Creating a Capsule Four Easy Steps (Step 4)

Based on the first three steps of Creating a Capsule Wardrobe, you outlined your style goals, conducted a wardrobe audit and then created a shopping list of pieces to fill in the gaps. Prior to heading out on your shopping trip, it may also be helpful to look for pictures in magazines and online of outfits that you admire and that you could recreate at home. Take these with you as inspiration. Now, I should mention, that sometimes it is not practical to purchase all pieces in one shopping trip. There are factors such as budget, shopping fatigue (getting to a point where you are not productive and are no longer enjoying the process) and the actual selection in store to consider. So don’t try to do it all at once.

As an example, a sample capsule wardrobe for a season will generally include the following:

  • 5 bottoms: pants, skirts

  • 10 tops: blouses, sweaters, tank tops

  • 4 dresses/rompers (i.e. One piece dressing)

  • 5 pairs of footwear: pumps, boots, sandals etc.

  • 4 toppers: blazers, cardigans, vests

  • 2 coats/outerwear

As you start to purchase pieces, look at how they mix and match with pieces that you already have. Ideally, you want to buy pieces that can be matched with several different pieces from your existing wardrobe to make multiple outfits. I generally use a rule of thumb that the piece should be able to be worn with three different items in my closet. This rule does not apply for one of a kind and novelty pieces that may be purchased for special occasions. Start with the basic classic pieces such as toppers (blazers, cardigans) and bottoms (trousers, skirts) and then add your personal touch with blouses, accessories, shoes and novelty items. Look at the highest quality possible for the price range.

As you look for pieces in the stores, remember to keep an open mind as sometimes a piece may not have ‘hanger appeal’, meaning it may not look good on the hanger. Once you try it on, you will have a better idea of how it looks on you and how it feels. It may help you to take a trusted friend or family member with you so that they can give you honest feedback.

For many people, clothes do not fit perfectly off-the-rack. That’s ok...most of us are not the size of the fit-model used to create the garments. You may have to have garments altered to get a perfect fit. For example, if you are like me, I am a pear shape (for more on body shapes, click here). This means that sometimes when I buy trousers, in order for them to fit on my hips and thighs, I have to purchase a size that comfortably fits these areas and then I have to have the waist taken in. Do not fret, tailoring does not have to be expensive. Some stores have in-house tailors and offer it as a service for their customers at a very reasonable rate. I actually take my alterations to my independent dry cleaners as they offer tailoring at a fraction of the mall-based alteration shops.

Remember, this is about building a wardrobe that reflects who you are and how you want the world to see you. So have fun and enjoy your journey of style!

For help with any part of your style journey, please feel free to contact me and I would be happy to assist you. For more information, please see the Styling Services section.

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