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Being a petite height of 5ft nothing means I can struggle to find clothes that fit me perfectly and still reflect my style. Over the years, like most people growing up, I have made some serious fashion blunders, but I have finally found that the secret to always looking your best lies in the less is more approach, creating a capsule wardrobe.
The great thing about having a capsule wardrobe is that you always have something to wear that you know works, and you feel comfortable in because everything in it has been carefully chosen. However, before you jump ahead, it’s important to know that this is a serious case of streamlining. A capsule wardrobe is all about timeless staple pieces, around 30 or less. So if you are someone who loves to shop and keep up with the trends, then this might not be for you.
Of course it doesn’t mean you’ll never shop again, but this is more about seasonal changes and additions rather than weekly. However, I do believe in seasonal rotation so I actually have a capsule wardrobe for Autumn/Winter and one for Spring/Summer that contain around 20 pieces each, including shoes and accessories.
Below are my top tips for creating, maintaining and updating a timeless capsule wardrobe…
Step 1. The first thing you’ll want to do is have a good clear out, go through everything you already own and ask yourself the following questions. When did I last wear this? Is it still in good condition? Does it still fit/suit me? If I were shopping now would I buy it? Does it go with anything else in my wardrobe?
A great way to get started is to use a colour pallette. Pull out your main key pieces by selecting neutral colours, these items will be the foundation of your wardrobe, these are the items that can be mixed and matched with almost anything, the base of each outfit, then select your accent colours, this might include shoes and accessories, and finally select your patterns and textures (some of these like denim for example may have already been included with your key pieces which is fine). Try everything on again and see how you feel in it. Anything you no longer want could actually be sold online, there are so many great apps and sites for selling clothing now, ebay, Asos Marketplace, Depop, Vinted, to name a few.
Step 2. Now, mix and match. This is the fun part, putting together different outfits with what you have left. This is a good way to filter out other items you may not need. Whilst doing this, think about your lifestyle. Do you have something suitable for work, walking the dog, the school run, lunch with friends, going out for dinner/drinks? It’s good to think about your weekly routine and what you need from your wardrobe. (If your job has a uniform or a dress code you may want to create a separate capsule wardrobe) Try turning an outfit you might be wearing to lunch into an outfit you could where out for drinks by switching the shoes and accessories and check that you would feel comfortable for both occasions.
Step 3. Depending on what you got rid of during the clearing out process, there might be a few items you now need to replace or purchase but if you can, I recommend waiting at least a week before buying anything new. Try living with your selection first, this is a really great way to get to know your style better and learn to mix and match.
Updating your wardrobe is of course going to be needed throughout the year. As I mentioned earlier, seasonal changes are a good way to keep it up to date but also keep it minimal and within a budget. When you do get round to buying anything new it’s important consider a number of things first, how many outfits will the item work with? is it suitable for your lifestyle? can you wear it for a number of different occasions?
I personally tend to focus on structure and shape rather than colour and print when I buy clothing as that can be added through the accessories and this helps give you a more timeless approach to dressing.
Learning to live with a small wardrobe can be challenging in the beginning but you will get use to it and very good at it.
I hope this has been a helpful guide. Feel free to leave any of your own tips in the comments below.