7 Steps To Starting A Capsule Wardrobe on A Budget

Closet

I really like the idea of a capsule wardrobe, as it perfectly encapsulates the wardrobe philosophy I’ve had my whole life. Buying less clothing with the intent to wear it often just seems to make so much more sense to me than having a tonne of trendy items you’ll wear once. I also like having a smaller, more edited closet, as it makes it easier to get dressed in the mornings. So the whole capsule wardrobe trends makes me one happy chappy!

But the only thing that bugs me is that so many bloggers seem to promote this as justification for making crazy expensive designer purchases. Obviously that is their perogative and I do appreciate looking at a pretty designer bag, but it needs to be said that you can create a perfect capsule wardrobe on any budget. So if you’ve never done a capsule wardrobe or are just interested to see how I do mine on a strict budget, find out below.

  1. Seasonality

I know a lot of of your capsule wardrobe guides will tell you start each season off by stowing the previous season’s wardrobe and replacing it with the current season’s wardrobe, but that doesn’t make much sense to me as Cape Town’s autumn is pretty erratic – yesterday it was ice cold and rainy and today it is basically summer.

So a typical autumnal wardrobe wouldn’t work for me. I basically organise my wardrobe into three sections – cold wear (coats and boots), hot weather items (sandals and sun dresses) and inbetween items(cardigans and jeans). This gives me the most options as I can transition pieces. Like for instance, right now I still use pieces from my summer wardrobe, but I’ll add a cardigan. It allows me to really get the most out of my wardrobe.

Unfortunately seasons aren’t as predictable as we’d like, so just ensuring you’re covering all the possibilities could help.

Jumpers Hanging

2. Taking stock

So right now, in autumn, I’m looking for cold weather wear and inbetween pieces. So I’ll take out things I likely won’t be wearing any time soon (shorts, bathing suits, etc) and move them to the spare bedroom. It isn’t time to move my coats into my closet just yet, but it is worth noting if I’d like to replace one of them as shops are already selling them.

Then I start making piles of my autumn/winter clothes – bottoms (jeans, pants, skirts), t-shirts, blouses, cardigans, jumpers, jackets and shoes. As I work in a fairly informal environment, so I can get away with wearing jeans and flats on most days. So separating my work wardrobe from my weekend wardrobe isn’t as important for me, but if your workwear is more formal this might be a necessary step for you.

Going through one stack at a time, put aside items you want to donate and make notes of things you’d like to replace.

I don’t subsribe to having any specific number of pieces in your capsule wardobe, but the number 37 has been thrown around a lot. I’d say if you can cover all your day-to-day situations with your wardrobe and have enough pieces to last you for at least a week or week-and-a-half’s wears you should be fine.

 

3. Budget

Now that you have a rough idea of what you need, its time to take a look at your finances and set yourself a realistic budget. We make a yearly clothing budget, which we roughly split in half and try not to exceed in the first six months. You could be more specific, setting yourself a monthly budget or whatever works best for you.

I just like the idea of not restricting your shopping to a specific time frame, as it might result in impulse purchases or ones you’re not 100% satisfied with. I also find that it’s best to shop your basics at the beginning of a new season, as that is when you’re the most likely to find your preferred colour and size in stock.

Blouses Hanging

4. Identify your colour palette

There is no shame in it, 80% of my closet is black and grey. When I do add some colour though, I gravite towards blush pinks, coral reds and army green. Noticing a trend like this in your wardobe can help you quickly asses whether a new colour would work with your existing wardrobe.

5. Make lists

Now that you know what you have in your closet and what needs replacing, is a good time to make a list of everything you need. Make basic notes – two t-shirts, one work pants, etc. We’ll get into more details later and add a list of wants later. This will prevent you from becoming distracted and spending half your budget on an insanely beautiful, albeit unnecessary, coat at the beginning of the season leaving you with too little basics.

I also like to keep a separate list of items I want to add to my wardrobe, but don’t necessarily need. Often times these are trendy pieces or more pricy items like the perfect trench. I’ll also add to this list as the season wears on, especially if I spot something in a shop that I want. It allows me time to think it over and avoid making an impulse purchase.

