Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Time Capsule

Years ago, I read this book by Susie Faux. She was the first person to use the term "Capsule Wardrobe" She wanted to help women dress more easily, spending their clothes budget more efficiently. 
She said that many women have a wardrobe containing a lots clothes that they never wear, in various sizes to accommodate weight fluctuations. 

Her theory was that fewer clothes, well chosen, designed to work together, would make a better way of dressing. She coined the term Capsule Wardrobe to describe this principle. I really enjoyed her book, and thought she made a lot of sense. I have often said that I ought to try it. "But you never do!" said Steph, and [as she often is] Steph was right. So this year, when I did my summer to winter clothes swap, I thought I'd have a try. 
Since Susie's original [pre Internet] plans, the advent of minimalism, and decluttering etc, have developed her ideas further. Project 333 is one such plan where you select 33 garments and wear them for 3 months. Unlike a lot of the online schemes [pinterest is full of them]  I have not gone out and purchased anything.  I decided to work with what was already there. Susie says empty your entire wardrobe and sort stuff into three piles.   

  1. Stuff you wear often, 
  2. Clothes you haven't worn for a year or two
  3. Clothes you haven't worn for years but hang on to anyway [because they cost a lot, because you might be a size 10 again one day,  because they remind you of a special event...] 
  4. NOW - put pile 3 into a bag  and take it to a CS now. Try on the clothes in pile 2. If they still feel good,  keep them, if not, into a CS bag.Build  your new Capsule from pile 1. 

So I did it! I have been pretty ruthless.  Two huge bags have gone to benefit others.  From my remaining heap the summer clothing is packed away.  I have  selected a couple of dozen garments as my Capsule, and seeing how that works. Currently on  Day 6. I  will report back later. I did get one comments on how smart I looked on Saturday,  and two on Saturday  -  so maybe it will prove a good  arrangement  [nb the remainder of Pile 1 clothes are packed, in case the capsule needs revising!]  

So they now hang in the wardrobe, taking up a fraction of the space. Laid out on the bed you get a better idea of what's there [oops - just spotted that my lovely Mondrian jumper never made it onto the bed photograph!] There are 26 items - 

  • 5 outer tops [2 jackets, 2 cardis, I heavy sweater]
  • 12 other tops [1 jumper, 6 long sleeve Ts, 3 s/s Ts, 2 regular shirts
  • 5 bottoms [2 trousers, 1 jeans, 2 skirts]
  • 2 dresses [one is a pinafore I can also wear over other tops]
  • 2 scarves.

My capsule includes a grey suit which is jacket/skirt/trousers - and all the items will go with most of the other garments. Technically I should have more than 400 basic different outfits. FAQ

  • no, I do not count underwear, nightwear or my coat and waterproofs in the capsule
  • I am just wearing my red and black shoes and boots
  • I have yet to organise my jewellery and declutter the earrings
I am taking a photo each day to see how it works out. I plan to review this seriously just before Christmas - after all, I will need to add my favourite Christmas jumper then!
Have you tried doing Capsule Wardrobes? Has it worked for you?


  1. I really like the sound of this, and I am so glad that you are leading the way. So much easier to do anything when a wise and friendly one decants the plan! Must clear my bedroom floor enough to make a start!

  2. I've tried doing this but not very successfully. When I wore mourning for my mother, however, I had a wardrobe of 27 items which worked very well because everything was of one color (white, which is the color of mourning for us) and everything went with everything else!

    I do need to go through my closet and weed out a few more items. I've lost 30 lbs. during the course of my treatments and while baggy clothes are comfortable for the house, they won't do for when I go back to the office.

  3. I have to admit to over fifty scarves, cowls and shawls. A while back my daughter suggest we rearrange my wardrobe by colour so it starts with white on the right and ends with black on the left. Previously after wearing or laundering a garment I had hung it on the extreme right hand end so unworn items gathered at the other end so it was easy to see what hadn't been worn much.

    When son went to Dartmouth RN college all wooden hangers had to have hooks facing same way, a policy I have copied.

    None of this has helped to decide which 'look' I wish to cultivate, jeans and jumpers or dresses, scarves, and thick tights. Doesn't help I feel the cold so need to layer up.

  4. I think it is hard if you don't have a particular 'look'. What I wear for a formal speaking engagement is not what I would wear in the classroom or when riding my bike to the library.


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