Project 21/12, a Capsule Wardrobe Experiment

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What is Project 21/12?

An experiment in saving money by trying to combine minimalism and sustainable fashion, inspired by Courtney Carver’s Project 333. My ambition through Project 21/12 is to dress in 21 items for 12 months. The items I will include in my 21 will be those usually included in a capsule wardrobe – outerwear, tops, dresses, skirts, bottoms and shoes – and excluding nightwear, underwear, sportswear, and accessories. As of January 2018, I have 20 of my 21 items. My intention is that once I have my 21 items, I will not buy anything in the categories stated above unless I am willing to donate one of the original 21 items from my wardrobe. I also want to challenge myself to buy second-hand for twelve months, in order to extricate myself from the fast fashion trap.

What are the benefits of a capsule wardrobe?

Firstly, you own what you love, and you love what you own. Everything in your wardrobe fits you, suits you, looks good, and makes you feel good. You look forward to wearing anything you own. Getting ready in the morning is a quick, simple and pleasurable experience. Secondly, you become more aware of the colours, styles, shapes, fabrics and patterns that appeal most to you. This means you become more confident when shopping for clothes, and it becomes a less stressful experience because you know what you are looking for. Finally, you shop less, and more intentionally, because you can easily identify the gaps in your wardrobe, and you know how to fill them. You own far less, but value what you own far more.

My Capsule Wardrobe (14th January 2018)

Outerwear: 1 winter coat, 1 spring/autumn coat (thrifted)

Tops: 6 jumpers, 2 cardigans, 2 t-shirts

Dresses & Skirts: 2 dresses, 1 skirt

Bottoms: 1 pair jeggings, 1 pair cotton trousers

Shoes: 1 pair boots, 1 pair Converse, 1 pair brogues

(NB: Although only the above items tend to be included in capsule wardrobes, I prefer to include all my clothes in mine.)

Gymwear: 1 t-shirt, 1 pair leggings, 1 sports bra, 1 swimming costume

Nightwear: 1 pair pyjamas, 2 pairs bedsocks

Underwear: 5 bras, 7 knickers, 5 pairs socks, 1 pair tights

Accessories: 1 scarf, 1 pair gloves, 1 purse, 1 keychain

Bags: 1 suitcase, 1 rucksack

Jewellery: 1 wedding ring, 1 pair earrings, 1 necklace

How I created my capsule wardrobe:

I emptied my wardrobe of all my clothes, sat down with them on the floor, took them one by one in my hands and asked whether I loved to wear them or not. If I answered yes, I kept them, and if not, then I donated them to charity. Things that didn’t fit, things that I bought because I thought someone I emulated would wear them, things that I once loved but that I have moved on from now – they all went to charity. I was left with a base colour wheel of black, white, grey and navy, highlights of light blue, dark green, pink, red and yellow, and accents of silver and gold. My favoured patterns are floral, plain, or fair isle, with occasional stripes or detailing. Personally, I had to be quick and brutal, but it’s an individual process that may take more time for other people.

What a capsule wardrobe is not:

A specific number of items. A wardrobe of plain basics. The exact same items you saw on someone else’s blog. A capsule wardrobe is made up of items of clothing that are appropriate to your life, that reflect your personality, and that you love to wear.

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