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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Christmas Gift Guide For Him

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Ugh! So if you still have some of the men left on your Christmas list, you can take some comfort in the fact that I know your pain. Whether it is because they always want things way out the Christmas budget (hello windsurfing gear!) or simply don’t get in the shops often enough to spot what they want, I’ve found that requests for wishlists from my brother and husband always go unanswered. So I sat my man down to help me create a gift guide – he simply yayed or nayed some of my ideas – that could hopefully help you get a special gift for your loved ones.

Bar Cart

If the man likes his tipple, this stylish copper cocktail shaker will leave everyone happy. This beautiful Grappa and decanter (looks so much more expensive than it is) will look equally beautiful on display.

You could also play it safe with a complete wine kit (including opener and stopper) or this copper wine rack.

If you’re looking for something for a couple, these special gold lined tumblers (design also available in other glasses) would make a great combined gift. Heck it might even work as a wedding gift!

Coffee Snob

There isn’t much you can give a coffee snob as they most likely already have all the necessary tools, but a cute cup and yummy beans are usually safe bets. Coffee dripping is the latest thing in speciality caffeine, and although the Chemex is the device of choice I also thought this more affordable option looks cute.

Nerdy

I think as a couple we’re uniquely qualified for this category of gift giving, as we play more board games than most (not a game of Monopoly in sight! and I’ve read all the LOTR books. Most men would jump over the moon if you give them a quad copter (not in my budget), but this fun Lego critter would look just as cool when on display in your office.

Boardgames are tricky as we usually try to avoid getting something our friends have (Carcassonne and Settlers of Catan are popular), but Galaxy Trucker is a little more off the radar and something people of all ages can enjoy. It can even be enjoyed after an evening of excessive drinking! For the ultimate nerdy gift though, the Dungeons and Dragons Player’s Handbook is essential if they haven’t gotten into the game yet.

Clothes

The men in my lifey only buy clothes when they need it (as in when something can no longer be worn and needs to be replaced). Some of the best gifts I’ve given the men in my life are clothes that facilitate maximym comfort, like a super cosy sweater or some soft PJs. As long as you know their size and taste you can’t really go wrong. Do try to steer clear of boring underwear though and make sure that items can be returned if needed.

Alternative

If you’re still stumped for ideas, how about a cool print for his office or bachelor pad? I like this Star Wars one and this metallic one from Seven Swans. A pocket knife is always handy, and the original Swiss Army Knives can’t be beat. Basic tools like a drill bit set or Elm Key set are also always handy.

If you’re looking for something more personal, fragrance is always a good idea. This should definitely be reserved for the men you know very well as men are just as picky as us. This Hugo Boss Orange for Men is one of my personal favourites.

That is it from me! Happy shopping :)

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Christmas Gift Guide for Her

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My love language is definitely gifts! I really appreciate it when someone takes the time to select something for someone that they think they’ll like, which is something I do often as I love giving gifts. During Christmas however things can become a little crazy, so this gift guide should help you with some ideas and steer you in the right direction.

Beauty

It is definitely safer to stick to colour products as there will be no guessing shades of foundation, just simply whether the person will like a shade. Whether you’re buying for a makeup lover or someone that just appreciates a little bling, there really is something for everyone. This beautiful palette from LA Girl has been a hit, but if you’re looking for something high-end you really can’t go wrong with Chanel (think something like Chanel Boy lipstick). In the middle there are MAC classics like Syrup or Patisserie. I also really like the matte lipsticks from Wet ‘n Wild.

If you’re slightly apprehensive when it comes to makeup, then brushes are a really good alternative. Real Techniques do a great line available at all Clicks and some  Foschini stores, and there are also accessories like a brush cleaning glove which would be a safe bet for someone that has it all.

Fragrance is another good choice, but if you aren’t certain whether a person will like a scent stick to a smaller 30 ml. The Jo Malone fragrances are a good option as you can combine them with another one to make your own custom scent, so the recipient could possibly make it suit them by combining it with another scent. They also offer gorgeous candles and luxurious gift sets! My personal favourite fragrance is the Peony and Blush Suede, but with so many new holiday scents to choose from it could become tricky.

Home

H&M Home are seriously killing it in the home accessories department right now. I’d love any of their trivets, this or this beautiful cup and this alternative vase.

Another store to hit up would be @Home (this marble tray would be perfect for a cheese board) and Mr Price home (I want the entire Soho collection).

Accessories

Clothes can be hard to gift as you have to get the size and fit right, whereas accessories still fall into the same category but are so much easier to gift. I like giving (and receiving) jewellery that I think fits the person’s personality, but in general you can’t go wrong with quality like real silver or gold plated pieces with cubic zirconia (lets not pretend we’re giving Tiffany’s on an Accessorize budget!). Places like Lovisa, Colette and Accessorize all offer these type of pieces at varying price points. Favourites include these classic gold plated diamante studs, these ear crawlers and a classic tennis bracelet.

