I Will (Hopefully) Not be Living in Skinny Jeans this Winter

Skinny jeans winter denim cold chilly cullottes trousers pants

Despite what I told my mother when she bought me first pair of skinny jeans in my early teens, I actually HAVE gotten down with the skinny jean trend, and very, very much so. Sorry mum (but calling them “drain pipe jeans” wasn’t really helping…). In fact, I liked the skinny jean trend so much I moved in with it and we share a Netflix account and a toothbrush. We’ve been living together now for more than a decade for better and for worse. And to be fair, there are a lot of positives to skinny jeans – I feel confident and comfy in them (I think I’ve just gotten used to not having circulation in my feet when I sit down), and it’s oh so easy to throw on some black skinny jeans and a cute sweater and still look put together.

In terms of downsides though, there are a few, like when the crotch completely rips out of your skinny jeans as you crouch down in a very public place (‘cos that’s not just me, right?), but I think the main one, for me, with the delightful Scottish climate I live in – is being FREEZING cold in skinny jeans all winter long.

I actually take dressing for the cold quite seriously – I own thermals, multiple pairs of thermals – I am almost certainly not leaving the house without a scarf between October and March, and I wear more chunky socks than… ok, I’m not sure where I was going with that tbh. But anyway, my point is, that generally I consider myself quite a sensible (read: old lady) dresser when it comes to the winter months, but I always feel like a bit of an idiot, because my head is warm, my toes are toasty… and I can’t feel my legs. Damn you skinny jeans!!

Now obviously, depening on the type/fit of skinny jeans you go for, maybe you can layer thermals/leggings under them, I wear mostly Molly Jeggings from River Island and they do not take kindly to me trying to layer them. I look like a sausage with too much meat inside the casing. And I can’t bend my knees so I sort of walk like a cowboy. It’s a weird look.

Anyway, the point of all this is to say that this winter I shall not be alternating between numb penguin shuffle and robot cowboy walking, this winter, I shall be wearing other trousers.(I’m listening to quite an intense piece of piano music as I write this, so in my head I’m getting this climactic build up… so just pretend with me, ok?).

So far, I don’t own an awful lot of other options – I have one pair of very retro style mom jeans that I thrifted earlier this year, and I definitely look forward to tucking some knits into them – but other than that, it’s skinny jeans all the way. Having worn nothing but skinny jeans for about 13 years, it’s hard to know where to start. Do I want something with a paper bag waist? Do I want cullottes? What are cullottes?

I’ve turned to good ol’ Pinterest and put together a board that is oh so creatively named “Trouser Inspo”, and I’m beginning to get a feel for what I’m drawn to. Problem is, a lot of what I’m drawn to seems to involve exposed ankles – and that’s not going to work around here in winter. Do you have any tips on making ankle-showing trousers wearable in the cold? Do I get “statement socks”, do I get taller boots that can go, like, under them? Is that a thing? Send help pls.

So, yeah, please have a rummage through my Pinterest board and let me know what you think – I’m open to all tips, tricks and pointing out the obvious: such as the fact it’s concerning that at 27 I don’t understand the basics of trousers. That’s it for now but I’m sure I’ll report back soon with some photos of me looking confused while wearing what may, or may not, be cullottes.

What Does Sustainable Fashion Look Like?

Sustainable fashion fast ethical fair eco style shoppinh

If you’d walked up to me in the street a couple of years ago and asked me to describe what sustainable fashion looks like I know exactly the image I would have had in my head.  Long, flowing layers, a very washed-out, neutral colour scheme, lots of linen – basically a very wholesome, hippie, Earthy, boho look. And you know what, I have always liked that look, it can be completely beautiful… on other people.

What can I say? I’m short and curvy so I need mo

re structured pieces to emphasise that – I look about 10 stone heavier if I wear loose, flowing layers. I’m very, very pale with darker features and so I best suit stronger colours – jewel tones and charcoal over here – I look positively ill in pastels or muted shades. And you know, because I was so utterly convinced by this singular image I had in my head of what sustainable fashion looked like, for years, I just assumed I couldn’t have any part in it.

If I had to describe my style (which I sort of hate doing because I’m bad at it), I’d say I dress sort of urban-edgy with maybe some grunge or goth vibes thrown in. I like tartan and (faux) leather, ripped denim and graphic tees – are you getting the picture as to how far away I am from that “typical” sustainable fashion image I had in my head?

Well, the good news is that I was very wr

ong about the whole thing. Turns out, shockingly enough, that there are many people all over the world with an interest in sustainable fashion and that they are all individuals with different tastes and styles. The more I actually looked into sustainable fashion – rather than just flicking through my mental slideshow of 70’s hippie outfits with Fleetwood Mac playing on a loop in my head – the more I realised that you can dress in basically whatever style you want – and still take a stand against fast fashion. Here’s what I’ve learned so far:

Sustainable fashion eco ethical fast fashion shopping style

1. Shop second hand

I actually always loved charity shops – just not for ethical reasons. I loved finding quirky pieces and not being dressed the same as everyone else, and most of all I loved the prices. But one thing that is always annoying about charity shops is that if you’re looking for something specific, sure, you might find it in the first shop you go in… or it could take you months to find the right piece in the right size, in the right condition.

For that reason, I strongly suggest trying out second hand shopping online – whether that’s using an old classic like eBay (link to my shop, if you’re interested), a more modern app like Depop, or, the one I’m still finding my way around – ASOS Marketplace.

Rummaging through boot sales or charity shops can be so fun, but it can definitely be easier to find a super cute, fun piece, than say, a pair of jeans in exactly the wash, style and size you need – so definitely familiarise yourself with some online platforms and save yourself a lot of frustration in the long run!

Shopping second hand might not seem as intensely sustainable as shopping from a brand that produces locally, ethically and is high quality – but the thing to remember is that even a product that is produced in an environmentally friendly manner still uses resources – whereas buying something second hand uses no additional resources.

