Minimalist capsule wardrobe of a menopausal, hot flash ridden woman
I like a minimal wardrobe. It provides me with one area of my life where I'm not overthinking.
If overthinking was an Olympic sport, I could overthink for Team Norway. I'd be captain. And win, hands down, blindfolded and with my feet in a bucket of ice.
But oh fresh cooling breeze, what to wear every day is not something I overthink.
What I need to keep in mind is layering, given the stage of life I'm in.
I might be at choir practice. I suddenly feel the desperate need to shed some clothes, you know the feeling?
I'm caught between
1. sweating like an overcooked lobster in spin class
2. creating a distraction for the row of tenors and basses by stripping down to my bra
what would you choose?
Hence, L A Y E R S.
Here is my core wardrobe that will take me from October through December. It gives me plenty of options for layering and prevents me getting kicked out if choir.
I loosely followed the 10 item wardrobe formula.
Jeans, black. Belt is always attached, because it's the only way I'll remember to use a belt.
Jeans, blue. Thrifted. High waist Levi's, no stretch. I haven't owned non-stretch jeans since I was 17, so when I wear them I keep expecting someone to come at me asking me what grade I got on the Art History test and do I know the name of the cute boy in the parallell class.
Skirt, black. Because in the fall and winter I love wearing short skirt, tights and chunky socks and shoes.
Long sleeved shirt, thrifted. Smooth, oh so cool cotton.
White T-shirt, cotton, simple. Essential for layering, as per choir practice reference above.
Sweater, long sleeved, grey. Merino wool, because Norway. Thin, warm layers are essential.
Collarless blouse, silk, long sleeves, ridiculously expensive but I feel upperclass understated when I wear it. So soft, smooth and just the right kind of cooling.
Black dress, sleeveless. Because I can't imagine a wardrobe without a dress. Since it's sleeveless I can pair it with the short sleeved T-shirt (business casual) or long sleeved shirt (business formal) or wear it on it's own, like the Little Black Dress that it is (party formal).
Cardigan, grey, merino wool. Perfect for layering.
Cardigan, bright yellow, self knitted, also another essential layering item. Spiffy colour, and with a thrifted vintage button.
Sweater, bright coral, self knitted. Warm, but quite loose and with a wide neckline, so not too hot and bothered.
Shoes, black: Dr. Martens, penny loafers, ankle boots. And white sneakers! This is my latest addition to my footwear collection, and it really upgraded my look. The power of good shoes is a force to be reckoned with.
Handbag. Large and black.
Outerwear. I've invested in a new raincoat with a warm lining, one of the items on my planned purchases list for this year. Also, a faux leather moto jacket to channel my inner Rock Chick Meets Nordic Explorer.
Loungewear. Soft leggings and sleeveless tops in cool linen to wear around the house.
Walking the dog essentials. Hiking pants, hiking boots, dog treats, anorak, assorted hats, scarves, mittens, reflex vest, all covered with tastefully arranged white fluff from said dog.
This is not 10 items!
No, it's not 10 items. Any formula for a capsule wardrobe is just that, a formula. An abstract, hypothetical concept, and there's no need to recreate an exact wardrobe or use an exact number as an ideal.
A core wardrobe isn't perfect just because it's whittled down to an exact number of items.
It's perfect because it fits your needs, your style and your life.
A perfect selection for you will look different from mine, and different from other women.
The real point here is the benefit of having a small, curated wardrobe, and then go on to live your life.
A smaller wardrobe saves you from overthinking. Let's explore some other reasons why. And if you think it's a little weird to get enthusiastic about wearing the same clothes every day, read this.
Not thinking too much about what to wear frees up your mind to think about the more important things in life.
Let's face it, some really cool people that we admire deeply, do it.
With the possible exception of Dolly Parton and Iris Apfel, both of whom I admire deeply, and neither has what I would call a minimalist approach to dressing.
But think about Barack Obama. Steve Jobs. Sophie Coppola. Angelina Jolie (yes, her). Read about 10 powerful women who have adopted uniform dressing here.
Less but better
Buying fewer clothes makes you be able to afford more exclusive, high quality clothes.
Your mother will thank you
Mother Earth, that is.
Your actual mother might not be so thrilled. She will be really upset because you're not using that polyester sweater that aunt Gladys bought for you (the one you snuck into the bag going to the thrift store).
Get used to it. Using and owning less clothes is good for the environment.