The Verdict: Did living with a capsule wardrobe really help my overshopping habits?

In April this year, I started living with my 40 item (give or take) capsule wardrobe.

I decluttered majorly in all areas of my life, jumped on the minimalism bandwagon and put myself on a 4 month long shopping ban (which I did break twice).

For months, I posted articles about how I loved living with less, I loved having a capsule wardrobe. How spending less time and effort on clothing and shopping gave me time for other things and I adored. I was abstaining from shopping, payed down debts and saved a bunch; it was glorious. Hands down I had not one single negative thing to say about living with only 40 items of clothing and boycotting the shops!

But the time has come, where unfortunately, I have found the dangers of a capsule wardrobe for me and shop-aholics alike!Read More »


My shopping spree reviewed- enabling thoughts and frivoulty

After my spring capsule wardrobe shopping trip, I found myself in a place of quite severe guilt and shame. I struggled to pull myself out of that place, and it was a second unplanned shopping trip a week later where I metaphorically threw my hands up in the air and said “what the hell, whatever goes” and shopped up a storm.

After that point, I’d done so much damage, I financially couldn’t have afforded one. more. thing! I felt the post shopping guilt and shame once again, however I finally felt like I had purchased everything I “needed” (not that I ever even needed anything in the first place). I’d scratched that shopping itch that I didn’t seem to fulfill the first time around. The thing is, that shopping itch wasn’t out of needing to fill a few more mindful gaps in my wardrobe. It was from longing to treat myself and purchase a few fun, unplanned items.

27 items and a lot of dwelling later, I finally let go of the guilt and started to allow myself to enjoy the new wardrobe. You can read more about my post shopping-ban shopping spree here.

The intention behind pursing pseudo-minimalism and living with a capsule wardrobe, for me personally, was to tackle my carelessness with money, overspending and never ending shopping habits. I had just accumulated so much stuff! And when I shopped, it was no longer for one or two items, I would tend to purchase a whole “set” of things that “go with each other”.  I was pursuing an image, trying to live the high life that I really can’t afford, nor do I even want! And above all I had this strong desire to scale back in search of something more than accumulating “stuff”.

Living with a capsule wardrobe sure has made me more mindful. I’ve saved a heap of money, learned to go without constant shopping. I’ve become more intentional and seen benefits in all areas of my life including relationships, my career, time management, and my general happiness. The benefits of living with less and getting rid of the clutter are miraculous!

But one thing that clearly hasn’t changed is my frivolity! On my recent shopping trips I overspent. I’m over dwelling on it and I am fortunate enough to be able to quickly get past that financial setback. I decided to stop beating myself up, but it’s thank you to an insightful reader that I didn’t just bury my head in the sand and ignore some highlighted shopping habits of mine. I was ready to ignore the ‘insert large figure here’ too much that I spent and the enabling behaviours that came with it.

So it’s time to talk accountability. After all the purpose of this is to grow and develop over time. So by further analysing what I purchased and why, I’m hoping to come up with a better set of principles next time I shop. Read More »

Jess’s Spring Capsule Wardrobe

My Spring capsule wardrobe is finally locked in!

And this one was a challenge. After four months of being on a shopping ban, I struggled to “let go” of the rules, to deal with the guilt of shopping and then I relapsed and over-shopped! Trying to then fit the 26 new items into my preferred 40 item capsule wardrobe then became a bit of a riddle!

For my winter capsule wardrobe, my breakdown was as follows:


Tops: 14

Sweaters & Cardigans: 5

Pants: 6

Skirts: 3

Jackets/Coats/Outerwear: 8

Dresses: 1


Read More »

Does capsule wardrobing foster wastefulness?

Following my big shopping relapse which I accounted here, it was time to finalise my capsule wardrobe.

I took everything out of my closet, piled it on a chair. Then, one by one I put back the items I’d selected to rollover from winter to spring and neatly hung all of my beautiful new items to join each other side by side. I then toddled over to my spare room and busted into my stored items that are considered spring/summer collections with intentions of curating a few pieces to join the new capsule selection, making the most of what I already own.  Read More »

Minimalism Bust. The shopping ban was over and so she shopped! Up. A. Storm.

My dear OHH followers and newbies alike. Recovering shopaholics, shopping ban battlers… I must tell you something. For I have sinned!

Oh yes people, ohhhh yes! I have experienced a relapse of mammoth proportions!

