How to come to a Capsule Wardrobe, when you’re moving out Abroad ?

Recently inspired by minimalist people & videos, for Home and for closet especially, I was wondering if I could do it, one day !

Plus, moving out here, in China, with only 23 kilos allowed, for a normal luggage, plus a handbag for the plane, I really had to do some crucial choices.

First, and even if my Dad wanted me to buy everything again in Shanghai, as “clothes are cheap there !”, I didn’t want to ; and it was actually a good decision. As you might know (or not !), clothes here are not cheaper, if you speak about the brands I like, such as Zara or GAP, for example. Then, of course, you can find cheaper clothes if you go to the different markets, as you can negociate there ! But coming in China is also (re)-discovering brands like Uniqlo, New Look & Victoria Secret’s ; and that means also several tentations… !

So, how did you decide, then ?

I started by doing a complete uncluttering , in my previous flat, in Angers, before the temporary moving-out in Dijon, my hometown (for those who still don’t know !). Then, it was easier to choose :

  • first, the clothes I wanted for the Summer Time in Dijon ;
  • then, the clothes I wanted to keep for later (next season or later in 2 years, after China !) ;
  • finally, the clothes I was constantly wearing, either in the Spring Time or just, throughout the year

How did I started ?

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First, you have to take everything out of your wardrobe, like I did. You can put it on your bed or on on the floor !

If you know the KonMari method, she has a very simple way of doing, by using boxes:

  1. The first one is “to keep” : you love these clothes whatever, even if they are old or not even fresh anymore ;
  2. The second one is “maybe” : you don’t wear them all the time, but still, you like them !
  3. The third one is “no” : you just want to get rid of them !

To these categories, I added some more ones:

  • The occasionnal clothes : wedding clothes or very precious dresses, etc
  • The sentimental clothes : your grandma’s coat or the jumper you wore when you’re only 3 years old, etc. Then, pay attention & directly bring the pyjamas you wear for 10 years now (and even if you like it ; poke my Love !) in the “no” box and maybe even in the bin !!
  • The comfy clothes : pyjamas ; University sweaters ; long socks ; etc. But then, you also have to restrict the number of them, maybe choosing the best ones for each season.
  • The sport clothes : maybe 2 or 3 leggings (or 2 leggings and one short ?) are enough?! and some bras plus loose T-shirts. Then, you can add one of the sweaters we already talked about 😉

The case of the shoes

For shoes, you might do the same procedure ; but then, always ask yourself is you really like them or not. As M. Kondo is saying: “Does this outfit/… make you happy ?”

Then, be sure that trainers are not too old (and not washable after all these years !) are too disgusting ! High heels can also be difficult to pick up, as I also have different pairs for each season.

The best thing to Do is to go for Basics : one or two pairs of trainers (one for the gym and one for the daily life) ; one pair of high heels (I would say black !) ; one pair of boots for the winter season and one pair of ballerinas/slippers or whatever + one pair of sandals/flip-flops. Don’t forget to add some slippers for home, but in my opinion and as I did, you can always get them in your new country !

What about the accessories ?

  • Bags

For bags, I’ve always struggled with the number of them. As a big fan of very nice handbags, I thought I could just take one big (what I did !) & other smaller ones (one normal one, a colourful one from Primark ; and a fancy one, from Christian Lacroix).

Then, I bought my pale pink backpack here in Miniso, for the equivalent of 7 euro !

Now, I am also using a lot of different tote-bags: the one of my school, one from Ikea, another one from a workshop, etc.

  • Belts

Just one ! Stop.

  • Hats & winter stuff

One winter hat with a pompom & 2 scarfs (one gray and one with English style). Then, I also took one thiner scarf for the Spring time, with nice patterns on it, just to be able to style it with everything !

But what about the coats/jackets/… ?

What I did to start, is that I chose the jackets for the Summer & Fall time first + a winter coat, as I knew we were going back home for the Chinese New Year, in February.

  • A jean jacket -that I found in a “vintage shop” in London, Camden, long time ago ;
  • A dark blue blazer from Claudie Pierlot ;
  • A sweater I bought in China the first time I came, a copy of an Abercrombie one !
  • A big wool-style cardigan from Kookai

Then, in February, I let my red winter coat in France (+ my Uggs bought in China this winter !) and took:

  • My leather jacket from Mango ;
  • My poncho from 1, 2, 3, as a perfect transition between the cold time & the Spring season.

What else did you take from France, when you came back ?

  • My favourite Summer tops
  • My favourite shorts (but I already had some of them, as I wear them throughout the whole Year !) + skirts + dresses + a short-legged jumpsuit !
  • One pair of new sneakers (white Nike) : not that useful, btw, as I received one pair of NB from one friend…
  • One pair of sandals from Primark (as I has to throw the previous ones away, bought in Cambridge though ;( )
  • 2 pairs of pants: my blue & white floral one ; and a red one
  • One black & wintery skirt + a striped short, gifts & basics from my Aunt for Christmas.

 

Here is the result for our current wardrobe !

I didn’t buy any other boxes, as I am waiting to see if I still need them in our future Home.

As you might see, I also rolled some Summer dresses or tops, to make my wardrobe a very useful one, without too much stuff hanging inside. I will speak about this method in a next article !

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How often do you declutter your wardrobe ?

Since I am in China, I am doing in all the time ! Preparing some garage sales or just some swaps is one of my favourite activities ! And since I discovered the Sorry Girls Youtube channel, I am constantly trying to customise my clothes, by cutting and sewing my tops ; doing some embroidery and addind some more textile jewelry to my outfits. The jewelry is actually not hard to pick up, as you always have your fav’s, either in a sentimental way (which is, btw, very important when you’re moving abroad), or your colourful necklaces etc to pimp your casual outfits !

Why doing that, actually ?

Because it is a very good way to improve your mental health ! It is really important to get rid of the stuff you always had, even if it is hard sometimes. It is the same as your friendships or your other relations, you constantly have to be aware of what makes you happy or a better person.

For the clothes, it also helps to change your style, if you’re looking for it. Or just, it helps you to try (again) new pieces you never thought could fit & even better, suit you !

 

Moving out should be the starting point of all of this ! If you’re not motivated, here are 2 solutions for you:

  1. Do it with a friend/a member of your family/someone you trust or just someone you think has a very good style (I actually got this tip from Lily Pebbles).
  2. Do it when you feel overwhelmed or just in a change-mood !

I am sure you’ll see the benefits very quickly and it is really important to only keep with you what makes you Happy, what gives you this impression to be able to conquer the world.

You should feel sexy or just powerful with these outfits you kept.

Then, some other interesting people are suggesting Challenges like:

  • The 40-pieces challenge: you should have not more than 40 pieces, in total.
  • The 13-pieces challenge for one month: you’re not allowed to wear more than these pieces during the complete month.
  • The Minimalist challenge: you have to get rid of 1 stuff for the first day of the Month ; of 2 on the second day, and etc. People are actually posting on Instagram, which can be particularly helpful and encouraging !

 

If you enjoyed this long article & if it gave you, at least, the impulsion to start, just give it a Like & sharing Your Experience in the comments below could be very useful and motivating towards others !

 

See you,

Love.

Roseline

 

 

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