Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Curating a Capsule Wardrobe

Curating a Capsule Wardrobe - A Simpler Grace
Maybe you want to simplify your closet.  Maybe you want to make it easier to get ready in the morning.  Maybe you don't have a huge budget for clothing and want to make the pieces you do purchase count.  These are just a few of the reasons women are opting for a capsule wardrobe over the walk-in closet packed to the brim.

The term "capsule wardrobe" was coined in the 70's by London boutique owner, Susie Faux and was made popular in America by clothing designer Donna Karan when she released her own capsule collection in 1985.  So the idea of a capsule wardrobe has been around for quite a long time but has only recently become a household term.

A capsule wardrobe is based on the idea of putting together a collection of classic pieces that are forever in style.  These are the basic building blocks for the real woman's closet.  From there, you can add some trendier pieces to make your wardrobe adaptable to the current season and fashion.

There are some key points to remember when curating your own capsule wardrobe.  
  • Fit is important.  Choose pieces that flatter your body type well, right now.  Don't hang on to clothing that is a size too big or too small "in case" you need it.  
  • Quality is imperative.  Pick quality pieces that will last for a long time with regular wear. Check the construction of each item to ensure the seams, buttons and pockets are sewn well and the fabric is of good quality so it won't tear or wear through easily.
  • Versatility is essential.  You want to choose pieces that can mix and match within your wardrobe, so choosing a lot of patterned clothing is not likely to give you the interchangeability that you need.  Stick with solid pieces and add in a few fun splashes of color or patterns to keep your closet trendy.
  • Look at what you already have.  Before you go out and purchase all new clothing, scan your closet and drawers for what you've got.  Toss the stuff that doesn't fit or flatter your body or doesn't have the proper construction to endure a lot of wear.  Set aside those pieces you love and feel great in, then go out and pick up the essentials you are missing.
You really should look at your capsule wardrobe as a collection of things you love.  Just as you would with the bowl of seashells on your table or the old British classics on your bookshelf.  You are curating a collection of clothing pieces that you adore and don't want to live without.  

This is the break-down of what you need for your collection.  These pieces can be worn in both day and night looks.

The Basics are the building blocks of your wardrobe.  These are primarily neutral colors that can mix and match with anything.
  • tank or camisole, black and white
  • short sleeved tee, black and white
  • long sleeved shirt, black and white
  • button-down shirt or blouse, white
  • a little black dress
  • a pencil or a-line skirt
  • a cardigan sweater, neutral color
  • a crew neck or v-neck sweater, neutral color
  • slim-fitting pants or trousers, black and/or gray
  • chinos, khaki or stone
  • jeans, dark wash in a classic fit
  • jeans, light wash in a boyfriend fit
  • skinny jeans, dark wash
  • a denim jacket, classic fit
  • a lightweight leather jacket or trench coat, neutral color 
  • classic pumps or heels, black
  • ballet flats, neutral color or metallic
  • tall boots, black or brown
  • a classic structured bag, neutral color
The Add-Ons are fun pieces that are colorful or patterned that can be paired with the basics to make your look more interesting.  These particular pieces are geared towards the spring and summer closet. I'll share my fall and winter add-ons later in the year.
  • a boldly-patterned top, sleeveless or short sleeve so they can be layered under a cardigan for a more polished look
  • an ornate or embellished blouse, 3/4 or long sleeve work best for the spring
  • a print dress, perhaps a maxi style
  • a fun party dress, think "little pink dress"
  • a flouncy skirt in a fun color or print
  • a denim skirt
  • a cardigan sweater, seasonal color
  • jeans, white in a classic fit
  • capri or cropped pants, denim or neutral color
  • slim-fitting pants, seasonal color or pattern
  • shorts, denim and/or khaki
  • strappy heels
  • sandals, flat and/or wedge
  • an evening bag
This should give you a good start on building your own capsule wardrobe.  In the coming weeks, I'll share about how to accessorize your collection and how to add athletic wear to your closet, so stay turned!

Here's a quick peek at my own capsule wardrobe that I curated after a major closet purge I did earlier this year.  This officially checks off #4 on my 101 in 1001 list!

Do you like the idea of a capsule wardrobe?  Have you ever curated one?

