30×30 Capsule Wardrobe Challenge – Spring & Summer Outfits

30x30 capsule wardrobe spring summer outfits
30x30 capsule wardrobe spring summer outfits
30x30 capsule wardrobe spring summer outfits
30x30 capsule wardrobe spring summer outfits
30x30 capsule wardrobe spring summer outfits
30x30 capsule wardrobe spring summer outfits

It’s been a good couple of years now since I decided to give up the capsule wardrobe, but that doesn’t mean that I’ve completely shifted away from ‘capsule’ style dressing. I still reach for the same favourites, and tend to have a heavily curated selection of pieces on constant rotation. So as today marks my 30th birthday, I wanted to do a little bit of a throw back to capsule wardrobes; a 30×30 Capsule Wardrobe challenge. It’s essentially where my YouTube Channel began, so I’ve pulled together an entire video featuring 30 items, and 30 looks, which you can watch below.

TOPS

Madewell white short sleeved shirt
Everlane black silk cami
J Crew black/white polka dot wrap front top
Shein Black gingham top
Karen Walker grey linen top (similar)
Grana white silk cami
Grana white pocket tee
Brandy Melville Black/white stripe tee (similar)
T by Alexander Wang navy/white stripe long sleeve top
J Crew red heart print silk top
Everlane terracotta silk tank
Everlane stripe silk tank

As usual, I mostly went for the basics, with some necessary bursts of colour to try and mix things up a bit. The majority of these tops have been pieces that I have been reaching for non-stop this summer, and it’s not hard to see why. Working in a creative environment, I am fortunate enough to get to wear things that are a little (or a lot) more relaxed, and I’m not opposed to the old t-shirt and denim skirt combo – it’s become a favourite of mine, that’s for sure. The most hard working top of the lot would have to be either this black silk cami from Everlane, or this polka dot wrap front top from J Crew. Both seem to go with absolutely everything, and have been perfect to wear even during the extreme humidity we’ve had in Sydney recently.

SKIRTS, SHORTS & TROUSERS

ASOS black denim skirt
Karen Walker grey flannel skirt (similar)
Nobody Denim shorts
Grana black silk culottes
Farrow beige skirt (similar)
Lover white midi skirt (similar)
J Crew white denim skirt

I wouldn’t be able to pull together a 30×30 capsule wardrobe without including at least one denim skirt, and this one from J Crew is by far my favourite. I love the fact that it’s white (helps to make that summer tan pop!), and it’s such a great shape and length for day-to-day. I also added in a similar style in black, and then opted for some more unusual options, from a pair of black silk culottes which I’ve been trying to wear more, to a wrap skirt I picked up during the Black Friday sales. Given most of my wardrobe is so heavily based around a neutral colour palette, I wanted to opt for a couple of more interesting silhouettes, to offset the simplicity of the tops that I picked out.

JACKETS

Chloe tan blazer
Topshop denim jacket

It’s pretty fair to say that you definitely don’t need a jacket in Sydney during January, but I wanted to include a couple of options which I thought would be great even just for a little bit of spring outfit inspiration. I opted for a tan linen blazer from Chloe, an incredible pre-loved find, and my trusty blue wash oversized denim jacket from Topshop.

DRESSES

Isabel Marant beige dress (similar)
Stylekeepers black spot dress
Grana black silk slip dress

When building a capsule wardrobe, and a 30×30 capsule wardrobe in particular, I like to focus more on pieces that I know I’ll be able to wear in a variety of ways, which means items like dresses don’t tend to feature as heavily. 30 items is quite a generous number to be wearing over a month, so I opted to include 3 different dress options. Perhaps the most versatile of the three is the little silk slip dress from Grana; this can be worn on its own, with a top underneath, or with a sweater thrown over the top.

SHOES

Sam Edelman loafers
Charlotte Olympia black heels (similar)
Sportscraft sandals
Nicholas Kirkwood Leda sandals
Everlane beige editor heels
Vaneli two-tone pumps

Finally, there’s shoes… I’ve been pretty honest about my inability to narrow down my footwear options, and this really was no different. I like having the option to change up what I’m wearing on my feet daily, and I think that a lot can be said for the impact that a good shoe can make on your outfit, and how it can change up a look entirely.

