Is the ‘capsule’ wardrobe an elusive pipe dream?

Fashion editors and style mavens regularly exhort us to create a capsule wardrobe (or ‘essential edit’) in order to achieve wardrobe nirvana. Yet for many of us this remains an elusive goal. The word ‘capsule’, of course, implies a relatively small number of items, and that’s the problem. Today we (women and men) have so many clothes that it is almost impossible to know where to start. I’ll happily admit that it’s taken about three years to achieve a fairly consistent colour palette in my own wardrobe, and yes, I am guilty of owning pieces that I never wear or that are ‘outfit orphans’ (they don’t go with anything else….)

Last week’s Stylist magazine reported that women spend about £4k a year on clothes, but yet wear only a small percentage (I wonder what the corresponding figure is for men ?). They cite the capsule wardrobe as the foundation of dressing ‘strategically’, alleviating weekday morning stress, preventing impulse or panic buying and saving you money. Many fashion insiders talk of wearing a ‘uniform’. Less scary than it sounds, this simply means wearing a ‘template’ of clothes in a specific colour palette, which they stick to closely. Why? For these women, the benefits are saving time, having clothes that ‘work harder’ for them and knowing their look is flattering and stylish.

How do you discover what works for you in the first place ? Where should your capsule start?  I would advise you to tackle this in stages. It won’t happen overnight – and most mere mortals can’t afford to make it happen immediately !  A good first step is to ‘detox’ your wardrobe (see ‘my services’).   It sorts the wheat from the chaff, as it were, enabling you to see what clothes you’ve got, to identify gaps needed to create outfits and it starts to reveal your style personality (for example, you may already have a predominant colour palette or ‘uniform’ of key pieces). From there, you can see what to discard, what to build on, and what your priority purchases should be.

Please contact me if you’d like help with detoxing your wardrobe, defining your ‘uniform’ or building your capsule collection.



Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *