Declutter Your Clothes: Embracing The Capsule Wardrobe

Don’t Look A Clotheshorse In The Mouth

Embracing the capsule wardrobeGone also is the constant reminder of past lapses of discipline and money squandered on clothes I have barely or never worn. Scarves, socks, jeans, trousers, camisole tops, t-shirts, jumpers, coats, hoodies, shoes, sandals, dresses, cardigans. You name it, they’ve all gone the way of the charity shop because really, how many clothes does a girl need? I’ve probably halved my wardrobe and still wear the same outfits most of the time. I’ve tried clothes swaps but found I bought items I never wore and gave them to charity.

When a woman says I have nothing to wear, what she really means is, there’s nothing here for who I’m supposed to be today  [Caitlin Moran, How To Be A Woman]

Until a few years ago I was a Primark aficionado. I stopped shopping there initially because my social conscience would no longer let me, but it also became about not buying into the false economy of cheap clothes. I now try to buy the best quality I can afford and avoid shops where clothes are questionably cheap, however, tempting three tops for the cost of one elsewhere is.

Women’s Magazines

have been extolling the virtues of embracing the capsule wardrobe for decades with their three different outfits worn three different ways with matching accessories. And I resisted their advice for a long time, dismissing it as something for the cash-rich who only shopped in places like Joules, Reiss and Jaeger. But then I finally got it. Really, a capsule wardrobe is a just a posh description for mixing and matching to your clothes to create different outfits. It totally makes sense now to wear the same items in different ways without them wearing out because they’re good quality and durable. Anyway, having too much choice just confuses me.

Keeping Up With The Jones

Back when I cared (more) what people thought of me, feeling observed and that they (other women) would remember what I had worn the day before, dominated how I dressed. Now if the same anxiety arises (as it’s a hard habit to break), I remind myself that I can’t recall what my colleagues have worn the day before so why should they? Besides, most of us are too caught up in ourselves to care about things like that. A colleague really made me smile recently when she referred to her three work outfits (we job share so are only in three days a week each). It was a helpful reminder not to worry about other women judging me.

A tip for keeping your expenditure on clothes at a manageable level:

Re-dye black or navy jeans to elongate their shelf-life, rather than replacing them just because the color has faded a bit

Camping in France this summer I learned some more valuable lessons about my clothing choices. I packed with the best of intentions and took way fewer than I would have before I began the decluttering journey. In fact, it was my husband who commented that I wasn’t taking enough clothes and he was going to take more. I don’t know what it is about holidays which makes us fall off the wagon and take too much stuff – fear of lack of choice maybe? Whatever the reason, I have finally taken on board that it’s all about the layers.

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