What the blazes is a Capsule Wardrobe?!

 

‘The practice of keeping a small number of useful clothes in your closet and remixing them each season’

 

Whenever I start talking about this subject with my dear long suffering husband his eyes glaze over and he has that ‘I love you but I don’t give a toffee about capsule wardrobes’ look on his face! So sorry if this post makes you want to fall asleep in your bowl of cornflakes but I get pretty excited about anything that makes my life easier and a capsule wardrobe does just that!

I’m not going to lie, my fashion sense as a young adult was highly questionable. I’m talking brown checked trousers, orange Teflon jumpers, oh the horrors. Fruit of the loom t-shirts and shell suits, what was that all about! University introduced me to a whole new world of fashion crimes. I spent my uni days sweeping the pavements of Manchester with the bottoms of my baggy skater jeans and I had a wardrobe-full of ASBO worthy hoodies! After university I found it really hard to move on from the hoodies, it was a bit of an obsession! Throughout my twenties and through two pregnancies I found it really hard to discover my personal style. I often felt like I was stuck between adolescence and adulthood and my clothes portrayed this. Choosing clothes felt like a chore and I mostly felt uncomfortable, un-confident and frumpy in what I wore.

Last Christmas my sister-in-law mentioned that one of her New Year’s resolutions was to try out a capsule wardrobe. I’d never heard of this so I checked it out online, in particular this site, www.un-fancy.com, and totally loved the idea of a minimalist wardrobe. I have tried it out now for a year (clunk…that’s the penny dropping why I always seem to wear the same clothes!) and totally plan to carry on. The magic of the capsule wardrobe is in its simplicity and minimalism. It allows space for creativity and really helps you find your personal style.

How to build a capsule wardrobe

-Pick a number and limit items in your wardrobe to that number for example 37

-Include Tops, Bottoms, Shoes, Dresses, Outerwear

-Exclude workout clothes, accessories, pyjamas, underwear and formal wear

-Store items you love but are out of season somewhere else, and donate the rest. Only keep items you really love

-Remix every 3 months for each season. (Our seasons are pants so it is a bit of a challenge, layers work well!) Mix in items you have stored or buy a few new pieces to freshen up your wardrobe for the new season. Rotate items but stick to your number

-shop less

Benefits

Find your style – By keeping only those clothes I really loved and regularly wore, I was able to discover what I really liked. I like mostly neutral colours, particularly black, love stripes, nothing too feminine. I like a little bit of edgy and comfort is a priority.

Confidence – Its great knowing that you actually like every item in your wardrobe and you feel comfortable in it. I definitely feel more comfortable in my own skin in my 30’s than I did in my 20’s and it’s nice to feel my clothes reflect that.

Decide what to wear in less time – Most mornings I get both girls dressed, pour their cereal then I have about 5 seconds to get dressed before they spill something or get into an argument – True fact! So easy and quick is good!

Buy less disposable fashion – I have always had a quantity rather than quality approach to clothes. And the appearance of ‘Primarni’ has fed this, when clothes are that cheap you can afford to buy and dispose. This new approach has helped me chose my clothes more carefully. I might now spend more on an item that will last. I also think about whether it goes with other things in my wardrobe and if I already have something similar I try not to buy it. We’ve all been there, repeat buying the same style of top again and again…guilty!

After one year of my capsule wardrobe journey I’ve learnt a few things, made a few bad purchases, but absolutely love the freedom it brings in my day to day. So hooray for that! I am looking forward to trying to be more creative with it this year now I’ve found my feet and maybe sharing it on here will help me with this. I look forward to sharing my spring wardrobe with you at the start of March

If you want to learn more and get some ideas check out Caroline’s blog www.un-fancy.com it’s seriously amazeballs and she is about to start blogging again after a year break woohoo!

The first chapter….

 

reading

 

I have always been a book worm. When I was younger I would devour in one sitting my weekly haul from our local library, more recently I started a book group. So I have always toyed with the idea of writing, enjoying the process of emptying my head onto the page. A few years ago a lot of my friends were starting blogs. At the time I was temping for a finance company, nine to five data inputting. Whilst I was waiting for the new data I spent my time reading my friends blogs and writing lists of all the things I wanted to do before I died! I decided to try this blogging malarkey, and set up my first blog. As I recall I wrote half a blog entry on being excited to finish work that same day and go and catch a train, moving stuff I can assure you! I deleted it straight away and felt dejected that I hadn’t just started my first masterpiece!

Looking back I can see my expectations were too high, I wanted to write what I knew but my writing was reflecting how bored I was with my job and frustrated that I wasn’t doing something that suited me better. I didn’t have a clear idea about why I was blogging or who it was for. I was worried people would read the blog and make judgements about me, not that I could blame them it was pretty boring!!

So ‘Sunshine and Stories’ is a new beginning, a space to hopefully inspire myself to be more creative this year, to make myself stick to my resolutions and record the journey.

One of my resolutions for this year is to read more of a variety of books. I love my fiction and won’t be giving that up any time soon. However I would love to challenge myself and read more non-fiction, particularly life affirming and inspirational books. I have sometimes struggled with non-fiction, finding books hard to finish on topics I felt I should be interested in but in truth found quite boring. I have been reading “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin (more on that to follow) and one of her rules of happiness is to be yourself. Let Nicole be Nicole! So I am trying to make a list not based on what I feel I should read but books that suit my very own quirky geekiness! For example there is a book on tidying that I have been wanting to read for ages, not everyone’s go to for feel good inspiration but I have a feeling I am going to love it! So here is my list so far, a book for every month of the year, plus a couple extra! What would your list look like? Have you read and enjoyed any of these books? What was your best read of 2015?

 

 

1) The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying: A simple, effective way to banish clutter forever by Marie Kondo

2) How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber, Elaine Mazlish

3) Big Magic: Creative Living beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

4) Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson

5) A life without limits by Chrissie Wellington

6) Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

7) Running like a Girl by Alexandra Heminsley

8) The Magic of Thinking Big by David J Schwartz

9) The Freedom of Self Forgetfulness by Timothy Keller

10) The Confidence Gap by Russ Harris

11) The Listening Life: Embracing Attentiveness in a World of Distraction by Adam S. McHugh

12) No greater Love by Mother Teresa

13) Run, Ride, Sink or Swim: A year in the exhilarating and addictive world of women’s triathlon by Lucy Fry

14) An Unhurried Life by Alan Fadling