I’ve still got some bits to sell, and even more that I should be getting rid of really, if only I could just bring myself to do it. I live in a pretty small city terrace, and dealing with the relentless onslaught of my own wardrobe feels a little draining.
Sometimes it feels like there are clothes EVERYWHERE. I wash them, they need putting away, there is no space in my wardrobe and drawers. They are sitting on the couch in the spare room, on top of the blanket box in my bedroom, over dryers, in a dresser, in boxes in a cupboard and hanging on the back of my bedroom door. There’s glamorous cocktail frocks, summer dresses, sports wear and pyjamas. It’s the most first world, fashion blogger problem I’ll ever face. Don’t you pity me?
Sometimes, when I’m battling against a seemingly endless pile of clothes with nowhere to go I find myself strangely drawn to the idea of a capsule wardrobe.
You know, one of those wardrobes where you have 4 pairs of trousers, 3 skirts and a selection of tops all in the same colour palette, a few fancy bits for special occasions and everything goes with everything else.
A slightly more advanced version of Mark Zuckerberg and his wardrobe full of grey t-shirts.
Then I remember why that story where Mark Zuckerberg was faintly dismissive of the frivolity of choosing what to wear made me so angry.
The fact is that sprawling mass of mismatched clothes is ME. My wardrobe is a material extension of me. I like a bit of organised chaos, and I don’t want getting dressed in the morning to be too easy because then I wouldn’t need to be creative. Sure, I have some core outfits that I reach for when it’s 5am and I have to go somewhere and look presentable, but most of the time I don’t think that choosing what to wear is an activity that saps my creativity and removes my energies from what’s important.
Creativity needs to be exercised like a muscle, and picking something new to wear, or a new accessory to put with a favourite dress, is a tiny little exercise in creativity. It’s not wasted. That’s not creativity I can’t use on something more important, it’s practice.
My wardrobe features simple black dresses, wide leg trousers, hues of beige, brown, green, red and yellow, comic book prints and polka dots and how I put them together each morning when I get dressed represents my mood and who I am that day. If I’m going to a meeting and I’m feeling serious and go-getting I might feel like a bit of Power Bitch dressing and wear a tailored jacket and a pencil skirt. If I’m going out for a picnic I might want gingham and florals. I might want to mix stripes and checks because I saw someone do it on Pinterest, or wear blue and green together, even though apparently they should never be seen.
A capsule wardrobe might suit some people, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the idea in general. There are even occasions in life where one is essential. When packing to go on holiday the ability to make the most of limited space and create a small capsule wardrobe from what I already have is a must, but even for a week away it can start to feel dull.
I can see the benefits of getting up each morning and grabbing any skirt and top from your wardrobe and knowing they will match perfectly with any pair of shoes, and any handbag, and that you will look perfectly chic and put together. On days where I wish I was a chic and put together person that would be wonderful, but what about those days where I want to be rock ‘n’ roll, or twee and girly, or a bit sporty? For someone who treats their wardrobe like a big dressing up box a capsule wardrobe is just too stifling and restrictive.
So I’m learning to celebrate the organised chaos that is my wardrobe. I enjoy the creative process of choosing what to wear, and deciding which one of the many different versions of me I will be today. Because dressing yourself isn’t a frivolous waste of mental energy, it’s a creative exercise in self expression and if you don’t have the mental energy to make important decisions AND pick what colour tie to wear today then perhaps a little more practice is exactly what you need.
Still, I should probably keep up with that clear out…..