If you have concerns about buying second hand pieces in fabrics that may release microplastics in the wash – you can purchase a pretty affordable Guppyfriend laundry bag for all your synthetic materials, that will catch those microplastics during the wash cycle and stop them from entering the water supply.

 

 2. There ARE a range of brands out there producing different styles, and even some brands you may have written off may sometimes contain hidden gems.

If I’m being honest, I have to admit that when I’m browsing online and looking at sustainable fashion websites… I don’t like most of what I see, or rather it’s just not “me”. People Tree, for example, is a brand that I love – in theory – but most of their designs really don’t call to me. Sometimes I’ll love the print and not the cut, and sometimes, it’s the other way round – but every once in a while, there is a piece that would work for me.

For example, these trousers I would totally wear, and I’ve actually had my eye on this tee for a while now. My point is, that even if an overall brand aesthetic doesn’t match up with your own, if the quality and the ethics are something you support then it’s worth keeping an eye on them – seasons change, cuts and styles and colour palettes change, and as with People Tree, every so often you might find something that makes you go all heart eyed emoji.

On the other hand, doing further research may mean that you find a brand you love the look of and are therefore overwhelmed with choices! It took me quite a long time to stumble across sustainable UK brand Rapanui (and even longer to work out how to pronounce it). A lot of what they make is much more “me”, including some great basics like hoodies, and some super-awesome graphic tees – they’re definitely not a brand I’ve heard much about but I’m so glad I came across them – this octopus tee for example, it’s like they know me!!! I (definitely) don’t currently need any new tees, but when the time comes this is definitely where I’ll be heading for some cute graphics and environmental messages.

3. YOU get to decide for yourself what constitutes “sustainable” and what brands and products you’re happy to support.

We seem to be living in a time where sustainable fashion is finally (finally) starting to be talked about by influencers and brands in the mainstream. While it’s great to think that big brands are catching on, if you’re going to be shopping more “Eco” ranges from bigger brands, I definitely recommend checking out this video from My Green Closet on Greenwashing, to familiarise yourself with what it is and why it’s such a problem.

My point though, is that it’s pretty much impossible to buy clothing that is perfectly ethical. Maybe the workers are paid fairly but it’s not organic cotton or eco dyes, maybe it does use great materials and fair labour… but you have to ship the products half way around the globe to get them. Everyone has the right to decide for themselves what cause they most support, or what their number one priority is, and to shop in line with their own beliefs.

For example, if organic materials is something you’re really passionate about, H&M Conscious Collection might really speak to you. If you love wool, but don’t support buying it new because you’re a vegan, then some of the pieces from Mango’s new Committed Collection – like this recicled skirt – might be a great fit. Personally, I’m still conducting my own research into what big brands I will and will not support – and like I said, it’s everyone’s individual decision anyway. One thing I did pick up recently which I thought was quite cool, these gloves from ASOS that are made from 3 recycled plastic bottles. Pretty neat.

Sustainable Fashion Fast Fashion Style Shopping Eco Environment

So, that turned out longer than I was expecting – 10 points if you made it this far – but I hope it gave you some food for thought if you’re new to the world of sustainable fashion and not really sure what to make of it or where to start.  As always, I love discussing all aspects of style and the fashion industry, so if you have any questions, comments or corrections you’d like to put to me – comment down below or come say hi over on Instagram!

 

 

Trying Out a Seasonal Makeup Capsule

Starting to use a Capsule Wardrobe system has already helped me out so much – I won’t bang on about it here, but check out this post if you’re looking to find out more about how I’m finding things so far. A Capsule Wardrobe has helped me to really appreciate what I already own and see that I don’t *need* new clothes the way all the adverts try and convince me that I do. Surely, then, for someone like me who has definitely had a problem with over-shopping for makeup in the past, a Seasonal Makeup Capsule may also work?

For one reason or another, I’ve definitely been feeling the itch to shop for new makeup recently whilst simultaneously wearing it less than I have in years (?!?! I know, right). In an effort to make use of all that I really own and to convince myself I don’t need any more, I’ve been trying to grab for different makeup products from my stash, but, much the same as trying to do this in a stuffed-full closet, it’s definitely leading to my makeup experience being more chaotic and time consuming, than fun and adventurous.

So I thought, hey, let’s try out a Seasonal Makeup Capsule! So far it’s been great fun taking a step back and putting together the capsule – choosing out all my most Summer-ish shades of pink lipstick and putting them aside to be included: to make sure I’m actually aware of them and using them at the time of year that makes sense (for me). It’s also been good for me to see how only being “allowed” to use a few different options of certain items, can *still* feel like plenty of choice.

For me, I don’t have a big makeup bag or spare space to store my Seasonal Makeup Capsule separately, so what I’ve been doing is just opening up the image at the top of this post each morning to remind me what’s included. Initially I thought this was probably *not* a good way of doing things, but, you know, needs must – but actually, I feel really inspired looking at them presented on the screen like that, probably more so than I would do if I was rummaging about in a makeup bag. So that’s something worth keeping in mind if you’re thinking of doing this yourself.

I’m excited to see how this continues for me throughout the rest of Summer, but at the moment I can definitely see myself continuing this system into Autumn and beyond. I’ll definitely write a post near the end of August (I switch over to Autumn in September) to round-up on how I found the overall experience – let me know down below if you have any other content you’d like to see from me on this subject!

Do you mix up your makeup for a new season? Do you have any tips for me, or anyone else who’s new to it out there?

