Travelling to new adventures…

Friends

finally my vacation is here, actually when this post goes live I should have just landed.

Three weeks in Japan and I’m beyond excited.

This means there will be more silence on the blog, because that’s what simplifying is too: spending time offline.

If you are part of the A Hearty Matter Community, I have some goodies prepared for you, so look forward to those. If you want to receive the goodies too, just become a part of our community here.

Are you ready for some wanderlust? Then head over to Instagram, because I’ll share parts of my trip there and on Instagram Stories.

Take care and read you soon!

Why you need a core capsule wardrobe (and how to build it)

Ever since I started downsizing my closet and began my capsule wardrobe journey I wondered about this question: how often is often enough? How much wear do I need to get out of the items in my capsule wardrobe in order to justify having them in the capsule wardrobe? In this post I will share with you my thoughts on having a core capsule wardrobe, why I think having both a core capsule and a secondary or supporting capsule is necessary, and how to create a core capsule on your own.

What’s the core capsule wardrobe?

The core capsule are all those pieces that you feel like wearing all.the.time. The pieces that you always gravitate towards when they are fresh out of the laundry. The pieces that you instantly knew would be part of your capsule wardrobe because you love them so much. The core capsule comprises all those pieces that get the most wear during the time of your capsule wardrobe. Those are the pieces that you will see the highest return on investment when you choose good quality and take good care of them.

But what about those pieces that get very little wear during the time of your capsule wardrobe? Shouldn’t you have excluded them from your capsule wardrobe to begin with? How much wear do you need to get out of an item in order for the item to deserve a place in your capsule wardrobe?

How much wear is enough wear?

As pretty much always in life the answer is: it depends.

Not all items that don’t get a ton of wear are a waste in your capsule wardrobe. At the same time, if you don’t wear an item in your capsule wardrobe, that may well be an indicator that the item doesn’t bring you as much joy as you expected – either as a stand-alone or together with the other pieces in your capsule.

There is no clear-cut line, no “if you wear it less than 3 or 5 or 10 times, the garment shouldn’t be in your capsule”. Instead you need to do some digging and soul searching. Try to identify the problem. Why do you wear a certain item only a couple of times or not at all?

As a rule of thumb, if you don’t wear an item because you don’t feel 100% confident in it or because you aren’t satisfied with the look, because you feel self-conscious, or just blah, then that probably means the item – in it’s current form – shouldn’t be in your capsule wardrobe. This might mean that you’re better off letting the piece go – but it doesn’t have to. Maybe you can have it altered, maybe you need to play around with the garment some more and identify an outfit that you love to wear the piece with.

On the other hand, if you really, truly enjoy wearing an item, you just don’t gravitate towards it often – because of the pattern or the style – then in my opinion, you most likely are looking at an valuable capsule wardrobe extra.

Create a capsule wardrobe around a strong core. Why you need both core and supporting pieces and how to build your capsule wardrobe around a core capsule wardrobe. | aheartymatter.com

Why every capsule wardrobe needs extras

What is an extra? Just like in a book or movie, your capsule wardrobe needs supporting actors and extras, in addition to its fabulous leads. Let’s spin this metaphore further: Depending on the plot, extras can take an important role in moving the story along. They may be crucial for highlighting the evolution a lead character goes through, they may be the force behind that change, or they may simply serve a distinct purpose in the narrative (think of the court jester in a Shakespeare play whose main function is to bring comic relief in the unfolding tragedy).

This is exactly what the extras in your wardrobe, your supporting capsule wardrobe, does. It infuses your closet with a different vibe, it complements the core capsule, or it simply increases the functionality of your closet for specific events.

How to build a core capsule wardrobe

Here are three strategies to builing a core capsule wardrobe. These strategies aren’t mutually exclusive, in fact you could apply at least of them at the same time to create your core capsule.

Strategy 1: Rely on basics

This strategy is as straightforward as it sounds. You rely on basic pieces, most likely in neutral colors (unless vibrant colors are your thing). These basics are highly versatile and designed to give you a lot of wear. For those reasons they are the perfect building blocks for your core capsule. You stick with the basics for your core capsule, and build more outstanding, extravagant pieces around as extras.

 Build your core capsule wardrobe on basics, on your uniform, or on an outstanding piece. | aheartymatter.com

Strategy 2: Create a uniform

If you enjoy the idea of uniform dressing, create your uniform first (here’s how!) and use the items of your uniform as your core capsule. For me, both my button ups and my jeans/ grey skirt make up my core capsule. This is a super-easy way to build your capsule wardrobe and you kill two birds with one stone: nail your uniform and your capsule wardrobe.

button-ups-uniform-dressing-capsule

Strategy 3: One central piece

To me this is an advanced strategy, but one that sounds incredibly powerful. Build your core capsule around one central piece, like a dress or a statement pant that you adore and that you can build several outfits around. For instance, a dress could be worn on its own, with tights/leggings, with pants, as a skirt, maybe even as a top. This strategy mirrors strategy 1, where you rely on basics, in that you rely on your stand-out, hero pieces as the pivot for your capsule wardrobe.

