There are a few key elements that are important to have during your capsule planning session. The first is choosing style words, which help you to focus on what overall look that you are going for. For Amy, she chose: classic, attractive, and comfortable.
Another element that will make the versatility of your capsule multiply by 100 is choosing a couple of silhouettes that you feel your best in.
Choosing style words and silhouettes may seem a little daunting, but with the guidance of someone who asks the right questions, it becomes an eye-opening process.
Remember! A capsule wardrobe is for a pre-determined amount of time. My personal comfy zone is three months time. Think winter-spring-summer-fall. This allows me to experiment a little more with fashion. Some people may prefer to go six months without changing things up. Some might prefer a year. When I work with clients, we do a three month capsule because it is do-able and not scary.
So, for three months Amy agreed to follow her style words, her silhouettes, and also a color palette.
Her color palette was easy because she already knew exactly what colors brought her joy to wear. These were the colors that she felt comfortable and attractive in. Remember, Amy had a strong sense of personal style and what she liked and did not like to wear.
Today, I am really looking forward to introducing you to another Amy.
When Amy and I met, she was somewhat familiar with capsule wardrobes. She believed that less is more and wanted her closet to reflect that choice. She didn’t like to have “stuff” if it’s not being used.
Amy has a strong sense of personal style, and has for as long as she can remember. She can tell you about specific outfits that she wore and loved in the 90’s. She has great memories of trading clothes back and forth with her two sisters to help keep her closet fresh. She knows her brands, and how to look for clothes that are made with quality in mind. She follows certain fashion rules such as no white after Labor Day, your shoes should always match your bag, cotton and linen in the summer and cashmere and wool in the winter, floral prints should only be worn in Spring, and having church-only clothes that only are worn to church.
There is nothing wrong with these classic rules, but fashion rules are meant to be broken after you have a deep understanding of them. So, needless to say, Amy and I had a lot of laughs during our sessions. She clearly had a deep understanding of them so I was convinced that she needed to break a few just for fun.
Here is Amy, before we began her closet make-over.
The past few years have been rough for Amy, and she hasn’t had the freedom to reflect on her personal style or her clothing because she has been going through the devastation of a divorce. It has consumed her life and she has used all of her energy to be strong for her children, leaving her with very little to absolutely no time to even think about her outward appearance, not even for a minute.
After Amy reached out to me because she wanted to have less and be happy having less, I saw that her clothes were beautiful and she was beautiful, but her confidence had been misplaced. I knew that if Amy worked through the task of purging her clothes and putting together a selection of clothes that brought her joy to wear, that she could re-cover her lost confidence and once again feel beautiful and confident.
OK. So, I can become very passionate about something (read part 1) to the point of where I want to throw out everything that I’ve ever known and start from scratch again. After finding out that I have 55 slaves that work for me, via the Slavery Footprint web site, it was a little jarring. Then I felt so guilty after watching The True Cost. I felt like I’d rather walk around naked then put on those horrid clothes that I bought from H&M, Old Navy, Gap, Forever 21, anything else from the mall and Target too. I actually went to the mall and into H&M and felt sick to my stomach because I couldn’t stop visualizing the condition that the clothes were probably sewn in. I swore to NEVER EVER EVER under any circumstance buy anything there again.
And then do you know what happened?
I marched right in there the following week and bought a suit for my son’s homecoming dance! Can you believe it?
This is where my desire to do the right thing and real life interesect. They intersect at the two roads Compro and Mise.
How was I supposed to do this thing that weighed heavily on my heart? This is when I had to stop thinking about my failures as a newly informed consumer and turn my attention towards what I had done.
- become aware of something that I no longer wanted to support with my dollars.
- changed my whole attitude towards consumerism.
- actively began seeking alternatives.
- become an advocate for the ethical movement.
- educated my children on this not-so-pretty topic.
- started to care for the women and men that make my clothes.
When creating a capsule wardrobe, it is important to choose several silhouettes that you feel confident wearing. The reason why you take the time to choose silhouettes when planning a capsule wardrobe is so that you will have greater flexibility in mixing and matching your outfits, because they will all “magically” work well together. Simple, huh?
I showed you one silhouette that we chose for Amy during the last post. Another silhouette that we chose for Amie was an a-line skirt, fitted top, and cropped jacket. Her cropped jean jacket is perfect to put over this outfit, and completes the put-together look. We don’t need to own very many jackets in Florida, but a light-weight jean jacket is a timeless staple that every woman should have in her closet. For Amie’s figure, a cropped jacket lengthens her bottom proportion, and defines her waist.
Since I started this blog, I get asked a lot what a capsule wardrobe is. I’ll give you my version of the definition for it right here:
A capsule wardrobe is a carefully edited group of items that bring you joy, are simple to mix and match, and are chosen for a pre-determined period of time.
Some capsule wardrobe enthusiasts choose a number such as the lovely creator of Project 333 (33 items for 3 months), or 37 pieces total for a season like Un-fancy. Some capsule wardrobers challenge themselves to wear a certain number of pieces for a few weeks, like Style This Life’s #20itemsfor21days Instagram challenge.