 

The 15 Items I Wore Most Often in Spring

Oh, I’ve been excited about this post! I’m a bit of a data and Spreadsheed fanatic and one of the things I’ve loved most about using a Capsule Wardrobe system is tracking the “wear count” of items; being able to see what I’m *really* reaching for over and over again, and let me tell you, it’s not necessarily the things I think I wear “loads”.

image of all 15 items and the title

One quick note before we just jump in – I’ve listed a cost per wear for each item, because I find that so interesting (for my own wardrobe, and also for other people’s). However the cost per wear is worked out simply for the number of wears I have listed – so, every time I’ve worn it since I started this system in March. Of course, some items I’ve owned for a long time before this and have worn plenty of times before starting this project, so of course, their cost per wear would be lower – but I have no way of estimating that so I’ve just stuck with this simple method because I still find it interesting, I have however, put a (!) after the names of items that I owned and wore before starting this project, so you can differentiate them if you’d rather ignore that cost per wear data or whatever.

So here we go, the 15 items I wore most often in Spring 2018!

small, cross-body, black leather bag

1. black leather cross-body bag 
Wear count: 27 
Cost: £4.00 
How I obtained it: charity shop
Current cost per wear: £0.15
While on one hand it would be easy to look at a piece like this and think, yeah, it’s fairly easy to see why this is such a work horse – and I mean yeah, it’s a simple, wearable black, leather cross-body bag, so in one way, it’s no surprise to see it top the list, but on the other hand… I only thrifted this bag in March, so what on Earth was I doing *before* I owned it? Have I just gotten really lazy in using it all the time now?

black, skinny jeans

2. black Molly jeans
Wear count: 24
Cost: £45.00 
How I obtained them: birthday present
Current cost per wear: £1.88
Another fairly predictable entry here, however as I mentioned in this post, my sister gifted me these jeans for my birthday – and having owned many of these jeans over the years, both of us were disappointed in the quality of our most recent pairs. So frankly, in some ways I *am* surprised to see this particular pair on here as I really wasn’t sure they’d even hold together for this many wears! They are still going strong though, thank goodness, though they’re definitely fading faster than previous pairs I’ve owned.

black snood

3. black snood(!)
Wear count: 23
Cost: £8.00
How I obtained it: old fast-fashion bought on sale 
Current cost per wear: £0.35 
This fact that my third most worn item for Spring is a thick, black scarf is probably a good way of describing just how late Spring hit Scotland this year! Still, I wear this a lot really, it goes with everything and because it’s a snood it doesn’t slide of my neck or try and strangle me, which is always a plus!

grey, converse hi-tops, well worn


4. grey tie-dye Converse hi-top(!)
Wear count: 22
Cost: £14.00
How I obtained it: second hand store
Current cost per wear: £0.64
I’ve walked my way through a LOT of Converse shoes since I started wearing them when I was about thirteen. This pair has been no exception, these have been a staple for me since I bought them second hand last Spring, sadly though, they are starting to fall apart a bit now… still, not giving up, I’ve known Converse to hang in there for a good while after they reach even this stage.

black leather chelsea boots

5. black leather Chelsea boot(!)
Wear count: 22
Cost: £38.00
How I obtained it: old, fast-fashion bought full price
Current cost per wear: £1.73
Another item I’m not at all surprised to see on here – if anything, I’m just most surprised that my Converse came in ahead of them! What can I say, I love these, they go with everything and they actually fit me super well, which, with my size 2 feet, is definitely a novelty for me!

faux leather jacket with studs

6. black faux-leather jacket(!)
Wear count: 21
Cost: £12.00
How I obtained it: old, fast-fashion, bought on sale
Current cost per wear: £0.57
I love the look of a leather jacket when it’s used to create some contrast in styles. I love pairing mine with smarter button-down shirts, or more flowy, silky type items – it just adds that sort of a tough vibe, which I freaking love. I have owned this jacket for years and years, and given it was fast-fashion bought on sale, it has held up incredibly well… thank goodness, because I can’t imagine being without it!

black rain jacket

7. black rain coat(!)
Wear count: 19
Cost: £30.00
How I obtained it: old, fast-fashion, bought on sale
Current cost per wear: £1.58
Another slightly scary depiction of the Scottish climate! This jacket may not be super stylish but it gets the  job done and fits in reasonably well with the rest of my outfits, and plus, it definitely beats getting soaked while out running errands!

black leather belt with detailed silver buckle

8. black leather belt(!)
Wear count: 14
Cost: £16.00
How I obtained it: old, fast-fashion, bought full price
Current cost per wear: £1.14
I’m surpised and happy to see this so high up on the list! I bought this last year (fast fashion before I made the commitment to stop doing that), and I sort of regretted the purchase – not because I didn’t love it, but just because for a long time I had zero idea how to style it! I made the effort to try it some different ways, and now it is literally one of my favourite pieces.

grey zip-up sweatshirt

9. pale grey sweatshirt(!)
Wear count:14
 How I obtained it: old, fast-fashion, bought full price
Cost: £15.00
Current cost per wear: £1.07
I’m honestly surpised to see this on here (so surprised in fact that I went and double checked it)! I really felt like I hadn’t been wearing super casual stuff like this very much since starting my Capsule system, in fact, I strongly considered not having a sweatshirt like this in my core capsule at all! Looking at my Spreadsheet though, I think the reason this made its way on here, was because I wore it a lot layered under my leather jacket, in the long (long, long) time before Spring hit and it wasn’t warm enough for the leather jacket on its own. It’s interesting though and definitely an item I’ll be keeping an eye on.

sterling silver lightening bolt necklace

10. silver lightening bolt necklace
Wear count: 14
Cost: £12.00
How I obtained it: old, fast-fashion, bought on sale
Current cost per wear: £0.86 
This is an interesting one for me to see here because for quite a long time I’ve had no idea what was happening with my jewellery – how much did I own? Did I actually wear it? And so seeing this simple, silver piece being worn so much gives me an indication of what my style *actually* is, and that can only be a good thing as I decide what items to keep going forward, and even further down the line as I try to decide on new purchases.

black faux leather studded bag

11. black faux-leather studded, slouchy bag
Wear count: 12
Cost: £2.25
How I obtained it: charity shop
Current cost per wear: £0.19
I only picked up this bag in late-April – so it’s clear it’s been a pretty much instant hit! Again, a bit like the smaller back in the number one position of this post, it’s kind of weird to think what the heck I was doing *before* I had this bag in my life. It’s great because it’s one of those bags that can hold a lot but because of it’s slouchy shape, it doesnt look over the top or huge if you just don’t fill it very full. I love the studs too – a nice hark back to my teenage, mosher roots and that style I love so much.

light wash denim mom jeans

12. Mom jeans
Wear count: 11
Cost: £5.00
How I obtained them: charity shop
Current cost per wear: £0.45
I’m so happy to see these here on the list, because when I got them in March, having worn only skinny jeans for literally more than a decade, I felt so weird in these! Just getting used to the different silhouette seemed impossible, and so many times I put them on and took them off again before I left the house. I’m so glad I made the effort to actually try them properly as now I love them so much – I love the different silhouette they create, the very different style; not to mention the nice thick denim and ACTUAL FRONT POCKETS.

cambridge satchel cross body bag purple

13. Purple Cambridge Satchel bag(!)
Wear count: 10
Cost: £70.00
How I obtained it: bought new, on sale
Current cost per wear: £7.00
Honestly, I’ve had this bag for almost 18 months at this point and wore it so, so much before this capsule system kicked in (or really before I got the other two bags mentioned on this list) that I think, as much as I love it, I was happy to have a break from it for a little while. Definitely excited to bring it out more in Summer though with some of the colour palettes I have planned.

cosy black wool-mix cardigan


14. long, black cardigan(!)
Wear count: 9
Cost: £28.00
How I obtained it: old, fast-fashion, bought full price
Current cost per wear: £3.11
Again, so Spring-like, no? What can I say I love how cosy this is and the sort of slouchy vibes it gives off – it’s maybe not quite as oversized as I wish it was, but hey, it is so comfy and warm!

charcoal wash denim dungarees

15. black dungarees
Wear count: 8
Cost: £14.00
How I obtained them: second hand
Current cost per wear: £1.75
This is a crazy one to make the list (well, I mean this is what passes for crazy in my life), seeing as how I only found these in a second hand store in mid May! I have wanted dungarees for years and years and I couldnt believe when I found this pair, second hand and for such a great price! The only reason I haven’t worn them any more, is simply because it’s been too hot here recently (things I never thought I would say about Scotland)!

So there we go, that’s the 15 items I wore most often in Spring! Am I surprised? What have I learned?

  • One thing that jumps out at me, is that there are no “tops” in here. There are sweaters and coats, but no t-shirts or the like, which shows that I wear my practical items like a rain jacket so much more often than any one t-shirt I own. Historically though, I’ve always put the most time and effort into shopping for cute blouses or well-fiting tees, and seeing this data is helping me realise that actually, I would probably be better spending that time and effort on smaller – but arguably more key – categories like shoes and bags.
  • The other fairly obvious thing, I think, is how monochromatic this post is! The only bit of colour is the Cambridge Satchel bag, and even then, it’s a very subtle, wearable colour – not exactly what you’d call a “pop” of colour. The thing is though, I don’t wish it was different for me. I think this post reaffirms for me that I reall do favour wearing black and grey and that’s worth keeping in mind as I go forward, especially when it comes to choosing a new core item like a rain jacket – sure I’ve always wanted a yellow one, but actually, I’ll probably feel more comfortable in a black number!

And so that’s that, Spring is gone and Summer is here, and I’m very excited to see what I end up wearing most this season!

What about you? Do you track your item wears like this? Even if not, what did you reach for most in Spring? Was it super late arriving where you live too?

What’s in My Summer 2018 Capsule?

I’m so excited to be bringing you the walk-through of supplementary Summer Capsule for 2018 today! If you’re not already familiar with my blog, then have a look here, where I explain about my all-year-round Core Capsule, and how the system I use works. I have been looking forward to this post on my Summer Capsule since it finally stopped snowing… in April! If you missed my first Summer Capsule post you might want to have a read of that first – in that post I’m talking about my inspiration for this season’s capsule, as well as taking a look at some of the items on my wish-list. As well as being excited about putting together a new capsule, I also did want to take time and make sure that what I’m including this time around, won’t leave me making the same mistakes as I did with my Spring Capsule – which I discussed a bit in my Spring Capsule Recap post, here.
I feel like in some ways, this Summer capsule is a little all over the place. Despite all my frantic Pinterest-ing, in the end, there’s not much of a coherent theme running through my capsule, unless we could say that theme is “clothes that are only able to be worn in Scotland on the hottest days of the year”, because basically, that’s what it comes down to if I’m honest! Because we don’t get an awful lot of warm weather here in Scotland, I don’t really have any “hot” weather clothes in my Core Capsule. I have winter coats in there because they’re needed about 9 months of the year, and I have multiple pairs of boots because… well, ditto, but I don’t have any sandals or camisoles because they would literally sit and gather dust for more than 300 days of the year.
So when I really started to look through the items I owned for this season, there were so many that I realised I really loved and frankly, that if I didn’t wear them now, I wouldn’t be wearing them at all for the rest of the year! Sure, when you look at all my Summer pieces together now, it maybe seems scattered or chaotic, but realistically, I’m not trying to make full outfits with these pieces, instead, I want to use them to spice up my Core Capsule items – more so than ever in Summer. And so, in that respect it doesn’t really matter that the Summer bits and pieces don’t really work together. So this capsule is almost like my very own “greatest hits” of Summer style – many of these pieces have been with me for quite some time, pulling them out now feels like being reunited with old friends.
my pair of leopard print converse

1. leopard print Converse

Bought from: thrifted
Original cost: £7
Why I’m including them: Kenny and I live in the city and so we walk, a lot, especially in the Summer months with the long, warm evenings. I have one pair of Converse already in my Core Capsule, and ordinarily I alternate between those and my Dr Martens for walking, but in the warmth of Summer I find my Dr Martens a little too toasty to march around for miles in, and so I thought it might be nice to add another “walking shoe” option into this capsule. Additionally, I feel like I wear more blue/grey denim in Summer (as opposed to black) and I love the way these shoes look with paler washed denim.

khaki faux-suede sandals

 

2. khaki sandals

Bought from: fast fashion
Original cost: £11
Why I’m including them: While clearly these sandals don’t fit in with the “we walk so much” concept of Summer, I do think these will be so nice to have for other, more sedentry days in the sun. I love that these have a small heel, so the make my legs look a little longer, and that they’re not black, but are still a very wearable, neutral colour.

tie-dye fabric trousers


  

3.  wrap-around trousers

Bought from: no idea, they were passed on to me through family, maybe 3rd hand?
Original cost: unknown
Why I’m including them: Because how could I not? These are such a unique piece – especially for me with my largely monochrome wardrobe! I love the unique shape and print of these, and bonus: they’re also absurdly comfortable. For very warm days they can easily be worn alone, but I can also layer black leggings underneath for cooler days and they don’t show and ruin the aesthetic. Only possible issue I see is with trying to use public bathrooms on days I’m wearing them… yeah that might be more than a little awkward to manoveur.

neutral coloured waterfall cardigan with tassell details

 

4. waterfall cardigan


Bought from: thrifted
Original cost: £4.00
Why I’m including it: While I’ve talked a lot about warm Summer days in this post, the reality is that here in Scotland, there is often still a bit of a cool wind, even on otherwise toasty days. I really like this piece because the thick knit makes it surprisngly wind-proof, but the colour scheme and cut of the item makes it feel a lot less “bundled up” and less like a true jacket.

second-hand denim jacket

 

5. denim jacket

Bought from: no idea, this was my mum’s for well over a decade, and before that it belonged to a friend of hers.
Original cost: unknown
Why I’m including it: For me, a denim jacket just seems like a Hallmark of Summer style – again, as mentioned above, we do still need jackets in Summer here. Darn it. I see this quite thick and heavy denim jacket being worn with lighter fabrics, or maybe feminine cut dresses to create some contrast between styles and materials… whilst also keeping me warm!

vintage red fabric dress

 

6. long red dress

Bought from:  thrifted
Original cost: £1.00
Why I’m including it: I wore this dress to a birthday lunch earlier this month and I just loved wearing it! I’m actually not convinced that the length of it on me is super flattering, but it’s just one of those pieces that I feel really great in and look forward to wearing. It has almost a slightly 70’s vibe to it, which isn’t something I’m usually drawn to, but for some reason this dress just feels so “me”. It’s a flexible piece too: on hot days, I can wear it as is, but on cooler days I can also put black leggings underneath and wear it with my leather jacket (from my Core Capsule) for a tougher look.

black skirt with pom-pom detailing and white embroidery

 

7. black pom-pom skirt

Bought from:  old piece that’s fast fashion
Original cost: £8.00
Why I’m including it: This year I’m trying to feel more comfortable in my own skin, and for me, a way I’d like to work on that is to go outside with bare legs sometimes. I’ve never liked the way my legs look, and I think as I’ve gotten older I’ve gotten more self conscious about it, but now, having braved the outside world with bare legs once, I’ve realised how pleasant it can be on a hot day, and how nice a way it can be to make even a black skirt like this, seem more Summer appropriate. I included this particular skirt because a) I love it, and b) because it’s easy for me to wear in other respects; as in, it goes with a lot and it doesn’t flap about in a breeze, meaning I’m not adding further stress to the already nervy experience of walking about with my ultra-pale legs on show.

black floral-print wrap blouse

 

8. black wrap-around floral-print blouse

Bought from:  passed on to me from a family member
Original cost: unknown
Why I’m including it:  I only have a couple of tees in my Core Capsule, which I still maintain is the right number for me, but I am already noticing with this current run of nice weather, that I’m definitely getting through them and almost waiting for them to come out the wash. I wanted to add in a couple more t-shirts or short sleeved blouses to help with this situation and I chose this one because I like that it’s still primarily “black”, meaning it fits in well to my existing capsule, and also because I love this top worn with my leather jacket and a bold, red lipstick – I feel so classic in that outfit somehow.

cream, lace blouse

 

9. cream, lace blouse

Bought from:  thrifted
Original cost: £4.00
Why I’m including it: Following on from what I said above; this is another top designed to aleviate my current lack-of-t-shirt situation. One thing I like about this top, is that worn with blue denim and ballet flats it can look really soft and classic, but it can also be mixed with “tougher” pieces to create a more edgy aesthetic; which is one of my all time favourite things to do with style.

black, floral-printed camisole

10. black floral-print camisole

Bought from:  very old fast fashion piece
Original cost: £5.00
Why I’m including it: Last but not least, we have one final, Summer-y top. This is in fact the only camisole-style top I own, which is probably a reasonable indication of how often they’re “needed” in this climate! Still, I think this, layered under a blazer will look so Summer-ready, but still allow for either layering over the top, or tucking into something to help me not freeze as I walk along the river. 

Phew, that ended up being a wordy post! I’ll keep it brief here as I know this might have been a marathon to get through! I’m very excited to be kicking of my second season using a Capsule Wardrobe system – I discussed my thoughts on using a Capsule system so far, on Friday – and I can’t wait to see what outfits I can put together with the addition of these pieces. I will of course be sharing some of said outfits with you either here on the blog, or over on Instagram – so stay tuned to see those! And let me know if you have any styling ideas or requests!


Do you use a capsule wardrobe system? Are you prepping your Summer capsule? Do you have any looks you’re excited to wear this Summer? Or do you go for more classic, Summer looks?
  

