Going with Minimal

minimal black and white outfit
minimal black and white outfit
minimal black and white outfit
minimal black and white outfit
minimal black and white outfit
minimal black and white outfit
minimal black and white outfit

Country Road men’s knit sweater (similar), Lover midi skirt (similar), Dress Up trench coat (also love this option), Isabel Marant poppy heels, Proenza Schouler PS11 satchel

As much as I love throwing on something pink these days – which is completely the new neutral, by the way – sometimes a girl’s just gotta go back to basics, and for me, it’s always a minimal palette of black and white, worn in the most unfussy way possible. Two years on and I haven’t stopped gravitating towards these men’s merino knit sweaters I picked up from Country Road, a constant reminder that sometimes the grass is greener on the other side. There’s something about the thrill of the hunt, when you’re rifling through the men’s section for a cosy oversized knit sweater, that makes the find so much more rewarding, which is why that’s exactly where you’ll find me next winter.

Why I’m giving up the Capsule Wardrobe

giving up the capsule wardrobe

This probably won’t come as much of a shock; I’ve been teasing for the last couple months that my capsule wardrobe journey was nearing its end, but after four weeks of travel (and then some) I’ve decided to officially call the capsule thing quits.

For me, the capsule wardrobe journey was largely about defining my personal style, becoming more aware of what I do and don’t like, making more conscious purchases, and wearing only the things that I love, every day. As someone who used to have at least three parcels land on her desk every week, defining a limited wardrobe for a season (or even a month) gave me less excuse to shop mindlessly, and placed more of a focus on enjoying the things that I do have (rather than the things I wish I had). A new season wasn’t an excuse to buy new pieces for my capsule, instead I’d make do with what I had, adding in the odd new piece here and there, and what became evident was how frequently the same garments would keep popping up.

It’s never quite been about minimalism (even though my style is minimalist, though that’s another discussion for another day), but more a tool to help manage and tame some behaviours which had really started to get out of hand.

I’ll never be the girl with only 50 items in her wardrobe
I still remember when I first discovered Dead Fleurette; her entire approach to her wardrobe was methodical, if not somewhat poetic, and I became hooked to the idea of trying to whittle my wardrobe down to just one of all the essential pieces. I’d write lists, on lists, on lists of what I needed to have in my wardrobe, and cull any duplicates (with much regret). In some ways, it was a goal of sorts to cut down to that magical number of 50, and be left with a carefully curated closet which was just p-e-r-f-e-c-t.

I’m definitely under no illusions to quite how mad that sounds, and it didn’t take me (too) long to realise that I was never going to be that girl. I wanted to have fun with my wardrobe, and I also wanted to have options; sometimes just one black skirt doesn’t cut it.

I guess what I’m getting at here is… a capsule wardrobe is at its strongest when you have a tightly edited and complementary wardrobe: it’s basically second nature. My closet typically sits around the 100 item mark (maybe more since my trip to New York) and while I do edit it back from time to time, those garments aren’t spread evenly across each season, meaning that I often went a full 12 months without wearing something due to being limited by what was in my capsule.

I wasn’t wearing all my most loved pieces all the time
Call me an optimist, but I’d convinced myself that a capsule wardrobe would mean I would be wearing what I loved – and only what I loved – day in, and day out. In practice, it didn’t really work out quite like that… With a limit of just thirty items a season, it made a lot more sense to go with the ‘safe’ options in my closet, the ones that I knew would work well with everything else.

It probably goes without saying, but sometimes your most loved wardrobe pieces aren’t always the most practical. Maybe they only look good worn a certain way, or are only reserved for special occasions (but you’ll wear them on a plain ol’ day just ‘cos) or maybe it just never fit into your ongoing colour palette for your capsule wardrobe. For me, this meant things like my Hope grand sweater (quite possibly the biggest and snuggliest sweater I own) or my Lover rosebud lace skirts (which I’ve since parted with).

Sometimes a girl just wants to have fun
If you follow rules to a tee (and believe me when I say you totally don’t have to when it comes to your style!), then you’ll know too well how rigid and limiting a capsule wardrobe can be. Selecting thirty items for three months based on your predicted knowledge of your needs and how the weather will react is pretty easy to get wrong (it’s happened to me more than once!).

Even more so than that, is that sometimes you just want to have fun and mix it up a little. Play around with new silhouettes, introduce something new to your wardrobe, or try pairing two unlikely favourites to see how they look. As much as a capsule can ‘expand’ your wardrobe’s horizons, I found that I experimented a lot less and mostly stuck with what I knew, which has made a lot of my go-to combinations and silhouettes feel a little stale.

