Whether you’re a beauty novice or a confirmed fashionista, this topic is for consulting Mumsnetters on all things style-related. Plus, check out our Swears By page for the inside track on the next Mumsnet must-have.
Capsule Wardrobes(23 Posts)
I'm on the verge of emptying my entire wardrobe in to black bags and startin afresh. I've been looking at a lot of blogs, vlogs and articles in the capsule wardrobe as I think this might work well for me, but I wondered if anyone has some real life experience they can share.
Does it work for you?
Do you get bored of wearing the same thing?
Does it overlap seasons?
What are you're capsule must haves?
I’ve read a lot about them but haven’t tried it, mostly because if you do it strictly and stick to 33-37 items then I think you’d be doing laundry every couple of days. I don’t know how anyone would get by with a wardrobe containing only 6 or 7 tops for 3 months.
I’ve gone down the Marie Kondo route of getting rid of everything that I don’t like when I take it out of the wardrobe and hold it up. I think I’ve probably halved my stuff.
I have a capsule wardrobe. Main colours grey and navy, cream as a contrast and silver and red accents.
So today I am wearing grey skinnies with a cream 3/4 sleeve tshirt, navy Chelsea boots and leather jacket, red scarf.
I've just packed our cases for a week on the Canaries, it took me 10mins to sort out my clothes and an hour to get DH sorted (I'm off work, he was at work so I'm in charge of packing). My wardrobe does span seasons as clothes are available in these colours all year round.
My staples are:
Tops: tshirt (long and short sleeves), vest tops (layering and hot days)
Couple of loose tops- I currently love the star type tops)
Tailored tops if you'd wear them.
Warmer layers; I like cardigans, but depends on your style.
Blazer/ Biker jacket
Scarves, statement jewellery to change the image.
Look at your clothes- what colours do you wear a lot of? What items do you want to keep?
DS has said that I dress boringly- I don't think that's quite true. I dress quite smartly and don't have vivid patterns or prints. I have happily given that up to know all my stuff goes together and I can get dressed in 5 minutes!
I think it is a bit of a con to be honest, it encourages you to chuck stuff that you may well wear again and buy all new! Most of these articles/posts have helpful suggestions for things you 'need' that the blogger will get commission off if you buy. If you have very few things you would need to run a very tight laundry schedule
which I don't and things will wear out much faster because they get used and washed more.
My version of a capsule wardrobe is that I know what I like and I repeat buy things that work well for me so I own lots and lots of silk shirts (but don't wear these at the moment as I'm breastfeeding) 15 pairs of black slim/skinny trousers in denim or leather, about 20 cashmere jumpers and cardigans a few leather biker jackets and then flippy skirts, cut off Levi's and tea dresses for summer. Because I have lots of things they don't wear out, I still wear stuff that I bought as a young teen. Most things I buy are black, grey, navy, muted pink/beige so everything works together however I mix it. I will occasionally buy something more out there in terms of colour or print but they tend to not get worn more than a few times before they disappear to the back of the wardrobe. I used to do clear outs but although initially it felt good I always end up regretting chucking certain things and have often ended up tracking the same item down on eBay and rebuying!
I will admit to slight hoarder tendencies though!
I've done it!
I like it because it gives me a "uniform" for work - I have 2/3 pairs of trousers and 4/5 tops on rotation.
It means everything (mostly) matches - I don't tend to feel like I'm wearing the same thing over and over as I can wear different combinations.
Some things go through several seasons, I have a biker type jacket that I wear spring/summer/autumn, same with jeans, some tops (layering in winter), etc.
I think I have about 40 "pieces" on the go at a time, but definitely wear some more than others so it's probably less.
My staples are:
2-3 pairs of decent jeans (casual trousers)
4-5 long sleeve tops
4-5 short sleeve tops
1-2 jackets that you love wearing
2 pairs of boots
2/3 pairs of shoes
Bag that you love
Then for work it's:
2 work jackets/blazers
One pair of work shoes
It also means I'm very careful about what I buy, it has to fit into my existing wardrobe, and I stick to colours/style that suit me, rather than splashing out on impulse buys.
I don't do the "official" project 333 any more but I definitely still apply the same principles to my wardrobe.
You wear 30% (or less) of your wardrobe 70% (or more) of the time.
So, before you bin everything, what do you wear repeatedly? Start there. Start with what you like, find comfortable/practical and what suits you. I prefer dresses as I like the simplicity of just donning one thing- I ring the changes with accessories. And A-line and short-ish suits me best as I am petite and have small hips. I need a boat or deep v-neck and 3/4 sleeves suit me better than full length or short.
Also, work out a colour palette that suits you and your contrast level. Are you low, medium or high contrast- I have dark skin and eyes with fairly pale skin, so I am high contrast. So I can wear colours that are high contrast together and not be overpowered.
For me it's:
Breton stripe tunic dresses
Shirt dresses with sleeves rolled up
Fine merino baselayers
Cropped cashmere cardigan
(So I can wear one or another with a dress during spring/autumn and both during winter)
Trainers (spring and autumn)
OTK knee boots (winter)
Thong sandals (summer)
Denim jacket (summer)
Down coat (winter) plus a down gilet or lightweight jacket to layer in the darkest depths
Belted Mac (spring/autumn)
Lots of cashmere or merino scarves/gloves, fake fur stoles etc.
Lots of different coloured tights, often knitted
I get round the needing to do lots of washing thing by having 3 or 4 of everything that I really like- I make lots of repeat purchases favourites. I tend to go for 4 so I can have two each of 2 colour ways. Have lots of accessories.
Weirdly I thought I could never do this, but since I've been pregnant I've rotated several different outfits.
Black vests x 3
Black leggings x 3
Jeans x 1
Plaid shirt x 2
Bretton(?)/Striped T Shirt x 2 (one red, one blue)
Blue Dungaree dress
Black wrap dress
Cardigans x 3 - mustard, grey, navy
God I'm boring compared to most. Anyways they are all maternity, I rotate the outfits and for the first time I feel quite comfortable and confident.
Accessories I have a few different necklaces; a cath kidston button one & a silver locket, 2 different cath kidston bags, white cons & patterned converse.
For work I'm a nurse, so I have a uniform everyday.
Ah thanks, thats all really helpful!
I'm not sure on the limiting numbers of items, but rather having a wardrobe where I'd be happy to grab anything and love it, like a couple of the pp's.
I've absolutely no clue on what colour palette I might be! I'm pale skinned, green eyes, with greying darkest brown hair. Any suggestions?
To be honest, it's probably not the best time to do it, as I'm breastfeeding so tops can be limiting, and whatever I wear needs to be suitable for running after 4 children. But if I wait, I'll be approx. 57 before I get to wear things I actually like!
Do you suit silver or gold jewellery better? If you suit silver, pick cool toned colours, if you suit gold, pick warm toned colours.
I think you can't do wrong picking out colours that feature in your natural colouring. So eye colour, hair colour, skin colour obviously. But also look at the colour of your lips.
Also, just hold colours up to your face in front of a mirror, and see what makes you look good. Avoid anything that makes you look washed out or faded,into the background.
I think it's also important that you like the colours you choose. Of the colours that suit me, I like deep greens, rich golden oranges, strong yellows and deep blush colours. I don't like browns. So I don't wear them. Then, that's where contrast comes in- black is too much, and whilst it would make sense for my natural dark base colours to be browns, I don't like them. So as well as forest greens I choose French navy as darks, even though generally speaking blue doesn't suit me. French navy has a slight yellowish tinge to it, so it goes with my warm colouring.
Coupled with cream rather than white, French navy shows the same level of contrast as exists between my hair/eyes and my skin. So because it works on the contrast level, I get away with picking a colour that isn't quite an ideal one for me. (Black and white looks too stark on me, Air Force blue and grey would be both too low contrast and also too cool,toned for me).
Wow thanks Zazies, so much information! Silver suits me far better, so I'll take a look along the cook tones.
This looks like it's going to be a fairly in depth project I can spend some time on.
Have fun. It's been a great project so far for me, and the thing is, you just keep,discovering new levels and angles. I'm exploring which textures and patterns are best for me now!