  

5 Thoughts on my Capsule Wardrobe After 3 Months

Sitting here in late May, it seems crazy to me that already Spring is almost over – as well as my first season of using my current capsule system! For anyone who’s not already familiar, I’m using a system I heard about from Signe on Youtube; I have a core capsule that I use year round (you can read about what’s in that, here), and then I have a supplementary seasonal capsule of about 10 pieces that I rotate out every 3 months. Here is what was in my Spring Capsule, and here is my recap post where I talk specifically, item by item about what pieces in there worked for me and what didn’t.

In this post I want to take more of a step back than I did in my Spring Capsule Recap, and look at how I found the system worked for me as a whole, rather than analysing the nitty-gritty of individual items (although, you know me and data – I’m not saying I won’t go there… just not as much!).

snow scene taken in a park. Snow covered ground, trees and a bridge.
This photo was taken in March…

 

1. I do not have a crystal ball


We started March with more than a foot of snow on the ground here in Glasgow, and on the Bank Holiday weekend in May we had what might well turn out to be the hottest days of the year. Both of these things are a-typical for a Glasgow Spring – we would have been far more likely to have 10c and rain for 3 months! Because weather isn’t predictable it means that I don’t ever want to feel too locked in to my capsule wardrobe. Sure, it’s good to have pieces that can be layered to give as much flexibility as possible, but at the same time, I want to be comfortable and dressed appropriately – so for me this season, that meant wearing my Timberland boots the whole time it was snowy ( I normally only EVER wear them when we’re hill walking), and grabbing an out-of-capsule dress to wear to my mum’s birthday lunch in May because it was the nicest, sunniest day and I would be darned if I was going to miss a rare chance to wear one of my favourite Summer dresses!

2. I still much prefer to plan my outfits the night before 

I know that for a lot of people, the draw of using a smaller amount of clothing that works together is the increased ease and speed of choosing an outfit. I definitely do find it a lot more enjoyable to put together an outfit now, but because I’m such a “just in case” person, if I leave my outfit choosing until the morning and haven’t checked what I have clean or what the weather forecast is, I know I’ll just end up wearing my rain coat “just in case” it rains, or a big jumper “just in case” it’s cold – thus robbing myself of the opportunity to wear a lot of more fun outfits on what turn out to be warmish, sunny days! Maybe as time goes on and I become increasingly familiar with the contents of my capsule and various, favourite combinations I have then this will change for me, but for the forseeable future I definitely see myself taking 5-10 minutes of an evening just to sort myself out.

black boots and autumnal leaves
This photo was taken in April…

 

3. I feel so much more put together when I leave the house 

I touched on this a little in my Spring Capsule Recap; when I talked about a t-shirt that went unused, simply because I never found myself getting dressed in a panic and flinging on jeans and a t-shirt. Even though a lot of the outfits I did wear were still very simple, and perhaps, to anyone other than me, it would have been imperceptible that I was now using a capsule system and getting dressed in a very different way, I just felt so different in my own skin. I didn’t become oddly clothing-fixated and spend all day focusing on the merits of my outfit or anything, but something about the act of getting dressed intentionally just made me so much confident and … it’s hard to put into words… to sound a bit cheesy, I just felt like “my best me” most of the time, whereas in the past, that was a rare occurance in amongst all the days I left the house praying I wouldn’t bump into anyone I know. For this single reason, even if there was no other benefits, I would be in love with the capsule wardrobe system.

4. I’m okay with having a bigger capsule, for now at least

I definitely am way up on the bigger end of the capsule wardrobe spectrum – and I don’t include bags or accessories in mine either (I have a post coming up on why I took these out of my capsule, so stay tuned for that one). I have 40 items in my Core Capsule and 10 in my supplementary Seasonal Capsule – which is a lot altogether, really. For some people this will seem vastly excessive, while for others, like my past-self, this will seem small and restrictive. It’s all relative. Even now, with only one season’s data, I feel like I could comfortably cut out maybe 5 pieces from my Core Capsule – take it down to 35, but what’s the rush? My journey towards a capsule wardrobe, or indeed, towards a minimalist lifestyle in general, is a gradual one, and I’m comfortable with that. With letting things evolve organically and move at a pace that I’m comfortable with, with taking time to really see how I feel about things, rather than making impulse decisions; whether that’s bringing items in, or taking them out.

sunny day in Glasgow showing blue skies and intense sunshine
And this photo was taken in May!

 

5. I’m happy to take the time to iron, hand wash or mend my clothes

This is a big one – for a lazy gal like me at least! Prior to using a Capsule Wardrobe system, I was (shamefully) a get dressed from a pile of clothes on the floor, and if something smells funny, toss it in the direction of the laundry basket kind of a person… yeah, I know. Now having less to work with causes me to take the time to hang clothes up when they come out of the laundry – because odds are I will be wearing them in the next week or so, so I need to keep track of them. Having less to work with, allows me to really focus on constructing outfits and choosing my favourite pieces to be part of them – from bras to silk blouses, I’ve come to realise that it really is worth taking the time to hand wash them, if they make me feel great when I wear them. As for repairing clothes, well, I’ve taken up sewing lately (I know, I’m as surpised as you are, if you’d like to read about it, I have a post – here), and after a slightly epic repair on a pair of Kenny’s Levis, I’m feeling empowered at being able to extend the lives of my clothes, or to repurpose them when the time comes. I always thought mending and hand washing clothes would seem like such a hassle, but actually, it gives me a very strong sensation of liberation and of connection to the items I own and the choices I’m making in life.

So there you have it, my thoughts on using a capsule wardrobe system… so far! If you’ve ever used a capsule system I’d love to hear what you thought about it? What did you learn early on? Did you feel constrained or liberated by having less to work with?

