If you could only buy 5 new items of clothing this year, yep the entire next 11 months, what would be worth your restraint to both seek out and invest in as well as refrain from and make do with what you have?
A recent article in The Financial Times proposed this approach to the clothing year that is 2023 (coupled with welcoming in 4 second-hand items), most importantly for sustainability, but also for economic benefit as well. Something we talked about last month here on the blog regarding a time-tested worthwhile approach to style dovetailed well with this new article as the style editor Lauren Indvik points out, now that she is in her 30s, she has had a handful of years to invest in quality capsule items that she continually wears and each pair well with each other and new items that she welcomes into her wardrobe. And that is where this article and the aforementioned TSLL posts converge: a quality, style-confident wardrobe that will go the distance (1) takes time and (2) involves purchasing investment items gradually along the way.
Admittedly, patience is not fun when we want to look our best today, right now (or at least in a couple weeks’ or months’ time), but it is true that the quality items we purchased, even if they was all we could purchase when we were younger, are often still with us or have been worn confidently for many years until we needed to replace them.
Only purchasing five new items may sound extreme, but even if considering such an approach brings more awareness to our shopping habits, when we begin to turn to shopping with the foresight of quality over quantity, we begin to see a wardrobe that we don’t have to edit as often, thus we are shopping less often.
With all of that said, I shopped an outfit today that consists of items you may already have in your wardrobe but perhaps hadn’t thought to pair together. For me stripes will always be a staple and a neutral piece of clothing, and so long as it is made well, such as a Breton boat-neck tee I wear constantly paired with jeans and have for now eight years, I know purchasing such a piece will go the distance. As well, wise accessory purchases, from our handbags, our belts and boots and our earrings, while not considered part of the 5 new clothing items, elevate the basics and if the basics are well-made, they will shine when complemented with the right pairing.
February is a tricking month sometimes for our wardrobe choices depending upon where we live. Spring sometimes begins to arrive early or winter lingers longer. Either way we still need long-sleeves most often, but perhaps not a heavy wool sweater, so I picked out a sweatshirt with long cozy sleeves in a classic French design. As well, these slub twill straight leg pants will work well for late winter and definitely carry you into spring in style. Pair down or up depending upon your shoe choice, and you have an item that is timeless both in its hue and its cut.
Now to the accessories: a simple low boot that adds a bit of height but not too much so can be worn throughout a long day or take you out at night for a casual get-together. A belt that doesn’t not want to be unseen and since you may do a simple French tuck with your sweatshirt, the simple, yet shiny belt buckle will be your jewelry rather than a necklace or shiny earrings. The earrings are muted, but statement, complementing your skin tone and the pants whilst bringing out the hues in the other accessories. Finally, a tote of your size preference for the type of occasion you would wear this ensemble – a crossbody for travel (this would be a lovely travel uniform) or casual goings-about-town, a medium size for work or a tote for a long-day of either work, play or travel.
~Brunelli Cucinelli slub twill straight-leg pants, 60% off~
~Loeffler Randall Alec Acorn mid-heel stretchy bootie~
~Sézane Sandy earrings in Ecru (more colors)~
~La Ligne NYC, James Sweatshirt, navy & ivory~
~St. James is having their winter sale (50% off), shop all styles on sale here~
~Chloé brown leather belt, 50% off (black also available)~
~Cuyana Double Loop Bag (three sizes – oversized, standard, crossbody), more colors~
~101 Essays that Will Change the Way You Think by Brianna Wiest~
~SHOP THE OUTFIT:
4 thoughts on “Outfit of the Month: Effortless Comfort & Style for Easing out of Winter”
An interesting exercise! Let’s see… To simplify matters, I will consider clothes, shoes, accessories, etc., all under the header of wardrobe or capsule.
I would start by determine, an approximate terms, the annual budget that I would be dealing with. Second, I would make two lists: one for items that need to be replaced, and second, for items that I would want to add anew.
Now, to the exercise itself:
– during the year, is there any special event planned ? And if so, does it require that I buy something for the occasion? If so, would that be a full outfit, or shoes, or accessories of some kind? Assuming that a full outfit would use up most of the budget, I would certainly try to reuse one of my pieces and give it a glow with some new accessory, let’s say, a scarf. Once completed this task, I would then move to the rest on the list, considering that I have only 4 “slots” available now.
If there is no event or my capsule wardrobe can provide a suitable outfit without any further expense, none of this apply, I would then simply start on my lists:
– first, to replace items that I currently wear but need to be retired due “old age” and much use. Depending on the number of items – let’s say, 5 – their current price and my budget, I would eventually have to finish here my annual purchases.
If not, let’s say that I had to replace 3 items, I would then have 2 “slots” available for the next section on the list…
– which is my “waiting list”, aka pieces that I plan to add to my winter/ summer capsules. To follow as above, I would try to purchase 2 of these items.
If there was no need to replace anything (…wishful thinking…) I would take 5 items of my “waiting list”… or 4 or 3… to keep within the budget.
I would, of course, try to find convenient sales for the pieces that I am replacing or adding, to make most out of my budget. If I could not find the pieces that I want to add at a convenient price, I would consider if it would wise to pay full price. Maybe yes, maybe not, depending on the piece. Patience is the key.
Of course, there are many ways to do this: one could allot part of the budget to the replacement pieces and part to the added pieces, keeping whatever ratio would be most convenient 3/2, 1/4, etc.
Or if one has no budget to respect, I would say go for whatever 5 items you fancy, following the same categories: special events, replacements, adding new…, keeping in mind the tenant of quality above quantity.
Et voilà! That was a very long rambling. Hopefully a useful one… 😉
I should not admit that I have a lot of clothes, really. I need nothing and I have always “invested” in key wardrobe elements. I really do like that belt though! Great exercise.
If nothing else, it deepens our awareness. Thank you for your honesty Lucy. You are not alone. ?
I am currently in the midst of a serious wardrobe edit! I have been a cautious shopper for some time now but still I end up with items that on reflection I do not really need or want to wear! So I have been editing and refining all week and have made a list of items I wish to purchase in the coming year (one quality purchase each month or thereabouts).. this month something that has been on my list to purchase for a while – a new quality blazer in a different colour to plain black which I already own. I found a great wool blazer in a check pattern from Massimo Dutti and at a great price reduction. Added this month and I love it and feel very happy with my purchase and addition. When I feel like this I know it was a quality purchase that I will get much wear out of and feel great whilst wearing it!
I love the ethos of a quality capsule wardrobe of items that all work well together.
(Oh and I 100% agree that stripes are a neutral staple and my wardrobe would evidence that 😂)