A Make Do Kind Of Capsule Wardrobe.


In my twenties I was seriously into clothes,

fast fashion was my middle name and I had cupboards and drawers spilling with denim, tulle and barely there outfits - which were dedicated to making me look as good, as I could look.

Fast forward to my thirties, where the last thing on my mind was my clothes and as a mother, just threw on whatever I could find. Baggy jumpers, worn jeans and flats became my staple and I was fine with that. I got rid of most of my clothes from my twenties and lived happily in my mum uniform, without giving it a second thought.

In my late thirties, chronic illness struck and I was forced against my will, into elasticised trousers and shapeless clothes. They were essential, as anything tight against my body just hurt. It was a hard time, feeling forced to wear something that I wouldn’t have otherwise chosen and a definite low point, in making me feel old before my time.

That was, of course, until the world saw the benefits of an elasticated waist. They started springing up all over the place, in differing shapes, colours, materials and styles. I wore my comfortable trousers with renewed vigour and finally felt able to donate most of the tight waistbands, that I could no longer wear. Around this time, I also happily found my new best friend - the dungaree.

As I enter my 40’s later this year, I am further down the minimalist and capsule wardrobe road, than I have ever been. And to be honest I feel okay about my wardrobe because although every item I own, doesn’t necessarily spark joy, everything I do have - I wear.

But can I tell you something? I do feel inferior that I don’t have the typically stylish capsule wardrobe, we have come to drool over and maybe even expect, from minimalists.

I hope to one day own my lust wish item - specifically a Baba chunky cardigan of dreams (swoon) But until then, my knitwear is very much well lived in high street and my dresses are too. And although I do still shop in some high street shops for my children, I have slight issues with my wardrobe, for doing the same.

Do I really want to talk about my capsule wardrobe, when it doesn’t meet certain expectations, of ethically sought out items or brilliantly styled clothes? Or did I want to be honest and show a woman and a mother, with constraints both physical and monetary - who is making do with what she has and the mistakes that she has made?

When I next need a knitted cardigan, I would hope that I can give my money, to a company that deserves it more, that the ones I have given to before. But until then, I’ve actually learnt, that the most ethical clothing, is the clothing that we already own.

So, I may not have the best wardrobe in the world for many reasons but I am wearing what I own with some sort of pride. Because I am neither buying new, nor replacing what I own before I have to. And that seems like the right sort of fit for me, for now.

Studies show that we wear 20% of our wardrobes, 80% of the time and that was definitely true for me. Currently, I live in cosy jumpers, elasticated trousers, skirts and dungarees and feel no shame in rewearing these items, multiple times a week.

And that isn’t because I’m a mum, or that I don’t have the time - it is because I have narrowed my wardrobe down to the 20% of what I wear and therefore, what I own.

So yes, from wearing down my wardrobe now, I hope to one day be running wild and free in the clothes from my lust list. Which I will hopefully be able to afford because I haven’t shopped in-between. But until then, you will have to take me as I am and I hope that that’s okay, elasticated trousers and all.