The secret to Capsule Wardrobe planning
“In the building of a basic wardrobe, we cannot go wrong if we strive for simplicity and perfect fitting.”
Did you know that you are only wearing 20% of your wardrobe 80% of the time? – which means you have a lot of clothes that you hardly wear. Let me give you a few pointers on how to create a capsule wardrobe that will work better for you.
Throughout lockdown I have gone through my wardrobe and got rid of clothes that serve me no longer. Either;
I haven’t worn them in forever
The colour does nothing for me
Being realistic and realising that my dress is not going to fit me anytime soon (I have stored one of my faves in my lift up storage bed…in hope)
The neckline does nothing for me
you get my drift? Oh yeah and if you have items that need sewing, hemming, altering or need a button sewn on..do it! If you are not prepared to do this, then put them in the recycling because they are just taking up unnecessary space in your wardrobe.
I urge you to do this, it just makes it easier to see what you actually have to work with and gives you more space in your wardrobe and who doesn’t appreciate that. A capsule wardrobe provides you with a versatility of choice, all your clothes make you feel great and you don’t have to keep spending continuously. The idea is that from what you have left, every piece can be worn with at least three other items.
All the above pieces are interchangeable.
Have a look…
In your wardrobe and see what colours you mostly wear. A lot of these will be your neutrals such as creams, beige, navy, denim, black etc. You can then build from here to find colours that will complement your neutrals. For example, my dark wash bootcut jeans is my neutral and my red jumper complements it. My accent colour could be my metallic belt or my animal print scarf. The accent colours just show your personality. By creating a colour palette, it makes mixing pieces easier as they will all work together in your capsule.
Create a wish list..
Of pieces you want to add to your capsule when you have the funds. Not only does It keep you on track with what you really need, it also stops you from cluttering your wardrobe all over again. Your clothes are now “working harder for you” and you are doing your part for sustainability too, as you are re-wearing all your pieces and most importantly love what you are wearing.
Keep in mind that items on your wish list could take you a while to find at times. I have been looking for a navy blazer for ages that will flatter my figure (of course being a stylist doesn’t always help as I’m so picky 😊). If you don’t need it in a hurry, you can diligently carry on with your search but if you need an item in the near future, go with the good, better, best principle. This is where you scan online for a while and choose for example 3 great skirts and put them in order of preference and just buy the ‘’best’’ from the bunch. After all nothing is perfect in life…c’est la vie.
As women we all have loads of shoes, so I haven’t included them in the number of items for your capsule. The secret is to go through your outfits and see which shoes work with your outfits. If none of them do (I’m sure you will find a few pairs that do) add some shoe ideas to your wish list.
If you have 3 pairs of shoes for the “garden” please get rid of 2, (how many do you really need? 😊) make space for new fun shoes that you will actually wear outside.
If you have shoes on your shoe rack that you seldomly wear or are uncomfortable, you know what I’m going to say…give them to charity /recycling or buy gel inserts etc to make them more comfortable and actually wear them.
I am guilty of this one. I walk heavily on one side of my heels and some of my ankle boot heels get scuffed and uneven. If this is you too and your heels are wrecked, look into the price of getting them reheeled. It might be cheaper to get a new pair, if it is then add to your wish list. If your shoes/boots are your most comfortable and “lived in” pair, then I would advise you to invest in getting them to the shoe repairs. At least you wont have to ‘’break them in’’. Comfort is everything 😊.
Their on my wish list
What lies beneath is so important. Underwear isn’t part of your capsule but plays an important role. Half the time we are wearing the wrong size bra or knickers and it can spoil a great outfit.
Make sure your underwear is comfortable and not ‘’digging in’’. this just creates bulges in all the wrong places, your underwear should ‘’smooth’’ you out.
What do you need in your capsule?
Well that depends on you. What I will need in my capsule and what you will need could be absolutely different, why? Because of our lifestyles. It all boils down to what you do in your typical day. If you have young children and are going back and forth to playgroup and popping to the shops constantly then you won’t need a pair of killer heels, but you will still want to look smart and put together so you might opt for a pair of stomper boots which are still smart but practical. My advice would be to think about your lifestyle.
If it has changed, and you are working from home now and not commuting anymore, you can still use some of your ‘’workwear’’ at home. You can easily layer a shirt on top of a t shirt, vest or a polo neck with a pair of jeans or comfy leggings. You will still look smart enough for that incoming Zoom call. You could also play with your accessories, wearing a necklace or earrings will just highlight your features whilst on a Zoom.
There are a few items that we can all have in our capsule wardrobes. Make sure the colour and shape are good for you and try and buy the best quality you can afford as you will use these pieces on repeat, here are just a few;
A great pair of jeans – in a cut and wash that will flatter your figure – they are a classic and timeless
A shirt dress – very versatile piece, you can wear it open or closed, layer it over jeans and a t shirt. As winter kicks in, just add a pair of knee-high boots. You can also change the belt to give the dress a different look.
A good coat – you could go for a fun colour, animal print, the choice is endless. Remember most of the time it’s the only part of your outfit people see, so make it count and get those style points
A lovely jacket – you know our weather is unpredictable, so you will still wear this piece going into October at times. I wore my faux suede biker jacket with my jumper and felt warm only last week (just keep an umbrella in your handbag 😊)
A basic vest or t shirt – get it in a colour that brings out your personality or if you like an interesting design, go with that. Keep in mind that certain necklines work better on different body shapes so have a play with what will flatter you best. They are so versatile, what’s not to love.
Have a think about texture, or print. What do you prefer? this will help you build a great capsule wardrobe that you can truly be happy with because at the end of the day all the above are starting points and suggestions. Only you know what you will wear on a regular basis and feel comfortable in.
Building a capsule wardrobe is all well and good, but what takes your capsule to another level is that signature piece of jewellery, those earrings that go with E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G, the way you loop your belt after you cinch it in to show off your waist, the scarf that you loop through your handbag strap and so on. It is all in the detail.
I know you’re probably thinking you don’t have a clue about ‘’elevating your outfit’’ but that’s where Pinterest, Instagram or even back to basics old school magazines come into play. Do you admire a certain celebs style? Then create a Pinterest board of how Oprah Winfrey styles her jumpers for example or have a look at how Susannah Reid rocks her dresses on Instagram. These will all give you style inspo which you can then make into your own unique style. I would advise choosing a style icon that has a similar body shape to you to keep it simple. In time your style will evolve, and you will have your style down to a tee.
So there you have it, with just 12 items (not including shoes) you can make 95 outfits, add in a selection of accessories and the list of possibilities is endless. I hope I have helped you see how much a capsule wardrobe can give you and save you in terms of money and time in the long run.
These are just a few tips to get you started but feel free to reach out if you need more advice. My last tip is always be prepared to try something new – it stops the “style rut syndrome”…just don’t spend a fortune on it, have fun with it 😊 and as always keep it “Uniquely You”xoxo