Capsule Wardrobe

Capsule Wardrobe Challenge: Step 2 – Defining My Style (Part A)

You’d have reason to think that, after doing the wardrobe edit, that I’d be left with enough clothes that would suffice as a capsule wardrobe.

Oh no, my friends, as the number of clothes I currently have will be pared down even further to a smaller number of items that will constitute as my capsule wardrobe for 3 months.

*gulp* What have I signed up for?

But this is a challenge and challenges are meant to be slayed. The next step in the capsule wardrobe preparation is defining my style, which I’ll be talking about in two parts. Part A involves having a look at my lifestyle and what pieces of clothing/items I rely on for my lifestyle activities.

I’ve written about this in detail over at the blog, but I’ll describe it here too. Start by drawing up a table of the different things you do in a typical week – include things like work, going out shopping, cheeky after work drinks with friends, playgroups if you’re a mum of little ones, extracurricular activities if you’re a mum of older kids, etc… Note that this table should only include activities which require you to make an effort to get dressed and go out of the house. Cleaning the house, blogging, mindlessly going down the Instagram rabbit hole doesn’t count. The table should also include the number of hours you spend per week on each activity, how you would describe your outfit for each activity, and your favourite or go-to items for each activity.

What this table does is give you a clear picture of the activities you need to plan outfits for. It also starts giving you an idea of what “style words” you resonate with, eg casual, chic, stylish, professional, classic, which will help when you start thinking of the items to add to your capsule wardrobe. And indeed, from the “favourite/go-to outfit” column you can already see what clothes you should include.

Below I’ve outlined what I get up to in my week.

Activity Number of hours/week Describe your outfit Favourite/go-to oufit
Work (including 1 hour of commute each way) 20 Smart casual, polished, yet comfortable (for long periods of standing) Black slim leg pants, gingham blouse, black flats, black carry-all
Shopping 6 Easy to walk in, smart casual Jeans, striped shirt, flat shoes, crossbody bag
Playdates and playgroup 5 Comfortable, machine washable, easy to run after kids, no ironing Jeans, tank top or t-shirt, sneakers, backpack
Park visits 4-5 As for playdates As for playdates
Catch ups with friends 5 Dressy casual Loose fit pants, blouse, heeled sandals or booties, handbag
Ballet lessons, swimming lessons 4 Casual, comfortable Denim shorts, t-shirt, Birkenstocks, tote bag

This is based on me being working part-time and the rest of the time being a SAHM. You can see from the table I don’t get out of the house very often :-/ The joy of having two kids whose naptimes aren’t in sync.

What this table tells me is that I prefer comfort and casual – clothes that allow me to keep moving and going, both in my work and when I’m out with the kids. In the “Favourite outfits” column, I also have a pretty good idea of the essential items to include in my capsule wardrobe once I start choosing the clothes.

This is also pretty obvious in my Instagram feed – you’ll see I wear a lot of jeans, shorts, t-shirts and sneakers.

Do you see a theme emerging? 😛

You’ll be doing this table every time you plan your next capsule wardrobe – some of the activities may not change, but depending on the season you may have more or less activities to add, and the favourite/go-to outfits will change as the seasons change.

Hope this helps you out as you start to define your style! If you have any questions about this step, drop me an email or leave a comment below!

Next week I’ll talk about Part B of defining your style – who inspires you, where to get outfit inspiration from, and the colours of your wardrobe. Be sure to check back then!

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