curating a practical wardrobe

2019, fashion

Hello!

Between fashion bloggers, YouTubers and the sustainability movement, everywhere I turn it seems there’s talk about capsule wardrobe, minimalist lifestyles and anti-fast-fashion.

It’s really opened my eyes to how I adopt these approaches into my own lifestyle – I love shopping but I also don’t like spending money and I hate not making use of what I’ve got so if I find something in my wardrobe that I don’t wear I’ll donate it to a charity shop.

It’s been over a year now that I’ve been slowly refining my wardrobe – cutting it down to be somewhere between a capsule wardrobe and a minimalist wardrobe which is really practical for me.

I’ve had three big clear outs – the first time was when I was in Southampton and I had so many clothes I literally didn’t have enough space for them all, I think I got rid of 6 bin bags worth of clothes in a charity bin (which is mind blowing, really) and I just about had enough room for my remaining clothes!

I did another clear out after I’d moved home and we got everything back out of storage – as I was unpacking all my clothes I did another big sort out and made another pile of a couple of bags of stuff I didn’t wear.

And the third one was fairly recently – I was ruthless, I got rid of things that were too small for me and things that were too big for me and I started being a lot more honest with myself about what I actually wear. When I finished that one my wardrobe looked so neat and tidy, it was beautiful.

But I still don’t think I’m done – I have too many t-shirts that I don’t really wear, too many pairs of trousers and I can’t see them on the shelf they’re on so I need to display them so I can actually see them all.

I’m not a big fan of the capsule wardrobe though – for me, I just don’t like the idea of only having a couple of colours so that everything matches, because I just don’t think that’s very sustainable. Having a shirt or a pair of trousers that go with a few options but not every option is far more realistic than making sure every top goes with every bottom option I have!

The main thing I don’t like about capsule wardrobes is swapping out parts of my wardrobe every season – I’m a big fan of layers and I’m also incredibly lazy so having to change up my whole wardrobe four times a year sounds like a lot more effort than I’m prepared to put in. And I think that having one wardrobe that works all year round is probably smaller and more environmentally conscious than a bigger wardrobe where you swap items out seasonally? It means I get more wear out of my clothes because I wear a lot of them all year round.

But then my wardrobe isn’t quite minimalist because I think it’s too big – I feel like a proper minimalist wardrobe should all fit on one rail or only have 5 shirts, 2 bottoms and a pair of shoes or something! Maybe I’m thinking a bit extreme, but whilst I want to be sustainable and get lots of wear out of my clothes I also like having choice and mixing and matching my clothes into lots of different outfits.

I love the idea of living a minimalistic lifestyle but I’m too sentimental – between clothes, photo albums, ornaments and even plush toys, I really do struggle to get rid of things but it’s all about balance isn’t it! It’s learning to let go of the things I don’t actually have a sentimental attachment to and keeping the things that mean something to me.

The last thing I’ve found that has helped me curate my wardrobe has been shopping more consciously – the amount of times I’ve been in New Look or Primark and really liked the look of something, but most of the time I realise it’s because:

  1. It looks like something I already own
  2. It’s trendy and ‘everyone has one’ so I’ve convinced myself that I need and I don’t
  3. I want it

But what I’ve found has worked particularly well for me is thinking about what I need rather than what I want – thinking about how an item will compliment the rest of my wardrobe or potentially thinking of something it could replace. Thinking a lot more consciously about what I’m buying makes such a difference when I’ve got an armful of clothes in Primark!

I like having a smaller wardrobe because I feel like I’m getting lots of wear out of what I’ve got and at the end of the day, I’m not good at making decisions so if I’ve got less clothes to choose from it’s much easier for me!

It’s all about balance – having enough clothes to get through day to day but focusing as much on what you need as what you want.

Everyone is different and different things work for different people – but I think it’s worth talking about because when someone shouts ‘sustainability’ you think about plastic bottles and single-use straws, but fast fashion is something we can do something about! People complain about Primark but anything is fast fashion if you treat it poorly – Primark isn’t the problem if you make the clothes last.

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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don’t be fooled by the fashion bloggers!

2019, fashion

Hello!

I don’t mean this title to sound as accusing as it does, it’s just a realisation I had the other day and wanted to share because sometimes it’s easy to see lot’s of people online talking about how they do something and starting to think that’s what you want and forgetting that’s not actually what you want!

I watch, follow and read about quite a few fashion bloggers, YouTubers and instagrammers and in the age of sustainability and avoiding fast fashion, everyone’s talking about capsule wardrobes.

This is how it went for me – I started trying to plan a capsule wardrobe, I picked out loads of clothes that I didn’t want anymore (which I needed to do anyway) to donate or sell and I was looking at my wardrobe, still not very capsule, and I was watching videos or people talking about their capsule wardrobes and it hit me like a truck.

We don’t have the same style, so why am I trying to make my wardrobe like theirs?

There wardrobes were all plain clothes and patterns, mine is some of this but with band t-shirts and pop-culture-nerd t-shirts. Their wardrobe had eight pairs of jeans, I have one and a bunch of funky stripy trousers from New Look (side note: I love the Anna Edit but eight pairs of jeans?? Surely no one ‘needs’ eight pairs of jeans?? No judging, just genuinely intrigued).

My impression of a capsule wardrobe is that you have fewer items of clothing but they all match and coordinate more. For some reason, I kind of decided that meant that I had to have a wardrobe centred around one colour and if you have a shirt that you think goes really well with one pair of trousers but not really anything else, then that shirt isn’t wearable enough (if that makes sense?).

But that’s not the case!

The turning point for me is I was trying to figure out things to get rid of to make my wardrobe more minimalistic and capsule and I realised that Anna (from the Anna Edit) doesn’t wear hoodies, it’s just not something that is in her wardrobe and I literally own six or seven and they’re all slightly different and I actually wear them all, so why should I make myself throw them all away when I actually get a lot of use out of them?

I love hoodies, I love nerd merch, but I love pattern clothes and I’m a sucker for a plain white tee too and I’m integrating these in my own way!

So on the one hand, my wardrobe isn’t so ‘capsule’ because everything doesn’t quite go with everything else, but I am getting a lot better at refining it and being less precious about clothes I’ve owned for a long time or clothes I spent a lot of money on just because I spent a lot of money on them.

Living a more minimalist life and valuing the things I actually need more – thinking more about need than want is my new priority – but also, I’m a really sentimental person so I’ve got 4 or 5 photos alums and lots of boxes and I want to make sure I use everything so I’ve got lots of notebooks that I haven’t used, and literally about 50 biros that I will use in the long run and I don’t see the point in throwing them away and then having to buy new ones in the future!

It’s all a balance, a balance I haven’t figured out yet but what I have realised is that I need to make sure is that I don’t lose my own style and thoughts and opinions because I’m getting so invested in the creators I follow online.

I’m not saying that fashion bloggers are to blame – they’re not telling me that my wardrobe is wrong, I just didn’t see the kind of clothes I like wearing in the creators I watch.

Maybe I’m just being a moron and saying something that no one else had ever thought before but you know what? I might not be! It’s so easy to be influenced by social media and not realise you’re losing yourself a little bit but I thoroughly recommend staring at your wardrobe for a little bit just to figure out what you really love.

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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