The secret to a capsule wardrobe is that as many of the items as possible should be able to mix and match, but I find that very difficult to get right without seeing the clothes on me. So here’s my answer to that conundrum.
The one in Project 331 comes from the fact that I review my capsule wardrobe every month (not every 3 months). The thought of having to decide up front what I am going to need for the next season frightens me a little bit, so I cheat.
At the start of the month, all my hangers are turned backwards (a la Oprah Winfrey, who apparently first came up with this idea).
As clothes are worn, washed and hung back up, they go the right way round at the right end of the rail. When I am choosing what to wear, I tend to start at this right-hand end and move left.
If there’s nothing suitable on the rail, I do occasionally delve into the plastic crates – this month it was so hot I had to dig out some shorts and a couple of lightweight tops to wear. If I do this, the new items get worn and washed and hung at the right end of the rail.
At the end of the month, I:
- do a count up
- add any new items to my “official” list of 33 items
- figure out which items need giving or packing away to get me back to 33 or less and cross them off my official list.
My criteria are not very sophisticated – usually there are a couple of items still at the left-hand end of the rail with their hangers the wrong way around, either because they are out of favour or out of season.
If I try something on and it doesn’t go with what I’m wearing, I put it back away where it came from. Anything that doesn’t get worn very much because it just doesn’t “go” often enough, ends up at the left hand end of my clothes rail and at the end of the month gets considered for chucking. Lack of ability to mix and match on a hanger – solved.