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Feel good every day.

Lots of women come to me saying that they love the idea of having a ‘capsule wardrobe’.

There’s something about this phrase that has captured hearts and minds ever since Trinny & Susannah started grabbing boobs in changing rooms, while doing their best to make women feel good about themselves (hindsight makes this seem like an odd concept for a TV show).

We imagine opening the wardrobe every morning to be greeted by a handful of beautifully cut, crisply-pressed clothes. Our purchasing self-control and restrain is obvious from the way that these few ‘perfect’ items are spaced out, with room to move in the breeze. Even though we’ve had lots of wear out of each and every one, they still retain that ‘special’ aura and none are stained, bobbly or out of shape.

This desire for a ‘capsule’ is part and parcel of the current minimalist movement. I think it’s great: only own what you truly need. But, Marie Kondo can keep trying to work her magic; reality is still light years from the ideal.

Most women tend to have strict categories of clothes and the items that are allocated to each category rarely move from one category to another category (NEVER cross the streams Ray).

The clothing hierarchy usually works like this:

  1. Very casual slobbing around at home clothes i.e. track suit bottoms.
  2. Scruffy jeans and t-shirts/jumpers/cardigans – used for gardening, cleaning and child rearing.
  3. Smarter (newer) jeans and more interesting tops.
  4. Smart black trousers or skirts and blouses or shirts (for work).
  5. Dresses and skirts to wear with heels for a night out.

While, personally, I love a rule. The problem with approaching wardrobe management like a 19th century botanist is that having all these different ‘species’ of clothes is in direct conflict with the desire to own a capsule wardrobe. There’s simply going to be TOO MUCH STUFF.

This classification system is particularly out of sync with real life because we tend to splurge on ‘occasionwear’ while scrimping on everyday stuff. This means that your most expensive items only get an outing once or twice a year. By the time you have managed to get these ‘holy grail’ items stained/bobbly etc., they are woefully out of date and you just don’t want to wear them anymore.

I challenge you to shake this up a bit.

I said I love a rule, and I do, but my rule is this: upgrade each category and start spending more on the everyday clothes that get worn more often.

This approach makes more sense on SO many levels. More expensive clothes wash better and stay nicer for longer, so wearing them often is not going to kill them stone dead.

Plus, and I know I’m getting technical, but, your average cost per wear will drop like Marie Kondo’s book off a cliff if you try wearing your most expensive clothes on a daily basis.

So, my five commandments (I tried to come up with another five to make the traditional ten, but word count limitations restrict me) are:

  • Chuck out your category 1 stuff (or just keep one pair of sweats if you must)
  • Wear your scruffy jeans and t-shirts for slobbing around at home
  • Wear your smarter jeans and more interesting tops every day
  • Don’t save best for best. Wear it for smart-casual or even casual-casual. Pretty dresses look great with trainers or cosy jumpers.
  • Get your money’s worth out of the special things and feel special more often.
  • If I were Jennifer Anniston, I’d throw in a little ‘because you’re worth it’ bit. But, I’m having trouble mentally getting there (bad hair day).

I’d love to know how you get on and what you think of my new world order. It’s your turn, leave me a comment below.

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