Remember my spring capsule wardrobe?
Well, if the weather this week is anything to go by, I think it’s safe to say that Scottish summertime has not only arrived, it’s also left again, so I figured it was probably time to take a look at how I got on with the spring capsule. You know, like I said I would in my original post, and then completely forgot to do? Yeah, that.
(Speaking of my original post, if you’re new to this blog, you might want to go and read it first, because when I say “capsule wardrobe”, I don’t mean it in the conventional sense of a capsule wardrobe, where that’s ALL you’re allowed to wear for however long. No, my capsule wardrobe was more like… I’ll just let you read the post, shall I?)
Here’s what I learned from my (non) capsule wardrobe..
The first thing I learned is something that really surprised me:
I could totally live with a capsule wardrobe.
I know this because I pretty much DO live with a capsule wardrobe – and a much smaller one than the one I put together for spring, too.
There are virtually NO opportunities in my life to “dress up”. Seriously, none. It’s rare for me to go anywhere “fancy”, and even if I’m invited to a party, or a dinner or something, it’s almost always casual. So around 3/4 of my closet is absolutely useless to me at any given time, basically, and the dresses and skirts in my spring capsule were hardly worn: not because I don’t like them, but simply because this spring was way colder than I’d anticipated, and most of those skirts and dresses don’t really work with thick black tights. (And even if they did, who wants to wear woolly tights in May? Not this girl…)
I have too many dresses… and yet not enough dresses.
I’ve come to the conclusion that dresses aren’t really great items for a capsule wardrobe (or not one that I put together, anyway!), because there’s only so many ways you can wear them, isn’t there? I mean, sure, you can wear a cardigan/sweater/jacket over the top, or maybe a shirt underneath, depending on the style, and you can obviously wear them with different shoes, but it’s not like you create a radically different look by doing it, is it? Dresses are basically an outfit (or most of an outfit) in themselves most of the time, so think I’d need to fill the entire capsule with them if I wanted to keep things interesting: as it is, I find skirts a lot more versatile, which I guess is why I have so many of them!
I need to start buying clothes in darker colours
A spring capsule wardrobe should technically be really easy for me, because I have tons of clothes in light, bright colours that should be perfect for the season. The problem with that, however, is that if you were to flick through my closet, you’d be forgiven for thinking I’d never visited Scotland in my life, let alone having lived here for all of it. Our weather just isn’t right for light colours, most of the time: it’s normally cold, wet and gloomy, and while we were lucky enough to get SOME warm, dry days this spring, that’s definitely not the norm, and you’d really think I’d know that by now, wouldn’t you?
When I started putting this capsule together, I knew I wanted to include a few pairs of trousers: I wear a lot of cropped pants at this time of year, because they keep my legs warmer than dresses/skirts, but still allow me to wear fun shoes with them, but the majority of my collection are white – or mostly white. I have white, off-white, white-with-black-spots, white-with-pink-flowers, white and blue gingham, gold… all of which I love, but all of which are totally impractical on days when it’s either raining, just about to rain, or just been raining. Which is most days, really.
Likewise, more closed toe shoes
Again, you’d think spring would be the perfect time for peep toes and sandals, but, again, you’d be wrong. One of my biggest issues when it comes to building a wardrobe is that I much prefer spring/summer clothes to autumn/winter ones… which is unfortunate, because we don’t really GET the kind of springs and summers in Scotland that those clothes are designed for. I’ve never been able to resit buying them, though, so the vast majority of my shoes are sandals, or other open-toed styles, and I just don’t get the chance to wear them very often – not even in spring. Early spring was a particular challenge here, because there were quite a few times when I had the PERFECT pair of shoes for the outfit I was planning to wear that day… but they’d require me to have bare legs with them, and that just wasn’t an option.
I need more than one item in each colour.
I wrote about this particular revelation in this post, but it’s just not enough for me to have a grey sweater, say, as part of my capsule: really I need about five grey sweaters, all in different shapes and styles. As I said in that post, going forward, I think it would make more sense for me to use the capsule purely as a kind of formula, rather than as a set number of specific items: so a grey sweater would stand for ANY grey sweater, a black dress would mean ANY black dress… and so on.
A capsule wardrobe makes life a helluva lot simpler
Stating the obvious here, because I know that’s why most people decide to start one, but I really do find it refreshing to not have to think so much about what I’m going to wear every day. I know that probably sounds pretty weird coming from a sort-of fashion blogger, but while I do enjoy putting outfits together, I also find it quite freeing to be able to just get up and get dressed without having to give it too much thought. Who knew?!
It has changed the way I think about my closet
I know some of my readers have been quite annoyed about this, but since I started to get into the idea of building a wardrobe of basics, I’ve been finding myself much less inclined to buy clothes I know I’ll hardly ever wear. I haven’t sworn off shopping altogether, obviously, and I don’t think I’ll ever stop being tempted by the lure of an amazing dress, but I AM finding it much harder to justify those random purchases, and these days I can get weirdly excited over things like basic sweaters and pairs of blue jeans: WHO EVEN AM I?!
I probably won’t do a summer capsule
When I put together my spring capsule, I had the vague idea of doing one for each season, but as the freezing cold spring wore on, I quickly came to realise that we just don’t get enough SEASONS here to require a different wardrobe for each one. After two weeks of glorious sunshine, for instance, we’re now into our third day of fog (I’m sitting at the window as I write this, and I can’t even see to the end of the street…): the heating’s on in the house, and the temperature’s more “mild winter” than “start of summer”. Damn. So I might do another capsule for autumn/winter, but for now I’m pretty happy with things as they are. For now…