Read part 1 and part 2 of this story here.
So, it’s nearly the end of May. I cut my capsule wardrobe short by about a week because I wanted to wear some of the things I picked up at a clothes swap a few days ago.
How did it go?
It went great. I took one jumper out of the suitcase, but apart from that I dressed exclusively from my capsule wardrobe and didn’t miss anything at all.
To be honest, it wasn’t a big a deal as I made it out to be. I didn’t feel restricted, and my style didn’t look or feel that different (just more refined, I guess). It did make dressing less stressful, but it also meant I needed to do laundry regularly.
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This is part two of my capsule wardrobe post. In the first post I talked about why I wanted to do a capsule wardrobe experiment, and the 7 steps I took to do it. This post is my “ideal wardrobe list” (steps 2-2), shopping list (step 4-5) and what I bought (step 7).
My April and May Capsule Wardrobe
- to test out a new grown up style, for a short period of time and on a budget.
- to test out the benefits of having a capsule wardrobe.
Although I buy and discard clothes fairly regularly, my person style hasn’t changed much in the last ten years. It’s a little bit all over the place but is mostly leggings with dresses and boots, worn with layers of cardigans and scarves and beaded jewellery. These days, I’m feeling a bit of a disconnect. I am craving more simplicity – less colours and patterns. I am also just not wanting to dress in the same way as I did when I was in my early twenties. Now unable to deny that I am in fact, in the latter half of this decade (I turn 28 in June), I want to have a more grown up style.
Whenever I have felt inspired to change the way I dress in the past I have immediately rushed out on a shopping trip. I buy a few items that are “different” and then these items get put into my regular wardrobe and have generally been worn as part of a very familiar looking outfit. This time, I have approached it like the grown up I want to be: with stated aims, numbered lists, and a budget.
This image from unsplash.com makes me really miss coffee.
It was the weekend before Christmas, and I was celebrating having a couple of weeks off work by burrowing deeper into my duvet and entering into full on relaxation mode. It was quiet, it was cosy, it was peaceful… My husband jumped out of the bed.
“Come on, it’s time to go to the gym.”
“Come on, doesn’t the class you normally go to start at 10?”
“Well yes, but…”
The truth was, I was planning to give myself the day off. But being stubborn and competitive, I wasn’t going to let him go by himself. So I dragged myself out of bed and left for the gym.
Without having a cup of tea.
I’ve been looking forward to some time off because I keep thinking I need to “sort things out”. What I need to sort out, I’m not so sure.
I feel itchy, dissatisfied… my mind keeps casting itself to the corners and storage places. The boxes under our bed, the clothes in the corner, the disorganised scraps of paper where I keep ideas for things I want to write or make. I crave focus, clarity. But I know from experience that taking bags to the charity shop won’t bring me that. Or at least, it will bring peace but only for a day or two. Then I will want to move on to the next thing: which area of my life shall I organise now? I will go through my archived mail, labelling and colour coding emails that I might one day need, deleting those that I won’t. And again, I will feel peace. Until I won’t.
Trigger warning for disordered eating (somewhat bizarrely, you might think, in an article about decluttering and shopping. But I often find that the way we relate to one thing is the way we relate to everything).
When it comes to clothes, I’m a shitty minimalist. Yes, I am good at throwing things away but I almost immediately buy new things.
In the same way that having a thin body doesn’t mean you have a healthy one, a small wardrobe does not mean simplicity. Over the past few years, there has been as much binging and purging of my clothes as their was five years ago with the food I ate (or didn’t).
Just like going on a diet has led to me restricting my calorie intake to unhealthily low levels, my pursuit of simplicity has led me to throw out things I now really miss.
In the same way that wanting desperately to loose weight led me to binge eat entire tubs of Ben and Jerry’s icecream, I managed to spend over £100 on clothes within a few weeks of my KonMari clearout.
So I finally got around to reading Marie Kondo’s The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
I thought I had already read enough decluttering and minimalism books, that there was nothing about getting rid of things that I had yet to learn. But actually, it kind of blew my mind.
Lately, I feel as though I’m going slightly mad.
I read everything that catches my attention.
It all adds to the noise in my brain.
I recommend you read this article by Alexandra Franzen about not using social media for her business. She makes a lot of good points, but here is the line that made a big light bulb appear above my head.
In March 2013 I sold most of my stuff, loaded the rest into my car and got ready to live out of suitcase while I figured out what to do with my life. I spent the next few months extracting myself from what, with hindsight, was an emotionally abusive relationship. I had my first “summer fling”, pierced my nose, and drank more alcohol than I probably had in the previous two years combined.