I’m minimizing my closet and building a capsule wardrobe from scratch, starting with a strong foundation of basics. I’m also following the 5-Piece French Wardrobe concept of only buying five new trend or statement pieces each season. Read the full series here.
According to the Met Office, spring officially started on the 20th March – perfect timing for my newly revamped basics wardrobe! Last time, I created a 32-piece wardrobe of basics for AW14-15, but when I was creating my wardrobe for SS15, I realised how much overlap there was going to be. So I decided to do things a little differently…
The UK climate is pretty mild most of the year, so I tend to wear the same basic pieces, adding or remove layers depending on the temperature. So this time round I’ve created a year-round capsule wardrobe of basics, suited to my own personal everyday style.
This is a loose guide – the numbers aren’t hard and fast (I have multiples of regularly worn items), and not everything below is the exact item I own (although I’ve tried wherever I can). I’m pretty new to this and I’m still assessing the areas of my wardrobe that are missing/lacking, so this wardrobe is a work in progress. I do have some holes to fill, but I’m getting there. Last season involved a lot of purging, and since then I’ve been slowly stocking back up, but the final product should look something like this:
bottoms : skinny jeans in black and blue, 2-3 pairs of each colour, ripped and clean + one pair of white skinny jeans*. A pair of boyfriend jeans and a pair of loose-fitting trousers.
black | blue | white
boyfriend | trousers
shoes : 3-4 pairs of trainers*, 2-3 pairs of heeled boots, 1-2 flat boots, one pair of flats. The rule is that all multiples of one type of shoe must be very different. Note: No heels for everyday (these go in a tiny occasional capsule wardrobe).
superga | converse | nike | new balance
pointy | chelsea | flats
*items currently missing from my wardrobe.
So there you have my year-round capsule basics wardrobe… I count that as approximately 50 items, so I’m going to use that number as a rough guide for the size of my everyday wardrobe.
Like I said, this is a work in progress – the first time I took a serious look at my wardrobe, I cut back my wardrobe pretty drastically. I ended up with just t-shirts, skinny jeans and a few jumpers. It made it super easy to get dressed everyday, but it also helped me realise the key elements that were missing; clothing items that would help complete outfits and add a little variety.
The list above seems a good balance of a smallish wardrobe, with enough variety to keep my happy. My plan now is to slowly build on what I’ve got and make sure that each new addition has a place in my wardrobe. The items marked with an asterisk are pieces I don’t currently have at all in my wardrobe, so I’m on the hunt for some of those items, but for everything else, it’s a one-in-one-out policy.
I’m following the 5-Piece French Wardrobe concept of only purchasing five new items per season. Basics don’t normally count, but since I need quite a few items, I’m going to try to limit myself to only five new items to add to my wardrobe this time round. Hopefully that will keep my bank balance happy and it will ensure that I continue to choose quality over quantity. Anything not featured on this list will also count as a trend/statement piece for the season, of course.
Do you have a capsule wardrobe? I would love to hear other people’s experiences!
By the way, in case you noticed the lack of shorts, skirts and dresses in my wardrobe, I’m going to do a separate “sub”-capsule wardrobe for summer/holiday pieces later in the year. We get some really nice days in summer in the UK, but it’s a pretty short season here, so for me, anything super summery goes down as a trend piece rather than a basic. I didn’t include them here because I never really gravitate towards those items on a daily basis, so I don’t count them as part of my daily uniform (skinny jeans ftw X).