Fall is the New Year of the fashion world. Vogue magazine publishes its annual mammoth issue in September. The big guns produce beautiful magazine-like catalogue booklets of their treats and goods in beautiful editorial style that lure us into a dreamlike state of frantic buying. I’m looking at my coffee table full of them right now!
Whether you are beginning to put away your summer clobber and haul out your warmer layers, or you are pounding the streets in search of your wardrobe updates, we are all in the process of working out what our clothing pieces and ‘our look’ will be over the next few months. This has got me thinking about the capsule wardrobe term and how it applies to my everyday life. In an effort to not get too silly with the visa-fairy card and truly identify what I need in my wardrobe, I sat down with my super sonic Gin and tonic and came up with some scribblings.
3 is the magic number
I’ve been reflecting on the World War II saying indoctrinated into our grandparents regarding the minimal clothing required during the war years. The idea of three being the magic number “one on, one off and one in the wash” makes a lot of sense. So if I apply this theory to a category in my wardrobe, say…..tee shirts, then I just need to be wearing one, one hanging in my wardrobe and one in the laundry basket. Minimal, yes – but not impossible? The simplicity of this mantra got me pondering on what I truly need and want in my wardrobe.
This led me to think on what the magical three in my wardrobe should look like. I have always loved a simple basic piece in my wardrobe and consistently always have a grey tee or Breton in my drawer. Basic staples are brilliant as they go with anything. I think we all have those ‘greatest hits’ in our wardrobe that just get replaced periodically. Those staples are forever coming to the rescue in the outfit relay team races. Treasure your basic pieces including the jeans and the T-shirts and always make room for a good stripe!
I have also always loved a trend. A fair few years back (prior to the ‘full to the brim’ online virtual baskets!) I had a stack of magazines on my coffee table next to the empty teacups and wrappers of dairy milk! These dog-eared treasured mags were full of post-it note reminders of what my heart skipped a beat for. I need to make room for a current style trend piece in my wardrobe that I will wear to death that season and cherish when I look back at the photo moments and memories. The focus is on one piece and not ten pieces!
“That is so you”
The final member of this trusty trio, needs to reflect me. This is the item that really stands out. It needs to be my piece that goes against the grain and shows who I am. The statement piece enables me to stand out from the crowd. It works well with a staple item but has that edge that is always contemporary. It’s so unique that it almost becomes timeless. It’s the piece that I spotted from across the shop and crossed my fingers they had my size. It’s the piece that my heart skipped a beat when I eyed up its beauty. This is the statement piece. This is the piece that colleagues look at me and say “only you could get away with that”. Love it!!!
The wardrobe simplicity math
So with this little realisation, I have started to come up with some ideas of what my fall wardrobe will begin to shape up like. I think this will really help me rein in some new purchases (well, at least a little bit!) and identify the goodies that still have my heart and will be paraded with pride coming to an Instagram post near you soon . As I surveyed up the piles of ‘Fall’ clothing from storage containers that lay on my bed. I could already see how this mantra may work for me. Add another ‘top up’ to my glass with a slice & ice and I had a list of categories with their budding nominees and the three big winners. This has helped me see where I had space for new things, space in the eBay selling bag for past things and the rightful space for the things that still gave me a big smile. Those statement pieces are good for this!
Have a go and see what you come up with. All you need to do is break down your wardrobe pieces into categories. These are the specific categories that apply to my lifestyle and are a realistic wardrobe for Fall in my climate:
I am most definitely not factoring in any work out gear (gathering dust in the back of the wardrobe) or Lounge wear (Friday night with BBC iplayer) I’m also not counting up the shoes. If I do that, then it’ll require more than a super sonic gin & tonic, it’s going to require the whole bloody bottle!
So far I have come up with these combos with determination and enthusiasm to work on the remaining categories.
The staple cotton white shirt from Topshop
The style denim western shirt from Zara
The statement silk star print shirt from Equipment
The staple denim A line mini skirt from Topshop
The style faux leather mini skirt from Zara
The statement Brigadier skirt from Boden icons range
It it will be interesting to see how this works out. I dare you to have a go and try it too, let me know what you discover. I am far from judgemental on this topic, as to start with I have three white shirts and that’s not even counting the denim constituency or wandering near the plaid camp. I’m just more curious than anything else. For the clothes loving fashionista, just the idea that you have three options of one beloved item is enough to make you re-think and love what you have as opposed to making those repeat purchases. If it works, then why not have the staple, the style and the statement version of the white shirt? The best wardrobe you can have is the one full of the items you love. Surprisingly by writing this post, my big ‘kid in a sweet shop’ new-season wish list diminished to a few gorgeous pieces like the Boden icons Brigadier skirt above. I managed to wipe out many things that, although beautiful, I already owned something that was similar or just didn’t want to part with in order to let something else join the pack.
I’m sure those lucky enough to have Grandparents around, would find them laughing at this privileged realisation of simplicity in life. It’s true, we don’t know how lucky we are. But I would love to discover an approach that works for me. The fact that a thrifty mantra from the war years applies to today in our world of abundance, screams done and dusted. What goes around, comes around. Why reinvent the wheel? I am such a dolly of contrast that this equation checks a few of my boxes. I am a true shopaholic yet at the same time I can’t bear clutter. I love fashion but value individual style. Will it help to bring on the spam (shite wartime canned food, not tech-crazy shite-mail) and the fashion ration book? Just don’t take away my red lippy or green military jacket!
Hopefully this little capsule trick that has made me think with clarity and may steal a few of your thoughts too. I’ll be back shortly with a few more capsule tricks tucked up my sleeve.