This post might come as a bit of a shock to regular readers. I’m often talking about the benefits of capsule wardrobes so why on earth would I want to quit.
I’ve been using capsule wardrobes for a couple of years now and I feel I’ve taken them as far as I can. Back in 2015 when I created my first capsule wardrobe I adored the concept. I was practically obsessed telling everyone about this thing which had completely changed my wardrobe. Back then my shopping habit was out of control and I needed to do something to sort it out. The capsule wardrobe gave me a focus and allowed me to take back control of my wardrobe. Instead of making a new ASOS order every week my capsule wardrobe encouraged me to enjoy the clothes I already had in. This not only helped me to save money it changed the way I purchased clothes. Shopping had become a thoughtful and conscious process.
My capsule wardrobe journey has enabled me to develop my style and an understanding of what kind of clothes I enjoy wearing. I’ve ended my negative relationship with fast fashion and fully embraced slow and sustainable style. I’ve loved the process and would fully recommend trying a capsule wardrobe to anyone interested in changing their spending habits. But as much as I’ve enjoyed and learned a lot from the process it’s time to move on from the capsule wardrobe system.
Creating a capsule wardrobe is a bit like going on diet. It’s just that instead of losing weight you’re streamlining your wardrobe. If you think of capsule wardrobe as a tool to help control spending then it makes sense to move on once this has been accomplished. Afterall tools are used to accomplish a goal or task and once that’s done you put the tools down. I started my capsule wardrobe to curb my out of control spending habits. And I’ve managed to achieve that through my capsule wardrobe. I no longer impulse shop or waste hundreds of pounds a month buying clothes I hardly ever wear. My capsule wardrobe has been a useful tool, helping me to achieve this goal. But now I’ve achieved this it’s time to move on from that tool. I wouldn’t stay on a strict diet forever so why should I use a capsule wardrobe forever.
Capsule wardrobes encourage you to think in 4 separate seasons rather than consider all your clothes at once. My spring/summer clothes have become very separate from my autumn/winter clothes. I have essentially created two separate wardrobes with their own distinct styles. And whilst that has worked well up until now. I want to develop my style so that it is cohesive through every season. In a way, my capsule wardrobe has limited my style development by forcing me to think seasonally. I want to develop a more holistic approach to my style so that it flows throughout the year. I’m not sure if my wardrobe flows together or not as I never see all my clothes together at the same time. It’s either my autumn/winter pieces or my spring/summer pieces hanging up. You can easily forget which clothes you own. And whilst that can be a good thing when you pull a few surprises at the start of the season. I’m not convinced forgetting what own is a good thing.
There is also the issue that the seasons are fluid and capsule wardrobes are not. Here in Scotland, the weather is temperamental. We can get all 4 seasons in just one day. In fact this past week we’ve had torrential rain, snow, fog and sunshine. How can you plan for that kind of weather in advance? My wardrobe needs to be flexible to account for the weather. I don’t want to feel guilty or like I’m breaking rules if I have to pull out a wool jumper in the middle of summer. Having access to the majority of my wardrobe is the best option to deal with the Scottish weather.
One of my goals for my wardrobe this year is to develop a cohesive signature style. And whilst a capsule wardrobe can be a great tool for developing your style it isn’t working for me. I’ve found myself stuck with a simple style based on basics. I want to play more, adding colour, pattern and statement pieces. My capsule wardrobe has helped me to develop a great base to enable me to do this. By stripping my style back to basics I can now experiment and add in some bolder pieces I truly love. I didn’t experiment with my style with my capsule wardrobe. I tended to just stick with what I knew and the basics which worked. But the thing is sticking to basics can become boring after a while. I want to have some fun with my style and mix it up a little. Removing the rules that come with a capsule wardrobe will give me the freedom to do this.
When I first started my capsule wardrobe I loved it. I felt so free, I could get dressed easily in the morning and I wasn’t thinking about buying new clothes all the time. I saved money and freed up my time. Letting me focus on the things that mattered. I was always excited about creating my new capsule at the start of each season. However, this has now become a chore and has ended up creating stress rather than freeing me of it. I really felt it when I started thinking about my spring wardrobe. As I tried to create my capsule and struggled to edit down my picks I realised that I was starting to resent the system. I was putting unnecessary pressure on myself to create a minimal wardrobe.
But the thing is I’m not a minimalist. I’ve tried it and it doesn’t work for me. Whilst I understand and relate to the principles of only having items which add value to your life. I have to admit I like having things. I have more than I need in my home and I don’t want to reduce it to only the essentials. In fact, if you look at my house it’s bigger than what I need (there are 3 spare bedrooms) but that doesn’t mean I’m going to move into a one bedroom flat. I love my home and have worked hard to be able to have it. And to a certain extent, I feel the same about my wardrobe. Whilst I don’t want a wardrobe that’s bursting at the seams. I don’t see anything wrong with having a few options in there.
My attitude to the way I shop has changed completely during my capsule wardrobe experiment and that’s not going to change. But I no longer see the need to place rules and restrictions on my wardrobe. I’ve learnt so much through my capsule wardrobes, and I may return to them one day. But right now I feel like it’s time to move on.