I am no minimalist. My aim is to create a “capsule wardrobe” of assorted pieces that I can combine in a variety of ways and enjoy wearing. I think it is a given that I should have more than one pair of jeans and more than one T, but key pieces have to versatile.
In the little collection above, I have combined some favourite Vintage pieces with new items.
Firstly, I have included my favourite coat, a black wool, single breasted collarless straight cut garment by Corner Shop that I bought in 1990 from a Paul Sartori charity shop in Haverfordwest. I think that it had been made to measure for someone, but fitted me perfectly, and still does! It cost me £7. When I put this coat on, I feel instantly smart, and it works with dresses, skirts, trousers and jeans. As it is collarless, I often add a scarf. The scarf in the photos is one that I made myself. It is black wool with woven border deep pockets and a light grey suiting lining. ( One of the photos also shows this scarf worn with a black dress.)
I am a great fan of traditional Welsh Wool, and collect blankets and “carthen”, mostly brightly coloured ones from the 1960s. The 1960s was a great era for the Woollen mills of West Wales, as fashion designers such as Mary Quant, used Welsh woollen cloth to create funky clothes and accessories. The two skirts included in this collection are both Welsh wool cloth from the 1960s. Both the red cloth and the green cloth are traditional woven patterns. In one outfit, I have combined the sixties skirt with an early 90s black zip top by Workers for Freedom, and a white T. I would wear this zip top with either skirt, and love the white “surprise” detail on the back.
The grey merino wool cardigan with red and maroon yoke is a recent purchase from TK Maxx. It is the perfect length to wear with the red skirt, but will also combine well with jeans.
The classic denim jeans jacket is also a recent High Steeet purchase, and already a favourite of mine. I have shown it here with one of the 60s skirts ( I could wear it with either), with my black straight cut Per Una jeans (bought second hand), with a Vintage Orvis button-through below the knee black cotton dress, and with a stretchy knee length tie-dye patterned T shirt dress by Apricot, bought a few years ago on the High St. ( cheap and cheerful!)
One of my favourite items is a glorious reversible Vintage embroidered silk jacket from the Orient. Depending upon my mood and upon the occasion, I can wear it black with a red lining or red with a black lining. I can dress it up or dress it down. I wear it with the black jeans or over the black dress.
The last item in this little collection is a Vintage Hyphen silk lined knee length frock coat, that has been in my wardrobe for about twenty years. It has a single button in the front and is fitted. It looks great over black jeans, but also looks great over the stretchy Apricot dress. It’s the type of garment that looks pretty sharp!
So, I think that is about a dozen items of clothing that form the basis of my wardrobe, and about 50% of its volume. The remainder is mainly seasonal or party clothes that I can happily put into storage, but also include a couple of shirts that I love and wear, an oversized sweater, ditto, and a classic trench coat.
Add ons include: underwear, footwear, accessories, bags, scarves, belts etc.
Now that I have made a start on the task of creating a capsule wardrobe, I realize how random some of my clothes purchases have been over a number of years. I love clothes, particularly vintage classics, and have a penchant for lovely fabrics and beautiful stitching. As I am in the business of selling vintage clothes and accessories, I am often tempted to hang on to pieces….knowing full well that I am never going to loose those extra inches!
Received wisdom dictates to make three piles of clothes, those lovely unwearable vintage things that someone else can enjoy can go to my shop….where they were always destined to be, non vintage unwanted items in good condition can be donated to a charity shop and the worn out or hideous mistakes can be binned. Anything that’s left should be considered as a keeper.
In the last week I have put several pieces in to stock, donated three bags to charity shops and binned two bags.
What I want to do next is create some outfits with key pieces, and see what looks I can create with a mixture of vintage and modern clothes. I want to enjoy wearing my clothes, but I want them to suit my lifestyle. There is no point in me creating looks to wear at the office, for example, as I work from home, and live in a wooded rural hamlet in West Wales. On the other hand, there is no reason to look like a hay seed all of the time, and it will be great to have a selection of outfits that will work for me, and make me feel great!
So, more to come soon…….
The Capsule wardrobe project is temporarily on hold! No apologies, I have been working on other things whilst enjoying the unprecedented heat wave! Apart from my garden and vegetable plot, I have been busy taking photographs of new stock for Coolclobber and Floslingerie. We have now had weeks and weeks of hot sunshine, and I have had to eat my words about shorts! It has been too hot to wear much else!
So, here are some of my latest stock items for Coolclobber ⬆ Tap on any photo to enlarge it.
As the New Year approaches, I decided to begin a blog about all things vintage….behind the scenes at my two Etsy shops, Coolclobber and Floslingerie, and life in the country…..