The slow pace

Capsule wardrobe: one month, one piece

During the last couple of years I’ve been reading about the capsule wardrobe concept. It’s something incredibly simple but it attracted my attention from the beginning. However, my interest was not achieving the perfect wardrobe or being more conscious about what I was shopping. Not at the beginning, at least. It sounded appealing to me because everytime I looked at our walk-in closet I would get scared thinking that eventually we will move away from Germany or relocate. And the mere thought of such a big move gave me the heevie-jeebies. So, during the last year we’ve been donating lots of items: from homeware to, of course, lots of clothes. We owned too many things, everything looked untidy and I hate moves.

But in January I really thought about how I was going to approach the capsule wardrobe trend. It’s a trend, yes, but I find that it’s a very clever one. I really wanted to reduce the amount of things that I was purchasing, I wanted to own just a few edited pieces of clothing that I would really use and that resonated with my lifestyle. Of course, I wanted a better looking wardrobe as well, with more quality and less quantity.  I’m in my late 30s so by now I know that I won’t wear heels even if our best friends get married and put together an ultraglamorous wedding (that happened and I wore flat sandals because I wanted to dance all night long, run to take lots of pictures and be super comfortable. I had a blast), I know that in my line of work jeans and sweaters are office appropriate pieces of clothing and I know that if there’s no food involve, I won’t get out at night. So I only need casual, comfortable clothes with the occasional nice dress for special occasions and the basic monochrome blazer to make the jeans + sweater combo more office-like in case I have a meeting.

And since I’d rather spend my money in boutique hotels, flight tickets and breakfasts in cute cafes, cutting down my clothing budget was the logical thing to do. So I came up with the idea of buying just one piece of clothing per month and do so only if I really needed it and the piece fitted in my new, edited wardrobe (bearing in mind my needs and lifestyle, obviously). I started by making a list of the things that I’ve always wanted to own and the brands that I really love. The list was surprisingly short.

Five months later this is all I’ve bought:

January: I have a thing with sneakers and I wear them a lot. They make almost every outfit look cooler and they are the epitome of comfortable. So, why spend money in pretty heels if I don’t wear them? I’d rather spend my money on sneakers. I’ve always wanted a pair of Adidas Gazelle and when I found this grey pair in our local Adidas outlet, in my number and 30% off, I knew I had to buy them.

February: a black, soft, comfy turtleneck has been a basic in my wardobre for years. So when a washing machine accident left my beautiful COS black, soft, comfy turtleneck looking like a Barbie-size sweater, I decided it was about time to give in and buy what I really wanted from the beginning: a black, soft, comfy cashmere turtleneck. I made the most of the sales and bought this amazing cashmere number from The Kooples, one of my favourite brands (fortunately, it was on sale).

March: I’ve always wanted an Equipment shirt. Shirts are one of my favourite pieces of clothing and I find them very stylish paired with jeans and sneakers, with power suits or even as beach coverup. Since I had an Equipment shirt on my radar for a long time, I had been browsing the web to look for a reasonable priced one (they are quite pricey, to be honest). And one day of March I saw the perfect white and blue striped Equipment shirt in The Outnet. Score! As a little review, I have to say that the quality of the fabric is outstanding and the cut is tremendously flattering. So if you want to invest in a shirt, let it be an Equipment one.

April: on April we went to Copenhagen. That was dangerous. Copenhagen offers the best shopping in the world, I think. Everything is stylish. However, by then, my one month/one piece mindset was going strong, so no temptations. Besides, we wanted to spend all our money in incredible food (#priorities). But I did buy something in the end. A wonderful white Spring/ Summer dress. It checked all the boxes: midi, with sleeves and timeless. I believe I will use it a lot over the years. You might think that living in a cold weather country this could be a not very sensible buy. On the contrary, since I moved to Germany I own an extremely edited Summer / holiday wardrobe because I don’t feel the need to buy a thousands of cute sandals or flowy Summer dresses like I did when I was living in Spain. In my opinion, this dress looks very nice paired with boots or sneakers and a denim jacket as well, so when German Summer hits (usually a Tuesday in the middle of June), I’ll be prepared.

May: no shopping done for the moment. However, I’ll be spending a few days in Spain at the end of the month so I might find one of the items of my shopping list, who knows. I’m looking forward to lots of meetings with friends and family, so I don’t think I’ll have time for shopping, though. No complains: Spanish food, sun and my family is all I need right now!

This wardrobe and shopping analysis has completely changed the way I shop. First, reducing my pruchases hasn’t been difficult at all. I have to admit that shopping for clothes has never been easy for me. I’m kind of amoeba shaped, so shopping usually ends up with me swearing I won’t eat a carb ever again (but heading for pizza afterwards to make me feel better) and cursing my 155 cm height. But I love fashion and I’m human and addicted to Instagram, so I thought it would be more difficult.  It turned out it only made the experience more exciting! Knowing that I have to select carefully what I purchase whenever I want to buy something, forces me to spend a fair amount of time browsing possibilities, choosing the right pairings to the clothes that I already own, making lists and… well, that’s pure fun for me. Besides, if I’m buying just one piece, I’m making sure it’s timeless, good quality and, therefore, I will wear it for a very long time. The result: my wardrobe is indeed better looking and more concious.

Another perk: following sales and new collections is easier when you already have something in mind. Browsing online shops or shopping the traditional way can be really overwhelming, at least for me, because there are too many options, brands, sales, shops… argh! But when you know exactly what you want, everything makes more sense and shopping is way easier. By the way, you can find the links to the pieces I’ve bought (or to similar ones) in our shop!

But most importantly: in case we move (and I really hope we do one day) all my clothes would fit in one tidy, edited box! Mission accomplished.

PS: I’m planning on writing an update on this extremely fascinating and important matter, probably in November. Let’s see how it goes…