A Simple Wardrobe Capsule
I first heard about a wardrobe capsule from a magazine article in ‘Woman’s Day’ Magazine in May of 1982. Which i was reading at the dentists, as you do. The article, which was mostly pictures showed how a $150 wardrobe (in those days) could be mixed and matched to make over 40 outfits. They started out with nine pieces – a white blazer, black pants, red skirt, white shorts, red camp shirt, red-black-white jungle print shirt, red-white-black striped jersey t-shirt, black jersey camisole and black pull on skirt.
On the bottom of each page was ten small pictures showing how to put the pieces together resulting in 40 different ways to wear the clothes. This is a great idea especially for traveling as you can mix and match wardrobe pieces to make so many different outfits and not have to take as many pieces as most people do.
Wardrobe capsules save you money and take up less space in your closet. Dress for the lifestyle you lead. Choose your clothes accordingly. Also dress according to your personality type.
The best rule is to wear clothes that are similar to your body shape. If you’re more curvy, wear clothes that have a curvy style. For example, princess seams, curved darts, rounded collars and small gathers.
If your body is more straight, wear clothes with straight lines. For example, straight darts, pointed collars, Channel type jackets.
Wearing clothes that go contrary to your natural shape will make you look heavier and emphasize the parts you would probably rather hide.
Using the colors and styles that are right for you eliminates the frustration of ‘not having anything to wear’. You will feel good about yourself and what you’re wearing. Often people will complement on how good you look.
Possible comments are “Wow, you look good today”, or “That dress really brings out the color in your eyes”. If they ask “Are you feeling well today?”, that’s a signal that the color of your outfit is wrong for you.
Color plays an important role in choosing the clothes you wear. Every person has either a warm or cool undertone. One way to check what undertone you have is to hold a piece of gold fabric under your chin and see how it reflects on your face. Then hold a piece of silver fabric and see how it reflects. The one that makes you look vibrant and healthy is the correct one.
Another way is to press hard on your skin. If it shows a blue undertone, then you are a cool base. If it shows a yellow undertone, you are a warm base. Cool seasons are Winter and Summer. Warm seasons are Spring and Autumn.
Color interacts with your skin, hair and eyes. If the color is the same undertone, it will be absorbed by your skin to enhance and enlighten your features, making you glow and your eyes sparkle. On the other hand, if the color is not the same undertone, it will be reflected resulting in will dulling your skin tone and making you look older and heavier. Wrong colors also magnify skin imperfections.
As a child you probably chose the colors that were the best for you, but influence of parents and the Fashion Industry have possibly altered your sense of color.
Wearing the best colors for you will save you money because there will not be a need for lots of clothes. Everything you buy will work with something else in your
All colors are made up from red, yellow and blue. Yellow is a warm color and blue is a cool color. Red is neutral. Each person has a warm or cool undertone to their skin. If your skin has warm undertones, you should be wearing colors with more yellow in them, if cool, you should be wearing colors with more blue.
For example, since red is neutral, we will add yellow to red and get orange:
only a person with warm undertones can wear clear orange.
If we add blue to red we get purple:
only a person with cool undertones can wear clear purple.
We’ll do another test to see whether your coloring is blue based or yellow based. Make a list of colors that you feel is the most flattering on you. Don’t base your answers on what’s hanging in your closet right now; instead, think of the colors that have consistently brought you the most compliments when you’ve worn them. Each list may include some colors that you have worn, but you’re looking for the colors that have consistently out-performed the others time and again in garnering praise. Remember the colors you like.
Adding yellow to any color will make it suitable for a spring or autumn. Adding blue to any color will make it suitable for a summer or winter.
Spring, Summer, Winter and Autumn are the four basic seasons. Spring and Autumn are warm and yellow based. Summer and Winter are cool and blue based. I tried to fit into one of these, but to no avail. I can wear some of the winter colors including black and white, but several people told me not to. About half my wardrobe is black, especially skirts and pants because black is slimming as are dark colors. Light and bright colors highlight or emphasize. Dark and dull colors de-emphasize. Dark colors are good to wear on the bottom, but lighter colors are better next to the face.
