How To Build The Perfect Capsule Wardrobe
Source: Open Talk Magazine 18/02/2011 23:38:00
As life get’s busier, so does your wardrobe. Whether you are a stay at home mom, or a high flying career woman—we all inevitably fall into a style rut. How often when rushing to the office or taking the kids to school do you open your wardrobe full to bursting and think; “I have nothing to wear!”
A capsule wardrobe of key pieces will help to eliminate this morning headache and ensure that you have ‘less quantity, more quality’ when it comes to your style. Once you have invested in the building blocks, you can add key pieces each season and add on-trend accessories for that perfect ‘effortless chic’ look. Follow these key steps to a brand new stylish you!
The first stage can be the hardest, but also the most fun. Go through your wardrobe and take out anything that you haven’t worn or are desperately clinging onto. There is always a reason you haven’t worn something for two years, so be honest with yourself. Either donate unwanted items to charity, or sell them on eBay for some extra money towards your new wardrobe. If there is an item such as a great jacket that you want to keep but doesn’t go with anything else, consider what you need to buy to make it work; a pencil skirt, a great pair of pants? Don’t forget to tackle your underwear drawer too; many good outfits are ruined by ill fitting bras and panties.
Does your newly edited wardrobe meet the needs of your current lifestyle? You want a wardrobe that makes you feel comfortable and confident day to day. Think of a typical week and of all the different places that you are likely to go, then think of two outfits per occasion that you would feel confident in wearing. This will help to identify any holes in your current line up. Be realistic about your current body shape. Identify the key shapes and colours that flatter your best assets, and see which of these are also missing.
Back to Basics
It’s time to hit the shops! Start with re-evaluating your bra size. When did you last go for a fitting as opposed to grabbing anything you think will fit? The right support in the right areas can not only help to smooth lumps and bumps, but can also help you drop a dress size in some cases—who is going to say no to that?
Having a capsule wardrobe needn’t be dull. Choose two or three neutral base colours (e.g. navy, grey, black, off white) and one or two accent shades (e.g. green and lilac). This will allow you to mix and match your looks with ease, offering you endless outfit options with fewer items.
Key Items for any Capsule Wardrobe
- A well tailored white shirt that flatters your shape
- Classic black pants that can be dressed up for evening, or down for day wear.
- The little black dress will always instil an air of Audrey Hepburn confidence and effortless chic
- A good quality winter coat. Choose one of your base colours if you will be wearing this to the office, or go for one of your accent shades for a pop of colour.
- For rainy days, invest in an affordable Burberry-esq a trench coat.
- Cashmere cardigans and wraps are a great way to dress up a skirt or throw over your little black dress, and if properly looked after will last a long time.
- The perfect pair of jeans. This is simply a case of trying on dozens of pairs until you find the right fit and style for your body type. When you find them, buy a shorter and longer length so that you can wear them with either flats or pumps.
- A black or cream sweater will match everything in your wardrobe and are great to pull out in a hurry.
- A classic evening gown is a must for any work functions or weddings that you may have. Stick to a classic style, again in a neutral colour. Changing the accessories will ensure that it looks different every time you wear it.
- Sundresses are perfect for keeping cool around town or taking on holiday to wear on the beach.
- For casual dressing, cotton or wool dresses are a great alternative to jeans. Team them with pantyhose, flats or long boots.
- Comfortable lounge wear doesn’t mean sticking on your gym sweats. Cashmere hooded tops or silk robes are just as comfortable and far more chic for wearing around the house and save embarrassment from any unexpected guests stopping by.
Key Accessories for any Capsule Wardrobe
- Ballet flats are a great investment and are both stylish and comfortable.
- High pumps that you can walk comfortably in will dress up any outfit.
- A pair of tall leather boots can change an outfit. Wear them over jeans or with skirts and dresses. Go for classic colours in black and brown.
- A stylish large tote bag is perfect for carrying essentials, but try not to pack the kitchen sink. Keep the size and weight of your bag to a realistic minimum.
- For evening, find a clutch bag with an optional shoulder strap to avoid a juggling act at cocktail parties.
- Choose simple pearls, small diamonds or your favourite gemstones when it comes to stud earrings. Spend what you can afford, but remember to keep the style simple.
- To protect the delicate skin around your eyes, and to hide from the style paparazzi, shop for a pair of sunglasses that flatter your face shape.
Now you are ready to hit the shops! If you don’t find what you are looking for on your first trip to the mall, hold fire and don’t settle on a piece that is less than perfect. Building your prefect capsule wardrobe can take time, but will be more than worth it in the end.