How Embracing a Capsule Wardrobe has Inspired a Shift in My Style and Business

Though there’s always a certain romance around New Years Eve and the start of the new calendar year in January, for years it’s always felt to me like that September is a natural time for new beginnings. 

My guess is that this stems from years of being in school, when September marked back-to-school shopping and brand new textbooks, and also the natural shift in seasons. By the time the end of August rolls around, we’ve all started eyeing the fall collections and looking forward to cooler nights when we can slip into our favourite leather jacket and embrace the opportunity for layers. 

In the past week or so, I’ve started to feel this shift both in my business and in my wardrobe, so I’ve been stealing moments to simultaneously address both. If you consider that my background is in fashion and that styling is still at the core of my business, there’s this natural overlap that happens for me, not only because these are two passions of mine, but also because I’d like to think that Bicyclette has always had an element of lifestyle brand to it.

I have this little clothing rack in the studio that I initially bought in order to have a dedicated spot for clothes during photoshoots, but it’s use has shifted a little recently, as I’ve found myself inadvertently starting to build what I suppose you could consider a capsule wardrobe. I say inadvertent because I didn’t set out with this intention. I’ve been curious about capsule wardrobes for awhile now, even writing about unconventional fashion blog Unfancy awhile ago, but was never really tempted to try one out for myself. 

But after a good year and a half of simplifying my wardrobe down to those pieces that I truly love and shifting my entire mindset around clothes and style, I’ve realized that though I haven’t abided by a set of rules or a certain number of pieces, I do have a tendency to create seasonal capsule wardrobes for myself now. 

With that shift has come a new appreciation for both luxe basics and accessories that start to feel like part of my signature style. Don’t get me wrong, I still have a soft spot for statement pieces that are anything but basic, but I’ve started to think about those as part of my “permanent collection”, and not necessarily part of my regular rotation. Because the truth is, on a daily basis I tend to reach for simpler silhouettes and a more neutral colour palette, and then to personalize it, I add my favourite vintage brooch or sparkly earrings, a swipe of pink lipstick or a delicate lacy bra that barely peeks out. This move back to basics has been one that I’ve always appreciated when it comes to the style of others, but until now, I haven’t fully embraced it in my own closet. 

So what’s currently on this rack as the seasons start to change?

  • White pleated midi skirt (styled last fall with a few other favourites)
  • Lace trimmed black bralette (I’m all about eyelash lace styles right now)
  • The perfect grey tee (this one from Richer Poorer is on regular rotation)
  • A white button up in a soft, fluid fabric (preferably layered with the above bra)
  • Black and white striped tee
  • Grey v-neck sweater (which it’s still a little warm to wear)
  • Pink hat (perfect for a little bit of colour in an otherwise neutral outfit)
  • Vintage crystal brooch, which can often be found worn on the grey tee or sweater

Since the weather has barely started to shift yet, I’ll be continuing to add pieces and finetune it as I go, but this gives you a little peek at what I’m drawn to right now, and the starting point for this fall’s “capsule wardrobe.”

And as I’ve been spending some time writing out some goals and intentions for Studio Bicyclette as well, I couldn’t help but think that there were some ideas that could be stolen from the concept of a capsule wardrobe and applied to my business as well. 

This is definitely something that I plan on diving into a little more at a later date, but I think I’m onto something here. 

This idea of simplifying, paying attention to what those key pieces are and investing in them with intention, and focusing instead on how to add personality and personal style through the addition of a few special pieces - there’s definitely something there. So, for example, a “vintage brooch” for Bicyclette might be a new set of custom icons for the website, or a new set of brand photos, while the Studio Bicyclette logo is one of those essential basics - carefully chosen and with staying power. 

Personal style meets branding, if you will.