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Can I Still Call It Capsule?

Author: Lauren Coleman

I’ve been referring to myself as a capsuler for the last two or three years after discovering Caroline from Un-Fancy. However, after ordering an obscene amount of dresses from Zara last week I’m beginning to wonder if I can really keep the title?

I’ve admitted before that I have a mid-season top up shop. I really don’t believe you can buy for a whole season three months in advance what with our unpredictable British weather and the constant drip of new and very pretty products in to the stores.

I recently made a huge change to my working life and left my corporate role to work on a few more personal projects and take on more responsibility at Rock My Ltd too. Now I’m based more at home there’s no need for the black skinnies and smart dresses that dominated my weekday wardrobe and I’m struggling to find appropriate outfits to wear. In fact James asked me the other day if I was going to work or going to a wedding when I was sat at my desk in a silk top and pleated skirt. The truth is my wardrobe just doesn’t cut if for my new working location and I need some more casual pieces.

Anyway back to the capsule wardrobe. There are a couple of things I’m doing which mean I can keep my capsule crown, but mostly it’s slipped quite considerably.

Capsule Approach

  • Trying on all last year’s clothes at the start of the season to see if they’ll make it to this year’s collection
  • Making a list at the start of the season of all the gaps I need to fill
  • Avoiding sale shopping unless it’s something I’ve had my eye on for a long time
  • Only buying items that I already have something in my wardrobe to wear them with
  • Capsule Cheat

  • There are significantly more than 37 items in my wardrobe. Although the open Ikea wardrobe you see above is shared with my husband and also includes evening wear which as far as I’m concerned shouldn’t be included in the quota.
  • If they’re in good condition and still fit I still keep clothes from seasons gone by even if I don’t plan to wear them that year. I’ve been wearing a cobalt blue pleated summer dress on repeat this year even though it hasn’t seen the light of day for two or three years.
  • I buy more than once during the season
  • At the end of the day, capsuling isn’t meant to be a chore. It was too contrived for me in the beginning and up until I changed my working patterns a flexible approach to the concept was all fine and dandy. Whether or not I can truly call myself a capsuler is debatable but I do seem to spend far less time shopping these days.

    Oh and if you’re wondering I sent all but one of the dresses back. What is it about billowy dresses with ridiculously high hemlines? Even if I’m at home I’d rather not be flashing my thighs to the window cleaner. I might get my hands on this cute striped jersey dress from Joules but if you do see any easy to wear dresses then I would love it if you could send them my way.

    Have you been cheating on your capsule too?

    {Contributors}
    Author
    Lauren likes Paris, Prosecco and Paint Charts
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    24 thoughts on “Can I Still Call It Capsule?

    1. Lauren have you read any of Esther Coren’s capsule series over on The Spike? I really enjoyed it not least because she’s very funny. Oh and I think there are a good selection of day dresses in Gap, just waiting for an offer code!x

    2. I did the 333 challenge for a couple of seasons and really enjoyed it. Yes, with our unpredictable UK weather it’s not easy but it wouldn’t be a challenge if it were easy. I found it liberating rather than restricting. It made me think a whole lot more about purchases, evaluate the clothes I owned (and get rid of things that didn’t fit or suit me) and be more imaginative with my styling. Some difficult life events meant I’ve put this method on the back burner but I fully intend to embrace it. Your success with the challenge will depend on your objective. I wanted to be more minimalist, less of a reactive shopper- more of a planner, and to fully use what I had. I succeeded in this. It doesn’t have to be painful but define your reason for wanting to do it first as it’s not for everyone.

      1. Hi Siobhan, thanks for making me think about the objective – looking back mine was to own less, stop spending on a whim and to buy things I really needed. I reckon I’ve done that! Thanks so much for that x

    3. No time for capsule anything. I’m more of a Uniform type of girl aka buy it in bulk in all the colours.
      But I will say don’t buy the Joules dress. Loses its shape and looks like a sack of potatoes.

    4. I recently got completely frustrated with my ridiculous amount of clothes with everything overflowing and not loving anything! I am determined to have a big clear out! I work in an office and have a very simple work wardrobe, a few dresses and some mix and match pieces – one pair of trousers and a few skirts and jackets. I hardly ever top up my work wardrobe, I mostly buy pieces in the Next sale which last me for a while. A capsule wardrobe works fine for work and I am very good at it so I cant understand why I find it so hard to move this into weekend wardrobe, especially as its only two days of the week and at least one of those days ill be wearing sweats! I feel like part of the change from me needs to be buying less and curbing my shopping! And then perhaps seeing over time where I really need to add to my wardrobe xx

      1. Sarah, when I first started out I used to have a pinterest board of styles I liked for each season which really helped with the refinement. Maybe this could help with your weekend wardrobe? x

    5. I try to capsule but I’m not too strict about it…I’m just not disciplined enough I think!

      I do feel your pain about short dresses – I have tried and failed multiple times this summer to get myself some pretty dresses for work that aren’t thigh skimming – when its hot and you want bare legs in the summer it’s just a no!

      If anyone has any tips for decent smart/casual day dresses at a reasonable length (I’m 5’5 so distinctly average!) I would appreciate them!

      Katie x

    6. I just got bought the Marie Kondo book for my bday so I’m about to embark on the mother of declutterings next month. I’m not sure if capsule wardrobe comes from there but I def need to clear out my clothes and the other halfs! I hardly have anything I want to wear and yet it’s full! Nightmare!
      X

      1. I Marie Kondo’d my wardrobe whilst pregnant and got rid of loads of stuff. Now I find myself in the unfortunate position of having very few clothes and no money to replace them, now my Maternity money has run out…. so beware of being too brutal!
        Lauren – H&M have some nice dresses just now, might be worth a look. I love Joules but only ever buy in their sale!

    7. If you give yourself wardrobe guidelines and do proper planning for the season I would count it as capsule. I struggle with capsule as I find it difficult to find well fitting tailored separates so I tend to stick to dresses and more casual wear – also buying all of the colours and hoping they last for a good while! A new season’s capsule would be a nightmare for me to find each season so I go for spring/autumn layers and just buy a bit of new knitwear and a couple of new summer dresses as the seasons change.

    8. I’m so impressed Lauren!! I definitely think you still count as a capsuler, and evening wear definitely definitely shouldn’t count. I keep mine screwed up in a suitcase, not sure my clothes thank me for it though?!! I’m more of an investment piece buyer, so my wardrobe lasts for YEARS and I barely buy anything year to year. Although then heartbreaking when a wardrobe faithful gets a bit too old or the darn moths attack something. I am still wearing things that I had 15 years ago though so not a bad track record. As such my wardrobe is a tad fuller, but for me it works better than capsuling as such. I tend to buy a couple of Uniqlo jumpers or cardigans every now and again to replace tops, but otherwise maybe once or twice a year I buy a skirt, dress or pair of jeans. It is quite liberating, a sort-of alternative to capsuling?!

    9. Annie, I admire you for going down the investment piece route. Definitely a capsule alternative x

    10. Lauren, I was in the exact same boat with summer dresses for working from home – I work from home 3 days a week and with the warmer weather didn’t want to be uber casual in shorts and vestie for work – but didn’t have many casual day dresses in my wardrobe – so I did a focused shop one Saturday – I got a gorgeous wrap tea dress from New Look. I also did really well in TK Maxx – 3 gorgeous day dresses – all perfect for the home office 🙂
      I do need to have a good old clearout though as I do have a rather full wardrobe and drawers but only a small portion gets worn!!

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