Over the last few months, as you know, I have been working with clients creating a capsule wardrobe spread over time and it has been a hugely popular service (read the fantastic feedback here). It’s hard to be objective about ourselves and what suits us and even if you can it can still be difficult to know where to start and what to buy first, it’s like that old saying; how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
So if you have decided to gradually build your own capsule wardrobe the first thing you need to decide is where to start – what are going to be the most useful pieces and the best bang for your buck so to speak? And of course this is different for everyone and their circumstances, whether they work or not, whether they have a lot of social events etc.
This post is designed to help you take that first step. A good place to start is with one of your neutral colours and things that are your unofficial “uniform”. By that I mean something that you wear on a regular basis. If you work in a formal environment it might be a suit, if your work is more casual it could be trousers and a knit, if like me you work from home most of the time, I’d go for comfortable trousers/jeans and a knit and have a scarf or necklace on hand for when I go out to run errands. (By the way if you don’t know which are your best neutral and accent colours find out here)
Here are some ideas for first choices that you can build on and add to. I’ve used the example of a smart business capsule wardrobe and a casual wardrobe.
Start with your “uniform” pieces in a neutral colour. I’ve used navy for both (because we can all wear navy and it works better for some of us than black), a trouser suit for the business wear capsule wardrobe and a pair of smart jeans and a waterfall cardigan for the smart casual capsule wardrobe.
Then to make it interesting you want to add an accent colour with pieces that will create a complete outfit for you. Obviously you can only choose accent colours that you can find in the shops. Here I have used two accents for each wardrobe and in both cases I’ve picked them out from a scarf and found a top in the accents.
Finally you want something to wear on your feet – for the first piece of footwear stick with your neutral colour.
Next I’ve found a second top in another accent in the pattern of the scarf. So you now have two complete outfits for each wardrobe.
Finally I have added a dress for the business wear capsule wardrobe and a second cardigan for the casual one. Giving me 3 outfits for the business wear wardrobe and four for the casual one (both tops with both cardigans).
To continue building you might add a jacket and shoes in Claret to the business wardrobe and a pair of green jeans and pink trainers to the casual wardrobe. The core pieces of the wardrobes – jacket, trousers, shoes and cardigan, jeans, boots – will always work with any new accents you add.
Shop the items here:
It takes a little thought to work out what your most useful items will be and then a little hunting to find them in one of your neutrals and the accents to go with them but it’s worth the effort as this is the key to having items in your wardrobe that get worn. Having a plan and adding new pieces from your plan as you find and can afford them means you get maximum cost per wear from your wardrobe.
Of course if you would rather have it all done for you have a look at the capsule wardrobe builder service, or if you are in more of a hurry the full capsule wardrobe dossier service is the one for you.