I Was a Shopaholic, But a Capsule Wardrobe Changed Everything

Bianca Foley is an influencer and sustainable-fashion expert who we follow closely because she's super skilled at bringing together style and more conscious ways to consume. From amazing second-hand pieces and inspiring ways to rewear clothes through to her thoughts around rental, alterations and new sustainable brands, Foley is our go-to girl both via her Instagram (@biancaffoley) and the podcast she co-hosts, Sustainably Influenced. For the next three months, she'll be sharing her intel with you, starting with her journey from a self-confessed shopaholic to a more sensible shopper.

I started my journey with ethical consumption about eight years ago, just as I was getting into the blogging space. At that time, it was trendy for everyone to post their daily #ootd and wear what, to me, seemed like brand-new looks every single day. My small wardrobe and even smaller bank account just couldn't keep up, and the idea that we needed to be showcasing brand-new looks and trends before they were even a thing was terrifying to me! I started to look for more inspiration in the form of slower-fashion bloggers and capsule-wardrobe enthusiasts—those who seemed to know their style and weren’t afraid to show that they wore items in their wardrobe more than once.

Capsule wardrobe by Bianca Foley

Photo:

Bianca Foley

I began looking at my wardrobe differently. My mindset started to shift from that of a self-diagnosed shopaholic to someone who really thought about what she was spending her money on. By this time, I was approaching my late 20s and started to have other responsibilities outside of shopping for an outfit for a night out, so being mindful about my consumption came from a place of frustration and budget constraints. 

If you follow me, you will know that over the past few years, I have ditched fast-fashion brands in favor of more ethical, slower and more “sustainable” brands.  I am aware that shopping in this way often comes with a sizable price tag and environmental impact, but if you are shopping less and more consciously and genuinely getting more use out of what you own, then you will subsequently get more for your money by having a very beautifully curated closet. 

Capsule wardrobe by Bianca Foley

Photo:

Bianca Foley

I love the idea of creating a perfect capsule wardrobe of those key pieces you find yourself reaching for time and again, unapologetically and without a second thought. This month, I’m showing you a few of my favourite pieces straight from my capsule wardrobe and the steps you can follow to create your own.

STEP 1: FIND YOUR PERFECT FORMULA

Capsule wardrobe by Bianca Foley

Photo:

Bianca Foley

I have always been a huge fan of a simple outfit combo of jeans + white tee + blazer. It’s the type of look that can be dressed up or down depending on how you accessorize. Start your capsule by looking at the outfits you wear on repeat. 

Capsule wardrobe by Bianca Foley

Photo:

Bianca Foley

For me, jeans and a white T-shirt can make a solid foundation, something that can be built upon. Swap a blazer for a knit or layer up with a cardigan and trench to get multiple looks from one easy formula.

2. TEST YOUR PIECES FOR VERSATILITY

Capsule wardrobe by Bianca Foley

Photo:

Bianca Foley

I’m a big fan of versatile clothing. I often ask myself, “How many ways can I wear this?” I like knowing that 90% of my wardrobe is made up of items that can be worn in a variety of ways, whether that be for work or popping down to Tesco!

Capsule wardrobe by Bianca Foley

Photo:

Bianca Foley

Items like slip skirts and dresses have been a constant on shopping sites for the past few years (we all remember the summer of *the* Topshop slip skirt in 2018), and I love to wear mine dressed up or down. I think it’s always good to invest in a simple, chic and well-made slip dress in a neutral colour—I've been wearing this one for years now!

3. TAKE YOUR LIFESTYLE INTO ACCOUNT

Capsule wardrobe by Bianca Foley

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@biancaffoley

Your lifestyle dictates what you will need in your perfect capsule. When I worked in the city, I had way more corporate-appropriate clothing, as it was what I wore for the majority of my week. During the first few lockdowns, I (like everyone else) invested in more comfortable pieces. 

Capsule wardrobe by Bianca Foley

Photo:

Bianca Foley

Now, I wear more fun and colourful clothes and items that can take me from meetings to any evening event. 

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