And why would anyone go through the trouble to edit their clothes and arrange such a thing? The capsule cheerleaders report that it breathes peace into their life. Living with less brings less stress and more happiness. You’ll have more time and money for what really matters. Finding contentment in your wardrobe breaks the cycle of spending way to much money following trends and making expensive fashion mistakes. It’s a creative outlet. It opens more doors to seek a minimalist approach to other areas of your life.
I absolutely agree with what they say! I’ve done it myself, and will NEVER go back to the way that I viewed my closet or my clothes again.
Another thing that I like about having a capsule wardrobe is that it’s mine. That means my rules. If I want to pick a number of clothing, I can. If I want to decide that I’m not going to buy fast fashion anymore, but instead only thrift, I can. If I want to try an all-seasons capsule, I will. And with each new thing that I try, I learn something new. Every. Time.
If you are thinking about trying a capsule wardrobe, then you should. Set your own rules and go for it! Here are the things that you want to determine before you begin:
- Do you need to purge your closet first?
- Are you going to try to work with what you have, or do you have a budget to buy basics that you might need?
- Do you want to set a specific number goal? (Ex. 30 – 50 items?)
- Will your capsule be seasonal? Will you rotate clothes in and out or wear your clothes year round?
- Do you need to find ideas that will help you mix and match so that you don’t get bored? (subscribe to my blog, search pinterest, ask a veteran for help)
These are the basics to get you started. If you don’t think that you can do this alone and you want support and help then you can always work with me! I have a service where I come to your house and help you create a capsule wardrobe. Choosing silhouettes that flatter your figure, colors that speak to you, and having enough options for your lifestyle are also very important when planning a capsule wardrobe. A veteran capsule wardrobe enthusiast can help you have the most success because they’ve done the research. It’s not necessary, but it’s so helpful!
For the first part of Amie’s story, read here.
We took Amie’s lifestyle into consideration when designing her capsule wardrobe. Since Amie is a stay-at-home mom she needed quite a few casual and comfortable looks. One silhouette that we chose for her was a loose comfortable top with a fitted bottom. We also made sure that she could always add a third piece like a cropped jacket, necklace or scarf to instantly have a more put-together look. She had this beautiful black jacket in her closet, which is a little playful twist on the basic black blazer. But, since her tops are mostly plain, the jacket was perfect to go over anything and added an element of playfulness, which was one of her style words.
Here are the last four outfits that I styled with this one dress. Just in case you are new to the party, this one dress was styled 12 different ways. You can catch up by reading about the previous outfits here:
As I promised, I will be sharing about what I learned from this challenge, so stick with me until the end!
Look 9: The proportions of this look work really well, and let me tell you why. If you were to cut my body into 3 equal pieces (1/3’s), you would see that my top 1/3 is the chunky cream sweater, and my bottom 2/3 is the maroon dress and brown tights & boots. In geometry this is called the golden mean, or the golden ratio. I’ll go into this a little more in the future, but for now just know that math is everywhere, even in fashion. Anytime you proportion 1/3 & 2/3 in this way with two colors, you’ll nail the look!
This re-style story is dedicated to the women who feel defeated by their closet.
Meet Amie, before her closet make-over. Amie was constantly feeling defeated by her closet. She had plenty of good quality pieces to choose from, but hardly felt confident that her wardrobe reflected her style or that her clothes flattered her body. She desired to get rid of the excess in her closet, but didn’t know what should stay and what should go. She found herself only wearing about 10-20% of her clothes.
Does this sound familiar? I bet there are many women who have these exact feelings about their wardrobe. According to articles like this, this, and this one, most women only wear 20% of their closet, while the rest remains untouched, yet looming and reminding us of their presence. Clothes that no longer fit, or never fit right to begin with, clothes that need mended, clothes that were once trendy, clothes that were on sale or that cost too much to get rid of are all clothes that make us feel guilty. Why do we allow this to take place in our lives on a daily basis? I mean, we open the door or drawer every day and remind ourselves of these feelings, and expect to feel good about getting dressed? No wonder we feel defeated before even getting dressed.
When we planned a trip to Tennessee for six days, I was very excited to test out my capsule wardrobe on a smaller scale. So, I did a little planning session on a post-it note. These are some of the notes that I wrote:
- 1 dressy outfit for dinner
- 1 outfit for hiking
- Coat! Finally!
- Comfy driving clothes
Here’s my packing list for 6 days:
- long grey dress
- 2 t-shirts
- striped long sleeve shirt
- white button down shirt
- pull-over sweater
- long cardigan
- jean jacket
- 3 pairs of shoes
- 1 scarf, 2 pairs of earrings, 1 belt, tights, and a necklace
12 ways to style 1 dress consciouscapsule.com
I’ve shared with you that I challenged myself to style the same dress twelve different ways, but I haven’t exactly told you why.
Here’s why. I was seven months into capsule wardrobing, and really getting the hang of things. I had my well-thought out, pared down closet that included key pieces that went with everything. But, something inside of me was itching to find out how far I could push the theory of a basic wardrobe necessity. I kid-you-not that I arbitrarily chose the number twelve because of the twelve days of Christmas. (It was December after all.) Once I chose that number, it was game on! And, if you make it to the end of series I’ll share with you everything that I learned. It is guaranteed to surprise you!