Spring Capsule Recap (Piece By Piece)

I have a post coming up about my general thoughts on the capsule wardrobe system I’ve been using for the last 3 months, but in this post I want to break down the my supplementary Spring Capsule and take a look at the 10 pieces within it  – how practical were they? How much did I enjoy them? What do I wish I’d done differently/what will I do differently next year? Don’t forget I’m using this supplementary, seasonal capsule in conjunction with my all-year core capsule wardrobe, the contents of which you can see, here. I know that analysing clothing to this level isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but what can I say, I’m a sucker for data (must be the software developer part of my brain… or the Pokemon fanatic, hard to say), and for me, analysing both clothes and makeup like this has helped me realise so much about myself and my habits, and has really helped me break previous, destructive shopping habits.

 

1. leopard print jacket

Bought from: thrifted
Original cost: £5
Number of wears in this capsule: 0 
Why I included it: I included this piece for Spring thinking that it would be nice to have another, “lighter” jacket option for the Spring months – because in Scotland you still need a jacket almost every day in Spring, and I thought I might appreciate the variety after wearing my Winter jackets for months. I love this jacket (I have had it in black for years and years and was so excited to thrift the leopard print version last year), and so I was really excited to wear it – but I think this is a classic newbie error of not really thinking closely enough about how I would wear it.
What are my thoughts on it now: I sort of regret putting this piece in my Spring capsule because it was just never appropriate for me to wear it, but despite that it hasn’t changed my feelings for the piece overall. The reason it was never “suitable” to wear, was basically because it was way too cold for a jacket like this for March and a lot of April, and then when it did warm up enough to go out in this jacket, I didn’t find I actually wanted to wear it because really, I tend to pair it with an all black outfit, and that was pretty much the last thing I felt like putting on when Spring finally arrived this year! I think in an Autumn capsule it would do much better, because at that time of year when it starts to cool down, I can definitely see me wanting to rock black jeans and a black polo-neck, but it was definitely not a smart Spring pick!

 

2. blue pinstripe shirt 

Bought from: thrifted
Original cost: £3
Number of wears in this capsule: 6
Why I included it: This was one of the first pieces I knew I wanted to include into this capsule. I generally look very washed out and ill when I wear pastel shades, but this somehow works out for me – I think it must just be a bit deeper blue than a true “pastel” – and so it’s a great way for me to get those Spring-pastel vibes without looking like a corpse. Also, from a practical standpoint it doesn’t need ironed, it can be machine washed, I can wear it buttoned up with long sleeves, open with rolled up sleeves, under a sweater, or even tied in the front – so this high degree of ease of use and flexibility means I was pretty sure I would reach for it a lot, in many different situations and temperatures.
What are my thoughts on it now: I went into this season loving this shirt, and honestly, if anything I love it even more now! If I was ever to try and make a “true” year round capsule wardrobe this would 100% be included. I always felt put together and comfortable when I wore this, I felt like “me”, which is a little strange because it’s not a very “me” piece actually! It was just so versatile, there really wasn’t any occasion it wouldn’t have been appropriate for – the only reason it doesn’t have a lot more wears is just due to how freezing it was here in March and April! It’s not that I couldn’t have worn this shirt more, it’s just that I got into a bit of a grumpy-rut about the weather and was just all about the sweaters.

 

3. Ravenclaw t-shirt

Bought from: old piece, fast fashion
Original cost: £8
Number of wears in this capsule: 0
Why I included it: Prior to starting to use a capsule wardrobe system I often found myself running out the house in jeans and a t-shirt, and so, figuring this would continue, I thought it might be nice to include a cute t-shirt for Spring, to mix things up. Plus, I am a proud Ravenclaw!
What are my thoughts on it now: Well, as it turns out, now that I use a capsule wardrobe system and use a Spreadsheet to plan my outfits the night before, I don’t find myself in a mad flap in the morning, then running out the house in jeans and a t-shirt. Truthfully, I did intend to wear this with a blazer for kind of different, laid back look – but the weather just never seemed to line up for me with that sort of outfit this season. Whereas with the leopard jacket that I also didn’t wear, I knew I still loved it, despite the bad decision to include it in here, but this t-shirt I’m less sure of. Probably I’ll put it into storage and then give it one more shot at some point – it would be a pretty awesome t-shirt to use as longewear so there’s always that.

 

4. floral sweatshirt

Bought from: Christmas gift a couple of years ago
Original cost: unknown, but based on similar items from the company: £15
Number of wears in this capsule: 3
Why I included it: This is my third Spring season with this sweater, and in both the previous two Springs I have worn this non-stop! It’s such a fun way to start hinting at Spring with florals and pastels, even if you live in Scotland and it’s still snowing in “Spring”. This was another piece that I was so sure about in here, right from the start.
What are my thoughts on it now: I wore this a few times, but nowhere near as much as I thought I would. I think to certain extent it suffered the same fate as the Ravenclaw t-shirt: it used to be something easy I would grab in the morning when I was panicked and had “nothing to wear”, but now, because I am planning my outfits and so much more creative with them, I just didn’t seem to use this sort of “crutch” piece as much. Going to keep this one in storage until next Spring probably and then see how it goes.

 

5. thin, stone cardigan

Bought from: old piece, fast fashion
Original cost: £6
Number of wears in this capsule: 3
Why I included it: Have I mentioned that Spring in Scotland is usually still pretty cold? Oh what’s that? I have? 5000 times? Well, anyway, I thought it might be useful and fun to have a thinner layering piece in a nice earthy-tone, to break up all the blacks and greys I’d been wearing all winter.
What are my thoughts on it now: Again, I didn’t end up reaching for this piece as often as I thought I would, and I’m not totally sure why. Sitting here right now I have it in my head that it was a little short in the back for me…but I don’t actually know that that was the case, or just the sort of association I have with it now for some reason? Anyone else ever get that way? *update* So I tried on the cardigan and it’s not too short on me, but for some reason I just don’t feel that comfortable in it – I’ll give this another try or two and see how I feel, no point in keeping it if I never want to wear it, after all.

