Capsule Wardrobe Series Week 4 - Start Building
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This is it!  It’s week 4 of the Capsule Wardrobe Series, the homestretch!  We’ve discussed what exactly a capsule wardrobe is and whether or not it’s right for you, we talked about the importance of understanding your personal style, and we’ve walked through the process of editing your closet and understanding why it’s so important.  Now, last, and certainly not least, is the actual building process.  You’ve got your style down, you’ve edited your closet and you’re starting with a clean canvas.  All that’s left now is to start filling your closet with the pieces that will best serve you.  This week is going to be fun!

 If you’ve been following me, you know that I love basics.  They are the foundation of a wardrobe, they’re timeless, and they’re certainly interchangeable.  For these reasons, I believe that the basics should be the first piece of building your capsule wardrobe.  You may be thinking; “But, what are the basics?”  Fear not! Click HERE to download my free Basics on Basics Guide - The 10 Pieces Every Woman Needs. The basics are a really good place to start building. Basics are year-round, interchangeable pieces that are the building blocks of your wardrobe. Basics can either start your look, or finish it off. With the 10 pieces in my guide, I’m able to build 10 different looks (get on my email list to see those). The point is, basics are like a mini little capsule within our capsule and they work in the same ways.

Now, we want to refer back to your closet edit. Remember the notes I had you take? I had you break your pieces up into categories, list what works in those categories and what was missing? Remember that? It’s time to whip that out. We want to determine a few things:

1) How many categories we want in our capsule

2) How many pieces we want/need in each category

After your closet edit, you should have a pretty solid outline of your categories, the pieces that satisfy each category, and the pieces that still need to be purchased. If not, this is the time to flesh it out. This is the time to narrow in and get specific with your categories as well as the number of pieces you want to include in each category.

Next, we want to decide on our color palette.  Remember, a capsule wardrobe is all about pieces that are interchangeable, so we’re going to have to think about our colors when we build.  Many will say that a neutral color palette is going to be your best option, and I would tend to agree just for versatility sake. However, we can do neutrals with a twist.  But before I get into neutrals with a twist, I want to be clear that you certainly do not have to choose neutrals.  You can choose whatever colors you like.  Just remember, the more colors you choose, and the bolder the colors, the trickier it gets to mix and match, that’s not to say it cannot be done, I just want to be clear on what will be the easiest to work with. I’ve included an image of neutral colors below.

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This is my personal list of neutrals, but all of these colors in their various shades (darker and lighter) would all be considered neutrals - so feel free to play around. You’ll notice that I have 3 animal prints included as they are NEUTRALS too! Animal prints are a great way to add a little spice into a neutral color palette, and you’ll find that they also go with most (if not all) colors. If you’re feeling like a neutral color palette is a little more safe or simple than you’d like to play it, mix it up with some animal prints! So, maybe you’ve decided on neutrals, but you really love the color red (which is not neutral), there is no reason you should miss out on a color you love and love to wear just because it’s not the most interchangeable. Granted, we can’t do this with all the colors, but if there is a color you love to wear and feel your best in, let’s include it! We want to be sure that we’re including this color in a meaningful way. If you’re going to include an “off” color, be sure to really include it. I don’t mean 1 piece or 1 accessory, be sure to include this color in every category. For example if you have tops, bottoms, dresses, and accessories as your categories, be sure to include a red piece in each category. One red blouse in a capsule of 40 pieces is not meaningful, and you won’t feel like that color is represented. However, 4 or 8 red pieces in a capsule of 40 is meaningful. It doesn’t “mess up” your capsule, and at the same time it allows for a color you love.

Last, but most certainly not least, we need to set our budget. Remember, we’re looking to have fewer pieces last us longer, so be prepared to invest a bit more in your capsule. These pieces should be of a high quality with the intention of lasting you through multiple seasons and multiple wears. The idea is not to go crazy, but the idea is to invest a bit more in something that will last you longer, and be able to handle multiple wears. There are 2 ways to set a budget; tops down, or bottoms up.