No matter what strategy, or combination of strategies you follow, your capsule wardrobe is the place to be intentional about what to include. Look for quality items – and that doesn’t mean you need to spend a fortunethose will give you a lot of wear and a lot of joy.

What’s part of your core capsule wardrobe?

How do you decide whether an item of your capsule was superfluous?

And thanks for sticking till the end, even after my little literary discourse… 😉

Kate

Kate is a capsule wardrobe and uniform dressing enthusiast who encourages busy women to embrace a smaller wardrobe and a more intentional lifestyle.
Kate continues to work on simplifying her life – freeing up time and energy on those things in life that are most important to her.

Spring/Summer Capsule Wardrobe 2016: 4 months in and what’s to come?

In this post I will share with you how my spring/summer capsule wardrobe has worked for me and what my plans are for fall and winter.

Hi everyone! It feels good to be back. This has been a long break. If you are part of the A Hearty Matter Community (join here!) you have received a few updates in the meantime and know more about the back story. Of course I will share more on here in the future as well. But for now, let’s talk fashion! More specifically, let’s talk capsule wardrobe. I cannot believe I am 4 months into my spring and summer capsule wardrobe already. Time has flown by and in a month I will switch over to my travel capsule. In this post I will share with you how my spring/summer capsule wardrobe has worked for me and what my plans are for fall and winter.

My capsule wardrobe setup

Before we dive right in, here’s a little recap on the setup I follow with my capsule wardrobes. Ever since I started my capsule wardrobe journey I have made my own rules. My rules are inspired by Courtney Carver’s Project 333 rules, but I chose to adapt them to my lifestyle and needs. In a nutshell my rules are (check out my spring/summer capsule reveal for more information):

Time span. I create my capsule for 6 months instead of the typical 3 months, so my spring and summer capsule wardrobe lasts from April to September.

Swapping. While I love the idea of not shopping during the capsule, I find it stressful having to find all the right pieces for a capsule before it starts, especially since my capsule runs for 6 months. I prefer to take my time when I add pieces to my wardrobe, so I allow for adding pieces to my wardrobe or rotating them out.

Item count. I don’t shoot for a magic number, but I do want my wardrobe to stay below 40 items. My spring/ summer wardrobe contained 30 pieces at the start.

In this post I will share with you how my spring/summer capsule wardrobe has worked for me and what my plans are for fall and winter. | aheartymatter.com

Expectations about my spring & summer capsule

I was curious to see how my spring/ summer capsule would go for several reasons. I had loved my fall/winter capsule and I felt that it was a very successful one, mainly because I had embraced uniform dressing (start uniform dressing yourself here!). I was also curious to see how my uniform would translate into warmer weather. I included a total of 6 button ups, but I was unsure whether that would work out the way I planned. Would my uniform of jeans and button up translate into hotter weather? Honestly, I was also curious how I would do with summer clothes. I love to get dressed for fall, I love to work with layers. However, hot summer means no layers. In the past I’ve felt uncomfortable in summer outfits that consisted of only a dress…because I felt like the majority of the outfit was still missing. I was curious to see whether my summer capsule wardrobe would leave me more satisfied with summer fashion than my previous overflowing closet.

How did it go?

Overall, my capsule went really well so far. There were a few bumps in the road in the beginning, with very unseasonal snow in April that required me to temporarily bust out my Chelsea boots and down jacket again. But overall I feel like my capsule worked well for me. I am satisfied with what I wear on a daily basis and I still enjoy that I don’t have too many options in my closet. However, when you look at my capsule more objectively, there have been quite a few changes.

Changes in my capsule wardrobe

During the last 4 months I made quite a few changes to my capsule wardrobe. These are the changes compared to the original capsule:

Out: 1 blue button up shirt (stained), the khaki skirt, and both summer dresses I originally included in the capsule.