 

6. cream, cable-knit sweater

Bought from: thrifted
Original cost: £8
Number of wears in this capsule: 3
Why I included it: With more than foot of snow on the ground at the start of this capsule, this was definitely temperature appropriate, but being such a pale, almost off-white shade, meant it felt a lot lighter and brighter somehow than if it had been a black or a navy blue sweater.
What are my thoughts on it now: I love this jumper, I really do. It’s cosy comfy, but the cable-knit type detailing on it means that it doesn’t look totally shapeless and dull when I wear it, even when I have a coat layered over the top of it. I definitely think I’ll be bringing this one back out for my winter capsule.

 

7. fish-pattern t-shirt dress

Bought from: passed on to me by my sister (it’s fast fashion)
Original cost: £5
Number of wears in this capsule: 3
Why I included it: I was wearing this piece on repeat throughout February – when it was distinctly a dress on my. However as time, and the number of washes, went on, it is definitely now more of a sort of tunic-length top on me – something to be worn with leggings or tucked into something, rather than with tights. I included this piece just because I loved it, rather than for any serious, practical reasons.
What are my thoughts on it now:I do still love this piece but I definitely am drawn to wearing it less now that it’s not a dress for me. I’d like to put a bit of effort into figuring out good ways to style it for the future, and hopefully I can find something that brings the magic back for me a bit.

 

8. floral-print skater-style dress

Bought from: thrifted
Original cost: £3
Number of wears in this capsule: 3
Why I included it: This was something I’d been hunting for for quite some time, and I lucked out finding it in a charity shop just a couple of weeks before my Spring capsule kicked off. I love the sort of 90’s (I totally mean Buffy the Vampire Slayer here) sort of vibes that come from wearing a floral dress with black tights, chunky boots and an oversized cardigan! So that’s exactly why I included this.  I didn’t have any “formal” events to go to in Spring but I did have a couple of more casual meals out for birthdays and such, and I thought this would be nice as a piece I could dress up a little.
What are my thoughts on it now: I didn’t wear this dress as much as I thought it would – a couple of the dinners I’d planned to wear it to ended up falling during the freakishly warm spell when it was about 18c-20c so this wouldn’t have worked super well for me. I love this dress so much though and think I might actually pull it out again in Winter, so I have more opportunities to wear it with the sort of outfit I like.

9. pleather trousers

Bought from: thrifted
Original cost: £4
Number of wears in this capsule: 2
Why I included it: Similarly to the floral dress above, these trousers were sort of a “last minute” find for me in a charity shop, just before my Spring Capsule got started up. I included them, I think, mostly because they were new and exciting and I was really taken with them.
What are my thoughts on it now: While I really do like the trousers, I do sort of regret including them in this capsule. In Spring the two jackets I wore most were my raincoat and my faux-leather jacket – neither of which go with these trousers at all because the fabrics are too weirdly similiar – it just looks really odd. However these trousers look awesome with my black, Winter coat and a knitted sweater, so it’s possible I’d actually get a lot more wear out of these if I included them for winter rather than Spring. Lesson learned re: making impulsive inclusions based on what’s new to me right now.

 

10. black sweatshirt dress

Bought from: old piece, fast fashion
Original cost: £15
Number of wears in this capsule: 6
Why I included it: This actually wasn’t in my original edit for my Spring Capsule, but on March 1st we had more than a foot of snow lying on the ground so I had to make some changes! This was ideal because it’s basically just a massive sweater that I could wear a thermal top underneath as well as big, fluffly-lined leggings with it too. Not a glamorous piece really, but a lifesaver in cold weather, and because it’s all black (and I wear it with an all black outfit) I still feel quite like myself and not too frumpy.
What are my thoughts on it now: I think it definitely made sense to include it in my Spring capsule, and it’s a piece I’m really glad to own because I know I’ll reach for it again and again when the weather turns super-cold. On that note though, I’m not sure about whether or not I’ll include it in future capsules, or just keep it as a sort of “in case of emergency” piece to be reached for if temperatures plummit – seeing as how weather like that is actually pretty rare here.

Conclusion

So there we have it, a detailed walk through of all the pieces that were in my supplementary Spring capsule! I think it’s fairly clear from reading the post what pieces I wish I’d not included and why:

1. The leopard print jacket doesn’t scream Spring to me
2. The Ravenclaw t shirt just doesn’t fit my style so well right now
3. The pleather trousers because they really can’t be worn with my more “Spring appropraite” jackets.

But, knowing what I know now what would I include instead? What was missing? How would I think about things differently.

1. I think because it was so cold at the start of March, and had been for about 5 months at that point, I struggled to grasp that it would in fact warm up again at some point! In retrospect I didn’t need all the thicker pieces I had included.
2. Shoes was a category I ended up feeling a little confined by. Not in a huge, or problematic way, but if I was going back in time I think I would definitely look at adding in another pair: maybe another pair of trainers that could be worn with jeans/long trousers, but that would also look cute with a dress if the weather was to get warmer.
3. Black leggings. I currently only own one pair and they’ve seen better days to be honest, so I didn’t include them in my capsule, figuring I would just wear them around the house as lounge-wear, but actually I wore them out a lot with the shrinking-fish-dress I talked about above, as well as with some other, longer tops. So I think I definitely need to keep my eye out for a new (to me) pair in the charity shops!
4. While the leopard print jacket was a bit of a swing and a miss, I think my instinct to include a different jacket was right, just not that jacket. Including something like my army shirt would probably have been a better, more flexible option for me, as well as the fact it’s still pretty windproof and warm!

And that’s that! It’s definitely blowing my mind to think that that’s one whole season done (well, basically), where has the time gone? Stay tuned for more posts where I’ll be talking about my overall experience with using a capsule wardrobe system, as well as walk throughs of my Summer capsule. Can’t wait? Did you check out my post talking about what’s inspiring my Summer capsule this year?