Habit Shifts: Goodbye Things, Tip 6: Creating a capsule wardrobe to survive summer in Taiwan

We are elbow deep into summer here in Taiwan. I am realizing firstly, it’s been a long time since my last post, and secondly, an even longer time since I’ve done any of my “Goodbye Things” challenges. Well, without further delay, let’s get started! For a quick review on Goodbye Things, you can view my original posts here and here. It’s definitely an ongoing process~ but I am slowly, but surely streamlining all aspects of my life.

For this post, I’m going to be working on Goodbye Things, Tip 6: There are limits to the capacity of your brain, your energy and your time.  I’ve decided to apply this to my summer wardrobe, which has been kind of a haphazard state of affairs.  I was in denial that summer was approaching for all of April and May. At that point, the furthest concession that I made was to take all the winter items that needed to be dry cleaned out of my closet. I stuffed them into a bag and left them in a corner of my apartment for months. Then for the next few weeks, I procrastinated getting my summer clothes out of storage, and proceeded to buy random items out of sheer desperation. Every morning, I would try to cobble together outfits from a confusing tangle of clothing from assorted seasons. Suffice to say, this method is not the best, and sets a rather grumpy precedent for the rest of the day.

One recent Sunday afternoon, I decided that I couldn’t continue on like this. I cranked up the AC, rolled up my sleeves and got to work. I took everything out of my closet, put aside everything that was not in season. I got out the summer items I had in storage, tried everything on. Then I pushed everything onto a chair and went out to dinner with my friends.

Oops.

After a week of wearing wrinkled tops from said chair, I got back into it. I hung everything up, and decided on a few additions and then went shopping! By the way, I decided on a different strategy for my summer clothing shopping this year. Previously, I would try to wait for a sale. The trouble with that strategy is that all the basic colors and correct sizes would be sold out, and I would be left scrambling.

This year, I bought everything that I needed at the start of the season. I added six new items:  left to right: Dresses from H&M, Muji, and a white T-shirt from Muji. A pair of black trousers, and navy skirt and another pair of black trousers, all from Muji.

Images originally from H&M.com and Muji.com

I saw the palm leaf dress in the window of H&M, and literally bought it off the mannequin. I’m surprised that I love it so much- so much that I’ve been wearing it at least once a week! The other dress I added to  my collection is a more basic, button down, navy cotton dress, which can also be worn as an over shirt. (I change up the look with different skinny belts).

The photo below shows all the pieces I’m including in my summer capsule wardrobe. As you can see, it’s a mostly navy, white and grey palette, with a few prints thrown in here and there. It’s a mixture of both new and old items- for the clothes from last season, I followed my friend Laura’s advice and curated to only included items that I’m genuinely excited to wear.

The final count consists of five pairs of trousers, three skirts, 11 tops, and three dresses.  I’m estimating there are sufficient combinations  to get through the week. We have summer hours at the office until August, so I can be more casual on most days.

Lastly, since I live in a tiny city apartment with closets the size of ice cubes. I decided it was worth a little extra effort to put away anything and everything that was not part of the summer capsule wardrobe.

I was quite pleased with the neat and streamlined result. I love seeing my favorite clothes hung up in such an orderly fashion.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention shoes! I followed the same strategy and bought three pairs to get me through the summer.

My standby favorites are the Avaracas by Pons. I’ve purchased the same ones in various shades of tan for the past 5+ years. They look a little more refined than the average sandal, because your toes don’t show, but the design of the shoe means that your feet are well ventilated. My favorite part is that the sole is made from recycled rubber tires! Overall, a light, airy, comfortable summer shoe that looks great with either trousers or skirts. The second pair is the Day Glove flat from Everlane. I’ve been admiring these shoes from afar since they first came out, and I finally ordered a pair. To date, I’ve only worn them inside my apartment because it’s been raining nonstop here in Taipei, but I’ll make sure to pop back in with a more detailed review once I’ve road tested them.

Lastly, are a pair of sandals from Green Pine, which I believe is a local Taiwanese brand. I bought a pair last summer at the last minute before my trip to Hong Kong, and was pleased that they were comfortable right out of the box, and held their own through miles of walking and a few torrential rain storms. In terms of color, I’ve discovered I prefer nudes or varying shades of taupe for summer shoes, because they pair well with almost any color of clothing.

Since writing this post, it’s been about 2 weeks into my newly edited wardrobe; and I’m happy to report it’s all going to plan. Having a curated selection of favorite items to wear really works well for me. My mornings are spent with coffee mug in hand, serenely riffling through just a few hangers, and calmly selecting something to wear. I leave the house in a much better mood, and feel like it’s an improved way to start the day.

Do you have a capsule wardrobe? If you do, let me know how it has worked for you!

Enjoy!

Please note: This is not a sponsored post. I paid for all items shown here, and all experiences and opinions expressed are my own. The links to each item are for your reference only. 


5 comments

  1. I would love to slowly swap out and upgrade my wardrobe to more capsule pieces that go well with everything and is easy to transition between the seasons. I’ve been a fan of pons sandals for a while they look so classic and timeless!

    Whats Muji clothing like for quality and fit? Is it as good as the stationary?

    Adell xx

    http://www.adellbaker.com

    • Hi Adell!
      The capsule wardrobe is definitely a work in progress for me.
      I find Muji clothing is pretty good quality~ I have a few items that have held up for 3+ seasons. However, I find the sizing to vary and I suggest trying everything on!
      🙂

  2. Pingback: Monthly Roundup for August, 2019 « Ciao desserts! 「 焦點心 」


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