Handbags and purses are also good options, especially if you know things like whether the person prefers cross body, gold or silver hardware, etc. Aldo (Derogali pictured) is one of my favourite places to browse handbags but my realistic dream bag comes from Fossil. Forever New and Forever 21 also have beautiful bags.

Books

I have a Takelot book wish list that is about a mile long (desperately waiting for something to go on sale!) so I obviously think a book would make a great gift! If you know what genre the person likes, a fiction/non-fiction would be great. I personally prefer coffee table books ranging on topics like home decor, food and style. There literally is a book for every interest though, which makes it such a versatile gift.

Alternative

Typo usually has a wide selection of beautiful diaries and calendars that is equal parts pretty and functional. This diary and this nerdy calendar are some of my favourites, but there are even more in store.

Bath and shower products from Lush and The Body Shop are also always welcome. Think fun scrubs and holiday scents from The Body Shop (on 3 for 2 until Christmas!) or pink bubbles courtesy of Lush (seriously though, these bubble bars are so much better value for money than they look).

Lastly don’t forget about subscription services like magazines and flower delivery (seriously there are so many options right now – Blossom On,  All Things Bloom which delivers in beautiful boxes and Bouwer Flowers). This is truly the gift that keeps on giving!

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Wishlist & What I Have Been Loving

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By now you should know me as a very considerate shopper – I rarely make impulse buys – but sometimes I just feel overwhelmed with a whole sea of things I’d like to home. This happenned to me on a recent visit to H&M, where I felt overwhelmed with things I want. I know it is not realistic for me to want them as I don’t need most of it, but as a nice theme evolved I thought I might as well share my beautiful wishlist with you! These would also make nice gifts, which is something to consider with wedding season approaching.

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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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The Christmas Gift Guide

Woohoo it is time to start shopping for all your loved ones! I love the process of searching, buying, gift wrapping and then finally giving someone their gift. Although my biggest weekness is keeping quiet once I’ve bought something! I hope that my gift recommendations might spark an idea and help you find that perfect something for someone else, or yourself. Because who said you can’t buy something from Santa to you?

  1. If Garance Dore’s book is anything like her blog, I’m sure most will love it. Beautiful photographs paired with her sense of humour is a winning combo!
  2. Salad servers might not be high on everyone’s list, but these hammered copper beauties from Woolies will be.
  3. These playful golden polka dot mugs are perfect for a festive warm cuppa!
  4. If you loved Gal Meets Glam’s Baublebar collection, you’ll be happy to see that @Home has a very similar jewellery stand at a fraction of the price.
  5. Guys who love to play mixologists will appreciate a metal shaker and girls will love it for it’s class.
  6. If there is one recipe book that everyone’s mentioned this year, it is Deliciously Ella. Perfect for health freaks and great for those looking to enjoy slightly healthier meals.
  7. A denim shirt is timeless and this one is a steal from Mr Price.
  8. Trinket boxes don’t get much cuter than this one.
  9. Stripes look good on everyone, including on mens swimwear
  10. A marble cheeseboard that doesn’t cost a fortune! Great for lovely hostesses.
  11. Giving art might be a little personal, but if you know the person well enough these prints from Superbalist are amazing value (starting from only R80!), come in various designs for every style and you can even choose to frame it!
  12. Every man needs a good weekender bag. It doesn’t have to be leather, designer or super expensive. Woolworth’s W Studio and some luggage stores have more cost-effective alternatives.
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Gift Giving

DSC_1467I’m not trying to be pretentious, but I wanted to preface my gift guide with this disclaimer. Just because most of the items on the list are expensive, does not mean that these gifts are more desirable or valued. Gift guides should serve as inspiration and often cheaper alternatives are not available online, so please take each suggestion with a pinch of salt but also know that each gift I’ve chosen to feature has been carefully selected.

For me a personal gift means so much more than just rushing out to buy the latest fragrance! Don’t get me wrong, a favourite fragrance or one that you think someone will love is a great gift, it just isn’t the only great gift out there. A lot can be said for thought and presentation. For me the process of selecting the perfect gift for someone begins long before my first trip to the shops. Paying attention to obvious hints and also observing and noticing things that could simplify or make their lives more enjoyable.

Intention can also make a basic gift incredibly meaningful. Expressing your wishes for friends to enjoy a delicious truffle fillet at your favourite steakhouse when gifting them a meal voucher or explaining why you chose to gift someone plain white plates (when they had previously complained to you about their patterned ones) makes all the difference.

Finally and least important (but still making the cut), presentation! Nothing excites me as much as a beautifully wrapped present! If someone took the time to make their gift’s exterior appealing it always makes me incredibly excited about what is inside.

I’m so excited that I’ve already bought about half of my Christmas gifts and am still scouting the other half.

 

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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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