How to create a capsule wardrobe

Do you ever stand in front of your wardrobe and there’s nothing, absolutely nothing to wear? I noticed a while ago that I was wearing only 20% of my clothes pretty much all the time. My closet was full of clothes, except they didn’t work for me. So I’ve changed. I said good bye to those pieces I’d never wear (and probably never wore to begin with) and focused on a few, essential but absolutely lovable items. It was the start to a capsule wardrobe.

A capsule wardrobe is based on a few pieces which you can combine with every other piece and create, let’s say 30 different outfit. The beauty is that you can have a capsule wardrobe for your office, for your evenings/going out or just leisurely for the weekend. It saves yourself space in your wardrobe. (I can hear you thinking about ways to filling up this space…) A capsule wardrobe moreover reduces the pain choosing an outfit. You’ll know what will go together and can quickly put one together. Finally, you don’t need to buy all new pieces. You can evaluate what’s in your wardrobe and then, slowly but surely, expand. Your budget will be thankful.

How do you start creating a capsule wardrobe?

  • Decide on the type of capsule wardrobe. A capsule wardrobe for your work will have different requirements than one for going out.
  • Think about your work environment. How do you get there? Do you need comfortable shoes because you’ll stand most of the time? Are there any restrictions of what you can wear? Wearing a mini skirt may not be appropriate in all industries. What’s the temperature in your office? If it’s cooler, do you want to wear a short sleeved shirt and freeze?
  • For a professional capsule wardrobe, you want to start with:
    • 2 jackets or cardigans (“toppers”) (they must work with all shirts/tops and all trousers/skirts)
    • 6 dress shirts or tops (“tops”) (they must work with all trousers/skirts)
    • 4 trousers or skirts (“bottoms”)
    • 1 dress
    • Shoes
    • Purse
    • Other accessories like belts, earrings, necklace, rings, watch, scarf
  • This will give you 50 (!) different outfits! You can calculate the number of options like this:
    (Number of bottoms * number of tops * number of toppers) + (Number of dresses * number of toppers) = Number of outfits
    (4 * 6 * 2) + (1 * 2) = (48) + (2) = 50
  • Your basis will be neutral colours like black, navy, grey, charcoal or brown. Invest in some good quality pieces as you’ll be wearing the neutral ones more often.
  • Pick your accent colour. This colour should suit you and needs to work with your neutral colour. If you’re uncertain about the right colours for you, try a consultation with a stylist from Colour Me Beautiful or House of Colour.
  • Add some pattern which includes your chosen neutral colours. Otherwise, it will become challenging to mix these items.
  • Don’t get the same piece twice. The purpose of a capsule wardrobe is maximise your different looks. By wearing the same shirt in just a different colour, it’s still the same look.
  • Include your accessories (e.g. shoes, earrings, necklaces, scarves, purses) in your capsule wardrobe. A scarf is such an easy way to change an entire outfit.
  • The magic rule of 3 should be applied when considering new items. Basically, can you wear it in 3 different ways?
  • Here’s the result of Crystal’s 13 items. She created a different outfit for each day of the month. 31 different outfits!

Are you starting your capsule wardrobe this weekend? If you already have a capsule wardrobe, send me a picture and I’ll upload it to this blog. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

Until next time,

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