I’ve been giving a lot of thought to my summer wardrobe lately… the dreary March we had followed by the recent gorgeous weather means I’ve managed not to do much in the way of wardrobe updating through spring and feel I now need a whole new summer wardrobe as I’m finally ready to enjoy getting dressed again. I’m still not back to my pre-pregnancy size which is tricky as I can now get my old jeans and trousers on… but the mid section as result is not pretty, which means options for the top half are limited. I really need to put some effort into shaping up, but that’s a whole other post!
Temperley for John Lewis Tile print jumpsuit. // Openwork white blouse, Mango. // Birkenstock Arizona’s // Ash Virgo glitte sneaker // ASOS dress // Linen Tee, Zara // Dipdye jumper, M&S // Denim shorts, New Look.
I’m trying to do the capsule approach again. It definitely has flaws, in that it doesn’t allow for spontaneity, but I think it makes up for that in financial planning, not having to shop (including last minute,) and in a similar way it offers me a feel good factor in that once it’s done, I don’t suddenly stress that I have nothing to wear for a looming event, not have time to address it, and as a consequence go out feeling rubbish. This spring we had a Christening, I had a night out with the girls and a couple of other things, that were a rare chance to dress up that I now feel ready for, but I had nothing to wear. My capsule had become too casual and ‘day-time’ with no ability to dress it up so I’m keeping that in mind this time. I had cheated a bit this spring and bought 4 different stripe tops: a traditional Boden navy/white breton, 2 Gap bretons in yellow/pale grey and a thicker dark grey/cream, and a Jonnie B red breton with an overlying print. I have pretty much worn them in rotation non-stop while the weather wasn’t as warm and now I’m ready to tackle the whole thing.
As always, these posts are inspired by Caroline over on Un-fancy.com – she has a great capsule wardrobe planner that you can use but I have adapted it a little to suit my thought processes and if you are planning a wardrobe reshuffle you might want to use her planner or my list below to help you get started.
Here’s what I have done so far.
1. What have I got already?
This involved opening up my storage wardrobe and facing the nightmare of trying on my pre-pregnancy wardrobe. Some things I fitted and were a pleasant surprise and I’ve dragged out a few bits that are tight but I hope will fit better as the weeks go on, as I’m still slowly losing weight. I’ve salvaged quite a few bottom half bits here: a pair of mint shorts from GAP and some printed white GAP khakis. My old boyfriend jeans fit again too and an old faithful summer shirt has been pulled out along with a couple of workwear items.
I also scrutinised the items I had already, in my existing winter/spring wardrobe, to see what I could keep. This includes shoes.
2. What do I need to plan for?
First and foremost I need to assemble some kind of work wardrobe. My work wardrobe used to be quite interchangeable with my daily wardrobe whereas they have polarised somewhat now. I wouldn’t want to wear much of it at home as it’s not comfortable enough or able to withstand the mess that Bea makes, plus my off-duty style has become a lot more sloppy!
Secondly, I have events coming up. We plan to have Bea Christened and have another Christening and friends baby birthday coming. There will likely be a couple of barbecue’s and evenings or lunches out too so I need to factor in a couple of fancy outfits, although I’m giving myself a free pass for her Christening to buy something nearer the time if I feel the need.
3. How do I want to dress?
This needed to be broken down into 2 parts, work and home.
For work, I am only there 3 days a week and lots of my work clothes are tailored so don’t fit but are really nice and I still like. The goal there has to be to get back into them, and in the meantime I’m bringing together a very small capsule of half a dozen outfits I can make do with.
For home, my overriding need is things that are practical to look after Bea in, but also feel nice in. As I wear Bea in the sling so much I think about if I’ll be able to wrap over them, and as we’re still breastfeeding, I think about access too, although Bea is hardly feeding in the day now. And I think about a few trend led pieces that might appeal to me – usually by flicking back through Erins posts – much quicker than scouring the magazines!
I also have a think about what I like to wear. Last year I LIVED in shorts and imagine I’ll do the same again and think about what I want to wear on top as a result. I also wore a waterfall aztec cardigan all the time over winter and am sad to put it away so I’ll be looking for a replacement for throwing on in summer.
4. What do I need?
Once I’ve decided what I have, and what I want, I think about what I need to fill the gaps. For occasion wear (i.e. anything that isn’t day to day at home!) I’m going to buy a nice dress and a jumpsuit. I need that cardigan and a lighter summer jumper. I’m going to invest in some basics, like a perfect navy tee and some denim shorts. As far as trends go, I’d like to nod to the folk trend with a white folk top. And my shoes need sorting out, new converse, new summer flip flops and possibly some work flats.
Lastly, looking through my wardrobe has meant I’ve been able to identify things for charity and for sale to help fund the new pieces. I always find when I go back to my wardrobe I’m able to be much more ruthless and immediately there are things that stand out that I know I don’t want anymore. I then decide if I could get anything on eBay for them and list them – so far this time I’ve made £75 so far selling old shirts, tops and dresses for £5 here and £10 there, plus a decent sum for an old bag. Its definitely worth doing and every little helps 😉
I’ll be back to share my actual capsule wardrobe in a week hopefully – I’m just waiting for the last bits to arrive. Have you done any summer shopping yet? Can I tempt you with a capsule?!