Monday, November 24, 2014

What Are You Afraid Of? How to Develop a Capsule Wardrobe

Okay, if you're here, you might be interested in dressing with a capsule wardrobe. But some of you might be worrying about different roadblocks or wondering how to decide what to include. I came up with a few different ways that you could think about your clothes to help you decide what to choose. 

1. Are you worried about balancing what you need to wear to work, meetings, certain occasions with what you want for fun, comfort, bright color?

First, when you count your capsule items, you can just leave out special category clothes, like pajamas, workout wear, and gardening clothes. If you wear a uniform for work, you could also exclude that from your capsule. You choose what to include and what to exclude!

Now think about choosing 80% clothes that you need: basics, work-appropriate, responsible, neutrals. That's 32 pieces that are hard-working. You will mostly be using these as your canvas.

20% is the space you have for crazy prints, a shirt and skirt that only go with each other, high heels that you almost never wear, and things that are totally inappropriate for work. If you're using 40 items, that means you could have 8 outliers. That's a lot of fun items to mix with your plainer, more responsible choices. This could be a way to add short-lived, trendy clothes. 

2. Are you worried about getting bored with all neutrals? 

First, you don't have to use lots of neutrals! It is easier to mix and match if you have a lot of neutrals. It's really easy if you choose only black or brown (unless you like to mix the two together). But you can choose whatever scheme you like. However you can finagle it, you want to have a lot of pieces that go together. Each top should go with at least 3 bottoms. The more you can mix and match, the more outfits you can make. Lots of outfit possibilities will stave off boredom!

Now you can start with 70% neutrals and 30% patterned, wild, colorful clothes. If you have a 40-piece wardrobe, you could have 28 neutral pieces and 12 colorful ones. I'd suggest that most of the colorful ones should go with at least two outfits, but there may be a few special things that are one-offs, and you should still be able to make plenty of outfits. 

3. You want to cultivate a long-lasting wardrobe of quality clothes, but you don't want to miss out on some adorable trends or really great seasonal things that you might only like for a few months. Can you fit both into a capsule wardrobe?

You can use the same type of formula: for example, choose 85% enduring pieces, made responsibly in the USA of organic natural fibers. Then 15% can be crazy patterned, cheap, or short-lived fads. You could add 6 trendy pieces to your wardrobe. 

I think it's smart to consider investing more in things that will last a long time -- in terms of the clothes physically lasting through lots of wearing and laundering, and also in terms of being in style for a long time, or being so basic that they're outside of style.   

Your better clothes can be used for years and years, stored in the off-season and brought out again as beloved friends when the appropriate season arrives. The cheap, trendy stuff? Maybe some of it rolls over to another season, or maybe you donate it after six months. You'll have some empty spots in your wardrobe for new trends the next time that season rolls around. 

Did that help? Do you have any concerns that we could discuss? I'm happy to brainstorm ways to overcome whatever obstacles are standing in your way. 

Here's the link to my winter capsule plan. You can save a copy and alter it to reflect your own choices. It could be a starting point for planning your winter wardrobe. 

In the copy below, I placed asterisks beside the pieces that might be your wild, fun clothes. 


Winter Capsule Plan


Tops

Sweaters: 8
Light Crew Neck
Dark Crew Neck
Light Turtleneck
Dark Turtleneck
Light Cardigan
Dark Cardigan
Cocoon
* Fun/Bright/Printed/Embellished

Shirts: 8
Sweatshirt
Light Long-Sleeved
Dark Long-Sleeved
Button-Down
Henley
Flannel
* Fun/Wild/Embellished
* Party Top
Bottoms

Pants: 7
Leggings
Denim Jeggings
Black Jeggings
Skinny Cords
Skinny Jeans
* Colored Jeans
Bootcut Jeans

Skirts: 2
Casual
* Party

Coats: 2
Casual
Dressier
Dresses
5
Dark Sweater
Light Sweater
* Patterned
Tunic
* Party
Shoes
8
Black Tall Boots
Brown Riding Boots
Tan Sheepskin Boots
Black Ankle Boots
Brown Ankle Boots
* Metallic Ankle Boots
Lace-Up Sneakers
Slip-On Sneakers

No comments:

Post a Comment