What I learned about a capsule wardrobe from #ShopWhatYouGot

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.

Shop what you got 2015 First Half Shop what you got 2015The thing I really loved about this challenge was that it took what has been an abstract idea in my life – the capsule wardrobe – and made it a reality.

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.

  1. I viewed all items as separates. Dresses can be worn as tops and skirts with the right partner.
  2. Every item, including dresses (see above), could be combined with at least three other things.
  3. I chose a neutral base palette and added pops of colour. Absolute black/navy/white/cream isn’t my thing.
  4. A capsule wardrobe can’t just be about basics – I included a few pieces that reflected my personality.
  5. 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.
  6. I wanted to incorporate at least one trend. I couldn’t go past this season’s off the shoulder.
  7. 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.
  8. I tried not to limit prints to tops or bottoms, as a combination of both allows for maximum mix and matching.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.

Versatile Dressing

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.




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What are your capsule wardrobe tips? 


6 thoughts on “What I learned about a capsule wardrobe from #ShopWhatYouGot

  1. Flat Bum Mum says:

    Robyna, you rocked that capsule wardrobe like nobody’s business! I am amazed at how versatile that blue top has been. I think when we are pushed to think outside the square we suddenly see possibilities. I never felt like you were wearing the same things so you must have chosen you pieces really well.

    Bron x
    Flat Bum Mum recently posted…What mums really want for ChristmasMy Profile

    • Robyna says:

      Thanks – I was starting miss a few things by the end but it wasn’t too bad. Wonder if I should cut it down to 20 next year and really challenge myself!

  2. Collette says:

    I love this idea. Over summer I am going to do the ‘Marie Kondo’ on my house – starting with my wardrobe – what ever doesn’t spark joy goes to charity. So this is perfect timing for me because I was thinking ‘Am I cutting off my nose to spite my face’ here. But you’ve shown me that with a bit of creativity, it will be great!
    Collette recently posted…My Top Five Things on My Summer Bucket ListMy Profile

    • Robyna says:

      I really think there is something to be said for minimising. Just don’t throw out too many things with huge sentimental value. I was ruthless a few years back, and now I really regret it!

      • Collette says:

        The sentimentality is my weakness. If it even slightly conjures some sort of memory – it stays. That’s why I’m swimming against the tide of decluttering. But apart from my wedding dress, there isn’t much I’m emotionally attached to in my wardrobe. So fingers crossed I get the balance right. x
        Collette recently posted…Womenfolk Series: Meaghan SheltonMy Profile

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