/ 04 January 2016 / Leave a comment
WINTER CAPSULE WARDROBE FOUNDATION
It's that time again to share my winter wardrobe with you - and this time things are a little different. These past few months I've been living without a capsule wardrobe per se. I wanted to let go of the rules and see how things turn out. The original capsule wardrobe concept is really fun, but I don't see it as something that is fully sustainable. It is an amazing experience, a great challenge and a valuable learning opportunity and I will always advocate for it, but there comes a time, maybe 3, 4, 5 or 6 capsules in, that you realise this is not something you can do forever. To be quite blunt, it kind of becomes a bore. Been there, done that type thing. But that's fine! You take what you've learnt, you appreciate the process and you figure out what's next.
After last summer, I was going through a life transition and didn't have the time, the budget or the motivation to plan for a new capsule. It was time to figure out what my next step would be. I considered the one in one out approach, 5 piece French wardrobe, a whole lot of other things. And in the end I got it: A Foundation Wardrobe. Or, a Capsule Wardrobe Foundation. The concept is simple: You have a smaller number of foundation items, like 20, and you have a few other pieces, Extras, to jazz it up a little. You don't have to keep a hard count for those.
"A Foundation Wardrobe is full of pieces that are so much your style, they'd be the first you'd grab if you only had 5 minutes to pack a bag."
It's pieces you love and wear so much it becomes a bit awkward (just for you, because nobody else cares that you wore that same sweater just 2 days ago). It's cuts and colours you look good in and that are on point with your personal style. It can be basics and it can be that printed top you wear with all your trousers or that colourful aztec cardigan that makes you smile. For your foundation, pick whatever you love. Not like, love. The only catch is that it all has to match, more or less. The beauty in building a foundation is that it doesn't take much time or thinking. You already know what you love from your wardrobe, duh, so just lay it on your bed and play around a bit, till you have a solid base. After that come the other pieces, I call them the Extras.
"Extras are the added wardrobe value - without them you can still put together outfits, but these guys make it a lot more fun."
They're the inspiration station. Imagine things like fun trends you want to try, statement pieces, extremely seasonal items that don't belong in the foundation and accessories. They compliment your style and they are there to make getting dressed fun. In the winter it will be a Christmas jumper, while in the summer it will be a bright pink pair of sandals. Whatever floats your boat.
Dividing the wardrobe into these two categories makes it a lot easier for me. I can shop if I feel like it (and nowadays I feel like it less and less). I can add things to the Extras and wear them with my Foundation. If I stumble upon something I love, I will add it to the Foundation. 20 or 21 pieces, there's not really a difference. Of course, a Foundation Wardrobe has seasonal pieces that you'll swap out once it gets warmer/colder, like sweater for a tank top and vice versa, but at least half of the pieces should be there to stay. (So choose wisely!). Fyi, I'm still working with uniforms, style and colour palettes, which thanks to the capsule wardrobe became so natural to me I don't have to think about them anymore.
"Foundation pieces don't have to be neutral coloured. You can go colourful, just set a colour palette and stick to it. And you can always add colour with the Extras."
So why am I doing this? During my time off I found that I need some guidance, set some rules to keep myself in check. To keep myself accountable. It's not totally dissimilar to the original capsule wardrobe, but it's different enough to motivate me to keep going. It's a more easy going, because I want to teach myself not to need any rules in the future. Like I taught myself to think uniforms and style. I'm still giving myself a shopping limit so as not to go clothes-crazy: 10 items per season. May sound like a lot but I'm counting in accessories like scarves and handbags too and I have my fingers crossed I won't need the whole "allowance." When I'm in the fitting room trying on a cute t-shirt, I ask myself if I really need it and the answer is usually no. Yes it's lovely and it has cats on it, but I can tell it's not me. I'd like to graduate to this stage with everything else too. But we have to take it slow.
If you got through all of it, thank you very much for reading, truly. What do you think about this approach? Would you consider trying it out? Or are you a die hard capsule wardrobe fan? Let's chat in the comments!
*See my winter Extras here.