Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Wardrobe Wars: The first step to a capsule wardrobe

I cleared out my wardrobes at the weekend.  If you are easily offended look away now:

It took me approximately ten minutes to empty them and more than four hours to sort through everything and put it all back nicely.  The picture above shows the contents of just one double wardrobe.  You can imagine the state they were in.  Grrr. 

I'm so glad I did it though!  I filled two bin bags for the charity shop, have given a few bits away to friends and my clothes all hang nicely on the rails now with space in between things, like a posh shop.  I feel quite smug, can you tell?!  

This little exercise has also given me the opportunity to start afresh.  I don't have as much money to spend on clothes as I used to so when I buy something I have to be sure I need it and I will wear it:  there is no room in my budget for duplication or waste.  I am determined that every single new purchase will be a good one.  I want everything in my wardrobe to fit me (yes, I've bought smaller sizes in the past thinking 'I'll slim into them'), feel comfortable and look gorgeous.  The first step in achieving this wardrobe nirvana was to get rid of everything that didn't tick these boxes.

The second step has been to think a bit more about what my own style is and how I want to look - that's a really hard thing to do!  I have had to be brutally honest with myself for a start.  I would love to be fashion forward and wear achingly trendy clothes but it's just not me - I don't have the right figure for one thing.  I've also had to accept that I'm [a tiny bit] too old for certain looks now, too.  Sob. 

So, I've decided to put together a kind of capsule wardrobe with the clothes that work perfectly for me.  Once I've got the capsule right (! loving this terminology, feeling v swotty!) I can buy a few more frivolous and fashionable things to mix it up a bit.  

This all sounds very straight-forward as I'm typing but I know it will be tough to make such controlled decisions.

So, item number one in my capsule wardrobe is something I already own - my brown leather high-heeled sandals:

They are from Russell & Bromley and I wore them at the weekend with a pair of indigo denim leggings, a white tank top and a floral tunic.  They go with everything I own though: skinny, bootcut, cropped and flared jeans, harem trousers, A-line skirts and my rolled-up chinos.  I even have a couple of maxi dresses which are long enough to wear with them.  I can wear these shoes bare legged or with thick tights in the winter.  They also look cute with socks.  I paid £185 for them in 2006* and they were worth every penny.  To me they are a classic, versatile, shoe; they still look stylish and they are in excellent condition, despite many [often tipsy] outings.  

A solid contender for my capsule wardrobe, I'm sure you will agree!

I'm off to bed now but I'll leave you with another wardrobe essential, particularly when the weather turns like it did for us today:

I like to ring the changes with my footwear!


*Geek Fact:  I know this because I keep all of my shoes in their boxes, stuffed with tissue, and I tuck the receipts inside.  Call me obsessive if you like.

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