The tops down approach is to set a budget for your entire capsule, and then divvy out that budget by category accordingly. The bottoms up approach is to assign a budget to each individual piece, then by category, then total it all up to see where you land. How you decide to set your budget is entirely up to you, but it is necessary to set a reasonable budget, and work accordingly. My personal recommendation would be a mix of both. It can be pricey to set a budget for individual pieces, and it can be a tad limiting to set a total budget. My personal recommendation (feel free to take it or leave it) would be to set a tops down budget per category, and then assign a bottoms up budget within each category. For example, maybe I have 4 categories: Tops, Bottoms, Dresses, Outerwear I would do the following (ignore the numbers, just an example of breakdown):

Tops Budget: $500 - At an average $75 per piece

Bottoms Budget: $600 - At an average $95 per piece

Dresses Budget: $300 - At an average $150 per piece

Outerwear Budget: $500 - At an average $185 per piece

Of course, these are arbitrary figures, but once you set your category budget, you can go back and see how this budget aligns to your pieces per category, etc. Again, this is just a recommendation, feel free to play around with different budget scenarios to see which will get you to a budget you’re comfortable with.

Again, the most important thing to remember is that there are no rules in building your capsule! This is all about you, your budget, your comfort, your preferences, etc. This process is about building a wardrobe that will best serve you and your wardrobe needs. Be prepared for lots of trial and error, be prepared to have some fun with it, and be prepared to learn a LOT. You’ll build your capsule, and in a few months time, you’ll learn even more. You’ll learn what worked, what didn’t, and you’ll probably be surprised by a lot of it. Remember, the idea of a capsule wardrobe is to increase wear and decrease stress! Be sure it’s not causing more of a headache for you, and have FUN with it. Still want to chat a bit more about a capsule wardrobe? Click HERE to schedule your call with me.

Candace HannaComment
Capsule Wardrobe Series - Closet Edit!
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Well, here we are, week 3 of the Capsule Wardrobe Series!  This week, we’re in your closet.  I know, it can be a scary place.  Your closet can be overwhelming, for so many reasons.  Whether it’s because there’s entirely too much or you feel like you don’t have anything at all, our closets can be a real source of anxiety for us.  Now that we understand what a capsule wardrobe is, we’ve decided we want to explore it further, and we have a pretty solid idea of what our personal style is, the next piece is your closet.  Yes, we’re going to edit.  But again, we’re going to EDIT.  Editing your closet doesn’t mean that you take everything in your closet, throw it out, and start over.  We’re simply editing.  Keep reading for my method on how to edit your closet, and get your capsule wardrobe started.

First things first, we have to plan this time.  If you’ve worked with me, or followed my work, you know that planning is a really key part of everything I do.  Whether you have a packed closet, or an empty one, we need to plan out this time so that we’re not rushed or overwhelmed.  When I’m working with my clients, I typically schedule a 3-hour block. You might think that’s insane, but we don’t always use that entire block of time, and it allows for a breather here and there. Before you decide how much time to schedule, I want you to quickly peruse your closet.  If you don’t want to designate 3 hours, you can try working backward.  Assess roughly how much you have, and try and assign 15-20 seconds per piece and throw in a couple of 10-minute breaks and see what kind of time block you get.  Whatever time you decide on, be sure to schedule in a couple of breaks – that is important.  You’ll be editing your closet fairly quickly, it can be too much to go straight through, so give yourself some space.