It is also completely fine to have things like this on a list for more than one season, as you don’t need it for your wardrobe to work – it would just elevate your outfits. Right now I am looking for a Burberry-inspired stone trench (Zara usually has them, but I’ve yet to find it on sale) and an olive or tan leather jacket. Both are pieces that I’ll have in my wardrobe for +10 years, so it’s worth the wait to find the perfect pair.

Capsule wardrobe inspiration6. Inspiration

Now that you already know where there are gaps in your wardrobe, is the perfect time to consult magazines, Pinterest and Instagram. Doing it this way around will allow you update your general list of necessities with more specific items. Something like a ‘jumper’ might now become ‘navy striped jumper’, or ‘blouse’ might become ‘nude fluted sleeve blouse’, etc.

It also adds more structure to how you shop, as with a restricted budget there is a chance you might not be able to afford more than the necessities.

 

7. Shopping

Armed with your (fairly comprehensive) list, I’d say aim to get the basic necessities ticked off first. These are the items you noticed are missing from your wardrobe or that need replacing. Most people would encourage you to “invest” in your basics, but buying quality clothing doesn’t have to equate to spending a lot of money. It is a little bit of knowing when to spend versus when to save and also knowing that things don’t always have to be the best to be great. A cotton jumper can be just as amazing as a wool one (and sometimes less itchy!) at half the price. I’ll share some of my favourite budget shopping resources later this week.

I think it’s worth getting all your basics in one or two shopping sessions, so that it is out of the way. Then you can tally up the total and find out how much of your budget is left for you to either replace items, save the money or put it towards something on your want list.

I like shopping throughout the season, as it means that you won’t panick purchase anything just because you’re only allowing yourself one week to shop for the whole season. It means you can wait for the perfect piece, but at the same time having the basics taken care of really takes all the stress out of it.

A capsule wardrobe can be fun, it can be done on a budget and it doesn’t have to be boring! The longer you stay at it, the happier you’ll become with your wardrobe.

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9 of the Best Pyjama Sets & Robes

Mr Price Palm Print Robe

I’d never given much thought to my nightwear, but after I spotted a ridiculously expensive summer robe (R850!) that I couldn’t stop thinking about (it was a black and white floral with neon pink pompoms), I decided to go on the hunt for a more affordable robe. I love my Mr Price palm print gown as it features the same colours as the gown of my dreams (not pictured) and didn’t break the bank.

Whilst on my search I also found some really lovely pyjama sets and robes that unfortunately are not in my budget, but definitely worth it if you are feeling spendy. Because you know, treat yo self!

robes

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Perfect for throwing on during cooler mornings, I love wearing mine to bed with a warm cuppa and a good read on a Sunday morning.

Plain Sets

plain sets

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In my opinion there are few things more classic and stylish than a matching set with contrasting piping. I’d like all three colour ways please! Best part, all are by local designers.

Printed Sets

printed sets

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Though I love the aforementioned classic pieces,the pretty patterned sets are what first caught my attention. I’ll take the one of the right (and left) please. Unfortunately these were only available on ASOS’s website, but Superbalist stocks some of the brands. So maybe we’ll get lucky!

 

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Back in Black in Babylonstoren

DSC_3638 This past weekend was a long one for some and for the rest of us, well we had to work on Friday. That does not mean that we didn’t make the best of Thursday’s public holiday! Ryno and I decided to head out to Stellenbosch for lunch as I hadn’t been there in quite a while. After finding a few of our favourite spots were closed for the holiday, we headed to an old favourite, Java for their chai lattes (a.k.a. liquid pancakes) and pizza.

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Cape Town Chill

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This weekend I had the most fun catching up with a very good friend, Crisna from Nunkilief. We had an early breakfast in the most beautiful restaurant, Hemelhuijs. The decor is basically my dream – wall panneling, dark colours and loads of bookshelves. But it wasn’t a patch on the conversation. Crisna and I are working on some content togethering that we’ll hopefully be able to share with you soon!

