However, once you know about Wardrobe Capsules, you can easily look great all the time with a minimal investment. In fact even if you're not dieting, this is a great strategy. (Image from Polivore.com)
Many beautiful, stylish and well-dressed women create their wardrobes in this way. French women especially are known for dressing beautifully with a very limited amount of clothes. (Not surprising as most French homes don't have closets. Can you imagine having to fit your whole wardrobe into a cupboard like the one above - regardless of how beautiful it is?)
Most North Americans would consider this major deprivation, but especially when you are losing weight and having to find money to replace clothes that are too big (what a nice problem!), taking some tips from the French might not be a bad idea.
So how do you do this? It's simple really.
The main idea behind the Wardrobe Capsule system is that you own fewer but more versatile clothes. You build a colour coordinated wardrobe, made up only of pieces that can be worn with most of your other clothes. This way, with a few accessories, you can create many different outfits and be well dressed for every occasion.
Talking about accessories, this is the area where you can still grow your wardrobe even while you are cutting down on clothes. Accessories don't need to be changed when you lose weight, so if you find something you like and can afford, buy it. You can continue building a nice collection even while you are changing sizes.
Here is how it works.
When choosing the pieces in your capsule, take into consideration your needs and activities. This sample capsule would be great for someone who works from home, or a stay-at-home Mom with a casual lifestyle. If you need a more professional look, you might want to include a suit and perhaps a skirt and/or dress instead of some of these pieces.
Next, create a capsule of accessories in a colour of your choice, that you can wear to make your outfits more or less casual. (This can be - but doesn't have to be - a neutral colour, because it's an accent that you can easily change.)
This capsule can be any size you choose. Since some people wear more accessories than others, this can range from just 3 or 4 items to 10, 15 or more - whatever works for you. Chances are you already own a lot of favourite accessories and will want to keep using them.
Then all you have to do is mix and match.
When you get bored with these choices, create another capsule of accessories in a different colour ....
..... and again, mix and match.
Here is another example, this time using red.
And here are a few ways you can mix and match with your basic pieces.
If red happens to be your favourite colour - and you can afford to splurge a bit - you might want to add a few more wardrobe pieces in this colour as well.
This will give you even more options when you mix these with your basic pieces and accessories. This is a great way to incorporate your favourite colour into your wardrobe without having to spend tons of money.
All of these wonderful examples are from a fantastic blog called The Vivienne Files. The woman who writes this (who's name is not Vivienne ... but that's another story) is an absolute master at this concept and explains it in her examples much better than I every could.
I suggest you put some time aside to check it out. You might even find a capsule right there that appeals to you and can serve as a basis for your own wardrobe. Certainly, at the very least, you will find it very inspiring. More than likely, you will become a regular reader as I have.
When you are creating your own Wardrobe Capsules, there is a great free program you can use at www.polyvore.com that will really help. (Unfortunately this program has now been removed.)
Finally, if you live in a four season part of the country as I do, don't forget to create an outdoor capsule as well.
It might surprise you when you start planning just how many clothes you really need to cover every occasion. I bet if you check your own wardrobe you will have many more pieces than I've shown here. It's incredible how it adds up. With so many clothes it's so easy to forget what we have and to buy new pieces that end up sitting in our closets because they don't go with anything. That's why having a plan really is vital.
There are a number of forms available online to help you plan your wardrobe, such as this one from styleclarity.com. At mashable.com you will find a post on different apps that are available for wardrobe tracking.
However you decide to plan your wardrobe, please consider using the Capsule Concept to simplify your life. Spending just a little time planning will make your life a whole lot easier, and help you to save money as well. Having a few well planned items that you actually use, as opposed to a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear, makes a lot of sense. You will always be well dressed ...... and your closet will look much better as well.
Is losing weight and getting into shape one of your New Year's resolutions? Check the WEIGHT LOSS tab for diet plans, exercise information, and much more.
Image from californiaclosets.com
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