You’ve probably read about decision fatigue in the media. In essence, it means that the quality of your decision making ability deteriorates the more decisions you have to make. One of the ways to manage decision fatigue is to reduce decision making in less important areas of your life. Many people choose their wardrobe as once such area. High profile people such as Steve Jobs, Barak Obama and Mark Zuckerberg have all been noted for choosing to wear a ‘uniform’ of sorts, thus eliminating some decision making from their life. While I’m not suggesting you need to buy 7 identical shirts, pants and jackets and call it a day, I would suggest that a capsule wardrobe can help reduce decision fatigue, improve your mood and remove those ‘I have nothing to wear’ (while standing in front of a bursting wardrobe) moments. I have recently adopted a capsule wardrobe approach to my clothes and have been loving the difference it has made to my busy life as mom to two littles!
Step One: Purge!
Take a good look at your wardrobe and purge all those pieces that you don’t wear any more. Be honest and ruthless. If you don’t reach for it, then pass it on to a charity shop, where someone else who might love it has the chance to find it.
Step Two: Evaluate Your Favourites
Once you’re left with a wardrobe with only items you truly love and feel happy and comfortable wearing, have a closer look at those items. Are there any trends? Do you tend to go to reach for natural fabrics more often (this was a discovery I made about my own dressing habits!). Do you tend to favour particular colours? Or particular cuts? Even particular brands?
Step Three: Audit Your Lifestyle
Next look at your lifestyle and be honest about what kinds of clothes you wear. Are you in a corporate office 5 out of 7 days a week? Then you probably need several corporate wear pieces and probably do not need 19 pairs of jeans. Or do you spend most of your time working from home? What kind of clothes do you wear when working? If it’s loungewear then you probably need a few different options there. Or if you spend your days running after kids, figure out what clothes you enjoy wearing most, and see if you have enough of them.
Step Four: Identify Your Style
Once you’ve a handle on step two (why your favourite clothes are your favourites) and step three (your lifestyle) you can figure out a style that works for you. For me I work 4 days a week in a corporate environment (or at least I will when I head back to work next month!) and for that I prefer tailored pieces so a couple of skirt suits and pencil skirts with silk blouses work perfectly. For the other 3 days I’m with the kids and my husband so relaxed fit jeans and 3/4 length scoop neck tops are my uniform. Evenings see me in comfy jumpers and loose fit jersey trousers. I also favour blues and greens – a groundbreaking colour palette for a redhead I know!
Step Five: Wear What You Have
Before going on a shopping binge to fill up the ‘holes’ you think you have. Wear what you have for a few weeks and see how you feel. You will probably realise you don’t need as many clothes as you think, and yes, you may see some gaps in your wardrobe. I have actually been using the Stylebook app for the last while and it has helped me see very clearly what clothes I reach for again and again and what combinations of clothes I wear most often. It’s helped me see patterns and it’s how I came to realise that fabric is key for me when choosing what to wear. The app also lets you see your ‘cost per wear’ for items which is a fantastic feature and I love challenging myself to get a certain number of pieces into the ‘less than a cup of coffee’ bracket before I purchase anything new.
Step Six: Easy Living!
Once you have a capsule wardrobe that fits your lifestyle you will find getting dressed effortless! I now have far less clothes (literally bags and bags went to the charity shop) but I no longer suffer from the ‘I don’t have anything to wear’ moments. I know what suits me and what I enjoy wearing. Having a smaller, harder working wardrobe that revolves around a colour palette has been amazing for me as a busy mom and is something I would highly recommend!
Let me know in the comments if you follow a capsule wardrobe and how you find it!