Summer Capsule – 14 tops!

What was I thinking?! 

Some time ago, I wrote about my disquiet regarding this summer’s capsule wardrobe .  I felt it hadn’t gelled as well as it might have done but I wasn’t sure why.  I was also slightly bemused as to why I felt the need to include 14 tops (pictures of some below!)

I got some insightful comments in response to the couple of posts I discussed this in – especially from The Change Agent, Stay at Home Minimalist, Enchanted Outlook, Introvertomatic and Value Simplicity – sincere thanks to you all – check out their brilliant blogs.  They pointed out that minimalism is not the pursuit of perfectionism, but a journey full of learning and experiences.

So I ventured back into my capsule and reviewed it.  I had a pair of trousers that did not flatter me at all but were such a useful colour.  I had a perfectly nice, well-cut skirt that I hardly wore because I reached for the unflattering trousers instead!  And I had 14 tops!  Guess what?

Turns out I’m not wearing them all!

I know!  I can feel your amazement through cyberspace, as you throw your hands up in disbelief!!

What was I thinking?

You see, I loved them all.  And they were good for different occasions.  But one of my goals is to have my clothes cross over from a work to a casual capsule effortlessly and not exist in siloes.  Yet this is what I did.   Also, summer clothes are a bit of a novelty in the UK and I wanted to include everything, not knowing when I might wear it again.  Some of my other pieces I can carry from season to season, but pretty summer tops?  Not so much.

So my blogger friends helped me put things in perspective, re-visit my capsule, swap some things out and just chill.  While the number 33 is only a framework, I noticed I started with 35.  I changed to 31 and am so much happier.

Turns out less is not just more, less is enough. Have a great week 🙂

Capsules and special occasion pieces

Do special occasion pieces belong in a capsule wardrobe?

I mean those items I only reach for when I have a special event.  A pretty dress, a fancy skirt, an embellished top.  Not the workhorses of my day-to-day wardrobe.

I don’t have many of these events.  My normal social life is well-catered for from my capsule.  Also, I am loathe to have one of my precious, few spaces taken up by an item I may wear only once in a season.

So, I’ve created a tiny, occasion capsule.  This works for parties, fancy dinners and special evenings out.  It contains:

  • Two dresses – one red lace and one dark beaded number
  • One gold brocade skirt, that dresses up the plainest top
  • Two embellished tops
  • My beloved Mulberry shoes, bought for 10% of their original price in Bicester Village!
  • A pretty little clutch, picked up in a local charity shop

I don’t wear only these but I find that one or two of these pieces lift some of my more ‘ordinary’ clothes up a level and I feel more dressed up, which is half the fun of going out.

These clothes last and last because I wear them so seldom but I get the thrill of novelty when I put them on.   I don’t need to go panic shopping if I have a party or wedding to go to – I wear them so infrequently that they seem like new and I never mind repeating outfits!

This weekend, it’s Mr. Minimal-Lol’s birthday and we are going to go out in style to celebrate.  Fancy restaurant is booked, cocktails are featuring on the agenda and I will be reaching into my occasion capsule.

There are some who would reason that a capsule should be self-contained but this way works best for me.  I’ve noticed I have tiny capsules for jewellery, beach wear (worn once a year!), sleep wear and workout wear – these do not usually comprise part of a main capsule.   But I’m now so in the capsule habit that I have no desire to over-compensate in these areas.  The same principles apply.

Now, which piece to wear this evening?  I think it will be the red dress – always a favourite of Mr. Minimal-Lol’s – and it is his birthday!  Have a great week 🙂

 

Summer capsule – key pieces

Thanks to those of you who said pictures of some of my summer capsule may be helpful.   I have enclosed some of the key pieces that I find myself reaching for again and again.

Why these pieces:

  • Neutral colours
  • Lightweight materials
  • Classic shapes
  • Easy to style

However, I feel this capsule, as a whole, has not quite gelled for me.  I think I have too many pieces or maybe some are not versatile enough or I am not being creative enough!   Rather than angsting too much over this, I am treating it as an experiment and an opportunity to learn.

There was a time when a filled wardrobe would have led me to believe that I always had the ‘right clothes’ even though I used to stand in front of it, in despair at not finding something to wear.  Now, a half-filled wardrobe seems too full.  I believe I may have veered too much towards loving some pretty summer pieces, because they are a novelty in our climate, and not enough towards choosing versatile pieces, which earn their place.

I looked in my wardrobe today and thought ‘can I really call myself a minimalist?!’.  The answer is yes because all the ups and downs are simply another step towards a less cluttered, more meaningful life.  This is the beauty of minimalism.  It is a means to an end, not an end in itself.

When I feel overwhelmed, I often turn to other blogs which inspire and re-vitalize me.   Be More with Less and A Small Wardrobe never fail me!

