By Sally Gets Wardrobed

Ever since I was a little girl I’ve loved clothes, especially new clothes. Up until a couple of years ago I don’t think it would be an exaggeration to say I thought about new clothes almost every day. In the last 2 decades spent way too much of my salary and far too many hours shopping. I can recall Easter weekends spent almost entirely curating wishlists on ASOS. But somehow I also regularly had “nothing to wear”. My wardrobe was bulging with amazing pieces, mixed with mistakes bought in a state of panic and items I loved and wore to death alongside things that I only managed to wear once before the weather changed. I often tried on 3 different outfits before deciding what to wear to work and always bought something new if I had an event to go to or had to do something that scared me.

 

At the end of 2016 I decided to enter the world of capsule wardrobes. The decision to focus on a simpler, streamlined style coincided with starting the Mel Wells academy, which is where I met gorgeous Hannah. I think the process of learning to love myself and explore the things that light me up helped me to see that I could spend time enjoying clothes without needing to buy them all the frigging time. I also realised I use clothes to hide – my body sometimes, my lack of confidence in stressful situations often. And I use the serotonin buzz shopping brings to numb and distract when I’m feeling an emotion I don’t want to feel – sad, stressed, tired, anxious. You name it, clothes hide it.

 

I’ve always admired women who have a very clear sense of style. Coco Chanel in her Breton stripes, Diane Keaton in Annie Hall’s fabulous uniform, Alexa Chung and her cool nonchalance, Olivia Palermo and her sleek luxey look. So I decided to give capsule wardrobes a try. A quick google led me to Caroline Joy’s Un-Fancy blog and then to Project333. The rules vary slightly depending who you follow but basically you limit yourself to a very small number of items (usually between 30 and 40) and you wear only those items for a 3 month season. Each season you introduce a new wardrobe. Depending on how variable the weather is where you live and the volume of clothes you own you might swap out the whole lot or just a few key things at a time.

 

I’ve followed the process of building a capsule wardrobe every season for the last 2 years. I’ve had really successful seasons and less successful ones, but in that time I’ve become a complete convert. It’s not stopped me spending money on clothes – in fact I probably spend more on the clothes I do buy because I need them to last longer, but it has helped me in loads of ways, some of which I didn’t really expect. I’d go so far as to say it’s been life changing.

 

3 Ways having a capsule wardrobe has changed my life and could change yours

You free up space to focus on the things that are more important

Spending less time scrolling the Zara app and fewer days wandering around Westfield creates more time for other things. More time to do yoga, more time to spend with the people you love and more time to focus on looking after yourself.

It takes a lot less time to get dressed in the morning. And even more life changing, packing for trips is ridiculously easy. With fewer things to choose from you’d think that a feeling of panic would descend if you don’t have the perfect outfit but instead you just go with what you have, and over time you become much more aware of the things you feel are missing, and then just go out and buy them.

When you do shop it’s a completely different experience

It’s still OK to go shopping and to really love shopping. Just like any other addiction, the urge to buy things when stressed or down doesn’t entirely go away but in general shopping becomes a completely different experience. You focus on searching for the perfect pair of jeans or the perfect top in a particular colour rather than getting so overwhelmed with stuff and buying things that don’t go with anything else or look very similar to something you already own. You get to know which shops are the ones that most reflect your style and you gravitate to them first. The whole experience becomes a bit like a treasure hunt.

Capsule wardrobes also work for people who hate buying new clothes. Whilst personally I can’t understand how someone could not want to spend their Saturday on Oxford Street!! I have loads of friends who absolutely hate clothes shopping. They hate it because it brings up insecurities about their bodies – the hideous mirrors, the random sizing and the sadness that comes on when the idea you have in your head doesn’t match what you see in the mirror. Or they hate it because whilst they want to look great they can’t stand looking for clothes, they have no idea where to start and just find the whole experience really really boring. Focusing on a small number of items, centred on a key set of looks, and in a core colour palette really helps people find the pieces that will most work for them.

Spending time understanding your style helps you love yourself more

When you start focusing on what clothes make you feel and look good you stop blindly following random trends and start focusing on how your clothes can make you feel awesome. It becomes much less of a big deal if a trend comes along that doesn’t work for you. You realise it’s nothing to do with your body shape being ‘wrong’. You get less panicked about being ‘out of fashion’ because you’re focusing on owning your own style. When you find the ‘uniforms’ that work for you, you also generally feel good more often. You don’t leave the house in an outfit you later regret.

The occasions when I’ve tended to feel most self-conscious in the past weirdly now make me feel most inspired style wise. Parties, weddings, scary work occasions are now things I look forward to more because I’m developing more of a sense of what will make me feel good rather than panicking about finding an armour to hide behind.