Have you done a 30×30 Capsule Wardrobe? I’d love to know which pieces (or outfits if you watched the video) were your favourites! x

6 Things You Don’t Need in Your Wardrobe

minimal wardrobe declutter
minimal wardrobe declutter
minimal wardrobe declutter
minimal wardrobe declutter

You’ve probably seen the phrase ‘new year, new me’ at least 100 times by now, and as cliche as it might be, a new year to me always signifies a fresh start, and new possibilities on the horizon. It also typically tends to be a time of year when I find myself feeling inspired to clean up my closet, and reduce the clutter around our home. My attitude towards my belongings has been heavily influenced by Marie Kondo’s Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up; if I don’t have a use for something and it doesn’t give me joy, then it’s usually an indicator that it’s time for that item to go. While I’m not a minimalist by any means (I do try my best though!), I don’t relish the thought on hanging on to things that are no longer being loved, that are just taking up space both in a physical sense, and mentally – where possible, I’d rather see these possessions go on to find a new home to be cherished. So, on the back of a recent declutter I’ve done around our house (which you’ll find the results of here), I wanted to talk about six things you don’t need in your wardrobe, starting with…

#1 THINGS THAT DON’T FIT

I think we’ve probably all been guilty of buying something on sale that’s either too big, or a smidge too tight, with the intention of either having it taken in, or losing a couple of those holiday pounds. However, I usually find that those well-intended trips to the tailor happen about once in a blue moon, and buying something that’s too small with the intent on losing weight to fit is never a good motivator, as if you fall off the bandwagon, it can serve as a reminder of your failings, so it’s better to wait until after you’ve lost the weight to go shopping, even if it means having to pay a little bit more. Then there’s also the items that you’ve been hanging on to for years; they’re styles that you absolutely love but they just don’t fit the same anymore. Our bodies change over time – along with our style and preferences – so you might find that these old wardrobe favourites no longer fit the way they used to. It’s also a good time to have a rifle through your intimates drawer, and part with any underwear that is no longer looking its best.

#2 STATEMENT JEWELLERY

A strong piece of jewellery is often all you need to give your wardrobe a bit of a refresh, but if you’re anything like me, these obsessions with a new necklace or pair of earrings can be short-lived. Given how small and inconspicuous they are, it’s easy to hide away any pieces of jewellery that we aren’t wearing, and these can quickly stack up. I like to take the opportunity at the start of the year to review what I’ve been keeping in my jewellery box, and declutter the pieces that I’m no longer reaching for.

#3 UNCOMFORTABLE SHOES & CLOTHING

It’s pretty easy to fall into the trap of hanging on to things that just don’t fit right. It might be a skirt that rides up as you walk, a pair of shoes that pinch at the toes, or a blazer that pulls uncomfortably under the arms. At any rate, these items are uncomfortable to wear and I suspect, they don’t make you feel good when you wear them. I know it can be hard to part with these items when you’ve already spent some of your hard earned cash on them, but in economics terms, it’s a sunk cost, that is ultimately never going to make you happy. The start of the year is a good time to finally bite the bullet and let these things go – you can even look at selling them on eBay or via a consignment store, to make that bitter pill of finally giving these pieces up a little easier to swallow.

#4 WORN OUT WARDROBE STAPLES

The beauty of a wardrobe staple is that it’s something that you’ll reach for time and time again, regardless of what styles are currently ‘trending’. However, years of frequent wear on these hard working pieces can result in something that’s starting to look a little bit worn. We may be attached to these wardrobe workhorses, but if they’ve seen better days, it’s probably a good idea to start thinking about investing in a replacement, and parting with the item.

#5 OLD LOUNGEWEAR

Loungewear is one of those categories that can be pretty easy to stockpile without even realising it; old tees, worn out comfy staples or items that are just completely past their use by date naturally tend to become pieces that you choose to wear, but just around the house, which means that we can end up with too much loungewear, or at least more than we actually need. As with any other part of your wardrobe, your loungewear should make you feel good while you’re wearing it; anything that is looking particularly tatty is worth parting with, and if possible, to be used as rags around the home.

