I’ve been capsule-wardrobing now since January. It was my first experience with the concept of the capsule – and it’s safe to say that it’s been educational! Here are five things I’ve learnt from the process over the past few months.
1. Capsuling is a state of mind
I initially thought it might be difficult to get into the swing of things. I’m not usually an impulse buyer, so the idea of mulling over each item you purchase and weighing up its value and purpose is not new to me. Nonetheless, the idea of committing to a set number of wardrobe pieces for a set amount of time was a little daunting at first. I found that you really have to get into a both pragmatic and minimalist (though I use this word with caution) state of mind for the capsule idea to work well for you – it’s like hypnotism, it won’t work unless you want it to!
Alright, I confess, the title of this post is a lie. There’s only so much ‘guiding’ you can do when you’ve visited a city for the first time and only for a long weekend at that. The post should really be called ‘Things I Did / Saw / Ate and Would Recommend You Do / See / Eat on an Extended Weekend in Lisbon’. But that would have been a mouthful.
What I can tell you is this – Lisbon is absolutely stunning. Its streets tell the story of Portugal’s decadent past, with now run-down renaissance buildings from the ‘Age of Discoveries’ mixed with the Pombaline architecture of the downtown area, which was re-built on a grid following an earthquake in 1755. The city is lively and colourful, with charming doorways, decorative tiles, (somewhat treacherous) cobbles and narrow streets winding across a hilly landscape. The hilliness of the city also means you get some pretty incredible views.
Having only recently entered into the world of working adults, I still frequently lament the sparsity of weekends and free time. And the sparser free time is, the lesser the opportunity to put to use the right-hand segment of my venn diagram – though not for lack of trying.
There are few things more satisfying than a versatile object. The more versatile the object, the better its use, the greater its value. You could probably say the same for people.
Remember that venn diagram in my last post? This is the middle part of it. There are seven pieces in my capsule wardrobe that I use as both work and play clothing. Highlights include a gorgeous dress from & Other Stories which I wear with a black top underneath at work to hide that it’s backless; a shirt dress from Topshop; an oversized shirt from Mango; and my trusty leather-lapelled Zara jacket. The other three pieces are more oversized shirts (my clothing pieces are versatile – I, clearly, am not), so I decided against boring you with photos of those.
Curating your capsule wardrobe is the ultimate planning exercise. You have to make an educated judgment as to how many clothes and which clothes you need for specific activities in your life, and then make your selection interesting enough that you won’t feel the desire to change it up after a couple of weeks. Part of this involves putting a large amount of trust in your ability to do your laundry on a regular enough basis that you can make do with the number of pieces that you’ve set yourself. That’s my biggest worry – the washing.
Fact: I have the most inconveniently shaped closet. It resembles a noodle that’s decided to point at you and has this incredible talent of rendering copious amounts of space more or less useless.
I mentioned last week that the Curated Theory would start with a curated [capsule] wardrobe. This involves compiling a perfectly curated set number of wardrobe pieces that will get you through a season. A season is three months long – in this case the wintery January to March. The idea is that at the start of every season you give your wardrobe a re-think, change a piece out here or there, but make no additions to or subtractions from it during the season itself. It’ll take your mind off your clothes and your hands out of your wallet. Or that’s the theory anyway.
The Theory: a curated, more intentional lifestyle is a more fulfilling, happier one.
It’s January 2016, and with January comes a plethora of new year’s resolutions, new ideas and new beginnings. For the past few months I’ve been infatuated with the (admittedly super hip/in/on-trend/cat’s pyjamas) idea of decluttering and minimising – and applying the wider philosophy of a more curated, intentional lifestyle. So, as much as I tried to talk myself out of blogging again (I’m grown up and serious now, surely?), this blog is here to document the process of moving towards a curated lifestyle. And seeing as January is usually followed by the rest of the year, when all resolutions/ideas/beginnings are forgotten, this blog is also here to keep me accountable.