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I’ve been working on streamlining my wardrobe for quite some time now, ultimately I want a complete capsule wardrobe but I thought narrowing down my work wardrobe was a good way of easing myself into it and seeing if the system would work for me and my lifestyle.
I’ve read lots of articles about how to create a capsule wardrobe and to be honest I kind of ignored them all when it came down to it. Relying instead on my core purposes – quick, easy and practical.
The whole reason for creating a work capsule wardrobe was to save time and save effort. I also didn’t want to spend any money on it so I had to work with pieces I already owned.
As much as I’d love to be super organised and productive and lay out a week’s worth of outfits in advance, I knew that was unlikely to happen and so I needed to create a realistic solution.
With that in mind, the pieces I chose had to fit the following requirements.
– Don’t need to be ironed
– Warm enough for cold months, but not too warm
– Must be able to grab and go so must mix and match
Due to these requirements I decided to focus on skirts and tops. I have trousers and blouses but both require the effort of ironing which is one extra chore I simply don’t want to make time for.
Also, if I wore a blouse – depending on the weather, I would also need to find suitable layers to ensure it was warm enough and make sure I picked out the right colour bra in the morning so it didn’t show through – again too much effort for my tired, sleep deprived, busy mornings.
So the optimal time-saving solution was:
– A Skirt that doesn’t need ironing
– A stretchy top that also doesn’t need ironing, isn’t dependent on my underwear choice and sits comfortably under a skirt
– Black tights
– A pair of boots
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Next was finding pieces that mixed and matched. I have quite a muted wardrobe anyway – I don’t own too much of anything brightly coloured and most of my clothing was plain (with the exception of my collection of striped tops).
I seem to be drawn to the same colour palette, so this part was actually quite easy as most of my clothing was grey/black/white/navy with dark green and purple thrown into the mix.
In the end I opted for the following:
Black and White Striped Long sleeve Polo Neck Jumper
Green Long Sleeve Polo Neck Top
Brown/Green Animal Print Skirt
Green Wool Skirt
Brown Zipped Cord Skirt
Dark Red Button Up Cord Skirt
All of these could be paired with black tights and a pair of tan or black boots.
These 10 pieces create 23 possible outfit combinations, which can be styled differently again depending on the shoes and handbag I wear with it.
I probably could’ve narrowed this down even further – I only work 3 days a week, but I wanted to leave room for changes if pieces were in the wash or if I ended up with food/dribble/sick/toothpaste on me in the minutes before I needed to leave (which is a strong possibility in my house!)
I’ve been implementing this capsule wardrobe since the start of the year and it works brilliantly. There’s no more standing in my undies pondering what to wear for 10 minutes, wasting another 10 minutes realising nothing is ironed, panicking if I need a last minute change or cursing myself for not putting that wash on last night.
It’s takes literally seconds to choose an outfit and get dressed. And any time saved in the mornings is very much welcomed.
As I mentioned above, my priority was saving time and effort. Which meant choosing pieces that didn’t need ironing etc. Decide what’s important to you- do you want to be comfortable? do your clothes need to be smart? or can you go more casual? are you comfortable in jeans or prefer a dress? or if that’s wearing a pristine, crisp blouse – so be it – it’s your choice.
Visit Pinterest and save outfit styles that appeal to you, or visit a relevant hashtag on Instagram and save posts you like. Once you’ve saved a few outfit combinations that you like, analyse what it is about those outfits that appeal to you and what elements they have in common. You can then use this as a foundation for your own wardrobe.
Try on the pieces that you think will form the basis of your wardrobe. Assess whether they have any flaws and need alterations or repairs. Make sure things fit and feel comfortable – are there any reasons you don’t usually wear this item? Does it itch, ride up? It’s no good picking something because you like the idea of it, if the reality is you feel uncomfortable in it.
Mix and match pieces you normally wouldn’t try together. Clash patterns, colours and textures – you’ll be surprised at the outfit combinations you already own.
Have you ever implemented a capsule wardrobe, do you have any tips?
I started Katie Saves while on Maternity Leave to document our adjustment to living on less. Now back in work - I blog about making extra money, saving money, getting my life organised and being a new mum. Join me!