Two girls, two wardrobes, 1 capsule, 1 not: Follow the journey
The capsule wardrobe - a collection of clothes that includes a limited number of versatile pieces to wear for a season- has become extremely popular among those opting for a more minimal, simple and sustainable lifestyle. It rose to fame after Caroline Rector started documenting her capsule journey on her blog, Unfancy, in 2014 and has remained on the scene ever since.
Recently, there has been much debate among eco- fashion bloggers about the need for a capsule wardrobe. Is it a must for those opting for a conscious lifestyle? Or can conscious consumerism be achieved without it?
Over the next few weeks, we’re following two eco- fashion bloggers; Hanna, editor of this very site, Flor + Cesta, and Laura from The Green Edition, as they take on the challenge to switch wardrobe choices. Laura has been the proud owner of a capsule wardrobe for over a year now and Hanna has never considered it. Laura will be setting herself free for the holiday season and Hanna will be making the switch to a capsule wardrobe.
Before they start their challenge, we caught up with them to find out why they made their wardrobe choices.
Why I don’t have a capsule wardrobe
By Hanna Pumfrey, Flor + Cesta
I don’t have a capsule wardrobe and I can’t imagine I ever will. Why? Anxiety. The idea of a capsule wardrobe gives me anxiety.
I imagine the feeling I get when I think about a capsule wardrobe to be akin to the feeling a claustrophobic suffers when the lift grinds to a halt and you realise the doors won’t open. You’re trapped.
I understand the capsule wardrobe, and I admire those who have one. And quite honestly, the number of minutes I spend each morning standing in my towel staring at said non- capsule wardrobe and its inhabitants I would probably do well to have one. Oh, the number of hours I could probably reclaim!
However, for me, my wardrobe is an important symbol of my freedom and my beliefs. We are already so constrained in many areas of our lives; often in our work, our lack of free time to pursue the things we love, that this is a freedom, an opportunity for expression that I would be loath to give up.
If I want to wear all black one week to express my sentiment towards something that has happened in the world then I will. Or, if I want to mix bright, bright colours, layering summer items with winter items, to create a new look then I will. My wardrobe features simple (corporate) black dresses, wide leg trousers, hues of blue, green, red and yellow, crochet t-shirts, boho dresses and crazy prints. How I put them together each morning when I get dressed represents my mood and my intention that day. I use my wardrobe as a conversation starter, as a tool of expression and, as a vehicle for change.
That doesn’t mean to say I am out there making willy- nilly purchases and have a wardrobe that overflows with unnecessary and unthoughtful purchases. Quite the opposite. I’m a firm believer in shopping consciously. I don’t just mean buying clothes that are ethically made or eco-friendly (something that is hugely important to me), but also planning before you shop.
I do not subscribe to trends. I believe in timeless purchases that you will love for years to come. In investing and re-wearing, re-wearing and re-wearing again. But how I wear the item, this will change continuously, not seasonally.
BUT I’m always up for a challenge and I am a firm believer in not judging something before you’ve tried it so, bring on the capsule wardrobe challenge! 2 weeks, party season (only 3 Christmas parties to attend over the two weeks), we’ll see how we get on.
Laura? How many items am I allowed? Do I have to capsulise my bags as well?? What about underwear? Does that count? My coat? What if I decide I need my strapless bra last minute for one of my Christmas parties? And shoes??? How does the shoe bit work? So many things to think about! I told you… anxiety inducing!
Why I have a capsule wardrobe
By Laura Cooper, The Green Edition
I love my capsule wardrobe.
I started capsuling in Autumn last year - the point was to simplify, find my true style and curate a wardrobe I really loved. I was interested in the idea after becoming more aware of the problems caused by the fast fashion industry.
I have donated around half my clothes since I started. If they don’t fit or I don’t wear them, they don’t make the cut. I store my out of season pieces in a suitcase – no fighting to get past my winter coats all summer! I buy a few new pieces every season, to keep it fresh and up to date.
I feel like I’ve finally found my style. I dress better now and I dress for my lifestyle. I am constantly inspired to wear my clothes in different ways; I treat it like a game. ‘How many different ways can I wear one cashmere sweater?’ (I think five is the latest count.)
Gone are the days when I make impulse purchases. If I’m feeling bored or upset, there is no urge to go shopping to cope with it. It is so much easier to shop more consciously and mindfully.
I spend less time shopping, doing laundry, getting dressed in the morning and in the evening. No longer am I crying in the bedroom with nothing to wear, while staring at a huge wardrobe of clothes!
I do not feel restricted in the slightest. I’m not sitting pining for the clothes I can’t wear. When my clothes are stored away, I generally don’t think about them. Every morning, it takes no time at all to pick out an outfit that I adore and feel good in.
The capsule wardrobe really comes into its own when I’m travelling. For someone who likes to travel often, it is brilliant being able to pack in less than half an hour and know that all my clothes will look good together.
Each season I look forward to sorting my clothes, it feels like meeting old friends again. I keep around 35 pieces in each capsule, I’m not strict with the exact number. Bags, underwear, accessories, sportswear or loungewear are not included although I generally try to keep them to a minimum. I’ve started to include shoes, I just take out all my shoes that are suitable for the season ahead.
I can’t imagine ever giving up the capsule wardrobe idea. But I am also up for a challenge Hanna!
Two weeks of living with all my clothes back in my wardrobe? I feel anxious even thinking about it! I’ve become used to the order and rules of the capsule. I’m not sure I want to see my summer clothes while getting ready for Christmas parties or trying to find a cosy knit to wear. What if my bad shopping habits creep in again? Or if I never make it to the Christmas party because I can’t choose what to wear?! For two weeks only, I will give it a go!
Follow the girls on Instagram as they undertake their wardrobe switch challenge @florandcesta and @thegreenedition.