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Oct 23, 2011

The Challenge of Capsule Wardrobes

Coming up with your first successful Capsule Wardrobe is a feat to contend with! After poring over the YouTube videos (check it out here) and reading Brenda Kinsel's book (check it out here) I still wasn't sure why I couldn't fully grasp *exactly WHERE* I was going wrong in building a wardrobe.

I finally found the ONE resource that drove the concept home for me; and this was from a free PDF report given by Imogen Lamport. It's called "Five Step Formula for a Fabulous Wardrobe on a Budget" (check it out here) and there is a page that spelled it out to me FINALLY:

OK. So I don't want to distribute her material too much here. Just a little taster to get our discussion moving along...

As she calls these clothing items "orphans" -- and Brenda Kinsel calls those "Star Items" which just can't shine without the "Support Items" -- they look great by themselves but don't work together as a whole. So you have a wardrobe full of STUFF, but you're always going to feel like you have NOTHIN' TO WEAR. Well, at least that's how it's been for me.

What that means though is --

If you haven't played with what you've got in your wardrobe at home, and assessed your current state of body shape and mass, as well as the color of your hair and skin, AND worked out your budget / method of maintaining the clothes clean / along with what your Work / Occasion needs are going to be / AND whether you have all the right foundations / hosiery / accessories, jewelry, makeup products -- things are NOT going to look as sophisticated as your heart wants you to be!

So that's a LOT to work with. Just to look nice, presentable, keep warm/cool, and functional/comfortable.

Besides if you're like me, who has a need for variety AND a conflict over How You Want To Look VS What You Are Actually Going to Wear Over and Over -- things are even MORE challenging! And suppose you did do your planning and went out to find those items you truly need or want -- you're going to be in for a another nasty little surprise, because the shopping mall or department store or boutique you go to might not be carrying what you want! @_@~~~

To cut to the chase though, what I want to suggest is...
Know your repeat colors.
If you want your wardrobe to support you for that 2-5 year span or maybe even a 2-10 year or 2-20 year span... you simply MUST know which of your colors you're going to repeat in your wardrobe.

I think there are maybe two general approaches to doing this.

a) Match your accessories
b) Know your preferred clothing color combinations

And here are some illustrations to help you understand what I mean...

a) Match your accessories

I guess this is what ladies used to do in those days when dressing well was even more paramount than it is today... Although the clothes silhouettes are not what we'd wear today, I think this piece of advice is a zillion times better than what a lot of fashion magazines put in their articles.

The article suggests that you always start with your hats, bags, shoes, belts, and gloves to match, as well as your all important winter coat.

b) Know your preferred clothing color combinations

If you had 2 core wardrobe colors for 3 clothing items, depending on how you mix them, you will end up with 8 different looks you can choose from. 

Let's say that you had a top, skirt, and a jacket. Just using the two colors black and skin tone, you could have the choice of following eight looks:

Me personally, I only like *some* of the combinations here. So it makes sense to work these color combinations out BEFORE rushing out to buy anything.

Of course, these are only TWO of the ways in going about how to approach your First Wardrobe Capsule. And who says you can only wear 2 colors? Your core wardrobe colors could be anywhere between 2-4 colors for a beginner; if you can pull off more colors than that or are a real whiz at incorporating more than 4, more power to you! But I think it's quite hard to do that for most people.

I hope these suggestions have given you a starting point in thinking about what delights you this season! And that you'll have comfort * style * money left over in your wardrobe budget! Namaste~



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