Capsule wardrobing step five : It’s all in the mix and match

Capsule wardrobing part 5/ It’s all in the mix and match

In the end, building a capsule wardrobe is like building anything in life, you need fundaments. In this case, we’re talking about (one) the basics, the white tee, the jeans, the chambray shirt…

Then to add a little flair and to define who you are, you’ll need (two) key pieces that are versatile and you can wear in many ways and with almost anything like a leather jacket or a high waisted black jeans.

And to top it all off add some (three) bold statement pieces, like cool shoes or a piece of chunky jewelry.

What counts as a statement, key piece or basic is completely up to you and your style. If you have a pretty toned down style, then a striped blazer may count as a statement piece while for others this will rather be a basic or a key piece.

Budget wise, it’s better to invest in high quality clothes in all the three categories, but if you’re on a budget I would opt for key pieces and basics first. I find that basics are as important as the structured key pieces that define your unique style. The basics are the fundaments and layers of your outfit and the chances are that you’ll wear them even more than anything else in your wardrobe.

If you don’t have a big budget, build your wardrobe slowly. No one says you have to get your seasonal capsule right immediately. Take a season or two three to really get it right, meanwhile work with what you think is still ok, but not perfect.

Statement pieces are often trendy pieces, so if you don’t have much money left to spend on them, that’s totally fine.

So after completing the first 4 steps of capsuling, it’s important to get to get your basics right. An important question to ask here is: “What is a basic to you, according to your style and lifestyle?”

For instance, I want my winter capsule wardrobe to have 5 long-sleeves that I can match with a chambray shirt or some knitwear. These are absolute musts for me, because I get cold easily and I like to wear a fresh long-sleeve almost every day in winter.  These are absolute basics to me and I finally got to the point that I stopped buying the ones that only lasted me one season. A black high waist jean is another basic to me. It always fits the occasion, can be dressed up or down, can be worn with a plain or  a “crazy’er” button down and it just makes me feel good even on days when I’m feeling a bit off. The basics are also the ones you will want to wear on days you’re not feeling it completely. They are your comfort zone. They fit right, the fabric is right, they are cut right and they blend with almost anything.

Then a key piece would be a leather perfecto in an original shape, maybe super fitting or asymmetrical. It will give some edge to your overall look and define it towards the style that you want it to. You could be dressed in a skinny jeans with a plain t shirt and throw over your leather perfecto and look like somebody completely different just like that.

Try to figure out what the basics are to you and what the key pieces are. Then think of putting the icing on the cake, aka the statement pieces.

Love, Maureen

Looking at my June budget

Big update. I recently switched from paper budget planners to excel and it has been pretty life changing. I have pie charts now and everything now. ( I feel legit grown up now LOL)

This is crazy! So here we go. Here is my June budget and everything after…

Here below my budget. My income and my savings went up hugely because of, and I totally hate this..one of my roommates has won with gambling. It’s not that I hate it so much that he’s gambling haha. But just, every time he wins he wants to pay me for two or three months rent in advance and this fucks up my whole budget actually. I freeze his money in my savings account until it’s needed, but it makes me look like I’m daddy Warbucks now, when I’m not.

Other than that.

