Creating That Elusive Capsule Wardrobe

What  is a Capsule Wardrobe?

It seems that stylists and fashion editors are always selling the idea of a capsule wardrobe and most of us think we’d love to have one – but what exactly is it and how do we put one together?

In my view, a capsule wardrobe is a limited collection of versatile, interchangeable pieces that will create perfect outfits for any occasion. To be successful it must complement your colouring and shape, express your true personality, be appropriate for your lifestyle and keep you looking current.

Everyone’s perfect Capsule Wardrobe is different

Let me start by saying that there is no magic formula for creating a capsule wardrobe! We’re all individuals and our wardrobes should reflect this.

You will probably have read articles stating that there are certain “must haves” for every wardrobe, like the perfect white shirt. For many people this will indeed be a very useful wardrobe staple but it’s not for everyone. I don’t possess a single white shirt and nor do I want one, because:

  • White is simply not “my” colour; it makes me look washed out.
  • I am not comfortable in shirts – I rarely feel warm enough in one and I find collars problematic when worn with cardigans and jackets, so a cream fine knit tank or sweater is a much better choice for me.

The most important criterion is that your wardrobe works for you! So, if for example, you don’t enjoy wearing skirts, don’t include them in your wardrobe. Instead, go for something you know you will get plenty of wear out of, like an extra pair of trousers or a dress.

There is no set number of pieces you need

In my Capsule Wardrobe Workshop, I demonstrate how you can build a versatile, stylish wardrobe from just 36 items but this may not be the optimum number of clothes for you. That will depend very much on your lifestyle and your style personality. If you’re a “natural” who lives in jeans and sweaters, you may well be happy with 36 items but if you’re a “dramatic” style personality who is very fashion-conscious and likes to be noticed, you will quickly tire of such a limited wardrobe.

It’s a journey

Building and refining your perfect capsule wardrobe takes time and knowledge and is an ongoing project – a journey, if you like. You need to understand the colours, styles and proportions that are right for you and also take into account how you spend your time in order to ensure that your wardrobe fits with your lifestyle. Only then can you start “weeding” your current wardrobe of pieces that just aren’t right for you to make way for carefully-selected pieces that are.

Take stock of your current wardrobe

If you feel confident in your clothing choices, set aside some time to take stock of your current wardrobe. Try everything on, review it with a critical eye and decide what to let go (wrong colour/ style/ no longer fits/ past its best) and what to keep – basically the clothes you know you look great in and that you wear often. You can then identify any “gaps” that need filling.

Only invest in clothes that are right for you

Every piece must earn its place in your capsule wardrobe so before you buy anything ask yourself:

  • Does the colour work?  Is it one of the colours in my palette? Does it make me look vibrant or is it wearing me?
  • Is the style flattering? Is it emphasising my good points and disguising the parts of my body I’m not so keen on?
  • How will I wear this? With which tops/bottoms/shoes/jewellery?
  • When will I wear this? Imagine the type of occasion, the people you will be with etc.
  • Do I already have one of these in my wardrobe which I prefer? (If so, you are unlikely to choose to wear the new one).
  • Does this make me feel good?

 Need some help?

If you feel you could do with some professional help, why not attend some of my workshops and events or come along for a personal consultation? Workshops are a cost-effective way of picking up useful tips in a supportive, friendly group environment, whereas individual consultations are perfect if you want more in-depth advice tailored specifically to you.

Whichever route you decide to take, I guarantee it will be so worth it because you will have a wardrobe of clothes that make you feel confident and look fabulous. This is an investment in yourself which ultimately saves you money because you will find that you buy less and wear more. Ready to start the journey? Why not kick it off with my Capsule Wardrobe Workshop on 16th November?