The travelling wardrobe, at home

Woman holding book wearing black flats, jeans and black shirt.

When Adam and I moved to the U.K. I took with me a carefully curated capsule wardrobe, which I hoped would provide me with a solid sartorial base for the months ahead.  It served me remarkably well and apart from a few purchases for work, weather and special occasion purposes, I didn’t deviate far from my ‘travelling wardrobe’.

I’ve been back in Australia a little over a month now and I’ve been a surprised at what I’ve been reaching for time and time again in my wardrobe…

It’s not all the clothes I carefully packed away ahead of our departure, it’s pretty much all of the items I had with me in England!

I honestly thought I’d be so glad to have a wider selection of clothes again, but instead I felt overwhelmed.  I’d had a major clean-up of my wardrobe before the move, but when I looked at what I left behind I felt disappointed that I hadn’t been more discerning. I wondered why I kept things that didn’t really fit properly or in colours that completely washed me out.  Apart from a few Australian summer staples (like shorts and sleeveless tops), a few forgotten favourites and a couple of extra pairs of shoes, the majority of what I’d kept has been repacked, ready to be dropped off at a local charity store.

Woman holding cup of coffee wearing black flats, jeans and blue stripe shirt.

I’ve become quite attached to my predominately black/white/grey/navy/olive wardrobe. Virtually everything mixes and matches which means it’s really easy to choose an outfit every day.  I like the simplicity of a smaller wardrobe and feel more put together and confident knowing that I’ve made my selection from items I truly love and feel comfortable in. I’m not limiting myself to a certain number of items, rather I’ve just assembled a collection of clothes that works for most occasions in my life, in a colour palette I enjoy wearing.

Woman wearing nude sandals, jeans and white shirt, holding a tan leather bag.

Previously, I’d never really thought about giving a capsule wardrobe a go, but moving overseas forced me to think really carefully about my clothes and now I can’t really imagine having a big wardrobe again.  In retrospect, even when I had more choice, it was those favourite items I’d continue to wear time and time again – so why not have a wardrobe of just favourites?

I must admit a few of the things I took to England are now probably nearing the end of their lives so I am on the search for a few replacements.  At the moment that includes Breton stripe tops and tan leather flats. When the weather starts to cool, I think I’ll be  hunting for new fine wool jumpers and a simple black blazer.  Any recommendations for well made basics in classic colour combinations are more than welcome!

Have you ever tried putting together a capsule wardrobe?  Did it work and were you able to stick at it long term?

3 thoughts on “The travelling wardrobe, at home

  1. I went through it myself. When I was leaving some clothes behind I was frantic, thinking I would need it all. I quickly forgot about the ones I left behind quite quickly. But it was nice to see the old things as “new” once I visited. Ultimately, I agree, there’s a lot of unnecessary junk in our wardrobes. If you don’t wear it, why keep it.


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