Life Beyond The Capsule Wardrobe

April 17, 2019
A year after quitting my capsule wardrobe find out what aspects I've kept, why it was the right decision and if I'll ever return to capsule wardrobes

It’s been a year since I made the big decision to quit my capsule wardrobe. I used capsule wardrobes for a couple of years and felt like I’d taken the concept as far as I could. My capsule wardrobe journey changed the way I think about fashion and my personal style. It gave me the tool I needed to end my negative relation with fast fashion and embrace the slow fashion movement.

I wanted to check in with you to share my thoughts on this decision a year later. Do I still think it was the right decision? Or will the capsule wardrobe be returning?

What Parts I’m Sticking With

One of my favourite aspects of having a capsule wardrobe was the seasonal switch over. I loved pulling all my old favourites out of storage at the beginning of a new season. It was like going shopping but for your own clothes. I decided to keep this part of the capsule wardrobe. I still pack away my out of season clothes. This way all the clothes hanging in my wardrobe are appropriate for the season. This helps to reduce decision fatigue as I’m not facing sundresses when trying to get dressed on a cold winters morning. I also still get to experience the process of packing up the old season and unpacking the new season. It always feels like a good way to mark the changes of the season.

I’m also maintaining a minimal(ish) wardrobe which is a similar size to my previous capsule wardrobes. Although I no longer count my clothes or set a limit. Removing any [self-imposed] limit on the number of clothes I can have in my wardrobe has been so freeing. I honestly have no idea how many pieces are in my current wardrobe. But I can tell you it is still a small wardrobe compared to my pre-capsule wardrobe. There is no need to limit the number of clothes in your wardrobe. Especially if like me you base your capsule wardrobe on someone else’s limits. We all have very different lifestyles which means we all need very different amounts of clothes.

Benefits of quitting the capsule wardrobe 

One of my main struggles with my capsule wardrobe was I felt it limited my ability to explore my personal style. When you have a strict limit each season it makes sense to fill your wardrobe with basics and key pieces. I felt my capsule wardrobe was starting to lack personality. I wanted to play more with my style adding pattern, colour and statement pieces. 

I’ve worked hard to define my personal style over the last year. Focusing on how I want to present myself and show my personality through my clothes. And although this is still a work in progress and will probably always be. I have learnt a lot about my style and feel like I’m finally at a place where I’m happy with it. 

Towards the end, my capsule wardrobe no longer gave me joy. When I first started I loved the process and was telling everyone to try it. But it became a chore I was no longer excited about creating my new capsule at the start of the season and craved something different. I’ve now created my own wardrobe system taking the parts of the capsule wardrobe I enjoyed and mixing with a traditional wardrobe. The rules and restrictions are gone and I’m in a much happier place with my wardrobe. For me quitting was definitely the right decision.

Will I return to capsule wardrobes?

I can’t say for sure that I’ll never return to capsule wardrobes but right now it’s a no. I’m happy with how I’m managing my wardrobe. The pressure to create a perfect minimalist wardrobe has been lifted. I’ve been able to explore and develop my personal style whilst supporting sustainable and ethical brands. The unnecessary counting, limits and spending bans are gone. I’m very grateful I was able to experience capsule wardrobes and learnt a lot from them. And I’m able to take these skills with me as I develop my style and my wardrobe. Plus being able to create a minimal wardrobe is essential when travelling.

4 responses to “Life Beyond The Capsule Wardrobe”

  1. jenna says:

    Great post! I am currently on a journey towards living a zero waste lifestyle, but I have already ruled out that a capsule wardrobe is not for me… I am glad that you gave it a try and will be keeping bits and pieces of it 🙂 Thanks for sharing – this was a great read!
    -Jenna ♥
    Stay in touch? The Chic Cupcake

    • Jen says:

      Capsule wardrobes are often sold to us as the only way to create a sustainable wardrobe (I certainly felt like that at the beginning of my journey) so it’s important we share that there are alternatives. It’s possible to create a sustainable wardrobe and end your relationship with fast fashion without the rules and restrictions.
      Jen x

  2. Dorie says:

    I love this post. I thought a lot about a capsule wardrobe but also had the fear of not being able to express my personal style. In fact this is the first post post I read which deals with the disadvantages of a capsule wardrobe. So thanks for that 🙂
    Greetings from Vienna
    Dorie from http://www.thedorie.com

    • Jen says:

      Glad you found the post helpful. I now like to think of capsule wardrobes like a diet, they help you get your wardrobe under control but aren’t for the long term.

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