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capsule wardrobe

2020 Challenge: Buying Less & Appreciating What We Already Have

Our transition to living a more mindful lifestyle has been a huge eye-opening experience. The amount of needless waste we created in the past is shocking to us now. Personally, I was a compulsive shopper, who would shop to help improve a dull mood. No thought was put into what was bought or questions were never asked like, “Do I need this?”, “Have I something similar?”, “Will I wear this next year?”.

Shopping was something I did when I was bored, sad, happy, excited, basically, I needed no excuse. My perception of happiness & the first thought of contentment entered my mind after we moved to Canada. We began working & socializing with people who had “everything”: the cars, the houses, the clothes, the shoes, the jewellery, the bags, the holidays & the money.

However, these people still felt they did not have enough. After a shopping spree of which I spent A LOT of money, I came home and began looking online at other things I could purchase……for some reason I caught myself doing this & paused. I paused to think about the people who we got to know in recent years, so much money but it wasn’t enough, more money had to be earned, more holidays, more houses, more bags, shoes etc. had to be got. That’s when I realised it would never end for me, I would constantly come home after shopping and feel I needed more. I wanted to feel content with what I had and start to live my life differently.

The first thing that I wanted to change was my wardrobe. I wanted a wardrobe that would last years & not date. I started researching about capsule wardrobes and how French girls always look chic & stylish with only a handful of garments. This was the first step on the road to a new life for us.

Almost 5 years later, we both have capsule wardrobes and are so much more content in our lives. With contentment comes happiness. We appreciate what we have & take care of our things so they can last as long as possible. We are conscious of our waste and look for ways to reduce our carbon footprint. In light of all the climate protests in 2019, we have decided to challenge ourselves to reduce our waste further in 2020.

One way we plan on doing this is through the challenge #2020wehaveplenty which was created by Signe from Uselesswardrobe.dk. It is a small set of rules for reducing our buying for 2020. Buying only what we need, trying to source it second hand first are our priorities.

If you are interested in joining the challenge please take a look at the buy less 2020 recommendations list below and post your pictures in Instagram to the hashtag #2020wehaveplenty.

So far, we have been loving this challenge. Today I bought a dress for my friend’s wedding in June in a second-hand store for a fraction of the original price. I had seen the dress in a high-end store last year and couldn’t justify paying the amount for the dress. I was so happy to have found the dress and now I have a beautiful dress for any other fancy occasions for years to come. This has been my only purchase this year, and it was on my list of items to get. Super happy.

The best of luck on your low spending in 2020.

Chat soon,

Theresa xxx

 

How to Care for Your Clothes & Extend the Life of your Wardrobe

For the past few years George & myself have been reducing the amount of clothing we purchase. We are consciously making an effort to take care of our current wardrobe so it last for years. There are several steps we are taking to help extend the life of our clothes.

  1. Read the care instructions on clothing labels

Become familiar with the fabrics your clothes are made from & how to take care of these fabrics. Look at the tags on the inside of each garment. Wash & iron accordingly. Use gentle laundry detergent, avoid all chemicals by making your own. Simply mix castile soap, borax & water. We use this for our clothes & it works perfectly.

  1. Do not put your clothes in the drier, air dry instead

We rarely use the drier to dry our clothes. The drier is harsh on clothing, it can misshape & shrink your clothes too. To extend the life of your garments avoid the drier. We like to hang our clothes on a clothes horse which we place in our bedroom. Our clothes dry within 24 hours.

  1. Iron, fold & hang your clothes

Ironing your garments according to the care label or material will keep the shape & style of your clothes. Compare a ironed shirt to an non-ironed shirt, it’s a much more polished & put together look. You will want to wear your clothes when you go to the effort of ironing them as they look brand new. After ironing make sure to hang or fold your clothes properly. Get hangers to fit your clothes & fold all knits so they wont loose their shape. Create enough of space in your wardrobe so your clothes can breathe. Donate or sell clothes you do not wear to create space. Have your closet looking like a boutique rather than a jammed packed thrift store. Not only is space good for the clothes, you will be able to see what’s in your closet too.