  • Went to France: public transport bill went up
  • Went to France , food and groceries are taking care of by my parents so whatever I spend in transport is basically made up by a lower food and groceries budget. My mum treated me to the hairdresser. I don’t have this in my beauty budget. I only go to the hairdresser in France because it’s a girl we know and she basically colours it with Henna, and I rince it at home. At home in Brussels I wouldn’t be able to go home with the stuff on my head, I don’t think a natural hairdresser would allow it and give us this discount she does. At home my friend colours my hair with the Henna mix of the French hairdresser. So I stock up every time I’m in France.
  • Splurged on bath products, all cruelty free low waste ones -from (Cime Belgian Brand, Lush, Weleda and Naif). This was not planned. I kinda freaked out because of going way minimalist for months using only a normal soapbar. LOL. Budgeting is not Sparta. I might have splurged but eventually I saved huge in this category the previous months.
  • Splurged a bit on Ikea curtains and rails, this was long overdue. I had new windows placed last year and I had to figure something out to replace the old curtain system.
  • And yes. So saving a bit out of control thanks to my roommates sport gambling addiction. But will use these savings to add to my July and august and September budgets and this will even everything out again. Every time I hear him scream because some football team scored, I’m thinking, oh no, there goes my budget again. LOL.
  • I should keep an eye on bank costs because these seem to go under my radar every time or I forget to add them. Have to work on this.
  • Thinking of starting a no spend last of the year starting from august, for the last five months. I have only bills coming up, and I have to challenge myself. Because, I know myself, I get tempted quickly, mostly by wanting to refresh my wardrobe at the start of the season. So maybe it’s a fun challenge to do until Christmas comes up, which is about 4 months and a half, since august. That doesn’t seem too bad eh. And if I make it till there then we will see what next.
  • The general renovations budget is going to be eliminated. I have renovated for more than a year with extra budget other than the loans. This month I spend on ecological building materials to finish the attic bathroom. It’s not that much of a spend. I used to spend 400 or more here for the last year. But I’m done with it. I’ve renovated long enough, so this category under the debt category ( didn’t know where else to put it) will disappear like I’m Houdini. And frankly nothing could make me happier.
  • And yes. I definitely have to close QuickTime player in my tabs, and my Mac cleanup is also long overdue.

step 4 of capsule wardrobing

Step 4 of capsuling. Drawing a chart before acting out on your style inspiration…

AND WHY IT’S SO IMPORTANT…

You first want to know what the activities are that you spend your time on day to day.

It makes no sense to dress up fancy everyday when you spend your time working at home, neither does wearing long boho dresses when you have to use your bike to commute to work.

So this is step 4.

Make an honest life chart/ pie, of your typical week. Make sure you don’t forget to write down anything you do on a weekly basis.

Based on your life and your pie/ cake eliminate everything in your style inspiration list that doesn’t fit into your life or lifestyle.

It could be that you’d want your wardrobe be something completely different than what your lifestyle and the way you spend your time dictates.

So draw out a map of all your activities. Where you work, what you do socially, what hobbies you have, the people you hang out with. The special occasions you do or do not attend. For instance, if you spend 60 pct of your time working at a corporate office, it makes no sense that 60 pct of your closet are easy clothes you wear to yoga. Your capsule should represent how you spend your time. And where you go too. If you live in London, where it rains quite often, it would make sense to have for instance 4 different rain coats. Capsule wardrobing can be about minimalism, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be. It’s about having a wardrobe that works for you and buying items you’ll actually wear. If you’re happy to have only 35 items the whole year round, that’s fine too. It’s all personal. What it’s not about at all, is just buying things because they look pretty, that don’t have anything to do with your style, and just collect dust.

So. Drawing out a map of how you spend your time, that’s a must!

If you really like a specific style and it doesn’t seem to fit into your life you can always opt for a more toned down version of this. You could go for a short boho dress for instance if you use the bike daily or go for a fancy touch on your outfits that you wear working at home.

There are solutions for every style problem.

Love love,

Maureen

The summer vacation is here. If you are lucky to be going on a trip, here are some easy and time saving tips to pack your carry on or suitcase.

How to travel easy: packing tips & lists

I usually travel with a carry on, so I try to layer up on what I’m wearing on the plane. Next to that I try to organise my carry on the best I can.

How and what to pack in your carry-on or suitcase

I fold and organize vertically, the Kon Mari way. That way you can see better what’s in there.

I use pouches, preferably transparent ones : tech, socks and uderware, make up, all in different little pouches. They make a happy little family.

The tech stuff goes in the section of the carry on that is the easiest to open, because of the customs section where you have to take all of that stuff out.

Skin care goes in to little containers in the transparent bag. Save all your sample size products for travel. Use toothbrush cover up, that thing goes in your mouth, so keep it clean! All of these things should go in a section of the bag that is easy to open. They usually also ask you to take these out at the customs section.

Shoes can also go in a plastic bag. However, I like to put shoes in cotton tote bags, far more ecological and you’ve got your bags for dirty laundry or shopping right by your side.
Scatter your money, because you never know.  Also in Iran you have to pay in liquids everywhere and can’t get money from the cashmachines or pay by card due to the economical protectionism. So this tip is a super important one when traveling there.
Put name tags on the bags in case they get lost.

What to bring with you on the plane, especially if you fly long distance.

