In part three of eating my elephant one mouthful at a time I embarked on the biggest of my Get Organised projects.
When I started my 'close to home' job last August I supervised the installation of new hanging rails into our built in wardrobe. It's one of those too skinny to hang clothes from right to left types that I used to store handbags, rollerblades, and a very out of date first aid kit. It does however have an 'overhang' on the front so we could install rails that ran from back to front and although this isn't ideal as you can only see one item of clothing at a time, it did give me some essential wardrobe space.
As I was moving from a very casual work place to a business dress office I wanted to have a separate work wardrobe so I didn't have to hunt through weekend clothes to find something to wear each day. As a Miss Organised 'wannabe' I set out my clothes the night before.
I have lived with these separate wardrobes for about 6 months now and it works for me. Dressing for work is easy and as I start at 7.30am I don't want to be dilly dallying about!
In a way this was part of a bigger wardrobe plan that had been an idea seed for years but hadn't been something I felt I could achieve so it stayed in the back of my mind.
The 'seed' well and truely planted itself when we booked a long weekend (5 days) trip to Barcelona for June this year. We're traveling easyjet with carry on luggage and I went into melt down at the very thought of packing light AND having clothes that transform from day to night!
What I needed was a holiday capsule and what I set out to accomplish was a minimalist capsule wardrobe. Yes, I not only wanted an efficient suitcase but an efficient wardrobe too.
I spent some weeks on Pinterest and the world wide web researching this fairly old idea that is being talked about on lots of blogs right now. I read some very interesting articles by normal people who have done this with huge success and love the idea of having fewer clothes to choose from each day. I wonder if one would blog the failed capsule wardrobe story?
So these are the stories that I loved.....
This was the first post I read, by Elise of enJOY it and found a link at the bottom to a few more articles she had written. In fact I loved this blog so much, I added it to my Blogs I Love list!
And then I found Travelista and this Packing essentials for Summer article, which led to the Packing essentials for Summer: Outfit Options article. And I started to get my head around how to build outfits from a few essentials.
My diary entry from the 1st of April 2015 reads:
'Big task this weekend is to tackle the capsule wardrobe project. I am seriously fired up to do this and I need to start before I research it to death and then end up not doing it!'
That's my thing. Research to become an expert before I start anything. There must be a deep rooted fear of not wanting to fail or look like a fool. Where the hell did that come from?
Thankfully I did start and this is how it went.
2nd April - I took all the clothes out of my wardrobe and drawers (except underwear that I had sorted only a few weeks before and do NOT count as capsule items). Each item went into a keep/maybe or heavens no it must go category, and the it must go clothes went straight into a bin bag. The rest of the clothes I hung on the two spare room doors, making an effort to separate into Autumn/Winter (A/W) and Spring/Summer (S/S). Everything went on a hanger. I wanted to see if there was an obvious colour scheme and style so I needed to see the clothes as a whole and not have piles all over the place.
3rd April - First thing was to skim through the S/S door to make sure I didn't have anything there that would be better placed in the A/W wardrobes.
I also took out any clothes that I thought could sit in an all year basics capsule. Things like neutral t's, jeans, and pair of black trousers and a couple of cardi's
Then I moved all the A/W clothes into the bedroom and used the cupboard doors to spread the clothes out.
The next bit was actually quite simple. I just separated the clothes into two piles. I love to layer clothes so something that looks like it wouldn't be suitable for winter will work in my world where I would then put 3 or 4 layers on top of it!
11 April - Following a week of other chores taking priority I finally got around to sorting my S/S wardrobes. I did contemplate leaving them together but I had come this far it made sense to do it properly!
I discovered clothes that I liked but had not worn for ages and having lost a few pounds on my fast they fitted better and actually looked nice. This was a bonus and I set about splitting my S/S clothes into two capsules.
Spring........ (Photographed with the basics)
There are a few pieces that I still want to add to my wardrobe basics, like a denim shirt and casual light jacket.
I can see a pattern with style and colour and most of the clothes I threw out are colours that I rarely wear and don't go with more than one other thing. It's quite hard to be ruthless with your clothes and one piece of advise I did follow is keeping those items that just don't seem to fit into your wardrobe right now but you really really really don't want to get rid of. I only have a handful of these and they are in the spare room cupboard. If I don't think about or wear them in the next year, they too will go. I didn't count the items in my capsules, but I roughly have three bottoms, 4-5 tops and 2-3 cardi's or wraps. So i'm really not short of clothes if you multiply that by 4, plus the basics capsule.
I think getting the next capsule out the drawer will be quite exciting as those clothes will not have been seen for at least 7 months. It's like having a new wardrobe every three months!
It's early days but I know this new way of thinking about clothes is a winner! I'm working on photographing my clothes for my stylebook app so I can build outfits and i'm actually excited about clothes for possibly the first time in my life!
P.S. I know there is a lot of information in this post and if you want more detail please shout. I will also post each capsule (starting with summer) in more detail as I integrate it into my wardrobe.