From there, we have to pull everything out of our closets.  I know, it sounds like a lot, but this is the only way we get to everything, and it’s important that we get to everything.  After we’ve pulled everything out, we have to start editing.  When it comes to the actual physical editing of your closet, there are certain questions you should be asking yourself.  I know, it can be hard to decide which questions, so I’ve taken the guesswork out of it for you!  HERE you’ll find my flow chart for editing your closet.  The first question is “Do I wear it” depending on your answer, you’ll move into “Do I love it” which is far more important than whether or not you wear it…from there, I take you through the flow sheet of what to do with each piece.  You should be asking the same questions about each piece, and your responses will be different, and that’s how you weed out what to keep vs. what to let go.  This can be a difficult process, which is why it’s important to stick to the chart, not take too much time per piece, and really stay focused.  Don’t get caught up on the “what ifs” because I’ve accounted for them in the flow chart.  This will be the hardest part, but I think that if you’re through to this week, my guess is you’re ready for it, so don’t worry!  As you’re editing, I want you to make categories for the pieces that you’re deciding to keep.  For this part, I want you to be general.  For example, maybe you have 4 categories: tops, bottoms, dresses, outerwear.  If you want to break it down a bit more, you can, but don’t do too much at this juncture.  I want you to keep track of categories, because they’ll be useful when you start keeping notes and start actually building your capsule.  So, for the pieces you keep, assign them categories.

Next order of business, is to keep a pen and paper handy.  You’re going to want to notice a few things.  First, patterns that you’re seeing over and over again.  I don’t mean patterns like floral or stripes (although, that could be) what I mean is tendencies.  Are there certain colors you’re seeing over and over, and others you don’t see at all?  Do you only have denim and no dressy bottoms?  Is everything you have sleeveless but not long sleeve?  Are you missing dresses? Basics? Etc.  Do you only have formal wear, and no casual? I want you to take note of what you will need in your capsule, what you have that fulfills that need, and what will end up being a gaping hole in your capsule wardrobe.

 

Lastly, after you’ve edited and you’ve taken your notes and you’re looking at your categories, I want you to take another round of editing.  By category, I want you to look at what you’ve kept and assess what will work for your capsule wardrobe.  Now that you understand that a capsule wardrobe is a limited number of pieces that you love to wear that are interchangeable, consider what will work and what might be a bit more difficult.  If you’re not sure, post in the Anti-Stylist and we’ll help you out!  Maybe there’s a piece you love, but you can only figure out 1 way to wear it, post it in the group and I’d be happy to help you find another way to wear.  The idea is to get organized, pull everything out so that you can see it clearly, and then assign it a category because you might have more that works for your capsule than you realize.  You might have a whole capsule already existing in your closet.  You might, on the other hand, have a bunch of pieces that don’t work together at all (which is where your struggle began).  Either way, editing your closet is going to be the only way to figure it out.  I know it can seem like a daunting process, but if we plan our time (and breaks), if we use the flow chart that asks the right questions, don’t get too caught up on a single piece, and take notes on what we see, I promise it will give you a world of clarity.  Happy editing!

Candace HannaComment
I Want To Try A Capsule Wardrobe, Now What?
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 Now you know what a capsule wardrobe is.  You’ve read all about it, you’ve downloaded your check-list and you’ve decided you want to give it a whirl.  First, good job!  Congrats to you on wanting to try something new.  So, now what?  Now, it’s time to start the process of building your capsule wardrobe.  Before you grab your purse and head out shopping, there are a few steps to take beforehand, otherwise known as weeks 2 & 3 of this series.

 Here we are in week 2.  One of the most important pieces of building a successful capsule wardrobe is going to be understanding your style.  Yep, if you don’t know what your style is, you cannot start building your capsule wardrobe.  Why is this so important? For starters, your capsule is going to be a limited number of pieces, that you love to wear.  As a result, those pieces have to speak to you and your style, and they have to be pieces you love.  How can you have pieces you love, if you haven’t yet figured out what that means?

