Thursday, 24 March 2016

NO....Yes, Maybe

Capsule wardrobes have been popular, at least on the internet, for the past couple of years-or maybe more I don't really know and I'm just making this up as I go along.  I have noticed them for the past six months, and was curious enough to read a variety of blogs and articles and as with anything I take an interest in I wanted to understand just what it is and how it's done.  However, I am not intending to make one.  Or two.  It's not that I think capsule wardrobes are a bad idea and it's not that I am a lover of abundance and variety (apparently when it comes to my clothing I am not but ask me about books and plants).  It's just that the capsule concept doesn't work for me because I am approaching minimalism anyway without a capsule.  I had not intended this but actually this is close to what I have always done with my clothing.  I probably had a work capsule and a weekend capsule in the past, without really knowing that I did.  The capsule concept is not really a new one.

I was taught that the way to build a wardrobe was not to buy outfits but to buy something that goes with a few things you already have.  I was taught how to look for quality and I have always gravitated towards a small number of favourite colours that go together.  I never had a lot of money to spend on clothing and second hand offerings were minimal locally. At some points in my life I wore homemade clothes quite often and I spent much of the first twenty years of my life in skirts and dresses.   The experiment with abundance came only recently, when my lifestyle changed dramatically and the availability of clothing both new and used increased.   With only myself to support and only myself to explain any new purchases to, I had options I'd never had in my life before and I wanted to play.  Some of the results made their way onto this blog and there were a variety of hits and misses which are easily doubled or even tripled if you count the many things I've worn that I never photographed. 

Then I got tired of it.   I've written about that.  While it might be temporary, as we all make style changes and our needs evolve, I am inclined to suspect it's not temporary.  I like clothing and personal style in theory and I can have a great deal of fun putting together outfits but often I do not want to wear them.  I would rather dress a mannequin.  I grew tired of poor quality and tired of too much choice.  I began to feel overwhelmed by colour and pattern.  None of this made sense to me, since I typically love textiles, I have a home full of colourful things, albeit on a neutral background.  I don't even have a colour scheme in my home, it's just an if I like it it's here sort of rule.  For reasons I cannot really explain I found out that I did not want to dress that way.  I wanted to express my creativity in my home, my art, my writing, but not with what I put on my body. 

So I went back to dressing the way I'd dressed as a university student and I found myself avoiding colours and seeking, taupe, grey and soft white.  I wanted soft, light, comfortable and usually neutral. (I'm so drawn to light colours now I even hesitate to wear my typical navy blues) I have so few formal occasions in my life I probably only need one summer dress and one winter dress in case of such an event and could expect to wear them only once every few years.  My inner hippie kept asking to come out, with faded jeans and bare feet and my tendency to cut my own hair-I can't stay away from the low-key, minimal effort person I seem to be.  Maybe, instead of indicating a lack of self esteem or style, it instead means I know who I am.   A swipe of lipstick, messy hair and Men's Levis.  I don't know what message it conveys, what impression other people get, but I've discovered that I don't care.  And so my wardrobe keeps shrinking.  I've let go of many things I didn't love or which were in poor condition but now I am at the challenging part.  I crave simplicity and I've already gotten down to a small number of items and thus no need at all to create capsules.  That would be pointless and imposing needless rules and restrictions on myself.  Still there are some items I find myself torn over, wanting to let them go and yet hesitating.

Perhaps I need to put them away without giving them away.  Just see if I miss them.  In most cases it's clothing I really like and yet still find myself not wearing.  Why am I not wearing it?  Often it's the colour.  I put it on, and think okay I know this suits me and it's a really pretty colour but I just want to wear something taupe!  Some items are too formal or fussy for my lifestyle but I wonder,  what if I need this at some time in the future?  And in some cases, though fortunately not many, the purchase was fairly recent, maybe within the past six months and I would feel guilty getting rid of it.  Of course logically, not wearing it is wasting money just as much as giving it away is and while it sits in my closet reminding me every day that it exists and I'm not wearing it, guilt is not going to go away.

Awhile ago I wrote and pondered the strange conflicting taste I have, where in terms of home decor I love both a colourful boho/eclectic style as well as the French Country look of lots of stone, grey, white, taupe, bits of blue and lots of linen.  The Epiphany, I think, is that I want the boho/eclectic home and the French Country look on my body.  I suppose that's one way to address this weird dichotomy.  While my wardrobe might be going minimalist, my home is not.  At last count there are at least forty-five house plants and roughly five hundred books.  This hydrangea came home with me today from Home Depot where I went to buy paint....

......for transforming this space from ugly mirrored closet to cute nook with coat hooks.

That gap in the carpet is annoying.  A rug will cover it but I haven't got the perfect rug yet.  This will be a simple makeover, in the make-do and mend spirit.  I will share pictures when I have finished.


  1. Yes, it's funny how capsule wardrobes are suddenly trendy, and there are all these 'rules' to follow... And in reality we all have sort of a capsule wardrobe: we really only wear whatever suits our lifestyles. Well, having just packed a very small suitcase full of clothes that mix and match, I could feel smug and call myself Queen of Capsule Wardrobes, but it really is no different from what I do every day. I tend to wear a limited number of seasonally appropriate clothes in my favourite colours day in day out. The truth is that like you, I don't need a lot of clothes because I wear my (current) favourites all the time anyway. And I also have lots of books I don't want to get rid of. And yet, every few years I start thinkig I have way too much stuff and throw away half of it... I guess that's what living in a tiny flat foes to you: minimalism becomes attractive.

  2. Hi Shawna ... Lovely post ~~ as usual!!!! I certainly do not follow any rules when it comes to fashion ... I just wear what I like and right now what fits!!! :( I was out with my sisters this morning and got a few tops for our impending winter and they are all things that can go with either my plain black pants or the printed ones I purchased recently. My work clothes are also my home/going out clothes so one wardrobe it is for me. I will just spice things up with my scarves. Simplicity for me!!! (That's also my word for this year!)

    Hope you are having an awesome Easter Weekend.

  3. I must say I think those capsule wardrobes are not for me. They might be practical, but when it comes to clothes I don't want them to be practical, I don't want the process of dressing up to be easy, I want it to be fun and to make my day a bit nicer.


I love visitors and I love comments. I will try my best to respond to everyone! Thanks for stopping by.