#6 CLOTHES YOU AREN’T WEARING

Finally, it’s time to declutter the clothes that you just aren’t wearing. Generally speaking, it’s pretty safe to say that if you’ve been hanging on to an item for a year and you still haven’t worn it, it’s probably never going to happen. These belongings are just adding clutter to your home and more specifically, taking up precious real estate in your wardrobe. Perhaps the most difficult item of all to part with is anything with the tags still attached; you’ve spent all that money on something absolutely gorgeous, but sometimes we make the odd fashion mistake, and invest in something that isn’t right for us, whether it’s due to personal style or our lifestyle. For anything that you’re feeling on the fence about, pack these into a suitcase or a storage box and hide them away somewhere for 3-6 months. If you haven’t thought about it at all during that time (and chances are, you probably won’t), then it’s probably time to move those pieces on.

things you don't need in your wardrobe

My best second hand purchases

Hope Grand Sweater

I think I can categorically say that for many years I spent just as much time browsing eBay as I spent checking my emails (read: a lot). Defining my style and exploring new designers which weren’t readily available in New Zealand, eBay was the #1 destination where I would stumble across a bargain second hand buy, or investment purchase for (much) less. These days, I’m more like to browse The Real Real – mostly down to the fact that they have a return policy – but one thing still remains true; I love a good second hand purchase. It’s that thrill of the hunt, and the best finds always turn up when you least expect them, and honestly, it can often be much more rewarding that buying something brand new. I’ve had my fair share of gems, as well as complete duds over the years, so I thought I’d share and reflect on some of my best second hand purchases to date.

HOPE GRAND SWEATER

Of all the knitwear I have stashed in my drawers, the grand sweater from Hope makes the biggest statement. It’s not hard to see why; the apricot hue, luxe waffle knit, and general oversized nature are what drew me to it in the first place. Mine was a lucky find on eBay, a good fraction of the RRP, and a good investment considering this is a staple style from HOPE – if you’re after one of your own, you can find it here or here, alternatively this option from Everlane is a little kinder on the wallet. I typically tend to enjoy wearing this with milky tones: cream denim, white pleated skirts, or layered over a midi dress. Sizing wise, it’s a large fit. I nabbed it in a EU36 which is the equivalent of an AU8, but you could easily size down if you didn’t want it to be quite so baggy. The only downside is laundering this sweater; you have to do it by hand, then lay it flat to avoid it from becoming misshapen. Hasn’t stopped me from reaching for this sweater whenever it gets chilly though!

View the original blog post here

KAREN WALKER FRILL TOP

There are a few items in my closet that I spent years trying to track down – no exaggeration – and this simple frill top was one of them. Hailing from my favourite Karen Walker collection to date, ‘The Believers’, I’ve always been drawn to the combination of the sheer floral patterned silk, keyhole detail and frill hem. This is a good ten years old now, and while it looks a little weathered and worse for wear, I can’t help but love it all the same. A wardrobe addition that was truly years in the making, it’s one that I know I’ll continue to cherish for years to come. If you’d like to see this piece in action (as I can’t seem to find a snap of it on…), I featured it in my Summer 2016/2017 Wardrobe Lookbook which you can watch here.

Willow Leather Skirt

WILLOW LEATHER SKIRT

I knew I wanted a leather skirt from Willow just weeks into starting a job at David Jones. During my lunch breaks, I’d take the lift down to level 2, and make a mental note of all the ‘investment pieces’ I’d love to add to my wardrobe (Celine cashmere… anyone?). But somehow, I managed to leave that job without the leather skirt of my dreams, and shortly after, Willow become defunct, dashing any chances of buying one of their iconic a-line leather skirts brand new. But, luck has been on my side and I’ve found not one, but two of the old Willow leather skirts on eBay, a simple silhouette which has become something of a uniform for me, particularly during these cold winter months.

View the original blog post here

Valentino Tango Pump

THE VALENTINO TANGO PUMP

I bought these almost two years ago now from The Real Real, after stumbling across a pair in my size, like new with rubber soles applied. These cost a pretty penny when buying brand new (the beige patent is lovely though…), so as you can imagine, I jumped at the chance to score these at more than half off. They’ve turned out to be a real wardrobe staple, a shoe that I know I can rely on to make any outfit look chic. And even though they’re on the narrow side, I don’t find them to bring too much discomfort to my wide feet – at least no more than other shoes! In terms of quality, they really are exceptional and have held up well, despite being worn many times on my daily trek to and from the office.

