How to Find Your Personal Style: Capsule Wardrobe Series Part 1

This Frenchi (Nordstrom) blazer is one of my favorites this season. I found it at Good Will for $10.00.

Fashion Friday:
For the next several weeks I will be sharing how to create your own capsule wardrobe by highlighting the steps I used to create my Fall 2015 Capsule. The term capsule wardrobe was coined by Susie Faux in the 70’s.  According to her, it is a small collection of essential items that don’t go out of fashion and are augmented by a few seasonal pieces. The goal is to have an outfit suitable for any occasion without having excessive amounts of clothes. This is achieved by selecting staple items in coordinating colors. It’s a mini wardrobe composed of super versatile pieces that you LOVE to wear.

closet-764792__180I’ve experienced several surprising benefits since adopting the capsule wardrobe approach. 1. I always have “something to wear”. No more last minute, or multiple outfit changes. 2. It’s easier to be content with what I have and the urge to shop has been minimized. In reality, no matter how much money you have, you will never have the perfect wardrobe. But, the more functional and appropriate your clothes are for your lifestyle, body type, and personal style, the less “closet envy” and shopping binges will be a temptation. 3. I get my money’s worth out of my clothes because I wear (and wear out) everything I have. 4. I shop smarter because I know what to look for and what to pass on-even if it’s really tempting. 5. I don’t fall prey to the consumerist mentality of always needing more as often. I’m still making mistakes, but they are valuable lessons I take into the next season. Hopefully those lessons will save you time and money too.

The first step is find your personal style.

The red handbag got passed around to a couple of gals before it finally landed in my closet.

Define your style by narrowing down to one or two looks to create a theme.
The purpose of defining your style is to discover what you really love to wear and need. Do you have a few items that you adore, but never wear, because they don’t fit with the rest of your clothes?  Defining your style cuts out those extraneous purchases. The capsule wardrobe is a minimalistic approach to dressing. Less is more. The more versatile each item is, the more you can wear it. This means more options with less clothes for less money. Bringing everything together in one collected “look” or “style” is the key. It doesn’t mean you wear the same outfit in different colors every day. (I’ve been there– that gets old quick.) By creating a “signature look” you define your style.  It’s a unique way of embracing your femininity and the body God gave you. I believe every woman has something beautiful about her. Whether it’s the color of her eyes, the shape of her nose, her perfectly rosy cheeks, these are gifts from God to be thankful for and celebrated. They showcase the creativity and beauty of the Creator.

Most of these were clipped from Boden and one from JCrew.

I started by creating a Pinterest board for my fall capsule. (I made it a secret board.)  You can look at celebrities or fashion bloggers whose style you love. Getting inspiration from different sources helps you see what you like, love and hate. I only spent a couple of hours on this, but you can go crazy. I also use my closet doors as an inspirational board. I gather pictures of colors, textures, outfits, ways to wear things I already own, etc.

It’s ok to look at high end designers that you would never buy from because chances are there is someone producing the same look at an affordable price. For example, A.P.C., a French label, is one of my favorite designers.  I tend to look at their collection for inspiration. (I have been able to find a couple of their pieces at consignment shops for a fraction of the retail cost.) High end designers also tend to lead the charge on trends so if your style leans towards “trendy” this can help you know what to look for.

Hits of leopard print are part of my signature look. I wear these shoes or my leopard print belt regularly.

After I had a good amount of pins, I looked for patterns. I analyzed my notes and saw what characteristics popped out—a plethora of pictures of jeans, a graphic tshirt and a blazer. This is my comfort outfit, my “go to” or “signature look.” I saw lots of neutral basics with navy and red being the dominant colors. Seeing patterns will help you create your own theme. The theme I had for my summer capsule was “Ladylike”. Picture Jackie O on holiday.  My fall theme was “Gamine Mom” think Audrey Hepburn with kids. Also, consider the favorites in your closet. Think about what you love about them and why you keep wearing them (even when they’re not totally fresh or unwrinkled).

Get started by taking note of your personal style either mentally or on paper. I find it helps to write things down. In two or three words describe the “theme” or “look” you want to create.  The EveryGirl and WhoWhatWear have great tips on how to find your personal style.

Next FF: Assessing Your Lifestyle and Wardrobe Needs

Please Comment:
What do you think about the capsule wardrobe concept? What are you interested in learning from this series?




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