We are incredibly fortunate to be women living in an age where we have an abundance of choices. On a simple trip to the supermarket we are presented with the option of low fat, fat-free, full cream, lactose-free, almond, rice, cashew or coconut milk, in the click of a button we can compare and find great value flights online and swipe through thousands of potential love interests on dating apps.
However, when it comes to our wardrobe it’s often a case of too many options but never anything to wear. If that sounds like you, then perhaps it’s time to seriously consider creating a capsule wardrobe. Capsule converts claim the method streamlines your life, saves a lot of money, helps you identify your true style and even reduces your environmental footprint.
Caroline Rector, the woman behind cult minimalism blog, Unfancy, describes capsuling as “a practice of editing your wardrobe down to your favourite clothes (clothes that fit your lifestyle and body right now), remixing them regularly, and shopping less often and more intentionally”.
HOW TO BEGIN:
1. Be Inspired: Browse Pinterest, Instagram and minimalism blogs for inspiration (our faves are Unfancy and Style Bee). Create a mood board of what you like to gain some direction, clarity and confidence for the journey ahead.
2. Stocktake: This could be a confronting and emotional process which requires strength and ruthless decision making. Pull everything out of your closet, throw it on your bed and don’t put it back until you ask yourself the following questions (and be brutally honest). Is the item flattering? When was the last time you wore it? Can you style it in multiple ways? Is it a good enough quality to last the season and hopefully beyond? We suggest reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Japanese lifestyle guru Marie Kondo before you begin. Create piles for items you will donate, sell, or pack away for an upcoming season while the surviving items can be neatly arranged back in your cupboard.
3. Game Plan: The general rule of thumb for a capsule wardrobe is that it should contain no more than 30-40 pieces … that INCLUDES shoes but EXCLUDES loungewear, sleepwear, jewellery, underwear and workout clothes. Sorry to break it to you but active wear/athleisure wear COUNTS in the total. This means you must choose your pieces mindfully as you will only shop seasonally from this point on (once every three months). Include some statement pieces to keep life interesting and remember it’s only a bargain if you wear it. Before you venture off to the shops, we recommend downloading Stylebook, an app which enables you to photograph, document and categorise what already exists in your closet to use as a reference point while shopping in order to avoid impulse or unnecessary purchases.
4. TLC: Because you’ll be wearing these garments for the duration of a season, show them some love to ensure longevity. Wash with care and air out regularly to avoid odour issues, especially with the likes of winter coats. Cashmere and wool jumpers should be “shaved” often to remove pilling and fuzz. And at the end of every season, assess which items have life left in them and thoroughly clean and pack away in labelled, oxygenated containers.
Now with your closet and mental space significantly freed up you’ll have plenty more time to enjoy the more important things in life. And isn’t that all a busy mama wishes for in this crazy old world?