I’ve lost track of the days I used to spend deciding what to wear, piles of clothes thrown around the room, snapping at my family for interrupting me while I became slowly more and more miserable with every new combination I tried.
I wasn’t brilliant at outfitting myself before kids, but after I had kids I seemed to spend a lot of time shopping for clothes but finding an outfit in the morning didn’t seem to be getting any easier. In fact the more I tried the harder it got. My wardrobe was full of clothes, but I couldn’t make an outfit out of them.
Then we started to do lots more travel blogging and I found packing clothes was a real headache, along with trying to find something clean to wear when I got home.
Something had to change.
‘Why don’t you ever buy two of things?’ said Mr A, as I threw another paddy about packing for a trip.
I looked at him strangely, but then I read one of those articles about highly effective people, and realised he was on to something.
So over the last year I have been slowly building towards what they call a ‘minimalist/uniform wardrobe’ approach to clothes, and I have never been happier. I just don’t want to spend my precious time stuck in a changing cubicle trying on weird bits of fabric or putting together complicated outfits.
If it works for Zuckerberg it works for me
Turning forty was a bit of a milestone too, I have too much else I want to achieve, and so if it works for Mark Zuckerberg, who wears the same style T shirts and jeans every day to allow him to focus on his facebook empire, well a capsule wardrobe can work for me too.
I’ve been influenced by living with my husband all these years, comparing how freeing men’s clothing combinations are and what a difference buying two or even three of the same thing makes.
However, I still love clothes and I wouldn’t go as extreme as Zuckerberg who only has grey and white t shirts, but I would say 90% of my wardrobe I no longer need, and the other 10% I love wearing.
My Autumn Capsule Wardrobe
I wrote about my summer capsule favourites here, I lived in harem pants and t shirts, but now it is Autumn, I mainly live in skinny black jeans and bottle green/khaki jumpers. If I’m in the mood I add some jewellery or a scarf, but I’m sorting through my jewellery lots too, it’s too easy to keep wearing jewellery you don’t like, just for sentimental reasons.
The benefits of creating a simple capsule wardrobe
I love knowing what I am wearing feels comfortable and feels like me.
Not having to choose an outfit makes life so much easier in the morning. I haven’t had one of those my favourite outfit is in the wash and I have no idea what to wear days for ages.
Fewer washing hassles
Although you can’t let the washing pile up too long when you have fewer clothes, I do spend much less time rifling through and sorting piles of clothing. No more washing piles of half worn clothes.
Save money and resources
Not making expensive impulse buys that need a whole new outfit to go with them at a later date, means less money spent, and less stress. Focussing your energies on what you really need rather than what you want is often better for the environment too.
Shopping is more fun
When you know what you want it is so much easier. Choice can be overwhelming, I like knowing what colours, shapes and items I need to fill gaps, it makes shopping really liberating. Right now I know I could do with one more jumper for special occasions and some shoes to smarten up the skinny jeans. Warehouse came out ‘tops’ for me as I love the embellishments (‘scuse the pun) but I also loved Workaday who I had never discovered before, had my favourite everyday jumper colours, which are grey and bottle green, which were also my school jumper colours… I’m not entirely sure what this says about me and my minimalist uniform style.
L-R Top – both Warehouse
Bottom – Alexander Wang, Weekaday, Warehouse
Now I have worked out the casual stuff, my next challenge is to have a little overhaul each season, explore layers and patterns I like a little more, sort out a smart capsule wardrobe to cover special events and sell on/donate to charity the rest.
How minimalist is your wardrobe? Would a capsule wardrobe work for you?
I’ve shared my secrets to creating a minimalist capsule a wardrobe in another post, have a look if you are thinking about it. I looked at so many high fashion articles about capsule wardrobes that got me nowhere, but I realised I had been thinking about it all the wrong way.