Anyone who spends a good amount of time following the glitterati on social will know just how important it is to invest in statement pieces both bold and whimsical for AW17. On the other hand, the same socialsphere addicted bunch – myself included – will have been bombarded with tips and tricks on how to scale down and build the perfect capsule wardrobe.
Confused? With mixed messages about what to buy and when to wear it clogging up our feeds daily, it’s no wonder our shopping habits are all over the place. How are we supposed to keep a carefully curated 12-piece capsule wardrobe when we’re being lured to the Dark Side with “Weekend Bags All Fashion Editors Love”? More importantly, doesn’t all this haphazard buying wreak havoc on our bank balances?
As my Pinterest feed likes to remind me, it’s certainly possible to keep a capsule wardrobe in 2016. Drawn to the idea of one primarily so I could A) spend less and B) avoid wasting time picking out just WHICH black top to wear, I ruthlessly cleared out and donated 2/3 of my wardrobe several months ago. I also wanted an excuse to buy more clothes – you know, “investment pieces” – without pissing off my partner by demanding more space in our “walk-in” (i.e. spare bedroom).
The clean out process was gut-wrenchingly boring but didn’t take nearly as long as I imagined it would. I’d been dreading the decision making aspect more than anything else but after tossing the first few items I disliked into a bin bag, I began to gain momentum. The next thing I know, I had but two small drawers and a modest rail full of clothes left. I feel it pertinent to mention the two small drawers contain LITERAL wardrobe must-haves: bras, knickers and hosiery.
The months following my wardrobe purge have been eye-opening. I’d based the criteria for my “keep” pile on the following factors: style, fit and practicality. While I wasn’t willing to whittle my clothing down to 12 articles for the entirety of 2016, I’d managed to severely limit my choices which means…
• I make use of each and every item in order to create tasteful working combinations for the office, date nights etc.
• I take care of what I have. After years of having a floordrobe as the focal point of every room, I’ve evolved to undress, fold/hang up clothing and be mindful of its lifespan to optimise cost-per-wear.
• Travelling is a hell of a lot easier. I used to over pack “just in case” I needed something. Now that I’m left with the few items I know I like as well as look and feel good in, I’m more confident about what’s in my suitcase. Plus, I’ll never get charged for exceeding my baggage allowance again!
• It’s easier for me to determine which items are worth buying and adding to my wardrobe. Before the purge, I’d buy a hoard of statement jackets, bags and ankle boots (my weaknesses!) but had no basics to wear them with.
Pleasantly, I no longer part with my pay cheque on any old item of clothing I see online or IRL. As if by some magical force, I’ve been gifted with something I never thought I’d have: PATIENCE. I’m not saying a wardrobe purge is the key to solving all your style or money woes but it may be a starting point for those who want to make worthwhile style investments.
In the process of clearing out my wardrobe, it dawned on me that a lot of my fashion purchases – even if from years ago – were of poor quality and had been bought for immediate satisfaction. Sure, I’d wanted better but better seemed too far off. And when I say “better”, I don’t just necessarily mean quality; there were instances where I’d purchased items that were well made but didn’t suit my frame or simply weren’t “me.” It’s a huge shame to have an idea of what you’d like to wear and not be able to find it but nowadays I hang in there until it comes along! Or better yet…I find ways to create it myself – but that’s another topic for another post!