The post Curating a Capsule Wardrobe first appeared on A Simpler Grace.  If you enjoyed this article, please feel free to share it with your friends!


  1. I love that idea! After watching the True Cost documentary on clothing industry, I've started to feel very strongly about clothes, especially the fast fashion is something I don't want to be part of anymore. A capsule wardrobe sounds amazing!

  2. It was really fun and I'll admit, enlightening to go through and toss so much of my stuff. My closet is so much more organized now. Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment!

  3. I have a walk in closest and I love to organize. Everything is sorted by type size and color. I also love shoes and more importantly handbags! Nice post.

  4. I used to have a walk-in closet and I held onto things way too long. If you are good at editing your wardrobe, I think the space could work for you. I prefer being forced to keep a smaller collection of clothes that I will get wear out of. On the other hand, a well-organized, pretty walk-in closet is nice to look at. :)

  5. YES! I 'm working on it. I started reading Joshua Becker's work and then saw a Tedx talk about the wardrobe idea. I actually talk about both in my latest book of hope & hacks for busy wives. This is wonderful, thanks for sharing.

    Shan Walker {The How to Guru}

  6. I totally need to do this one of these seasons, I don't know why I find it so intimidating, but it just seems like such a great idea!

  7. Your closet looks amazing. I really need to do a major purge. I lost some weight, but always worry that I will put it on again, so keep some things "just in case." I'm getting rid of them now! You inspired me. :)

  8. Ive wanted to try this for so long!

  9. Shan, I'm not familiar with Joshua Becker. I'll have to look into him. Your book sounds like it would be full of great information. Thanks for stopping by today! :)

  10. Katie, it was intimidating for me as well. I moved to a smaller place and went from two walk-in closets to a small closet so I had to pare WAY down. That was good motivation for me. Good luck when you start yours!

  11. Shann, I'm right there with you, girl. I lost a hundred pounds over the course of nine months and I know how tempting it is to hang on to clothes in your old size. What I noticed though, was that giving myself that larger size to fall back on made it easier for me to gain the weight back. It's great motivation to stay in your current size when you don't have that cushion to turn to. Thanks for coming by today! :)

  12. Neely, you should! It's a lot of fun and I can't tell you how refreshing it is after the project is complete. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  13. I need to do this so bad!! Id love to simplify my wardrobe.

  14. Jessica, go for it! I can't tell you how light I felt after I did the big purge. It's so refreshing to open my closet and know that every single item fits me well and makes me feel great. :)

  15. I would love to create a capsule wardrobe at some point!

    xoxo, Jenny

  16. You should do it, Jenny. It's one of the best organizational tasks I've completed in a long time. Thanks so much for stopping by this evening!

  17. I'm really trying to create a more capsule wardrobe! Love your pieces!

  18. Janella PanchamsinghMarch 23, 2016 at 8:01 PM

    Great post! I really need to get my closet in order

  19. Thanks Lexi! It was a lot of fun to do. :)

  20. Thanks, Janella! I'm so glad I made it a priority this spring!

  21. Thanks, Janella! I'm so glad I made it a priority this spring!

  22. I have never created a capsule wardrobe and you have the perfect list of things needed and things you can add on. I will be taking the leap to downsize to a capsule wardrobe this year and will be referring back to your outline!

  23. I love the idea of a capsule wardrobe! I would need to do a lot of shipping because I do not own many of the items on the list. It looks like such a great way to be organized!

  24. Kaisha, awesome! I'm glad this will help you slim down your closet! :)

  25. Sara, you don't necessarily need to do a lot of shopping. You should always look at what you have first to see what pieces you own that could be versatile and work with several different looks. The pieces I chose for this post are things that would fit in a "classic" style closet, which is what I typically wear. If you have a different style, choose some basics and add on until you have your desired look. Hope that helps!

  26. I love the idea of a wardrobe capsule. I hold on to old clothes and shoes too long. I needed this post! Thanks.

  27. Oh I'm so glad you found this helpful, Jocelyn! Thanks for coming by and saying hello today!

  28. This is something I have really been working on this year. It makes things so less stressful!

  29. I agree Angie!! Thanks for stopping by and saying hello!