Outfit Inspiration

Why and How to Create the Perfect Capsule Wardrobe

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Spring Capsule wardrobe

Spring Capsule Wardrobe

Spring Capsule Wardrobe

The following is an updated 2017 version of our previously published capsule wardrobe how-to.

Found this article via our YouTube channel? Welcome! Here are a few pieces I scored on my trip to Carson’ during their Goodwill™ Sale:

“I actually do all of my spring shopping in August.” I was a having a routine meltdown inside the fitting room of my favorite store when a friend threw that gem at me. Shopping at the end of the season saves money, time, and headache. It’s also a great way to avoid stressing over what to wear the day before your ex’s wedding.

“I love your shoes, they’re from last season right? Or was it the season before last?” I was attending a local designer’s trunk show when a stranger decided to throw that big ball of shade my way. Do real life people not named Kardashian actually make it a point not to wear last year’s clothes, I thought. Actually, scratch that. Kim wears shoes from 3, even 5, years ago. How do I know that?!

Between those two women, the minimalistic planner and the WWD subscriber, there is a happy medium where personal style lives and credit card debt dies. It is the place of the capsule wardrobe.

What is a capsule wardrobe? It’s a curated collection of all-around essentials and pop pieces that take the guess work out of getting dressed. 🔑 MAJOR KEY ALERT! 🔑 Thanks to this method, one afternoon of storing pieces and planning looks can save anyone up to three months’ worth of time and money.

Like a series of heated tweets from a confused Kanye West, some of our closets don’t make any sense. For example, I had three pairs of the same jeans, four dresses I may once again fit into some day, three ugly skirts that seemed like good decisions at the time, and a few key pieces I wear more than anything else I own. It was a motley mashup of the good, the useless, and the ugly. Having on hand, instead, items I love that ring true to my personal style makes getting dressed quicker and retail therapy less appealing. Translation: More money in the bank.

Spring Capsule WardroeHow I Built My Spring Capsule Wardrobe

First, I do what no one on Love and Hip Hop has ever done. I take a hard, honest look at my life and I act accordingly.

Where am I going? What do I absolutely love to wear, and what do I need to wear in order to get the job done? Here’s what I came up with.

Religious meetings, client meetings, and coffee dates. These require the same uniform. When the weather heats up, I love wearing flowy dresses. So, I set aside 5 of my favorite.

Date nights, girls-only nights, freelance photo gigs, and group dinners. Here’s where the fit can fall anywhere from casual to semi-dressy. For that reason, I need more options. I set aside 3 of my favorite jeans: a distressed light wash, black acid wash, and slimming 7 for All Mankind dark denim. Additionally, three of my favorite skirts: a flowy skirt, nautical striped A-line, and a pink puffed skirt. Then, 3 dressy tops, 2 graphic sweatshirts, and 2 button-down oxfords. Oh, and a couple of jumpsuits. Because.

Galas, media events, weddings, and parties. I attend maybe five of these types of events a month. Rarely do I run into the same people at any two. Therefore, it’s good to have 3-4 cocktail dresses on hand and ready to go.

Weather and mood changes. Depending on how I feel, or how the weather’s behaving, I may need a jacket. Three blazers should work: one leather, one white, and a brightly hued jacket. Added to these are 3 cardigans.

So far so good… on to shoes.

Freelance gigs and casual days. Comfort is most important, meaning flats. 3 pairs should be good: a black bootie, ballet slipper, and classic sneakers.

Date nights, media events, and everything else. Heels, honey — 7 pair. Boring black, basic brown, metallic, nude (which, no, is not brown), red, and purple. Hmmm… I’m not sure I can stick to just these. Let’s add a few more: tall black gladiators, black and white wedges, baby blue lace ups, and white block heels. This should work. For now.

Perhaps this will all be too much or too little. Time will tell and I’ll adjust accordingly. Overall, I’m happy with the way my spring capsule wardrobe is looking so far.

Spring Capsule Wardrobe5 Steps to Creating Your Own Capsule Wardrobe

STEP 1: A few questions: Are you a dress person? A sneaker person? Do you live in jeans? Are you starting a new diet/fitness plan soon (who isn’t)? Keep your answers to these questions in mind while curating your closet. Regarding the last question, your body may soon be changing but for now dress for the body you have and store away any clothes that don’t fit today.

STEP 2: Lay out your 7 favorite pieces. This is the nucleus of your new wardrobe. These items should be the ones you find yourself wearing the most. Incorporate them in your wardrobe no matter what — but keep it down to 7 if you can.

STEP 3: Plan the rest of your wardrobe around your nucleus. You should now be down to only the pieces you’ll without a doubt be wearing this month, and the next month, and the month after that. These should be items you love to wear, giving you a closet that works with and not against you.

STEP 4: Create a vision board (hi, Pinterest!) incorporating your chosen pieces in fun and practical ways. Use the outfits of your favorite blogger and IGers as inspiration.

STEP 5: As for all the clothes that didn’t make the cut? Store them or donate them.

Have you tried creating a capsule wardrobe? How’s it going? Let me know in the comments below or over on Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter!

Kari Herrera is the creator of Chicagoings.com, Chicago’s indie city guide and blog. She often writes about the city’s points-of-interest as experienced by a local. She is a Social Media Marketing Manager and freelance writer. When she’s not working, Kari donates much of her time to the education of French-speaking immigrants in Chicago.

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