Capsule wardrobe

Holiday capsule wardrobe

When I posted part three of my get organised project, capsule wardrobe, I mentioned that I had orginally set out to create a functional 5 day summer break carry on suitcase. And now I want to talk about that suitcase and how it worked out.

This post will be in two parts. I wanted to record what I had packed and how I thought it would work for me and then when I get back I can finish off the post with how it actually worked! Today, as I start to draft the post, is the 1st of June and our flight is on Wednesday. Over the weekend I caught up with the laundry and we packed our new 'fit for easyjet purpose' carry on suitcases.

So we're off to Barcelona and it looks like we're going to have some fine weather.......

Holiday capsule weather

That doesn't mean I won't take a cardigan which I plan to include in my travel outfit along with my only bulky pair of shoes.

Holiday capsule travel outfit

According to Travelista's Packing Essentials: Summer, you need:
One light jacket
One light cover-up or sweater
One blouse
Two sleeveless tops
Two tees or tops
Two bottoms
Two dresses (day and evening)
Optionals (swimsuit, beach cover up and beach shorts)
Three pairs of shoes
Accessories (hat, sunnies, day bag, evening bag, 2 necklaces, scarf and belt)

So how does my packing list compare (including travel items):
No light jacket
One cardigan
No blouse
No sleeveless tops
Four tees
Three tops
Five bottoms (1 Jeans, 2 shorts, 1 linen trousers and 1 skirt)
No dresses
Optionals (swimsuit)
Three pairs of shoes (converse, evening sandal, Birks)
Accessories (Sunnies, all day bag, 2 necklaces, 2 scarves and belt)


Holiday capsule t shirts


Holiday capsule tops


Holiday capsule bottoms

All packed...

Holiday capsule suitcase

Days will be spent in shorts and tees, and evenings in skirt, linen trousers or jeans and a top. There will be a small overlap, ie some things worn twice, like a top worn at dinner one evening can go another wear on Sunday. After all we're not running marathons! And if I do run a marathon then I'll need to wash a tee or top in the basin and hang in the shower to dry.

I don't ever mix and match when we go away. Normally my holidays are to SA where i'm staying with family and can just wash and dry as I need, and a few years ago we went to Crete where we rinsed clothes each evening and hung them on our balcony to dry overnight. Long weekend trips in the car mean I can take as much luggage, and therefore as many clothes, as I need to.

Here we go.....Bon Voyage!!

10/06/2015 - We're back from an awesome 5 days in the sun. Firstly I want to recommend Barcelona as a travel destination. It's a great city to explore! It has an exciting nightlife, awesome beaches and the sea is beautiful to swim in. Just chose the sandy beach or the pebbles will kill your feet :) The food was spectacular and the beer cold!

The weather when I checked on Tuesday 2nd...

Holiday capsule weather 2

So lets talk about how the holiday capsule wardrobe actually worked.
- At the last minute I threw in a black vest top. It should have been packed as it goes under the very see through blue top!
- My cardigan was great for the early morning flight and the plane which was a little chilly.
- I wore everything I took except the blue see through top as it was just too hot and instead wore the vest top on it's own.
- That vest top came in handy as I wore it a few times, so I did land up washing and wearing. LESSON: Next time take more vest tops!
- I loved my tees. All three were new (two bought just a week before going), and fit into my basics capsule which stay in my wardrobe all year. I wore the tees over my vest top to start the day and took it off when it warmed up. It ws good having with me as I could always then use it as a cover up to go into churches/cathedral and in the heat of the day when the sun was a killer.
- Everything in my holiday capsule mixed and matched.
- I felt confident and comfortable in all my clothes.

One thing I wish I had taken were strappy tops for the evenings. I don't have any following my huge wardrobe clear out and the ones I did have were well past their sell by date. When I need to replace clothes (spring and summer capsule) I will look to add some strappy tops that can be paired with a cardi in the UK and be good for sunny holidays.

Holiday capsule cathedral

It was HOT HOT HOT...

Holiday capsule us 2

I bought a hat out there as I couldn't find one here that I liked. I'm glad I waited as they were half the price. I also bought some new fashion sunglasses as I took my prescription sunnies with me so I could at least see the place rather than just blocking the sun.

My one wardrobe fail was my choice of shoes.
My Birkenstocks that I thought would be perfect gave me horrid blisters :( I tried to patch them with compeed blister plasters but in the heat they moved and I had sticky patches on my shoes which just irritated me. My feet were very sore!
My night time sandals were great for short walks between bars in the cooler evening.
My converse worked fine for the plane as I prefer to limit my trip hazards to what is actually on the ground (or fresh air that I often trip over!) and not add to the issue with a pair of flip flops. They were too hot to wear out there but as we had to pack on the Sunday quite early I wore them for the whole day. They were hot and uncomfortable and gave me two seriously shit blisters!

The footwear fail was self inflicted and vanity induced as I wanted my glittery toe nails on display. What I should have done was wear my crocs. I know they are ugly but hey who cares when you can walk a million miles in them. We did a lot of walking and that certainly didn't help matters.

It didn't stop me though and we saw so much of the beautiful city and had the best time.

Holiday capsule us

I didn't expect to get it 100% right on the first try but I think I came quite close and had we not done 83,000 steps in 5 days my feet might have coped better. I'm looking forward to going away again and planning my holiday capsule wardrobe.

Happy holidays!!

Ciao xx

Those final mouthfuls - Elephant Part 3

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.

Capsule work clothes

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.

Caspule wardrobe outfit for work

I put up some pretty hooks on the inside of the door to hang jewellery.

Capsule jewellery

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.

I read Project 333 blog, who even have a dress for less and capsule wardrobe course you can sign up to. And this lady who did project 333 and lived to tell the tale, photos and all!

And this how to create a capsule wardrobe article by Caroline Joy at Un-Fancy is just so inspiring and made me believe I could do this! She also puts together great outfits and weekend packing lists.

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


Capsule basics

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!


Capsule autumn


Capsule winter

I added some scarves and packed each capsule into a separate drawer.

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)

Capsule spring

Summer........ (Photographed with the basics)

Capsule summer

Only the Spring clothes are in my cupboard and it makes such a difference to open it and see what's hanging up rather than a squashed mash up!

Capsule spring in wardrobe

My summer clothes are folded in a drawer waiting to be integrated into the cupboard towards the end of May.

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!

Oh joy!

Ciao xx

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.