See, my plan for capsule wardrobe rotation was as follows…

  1. Identify what to keep in my wardrobe from winter to spring
  2. Identify what to take out of storage for spring
  3. Identify the gaps that need filling
  4. Shop for those gaps, mindfully, intentionally and within a reasonable budget (erm, keyword here, just keep in mind… reasonable!)
  5. take everything out of the wardrobe, and mindfully curate the options and place back in the wardrobe a selected 30 to 45 pieces
  6. allow another week to trial the selection and edit further if needed
  7. lock down the spring capsule wardrobe by the 12th of September

I dutifully started this process and here you can read about what I chose to keep on from my existing wardrobe. And here you can read about the gaps I decided required a shopping venture to fill.

At that point, step3,  I was very confused to say the least. I didn’t desire or long for hitting the shops. Shopping felt so foreign after months of avoiding their glittery shiny new-ness! I felt very lost and very much like I’d forgotten how to shop! Lets face it, shopping for me in the past has been all about frivolity and fun. Lest be honest, I was pretty careless in the past! I wasn’t sure being mindful was something I could do when released “into the wild”. I feared failure, relapse and the unknown! The adrenalin and excitement of a shopping trip evaded me. Such an odd and empty feeling that I’d never felt about the possibility of adorning beautiful new items. I was scared and hesitant.

I scoured online stores, browsed some shops and couldn’t comprehend the spring fashions and how they would fit in my capsule, which was at the same time seemingly becoming old and tired. I hunted excessively online for “smart” items that were wearable, mindful and practical and fit my “gaps”.

I built up the courage, and with a work trip to Melbourne I had the a perfect opportunity to use some after work time to set out with my shopping list, and complete the feared purchases.  And here comes the accountability….Read More »

Spring Capsule Wardrobe gaps identified!

spring capsuleAfter curating my Autumn Winter capsule wardrobe, and choosing key existing pieces that will hang in there for my Spring , it became time to consider what I needed from the big wide outside world; aka the shops!

Pictured here are the winning pieces that will roll over from my Winter wardrobe through to Spring, some of which have been dug out of my storage options.

So, I plan to fill my identified gaps with a spot of forbidden shopping… my heart sinks with fear just thinking of it! Can you believe a once thriving shopping obsessed lady now fearful of a venture to the shops. “Can I do this?” I ask myself.

Here’s the shopping list:

1. Corporate pants

I started with 3 at the start of my winter capsule. With one pair ready for the trash, and another just uncomfy due to an odd length, I’m down to one. A new pair is on the list!

2. A corporate skirt. My winter skirt was a thick woolen a-line flare skirt. Time for a more summery replacement! Still loving the A-line flicky style though!

3. Spring Dress

A cute summer/spring comfy dress that’s easy to wear on casual daysRead More »

Preparing a Spring Capsule Wardrobe- What’s staying and what’s going?

It’s almost spring… and you know that means? Capsule wardrobe rotation time!

This is my first ever capsule rotation, and one thing I’ve learned is that rotation is a very different story to starting your first capsule wardrobe, that’s for sure.

The first time around, I was very focused on de-cluttering, clearing the way for my glory pieces to shine through and get the love and attention they deserve. It’s initially an intriguing new concept; living with less, a little scary and exciting all the same.

On the 19th of April 2015, I locked down my first ever capsule wardrobe, and enforced a strict and reasonably successful shopping ban. I was on a mission! I saved a bunch and shopped a whole lot less than what I had in the past. And I loved it. I loved living from my 40 items that whittled down to 33 after a month or so as I became more aware of what I wanted to wear and what I loved! I also became very used to not wasting time thinking about clothing, not having to make decisions about what to wear, and everything fashion related just became a whole lot easier!

So come rotation time, I became a little displaced. It was a scary thought to “break the rules” and shop for a few new spring pieces. To make decisions again and be faced with a world full of confusing choices, not just from my stored clothing, but potentially the world of scary and long time forbidden beautiful options in the shops. God forbid!

I was on such a roll I had contemplated to continue the shopping ban and shop from my own wardrobe. I’d gotten rid of so so much unloved clothing in my big declutter, I didn’t miss any of it, but I surely didn’t have as many spring options to choose from. So before I went ahead to make any brash decisions about what to buy, not to buy, whether to shop or not to shop, I took the first baby steps to weigh up my options…

1. Decide what’s staying

2. Decide what’s being stored away, trashed or donated

3. Decide what’s coming out of storage

Read More »