As the days grow lighter and the plants on my window sill spring to life, I itch to make a clean start in my wardrobe too. After over a year of hardly any clothes shopping, the time feels ripe to do a proper spring clean.
I am aiming for a spring/summer capsule wardrobe, but reaching a specific number of items or settling on a clearly defined colour palette is less important to me.
If you are new to the capsule wardrobe approach, here are some inspirational resources:
My aim for a seasonal capsule wardrobe is pretty much the same as my long term aim for my wardrobe as a whole. I want a minimal, functional collection of clothes, ethically produced and made to last. A mix of handmade and bought items that fit my body and my lifestyle. No more, no less.
Now, that takes time. And money. Whether thoughtfully buying or making by hand, building a beautifully curated collection of clothes is a slow process. So I don’t expect to reach perfection in one go, but it does help to know the general direction I am aiming for.
For instance, I don’t want to rush out to buy cheap, poor quality options just to fill up my ideal number of tops or dresses. On the other hand, I am not going to afford to buy a slik dress from Elizabeth Suzann either, however beautiful and “good” it may be. As always there is a balance between the real and the ideal, and we each need to find our own sweet spot.
Before starting the actual capsule planning, I wanted to get an overview over what I have actually got. Marie Kondo style, I took out every single piece of clothing from the chest of draws and cupboard where I keep my clothes. Then I went through them one by one. Only the pieces I actually use, desperately need or truly want in my spring/summer capsule went back in.
That left 28 items, not including underwear, accessories, jackets and shoes.
The best thing about cleaning out your wardrobe is putting the items you have chosen to keep back in. Suddenly every item seems precious. You no longer have to mentally sift through the wearable and non-wearable items each time you open your wardrobe.
Immediately, you get an overview of what you have got, what gaps need filling and what colours dominate. In my case, I realised I have plenty of jumpers and light summer cardigans, perhaps more than I need. But the trouser situation is pressing as none of my jeans really work. I also noticed I have unintentionally a fairly cohesive colour palette going: white, turquoise, blue, brown, grey and pinky-aubergine.
The remaining items that are not suitable for warmer weather, don’t fit or for some reason I rarely use, I have stored in a plastic box to go out of sight until winter.
I have been through my clothes several times over the last few years, and finally this time round there was nothing I wanted to threw out or give away. However, I did have a pile of clothes from a previous clean-up which I have been meaning to re-purpose. These are now officially labeled fabric and stored in the (bulging) fabric box.
Is less really more?
I started cleaning out my wardrobe feeling frustrated and uninspired about my clothes, like I had nothing to wear. Now, the spacious, airy feel of my cupboard and chest of draws has completely shifted that. I have less items in there, but still I feel I have more options when getting dressed. And that is despite some pretty awkward gaps remaining to be filled. Interesting.
Addressing those gaps will be next.