I’ve never been one to catch on to the “capsule wardrobe craze” (I usually pack as many shoes as humanly possible during vacation, even though only one pair is necessary), but I’ll be traveling at the beginning of August and have no choice but to bring a very limited number of items. So instead of being frustrated with my narrow options, I decided to turn this into an opportunity for a style challenge. And thus, I’ve learned a thing or two about capsule wardrobes… Here they are:
All my clothes fit into the two bags you see here: 5 tops, 2 skirts, 1 dress, 1 necklace, 2 belts, 3 pairs of socks, and one bra. Of course, the brown sandals aren’t packed because they’re on my feet!
ONE: The first thing I learned about creating a capsule wardrobe is to choose your shoes first. If you’ll be traveling, you’ll want something comfy that are walkable yet still cute (and versatile). That’s a lot to ask for, which is why building all your outfits around your shoes is an important first step. Vacation is never fun if your feet are screaming at you the whole time!
TWO: Next, you should pick a color scheme. I decided on complementary colors, orange and blue. Be sure to consider your destination and any events for which you need to pack specifically. I am going to Spain and plan on visiting churches, which means I probably need skirts (at least one maxi skirt) and a layer to cover my shoulders if necessary (the chambray collared blouse). And of course, you can’t forget weather and temperature when picking your outfits. I know it will be hot in Spain, so I decided on breezy fabrics and sleeveless blouses. I first picked my comfiest brown sandals, then picked a color scheme, then picked skirts/bottoms, and decided on tops last.
THREE: I recommend throwing all the clothes you have that fit into your color scheme into a pile on your closet floor. Just let them sit there for a sec; accept that your closet is going to temporarily be a little messy. Stare down the pile and start to notice which pieces seem to go well together. I always come up with my best outfit ideas while doing laundry and I see two unexpected pieces next to each other in the laundry basket that actually pair great together. It’s the same for your capsule wardrobe. By seeing a pile of clothes that are in the same color scheme, it becomes a lot clearer which pieces look good with what, allowing you to go crazy with mixing and matching to create a plethora of outfits.
So without further ado, here are all the outfit combinations I created for this orange and blue capsule wardrobe:
Crème lace tank – Blue patterned skirt – Printed belt – Brown circle purse – Brown sandals
Orange tank – Blue patterned skirt – Brown circle purse – Brown sandals
Chambray collared blouse – Blue patterned skirt – Brown circle purse – Brown sandals
Orange polka dot tank – Blue patterned skirt – Brown circle purse – Brown sandals
Another thing I learned is that you can (and should) get experimental when creating your capsule wardrobe. Don’t be afraid to pattern mix and layer in ways you wouldn’t have thought to do before! It’s not like I have a ton of orange pieces in my closet, so I had to get creative with what blouses I do own and voila—this adorable (and unexpected) print mixing outfit was born. I just adore the polka dots!
Orange tank – Striped maxi skirt – Brown circle purse – Brown sandals
Crème lace tank – Striped maxi skirt – Brown circle purse – Brown sandals
Green striped tee – Striped maxi skirt – Brown circle purse – Brown sandals
Orange dress – Tan braided belt – Brown circle purse – Brown sandals
Chambray collared blouse – Orange dress – Brown circle purse – Brown sandals
So with just eight pieces of clothing, I was able to create nine unique outfits! Maybe that isn’t that special—after all, this was only my first capsule wardrobe—but it’s amazing to see how far just a few items of clothing can go. It’s all about picking your shoes and color scheme and working around those. I actually had a great time creating this wardrobe because it was like a puzzle, trying to fit all my criteria into nine outfits! Stay tuned in the coming weeks to see some of these looks in action and to hear about my travels.
Have a fantastic Monday, ladies!
Miles of smiles,
7 comments on “3 Tips to Create a Capsule Wardrobe”
Brava! As you know, capsule wardrobes are my thing! I applaud your efforts and your choices. Traveling is a great way to experiment with capsules and your suggestions for how-to are spot on! Shoes are THE most important thing to consider, for sure. My friend’s daughter is in Spain right now and loving it. Have a great time!!!
Thanks so much, Leila!! I had so much fun creating this wardrobe, I’ll definitely have to do more in the future. My only question is, how can you re-wear pieces while traveling and don’t have access to a washing machine? Most of my stuff got way too sweaty and smelly in Spain to style them multiple times…Since you’re the queen of capsule wardrobes, you must have tips!
You came up with some really cute outfits! I wouldn’t have thought to go with a color scheme but it makes sense!
Thanks a ton, Mireille!
I’m (much) older than you, but your approach to capsule wardrobes translates across generations. The color pile on your closet floor is brilliant!
Thanks so much, Diane!!