AW14 Capsule Wardrobe update

So, a little while back I told you all I was going to have a go at making and living with a capsule wardrobe for Autumn and I’ve been working on it ever since. Thats right, it’s been the best part of a month! I’m probably guilty of over obsessing about it but there seemed at times to be a lot of pressure on getting the items in my capsule wardrobe right. After all, if I am to do it properly then there will be no bailing out and reaching for my larger wardrobe upstairs when I feel uninspired. Why be so harsh on myself? Well, the more I’ve thought about it the more the idea of living with less appeals and I want to see if I can crack it for future seasons. It means less time wasted shopping (which I truly don’t enjoy as much any more,) less money wasted on disposable fashion and less wasted clothing in my wardrobe. I reach for the same pieces day in day out, so why not be more considered and edit out (or not let in in the first place,) those unused or seldom worn pieces?

I’m 99% there now and I’ll be sharing my capsule next week, but for now, I thought I’d share some of the thought processes and decisions I’ve made so far. Just to recap – the whole process is inspired by Caroline’s blog minimalist fashion blog where she documents her outfits from a 37 piece wardrobe.

Post-natal specific ideas…

I need way more tops than bottoms – to cater for those leaked nappy/dribble/full on puke moments without washing 3 times a day. They also need to be washable and (I may yet be foiled on this front as I have oped for quantity over quality,) good quality items as holding a baby close all day results in pulled necklines and creased fabrics 24/7.

Bottoms are harder to find while my waist is still AWOL so I might as well choose fewer pieces that work for me now and be more creative on the top half. As a result you’ll see I have upped the number of tops in my capsule and scaled back the bottoms.

Breast feeding clothes get easier… I have found quite a few *smug face* normal tops that have buttons or zips in handy places to help with feeding, but equally I will never be a cardigan fan so I have embraced the idea of lifting my top/jumper instead as winter is a-coming and I love knitwear.

My shape is changing rapidly, mainly around the middle, going from mum tum to flatter, then just fatter and wobblier then before, so that has been a big consideration in the pieces I choose – both flattering my shape for now and giving thought to how it will (hopefully) continue to change.

General thoughts

It’s hard to make a capsule wardrobe with colour. I got half way through my wardrobe planning and realised I had a sea of grey clothes as the top image shows. Whilst I love grey as a neutral, a few weeks in and I’d be totally bored of it. It also didn’t give any nod to the current seasonal colour trends to keep me feeling up to date and I had no pattern in there either. Cue a re-think.

I also found it really difficult to plan for the next few months (Sept-Dec) in the middle of the Indian summer we have just had. I factored in a couple of lightweight knits but just couldn’t comprehend autumnal days and winter temperatures. Now the weather has changed it’s brought my need for heavier layers sharply into focus and I’ve found it much easier to plan.

Shoes are really hard to narrow down! I don’t consider myself a shoe fiend but I do have quite a few pairs and know how useful they are to change the feel of an outfit. Joggers with heels? Date night. Joggers with trainers? Urban cool. Joggers with brogues? Hipster. However, I’m resisting heels and going for practical choices and trying to think about what colours work – so I don’t end up with a brown and a black pair of boots if one will work just as well.

Money and get out clauses!

Just in case some of you are wondering how much I’m spending on all of this, I’m allocating myself a budget of £500 and I want this wardrobe to last me until January. That may seem like a lot but I would normally spend at least £100 a month (although more often cumulatively like this) on clothes and once complete there will be no shopping until the next wardrobe. I’ve also used every discount code and voucher I could find (always more abundant at the start of the season,) to keep costs down. And as a result of ally he clearing out, I’m also selling some clothes and shoes on eBay for the first time ever – I’ll let you know how that goes!

Lastly, I’m going to allow myself a get out clause. In case of a very cold snap I’ll allow myself to switch 2 tops, 1 pair of shoes and one pair of bottoms or coat if I need to.

I’ll be sharing my full wardrobe plus links to where everything is from next week. Are you trying the capsule? Do any of my thoughts ring true with you or have you made any modifications?

Have a great weekend readers,


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13 thoughts on “AW14 Capsule Wardrobe update

  1. I love this idea and will be waiting to see how it works out. I will be very impressed if you get 37 items including shoes for£500. I guess you must be using some things you all ready have?
    My wardrobe certainly needs a good clear out. There are things I love and still wear that are past it and the inevitable items bought and rarely (never) worn which need recycling. Part of the problem at the moment is that most of my wardrobe is too small post baby but I really hope it won’t stay that way too long…. Hmm I might be inspired to clear out this weekend.

    • Yes Jo, I’m using my existing wardrobe as part of it and fortunately I’m pretty del stocked on the more expensive items like boots, coats and knits. (Also fortunate that they happen to be the things that still fit!)

  2. I’m very much looking forward to the capsule-wardrobe post! My baby girl is six months old and I’m fed up of wearing the same things every day. I’m now on SMP so not much money to buy new clothes – am hoping your post will help me to look at my current items and see how to make them work as an autumn/winter capsule.

    I’ve always been a skirt/tights/boots-type of person in the winter but now that I’m spending more time sitting on and crawling round the floor this is not really going to work very well so any new ideas appreciated!

  3. I love this and have been obsessed with Caroline and un fancy since your first mention of her. I however am yet to have any time (read:lazy) to do it. But with the big move in 3 weeks I may just five myself as I will have to pa k anyway! 🙂 cannot wait to see how it goes!

  4. Regarding jeans, I wouldn’t recommend any expensive ones. Every pair of jeans or cords I have bought since Ava was born, now have holes in the knees. Once Bea is on the move, you will spend most of your time kneeling down for lego, jigsaws, books and all manner of toys/ games.

    Look forward to seeing your capsule wardrobe.


  5. Your first post actually inspired me to try this capsule thing and I’m so pleased. I did. I’m pretty good at going through my wardrobe at the end of a season and putting away those clothes that are just no longer season appropriate, but this time I’ve also edited out a lot of items that don’t work with the capsule. I haven’t gone down to 37 items, mine is more like 45 but it works for me. I also didn’t include any accessories so bags, belts, jewellery etc aren’t counted and neither are the basics like t-shirts/vests, I have so many of these and tend to wear them underneath other items so didn’t want them taking centre stage as a key piece.

    Colour-wise I couldn’t bear the thought of having such a neutral and bland wardrobe, particularly across autumn/winter months when things are so bleak anyway so I’ve opted for a tonal colour palette of with burgundy/reds/purples being the main punch of colour, this is paired with the softest greys, pinks and nudes alongside navy. I also have a few black and white items in there which work with anything.

    Initially I thought I’d just plan the autumn season as two seasons together is just too long, I’m fairly happy with my choices and colour combos so will probably extend it into winter and just swop out a few items that by Winter will be too lightweight for some heavier/warmer ones.

    It’s great to have done all the thinking upfront as I’m now not having those ‘I have nothing to wear’ moments, making me excited again about getting dressed to go out. It also means I can actually find things as my wardrobes isn’t crammed full.

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