The Complete guide to a Capsule Closet

As we continue collating our capsule closet lets recap the items we have already covered in earlier posts on this site:

  • Biker Jacket – also known as Moto Jacket
  • Cardigan
  • Plain White Tee
  • Trench Coat
  • Tote Bag
  • Ballet Flats
  • Black Blazer
  • Blue Jeans
  • White Shirt
  • Black Pants

The aim of this series of posts in which  I  am compiling a suggested capsule closet is because I am using this as motivation and inspiration to purge and to quote Marie Kondo; “Spark Joy”.  Lately I have lacked the energy, enthusiasm and motivation to tackle and clean up my wardrobes which – I might add – desperately need attention.  There always seems to be something more captivating to do then tackle this but I am finding that by writing this series it is giving me some much needed inspiration to go forth and clean up.

The aim here is to have a selection of my best pieces in both fit and color and to give away items which no longer fit as well as they once may have.  More interesting than merely the fit I have noted that my style and taste is evolving over time.  Beloved tops that I was obsessed about no longer seem appropriate and need to be gifted to someone else who will (hopefully) derive the same amount of joy from the item as I once did.  Not to bemoan my age but the truth of the matter is that high heels which I once worn with pride – despite any pain that may have inflicted upon my poor feet – no longer appeal. This is purely based on the fact that spending the day in agony complete with squashed baby toes and aching soles holds zero appeal to me.  The prospect of bidding farewell to these heels has been stalled for too long and it is truly time for me to put on my big girl pants and do it.

Despite what my husband may protest to I don’t think I am by any means a hoarder if that is what you were thinking.  I would argue that my choice is more of a fiscal variety than a case of me not being able to toss things away.  Nothing gives me greater joy than giving a great item to a friend who can enjoy it and more importantly get use out of it.  I do tend to think “I’ll wear this to this…or that” thereby justifying its existence in my closet. The mantra “a girls got to have choices” is being whispered inside my head laying waste to my ability to purge.  I don’t think this is a solitary thought many fellow females have 23 pairs of jeans in blue – heads up I don’t have 23!

I once had the misfortune of witnessing someone move homes and being truly astonished at the scale and enormity of their wardrobe. Too the point that I was aghast at the boxes and ‘expensive, bespoke, to be treated with kid glove’ number of garments someone could have. I recall thinking I never wanted to be so precious about earthly possessions!  A word to the wise: movers never want to hear you utter the words ‘careful its expensive’. Then again having a veritable plethora of designer garb does not elevate ones status in life.  The point being that truly stylish people aren’t precious about earthly possessions although they appreciate the fine things in life, humanity and humility are much more prized characteristics – in fact they make you more stylish and liked than any single garment ever could.

Now this is an important next point I want to make to you is around use.  A wise women once told me that it doesn’t matter how much something costs as long as you could afford it and, more importantly that you actually use the item.  I am guilty of holding on to prized possession and being reluctant to use them for fear that they may be damaged – How daft is that?  If you have something great – use it – you never know how many more times you will get to use it (because no one knows what the future holds).  Wear it – own it and more importantly use it.  The more use you get from an item the more it has paid for itself.  Lets look at it like this then – say you buy a designer handbag for $ 1,000 and you adore it.  You carried that paper bag home and lovingly unwrapped the box, delighted in the wrapping brilliance and gently lifted the tissue paper to reveal a dust cover.  Within the protective cocoon of the dust cover was your new and most prized possession of that luxury designer bag in all its new shiny glory.  You admire its distinct workmanship and marvel at the artistry that went into making your bespoke bag.  That night you lovingly put said bag back in its dust bag and go to bed with a satisfied smile across you face.  You marvel at how fortunate you are.  As you fall into slumber you imagine all the wonderful ways you are going to wear that bag and how stylish you will be.

Then one of two things happens:  

1.  Your love and admiration for your new prized luxury possession grips you with fear of taking it out of the house.  You mind reels with thoughts of ‘I haven’t insured it’,’ what if spill something on it that I can’t get out’, ‘what if it gets stolen’, the bag is to precious to be placed on a grubby restaurant floor at lunch and so many more doom thoughts swirl around in your head. All of which compels you to decide that a rational person wouldn’t take it out today…next time! Stockholm syndrome much…maybe?


2.  You can’t recall when last you were so excited at the prospect of going out and taking your new bag for a spin that you devote extra time to putting together the outfit that will best pay homage to your new designer bag.  In fact you purge the items from your daily handbag so that the new bag will be responsible for holding items worthy of it’s luxurious enclosure.  You look great and feel like million bucks with your new bag being the perfect accessory.  Hell you might even find yourself walking taller and prouder.  In fact the endorphins that wearing this new bag brings are putting  an extra spring in your step.  So your friends comment and admire your new addition to your wardrobe and you are so proud of your choice.  It most certainly doesn’t get put down on the restaurant floor next to the foot of your chair – oh no – you lovingly hang it over your chair where you can keep an eye on it or even better it gets its own chair.  I mean what luxury bag would be denied a place at the table.

As you reflect on the photos taken at lunch with your friends and what a blast you had you catch a glimpse of the glorious bag that was part of the joyous memory. This in turn prompts you to similarly take the bag out every weekend thereafter. As a result taken over a year if you beloved bag went out every weekend that would equate to $1,000 divide by 52 weeks a year. That my lovelies amounts to a manageable $19.24 each week. Not bad even by my questionable maths!

