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Jun 20, 2012

[Book Review] The Dozen Formula by Isabelle Brusati

I have just finished reading and reviewing a most wonderful Capsule Wardrobe book that actually works for me! :-) Read on to see what made it tick for me!

If you'd like to check out the book on you can go straight to this link:

I've seen a lot articles, books, and videos on the Capsule Wardrobe -- all with different 'numbers' and I am so glad I gave this book a chance! It did feel a bit pricey but it was well worth my money!

Of all the 'systems' I've seen and 'approaches' there are for creating your Capsule Wardrobe, this was the most straightforward, practical one!

It took the least amount of time to read and implement, hence the full 5 stars!

If you're looking for a lot of photos, this book isn't much help though. It reads like a digest, and gets its point across in the most economical yet articulate manner. (If you love seeing photo examples, I recommend Imogen Lamport's book on accessorizing which is available from her website and Kindle. Polyvore always helps too!)

What I liked most about this book, as opposed to other systems I've researched is that it doesn't go into any lengths about 'color' -- one of the most fascinating videos I saw on YouTube (Building a Capsule Wardrobe for Women by expertvillage) suggests you choose 3 colors. I have never been able to do this for some reason.

What this book suggests is to first workout your life style pie chart -- which isn't new at all -- but then to go on and pick out 4 jackets/cardigans, 4 shirts/blouses, and 4 bottoms. The author tells you to choose each item carefully, and I can now see why it's important to consider your life style pie chart! She even says that you should only shop for one item at a time! I should REALLY start doing this!!

I was skeptical at first whether the 12 pieces would REALLY be enough... But I've just taken photos of my pieces, and as I think about the possible 'outfits' I can create, I'm really surprised that there really can be a great variety just from my 12!!!!

It also forces me to choose each piece carefully, with forethought; I can now see where I'm lacking what I need! All my jackets/cardigans are dark colors. It's summer now, and I could really use a white color, and I am also lacking an evening/casual jacket. So that'd be a piece that could really stretch my wardrobe!

Similarly, I felt that I didn't have enough summer pants, but I could substitute that with a white denim skirt... and live with that.

I am so happy I got to know this system! Thanks to the author!

Some of the more elaborate Capsule systems out there are -- Nancy Nix-Rice's version where you can actually create like a hundred outfits following her system (She used to share free information on this but I guess it is now only available to subscribers to her newsletter). But my brain can't handle that much info. Nor is it easy to shop for twin knits that work for her system. I've tried and failed.

The photo examples in the book are clear enough to see the author's main points; the few accessorizing points she made were well executed. When I think of my shopping tendencies, this book has paid for itself tenfold!

Not having to buy heaps of clothes to create outfits now leaves me with more funds to focus and update my accessories! I can't wait to get this system working for me! I'm a novice but I feel very hopeful and sure that this is going to turn out really well!

PS. At the risk of sounding too eager, there are other systems like having only 6 items, 33 items (Project 333 where you wear the 33 pieces including jewelry and accessories for 3 months), or creating your uniform. Some books suggest having a work capsule composed of odd number of items between 5-11 pieces, and then having another capsule for leisure wear, and evening wear. The beauty of this particular system is that the Dozen Formula actually covers ALL of those needs in ONE capsule! I'll have to live with this and see if it really suffices or not though! :-) I'll be back with updates when I'm ready!! Till then, have fun!

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Here are my initial selections for my first Dozen! It obviously needs some tweaking but it's a start! And a work in progress!

The 4 Tops: Jackets & Cardigans

The 4 Shirts: Shirts, Blouses, Tshirts

The 4 Bottoms: Skirts and Pants

(These photos were taken with my Galaxy Tab smartphone camera, cataloged into My Fashion Assistant, then collaged using PicsArt app.)

Happy stylin' ladies! 
Much love & affection~


1 comment:

  1. Ciao Jessica,
    Thank you for your lovely review and for the support. I am really pleased that you found my ebook helpful.
    Isabella Brusati
    author of the Dozen Formula