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Recently I helped a friend complete a capsule wardrobe. She and her husband are hitting the road with a camper & trailer to travel around the country. With limited space and a more minimalistic lifestyle a capsule wardrobe was the perfect solution for her.
For those of you who don’t know, a “Capsule Wardrobe” is a minimalistic approach to building a wardrobe collection. What makes this type of wardrobe unique is that its typically made up of 30 items or less, TOTAL! Typically the motivation for a wardrobe like this is that no matter how you mix and match these items, they all look great together. For my friend, the motivation was to still have a versatile wardrobe with her new RV lifestyle.
While there are many recommendations for how to build a capsule wardrobe, here are my seven stylish suggestions:
#1 KNOW YOUR STYLE & THE STATEMENT YOU WANT TO MAKE
Before you begin to purge and pair down your wardrobe, first consider the statement you want to make and the overall style you want to have. For my friend, the goal was a more casual look for the road with garments that were still stylish and detailed. Her overall style goal was effortless chic.
#2 KNOW THE NEEDS OF YOUR LIFESTYLE
As I mentioned, my friend is hitting the road in an RV so she needs clothing that will support her traveling lifestyle. You might be a parent, C-level executive, speaker or yogi… whatever amazing lifestyle you have, your clothing should support your day to day activities. If you need flexibility focus on fabrics with elastin or spandex. If you travel, focus on fabrics that won’t wrinkle. If you need structure and presence, a stiff knit or woven fabric is beautiful to create a polished look.
Next, take EVERYTHING out of your closet, I literally mean everything! The only thing that should be left are the shelves and hangers. I might add, this is a great time to do some dusting and generally cleaning while your at it.
Evaluate every item in your wardrobe against steps 1 & 2. If a garment does not support the statement you want to make, is not in alignment with your desired style and does not support your daily lifestyle, put it aside & donate it. Garments that pass this test move to step #4
#4 VERSATILITY & VARIETY
Of the remaining garments, it’s time to evaluate their versatility and variety. Do they have a variety of sleeve lengths? How about pant lengths? Can garments be dressed up or dressed down? Are your wardrobe essentials in neutral tones (black, grey, tan, white or navy)? Do you have all solid colors or are their patterns, prints and textures too? The rule here is if you can’t think of 3 ways to wear or pair something, it can’t stay!
The fit of a garment is so important, I made it its own evaluation step. Even if a garment has all the qualities you want but the fit is wrong, it will ultimately lead to a bad-outfit-day, a day you wish you had worn something else. We all know the symptoms of a bad outfit fidgeting, restlessness, lack of comfort and confidence. It’s the worst.
#6 SIMPLIFY YOUR COLLECTION
Here comes the final “capsule” purge, the following is a list of the base garments you will need to make up your capsule wardrobe. There is no right or wrong way to complete your collection but having at least one of each of these garments will make for a good start:
~ Tops (tank-top, t-shirt, long sleeve)
~ Pants & Shorts (jeans, dark-wash-denim, & a dress pant)
~ Skirt (maxi, pencil, A-line, whichever works for your body type best)
~ Blazer (should match your dress pants in color and style)
~ Jacket (casual, dress & rain/weather)
~ Dress (little black dress, one in a color or print you like)
~ Shoes (flat, heel, boot)
The remaining garments are allowed to be placed back into your closet for a new minimalistic bliss and approach to getting dressed everyday.
Finally, the same rules apply to your accessories as they do to your clothing. Find items that accent your new capsule wardrobe. Including accessories like:
~ Purses (one light, one dark)
~ Scarves (solid, texture or with a print)
~ Jewelry (mixed-metal (silver&gold), statement pieces & sentimental items)
Pick your top favorite 5-10 pieces and this will complete your accessory collection.
I’m curious, after reading this do you think this type of minimalistic wardrobe could be right for you? Do you know what you want your personal style to be? Are you frustrated with your current wardrobe? Don’t worry, I can help! If you’re like my friend and in need of a little back up, just call or e-mail me. I’d love to help you find the perfect system for your stylish needs.