7 Essentials for Building a Capsule Wardrobe

By on July 1, 2011

By Jeanine Byers Hoag –

How do you feel about what’s hanging in your closet?

If you had to build a capsule wardrobe of your best or your favorites, would you be happy with it?

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If the answer to that is “no,” then stay tuned. This article is the first in a series about creating a capsule wardrobe…

The Midlife Wardrobe Crisis

By the time we reach our middle years, many women have been assaulted by multiple negative messages about who we are, what we need, what we should think about ourselves and how we should feel. We get these messages from the media, from our well-meaning but sometimes misguided families, from our churches, from our schools.

And then, we reach midlife. We discover new lines on our faces, it begins to look like our entire body is headed south for a perpetual winter, and getting dressed may not be as exciting as it used to be.

So even if, as we age, we become aware that we can’t wear what the young supermodels are wearing, those runway choices remain the standard. I’m suggesting we change the standard and make it about what actually works for you, not what’s hot this season or this year.

Give Your Capsule Wardrobe a Midlife Renaissance

Discovering your personal style and creating an ideal capsule wardrobe is about expressing who you are and never is that more important than at midlife.

“Midlife is about remembering. Remembering who we truly are. Remembering our visions, hopes, and dreams. Remembering our deepest yearnings. It’s about remembering what we’ve lost and about reclaiming it. Midlife is a time when we come fully into our own, reclaiming our strength, passion, vitality, wisdom, and compassion. It’s a time from which every woman can emerge a new person.” ~~Stephanie Marston, If Not Now, When: Reclaiming Ourselves at Midlife.

We want to apply that process to creating a capsule wardrobe that expresses who we really are, at midlife, or at any age.

What is a Capsule Wardrobe?

A capsule wardrobe is a collection of clothes in your closet that mix and match perfectly by color and style so that with a relatively small number of pieces; you have the ability to create a month of outfits or more. I recommend creating one for each season, using pieces from the season before to transition into the new one and adding on as you need to when the weather begins to change.

How Many Pieces Do You Need?

Fashion experts usually suggest a higher number but because I have participated in the Six Items or less wardrobe challenge twice, I know that if your budget is small, you can start with as few as six items and then build your seasonal capsule gradually.

The beauty of capsule dressing is that once you start with pieces that work for you, you never have to start from scratch again. Instead, you’ll always be adding on to what you have already.

What are the 7 Essentials for Building a Capsule Wardrobe?

This article will introduce them and then, subsequent articles will expand on each one so you understand exactly what you need to get started.
Create space for the beautiful outfits you are going to create by getting rid of anything you don’t absolutely LOVE!

Identify your dressing your truth type so you can put an end to all those shopping mistakes. Once you know your type, you’ll know exactly what to buy, instead.

Identify your body type and learn not just how to hide the flaws but how to maximize your assets when putting together your outfits.
Create a signature style that expresses who you really are. You’ll be surprised at how few pieces you need when everything you own is something that works perfectly for you.

Armed with the knowledge you need, create a small capsule wardrobe that works for the season you’re in and identify the transitional pieces that will take you from summer to fall or fall to winter, etc.

This tip is the most important of all: don’t waste your money on anything you don’t love! Let go of “it’ll do” once and for all. But make sure each thing you buy loves you back just as much.

Road test your wardrobe to see if this capsule you have created is right for you before you invest time or money in adding more.

Start Now

In the articles that follow, I will explain each of these 7 essentials in detail. But don’t wait for them! You can get started on building your ideal capsule wardrobe right now by looking through your closet and taking out whatever is not working for you.

“If we’re going to embody who we truly are, we must start now.”–Stephanie Marston, If Not Now, When? Reclaiming Ourselves at Midlife

Jeanine Byers Hoag is a personal style blogger and the author of The Capsule Wardrobe Book: Signature Style Essentials for Plus Size Fashionistas. For more information, go to http://www.capsulewardrobebook.com/.

About Jeanine Byers Hoag

Jeanine Byers Hoag is a personal style blogger and the author of The Capsule Wardrobe Book: Signature Style Essentials for Plus Size Fashionistas. For more information, go to http://www.capsulewardrobebook.com


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7 Essentials for Building a Capsule Wardrobe