Where to start?

There are some fantastic blogs and books on this topic but the best way to start is to just experiment. Set a total number of items goal and go with it. Be strict enough to make it a challenge but don’t be afraid to swap things in and out if your selection isn’t working and remember it’s supposed to be fun.

I could write a whole other blog about the process of building a capsule wardrobe but here are some core tips to get you started.

  1. Start with what you have. Pull everything out of your wardrobe and separate the things you love and the things you wear often from the rest. These items will form the starting point for your new style. Think about why you love them, test combining them in different ways. Throw out everything that makes you feel crap. Store everything else.
  2. Get inspired. Use Pinterest and Instagram to find people and looks that inspire you. Again, ask why – what is it about this person that gives me such a massive girl crush? What do I love about this look? Every season I create a mood board to help me focus on the overall aesthetic I’m looking for. Season by season and year by year I can see how my style is changing by the shifts in the overall mood.
  3. Find your colour palette. I’ve learnt that a capsule wardrobe works much better when you focus on a core set of colours. Things mix and match more easily and it helps as a quick way to filter when shopping. This takes a bit of time to work out, but once you understand what colours make you feel and look good the process becomes easier.
  4. Buy well. You end up wearing clothes more, which makes it more important to buy higher quality items. Many capsule wardrobe devotees focus also on sustainable brands. This seems easier in the US than the UK at the moment but times are definitely changing. It’s worth looking at the credentials of the people you’re buying from.
  5. Think about what you do in your real life not your ideal life. If you spend most of your time working from home and love hanging out in your leggings buy some gorgeous leggings and own that as part of your style. If you rarely go out to bars, you don’t need loads of clothes to wear to bars. See, simple!

 

Places to go if you want to know more…

Caroline Joy’s blog is a great place to start for advice on the process and gorgeous slow style inspo www.un-fancy.com

Courtney Carver’s style challenge Project333 is a good place to go for more advice on this topic https://bemorewithless.com/project-333/

The Curated Closest by Anuschka Rees is a fantastic book all about finding your style https://anuschkarees.com/curatedcloset/

The #whomademyclothes movement is a good place to start if you want to focus on building a sustainable wardrobe https://www.fashionrevolution.org/

And you can find me on Instagram @sallygetswardrobed to see my style hits, misses and moodboards

As it’s Earth Day today I thought it would be poignant to share ten easy ways that you can become more environmentally and reduce your impact on our planet, which is currently heaving and sputtering to a deathly halt trying to match our wants and requirements.

I shared an Instagram post with 10 facts about our impact on the environment, if you’d like to read those then head here.

If you’re reading this then I am hoping you understand the devastating impact we as human beings are currently having on our planet and how it really is in our hands, right now, in this very moment, to start to make changes. I know people say ‘start small’ but there is really no time waste, so if you can try to implement these from RIGHT NOW, then our planet will totally thank you for it, as will your future self and future generations to come.

  1. Ditch Single Use Plastics

A million plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute and the number will jump another 20% by 2021. But it’s not just bottles that we are using too much of, things like straws, plastic bags and packaging are being consumed on a monumental level every single day and hardly any of it is being recycled, most is going straight to landfill or into our oceans.

Ditch single use plastics by buying a reusable water bottle, a metal straw and some material tote bags for your shopping. You will also save money! I actually have a blog post that covers this so feel free to take a read of that too if you like.

  1. Buy your food locally and eat in Season

So you love an avocado smashed onto your sourdough every Sunday morning right? But do you have any idea of the carbon and water footprint of the food you buy? Our supermarkets are full to the brim with apples from Antigua, tomatoes from Tenerife and strawberries from Spain. The carbon footprint and the load on the planet of importing all these exotic foods from all over the planet are killing our Earth.

Instead of choosing things that have been flown from another country, why not look for produce that’s been grown in the UK, or better yet, head to a Farmer’s Market at the weekend, find a good green grocers near you and try buying meat from butchers instead. Do some research. If you’re super busy you can buy meal/veg boxes from companies online with are ethical and sustainable, check our Riverford here.

Also eating fruit and veg that are in season will be much better in reducing your carbon footprint and impact on the environment.

  1. Compost

I unfortunately can’t compost in my current flat, but if you have the potential of having a compost bin in your garden or have an organic waste bin then PLEASE USE ONE! Composting is essentially recycling organic waste, as opposed to it heading to landfill where it will be trapped and can’t reach oxygen which it needs in order to decay.