*Eye drops

*Throttle syrup

*A sheet mask

*Phone charger + external battery

*Empty water bottle that you can fill up once you land.

*Noise cancelling headphones, they are priceyer but worth the money.

  • IPad charged with books and movies. External charger.

*Whet  wipes and Kleenex

*Gum. Chewing gum is not only good to relieve air pressure, but it also helps reduce stress because of the brain thinking that the body/ stomach is eating, so it thinks that your body is in rest mode to eat and there is no external danger. Cool huh.

*Snacks

*Different small wallets with money to scatter around your backpack, vest, pocket of your jeans.

*Camera

*Medecine and vitamins

*A transparent pouch with touch-up make up for when you land.

I hope this list can be of some help when packing. Please tell me if I forgot something, as I like well rounded things and tasks. I  like love to complete my go to list. No pressure.

Love, Maureen

capsule wardrobing step 3

Capsule Wardrobing step 3

After weeding out your closet aka donating what is ill fitting or just doesn’t make you happy and storing items that aren’t for this season. You’ve lived at least two weeks with a capsule that, like mine, probably is far from perfect. If you have had to buy clothes because you didn’t have proper fitting ones or lacked basics to combine thats fine. But, know that it always better to wait a while until you get a better insight of who you are and what your would like to communicate to the world with your clothes.

reflection


and your current style of clothes with or without the help of a few handy questionnaires, its time to move on.

Let’s find out what gets the fire burning inside! Let’s seek out exitement and inspiration!

Where to find this…

Blogs ! Bloglovin is  a great tool to keep al your favorite bloggers in one place. It’s also handy to find a range of styleblogs and select upon the style of the bloggers that speak to you, which ones you’d like to follow.

Magazines ! Although I have to say ( sorry print media) I find it much more inspiring to see real people in real life do their thing with fashion instead of watching air brushed models. There is also too much focus on selling what’s hot now and it may or may not have anything to do with your personal style.  You’ll find a broader range of inspiration online. Plus they are expensive.

Instagram: Instagram is a pool of inspiration when it comes to finding personal style ideas.

Tv shows and movies! Find a character which style you like.. For instance Penny, from “the Big Bang Theory”. If you like poppy colors and you like having that “Girl Next Door” look, then that’s probably your thing ! The next step is to find other characters of other shows that have that same vibe, like maybe Rachel from friends. She has the girl next door look too, but in a more grown up way. You might like sexy Cécé from New Girl or Jess, which are clearly two different styles. Cécé has a more Kardashian vibe which you can also look into and Jess is completely retro.  Julianna Margieles from “The Good Wife “makes me think of Robin from How I met Your Mother and so on and on you could link one character to another. Stylists on these shows have put a lot of work and thought into completing the whole character on a fashion level. So you should definitely benefit from their hard work to help you find your style.

Pinterest!  Again, a pool of ideas and information about anything you’d like.

This one is the most fun. Ask your girlfriend for a drink on a sunny day and sit outside on a terras where a lot of people pass by. Look at the different styles the people are flaunting. Don’t forget to take a notebook and a pen with you.

The final step is taking a friend that isn’t into fashion at all into a higher end store and going over different fabrics and colors and shapes of the clothing they sell. This way you can touch the items and feel  the fabrics and the colors you like. It’s better to do this in a high end store, chances are their clothes will be made of higher quality fabrics. No one want’s to touch synthetics the whole time. Don’t buy anything! That’s where the not so into fashion friends comes in handy. A better option is to take your boyfriend or husband, who will probably turn pale once he sees the prices of the items there.

Don’t forget to take notes of anything you like. Try to group them into categories such as:

-VIBE

-COLOR PALETTE

-STYLES

-FABRICS

Try not to worry about make up and accessories. That’s just the icing on the cake we still have to make & this will just flow naturally after you’ve did your research. Not tho say that make up and accessories are for anyone, some people just like to go au naturel, without too much fuss.

Love love,

Maureen

capsule wardrobing step 2

Capsule wardrobing STEP 2/Two weeks into your first capsule/ questionnaire

So you’re the first two weeks into your capsule… Hurray! Excitement! Joy!