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Monochromatic Haul: Woolworths & Mr Price

Fashion haul

I’m back after a short blogging break, which allowed my eyes to catch a much-needed break (I also scaled back on my Netflix addiction). I made my way to the Woolworths sale this weekend and couldn’t wait to share my bargains with you.

The first thing that caught my eye was this black and white breton which I’d been contemplating for a while as I’m replacing some of my older stripes. This one has a looser fit and long sleeves which makes it the perfect winter closet staple. At just a R110 it was a steal (use your Woolworths My School card for a further 10% discount).

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Comfortable Valentine’s Day

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I love H&M and still remember how overwhelming it felt when I stepped in my first store in Italy. Everything looked so good, their collections seemed well edited and planned and I obviously appreciated the price points. One of the first dresses I bought was a blush butterfly sleeve dress, but sadly I lost it shortly after on my trip to Mauritius.

I was so glad however when I found that it is a classic style that they offer in a multitude of colours and patterns. I got a cream dress with black dots but I really want to go back for the black version, as it is one of the most comfortable dresses I own, requires no ironing and can easily be dressed up and down.

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Accessorize

DSC_2673A few years ago I thought I had accessories down to an art. No outfit would be left “plain” as I’d always add something big or bright for impact, cue layers of turquoise stone necklaces, big earrings and the ubiquitous Blair headband. I viewed accessories as a way to transform an outfit. It was fun and certainly still is, but it is hard to always get it right without looking or feeling too done.

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The White Bikini

DSC_1867I keep an imaginary list in my head of all the clothing items that I dread shopping for (bra’s and jeans spring to mind), but I think bikini shopping should also have a special place in hell. Trying to find a bikini top that fits properly (never mind suits my budget!) is nearly impossible. The truth is that if you don’t fit into the first three letters of the alphabet, you’re gonna have a hard time!

On the rare occasions that bikini manufacturers actually “get” it and create bikini tops according to cup and torso sizes, they often make one of the following two mistakes: either they only make A, B and C-cup sizes or they create a push-up bikini top. If I’d wanted to look like I’m about to explode, I’d have just gone one size too small!

Apologies for the rant, but if you happen to have a similar problem I think I found something that might work for you as well! This tube top isn’t something I’d usually try but I was getting desperate, thinking it couldn’t look worse than some of the other items I’d tried. The padded sweetheart shape is flattering and covers enough so there is no risk of #freeingthenipple (a movement I do not support!). The frill keeps it from looking too frumpy by adding a dose of cute. It is comfortable, stays in place and doesn’t require me being strapped in.DSC_1866

Did I mention that it is white? What!? I need at least one thing to be paler than me on the beach! This was a total steal from Jet stores, but similar styles can be found at Woolworths.

Now I finally have a bikini I can swim in without having to do tripple checks before leaving the water. Summer here I come!

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Franschhoek Huguenot Monument

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On a rare sunny day a few weeks ago, Ryno and I decided to head to the beautiful town of Franschhoek. This was before summer arrived and we were both keen to spend some time relaxing outdoors. So picnic basket packed (ready to be filled there) and books in hand we undertook the 40 minute drive to wine country.

 

Franschhoek is famous for their wine, but being the sweettooth that I am I can’t visit without a stop at Huguenot Fine Chocolates. Their store is located on the main streat and they give tours showing how they make chocolate on most days. I always find some exciting new flavours to try, but when in doubt their Strawberry Cream and Cherry Kirsch never disappoints. Along with some chocolates we also picked up some buttery croissants and parma ham for lunch before we headed to the Huguenot Monument gardens for some lounging. 

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Rhodes Memorial Outing

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I consider myself incredibly lucky to be living in Cape Town, as it is one of the most beautiful and diverse cities in the world. Cape Town also happens to be incredibly rich in history.

Rhodes Memorial has become somewhat of a controversial monument and unfortunately part of it has been damaged by vandals. Perched on the side of the mountain, the views are spectacular and Sir Herbert Baker designs never disappoint.

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