  1. Recycle Properly

Did you know that 60% of our rubbish that ends up going to landfill could have been recycled? Make sure you check out your local council’s website where they should give you information on what recycling they take and how it works. Make sure you take the time before you throw something away to see if it can be recycled. If I am out and I have rubbish on me that can be recycled and I can’t find a bin, I usually will take it home with me to recycle there. If you put something in your recycling bin that cannot be recycled, often this will contaminate what CAN be recycled and therefore it means that the contaminated produce (even if originally it could be recycled) will be sent to landfill.

  1. Simply Buy Less

We have got into a habit of thinking we need more more more. When really we need so much less! We don’t need so many of the clothing and products we have in our homes. If we bought less, this would help the planet so much more. I am slowly trying to become more minimalist in my life, which is proving quite hard for me as it seems I hold onto things quite strongly! But these guys are really informative and are doing some interesting things so take a read if minimalism is something you’re interested in!

  1. Turn the lights off

I won’t go into why power plants are bad for the environment, that’s year 9 stuff from school, but simply turning the lights off when you leave the room or turning things fully off (not just leaving them on standby) can only help our planet for the better.

  1. Buy Eco Friendly and Sustainable Products

Again there is so much detail to go into here, but take a look at the products you are buying, and the brands you are buying them from. Your skin care products, your deodorant, your kitchen supplies… and above all your clothing. I think I need to go into another blog post just focusing on fast fashion and its horrendous impacts on our planet, but essentially, try to avoid buying clothing made from artificial materials, opt instead for organic cotton or bamboo, by pieces you will wear for years, ignore fashion trends and stick to your own style that works for you. Do some research before you buy something from a company, to make sure that their ethical morals align with your own. Here is an article that goes into fast fashion and why it is so awful in more detail.

  1. Eat Less Meat/Animal Products

I am not going to ask you to go full vegan, but the environmental impact of the animal farming industry is monumental, even if you went vegan or vegetarian just one day or week, or maybe went veggie during the week, the reduction of green house gas emissions and water pollution would be epic.

  1. Take Shorter Showers

Water is becoming more and more scarce, right now us living here in the UK may not be aware of this but by 2025, an estimated 1.8 billion people will live in areas plagued by water scarcity. This is awful, and really not very far away in terms of time, it’s not going to be very long until we really see how we are impacting our environment.

  1. Do a Beach Clean Up

If you live near the beach, or even the next time you’re near one on holiday, why not do a beach clean up? Or even search online to see if there is already one scheduled so that you can go along and join? It feels so productive to actually be a part of clearing up our environment and helps to save our oceans.

I hope you enjoyed reading this and have come away with some food for thought, do you have any other ideas? I would love to know so please leave a comment below!

Okay guys, so as many of you may know my blog was down for all of August (sad face), so alas I wasn’t able to do an August favourites post, but instead you get two for the price of one as I’m bringing August and September together into a joyous of harmony of things/places/eats I’ve loved over the past two months, lucky you!

Travel – Santorini, Greece

I have just got back from an incredible trip to Santorini with my friend Emma and it was honestly amazing! I am going to be doing a separate travel blog about Santorini and what we did and what I would recommend, but the major recommendation is to go there! It was bloody beautiful and Greek people are so so nice, they were the nicest people I have ever met. We stayed in a place called Abrazo 8 in Imerovigli and it was honestly stunning!

Eats – The Potato Project & MiiRo Icecream

A few weeks ago I was invited along to an evening of potato tasting (sounds weird but continue reading) at The Potato Project in Soho, where they specialise in jacket potatoes. We were served the entire menu and oh my good lord I was in potato heaven! It gave me so many ideas for meals to make myself and also I now know exactly where I’ll be going for a quick but delicious lunch when I’m next near central London, they were all amazing but our favourites were the wild mushrooms, spinach, blue cheese and truffle oil potato and the mozzarella, tomato and pesto sweet potato! Incredible!

pic by @all.about.anika

Next up on the food front is a new discovery… MiiRO ice creams, which are basically vegan magnums! Their slogan is ‘nice without the naughty’ but I tell you what I think they’re way more than nice, these ice creams are bloody delicious despite being free from all the crap in your usual ice creams (I won’t list them all I’ll be here for ever), and they come in three awesome flavours, chocolate hazelnut, peanut butter and salted caramel (my fave!) and you can get them from Ocado, Whole Foods, Planet Organic and As Nature Intended.

Eco Purchase – Washable Makeup Remover Pads

I did a big eco haul in September and I think my favourite purchase are these reusable and washable makeup remover pads from Amazon. I use coconut oil to remove my eye makeup and decided to buy these instead of continually throwing away cotton wool pads. I am super happy with them, they’re not quite as soft as cotton wool pads which some people may not love but they work perfectly and come out pretty clean in the wash!