  1. Remove stains, mend & repair clothes & shoes

Don’t let stains sit on your clothes for days. Spot clean the stain immediately by using soap & water. If laundry day is not for a couple of days ensure to clean the stain well and maybe leave soaking overnight in soap & water. For tougher stains apply a more heavy-duty stain remover. Mend any missing buttons & tears in your clothing. Learn how to sew & repair tears. Practice is all it takes & maybe a few YouTube videos if you are like me 😉 Bring your shoes & boots to the cobbler for repair. The cobbler will extend the life of your favourite shoes & boots. Ensure to check all clothing & shoes at the end of each season before storing clothes away for any repairs that need to be done. Complete all repairs before putting your garments into storage.

  1. Wash your clothing less

We tend to wash our clothes too much. Items like jeans and knits don’t need to be washed after each time you wear them. Freshen them up by hanging them outside in the fresh air or in the bathroom after a hot bath or shower. You will see that the jeans & knits will last so much longer.

  1. Store your seasonal clothes away at the end of each season

Find yourself some large vacuum zip lock bags or under the bed storage boxes from Ikea to store seasonal clothes away. Fold all the clothes nicely, ensure they are all clean & repairs mended before storing. Wipe down all shoes and store them in shoe bags with your seasonal garments. Before I store away large knits that I wore for a couple of seasons I will bring them to the dry cleaners so they are fresh for the following year. For large coats I will also dry clean but leave hanging in the coat closet with a protector cover over them. Removing seasonal clothes from your closet will create space & keep your closet current with fresh new styles. #shopyourcloset.

  1. Buy quality garments made from natural fibres

When purchasing clothes pre-loved or new ensure the quality is there before buying. Ask yourself if this garment will look good after 3 washes? What material is it made from? Does it have to be dry cleaned? (personally, I stay away from these) The materials we like to buy are cotton, wool, silk, hemp & leather. We find these materials last the best and are easiest to take care of.

These are our top tips for extending the life of your wardrobe. Remember quality over quantity, look for pre-loved clothing made from natural fibres & avoid trends so that we will have a timeless wardrobe that will last a life time. For more insights into clothing care & the capsule wardrobe check out uselessdk.com, Signe has loads of great tips;-)

Thanks so much for reading,

Chat soon,

Theresa xxxx

 

 

 

Maternity Capsule Wardrobe: What I bought & Why

Being pregnant for the first time can be at times overwhelming. There are so many things to learn, consider and decide on before the baby even arrives! My advice as a first time Mom is to slow everything down. In reality we have 40 weeks before the child arrives so it lots of time to research and make an educated decision about buying necessities like strollers, car seats, bassinets & all the “must haves” before the baby is born.

The same attitude should be applied to buying maternity clothes. First of all, I suggest not to go buying maternity clothes when your regular clothes still fit. Pack away all the clothes that don’t fit & display all the clothes that still fit and build your wardrobe around these.

 

Pictures: I chose to wear the black high neck I already had, my new black maternity jeans and old pair of black boots for all photos to highlight how 1 outfit can be worn in so many different ways. In these pictures I am 24 weeks pregnant.

Use the first few months to do your research on what maternity clothes you will actually need and what style of clothes you want to buy & which you will wear throughout the pregnancy. The time of year & where you live will have an effect on what purchases you make.

We found out I was pregnant in October; my due date is June 15th. Most of my pregnancy is through the colder & cooler months of winter & spring. My style is generally jeans, thin sweaters, cardigans & sweaters for these seasons. These were the items I decided I would buy for my maternity closet once I grew out of my regular clothes.

Looking up styles on Pinterest & Instagram is great to get some inspiration of how you want to look while being pregnant. For me my favourite style is casual/cool, no fuss everyday clothes that are comfortable but look super cool. Once I see pictures of the styles, I like I save them for inspiration. I work in an office but we have no dress code so basically you can wear what you like. This is great for me as I don’t have to waste money on suits and clothes, I would never wear given a choice. However, the same rules apply if you do have a more formal wardrobe.

Picture: This navy leather jacket I have for the past 4 years, love it so much. I paid a lot of money for it but it’s the only leather jacket I will ever own & will last me my life time…..even during pregnancy. I never wear this jacket closed, I snap the top button closed and wear a scarf tied or draped in front.

