HOW TO CREATE YOUR OWN CAPSULE WARDROBE
I'm constantly asked for style help from busy professionals who want to own cohesive wardrobes that are easily mix and matchable and provide them with outfits for any and every situation and occasion in their lives, be it work, spending time with kids, a night out with the spouse, or stylish and casual looks for weekends and errands. These are individuals who have attempted to curate a closet filled with stylish, put-together looks that allow them to effortlessly get dressed daily, but consistently: Have a hard time making purchase decisions, shopping for clothing at the mall or online is energy draining and frustrating. Afraid they'll buy pieces that doesn't work with the rest of their wardrobe, stressed about wasting both money and time. Are concerned about having an overwhelming amount of clothing choices in their closet, making putting together outfits difficult. Want endless outfit options without the endless amount of clothing, quality over quantity being most important to them. The answer to having an effortless wardrobe with endless outfit options is curating a capsule wardrobe. A capsule wardrobe is filled with cohesive clothing items that all easily mix and match together, allowing seamless outfit creation. This is how I shop for my clients, by choosing efficient, versatile pieces that LAST so they can feel and look amazing for any and every occasion-- all while saving time, energy, and money! There are 5 primary questions I'm constantly asking when adding (or removing) a piece of clothing in a closet to transform it into a capsule wardrobe. Keep reading to find out what they are!
Do I already own a similar piece in my wardrobe?
When trying to decide what clothing to add or remove to your closet, ask yourself, do I already own a similar piece that has the same function? For example, if you already own a multitude of black pants, establish that any new pant purchased is in a different style, material, or color. Also consider pairing down to the black pants that are reached for most frequently, as the tendency will always be to wear the favorite out of those choices. This guarantees spending less time sifting through clothing or becoming overwhelmed with too many options when getting dressed, erasing the stress caused by decision fatigue. Putting this "functionality rule" into practice when shopping will protect you from buying unnecessary pieces and ensure you're only adding pieces that will create new outfits--not to mention save you money!
Above, are examples from my own wardrobe where I bought pieces that were too similar, causing one of them to never be worn. The black shorts differences may seem like enough: belt, buttons, cuffed hem (above photo) vs pleats (bottom photo), but ultimately, they had the same function and purpose. The same goes for the minor differences in pink skort!
This is an example from my wardrobe of both knowing my personal style (I love black skirts!) and ensuring that each skirt differs enough to create a new and interesting outfit each time I wear it. The fabrics, details, and lengths vary enough to make a strong visual impact! (From left to right: black denim, black velvet with button snap closures, ruched faux leather, genuine black fringe leather skirt)
2.FIT IS QUEEN
Do I love how this piece looks and feels on my figure?
When searching for new clothing and desperate to find something that works, fit is often the first thing I see clients sacrifice. Buying a piece for the color, price, specific detail, or lack of being able to find anything else, is the fastest way to come back with home with nothing more than buyer's remorse. A piece of clothing that's comfortable and flawlessly flatters is worth its weight in gold and has the ability to withstand the test of time in a closet, as a beautifully fitting piece never goes out of style! The bottom line here is, don't settle for anything but 100% loving the way it looks and feels on you. Take it from someone who's made this mistake one too many times in the past, love every single thing about your purchase, or leave it in the store, it's so much better than suffering through the guilt of when you have to toss it later!
My Ivory Blazer: 2023: most recently worn in my engagement shoot, 2017: worn with sequin pants for a holiday party, and for one of my first ever branded photo shoots for Ashley Kahn, Personal Stylist, all the way back in 2016!
I've had this stunning, ivory colored blazer in my wardrobe for at least 9 years and it's been a favorite purchase of mine to date. I largely credit this to its flattering silhouette and how the cut perfectly accentuates my waist! It's been with me through weight gain and loss and never once skipped a beat, never failing in helping me feel amazing about myself!
Can this piece be worn at least 4 or more ways?
Call me a nerd, but nothing gets me more hyped than when I score an extremely versatile piece of clothing. Finding a piece I know is going to work hard in my wardrobe, earning it's keep by providing me with not just one, but several different outfit options, is one of life's greatest joys! It's a rule I apply to 80% of the pieces I buy for both myself and my clients. For this stylist, there's zero sense in buying something that costs $85-$150+, if it can't be styled in at least 4 or more different outfits. I believe in buying pieces that can be easily transitioned to be worn for several different occasions depending on the styling. Outfits that are effortlessly worn at the office to spending time with kids, from weekend errands to a night out on the town, depending on what items it's paired with. This is what will allow you to own endless outfits without owning an endless amount of clothing!