Building My Capsules

I have read a lot of information on capsule wardrobes, and carried out some research on the occasions when I felt I needed to put one together. I feel that capsules are really only relevant in my life when I am packing a suitcase. Otherwise, the full wardrobe is available to choose from.

When I have travelled to France it has been either for one or two weeks. The two week trips usually include access to a washing machine, but otherwise, I’ve managed with what I took with few repeats. My capsules in the past have been hit or miss on those occasions, and it has happened that I’ve taken too much, or too little.

Anyway, this year, travelling being much reduced, I managed two trips away – one for a long weekend (Thursday to Monday) and one for nearly a week (Tuesday to Sunday). Because for the long weekend i was restricted to packing just a cabin bag, I decided to properly decide on a capsule, to save space. The longer trip was by car, so I had unlimited space.

Four days away.

I decided on: two pairs of trousers; three tops; two cardigans; a jumpsuit and a jacket.

This collection was based on wearing each item twice, at least, so for four days – two bottoms, three tops for inter-changeability, and two cardigans for layering. The jumpsuit was extra in case an appropriate occasion arose.

One rule of capsules is that everything should go with everything else. Well, that wasn’t strictly true here because I had a blue top which I wouldn’t have worn with the black trousers, but that was the only issue. Also, I felt that the jumpsuit wouldn’t look right with desert boots, and there was no sandal weather, so that wasn’t worn at all. In all other ways the capsule worked (apart from the consideration that a white tee isn’t always safe from babies and toddlers).

Conclusion – I would use these rules again.

So on to the Six day stay.

This was straight after the first trip, so no time for washing anything – all different clothes.

I took: two trousers, five tops, one cardigan and a jacket. (As there was to be some outdoor activities, I included extra scruffy and cosy wear, but that wasn’t part of the capsule.)

So, according to my previous rules, I was one pair of trousers short, and two cardigans short. This proved to be the case during the week, but I got away with it because of the extra walking gear.

My two collections were very similar, in that I based my outfits on jeans and tops, with cardigans for layering. I think I perhaps need to broaden my outlook, but actually I spend most of my time in jeans and tops of varying lengths and colours. I can’t remember the last time I wore a dress. But maybe it’s just that I have the wrong kind of dresses. Hmm..

So my two capsules contained:

  1. Tops – three Willow tanks, two SewOverIt Molly tops, one Lark tee, One Scout Tee.
  2. Jeans – two Dawns and two RTW
  3. Cardigans – two Blackwoods and one RTW
  4. Jackets – one Joy jacket and one Butterick B5616
  5. Jumpsuit – Zadie

My capsule rules:

  1. One pair of trousers (or other “bottom”) for every two days.
  2. One top for every two days, plus one extra. (If one is white, add another one if children are involved)
  3. One item to get dressed up in, for each weekend
  4. One cardigan for every “bottom”
  5. One jacket for every four days

.Now, when I next go on a longer holiday, I will be able to test out my rules again, but for now, when I’m only managing a few days away at a time, and only packing in cabin bags, I think these rules will work.

Happy travelling!

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