For the past 30 days, 30 items of my clothing have been in constant rotation, as has my washing machine. I have just completed Jo from iCurvyWorld‘s Shop What You Got challenge, wearing 30 items, 30 different ways.
I am not a minimalist by nature. But I love the idea of it. I get excited when people down-size their lives into tiny spaces – oh the liberation! The French attitude of buying less but buying quality has always appealed for its grace and restraint. There are times I go into stores and feel completely overwhelmed – when I feel the weight of so much stuff. But then I see something I like. Something beautiful. Suddenly my minimalist convictions go out the window and I come over all Gollum-like, coveting “my pretty”. Then it comes home and gets jammed in a over-packed wardrobe.
This challenge showed me that is possible to work a fairly minimal wardrobe without feeling like I have nothing to wear. And that I can probably exercise a little more restraint when my inner Gollum comes calling.
So, with my recent experience, this what I learned about capsule wardrobes.
- I viewed all items as separates. Dresses can be worn as tops and skirts with the right partner.
- Every item, including dresses (see above), could be combined with at least three other things.
- I chose a neutral base palette and added pops of colour. Absolute black/navy/white/cream isn’t my thing.
- A capsule wardrobe can’t just be about basics – I included a few pieces that reflected my personality.
- When relying on a limited number of pieces, I think you have to love each and every one of those pieces. I made sure that everything fit well and that the pieces were comfy.
- I wanted to incorporate at least one trend. I couldn’t go past this season’s off the shoulder.
- Towards the end of Shop What You Got tops and bottoms that had never previously met happily romanced and I was thrilled with the newly found combinations.
- I tried not to limit prints to tops or bottoms, as a combination of both allows for maximum mix and matching.
- My final collection included 8 pants/shorts, 15 tops and 2 dresses. I actually started with more tops and less pants/shorts but realised I needed more balance. I still think that balance is out – I think I needed more options for the lower half and less tops.
- Necessity is indeed the mother of invention. By limiting myself to less pieces, I found dressing became more of a creative puzzle and less of an overwhelming experience.
- I had a few work-horse pieces that I wore in different ways. My most versatile piece ended up being a button down sleeveless top. Which, interestingly, I don’t normally wear that often.
I loved my month of minimalism and I particularly loved seeing what others did with their collections. You can check out #ShopWhatYouGot on instagram for a dose of stylish inspiration.
I swear there are a few items in my wardrobe winking at me, beckoning me back and I am looking forward to wearing them. But on the whole, I didn’t feel like I was missing out this month. I can work with a minimal wardrobe and then just add a couple of things I adore. Figuring out that base wardrobe first makes it so much easier to get dressed in the morning.
What are your capsule wardrobe tips?