I can also wear orange well and that is an autumn color. Before getting too frustrated, Color Me Beautiful came out with 12 seasons. I now fit into one of the categories much better. There is an autumn that can wear black. I was delighted. Now my wardrobe colors suit me better.
Color Me Beautiful came up with this diagram to show how the seasons are divided and how they relate:
The wardrobe we discuss is a business or career wardrobe. After you learn the principles of a wardrobe capsule, you can put together a casual wardrobe capsule according to your style and colors.
To start with, choose two basic neutral colors for the basic pieces (jacket, skirt or pants), Eg. black, brown, grey, beige or navy. It’s better to use neutral colors for the basic pieces as they are not remembered. Blouses and other tops can be the brighter colors since they won’t be worn as often. If you constantly wear bright colors, people will remember what you wear and you’ll probably not want to wear it again any time soon. With basic neutral colors, you can wear the same piece(s) several times a week and no one will notice.
Some suggestions for a cool season are: Black, Grey, White, Navy, Taupe
Some suggestions for a warm season are: Brown, Rust, Cream, Camel, Olive
You can start with what you have in your closet.
1. Go through your closet and try on everything. Keep the items that blend with your coloring, fit correctly and flatter your body style.
2. If you have some that are the right color, but need to be altered, put them in a separate pile and tend to them later by remodeling or altering them.
3. Choose a neutral color for the first three pieces. Eg. Skirt, pants and jacket – maybe you already have these in your closet. If you don’t have all three, choose at least one bottom that matches the jacket you’ve chosen.
4. Decide on the color for the first top – should be a tank top or camisole.
5. Choose the color for the second top – should be a blouse or shirt – either long or short sleeves – whichever you’re more comfortable wearing.
6. Add another bottom in a different neutral that goes with the above clothes and you’re on your way to your first Wardrobe Capsule.
The first pieces you buy should be a suit either a jacket and skirt or jacket and pants that match and in one of your basic/neutral colors. Next will be a skirt or pants in the other basic neutral color (skirt if the suit has pants and pants if the suit has a skirt). A second skirt in a different style or small print that blends the two colors is good.
A button down shirt to match is good. Two more tops in accent colors will be next. One can be a sweater top. A second button down shirt in a print that brings all the colors together is good. I find that a camisole top to match works very well and expands the wardrobe considerably.
We now have nine pieces. With only five pieces, you can make 12 outfits.
First suit = black skirt and jacket
Add a tan camisole
Add white pants
As you can see, with only four pieces, we already have six outfits and it just keeps expanding when you add more pieces. We’ll add one more piece –
a tan skirt.
Adding the tan skirt gave us three more outfits. Can you see how it just keeps growing?
The little black dress has been a staple for a long time. However, if you don’t have the money to purchase one, you can make your own by choosing your favorite black skirt and black camisole or black top. It works great as long as the blacks are similar. Sometimes, though, it’s hard to match the black. It’s amazing how many shade of black there are. Also, when you wash garments, they tend to fade at a different rate.
Travel is so much easier with a wardrobe capsule as you can pack fewer items for more outfits which make your suitcase so much lighter.
I encourage sewing or altering your own clothes, to dress to emphasize assets and hide your defects.
Now that you know about color and wardrobe capsules, I’d like to mention style. Every style of clothing does not look good on everyone. Each person has their own body style and should choose clothes accordingly.
Straight, Straight Soft, Curved, Soft Straight.
Curvy bodies wear styles with curves and straight bodies wear styles with straight lines. The ‘perfect’ well-proportioned body is eight heads tall. There are very few women that have a perfect body
there are seven body styles. They are:
Rectangle – Balanced shoulder and hip – no definition at waist.
Figure 8 – Soft and Rounded – waist 10” smaller than hips
Hourglass – Straight shoulder – balanced with hips – very narrow waist
Triangle – Narrow shoulders – wide hips – curvy or angular
Inverted Triangle – wide shoulders – narrow hips – short waisted – tummy bulge
Round – Narrow shoulders – narrow hips – wide waist – curvy
Softened Straight – balanced shoulder and hips – very little definition at waist
1. Choose colors that accentuate your coloring and make you look vibrant.
2. Buy basic pieces that you can mix and match with other things
3. Choose styles that flatter your body style/shape.