It’s been quite some time since I wrote anything on minimalism, especially when it comes to fashion. I thought I would share why I’ve streamlined my wardrobe in 2020 so you can see that it doesn’t have to mean getting rid of everything in sight!
As you may know, I’ve been a fan of capsule wardrobes for some time. Over the past couple of years, I’ve done a LOT of research into them, finding new bloggers to stalk online and following their journeys and just generally trying to gather as much info as I could on them. From this, I’ve basically made up my own set of rules.
Capsule wardrobes can be incredibly freeing if you’re someone who owns a fair bit of clothing but they can be equally frustrating as many ‘experts’ tell you to only have a set number of pieces in your capsule every season. Personally, I think this is why many start and fail with capsules.
I’ve also found that if you’re someone who has many different fashion personalities (one day, you’re loving the boho style, the following day, you’re into rock ‘n’ roll), they don’t always cater for you online. As someone who has a monochormatic, androgynous style on the whole, it doesn’t mean that I don’t like more feminine pieces every so often. Whilst I might be more comfortable in boyfriend jeans and trainers, I occasionally want a pop of colour and a pair of ballet pumps.
My idea of a capsule is a curated collection of clothes that you love and use regularly, whether it’s 20 or 50 items. By streamlining your wardorbe and only owning pieces you adore, you will find that you will then be incredibly picking when adding potential new pieces. Your shopping habits will become more selective as you want new items to fit seamlessly with the rest of your wardrobe. Here’s why I’ve streamlined my wardrobe in 2020.
ALL ITEMS ARE MIX AND MATCH
For the most part, I don’t have to wonder if one top goes with a pair of jeans or trousers because they do. I do have a couple of patterned trousers that require plain, neutral tops though. On the whole, every top in my wardrobe goes with every pair of bottoms. It’s a lot easier when you’re into plain colours and stripes like I am though!
Even when I’m shopping for something new, I have a rule that a new item must go with at least five other items in my current wardrobe. I used to buy outfits at a time but now I buy select pieces that integrate already.
I LOVE EVERY SINGLE ITEM
Every piece of clothing I own is loved and worn regularly. I know what suits me, which stores match my style and how to build an outfit without adding a new piece. In fact, several things I own, I own in multiple colours! For example, my Fat Face organic cotton Breton striped T-shirts and Next relaxed skinny jeans are forever favourites with me! You know that every item fits you well and can make so many different outfits. Even if you had just 7 tops and 3 bottoms, you could make 21 outfits, enough for three weeks!
IT’S HELPED ME DEFINE MY STYLE
My style used to be all over the map. I’d go through phases of wanting to wear dresses all the time. Then I had an indie/emo phase before settling on where I am now: classic, simple, chic. I no longer shop for trends but still keep an eye out for ones that might fit into my wardrobe (bomber jackets did for a few years). For me, trends don’t have to be trends if you rock them. If a certain trend suits you and you love it, wear for as many years as you want!
I don’t even have much seasonal wear anymore either. The only things I switch out are thick jumpers and vests every six months. I’m someone who is always cold so long-sleeved tops are needed all year round!
I CAN SPEND MORE ON QUALITY NOW
For years, I was always quantity over quality. In college, I would wear a different outfit every single day and hated repeating it. This just isn’t sustainable. Now I’ve got older and care more about climate change and sustainability, I can now make more conscious buys.
For sure, I cannot afford most sustainable brands but I shop a whole lot less and get the most out of every single item I buy. I’m doing a challenge in 2021 about how many items I can buy so I will hopefully spend less but on better quality items.
YOU CAN ACTUALLY SEE WHAT YOU OWN
18 year old Sian would be going crazy at this right now! I was always the person with wardrobes full to the brim, my friends always wanting to borrow my clothes. I had enormous amounts of stuff and just one body and 365 days a year to wear them on. Genuinely, I could’ve worn an entirely new top every day for a year at one point. Thinking back, I’m actually embarrassed! I was spending between £50-£100 a week on clothes, mostly from Primark and New Look, wearing them once and never again.
It all changed about five years ago when my family and I moved house. I knew my bedroom would be significantly smaller, with much less wardrobe and drawer space. I read Marie Kondo’s book and was absolutely ruthless. I’m pretty sure I took about three suitcases of clothes to my local charity shop. I bet they miss me now!
Now I’m in my late twenties, I want my clothing to last me longer than three months. This year, I was even more ruthless in January and I got rid of 50% of my wardrobe. Most of it went on eBay, anything that didn’t sell within a month or so went to a local charity. It’s actually refreshing to able to see every item hung up rather than squished in!
I’VE SAVED MONEY
Probably the main reason why I’ve streamlined my wardrobe. Now I only shop once a month max, you wouldn’t believe how much I’ve saved. Having gone from spending sometimes £500 a month just on clothes, I’d be surprised if I spend more than £100 a month now. Most months, I spend nothing if I’m on a spending ban and I tend to shop seasonally anyway.
The process of starting a capsule wardrobe or simply decluttering can be a process. If you get overwhelmed, do it bit by bit. However, to get maximum impact, streamlining your wardrobe needs to be done in one fell swoop. Initially, I booked a morning to myself so I could get inside my wardrobes. It ended up taking me the entire day.
Making yourself a high quality wardrobe full of pieces you love and can mix and match constantly is such a journey. You might find your style has changed completely or you just need to add a couple of staples. Hold off from adding anything new to begin with. Sit with your existing wardrobe.
Honestly, I found it eye-opening to see the sheer amount of clothing I owned on my bed. In fact, there was that much that it was on the floor as well. There were pieces I didn’t even remember buying in there too! By streamlining my wardrobe, I made sure that I was buying quality pieces that would last for ages. I no longer feel overwhelmed when I open my wardrobe doors. Instead, I feel excitement to try new outfit combinations!
Whilst I know capsule wardrobes are not for everyone, owning less and loving what you have is easy enough to achieve. I started from being a hoarder so you can see why I’ve streamlined my wardrobe so I can see what is there!
Have you ever tried a capsule wardrobe or are you inspired by why I’ve streamlined my wardrobe? Let me know in the comments below! If you’re on the fence about doing it, send me an Instagram DM and I’ll be your personal organiser!