice, I will often grab it on a work day because I’m not sure what else to wear. Suddenly the outfit is now a ‘work’ outfit and has to go out of circulation from my casual wardrobe.
I accidentally came across a solution to my problem- a capsule wardrobe.
A capsule wardrobe is defined differently depending on who you consult but essentially it means:
1) a collection of clothes which only includes essential items.
2) the coordinating clothes and accessories are used as the basis for all outfits.
3) the items can be mixed and matched to create a wide range of outfits.
I decided to take the basic concept and apply it to my workwear. It is currently summer here so that has made it really easy. I identified 5 bottoms and 8 tops that are comfortable and appropriate and set them apart in my wardrobe to wear exclusively to work. I then threw in a couple of dresses just to mix things up a little bit. I thought I might get bored with this but I’m 6 weeks in and that hasn’t happened so far.
One of the unintended positive side effects is that I now spend absolutely no time thinking about what I am going to wear in the morning. I simply grab one bottom, one top, throw on a coordinating necklace or bracelet and off I go. I have essentially created a uniform for myself. It still has plenty of variety so that no one but me would think of it that way but the positive effect on my life has been huge.
While I was putting together my capsule wardrobe, I had a good declutter. I took out all of the clothes that were too small, too big, I hadn’t worn in forever or didn’t really like and got rid of them.
The easiest way to do this is to pull everything out of the wardrobe, go through each item and decide if it fits into one of 3 categories-
The toss pile goes straight into the bin because they are no longer good for anyone to wear. The donate pile goes into the boot of the car to be donated to the Salvation Army next time you drive past and the keep pile goes back into the wardrobe.
It pays to be as ruthless as you can. If you are unsure about an item, store it somewhere out of the wardrobe. If you go to fetch it to wear within 6 months then it deserves to go back in, if you haven’t, toss it.
My next project is to create a capsule wardrobe for relaxed daywear. I am happy that any outfit I purchase will not unintentionally become part of my work wardrobe and I badly need some nice things to wear out.
You can apply this concept to the clothes you need for the different roles in your life- work, parenting, housework, social life etc. I guarantee that it will be life changing.
I challenge you to give it a go and then let us know in the comments whether it works for you.