How do we figure out our style?  The first step is going to have to do with your body type.  No, I don’t mean your size or your weight, I mean your body type.  When referring to your body type, I’m talking about your proportions and where you carry your weight.  Generally, we want to look at the relationship between our shoulders, natural waist, and hips.  The proportions between these 3 regions will help you to determine your body type, and as a result, which silhouettes are going to be the most flattering.  Does this mean there are things that you cannot and should not wear?  I’m never going to say that.  If there is something you absolutely love, and you love how you look and feel in it, but it’s not ideal for your shape, I’ll still say wear it!  The idea is to love how you feel in your clothes.  Understanding your body type is going to be a guideline for you to help you understand what will look best on you.  Remember, style is all about guidelines and principles, not rules!  Download my free Body Type Guide Here.  You’ll see there are 5 general body types that most women can identify with, but often times, we fall into or in between more than 1 body type, so don’t feel bad about that.

Next, we want to consider our preferences.  Preferences can really range anywhere from color and pattern preferences, all the way to silhouette preferences (i.e. preferring pants over skirts, etc).  Think about your preferences.  Maybe you love floral, maybe you hate bright colors, maybe you only wear dresses (but you’re not sure why), maybe you only wear sleeveless, or perhaps you never wear sleeveless.  There are a number of preferences we have, and I’m going to list out a few for you to consider, but of course, feel free to create your own list

Colors

Patterns

Neck Lines

Silhouettes

Fabrics

Consider how you feel about each (if you feel anything at all, you may not have a preference) and jot down some notes about them and what you notice.  What additional preferences do you have that you’re noticing?  Feel free to get up and walk around your closet to get a better idea.

Next up, messages!  This is a two-parter.  First, is going to be how you want to feel in your clothes…these are what I call “style words”.  For example, my style words are “Confident, Capable, Fun”.  That’s how I want to feel in my clothes.  Your style words are going to be 3-5 descriptive words of how you want to feel.  These are positive words that reflect how you’re feeling at your absolute best.  The next part of this is what is the message do you want to send to the world.  Our clothes are speaking for us, whether we like it or not.  For me, how I want to feel in my clothes and the message I want to send are the same.  For you, it might be a bit different.  Maybe you want to FEEL sexy, but you don’t necessarily want that to come across.  Think about the message you want your look to send to people upon first meeting them without having to say a word.  What message do you want to convey?  What do you want people to understand about you before you ever speak?  Maybe that you’re outgoing, maybe that you’re organized, or maybe that you’re fun.  Whatever it is, consider these messages and what you want your style and looks to reflect.

Lastly, and while it’s very important, it’s not the most important, is your day-to-day.  I want to say a few things about this.  Certainly, comfort is key.  We all want to be comfortable, however, we don’t want to sacrifice everything else for comfort.  Do me a favor, and replace the word “Comfortable” with “Practical” and that will make a world of difference.  The fact is that pajamas are comfortable, but they’re not practical for living in. We want our wardrobe to be comfortable, but not ONLY comfortable.   When we’re talking about your day-to-day, this is important.  It’s important because on the flip side, while we want our wardrobe to be fantastic, it also needs to be functional for our lives, and if we’re not considering what functionality we need out of our wardrobes, we’ll build a closet/wardrobe that looks great, but doesn’t serve us.

Take some time, sit down with these factors and really think about your current personal style, where you’d like it to be, and how you want to get it there.  Want to talk more about it?  Click here to schedule your free 30-minute consult with me! If you have’t joined my FB Group The Anti-Stylist, be sure to do so! I’ll be going live FRIDAY at 12 noon PST answering questions and going even deeper on week 2!

Candace HannaComment
What Is A Capsule Wardrobe?
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Capsule wardrobe.  You’ve probably heard it a million times by now.  So, what exactly is a capsule wardrobe?  I’m going to tell you.  Before I get into the capsule wardrobe, I want to preface by saying a few things. 

 

First, there are no rules.  Style is totally subjective, and you can do a google search on “capsule wardrobe” and find a million different people telling you a million different things about how to do it and now not to.  Is there a guideline, or method to capsule wardrobe?  Sure.  Does that mean that you have to stick 100% within those guidelines? Certainly not.

