I stood in front of my cupboard, trying to remember what I had on my To Do list for the day. It was difficult to focus, the kids where at each other’s throats again. I had 3 hours of sleep in, and my head was all over the place. Trying to focus on getting dressed was the last thing I wanted to spend any energy on.
Sound familiar? Mama, I have sympathy. I wish I could say this was a one-and-done thing, but no. This was morning after morning. It happened so often that I would end up simply putting on my active wear and then only getting dressed for whatever I had planned that day after dropping the kids off at school. When I had some peace and quiet to figure out what goes with what and what fitted.
I have been preaching capsule wardrobe for YEARS. I have had one for YEARS. And then something happened, not sure what or when or why, but it threw my entire system out of whack. One moment I had a streamlined cupboard and the next I had all these pieces that I either hated, or that looked dated/old/terrible. The irony? I have bought a few new items, and still my cupboard failed to inspire me.
So, what is a mama to do? Well, in my case, I decided to start over. This seems to be my newest motto – if it feels broken, change it. Don’t wait for it to actually break.
That being said, starting over is not always so easy. For one, I don’t have the financial backing to throw everything out and start from scratch. Because I cannot invest in a new wardrobe, at the moment, I decided to fall back in love with what I do have. And in the process, reassess the way I have approached the capsule up until now.
In the past I had a very elaborate system of working out a core capsule as well as a basic, adding seasonal pieces while working with the rule of 4 blocks. Sounds confusing? Yep, it was. If last year has taught me anything, it is to simplify – cut back on all the fluff and leave the essence, only what is needed. Looking at my closet, chock full of clothes, I realised there was a lot of fluff. So much fluff that I kept on looking past the essence.
The first thing I did was take out everything, throwing it all into a huge pile on my bed. Then I removed all the pieces that I don’t like wearing, or that I just don’t look good in. Next went the stained, washed out, ripped, etc. clothes. What was left with was still a lot, but less than what I started with. I already felt a bit better.
From the clothes that I was left with, I took out my practical and activity-based clothes. That would be activewear, swimwear, sleepwear, and formalwear. Also, winter coats and jackets.
What I was left with were pieces I liked wearing, that fit, and that I could work with. Luckily for me they were all more or less in the same colour spectrum – when I first started redoing my cupboard, I felt drawn towards natural colours such as beige, whites, and creams, with splashes of pink.
And that was that – my new capsule. It has more pieces in it than a traditional capsule, a lot more. But I am ok with that, since I wear all of the pieces I am left with. And I like all of them. Which is more than I could say for my previous highly curated wardrobe.
In case you were wondering, this is what I am left with:
- 3 pairs of dark denim jeans (one nice pair, 1 girlfriend with a high waist, 1 distressed) – I like dark blue jeans, so why must I wear anything else
- 3 pairs of high-waisted paper bag pants – 1 pink, 1 blue and white stripes, 1 white
- 2 pairs of chinos – 1 grey, 1 navy
- 3 pairs of other pants – 2 with flowers (one high waisted and wide-legged, the other tapered leg) and 1 soft burgundy pants
- Selection of t-shirts in various colours (8 short sleeve, 4 strappy, 7 long sleeve)
- 4 off the shoulder tops (3 in white, 1 green)
- 3 other tops
- 2 long sleeved boat-neck tops
- 3 jerseys
- 3 jumpsuits
- 7 dresses (1 off-the shoulder, 3 short sleeve long and 3 long sleeve)
- 4 mid-calf skirts
Total of 56 pieces
These are the clothing items that I wear. That I feel comfortable and good in. There are a few pieces that I left in my cupboard, things that are a size too big, or that I don’t like wearing but are sometimes the most appropriate thing that I can wear. I have not counted them, but cannot throw them out either. And of course, I have also not counted my scarves, jackets, or coats.
56 pieces, to take me through both summer and winter. 56 things that I love wearing, that all fit together, and that make me feel more like me than ever before. And that is the best feeling in the world.
If you want to start a capsule, by all means do. But please, do it your way. Design your capsule so that it works with your lifestyle, not like I did mine initially. Then, when you have your perfect capsule, you will thank me every morning.