Finding My Style – The Capsule Wardrobe.

Capsule Wardrobe

The struggle of finding my style as the end of my 30’s draws near (gulp) is something that I think many ladies of my age have a tendency to experience. During my work hard/play hard 20’s, my wardrobe was clearly delineated into my professional and personal image. During the era of the noughties, a sharp trouser suit with heels was not uncommon for a daytime work look whist my night time exploits basically required anything tight and small.

Fast forward a decade and my 30’s has been a mixture of a corporate career peak, chaotic motherhood and part-time business owner. My lifestyle is muddled into a mush of different roles and my wardrobe has come to reflect that. And I’d like to get that sorted out in the hope that it will have a positive impact. Perhaps, feeling slightly more in control of how I look will set a better tone to start the day before the chaos of life ensues.

My Style Qualifications

Firstly, lets get the obligatory disclaimer out there. I know nothing about fashion and style at an educated or professional level. Hence why this post (which is bound to be part of a series of my misadventures into fashion) even exists. I really don’t know where to start. I have the classic daily quandary of a bursting wardrobe and nothing to wear. I am also a bargain loving spontaneous purchaser of random items that I dearly love, but which are not part of any kind of plan except that of “I need it in my life”.

The benefits of a Capsule Wardrobe

So in my extensive research to save some money and maximise my wardrobe, I’ve been investigating the phenomenon of The Capsule Wardrobe. Now let me tell you, this concept offers some big promises which include;

  1. Simplifying my mental head space
  2. Less shopping
  3. More intentional buying
  4. Gain a better sense of style and knowing what suits you.
  5. Less storage space required
  6. Less consumption

Now the whole concept of a capsule wardrobe is really not new and has been around for years in varying guises so there are plenty of great resources out there.

The advice from Who What Wear is to be honest about my lifestyle and avoid the fantasy lifestyle clothes v’s the real lifestyle clothes. On the basis that I go “out-out” about once every 6 weeks, I really do not need an array of dressy dresses. However, I do often go from the office to a kid event and sometimes back again which means I do need some stylish items that are practical too.

The ultimate capsule wardrobe guru (and creator of the brilliant 10×10 challenge) Caroline Joy is clear that we should dress for ourselves and not for others. I think I would categorise myself as needing to wear the ‘uniform’ for my various life roles (schoolgate mum/professional business woman/sexy wife…..kinda) and I worry that people will look at me in a ‘who does she think SHE is” kind of way if I were to attempt to go for something a little more unique. But what is a capsule wardrobe and rather than making me more unique, will it make me more monochrome and beige?

The Capsule Wardrobe Formula

Well, it would appear that 37 pieces is (one of) the suggested number of items for a successful capsule wardrobe formula. Now that doesn’t sound ever so capsule to me but perhaps I’m under estimating the challenge ahead. Others suggest that when shopping your wardrobe to build your capsule wardrobe, you need to be looking for;

  1. Four tops
  2. Four bottoms
  3. Two dresses
  4. Two layering pieces
  5. Four Accessories

This seems to be a sensible formula but I reckon this will need to be flexed for my different life roles and Audrey Coyne does talk about capsule wardrobe ‘modules’ that probably satisfy this nervousness about going so minimalist that I’m washing out my tops on a nightly basis.

Equally, whilst I do love the more classic neutral look of the likes of Anna Newton of An Edited Life fame, I’m wondering if I can really pull off that level of classic sophistication without having a lifestyle guru’s budget. Will I look more boring and beige rather than stylish and sophisticated?

There is only one way to find out………..wish me luck as I start the mammoth task of clearing out my wardrobe and transforming myself into an minimalist style icon……or something like that!

All tips and tricks welcome, I’ll need all the help I can get!!


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