In: 4 white button up shirts, silver Birks,one navy sleeveless shirt dress, one navy maxi dress

In this post I will share with you how my spring/summer capsule wardrobe has worked for me and what my plans are for fall and winter. | aheartymatter.com

There have definitely been a few changes as you can see. So what’s going on there? The button ups are essential for my uniform and I was able to make them work during the summer. In fact, I kept wearing my uniform a lot more than I anticipated – my Instagram, where I typically share my daily outfits, has been full of my button ups. The khaki skirt just wasn’t a great fit anymore. I bought it last year, a few months postpartum, and I have since lost a few more kilo. The skirt just looked too bulky on me now. I thought I could make it work, but I had to realize that it gives me a silhouette I don’t fancy on me. The dress-situation can be summed up with: no longer my style. The khaki dress is an old favorite, I bought it over 5 years ago and I used to love to wear it. But this year, despite my expectations, I just couldn’t get it to work. It just never felt like me. Instead I added two navy dresses that I absolutely love to wear. If you’re into the numbers, my capsule now contains 33 pieces.

Less is more…except when it’s not.

I wholeheartedly agree with the saying that less is more. I love wearing a uniform and I do believe that reducing the number of items in your closet is the way for more satisfaction and ease. In fact, I think it’s the only way to go if you want to achieve that effortless look we all crave.

In this post I will share with you how my spring/summer capsule wardrobe has worked for me and what my plans are for fall and winter. Learn more how I made my uniform work in my spring and summer capsule. | aheartymatter.com

But I’ve come to the conclusion that there is a but attached to this: For practicality reasons, it may be better to have more. Let me explain. I wear button up shirts. Like a lot – again, if you follow my instagram, that sentence probably made you laugh out loud. I added one white shirt to my capsule early on, but I realized after 3 months that this was not enough. I don’t like to do a load of shirt laundry every weekend, I just don’t. So I took a note from my husband’s book who owns a whopping 30 shirts – and added 3 more button ups to my wardrobe. For fall and winter, I am actually considering adding a few more, but I’m still in the process of brainstorming (join me over at Pinterest).

Does this mean the end of my capsule wardrobes?

While I have changed my capsule quite a bit, in my head I am still following a capsule wardrobe…and I will continue to do so. Capsule wardrobes are a way to limit your closet, and I think they are a very useful tool. I also think a capsule is great for learning more about your style and for maintaining a lean closet. If you’re being strict, I never followed a capsule in the sense that most people invoke: I didn’t have 33 (or 37) pieces and I didn’t have only those for 3 months and I did shop in the meantime. Personally, that never appealed to me. What does appeal to me is that my 6 month capsule wardrobe gives me a frame. While I am enamored with the recent transitions out of the capsule system by my blogging friends, especially Paige and Andrea, I know that for me the capsule wardrobe is still incredibly valuable – with my own rules.

My capsule wardrobe gives me a frame and a to do list built-in. I know that I have to think about what I want to wear for 6 months, and I need to think about my wish list, what I want to add, what I need to add, etc. The capsule wardrobe concept appeals to me because it allows me to make decisions once, and then I don’t have to decide anymore… or rather only from the limited array of clothes. To me that’s freedom. In my experience that limitation is incredibly liberating.

The freedom of having a capsule wardrobe

I think stopping the capsule wardrobe would burden me with more decisions, exactly those decisions that I wanted to get rid off in the first place. Can I buy one more skirt for summer? Oh this knit is on sale, I’m surely going to wear it in the fall. Does this count? With a capsule wardrobe, even with my arguably more lenient rules, I have a filter for these decisions.

I like to think of a capsule wardrobe as an organic construct. It gives you restrictions, it sets boundaries and allows you to simply your decisions. | aheartymatter.com

I like to think of a capsule wardrobe as an organic construct. It gives you restrictions, it sets boundaries and allows you to simply your decisions. But it my opinion, it’s still a tool that is supposed to help us and for being helpful it needs to allow for change. This is why I always left an option for item swapping and adding new pieces. Not for mindless shopping and diluting the clarity of my wardrobe, but for a limited number of purchases that add value and better reflect my needs or my personality.

I wholeheartedly believe that the capsule wardrobe is a powerful tool. You make decisions once and ahead of time (by defining and creating your capsule). Personally, I am easily overwhelmed by too many options. Analysis paralysis has struck me more than once. The capsule wardrobe gives me a frame that does exactly what I want: it reduces the number of decisions I have to make. I feel so much more energized when I leave the house in the morning, because I didn’t spend several minutes in front of the closet trying to figure out what I want to wear. Decision exhaustion is real. Save your strength for those decisions that matter to your life, your kids, your job, your health (yes, taking the healthy option when the cakes are in plain sight requires will power) – don’t waste it on your clothes.

Are you following a capsule wardrobe? How’s it going?

Are you considering trying a capsule wardrobe? What appeals most to you about it?

Kate

Kate is a capsule wardrobe and uniform dressing enthusiast who encourages busy women to embrace a smaller wardrobe and a more intentional lifestyle.
Kate continues to work on simplifying her life – freeing up time and energy on those things in life that are most important to her.