Creating a Capsule Wardrobe

Now that I am no longer a student and I am working full time, I have become more aware that my clothes need to take up less time in my day. I hate the feeling of standing in front of my wardrobe and not knowing what to wear. After all, there are definitely plenty of things in there!

At the same time, I know that shopping more isn’t a solution. And it definitely won’t help the environment or my bank account either.

So what’s the solution?

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I’ve been dabbling with a capsule wardrobe but I think many of us would agree the biggest problem with a capsule wardrobe is that it can feel restrictive. I definitely wouldn’t describe myself as a minimalist and I really enjoy patterns, different materials and a slightly boho feel.

As I’ve shopped less over the past few months, I have actually found myself wearing a greater variety of clothes. A friend at work commented last week that she didn’t think she had seen me wear the same thing twice and although she definitely has and this could in part be down to the fact that none of us are as noticeable as we think we are, it could also be that I am trying to style pieces multiple ways.

I’ve also started buying fewer, higher quality things.

One of my favourite shops is French Connection. I have always loved their clothes, from shopping there as a teenager with my Grandad to always finding something I love nowadays.

This top from French Connection was my recent ‘shopping allowance’ and I have worn it so many times already. It was in the sale reduced from about £70 to £45 and I think I have worn it more than ten times already. I wear it with shorts, jeans and with black trousers and denim skirts. I feel great in it, it’s cool and comfortable and I love the print.

Best of all? I’ll be pairing it with a black thermal underneath and black jeans and ankle boots for winter.

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This top has taught me a vital lesson.

I can have my beloved higher end items. No I can’t afford to buy a £50 top a couple of times a month. I don’t want to be shopping all the time.

However, if I choose carefully and wear the pieces well, I can choose to only buy quality items.

Rewearing and restyling is the best way to make your clothes work for you and you’ll save money and reduce your carbon footprint in the mean time.

Here are my other tips for shopping well:

  1. Choose colours that mix well. I love black and navy as base colours, but often by printed blouses as I am a jeans girl. With prints I get the odd piece that is very colourful, but normally I think about my handbags. I have two nude bags and two black bags that I wear all the time, so it’s best my clothes go with them.
  2. Plan ahead. I make a list a couple of months in advance with what I think I’m going to want to buy. I decide how much of that months budget I want to spend on clothes and try to wait a month or two before making a purchase to make sure I really want it. On my list right? Black jeans, a waterproof winter coat and a white blouse with some form of interesting detailing.
  3. Know the stores that make you feel special. I’v mentioned my love of French Connection, but I also love Ted Baker, Oasis and Mango. The clothes there fit me well, fit with my personal style and I know are of a really good quality.
  4. Pause before you purchase. But something in place to stop yourself impulse buying. I was in the terrible habit of impulse spending online and then returning everything. I often didn’t feel bad financially, but it was a terrible habit environmentally. Therefore I write things on a Wishlist and they have to be there a few weeks before I buy. Also consider removing your credit card details from websites you often impulse buy at.
  5. Remember no one will notice if you reuse items, after all they’re doing the same thing! Unless you are a designer or a fashion editor, there is no reason to be constantly ahead of the curve or buying new trends. I wear the same two bags to work every day. They are higher end bags and to not get my money out of them would be crazy! It’s the same with most of our clothes. Find interesting ways to restyle them and know that no one will notice even if you wear a similar outfit to work every day.

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Most importantly, clothes are meant to be enjoyed. I love styling outfits and shopping for clothes because I find it creative. It’s as part of my creative practice as my bullet journal and my blogging. But I don’t want it to take over my life.

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