Now onto my recent revelation that the concept of the capsule wardrobe does actually work for me. A few years ago, I wanted to have lots of repro vintage dresses. Those amazingly well dressed bloggers caught my eye and I wanted to be them. The height of my wardrobe ambition was to own lots of this particular type of clothing. Over the last 3 years I did indeed, with a mix of cunning and thrift, manage to pile up a decent amount of repro vintage. In the last few months I have found myself in dire straights and have resorted to selling most pieces off. In that way, I do curse my desire for pretty things and wasting money but I believe that I’ve now learned my lesson. Most of my stuff has been put on the market and most have been sold. The remaining bits are being sold on Vinted, here and if you are interested in buying anything, please let me know.
I’ve discovered that while choice is something I love, there are certain things I need less choice on. Occasion dresses for example. While I don’t have many fancy frocks (or occasions to wear them to), I wear repro vintage dresses a lot for occasions and events and when choosing, I found myself reaching for my favourite ones and wearing the others only a few times. As much as it pains me, I need to let go of the surplus and keep only the ones that I love the most. I’ve finally realised that I really don’t need so many repro dresses, I have enough (about 3) and if I want to get another in a few years, I’ll have the space and justification for getting another.
Ditto with my casual dresses. Do I need so many? Yes and no. Yes because I wear them all the time so they aren’t just sitting there unloved but no because it’s a lot of clutter for things that are so easily disposable. This realisation took me a long time because I merrily anticipated wearing them almost every day (I did) and thought that having so many was acceptable. This year I whittled down the 50 into 22, with much difficulty. I’m learning the lesson of letting things go because they don’t fit me or suit me any more. It’s not one I initially enjoyed doing but I’m on my way to getting down to a clearer wardrobe that fits me which is entirely worth it.
Likewise, I swapped away all of those frilled, unsupportable wisps of tops and replaced them with plainly structured, well fitting ones in a range of prints and colours which look far better and go with everything. Begone all of those unsuitable playsuits, the two I am keeping is more suited to Spring or Autumn with tights (which is how my legs look best) which may seems strange to everyone else who associates shorts with summer but this outfit combination suits me more. I’ve introduced printed trousers into my wardrobe (was severely lacking in trousers) and am mixing patterns and colours up like I never used to. My block toned tops are in a variety of colours that I like so I’m never bored with t-shirts and jeans, I’ve always got something to brighten up a potentially dull look just by replacing neutrals with bright and light colours.
My bugbear my whole life has been shoes. I inherited bunions and wide feet and most styles of shoes, let alone heels, don’t fit me. I live in comfortable clompy Clarks/Scholl shoes, ankle boots and sandals with the occasional Birkenstock and platform shoe/boot from the New Look wide range and Japanese online stores bought second hand off Vinted. For years I wasted money on pretty shoes, only for me to hobble along each time I wore them. I coveted heels but it is just not meant to be and just as well because I can’t really walk in them. I may be eligible for bunion surgery and if I do get it done, I still won’t be able to wear heels very often, so no change there for me. Since they got severe, I’ve regretfully cleared out all unsuitable shoes and sought out pretty comfortable ones. They take a lot of time in finding and cost a bomb (was lucky to find some in swaps) but at least I feel the satisfaction of keeping my feet as happy as they can be, mixing outfits around limited pairs and wearing them out properly over a number of years, decreasing spendage on silly purchases, making them one of the best wardrobe investments. Boring? Hell yes. Doable? Absolutely. I now own about 18 pairs of practical, mainly pretty shoes.
What I’ve discovered is that I like classic, plain cut silhouettes, but in lots of bold colours and patterns. Think Coco Chanel simple figure in Betsey Johnson colours and pattern palette. That’s me.
This is what a capsule should be. They are usually presented as ‘one size fits all’ format but bearing in mind the differing likes/dislikes, body shape and personal needs, each one needs to be tailored to the individual. I’ll outline my essentials in another post.