Winter Capsule Wardrobe Planning

stock-photo-stack-of-cozy-knitted-sweaters-on-a-wooden-table-retro-style-warm-concept-226738495Make yourself a cup of tea, put up your feet and get comfy, this is a bit of a long read 🙂

Firstly I want to apologise for my lack of blog posts the last couple of weeks.  Baby Vee and I were both struck with a rather nasty bout of tonsillitis that lasted about ten days; we are both better now but I’m still trying to recover from the residual fatigue and attempting to get back on top of the housework that I’ve fallen behind on.  I’ll try to have some more interesting content up soon, thanks for your patience 🙂

As I was struck down with the plague I spent a lot of time doing my favourite time-wasting activity – pinning!  I have a small obsession with Pinterest and have had for some time now.  Check out my boards here.   As the summer season is a few days from being over (although realistically summer in Queensland lasts until about May) I’ve been browsing and pinning fashion ideas for the coming winter season.  Winter is my absolute favourite season and I love everything about winter fashion – jewel tones, warm cosy knits, berry lips and fluffy scarves.  It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.

I’ve been intrigued by the idea of capsule wardrobes for a while, and now that I’m not working I no longer need two separate wardrobes so it makes more sense than ever.  The idea of paring down my closet while still having dozens of workable outfits appeals to me.  I have so many pieces that fall to the back of my closet and are forgotten, and as I pack them away at the end of the season I feel sad that they didn’t get any love.  Not going to happen this year!

After a bit of research I liked the approach Caroline from Unfancy uses the best so far, but I’m going to modify it a little to suit me.  Read the original here – she also has a free printable wardrobe planner which could be very helpful.  A lot of the articles I’ve read use the 33 item rule, but that seems a little too restricted for me.  The Unfancy system uses 37 items not including accessories; I’ve decided to bump it up to 40 but include 3 scarves in the total, as I like a rounded number and I have so many scarves I never wear.

Setting a budget – I have a ten dollars a week spending allowance for clothing, which works out to $260 a season (there are realistically only 2 seasons a year where I live so I don’t need a separate wardrobe for spring or autumn).  I doubt that I will be able to work within this budget for the first season.  Setting up my first capsule wardrobe is going to be a bit pricey because I need at least 2 good pairs of new boots this year, and I’m setting up my foundation pieces.  The beauty of a capsule wardrobe is each year you pull things from last year’s wardrobe and only need to update a few trendy pieces here and there.  The idea is the majority of your closet should be classic pieces that don’t date, and it’s worth spending a little extra for good quality pieces that will last several seasons.

The five basic rules:

  • Strip down your closet to your allotted number of pieces (for me it’s 40). Included in this should be tops, bottoms, dresses, coast/jackets and shoes (I’m including scarves).  Don’t include gym clothes, sleepwear, swimwear, lingerie, hosiery, sloppy house clothes, bags, belts, jewellery or other accessories (except scarves for me).
  • Wear ONLY these items for a whole season. If you’re doing 3 month seasons be strict about this.  However if you’re doing one warm season and one cool season like me, feel free to rotate in some items from your warmer weather wardrobe as the weather warms up but isn’t quite ready for a full switch out yet.  If you rotate items in though, you must rotate out the same number of pieces.  Always keep the number of items the same.
  • No shopping. Don’t do it!  This is how you got into this mess!  Seriously though, the whole purpose of this is to avoid stockpiling more clothes that you never wear.  I would say the only exception to this is if you have been intending to replace a piece but haven’t been able to find a suitable replacement yet.  If you’re thinking of buying something, don’t buy it on a whim.  Sit on it for a week; think about how many outfits you can make with it.  If, after that week, you still HAVE to have it, and can make it work with your wardrobe, then buy it.  This will ensure that all the pieces you end up with you will absolutely LOVE.  If you buy something new (and let’s face it we’re all human and prone to weakness) get rid of something at the same time.  Donate, sell, give to a friend, pack away (kind of cheating but whatever) just don’t keep it in your closet!
  • The fun part, shopping! During the last 2 weeks of the season, you get to plan the next season’s wardrobe and shop!  Ok I’m a planning addict, so I will be planning MUCH further in advance than 2 weeks.  And I may have already bought one thing for the winter season *shamefaced*.  I personally think this is ok.  I like to prepare in advance and as long as it’s on my list of next season’s items and isn’t an impulse buy and is within my budget, I feel this is reasonable.
  • Less is More! When planning next season’s wardrobe, keep in mind what you already have.  You don’t need to buy a whole new wardrobe!  You’re trying to cut down remember?  Pull the key pieces from last year, repurchase or repair anything that’s damaged or threadbare, and update a few trendy items that are out of style or you’re tired of.

Sneak peek!  Here is my first purchase for the season.

Plaid blanket wrap – Big W $25aud (in-store only)

I’ve been seeing these all over Pinterest, and I’m having a small love affair with them right now.  I’ve always loved plaid and these blanket wraps look so cosy.  Bonus – can be wrapped around a cold baby. 🙂  I didn’t break the budget on this one as I don’t know how long they’re going to be “in” for, and I want to see how well I can style it first.  If I love it to death I will splurge on a nicer one next year.

Updates to follow as to how I plan, sort and build my new winter capsule wardrobe!  Have you done this before, or are you planning on trying it?  What worked for you?  How would you modify the rules?  I’d be very interested in your input.  Thanks for reading!



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