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.
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.