Assessing Your Lifestyle and Wardrobe Needs
When I got serious about doing a capsule wardrobe, I ended up donating most of what was in my closet. It was hard. I had help. The first purge, my mentor came and helped take out each item to separate into trash, donate, alter, and keep. Sometimes you need an unsentimental, unattached perspective to clearly see what to let go. I purged two more times after that. Quite frankly I had so many clothes I didn’t need, didn’t fit, would never fit, or wear etc. There were even those unworn, brand new items with tags or gifts I felt guilty about. (Don’t let guilt prevent you from letting them go. Be thankful for the kind gesture, take the lesson you learned and don’t buy that garment again. Know they served their purpose, and move on with your life – clutter free.) The only items allowed to stay were those that fit my body and lifestyle.
Assess your activities.
After you establish your personal style, you should evaluate your lifestyle needs. Where do you spend most of your time and what do you do? (Do you work in an office or work with kids? Maybe both?) Your activities will determine what kind of clothes best suit you. List out your weekly and monthly activities to know what types of clothes you need. If you are a fitness instructor, it’s appropriate to have 7 pairs of workout pants. If not, consider upgrading to ponte pants or something with pockets and a zipper. These are just as comfortable and slimming, while being lifestyle appropriate.
Assess the season. For my Fall 2015 Capsule, I checked the average temperate for my area from September through November. On average it’s 80 degrees until the middle of November. Then it cools down to the 60s the last two weeks. As much as I want fall to start, it’s just too hot to wear coats and cozy sweaters the first two months. My approach was to buy summer fabrics in fall colors. In general, my wardrobe is full of basic neutral colors, mainly black with navy and red. (I love navy; it can be considered a neutral color.)
Assess your closet.
Take out all your most loved clothes – the ones you keep wearing over and over. Figure out exactly what you love about them and why you keep wearing them. These might be some basics that fit you perfectly and are appropriate for your lifestyle. My guess is they are super comfy and flattering. If your most loved item is a statement piece, like a unique colorful patterned top – great, you can build a wardrobe around it.
Lastly, purge out what doesn’t work for you. This is the hardest and most time consuming step. It really helps to have someone there to help you cut the strings on those sentimental items you never wear. Tell yourself it’s served its purpose and move on. I fit my seasonal wardrobe, minus pajamas, workout clothes, and underwear, on a 2.5 foot rack in my closet. This also includes coats, scarves, and belts. All my shoes rest in a shoe organizer the same width below. I slide open one closet door and everything I need is available at a glance. That’s what I call simple everyday style!
Next week on FF: How to find fabulous fitting clothes.
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