 

Secondly, this is merely an introduction to the capsule wardrobe, there is a very good possibility that a capsule wardrobe just isn’t for you (and I have a download for you to help you decide).  What I’m hoping to do over the next several weeks is give you the ins and outs of the capsule wardrobe in an effort to help you decide whether or not it’s something you want to try.

 

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So, what is a capsule wardrobe?  Simply, it is…

 A limited number of pieces in your closet that you love to wear that are interchangeable

 There is a lot in this description. 

 First, the limited number of pieces.  This is where a lot of people get caught up.  I’ll tell you this; there are people who make a capsule wardrobe work with 15 pieces total, and some who make it work with 50 pieces total.  How many pieces and how many categories you have (categories being tops, bottoms, dresses, etc) whether or not you want to include footwear/accessories is totally up to you.  The idea is that you’re limiting your pieces in an effort to maintain organization, to increase the overall wear of your pieces, and ultimately, to decrease stress.  The idea isn’t to hold you captive, it’s to limit the paradox of choice as well as increase your wear.

 Next up: “…that you love to wear”

 I cannot stress enough how important this is. The key to increasing wear and decreasing stress is going to be in the fact that you LOVE these pieces.  When you love the pieces in your closet, you will naturally gravitate toward them, you will wear them, and you will continually look to find new ways to wear them.  If you’re someone who has a closet full of clothes, but still struggles with finding pieces that you want to wear, it’s because you don’t love them.  I’ve spoken about this in previous social media posts, but I’ll say it again: It is a waste of time, money, and energy buying pieces you don’t love.  That, is a fact.  Don’t believe me?  Go into your closet, find the pieces you don’t love (and as a result, don’t wear) total up the cost of those items.  After that, total up all the time and energy you’ve spent thinking about wearing these pieces, but not actually doing so.  You have better things to spend your money, time, and energy on, I know that.  Can you build a capsule wardrobe you love over night? No.  Is it worth holding out for? Absolutely.

 

Lastly, the interchangeability piece.  While having a limited number of pieces and limiting them only to pieces you love is important, for a capsule wardrobe to be successful, these pieces all have to work together.  Does this mean that you have to buy all solid basics? No.  It will mean, though, that likely not every piece can be a bold print or pattern.  Again, there are no rules here, only principles and guidelines, but you do want to be reasonable with you expectations when setting out to build your capsule wardrobe.

 So a capsule wardrobe is…

 A limited number of pieces in your closet that you love to wear that are interchangeable

 And remember, there are no concrete rules, only guidelines.  Still not sure if a capsule wardrobe is right for you?  Click HERE to get my “Is A Capsule Wardrobe For You?” checklist.

PS;

I’ll be going live in my FB Group The Anti-Stylist (be sure to join!) Friday at 12 noon PST - have your questions ready!

Can’t make it to the live? No problem! Email your questions to: candace@stylebycandace.com and I’ll answer them for the replay!

Candace HannaComment
Are You Ready To Hire A Personal Stylist?

You might be thinking: “What do you mean ‘am I ready?’  How will I know?” (queue Whitney Houston).  Well don’t you worry, I’m going to tell you!  Let me first say this; I’m not your average stylist.  While I would love to tell you that everyone needs a stylist, and everyone needs a stylist NOW, that’s just not the case.  For the people who could actually benefit from the process of working with a personal stylist, they still have to be ready.  Not sure if you caught it, but I said the word “process” because that’s exactly what it is.  You’ll be hard pressed to find a stylist who will work with you for an hour or 2 and then be on their merry way (at least not if they’re any good).  There is a lot that goes into working with a stylist (again, I’m talking about the good ones) and you have to be ready for it.   It’s in the best interest of everyone involved to ensure that the client is ready to work with a personal stylist, otherwise the outcome could be disastrous, trust me.

