Creating a Capsule Wardrobe From Scratch


I like to use winter as a time to refresh everything. I like to organize my beauty products, clean out my kitchen pantry and cabinets, and really take stock of my wardrobe. I know a lot of people (including my youngest daughter who claims to absolutely hate winter) like to count down the days to summer. I love summer too but I love how the winter months cause me to slow down a bit. It is a great time for goal setting, organizing and preparing for the year ahead. Of course for me part of the preparation is making sure my capsule wardrobe is on point.

Someone asked me the other day about the capsule wardrobe and she said, “but I don’t get it. What exactly is it?” She had heard me mention it a few times and maybe even read a post or two, but she didn’t truly understand the concept. I am under the impression that when one person has a question it is highly likely that someone else has the same question, and because I plan to keep talking about the capsule wardrobe due to its time saving and confidence boosting power for moms, I thought I would break it down and start from scratch.

The capsule wardrobe was a term coined by Susie Faux  in the 1970’s. It was meant to consist of about 30 or fewer items including… brace yourself…shoes and accessories. The small number of items were supposed to compliment one another so that you could create several different outfits from the individual pieces. The idea was to have a streamlined wardrobe of high-quality pieces that you only updated with a few seasonal items a couple of times a year. There are lots of bloggers who use smaller numbers or who don’t use a specific number at all. No matter how strictly you choose to embrace it, here are a few things to keep in mind when starting a capsule wardrobe.

Style-You are going to have to narrow down your style. There are lots of ways to do this but the easiest is selecting a fashion role model. If you don’t have a friend or family member whose style you admire then check out the street style images of some of your favorite public figures or celebrities. Whose style speaks to you? You are going to need to narrow down your style so that you can select separates that compliment each other.

Color Pallettes-you want to make sure that you choose a few neutral central colors and then add pops of color that compliment each other.

Body type-select items that compliment your body style. For example, pear shapes look great with a-line skirts and dresses that emphasize the upper body. Inverted triangle shapes should look for full skirts, wide-legged pants and statement necklaces. Apples have great legs and hourglass figures should (tastefully) accentuate their curves-Its all about the waist baby. The list goes on and you can find descriptions of body shapes and tons of suggestions for each shape on the web.

Once you have the big 3 down you don’t need to run out and buy a bunch of new things. Take stock in what you already have in your closet. If you are interested in starting from scratch and you aren’t interested in tackling your closet just yet, purchase a garment rack and start with a few key staples. Remember its fine to go slow because you want to focus on quality over quantity. Even if you purchase just one or two quality items a season you are on your way to building a quality capsule wardrobe.

Here are some sample items that would work for a capsule wardrobe:

  • White button down shirt
  • Blazer
  • Cardigan
  • Silk blouse
  • Pencil skirt
  • Jeans
  • Trousers
  • T-shirt
  • Midi skirt
  • Sheath dress
  • Nude pump
  • Black pump
  • High-heeled bootie
  • Flats
  • Statement necklace
  • Everyday Necklace
  • Diamonds (or diamond like) studs
  • Hoop earrings
  • Watch

Here’s a previous info video I did – Capsule Wardrobe Video

Remember the real benefit of a capsule wardrobe is that it is easy and seamless. Getting dressed will be a breeze and you will always feel put together and more confident, and most importantly it frees up time to focus on what really matters.

Let me know your thoughts on creating a capsule wardrobe.


Until Next Post,

Lips Signature



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Tonya Parker is a counselor, author and certified life coach who believes in helping women look and feel their best! Ambassador for O, The Oprah Magazine and author of Single Mom Chic

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