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One in One Out

This post is a must for us all. Whether you’ve grasped the art of minimal loving (if so we applaud you), or like us you strive for it. Style blogger Mette has all the tips for how we make our wardrobe work for us. Trust us you’ll want to bookmark this post and refer to it again and again…

Minimilaist Living

“I am so very grateful to the man I married many years ago, if it wasn’t for him I would be famous from appearing on one of those television programmes, where your life is at risk from an avalanche of clothing and fashion accessories, where professional cleaners come in and you find you have slept on top of a dead cat for 8 years.

“My husband operates a strict one in, one out procedure (only not on Motorcycles) and through that I have come to the realisation that our happiness is not linked to how much we own, actually, within reason, I think the opposite is the case.

“This way of minimalist living has transformed the way I live, and I apply it across the board, so if I read a good book, I will pass it on and so on. I feel increasingly upset about the fact that people spend less and less on their garments and buy more and more. It’s a really vicious circle.

“I have implemented one in one out philosophy to my wardrobe. Despite actually loving clothes I actually have very few of them. Most of them, are very good ones, and by far mostly my own making and designs. I appreciate it is not an option for most people.

“But I am quite a minimalist, and the philosophy around it, I can pass on and perhaps make you consider your next impulse buy for a bit longer.

“The fact is most people use only 20% of their wardrobe content 80 % of the time…. think about that one, so if we can identify the garments in the 20% we can save the money we spend on the 80% and add them to the 20% and have a really super minimalist wardrobe.

So how do you start on a minimalist capsule wardrobe?

Capsule Wardrobe

“Well, first step, declutter! You might feel you have a closet full of clothes, and nothing to wear, actually you might have so much stuff it’s impossible to get anything out and see what is at the back. Well, there are many ways of decluttering. I am a total fan of Marie Condo. You can quickly get introduced to her systems.

“Broadly speaking, take everything out, of your closet, pick up each thing, when you pick it up, does it spark joy? If yes, keep it in the pile of similar things, like tops in one pile and so on. If it doesnt spark joy, the item must go out!

“Spark joy is a funny way of saying it, but you totally know what I mean. Those shorts, that makes you feel pot bellied and that top which makes you look slightly off colour… Clearly! It has got to go.

“Next step, is to see what you actually have. Obviously, what you need is depending on your life style. But I would say a pair of slim jeans, a pair of boyfriend jeans, one or 2 classic pairs of trousers, and a couple of skirts , like a pencil skirt, an a-line and a flared skirt.

“Then for tops, you will need a few T-shirs, a shirt, then a couple of blouses, and also, little vest tops to wear under stuff is all helpful.

“I am a big fan of dresses. I think they are more easy to put on, and it’s just one thing. I feel a couple of jersey dresses are great, as they are so versatile. You will then a straight dress and a more flared dress.
You will also need a few jackets, a leather or suede jacket, i feel gives great versatility. And then a suit jacket, and a wind-rain breaker, and then i am a big fan of a blazer, yes, I know it’s currently not a fashionable word.

“Then a few other items, without a category, what about a gilet, a few scarf’s, a jumpsuit or similar fun garments or garments to spice up the rest. We are now around 25 garments, and this should give you about 100 different combinations.

“I have a massive box, with seasonal clothes, I swap that round twice a year, these are all items which goes with the rest of my wardrobe. In the beginning of each season, check over all your pieces, do they still fit, (my advice is if you have lots of clothes you don’t fit, don’t keep them for years and years, make a decision, will you loose weight, if yes, make a plan and keep the clothes, if you are realistic and know you can’t find the motivation. Then chuck those clothes. They will never spark joy.

“You can make a little note of which things go together, Trinny and Suzannah, recommend you take pictures of the different combinations and keep a little file. You could also write them up in your note book, another option is to capture your outfits on an app. I have recently started using an app called Stylebook, it’s a bit tedious to set up, but actually a great system, slightly tedious to set up, but it helps you utilising all the garments in your wardrobe, and it will even break down price per wear for each item, and you can put in inspiration for new outfits or garments to slot into your existing wardrobe.

“I build my capsule wardrobes in the same way as I would start the design of a collection. I add inspirations and sketches and cut outs in my note book, along with a paint chart from B&Q this makes me play with colours and accent colours with out it costing me any money, its quite fun and you will be sure to have made the right choice when you finally make a purchase.

“The colours you pick for your capsule wardrobe, are very important. I suit colder colours, so my wardrobe is all based on greys and navies and blues and bits of black. This is the basic neutral colours i have my wardrobe in and tend to buy the more expensive items in these colours. But then you can buy some more “whacky” items, some fashionable items in pop colours or unusual textures to make the basic garments “pop”, it’s great when everything just matches.

“Companies like Colour Me Beautiful and House of Colour and similar systems are great. It’s fun to do, with your mum or girlfriends. It’s an investment as it helps you source the colours which suits you, and wheat out those faulty purchases.

“So next stage for your capsule wardrobe, organsie your wardrobe. I am all for labelling everything, I know where my short sleeved tops are, my vests and long sleeves are, and then they are colour coded. They are neatly folded, so you get a neat edge of colour when you open your wardrobe.

“If you want to adopt my OCD-ways, I can recommend, organisers from Ikea and Muji (I shared a room with a Japanese girl for 6 months, wow, her organiation was amazing and she taught me a lot) Companies like http://www.practicalprincess.com/ even offer this service to set up your wardrobe, but with your decluttering, you can easily do it yourself and organisation you can easily do yourself. The organisation will make it lots easier to get organised in the morning.

“So, once you have decluttered, and thought about what items you would like in your wardrobe. Then put all the money on the silly impulse purchases you bought, in a payday lunchtime, you can replace old items with nice new things. And now we want you to look after them. So, consider if you absolutely need to wash each time the garments have been worn? Perhaps they can be aired and put back in the wardrobe.

“Washing puts a lot of wear on the clothes and the environment, and on your purse. We are washing far too much compared to years back. And it might not be necessary to do it as much as we do. Use a shorter cycle and consider how much detergent you use, and always read the care label.

“Wool, cashmere and silk items times tends to last much longer than other times, and with them being more expensive it’s important to watch out for moths. I know it’s a huge problem in Edinburgh, apparently some of the insulation of the Georgian and Victorian buildings holds stuff Moths likes to live in. So don’t leave it to chance, make sure you have a regime of spraying every 6 months and use lavender sachets in your drawers at all time, write a reminder in your diary to change them before they expire.

“My last piece of advice, and this might be unpopular, but it’s a real money saver. If you find a garment you really like in the shop, got home, and see your capsule wardrobe, does it go with the rest? Is it a missing piece? If yes, then only then go back and buy it.

“I hope you have found inspiration to buy better things, and stop spending on the “fast food” in the fashion industry; this should make you happier and leave less strain on the environment. This should help you quickly and easily get dressed smartly in the morning and for events. This should help you to spend the money and time on what you chose to do, and not just per automatic buy stuff you never wear.”

Anyone else read this and think yes! Feeling like I really need Mette’s One in One out approach to my life. Off to de-clutter my wardrobe… Alie x

Originally hailing from Denmark but having now made Edinburgh her home (it was love at first sight!), multi award-winning designer dressmaker Mette Baillie is the incredible talent behind Freja Designer Dressmaking.