What’s the big deal, you say?  Well, it is a big deal.  First of all, it is a really personal thing.  You’re not just dealing with clothes, you’re dealing with everything that comes with those clothes, you know what I’m sayin?  I’ve had clients cry in their closets, clients have had revelations about their childhood and how it’s affected them in adulthood, and so much more.  Sure, this isn’t the case with every client, but more often than not, a lot of emotions come up when working with someone on their style and it’s important to be in a space where you can deal with that.

In working with mostly women, the issue that comes up far more often than the rest is that of body image.  For the most part, I’ve been really lucky with my clients in that they’ve been ready.  But I have had a couple who were not.  What does that look like?  It looks a lot like the following: loving pieces, but hating those same pieces on their body, seeing flaws in themselves that literally no one else would notice, being totally dissatisfied when looking in the mirror before we’ve even begun our work.  While we all have things we’d like to change about ourselves, it’s imperative that if you’re going to work with a personal stylist that you give yourself some grace.  You have to acknowledge who you are, and where you are in your life.  If you’re not happy in that current space, you’re not ready. 

What difference does it make?  It makes all the difference in the world.   Imagine seeing the world through foggy glasses?  Nothing will look as it should, and more importantly, nothing will be beautiful.  The whole world will be seen through a distorted lens, and you’re doing yourself a disservice looking at yourself through that same distorted lens.  You’ll walk away thinking you’re the problem, and you’ll be right.  But it wont be because you’re too short, or carrying too much weight, or because your nose is a little crooked, it’ll be because you insist on looking at yourself through this lens of an unattainable perfection that does not exist.  I’m not at all suggesting you forget about fitness goals, or forget about bettering yourself.  What I am saying, though, is that until you can be satisfied in the space you’re in, you will never be ready for the process.  And if you’re not ready for the process, it’ll never work the way it’s supposed to.

Imagine baking a pie, but only for half the time you were supposed to.  Imagine if you had been expected to do multiplication tables before you were able to add?  How about trying to run a marathon without training or stretching first?  Well, you’d think pie was disgusting, you’d think you’re an idiot unable to do simple math, and you’d think running a marathon was something from the devil.  You wouldn’t feel that way because any of those things are true, but because all of these things require steps to be successful; and you skipped those steps. The end result is the final product of a process and you went ahead and dismissed that process, and so the outcome is not at all what it should be, and it’s totally skewed your opinion of the product.  Pie is delicious!  But you have to bake it properly.  Multiplication tables are a breeze (most days) but you’ve got to learn to add first, and marathons…well, those really are from the devil, but you get what I’m saying.  Working with a personal stylist is fun, of course, but there’s a lot that comes with it and if you’re not prepared it’ll ruin the outcome.

So then, how do you prepare?  It’s just like I said; you have to give yourself some grace.  You have to know that you are and always will be a work in progress.  Whether we’re talking about our physical body, education, whatever it may be, we’re always working.  I don’t know anyone who feels like they’re perfect the way they are and there is nothing to be improved upon.  That isn’t life.  At least, that isn’t real life.  Acknowledge that you are a work in progress and ever-changing and that you’ll get there when you get there.  From there, you have to realize that no one will ever be as hard on you as you are.  You are seeing flaws no one else sees.  You are always going to be far more critical of yourself than anyone else will be…and that’s mostly because everything “wrong” you’re seeing is magnified in your head, that’s not how it really appears.  The last piece, and I think the most important (and my method with clients) is to highlight, not hide.  Stop living in the space of what you’re looking to hide or conceal.  Take some time, and find out what you love about yourself and if you’re not quite there yet, what you like about yourself and exploit that.  It’s no fun trying to hide what you don’t like.  What is fun, is highlighting what you DO like.  However big or small, find what you can say is great about you, and play to that strength.  Until you can give yourself the space to do these things, you’re not ready.  But my hope is that one day you will be.

Candace HannaComment