mental health

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My capsule wardrobe

Published July 14, 2015 by sunmoonstars134

Well, this past few days has seen me ill and having to take time off from what is turning out to be a very demanding and enjoyable job!

Sadly the job is why I’ve not been blogging so much of late, but I hope to drop in occasionally over the summer and to be a bit more regular after the summer when things (in theory!) calm down a little. 

Today I have felt better than I have for nearly a week, although my mental health was starting to struggle a little as it tends to do when I’m physically ill – too much inactivity and time alone with my thoughts, combined with anxiety of letting down colleagues, friends and family with cancelled plans conspire against me. 

The quickest way to defeat that, for me, is a burst of productivity. This was not so much a burst as several sputters, as I needed to keep taking breaks for rest and fluids (being ill sucks). It still did the trick though. 

As I’ve been trying hard to declutter these past few months, I have been idly googling “capsule wardrobes” this week, wondering how much it would cost to buy one. 

For those of you who don’t know, a capsule wardrobe merely means a limited number of items of clothing, that can preferably be mixed and matched to create different outfits. 

I found the site Unfancy, which is a great resource for getting started, and so I did! Lesson one was that I don’t need to go out and buy a bunch of new clothes – you probably beat me to the realisation that this would defeat the purpose of decluttering, right?!

This blogger has 37 items in each 3-month time period but says that this is flexible. This didn’t sound like much to me, so I immediately decided that I would use that flexibility to have more pieces. 

But she breaks it down, which was really helpful. Starting with 9 “bottoms”, be that skirts, jeans, trousers etc. 

Given that I live in jeans (I’m not fashion-minded – simplicity is key for me), and I now get to work in casual-wear too, 9 pairs of jeans seems barmy! I went with 4. (I then added 2 more pairs I found in the laundry!)

I figured that as its summer, I’d add a couple of skirts that don’t tend to get worn – either I will wear them out of desperation over the next few months, or I won’t, in which case they are charity-shop bound. 

I also decided that my longer jeans that I wear with heels in evenings can be retired for the summer, in favour of a couple of dresses that haven’t been worn for a while. I love them, but jeans are the easy option. Not anymore! They are not an option for the next 3 months.

Tops were more difficult – I have so many that I like to wear, so I’ve sorted a whole bunch of them and, again, kept some old favourites as well as some that I hope I will be encouraged to wear now. Again, I’m lucky that I can wear most things to work, although as its summer there are a couple of “smaller” items that aren’t work-friendly that I’ve chosen for weekends. 

So, I ended up with: 

6 pairs of jeans

2 skirts

2 dresses

3 jackets

4 cardigans

3 jumpers

8 “work” tops

3 “non-work” tops

8 pairs of shoes


38 items!!

I’m pretty pleased with this, and thrilled with the amount that has gone to the charity shop or bin. It helped a lot to get EVERYTHING out at once – when I declutter a drawer at a time it’s easy to forget about the other load of jumpers in a different drawer. 

Speaking of which, I’m currently choosing to forget the number of jumpers I have stowed away until the time comes to choose my winter wardrobe. Hopefully by then I’ll be a bit happier with paring down my wardrobe and will be able to let a few more go. Either that or I’ll have enough to last for a few years of winter wardrobes!!

So there we go! I’m thrilled with my new capsule wardrobe, and I’ll let you know how it goes 🙂 

(The photo shows the edges of the stuff I’m storing, too. Some things aren’t ok to be folded for long periods of time. My options for the next 3 months start at the jeans and end just before the fur-hooded coat!)