sunnuntai 28. toukokuuta 2017

Creating My First Capsule Wardrobe

I heard the first time about capsule wardrobes in 2010 when Courtney Carver created the Project 333, a minimalist fashion challenge to dress with only 33 items for three months. The Finnish blogosphere was raving about capsule wardrobes and minimalism. I think it was around the same time everybody was experimenting with banana pancakes and cauliflower pizza. Back then I witnessed the phenomenon with interest, but it wasn't really something that spoke to me on a deeper level. I had just moved into my first rental flat and my life was minimalistic enough as it was. Furnishing and buying clothes one paycheck at a time. Excited to own things that I had worked hard to earn.

Six years later it was Spring 2016 and I was packing my little suitcase to leave for France. I knew the Summer of the Provence would be ruthless so I thought, "I will pack only Summer clothes. I will buy things then there." The hot months passed and I had been happy with my collection of sundresses from Finland. As I didn't gain much from my Summer job, I ended up "maximizing" the power of my money by buying cheap, low quality pieces. I never thought if the clothes would match what I already had in my closet. Then there were those impulse purchases that just ended up in some dark corner, out of sight, never to remind of the money wasted. When holding in my hands a 3 euro t-shirt at Kiabi I would say that it was probably made by some Chinese child...and bought it anyway. As if acknowledging the dark truth aloud would make my purchase any more justified. Or the attitude: "Hey, I'm poor too. What choice do I have?"

Then what finally made me want to create a minimalistic, sustainable, wardrobe? It was the Zara jeans I bought that were incredibly (too) cheap and reeked of chemicals, it was this video on the Fashion revolution, it was my several experiences working for abusive employers and it was the mountain of clothes in my dressing room with nothing to wear. So many pieces that didn't even fit me or my life anymore. Clothes that I hoped to fit in one no, not anymore!

I want to create a closet full of clothes that I love, will last a long time and don't have the blood, sweat and tears of the poor on them.

In the Project 333 your 33 items for the season (normally 3 months) include clothing, accessories, jewelry and shoes. It does not include wedding rings or other sentimental pieces you wear daily. Lounge, sport and sleep wear are also not counted. You can also have aside a few pieces for gardening and other stuff you don't want to wear your Sunday shirt for. But personally I see no reason to feel limited by "the rules". As long as the goal is to keep only things that you love and serve their purpose well, you are already doing great. There are many versions of the capsule wardrobe out there in the Internet to get inspired by.

To get started with the big clean out, I followed the very useful tips on Carver's blog post: How to Finally Clean out Your Closet for Good

Step 1: Take everything out. All of it.

It all started with a little suitcase of sundresses.

  • Pile it all on the bed so you can't go to sleep until you are done.
Putting it all in one pile and realising that I am finally getting rid of all the things I don't ever want to see again made me feel so energized and excited. I was finally going to let go of THE dress that I had been hoping to fit in again for the past 6 months, the pieces that were gifts from an ex-boyfriend and the stuff that made me feel bad for never wearing them despite of the money I had spent. It's crazy, but I had really reached a point, where a piece of cloth could make me feel anxious, trapped or just bad about myself. 

Step 2: Make your choices.

  • Sort the clothes into four piles:
    • Love. I know these fit me and reflect the style I want to go for.
    • Maybe. Things that you kind of like, but are not sure of or which have sentimental value.
    • Donate. Pieces that don't fit or you no longer like the style of.
    • Trash. Items that are in too poor condition to donate. (recycle if possible)

  • Once all is sorted:
    • Box up the maybe-pile and store it out of sight.
    • Throw the trash.
    • Go through your love-pile and store away the clothes that you will not be needing for this season.
    To donate.

There were clearly items that I had carried with me thousands of kilometres just for the memories they represented for me. The dress I had worn the night I met my husband, a skirt I wore in Japan, a piece I wore on my 15th birthday...and the list goes on. As an expat I have given up so many things that form my identity that I guess clinging on stuff was my last desperate attempt to resist the change. How good it feels to let it all go. I will no longer be defined by the past, but I will be able to reinvent myself.

    Step 3: Analyse what is left.

  • Now you should be left with the remainder of your love-pile. All the pieces you adore and are season appropriate.
    • These pieces should become the core of your capsule wardrobe. 
    • Analyse the style of the clothes.  It will help to see more clearly, what kind of pieces you are naturally attracted to. That is your true style.
    • You can sort the clothes into bottoms and tops to define what is missing. I personally need more basics and neutral colors in my wardrobe. Most of my core items are statement pieces!
    • Make a shopping list for the season. Buy only what you need and aim for quality. From now I will not be afraid to take my time to search the perfect gray t-shirt or summer sandals and save up for them if needed. That is what people did in the past when things were made to last.

Step 4. Begin the experiment. 

  • Make the needed purchases and see how it all works out together in your wardrobe. If something doesn't feel right, just remove it. A good guideline is that if you look at something in your closet and it arises the reaction: "Ugh, not that!" Then it means that item doesn't belong there even if you thought it did.
  • Two weeks before the beginning of the next season, go through the maybe-box and re-evaluate if there is something you want to add to your capsule or pieces you are ready to give up.
  • Keep exprerimenting with your new wardrobe. I will myself try to keep on mind that I am trying to create something in the long term. I don't need to acquire all the pieces I miss right away. I'm loving the idea of being able to use items for many years to come and yet they would not look outdated.

I finished my big closet clean out last monday and have been experimenting with my first ever capsule wardrobe ever since. So far I am loving it and can't wait to perfect it. I will talk more about my choices and first impressions in my next post!

Some links for capsule inspiration!

3 kommenttia:

  1. Hi!

    Thanks for including me in your recomendations list, I'm very honoured to be listed among the classics of internet capsules,

    Luize from Un Armario verde

  2. Hi!

    I thought it is important to show different variations of capsules. Yours is a bit like mine: an example of incorporating patterns and colours. I'm very impressed with your website in general as it is very informative on both capsule wardrobes and ethical fashion! ;)

  3. Thank you, that's great feedback! Yeah, the general booringness of most of minimalist fashion blogs out there (as their merge minimalism in numbers with minimalist aesthetics) was one of reasons I started my blog.