It stopped giving me joy
Finally, this was what really was the last straw for me. As with anything new, at first, I found the capsule wardrobe experience exciting, a new challenge that I could take on which had me looking at my closet with fresh eyes. But after a few years of carefully planning my seasonal wardrobes, I’ve increasingly found it to be a chore, and my lack of enthusiasm and perhaps desperation for something new has had me feeling like my wardrobe is a little old and tired (though don’t get me wrong, I do love everything I have!).

In a way, I felt like I was beginning to resent the capsule and the pressure I was placing on myself to actually continue with the process of something that I’d originally pursued because it gave me joy. I tried to mix things up a little and create new challenges for myself but what I found was that it made me realise just how much the capsule wardrobe was no longer working for me.

When I think about the transformation to my wardrobe and attitude towards shopping over the last three years, I’m truly astonished. I used to be the girl who once knew Net-a-Porter’s entire inventory by heart (just about…), who would go out of her way to avoid wearing the same outfit twice, let alone on repeat all week! These days, I have a much more measured approach; I make a considerable effort to think through my purchases, and have no qualms wearing my favourite sweater five days in a row if I feel like it.

And trust me when I say, that isn’t going to change.

Things I’m currently loving

minimal workspace interiors flatlay

This week has definitely been one of those weeks which has just been flying by; Wednesday felt like Tuesday, and well, today feels like Wednesday… I think you get my drift. So today, I wanted to keep things really light and chat through a couple of my current favourites – be it a handbag, a notebook, or a lipstick that I just can’t get enough of.

I really love a bold lip, and Spring is my favourite time of year to start busting out a punchy red. One of my current go-to’s is Wild Ginger by Tom Ford; the formula is beautiful, it’s creamy and rich, drying down to a matte-like finish, has excellent wear time, and I just love the orange undertone. It’s perfect for when you want to make a statement.

I seldom leave the house without a notebook tucked away in my bag, and lately I’ve been reaching for this gorgeous marble notebook from MIKOL. Leatherbound, with real slices of marble on the front and back, it’s been more than a pretty addition to my workspace. I’m a little fussy about my notebooks and I love that this one has lined, grid and unlined pages so you can basically take your pick!

The last couple weeks have been so sunny that I’ve had to start packing a pair of sunnies in my handbag to wearing during my morning commute. I’m all about the cat-eye frame and this leopard printed pair from ASOS have been fitting the bill perfectly.

Weekdays tend to be pretty hectic for me, so to wind down in the evening I love burning a scented candle or two. I’m still slowly making my way through Rosaviola by Diptyque, which I love for its soft powder rose scent.

Sydney’s warmed up a lot over the last couple weeks, but I still can’t imagine stepping foot out the door without my Acne Studios ‘Canada’ scarf. This is one of those wardrobe staples that just never seems to get old, and I’m currently toying with the idea of picking it up in camel, burgundy or navy for next winter.

Admittedly, I’m saving this one for the wedding, but I’ve become completely and utterly obsessed with my feline purse from Charlotte Olympia. Naturally, blush was the obvious choice, and I really can’t wait to wear this to absolute death after my wedding day – it’s the perfect size for those days when you just want to carry the basics.

I’m a little late to the watch game, but since I received this minimal watch from Christian Paul there’s barely been a day that it hasn’t been wrapped around my wrist. For years I was the girl who relied on her phone for the time and it’s such a nice feeling to be able to quickly glance down at a watch instead.

Truth be told, it’s been a good year or so since I last pulled out the Instax, but I recently came across my stash of film and got inspired to have a little play around with it. While I definitely haven’t mastered the art of the instant camera, there’s something so magical about watching the photo you just took develop in your hands.

While I have a few favourite ‘polish’ shades for Spring, Essie’s Tea & Crumpets has been on my fingers – and toes! – basically non-stop. It’s a pretty pearlescent pinky nude which goes with basically everything.

What are your current favourites?

All-sorts

essie nailpolishes
essie nailpolishes

from l to r; tea & crumpets, resort fling and island hopping

Just a few of the shades that I’ve been loving for early Spring: a pearlescent pink, a bright melon, and a deep mauve.

Slingbacks; the shoe you need to add to your closet right now

j crew slingback flat in satin review

J. Crew slingback flats in satin

If there’s one shoe that everyone has been dying to get on their feet, it’s the two toned slingback. The slingback has been making a bit of a comeback, and maybe I’ve jumped on the bandwagon (okay I’m totally guilty of this), but I’m completely on board and while I haven’t quite managed to snag a pair from the original instigator, Chanel, this pair from J Crew have definitely filled the gap.

Praised by Coco Chanel as ‘the last point of elegance’, I think if there’s any endorsement for a pair of shoes, you really don’t need any more reason to pick up a pair for yourself. I’m all for the pointed toe – there’s something a little bit fancy about a pointed toe flat – but for those looking for something that leans a little closer to the Madame Chanel original, I’ve had a little hunt around and picked out the best dupes for you below! x