How Quitting The Capsule Wardrobe Helped My Style Evolve

July 3, 2018

How quitting the capsule wardrobe helped evolve my style

Since I decided to move on from the capsule wardrobe, I’ve been taking the time to explore my personal style. One of the main reasons I wanted to move on from the capsule wardrobe system is that I was starting to feel it was limiting my style. Capsule wardrobes have a big focus on having a range of basic pieces which are interchangeable to create lots of outfits. But the problem with a wardrobe full of basics is that it can feel a little dull. I found myself so incredibly bored with my wardrobe and was desperate for change. Whilst this was more about the clothes in my wardrobe and my personal opinion rather than the capsule wardrobe. I felt like the capsule wardrobe was holding me back.

I created by capsule wardrobe as a way to break my fast fashion addiction and terrible shopping habits. When I was shopping fast fashion I didn’t really have a personal style. I didn’t realise it at the time but my style had become whatever Topshop was telling me to wear. It was very trend led and never really felt like me. The capsule wardrobe came along and changed this. I think I adopted the minimalist style as that was what most capsule wardrobes fitted with. As my Pinterest filled up with images of perfect looking minimalist wardrobes this became what I thought I wanted. My style was once again being influenced by external sources. To be honest with you that was a good thing. It helped me break my fast fashion addiction and enable me to explore ethical fashion. But now it’s time to move on and find my own style to move forward with.

Making the decision to move on from the capsule wardrobe gave me a sense of freedom and the opportunity to probably explore my personal style. Removing the rules and guidelines I had for my wardrobe has given me the space to play and have a little fun with my clothes.

[left] Quitting the Capsule Wardrobe helped my style to evolve [/left] [right] Quitting the Capsule Wardrobe helped my style to evolve [/right]

But this mini evolution has been about a lot more than just style. Through considering my personal style and how I want to represent myself to the world I’ve discovered a little more about me as a person. My style has become more of an expression of who I am as a person. It is now less about meeting the expectations of others or aesthetic of a minimalist capsule wardrobe. It is now about using the way I dress to help me show up how I want to show up. Getting dressed has become a joy again. Which let’s face it is the way it should be every day.

The big catalyst for this change was the spring 10×10 challenge. I selected 10 basic pieces such as a white shirt, black t-shirt, jeans, cashmere knit and black trousers etc. The idea was this would allow me to explore how these basic pieces could be used to create different outfits. I was actually really excited to start this challenge with so many basic pieces. However, by around day 4 I was bored. There was nothing wrong with the outfits I was creating but they just didn’t feel exciting or interesting to me. Everything felt dull and boring. (I hate using negative words like dull or boring but this was how I was feeling about the clothes in my wardrobe. This certainly isn’t anything against the minimalist style. In fact, I admire so many minimalist bloggers and have based my style on this aesthetic. The issue was that I was ready to evolve and switch up my style.

Over the last year, my life has been changing. In the last year, I’ve settled into a new job and undertaken a big home renovation project. I’m in a comfortable space with work and home now. And it was time for my style to catch up with my life. Although I do still work from home most days I do have teaching days where I have to stand up in front of a class of young people to try to educate and inspire them. I also visit a large variety of placement settings and need to be seen as a professional. When I get dressed for these days I want to feel professional, capable, approachable as well as fun, playful and feminine. But my current wardrobe wasn’t making me feel like this. Which is always a sign that it’s time for a change.

Post Capsule Wardrobe Style Evolution

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how I want to feel in my clothes and considering who I am as a person. The reason for this was I wanted my style to start to truly represent my authentic self and help me feel how I want to feel each day. Through this, I was able to pin down my style keywords which make me feel excited.

My style keywords: Vibrant, Feminine, Conscious, Fresh, Playful

These took a while to pin down but I feel they represent me and my personal style today. However, as my personal style continues to evolve these keywords will also evolve. I’ve used the keyword method for a while now. Each of my past capsules had keywords guiding them. But what I didn’t do was consider the next step. How can I convert these keywords into a real life style?

