So you've paired down, solidified your wardrobe, and now it's time to take it to the next level.
Now that it's been almost a year since I committed to a smaller wardrobe, I'm starting to think beyond the pieces themselves and I'm ready to look at my wardrobe as a whole. I'm looking at how my pieces go together, what kind of outfits I can create, and what pieces I need to really round it out.
There's a lot of self discovery that happens when defining your style. The first steps to creating your capsule wardrobe are focused a lot on individual pieces and learning what you feel best in. You start to dabble in fabrics and patterns, but it really takes living with less to learn what will stand out.
Once you get a feel for what feels good, that's when you get to dive into the fun part. That's when the real capsuling begins!
Related: CAPSULE WARDROBE: GETTING STARTED
THE NEXT STEPS
Having a color palette is one of the easiest ways to create a cohesive wardrobe. When you're working with fewer pieces, it's important that every piece can work together. A color palette is how that happens.
In the beginning of creating a capsule wardrobe, it's intimidating defining a color palette that you're going to stick to. There are so many colors and so many pieces that are made with beautiful colors so it really is hard to choose just a few.
For me, it's helpful to think about what colors I wear the most and what colors look best with my complexion. Red, for example, will never work. I have to many red undertones that are exaggerated by the color red. Blues, however, make my eyes pop which is a plus for me. From there, I choose a few other colors that go with the color that makes me look best, mixing loud and soft colors. Pretty soon I'm thinking of venturing into greens and yellows (so send me all the links to cute things in those colors!).
If color palettes are still a little intimidating, Caroline Joy found a freeing take on creating a color palette for your capsule wardrobe. This season, she defined her colors and then opened up her palette to every gradient of those colors. Yellow then became marigold, mustard, etc. It's a great way to create a color palette without feeling like you're locked in.
PREPARE FOR SEASONS
Odds are, you started your capsule wardrobe with one season in mind: the season you were currently in. Now, it's time to think ahead.
How do you need to prepare for the seasons to come? Are you going to add to your capsule each season or do you want to have a fairly consistent capsule?
These are important things to know. It'll help you determine what your key elements really need to be, what you're going to get rid of by next season, and how much you'll need to store. When you've determined these things, you'll know which items to invest in and which ones can be a quick, for funsies, purchase.
This is the word that makes my budget cry.
Okay, I shouldn't say that. I love building a capsule and I love the idea of having truly high quality clothing that is made to last. The part that makes my budget cry is that it's a huge investment. But it's finally time. I've reach the point where I know the next time I make a clothing purchase, it will be with sustainability in mind.
One of the most important factors in a capsule wardrobe is the ability for each piece to actually last, even when worn often. Each piece should be your favorite piece and favorite pieces get worn until they fall apart. Sustainable pieces will make it so they fall apart much, much slower.
Once you've got the hang of finding pieces you like, it's time to get selective with what you bring in and commit to the pieces that will truly last.
At this point, you probably have staples and accents. The staples are things like t-shirts and jeans, for some of us it's even our shoes. These are the pieces that stay through every seasons. The are the string that holds your wardrobe together. You can dress them up or dress them down. Either way, they are the basis of your signature style.
When you figure out what your staple items are, it's time to define the fit, the colors they should be, and where your go to retailers for these items are located. My husband, Ian, has been wearing the same jeans for years. Black Levi skinny jeans. They are absolutely his staple. That and vans lace up shoes. For me, I know I can always rely on a pair of high waisted, light wash skinny jeans. The only problem, I haven't found where my perfect pair lies.
These are the things to think through when venturing into the next step of capsuling. Think about those pieces you go back to time and time again and solidify them. Find the best one of it's kind and make sure it's always handy.
Photo by Shira Gill