Calm App – Meditation

I have been finding sticking to meditation really hard lately, I think it’s because whenever I do it I just sit and squirm for the ten minutes I set aside. Needless to say I know that it’s good for me, and my inability to stick to it just proves that. So I decided to try out the Calm App and I really liked the first one I did and decided to go for a year’s subscription! There are so many different things to choose from and I particularly love the ones you can do just before going to sleep.

Mel Well’s Self Love Week 2017

Last week I joined in with absolute babe and author of the best selling book The Goddess Revolution (read my review here) Mell Wells and her Self Love Week she was running on Instagram. Each day we had a challenge and I absolutely loved it! It definitely improved my relationship with myself that little bit more, and the fact that I didn’t find it all too difficult really showed to me the steps I’ve been taking over the past few years to truly love myself, although I still have a lot of work to do!

Wanderlust Event

My favourite event I went to over the past few months was most definitely Wanderlust which was held in Victoria Park in London a couple of weekends ago! I went along with my friend Poppy and some other yoga pals and it was such good fun. Doing yoga and meditating with thousands of people was an incredible experience and one I won’t forget. I hope they do more events like this in the future so check out their website and maybe see you as one very soon.

Hey there guys! I am back (post blog hack which had me down for a month!) and I am bringing you five easy tips to becoming more eco friendly. It makes me so happy that bloggers have started to push the idea of being eco friendly and helping our environment out to their followers, and as it’s something I am super passionate about I thought it only made sense to do the same! So here are five really simple ways you can be more environmentally friendly:

1. Buy a Reusable Coffee Cup

Ditch the takeaway coffee cups, they’re not recyclable here in the UK as to make them waterproof they have a plastic lining within the cup, and whilst places like Costa have started to recycle them themselves, chances are most people don’t make the effort to hold onto that skanky used cup until they reach another Costa. So it’s best to invest in your own cup or flask that you can use everyday.

I have a KeepCup and I loooove mine! Also, loads of places like Starbucks, Costa and Pret give you a discount on your coffee when you use your own cup. Obviously there are other brands out there but this is just one that I’ve been recommended and have invested in and haven’t regretted.

2. Avoid Buying Plastic Bottles and Get a Refillable One

Every year the average UK household uses around 480 plastic bottles, that comes to 35 million, YES MILLION, bottles per year used in the UK. And whilst you may be like ‘well actually Hannah I recycle all the ones I use’, my response is ‘recycling uses electricity, so maybe let’s avoid the entire thing altogether and just buy a reusable bottle’ ha! Got you there! I don’t really need to tell you where or which bottle to buy, there are loads of types, aim for BPA free, coz BPAs are the devil, but really as long as you are refilling your bottle and not forever buying a new bottle of Evian/Highland Springs/whatever, then you’re one step closer to being a little greener.

Credit: @reamaesherman | www.bearwarner.com

I splashed out earlier this year and bought a S’well bottle, I went for plain white because I am boring and monochromatic but they have sooooo many designs. So if you want to look super fancy and also have an amazing water bottle (that keeps your water super chilled but ALSO can house hot water/alcohol) then head to S’well and have a look online, or go to Amazon and buy a cheaper less showy off version.

3. Recycle Correctly

Now I know what you’re thinking, if you’re reading this blog post chances are you care a bit about our planet, and you probably already recycle. The issue is that there’s still a lot of incorrect stuff being put into recycling bins here in the UK, and it’s been rising. So get clued up, check on your local council website to make sure you’re putting the right things in the right bags (and are using the right bags too!). Here’s an interesting article on the BBC all about it if you’re interested.

4. Reduce Your Consumption of Meat/Animal Products

I’m not going to tell you to go full blown vegan, I’m not preachy (kinda), but even introducing say two meat free days a week is not only going to save our little planet, but it will also keep your outgoings down (meat is ‘spenny you know), as well as probably make you feel a bit better. There are soooo many bloggers and cookbooks out there at the moment for constant inspiration!

Credit: www.elsaswholesomelife.com

5. Say No To The Straw

Straws are PURE EVIL. They aren’t recyclable, they get stuck in turtles noses in the ocean (if you haven’t seen the video and want to be put off straws for life then Google it, it’s HORRIFIC), and they’re thought to stick around on our planet for 200 years, no doubt ending up in the stomachs of amazing animals. It’s so easy to say no a straw, we use them once and then they’re thrown away. My amazing friend bought me some bamboo straws from Bali when she went on holiday recently I’ve loved using them at home, I recently also bought myself a metal straw to take around with me in my bag (a lot of people have started doing this), it also comes with a straw cleaner which might not be something you instantly think about when you get one but that is vital.

Credit: www.urbanoutfitters.com

Have you got any tips? If you do leave some ideas in a comment, I’d love to hear more!