The next step I took once I had an idea of what items I needed to buy for my maternity wardrobe was to pack away all my regular clothes that no longer fit. The majority of my jeans were too small by week 19, I had one stretchy pair of skinny jeans left which were still fitting so I kept them out until they were not comfortable any more. I like large shirts over skinny jeans so I had a couple of shirts that still fit and will fit for a another few months. I had 2 vest tops, 3 thin high neck tops and 4 cardigans that all fit well and will for many more months.

These are all the items I kept for my maternity capsule closet, all the rest of the clothes got vacuumed packed and stored in an ikea storage container underneath our bed.

 

Picture: This green coat again was an investment which I got in an amazing sale! Its 3 years old & it comes out every winter. The coat style is big & loose so it has worked out really well for being pregnant. I can still close it but I usually wear it open with a scarf & hat as shown in the picture.

Hanging in my wardrobe before going shopping for maternity clothes were:

Clothing

1 pair of jeans

2 vest tops (black & red)

3 thin high neck tops (green, grey, black)

4 cardigans (Navy, grey, pattern, black)

2 large shirts (denim, grey)

Outerwear

1 green winter coat

1 navy leather jacket

2 Blazers

2 heavy knight cardigans

Shoes (all still fit, no swelling of feet yet)

2 pairs black ankle boots

1 pair red ankle boots

1 pair white sneakers

1 pair black sneakers

2 pairs fancy shoes

Accessories

4 Scarves

3 Hats

Small Jewellery collection

Using accessories, shoes & switching up outerwear can make the same outfit look so different All of these things can come from your regular wardrobe. A trick I like to use is to wear my blazers that no longer close with a thick wool scarf draped in front so I keep warm, the bump is concealed and I get to wear my favourite blazer.

Picture: This blazer was one of my favourite finds in Turnabout second hand store 2 years ago. I love blazers, I have 3 & wear them all the time in the Autumn & Spring. Blazers are also great for us pregnant women as they provide a nice silhouette, don’t need to close in the front and a scarf can easily keep bump warm if its a chiller day. 

Next it’s time to review the list above and fill in the gaps. Looking at the above list the first thing I decided to purchase was maternity pants. At week 20 I bought a black pair of skinny jeans and grey denim skinny jeans. First, I looked in local second-hand stores for maternity jeans but nobody had any. There was one store who sold maternity clothes second hand but they were closed when I visited “Cobblestone”. There are options online but I really needed to try on the pants before buying online second-hand as I had no clue how the sizing worked. Turns out you go y the size you are in your jeans. Another thing I avoided was buying hauls of second-hand clothing from Facebook market place. Although you can get lots of clothes for a great price, you end up with lots of clothes, many of which you probably won’t ever wear. Beware of the hauls!

On my list of items, I wanted to purchase (second hand if possible) were;

2 pairs of blue jeans (light & dark)

1 thin high neck top (mustard)

1 camel colour cardigan

1 heavy black sweater

1 camel scarf

1 red blouse for fancy occasion

2 other tops which will get me through chilly days and warmer spring days

Once I had my list, I went to the local second-hand stores to look for tops. I don’t need to buy maternity tops, I decided to size up on regular tops and see how they looked. I lucked out on my first shop in Turnabout on 4th avenue. I found a fabulous black cashmere sweater & red silk blouse. Two items knocked off my list almost immediately. A few weeks later I decided to see what was in the sales in Aritzia in Oakridge as I could not find any other items second-hand. I picked up 1 thin high neck in a mustard colour, a cashmere camel cardigan and a camel scarf all on sale.

Picture: Peek a boo! Here is my current bump situation at 24 weeks. Looking forward to seeing it grow bigger and finding new ways to use my new & current clothes to look & feel great while my body changes shape & size.

What’s remaining on my list:

2 pairs of blue jeans

2 other tops which will get me through chilly days and warmer spring days

This weekend I plan on visiting “cobblestone” hoping that it will be open this time to see if I can pick up the above items, I also plan on visiting another excellent second-hand store called Dragon Phoenix in the Southlands. I’m hoping I will be lucky and find the remaining items but if not, I will keep searching. This is what’s fun about conscious shopping, you really put time into looking for the perfect addition to your wardrobe. I appreciate my clothes so much more now than when I would go out on a whim and purchase mindlessly.

I hope this was helpful.

Again, if you have any feedback or comments, we would love to hear from you.

Have a great week.

Chat soon,

Theresa x