It’s been about a year since I adopted a capsule wardrobe, and my first attempt (started midway through autumn last year) was a roaring success. The clothes were appropriate for both in and out of office, they were comfortable and in colours and simple patterns that I liked. I looked forward to winter because I saw myself cosy in wonderful knits, heavy scarves, and imbue effortless chic like the leggy girls in glossy pages of magazines, stalking through New York in the snow.
Like, whatever, bitch. I have an owl.
Winter seems the easiest season to dress for because the one constant factor will be the temperature – cold as White Walkers and the feeling your blood runs when someone belts out Let It Go for the gazillionth time at the top of their lungs.
I bought a few lovely looking knits, turtle neck tops, tunics, leggings, and then waited in glee for the cold weather to set in. Winter came, the days rolled by, the weeks ticked through and suddenly I realised I hated everything in my wardrobe. The huge oversized jumpers, the high-low hems (mullets of the sartorial world, if anything), curved hems, the shapelessness of the style in general – it was like being perpetually dressed in pyjamas, and I don’t do the all day look unless I’m down with the flu. I didn’t own a single shirt with collar (a must for any office environment at the least) or anything that had clean lines that that gave structure. I would boil at work in the centrally heated building, freeze at home thanks to synthetic fibres with poor insulating quality, and catch myself giving the side eye…to myself. I unintentionally chose a monochrome colour palette – shades of grey (more like shades of blah), and eventually I reached a point where I dreaded getting dressed in the morning because none of what I wore felt appropriate, comfortable, or colourful enough. Winter was an utter failure.
The problem was because I didn’t understand my style properly. Content with purchasing fast fashion, I bought into trendy items without considering whether I actually liked the item or not and instead became a lemming with my judgment (oh but it’s just come out and this is the new look and everyone else is wearing it too, so it’ll suit me as well). If you’re stuck in a style rut, I highly suggest you take some time out to critically evaluate your wardrobe and what you wear most often, or the things that make you feel at ease, and then concentrate on variations of that style. If that still doesn’t enlighten you, Pinterest seasonal outfits and see which visuals you are drawn to every single time, or that you identify with.
So, what have I taken away from all this? For the office I dress like a school student again and always fall back on the tried and tested combination of a collar shirt and jumper/cardigan, with either trousers or a skirt. You can’t go wrong with predictable.
Miss Lemon, the ultimate efficient assistant, says stick to what you know best, dear.
Have you ever failed in an outfit for an occasion? How did you get back on track?