In this post I am going to share my 4 top tips for creating your best capsule wardrobe. Have you ever felt this way after getting dressed? “Ew, I look fat.” Outfit change. “Ew, this does NOT look good.” Outfit change. “Ew, I don’t feel like wearing this.” Outfit change. You end up with a huge pile of clothes on the bed, wearing clothes you’re not thrilled with, and no time left.
I honestly can’t remember the last time that happened to me. It just doesn’t happen anymore. I always have something I love to wear. Implement these 4 tips, and you will practically pick out tops and bottoms with your eyes closed, and end up looking and feeling amazing. Sounds great, right?
This is what the capsule wardrobe can do for you. Not to mention, it will save you OODLES of time and money. The less you fuss over what to wear, the more time you have for important things like living and enjoying your life!
4 Steps to Creating Your Capsule Wardrobe
A capsule wardrobe is a small number of clothes which can be worn interchangeably, and that you love to wear for a season. Simple. Easy. I recommend around 35 no more than 40 items (including shoes).
Step 1: Pick a style or theme.
This might be the hardest part, but it is an important step, as silly as it may sound. Your style will evolve as your life seasons and taste change. It’s not an exact science. consider that you may be a mash up of styles! For example, I really like the “traditional” look with a hint of the “romantic”.
Here are some ideas for iconic looks from Lucky Magazine editors Kim France and Andrea Linett: Euro Chic, California Casual, Rock and Roll, Posh Eclectic, Mod, American Classic, Bombshell, Bohemian, Arty Slick, and Gamine. Reachel Bagley at Cardigan Empire breaks it down into 5 categories: Romantic, Bohemian, Traditional, Modern, Dramatic.
Do any of those words spark your interest? You can do a Google image or Pinterest search with those key words to get ideas. Don’t pick more than two and you’ll make it easy to pull the wardrobe together. Getting dressed in the morning is quicker when you don’t have to sift through competing looks. (See: How to find your personal style.)
Step 2: Select colors.
Narrow down to no more than three. The simpler the better. Some people suggest starting with your best looking neutral. (This does not count as one of the three.) Do you look better in white or ivory? black or navy? Which shade of grey makes your skin glow?
I recommend picking two colors and an accent color. My first capsule had red and navy. Mustard was my accent color. Having a hard time? Look at your favorite printed top or dress. You can base your colors off of that piece.
This rule may seem like a cosmic killjoy – especially if you love color, but trust me, once you see how quick it makes getting dressed in the morning, I guarantee you’ll love it. In a capsule wardrobe everything mixes and matches.
Step 3: Know your body shape.
This is the secret to pulling together a capsule that looks good on you. A wardrobe is very personal – it’s an expression of style and a form of living; it is functional art. Enjoy it! (Read my post on finding your body shape if you need help.)
Once you know what looks good on you, list the basics that best suit your shape (i.e. a v-neck t-shirt verses a boatneck). This is the foundation of your wardrobe. Invest in the basics you will wear the most – well fitting jeans, tops, a couple of sweaters and cardigans, etc.
Step 4: Use the Rule of Three. Think in groups of three. For each grouping -shirts, cardigans, jeans -pick a “basic” a “mid-style” and a “statement”. For example, my winter capsule has three tunic dresses, “basic” navy swing dress, “mid-style” grey flannel shirtdress, a “statement” navy and white striped tunic dress.
For some people the flannel shirtdress might be considered “basic”. I prefer subtle patterns, so stripes are “statement” for me. The Rule of Three is a great guideline to keep you from picking too many of the same things. It’s all about diversifying, yet keeping the wardrobe working together as a whole.
Bonus Tip: Don’t seek perfection. There is no perfect wardrobe. I would have loved a pair of big flared jeans…and a pair of leather skinnys, but come on let’s be real! I’m a mom, not a marketing director. Not only that, I ran out of time and money. There are four other people in my family who need to be clothed. Therefore, most of my new items were purchased online with birthday money at J Crew Factory or Savers, the new thrift store my friends told me about. I am, however, still waiting to find that perfect black moto jacket. Any kind of leather, faux or real, will do.
Putting your own capsule together? Want ideas? Download my checklist of 12 Top Hottest Trends for Winter 2016. Tips on how to use the checklist are included. Click on the link to get Trendsetter Winter Checklist and styling tips for winter. See how I put together my own Winter Capsule Wardrobe.
Want more tips on creating a capsule? Amy at Mom Advice put together a Top 25 Wardrobe Planning Printables and Tools!