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In Search of the Perfect Capsule Wardrobe

If I had a pound for every time I opened my wardrobe and felt like I had nothing to wear, I’d have enough money to buy a whole new wardrobe (well, almost). But on closer inspection, my wardrobe is full of options. What about that knit jumper- when I bought it, I thought it would go with everything. Or that striped shirt- surely that’s a versatile classic? So why do I never wear either of these, and a whole host of other clothes besides? It’s because they seem stale, boring. I buy something, and within months, it loses its charm. There are only a few items that I consistently turn to and have been wearing for years.

A growing trend suggests that maybe a capsule wardrobe is the way to go. A capsule wardrobe consists of a small selection of key pieces, that can be interchanged to create a variety of outfits. Long story short, for me, that means a serious downsize. But perhaps a capsule wardrobe is not without its advantages, no matter how difficult it may be to let go of some prized items.

Photo: Flickr

With so many international students at St Andrews, I cannot be alone in the termly struggle that is transporting my clothes from place to place. At the end of the summer, I was faced with a full wardrobe and one empty suitcase- it was a no brainer, it wasn’t all going to fit. Despondently, I began to sort through my clothes- did I really need that extra jumper? Would I wear those boots enough? Slowly but surely, the weight of my suitcase decreased. And when I unpacked in St Andrews, I felt a lot better about it. I didn’t miss many of the clothes I’d left behind. Maybe this condensed wardrobe really was all I needed.

So here’s my plan for the coming year. I want to reduce the size of my wardrobe even further, so that I consistently wear a small selection of key, stand-out pieces, rather than leaving half my clothes dusty and unworn. I’m hoping that this will not only have considerable advantages for my student budget (no more hurried H&M trips), but that if I do buy clothes, I will be investing in pieces that I know I’ll wear time and time again. So if, like me, your wardrobe is in need of a refresh, perhaps it’s time for a clear-out. Let’s end the ‘I have nothing to wear’ once and for all. Maybe a capsule wardrobe is the way forward.

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