For me, this step was about identifying which elements of style I want in my wardrobe and what feels good to wear. This is the step which turns a few keywords into an actual style. It is about adding more colour especially red which I love to wear and more feminine details. Looking for little details in each piece which adds some femininity or playfulness such as ruffles, bows or lace. I’m looking for feminine shapes such as v necks and defined waist. I want to enjoy wearing my pretty dresses and embrace more small patterns in my wardrobe. On a broader level, I want to buy from responsible brands, focusing on quality and natural, sustainable fabrics.

I’ve been playing with my new approach to style for a few weeks now and have been loving playing with my style and clothes again. By moving the pieces which weren’t making me feel great and pulling the pieces I love to the front I’ve been wearing them more and more. I’ve also allowed myself to add a few new things which meet my new guidelines and that I love and can’t wait to wear. The funny thing is my wardrobe is probably smaller now than when I followed the capsule wardrobe. But it feels so much more freeing. I no longer care about someone else’s list of basics I’m ‘meant’ to have in my wardrobe. Because if I would rather wear my red floral blouse than a plain white tee then that’s what I should own.

[left]How quitting the capsule wardrobe helped evolve my style[/left] [right]How quitting the capsule wardrobe helped evolve my style[/right]

Beyond my wardrobe my biggest takeaway from this process if I’m feeling more comfortable with who I am. I’ve identified how I want to present myself to the world rather than who I think I should be presenting to the world. I’m feeling more confident and happy within myself and hopefully, that’s showing on the outside. You can see the change not only in the clothes I’m wearing but how I’m sharing them with you. My Instagram has become a much happier place with more vibrant, cheerful images. Although the arrival of summer might have also had an impact. I do think becoming more comfortable with my personal style and how I want to present myself has had its impact.

13 responses to “How Quitting The Capsule Wardrobe Helped My Style Evolve”

  1. Jill says:

    Hi Jen,
    I just wanted to say how much I like your new website design… and how much I enjoy your posts! I was worried that when you left the capsule wardrobe behind, you might leave your blog behind too – but I think your new direction is even more inspiring!

    • Jen says:

      Thank you so much for your comment it means a lot to me. It has taken me a while to find my direction but feels good to be inspired again.

  2. Kiri says:

    Wow I’m so happy for you that you’ve found joy in clothing again! I love the idea of capsules but like you, I want colour and pattern which isn’t necessarily reflected in the capsule community.
    On another note those nude knotted shoes look beautiful!

    • Jen says:

      Thanks, been absolutely loving having some colour and fun in my wardrobe again forgot how much I missed it. I still want to maintain a small wardrobe so will just have to see how it all works out. The shoes are fab, aren’t they? They are from Sezane – I think they still have them in stock too

  3. Sarah McCormick says:

    Hi Jen,
    Firstly, I LOVE that silky-looking floral/patterned dress! Where’s it from? Secondly, just to let you know about a clothing company here in Spain which you may not have heard of. They are called tiralahilacha and they produce really pretty ethical dresses, tops etc which I think you may like! I discovered them recently and am in love with my first purchase from them. Check them out! And well done on rediscovering colour and prettiness!! Xx

    • Jen says:

      Hi Sarah

      Thanks for the recommendation will have to check out that brand. The dress is actually a few years old, it has been with my occasion wear as I couldn’t bring myself to get rid of it. Just recently decided to pull it back into my everyday wardrobe – something so pretty should be worn, shouldn’t it? It was from Oasis, its part of a V&A collection they did a few years ago – you may be able to find one on ebay/depop x

  4. That little red sundress is an absolute joy. So glad you’re having fun with your style again! x

    • Jen says:

      Thanks its been lovely giving myself the freedom to play with style again. That dress is gorgeous, isn’t it? It’s from a lovely French brand Mademoiselle D. Love that we are getting a proper summer here in Scotland and I can actually wear my summer clothes this year. x

  5. Iga Berry says:

    I love your 5 words to describe your style now. I have to say that it shines through on Instagram. Love, Iga

  6. Logan says:

    I had the exact same feelings after I did my first 10×10 challenge back in the spring! I was so excited to try something different but in the end jsut wanted to randomly decide what to wear from my closet.

    Loving these flatlays girly.

    xo Logan

  7. emma says:

    Right, I think i need details on all these clothes please!

  8. Kristin Cochran says:

    This was a very thoughtful post- I really enjoyed reading it. I especially like the idea of keywords.

  9. Terrific post, thank you for sharing 🙂

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