A review of this capsule when summer is over should prove an interesting learning experience!

Is it just me?  Does anyone else feel they get setbacks when they thought they had cracked something?  I’d really love to hear from you.  In the meantime, have a great week 🙂

Summer 2017 Capsule Wardrobe

I’m creating a summer capsule wardrobe – anyone like to join me?

The days are getting warmer and my clothes need to be more summer appropriate.  Time to ditch the dark colours and woollen jumpers!

So, using the framework of Project 333, I’ve decided to create a small, carefully curated wardrobe of summer clothes.  I’ll include only clothes that fit me well, that I love and that suit my lifestyle.  I think I’ll end up with about 35 pieces – slipping in a cheeky 2 extra pieces – and see how I get on with that.  These 35 pieces will include all my tops, bottoms, dresses, shoes and accessories.

Why do a capsule?

  • I can choose clothes that I love and that suit me.
  • An edited wardrobe with a limited number of pieces is easy to choose from when getting dressed and that will make …..
  • Getting dressed in the morning simpler and quicker.
  • I already have a lot of clothes from last summer – re-using them will mean spending less money.
  • My wardrobe will not be crammed and over-flowing.
  • My ‘floordrobe’ will be a dim and distant memory.
  • Fewer clothes mean I will appreciate those I have more.
  • The clothes that make the cut are usually higher quality, as they will need to withstand greater wear and tear.
  • I’ll choose only my favourite items, so I’ll be wearing my favourite clothes every day – that’s a good start to a morning!
  • Less time spent fussing over my clothes means more time for friends, family and my own interests.

Some concerns:

  • I’m worried I may get bored with so few clothes – so it’s good to have it time-bound i.e. only one season, which is really only 12 weeks.
  • I don’t want people to think I’m wearing the same clothes all the time – so I’ll have to be creative.
  • I hope the extra washing and wearing doesn’t wear out my clothes too quickly.

Some tips:

  • Pick out colours that are easy to mix and match.
  • Make sure to have a good mix of clothes for work and home, especially if you work in a corporate environment.
  • Enjoy it! It’s just an experiment – if it doesn’t turn out exactly as planned, it’s only clothes!

So, I’m going to create my summer capsule this weekend.  I’ll take the clothes out of storage, try them on, select and discard, wash and iron – you know, all the glamorous stuff!

I’ll try it for 3 months and then review to see how well (or otherwise!) it has worked.  If you’re thinking of doing something similar, I’d love to hear from you in the comments box below.

Next week, I’ll write about what clothes I’ve chosen and why.  Have a great week 🙂

Personal Style & the Capsule Wardrobe

Curating a capsule wardrobe every season has certainly helped me discover my sense of personal style.  My capsule has to cover a formal work environment as well as a more casual style.  While I’ve noticed, over the past few capsules, that I can mix and match pieces quite well, the two styles are quite distinct.  This has the disadvantage of some pieces, but only a bare handful, being worn only at work and vice versa, so my capsule is not quite as hard working as it could be.  The advantage, however, is that it gives me a clear delineation of the day.  Changing from formal work attire to a relaxed outfit is symbolic of the change of role and is a key step in clearing my mind of work issues and stresses.

I’m Lorraine at work but Lol at home (no prizes for guessing why I’m using my nickname of Lol for the blog, then!).  At the risk of sounding like I have a dual personality, I do find it quite therapeutic to move between roles and my personal style reflects this.

After many expensive shopping mistakes, I think that a tailored, structured wardrobe, with pencil skirts, tailored trousers, dresses and jackets suit me for work.  I like the pulled-together look and it also worked quite well over the past twelve months, when I have been losing weight.  At home, I am, as they say, a jeans and tee-shirt kind of girl, with a weakness for stripes.  But fundamentally, the style isn’t too different.  I like the sharp silhouette of skinny jeans, in a dark wash for the cooler months but changing to green and taupe for the warmer months.  As the bottoms are fitted, I keep the tops looser, as I like this look.  I tried the more boho, all-over flowing look but it’s just not me.

Having to choose a finite number of pieces helps me define my personal style.  My first couple of capsules were all encompassing in their shapes, leaving me looking fairly shapeless, as a result.  I certainly tried different pieces, of varying styles, but they never gelled for me.  As Courtney Carver says, Project 333 is not an experiment in suffering but a minimalist fashion challenge!

Every piece has to earn its place in my wardrobe so if something is not my style, I tend not to reach for it and that becomes very obvious with a pared back set of clothes – it’s taking up a valuable space that another piece could inhabit.  So, my clothes suit me more, I’m happier with them, I’m spending less but enjoying more, honing my sense of personal style, learning what works and doesn’t and I have fewer clothes but better quality.  Capsule wardrobes – what’s not to love?!  Have a great week 🙂