I've never been able to do a capsule wardrobe, but then I love mad patterns. Today I'm wearing a turquoise circle dress covered in mini Frida Kahloes, haha! I just bought another circle dress that is basically a watermelon costume. I don't think a capsule wardrobe would work for me, but I wish I could at least narrow down the shoes!
I love the whole navy, cream, red capsule wardrobe on other people though. So classy and French. They seem to be the colours that work best when I have seen it in magazines, as navy can also include denim.
It is great fun, also it stops you spending money because you stop buying stuff which doesn't work with the wardrobe! I have had hours of
peace and quiet time to myself this week and spent £16 preholiday as nothing else went with the system. I bought a navy beach dress. (Yes my swimming stuff, including hamam towel are in the right colours- towel used as wrap, shawl etc in emergencies).
Only thing I'd like but don't have are silver sandals for the evenings. Don't suppose anyone has seen any?
You'd get silver sandals on Asos or eBay no bother.
I agree with a lot of what silk says. I'm very suspicious of anyone working in fashion who encourages getting rid of clothes - especially when it's followed up by a list of 'Key items' to go out and buy.
Some of my favourite things at the moment have been at the back of a cupboard for 10 years or more. Fashion cycles are shorter than they've ever been and I just cannot see the sense in this 'get rid if you haven't worn for 2 years' line of thought.
I get rid if something has been trashed and if it no longer suits or fits me. Everything else goes in the 'waiting' cupboard. I realise it may only work if you have space!
I am NOT a capsule wardrobe person
However I have just overhauled my wardrobe again. I wear everything in it over the year, apart from the evening dresses, that come out occasionally.
I have 30 pairs of trousers
Including Jeans/smart/casual/crops etc
I have 30 dresses. A mix of summer/winter/smart/casual
75 tops. Summer/winter/long sleeve/short sleeve/going out/casual
50 jumpers/cardigans/wraps/sweatshirts etc
A selection of undies
A few Bikinis
Some sports wear.
Some of the items I have had for years, if they get holes, too stained or look shabby I get rid.
I now only buy if I am replacing something.
I probably have more clothes than a lot of people, but I look after every item. Nothing looks hideous, if it does....out it goes!
How someone can manage with 35 items is beyond me. Each to there own.
Do you really need/want a capsule wardrobe.
I once spent 4 months travelling with literally 1 change of clothes (washed every night) and a shawl. So a capsule wardrobe would be easy by comparison but I can't see the point: I'm not a big fashionista, but wearing clothes that I like gives me joy.
Get rid of clothes that you don't like or wear but - if the rest give you pleasure - why purge?
@shiny I suppose because I'm fed up of what I do have, and have been attempting the minimalist approach to things lately. There are about 3 things in my wardrobe that I'm happy to wear, and I thought a capsule would streamline everything, and pehaps make getting dressed an easier and more enjoyable process.
@Chicky that's a lot of clothes, but in a way it's your own capsule of things you love, to wear through the entire year. I've seen lots of different numbers batted around of what a capsule should be, and it just happens that yours is 210 rather than 37!
I got rid of 60 dresses last winter...it never made a dint!
Colour-wise, it sounds like you're a 'cool winter'. If you google this, it should come up with some suggested colour palettes which (hopefully!) you will like and recognise as colours that suit you.
I've been trying to capsule my wardrobe for some time and am slowly getting there. I've concentrated on buying things in the right colours so that everything matches and if I find something I really like, I get several colours of the same item.
I've never had a capsule wardrobe as such but there have been a few times in my life when nearly everything I owned was in a few colours that went well together, and I felt good with that system, so I'm trying to get back to it now by only buying new clothes in my chosen colours.
For winter mine are black, cream, all shades of light brown (honey/taupe/beige etc), deep red and muted pink. For summer it's usually black, cream, all shades of light brown, light coral red and light green. I do wear blue jeans sometimes but mainly for country walks and the beach, they don't feature in my "put together" combinations. However this spring I'm reconsidering whether I would rather wear blue and cream in the summer than my usual choices. If I ever buy something in colours that don't fit in with these "rules" it's most likely to be a dress, as they are kind of self-contained, and don't really have to match anything else.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now »
Already registered? Log in with:
Please login first.