Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Capsule Wardrobe

Today's special guest on the blog is by Dr. Carol Walsh.

5 Keys to Building a Fabulous Capsule Wardrobe

Building a wardrobe capsule is a fabulous way to maximize your wardrobe, expand your creativity, and save significant time and money. With just 10-12 pieces of clothing, you can easily create 3-4 weeks of stylish and fun new outfits. Now unlike my minimalist friends who encourage you to downsize to just 10, 20, or even 30 pieces of clothing, I LOVE clothes and have WAY MORE than 30 pieces. However, in order to successfully wear everything I have in my closet, I’ve created mini-capsules. Mini-capsules take the stress out of that “what am I going to wear today” syndrome most of feel every morning when we walk into our closet. If you want to get more wear out of your clothes and make getting dressed in the morning exciting and fun, follow these five (5) steps to build your own wardrobe capsules.

1. Choose a Theme – There are several ways you can go with this one. If you work in an office you may want to create a few Work Capsules and Weekend Capsules. If you work for yourself or from home, you may want to create themes based on your favorite styles like Casual Chic, Boho, Romantic, Urban Edgy, or Sporty Casual. By following a theme, you’ll avoid defaulting to your favorite yoga pants and sweatshirt because you just don’t know what to wear. Not sure about your style, take my FREE Style Personality Quiz to get started (http://evolvingyourimage.com/evolve-your-image/)

2. Choose a Color Scheme – The key to a capsule wardrobe is the ability to mix and match your selections. This is much easier to do if you work within a particular color palette. The picture provided above is a perfect example. The core color scheme is red and yellow. Denim, white, gray and black are actually neutrals and can be worn with any color scheme, so these neutrals serve as a secondary scheme. You can always start with a neutral color like black, brown, navy, or gray, and then just add pops color, like fuschia, green, or violet, to add dimension and interest. 

3. Choose a Fun Print or Pattern to Build Upon – You’ve got to incorporate a fun and exciting pattern or print into the mix. This could be animal print, florals, stripes, paisleys, or an ethnic print. In the picture above I built this capsule around that beautiful ethnic print midi-skirt. From the skirt, I was able to determine the theme (classic chic) and color scheme because I pulled the corresponding colors from the skirt. Also, don’t be afraid to mix and match your prints and patterns. The rule of thumb is to ensure the colors can be found in both garments.

4. Choose Your Accessories – Would you bake a cake and not frost it? Of course not! The same is true of your outfit. You should NEVER wear an outfit without some type of accessory. Try a statement necklace, a few dainty dazzlers, layering bangles, or a fabulous scarf (you can actually use your scarf as the fun print or pattern to build upon). Accessories can also add to your outfit theme and will assuredly take ANY outfit from boring to amazing. Also don’t forget to add a fun clutch or handbag and fabulous shoes. You can add up to 2 handbags and 3 pairs of shoes to any particular capsule. 

5. Create a Style Notebook – Once you create your capsule do two things. First, lay everything out on your bed and take a picture. That way you’ll remember which outfits made up your particular capsule. Second, be sure to stand in front of the mirror and take a selfie of what you’re wearing. If you’re rotating through 10-12 pieces of clothing over the course of 21-30 days, it’s easy to forget what you put together on day 8. It’s absolutely ok to repeat a look, but you’ll want to make sure you’re recreating it purposefully and not accidentally. You may also find ways to improve upon a previous outfit if you remember how you styled it before. 

Finally, have fun! Creating a capsule wardrobe is like putting a puzzle together. It takes a little work to see which pieces go together, but when you’re done you get to enjoy the masterpiece you’ve created. Once you’re done with one capsule launder, repair, and/or you’re your clothes to the cleaners. You’ll also want to assess which items are not working for you anymore and determine if you want to donate or replace one or more pieces. This will keep your wardrobe fresh and up-to-date. 

Have fun!

Live, laugh, shine!

Dr. Carol Parker Walsh is a certified image professional specializing in strategies for developing a positive and effective self-image. She holds a PhD in human development and is the only licensed Fashion Feng Shui practitioner in the Pacific Northwest. Carol is a fashion blogger and the founder and owner of Evolve Image Consulting and she’s also on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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