Recently, videos about how to make a Capsule Closet have been coming up on my youtube feed quite a bit. The idea is basically that you have somewhere from 33-37 pieces of clothing in your cupboard (for that season) and that’s it. I considered it in Berlin, but then I decided that I didn’t actually have that much stuff anyway so I didn’t need to. But between now and then I’d managed to accumulate a lot of stuff and I’ve been noticing recently that I haven’t been wearing the majority of it.
Hand in hand with this consideration is the ethics involved with fast fashion. My sister, Milena, was chatting to me a while ago about it and it’s something I’ve thought a lot about before, but I usually come to the conclusion that either: a) it’s too expensive to shop ethically or b) the people in the factory need jobs too and therefore I’m helping. Both are terrible excuses and I know that what I really mean is that I want to buy cheaper clothes so that I can buy more. (Ooh, it’s horrible to see that in writing!)
This isn’t to say that everyone MUST shop ethically and if you don’t I’m going to judge you, it’s simply to invite some thought on the topic. Now before you roll your eyes and close the page, let me try convince you.
I am not by any means a minimalist, I love clothes, I love variety, and the hobby that I excel the most in is shopping. However, when I sat down this morning to do this worksheet, I realised that I could count my ten favourite pieces without having to think. They’re the jeans I feel the best in, the shirts that are flattering and fit well, and the t-shirts I reach for more than the others. I decided to do the exercise without looking at my clothes to try and avoid holding on to things for sentimental value.
Here’s a pic of my planning in my bullet journal:
The result was that when I went upstairs to do the practical clean out, it was actually quite easy. I had so much stuff that I just don’t wear anymore. I even had a few things with tags on still (the shame!).
(So much stuff!!!)
So, why do a capsule closet?
As with the bullet journal, there are people way more expert and capable of explaining than myself, but I’ll tell you my reasons for giving it a shot and then I’ll leave you with a few links to explore if you like the idea.
Firstly, developing personal style. Having a few pieces and more importantly, thinking a lot before buying them means that it’s easier to be aware of your style. I’ve bought clothes on a whim more times than I can count, and usually I decide that the colour doesn’t actually suit me or the fit is horrible.
Secondly, reducing waste. The thought of going through hundreds of pieces of clothing a year is devastating, but it’s probably a reality for a lot of people. I’d way rather have a few pieces that I wear to death, than hundreds that never see the light of day.
Then, of course, there’s the issue of quality. Buying less means I can buy smart, but I can also buy better. I can spend a little more on each piece and find things (and brands) that I love.
Lastly, the ethical responsibility. I really don’t want to harp on about this too much, but there are glaring problems with fast fashion and I don’t really want to be a mindless consumer who follows every trend just to get bored of it in a few weeks. I think that design is an art, and the designer behind the work deserves to get paid for it, not to mention the seamstresses and everyone in between. I want to contribute to better conditions in the industry, even if it only makes the tiniest difference.
I watched a video where the girl said ask yourself this: would you have worn it ten years ago? Would you wear it in ten years? If the answer is yes, then go for it! Although style does change, I think this is a great rule of thumb when it comes to buying clothing.
As I said, there is so much information out there on this topic, but if you haven’t considered paring down your wardrobe, I’d really recommend it. It’s very liberating, if nothing else!
Here’s a few interesting links from around the web on the topic:
There are even apps to help you if you want to go that far!
I haven’t been super strict with myself in terms of numbers, I definitely have more than 33 pieces for spring/summer, but I’ve decided to not buy anything for at least 30 days. For the month or so I’m going to wear what I have and see if there’s anything I’m not wearing. If there is then I’ll donate it to charity, and if not I’ll have an even better idea of what’s working for me and what isn’t. I’ll also make a list during the month of things I feel I really need to invest in.
It was a really good exercise for me personally, and a really good reminder to be more aware and more mindful when I’m looking for clothes. I’m actually really glad I did it and I’m looking forward to feeling more confident and more aware of my own personal style.
Let me know your thoughts on this!
p.s. I have a few things on depop if you’re interested! 🙂