Time for some reflection on how it all went

Here are some questions that can help you in the process…

and if you’re thinking while reading these questions : ” who has time for this???” 😉 I have to agree, probably not that many people …

( should have reposted this during quarantine 😉 )

Nevertheless, enjoy 😉 x

Style

Which outfit made you feel absolutely fabulous and why?

Do you feel joy over your capsule? Why is that, or why not?

Describe your current style but try to go under the surface and work with adjectives that also relate to your personality.

Are you working with color schemes ? Why or why not? What are your most worn colors? is there enough of them in your current wardrobe?

Did you work with outfit formula’s? Which combinations did you wear the most often?

Do you want your outfits to be versatile or are you fine with the same outfit combo’s or colors?

Did people compliment you on your outfit or did they notice something different about it?

Do you like to implement the new trends into your current style?

Did your outfits match your lifestyle and did you feel comfortable in your clothes? What’s the outfit you feel most comfortable in? Is that because of the style of the outfit or the material of the clothes or both?

Do the clothes & outfits you wore fit your body type?

Are you happy with the style you’re representing?

If you didn’t have any limits in budget what would you change about your wardrobe & style?

In what was do you feel your budget is a restriction to your personal style.

Is your self confidence holding you back in wearing what you want?

Your wardrobe

Was getting dressed easy?

Did you wear most of your capsule?

Did you reach for items that weren’t in you capsule?

Is there enough variety in your closet so you can dress for different occasions?

I suggest wearing your new capsule with your old existing clothes first, but if there were too many donation items or items that you weren’t satisfied with and you needed to go shopping these questions below are for you…

Did you have to buy certain new items? Did you go for quality items or many lower quality items of a mix of the two?

How did you go about shopping for new stuff early in the capsule experiment. Did you feel you made good buying decisions ? How did you go about it?

You

I suggest going about your capsule alone. If you include a good friends chances are you will be influenced by them….

Are your friendships a big influence on your clothes?

Do you dress differently based on your emotions?

Why do you want to spend time on your style?

Are you confident enough to dress the way you want to? If the answer is yes, great. If the answer is no, what is holding you back ?

That’s it for now. The blogpost on capsule wardrobing step 3 will follow soon.

If you have questions about anything, I’m glad to help you out.

Love, Love,

Capsule wardrobing: step one.

Capsule wardrobing/ STEP ONE

The first thing you need to do, and I’m sure this is not NEWS to you, is: Detox your closet.

By that I mean, don’t make radical decisions just yet. But reducing your options just a tad does help. You can do this by eliminating clothes that are worn out, need to be altered or fixed, are not in season right now. If you are going for one year round capsule wardrobe, it will still help to break down your closet in to the 4 seasons first. It will make decision making processes a lot easier.

So yes, very predictable but it’s DETOX time, and there for, this little cheat sheet..

detox cheat

After you’ve done this it’s time to take out your items FOR THE SEASON YOU FIND YOURSELF IN RIGHT NOW!  Everything that is not for this season goes in storage.

YOU ARE OFFICIALLY AT THE START OF YOUR CAPSULE! HURRAY!

Then the last step of this round:

Photograph all the clothes for the season you want to build your capsule for while you’re wearing them. This will give you a lot of insight on how colors look on you, how clothes look on your body and what works for your body type.

Notice the feeling you get while looking at these photo’s. Is this how you want to represent yourself? Is this the style you want? What works for you and what doesn’t work for you?  Then just go with what you have and let it sink in for a while. Don’t make radical decisions just yet. Try to get dressed with what you have and be creative with it.

If there are any clothes you don’t feel comfortable with, throw them into the donation pile and work with what you have for a week or two while you’re in your natural habitat. Aka sports, hobbies, home and your work situation. Write down what works & what are more frustrating points.

This process will tell you what you lack in your closet and what you have plenty of.

Also, try to notice items that are repeated but in different shapes or forms. For instance breton striped shirts in many different shapes or colors. Why is that? This is probably your comfort zone is all about.

When you have worked with your unfinished capsule for two weeks you will get a gigantic amount of information on your style and wardrobe. This means that you will be ready for step two in the capsule building process.

Good luck!