Here is my next logical argument during this process and that is that a plain black pair of suiting pants vs a similar pair of pants which are patterned in either a check or floral fabric I contend that the plain black pair will offer you more versatility and use than the patterned pair.  You could wear the plan black pants twice or even three times a week without anyone in the office noticing or even raising and eyebrow.  Sadly the same cannot be said for the patterned pair.  Depending on how bold the pattern is you could maybe get away with wearing it to the office twice but oh no more than that.  At the same time the plain pants could be paired with pretty much any color/ style/ patterned top you deem it whereas the patterned pants would need to be paired with a simple plain top thereby limiting its versatility.  I am by no means arguing that you need to toss out all our patterned trousers but I am merely illustrating which if one is building a capsule closet would be the better investment for you in terms of the building blocks of your stylish closet.

So the next conundrum to deal with is what to do with the items which are no longer spark joy in your wardrobe.

  1. Broken or slightly damaged.
  2. Items still in great condition but no longer fit well or are appropriate in terms of your style.
  3. Those items which require some tailor’s attention – I know we all have those items lurking in the dark recesses of our closets.

So lets deal with the first item above namely the broken or slightly damaged items.  So my reasoning is that if it is a missing button which you have yet to repair then you no longer love said item and it goes in to the toss pile.  The same applies to those other slightly damaged items with a hole here or a loose hem there or a stain at the back.  Don’t hold onto them any longer – unless of course you are an art teacher where stained tee shirts come in real handy.  Get rid of them they are cluttering your closet and too a certain extent they are clouding your judgement.

If you indulge me here – you open your perfectly curated closet to see all your items beautifully and meticulously packed in color and by style. The immediate vision makes your heart sore and it lifts your spirit.  You are prompted to choose the best outfit of the day from those carefully curated items and the effect is that you are well dressed, which in turn means you will pay careful attention to your make up routine.  The nett result is that you leave house looking and feeling like a million dollars.  You are ready to take on an conquer the world and whatever it throws at you.

Alternative scenario here is that you open you cluttered, messy over stocked wardrobe and your heart sinks.  Your mind reels, you don’t know where to start or where anything is and you open and close closets convinced that someone must have moved that item which you were dead sure you left here.  But, the sad reality is you can’t recall exactly where you last put it or in fact when you last say that item.  Despite the fact that you woke up feeling revived and refreshed the sight of your disheveled closet starts attacking your energy levels.  As you waste time admonishing yourself for the fact that you can’t find anything to wear the march of time continues.  Before you know it half an hour has lapsed, you are feeling rather desperate, there is a large pile of clothes on the wardrobe floor.  You look at your watch and realize with horror that you are going to be late…very late.  At break neck speed you accept what you think is okay to wear to work, bolt through your make up routine and grab your child and rush out the front door.  Everything then has to happen quickly and your heart racing you rush to drop your child off and head to work praying you will arrive at your desk before lunch time.  You eventually arrive at work late, somewhat disheveled and feeling utterly low.  All this before you’ve event tackled any work.  That is no way to go about life so the answer to point number one is a resounding yes – toss it out.

The second pile that we need to deal with are those that no longer fit or are appropriate for you and simply do not spark any joy in your life.  If these items are still in really brilliant condition then I would suggest that you do any of the following:

You can give them to a friend or associate who you know would enjoy wearing them.  In turn you will feel great for your act of kindness.  In essence you  have paid it forward and the great item will (you hope) spark joy in the person’s life.

Alternatively you can hawk the item on any number of buy and sell websites which populate the internet.  Facebook, Gumtree or Craig’s list to name but a few platforms for selling  your item.  The item might be just outfit someone is looking for out there and voila – you have sold it and made some money.  Who doesn’t love money?

Thirdly you could donate it it a charity shop of which there are plenty.  Donating is known to lift a person’s mood and release the feel good factor in you.  I once took books and magazines to an old age home and as long as I life I will never forget the look on the elderly man’s face when I handed over some books to him.  He happened to be sitting on the patio at the entrance and I walked in with a box of books.  After enquiring as to who I was looking for I explained that I was there to drop of books.  Grinning from ear to ear he said you can leave them with me which I duly did.  He looked like the cat that got the cream and I left there feeling like Santa!  Fantastic feeling and one that I would highly recommend you to try.

For those items which require attention from the Tailor again here – if you haven’t attended to this by the time your purge – you were never going to friend.  Toss it out or give it to someone – i.e. pay it forward.  Don’t let these items drag down your aura and energy by leaving them in your closet to become moth balls eventually.

Marie Kondo advises in her book that you should arrange your closet like a store and this is genius because who doesn’t love the shops. The rows and rows of tantalising offerings just begging you to take them home with you.

Interesting thing another friend of mine does is that if you buy a new item you must purge another item which in essence will help to keep the wardrobe size compact and prevent it from straining under the weight of your reluctance to sort out your closet.

Either which way you elect to go – one thing seems certain and that is you will feel great, lighter and unburdened.  Instead of the dread of trying to find the perfect outfit when you open your perfectly curated closet you will marvel at the abundance of style it contains.  This will do wonders for your self confidence and energy.  Sometimes you actually need to take time for yourself to take care of yourself and I think that sorting out your closet would be a really massive start to this.

Good luck – purge forth –  fashionista’s.  In the words of Lady Gaga “You are beautiful”.







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