View the original blog post here

Lover Wiccan Lace Midi Dress

LOVER THE LABEL WICCAN MIDI DRESS

The final second hand purchase I wanted to mention is one which I hunted on eBay for seven years. Seven. I first became obsessed with Australian label Lover at 17; aside from Karen Walker it was one of the few brands whose collections I would pore over, season after season, and still all these years on, their ‘Black Magick’ collection seems to have made a lasting impression on me. I finally managed to track down this dress via eBay in my size, at the start of this year, and have been saving it for those special occasions. The same French lace as my wedding dress, it’s as delicate as it looks, and miles more beautiful in person. I suppose good things really do come to those who wait… x

View the original blog post here

The ‘buy nothing’ shopping diet

Buy Nothing Shopping Challenge

I’ve been thinking a lot about my consumption lately, and more so, just how many new things I seem to have bought in the last six months alone. While I’m no minimalist by any means (and I doubt I ever will be!), I’m firmly of the thought that we should only own what we love, and that this should fit within our means; both financially, and from the perspective that we can only consume so much. So when I read an article last weekend about the buy nothing diet, it really struck a chord.

One of the key things that I’ve been doing for years, to try and meter my spending and keep my shopping habits on track, is to keep a spending journal. Every time I make a new purchase for my wardrobe, I jot it down in a notebook, and tally up the total number of new additions each month, as well as just how much I spent. There’s no denying that I’m an emotional shopper – since I lost my mum in 2015, I’ve found that February has been a pretty spendy month for me – and it’s come through more this year than ever before. Considering that we’d like to jump on the property ladder at some point, all these new additions haven’t been quite so conducive to ramping up those savings….

So when I stumbled across an article chronicling Micha Goebig’s year of buying absolutely zero luxuries, I felt a little inspired. I started to think about how I could incorporate ‘buy nothing’ into my life, whether it be in smaller increments, or on a smaller scale. And I also started to think a bit more about how I could get back to that core manifesto on which I’ve been basing my entire wardrobe on; quality over quantity.

SO… JUST WHAT IS THE BUY NOTHING DIET?

It probably goes without saying, but the crux of it is that you refrain from buying any luxuries. The necessities such as food, basic household supplies, and toiletries are still on the table, but any item that fits more within the ‘want’ category – think clothing, shoes, beauty products, candles, flowers and the link – are completely off limits. It’s a movement that comes from the idea that shopping takes up too much cultural, mental and social space in our lives, and given the the ‘diet’ is supposed to span over the course of the year, works to break those shopping habits which so easily become ingrained in our everyday lives. Living in a world where consumerism is conspicuous, rather than conscious, it’s a way to regain that power, and reject the call to consume.

So, I figure now’s a good time as any to point out the white elephant in the room; as someone with a blog and a YouTube channel which occasionally relies on new wardrobe additions for the creation of content, where does someone like me, go from here?

WHAT OTHER OPTIONS ARE THERE?

If buying nothing is a shade too strong for you, but you’re all for conscious consumption, consider trying out a capsule wardrobe or getting on board with the five piece French wardrobe challenge, which force you to challenge the way that you look at your closet, and how you approach shopping for new wardrobe additions.

Another option is the #30wears campaign. This encourages people to extend the lifespan of their clothing by asking yourself, ‘will I wear this at least 30 times?’ before heading to the check out. As someone who used to manually track how often they wore each addition to their closet, I’m completely all for this – there’s nothing like a new wardrobe staple that you truly get your money’s worth from.

My final suggestion, would be to purchase only pre-loved. Personally, I’m a huge fan of consignment stores (The Real Real has to be my favourite, alternatively I occasionally browse Vestiaire Collective and eBay) as they allow me to get the look I’m after at a lower price point, make higher quality pieces more accessible, and reduce my own impact.

As of right now, I’m on a little bit of a self-imposed shopping ban – there’s not set time frame, but after investing a huge amount into my winter wardrobe, I’m at a point where I don’t really need anything, and taking a peek into my closet is evidence enough that I have plenty to wear. That’s not to say that there won’t be the odd new addition here and there (or that I won’t look to take up the 5PFW Challenge again soon), but I’m hoping to start a little bit of a softer take on the buy nothing diet, even if it lasts for just one month.

image via pinterest

What is a normal sized wardrobe?

normal sized wardrobe
normal sized wardrobe

What is a normal sized wardrobe? It’s one of those questions I’ve found myself wondering, typically on par with my seasonal wardrobe culls, yet the question remains; how much is too much?

And I think, what I’ve truly found, is that there’s no right answer; it’s all relative. It’s the kind of subjective number that depends on your needs, your lifestyle, and ultimately, what you want our of your wardrobe.