Love love,

Maureen

XO

Short advice regarding the July sales

Some short advice regarding the July sales…

I am not a sales kinda gal. This is mainly because I learned through trial and error that I was mostly buying things I didn’t need during the sales periods. Nowadays, if I really want something specific, I budget and save for it, instead of waiting for the sale. If the two periods, aka having enough saved and sales, coincide, that’s great. If not I might wait for a sale. But I almost never go on an impulse sale trip to the city just for fun, like I used to. Instead, I apply these rules:

  1. Look at your wardrobe and write down what you need aka make a list.
  2. Decide on your budget and stick to it. This is the easiest if you only carry cash. Remember to keep it somewhere safe to avoid pickpockets especially if you’re going to a big city.
  3. Splurge on classics-save on the trend items.
  4. Make sure to visit the cruelty free, eco friendly shops and shops of small business owners. Not only good for the economy and environment. It’s always nicer to chat up with the business owner and ask about why they started their business in the first place. Everybody loves to hear a good story and now is your chance!
  5. Make sure to have a rest budget for small crazy splurges on things you don’t really need, like ear cuffs or a make up palette in neon colors – just in case you want to go embrace the eighties this summer, you never know. This rest budget also includes money for food and drinks aka fun fun fun!  with your sales crazy girlfriends !
  6. To end on that note: Have fun !

Love love, Maureen

It’s almost, like… legit, summer you guys! Here are my quick tips to build your summer capsule wardrobe. If you might be a bit late this time around… Just like me.

It’s almost summer, so let’s get capsule wardrobing! I love capsule wardrobing. I find that it is such a good tool to have oversight over your wardrobe. I makes it easier to define your style because items that never get worn pop out immediately. Because you own lesser clothes, you can actually invest in items of quality and make more sustainable choices. You tend to buy less, so it also saves you money. Since you are here and you are reading this post I don’t think I still have to convince you to get in to capsule wardrobing. So here are my eight quick tips to start your summer capsule wardrobe with.

  1. Define your style. Really, put a label on it. It will help you pick the best of many choices. For instance, I had to pick one out of 3 white blouses. Because I named my style ( quirky, playful, feminine ) It was so much easier to pick one out of three items in the same category.
  2. Always choose the best quality item.
  3. Make as many sets and outfits as you can. If you want to build a good capsule wardrobe, you have to select pieces that work well together so that you can make the most combinations as you can.
  4. Make sure you wardrobe works has a whole. There for you have to know your style, but also which colours work with your skin tone.
  5. Layer, layering is key if you are working with a small wardrobe.
  6. Give a shout out to one toned outfits. If you’re going to get classy, this is the short cut to doing that.
  7. If you are unsure, take photo’s. This was my first assignment in style school. I had to take pictures of every outfit I owned. Which was a lot of work, but payed of later as I could easily eliminate what did not work for me. I kept the photos of what did work as a portfolio in my phone and opened them If I did not know what to wear. Until this day I still take pics when I’m unsure of something in my closet or something I want to buy.
  8. Down-time capsules are equally important. It makes no sense to have a nice day time/ work capsule and having to look in every corner and under the bed so to speak for a nice down time legging ,nice night dress or good sporty outfit. Our down time at home is equally or maybe even more important these days ( written in corona time ) than our outside lives. So equally invest in a good year- round downtime capsule wardrobe.
  9. If you have a bit more time to work around your summer capsule wardrobe, click this link….

Love love,

Maureen

ECO FRIENDLY CLOTHING AND BEAUTYBRANDS

Hi friends, this is the page I update regularly to add newly discovered beauty brands and cruelty free make up and skincare brands that I absolutely love. 

Clothing

Everlane 

Nudie Jeans

Kings of indigo

Casa Amuk 

AMOV

Dedicated

Mosmosh

Stine Goya

Filippa K

Dariadéh

Mara Hoffman

Stella 9

Stella McCartney

Designers remix

Armed angels

Dedicated

Bruuns bazaar

DL 1961

Holzweiler

Mother of pearl

Blanche

House of Dagmar

Chinti & parker

Mykke Hofmann

People tree

Thinking mu

Brava Fabrics

J Lindeberg

sportswear

Houdini

Lingerie

Woron

Organic Basics

Underprotection

shoes

Veja

scents

Honore des pres

skincare

Leahlani

make up

RMS

Absolution

Bare Minerals

jewellery

Etsy shops and vintage shops I love

online stores

Glore.de

Supergoods.com

Ecocentric

Mademoiselle bio

Beauty lab

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