For some, a minimal wardrobe of 30 items is more than enough, yet for others, choice is paramount and the number of items they choose to have at their disposal can stretch out to 200 garments or more. For me, it’s been about finding an amount I’m comfortable with; a selected edit that suits my lifestyle, with enough variety to keep me from shopping mindlessly. My wardrobe hovers around the 100 items mark (though if I’m truly honest, is more like 100-150…), excluding gym gear, sleepwear, intimates and shoes which I’ve found to be goldilocks-level perfect – for me at least.

If you managed to see my recent wardrobe cull, you’d probably argue that it’s still a lot (my closet did appear to be busting at the seams), but I find that it pales in comparison to the 300-plus pieces I had weighing down my wardrobe just a few short years ago. Shoes are ultimately my weakness – it’s the one thing I consistently look to invest in every sale season; that one piece that can make or break an outfit for me, but I figure we all have our indulgences (mine just happens to see me get a little spend-y every once in a while).

So, how do you actually determine what a normal sized wardrobe is? Well, there’s a few things you need to look at…

CLIMATE

Do you live in a city that experiences seasonal extremes, or is the weather generally pretty consistent all year round (a la Los Angeles)? Is there much cross over between seasons? Can you add pieces to your wardrobe that transition between summer to autumn, or from winter to spring?

For me, I live in Sydney, where the weather tends to run from one extreme to the next. Summer is typically around the 35-40 degree C mark (often with high levels of humidity). Autumn and spring sit around the 18-30 degree C mark, and finally our winters seem to sit on the milder side, with temperatures hovering around the 5-15 degree mark (though this year looks to be colder than previous years!).

Given this, I focus on having those core pieces from summer and winter – whether that is a silk cami and denim shorts, or a huge oversized sweater and a coat to match – interspersed with more transitional pieces which can see me through the variances in temperature, and weather.

LIFESTYLE

Next I suggest taking a look at your lifestyle. What does a typical week look like for you, and how would you break this down across your wardrobe? For most, I would assume that this would be split among workwear, loungewear (if you aren’t like me and don’t hop into your pjs the minute you get home!), evening wear, day-to-day casual wear, workout gear and anything you need for miscellaneous hobbies. I tend to have a 50/30/20 split across my closet – 50% work wear, 30% pieces that work for play or for the office, and 20% weekend casual wear.

While we don’t tend to go out as much as we used to, I do have a few dresses hanging up in my wardrobe, so that I have a go to look should a special occasion pop up – so much easier than having to find an outfit last minute, or hiring a dress.

FREQUENCY OF WEAR

Finally, how often do you actually want to be wearing your clothes? If you’re a serial outfit repeater, then you’ve probably got no qualms with wearing the same outfit twice (or more) in a week – which would drastically reduce the number of things you would want to keep in your closet.

So what I would recommend, is considering how many times – approximately – that you want to wear each item in your closet over the year, on average. Obviously this is bound to vary per piece, if you have a singular coat for winter, it’s going to be worn every day. Think about how often you outfit repeat, and whether you have an interchangeable ‘uniform’ or look.

SOME FINAL THOUGHTS

I’m not a minimalist per se, nor do I aspire to be, however there’s no denying that there are many aspects of minimalism that resonate strongly with me – quality over quantity for one. This means less high street buys, more investment pieces. Which, if we’re being completely true to ourselves, these are generally the only purchases that manage to stand the test of time; well, in my wardrobe at least.

I’m fortunate in a sense that the majority of my wardrobe does double duty, transitioning effortlessly from work to play – however this may not ring true for everyone. It means I’ve got a lot to play with, even if I do reach for the same favourites on a weekly basis. Additionally, defining my style and colour palette has allowed me to be more specific and selective when shopping – while I’ve made some attempts to step out of my comfort zone over the last year, the fact of the matter is that I am truly a creature of habit. It makes dressing easy which is key when you cut your wardrobe down as much as I have. Keeping stock of the basics helps too – off the shoulder, gingham and sports luxe mind be the current staples of the moment, but there’s a new fashion season – and new barrage of trends just waiting around the corner.

So I guess to reiterate my point, when it comes to trying to determine what a normal sized wardrobe actually is, it’s all relative. There is no one answer, no right number of garments to have in your wardrobe. Your lifestyle, tastes, and even the seasons (or lack thereof) will all play a role in defining what works for you.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on what you think a normal sized wardrobe is in the comments below! x

images sourced via pinterest