When styling clients, I often talk about building a capsule wardrobe. A capsule wardrobe should be at least 60-70% basics, and then 30-40% trend. What happens when you build up your closet this way, is that you are able to mix and match better, you have invested in basics that can be worn year after year, and you really make the most of what is in your closet. I find so many people buy things that they wear once! This is a terrible way to shop, it is like throwing money away.
Once you build up your capsule wardrobe you will actually save money, and be able to invest in the clothing and accessories you really love!
Everyone’s capsule wardrobe will be different, depending on your lifestyle. I am going to share with you my ideal “mom” wardrobe. These are items that fit into my lifestyle, and probably many of yours. I am a mom, but I also work so I need things that can do double duty in my closet. We also love to go out to dinner, out with friends, and travel, so finding pieces that will take me to those places is important too.
Here are my must have items/basics that I feel are good investments:
Denim: It may take you a while, but try on as many pairs as it takes to get 2 pairs you love that fit you like a glove. I think it is good to have one pair that is dark and dressier, and a more casual pair that is lighter in color or with distressing.
Denim Alternatives: For me, these are jogger pants (that you can dress up or down), a camo pant and/or a pant in army green. There will be times when you just don’t feel like wearing denim, so these are a great alternative. I feel like camo is a neutral, and can be worn many different ways.
Shirts/Blouses: I love shirts and blouses because they can be worn year round. I have at least 10-15 different white, black, colored and printed blouses. You can wear them on their own, dress them up with slacks or a skirt, or dress them down with jeans, layer with a blazer or tie over a dress. Cotton or Silk, whatever your lifestyle allows, these are a great investment.
Layering Pieces: These are your jackets and vests; the “3rd piece” that will pull your look together. I have a denim jacket, a green bomber, a black and blush pink leather that I have been wearing non stop. I also have a few vests that are great during transitional times. Longer sweaters are also great layering pieces too!
Tee Shirts: As a mom, I think these are very important. You don’t have to invest in these, but I tend to spend a little more on my tee shirts now because I wear them so much. You will find that better quality will last longer and wash up better. I always look for tees that have some interest or detail to them, other than just a plain tee. These will layer under all of your jackets, or stand alone with denim and cute accessories.
Go-To items for dressier occasions: You should always have the perfect fitting black pant, a black blazer and a black dress that you can throw on when the occasion arises. You may want to also incorporate some color or texture depending on the season. I have a white blazer that I wear all the time, and a few dressier printed pants that are my summer favorites. You will always have a reason to wear these pieces, so don’t be afraid to spend a little more on them.
Shoes: Flats (if you like them), or if you are more of a booties girl, that is a good casual alternative, a higher heel “strappy” shoe that can be worn with dresses, or dressier jeans, a wedge sandal, a flat sandal (something dressier than a rubber flip flop) and a tennis shoe that you don’t workout in (think Converse or Adidas, or New Balance in fun colors).
Accessories: For me, this category is huge. Handbags and jewelry can make or break an outfit. Invest in a good black bag, a neutral bag, and a bag for evening. I feel like you can never have too many quality accessories in your wardrobe; they always “fit” and typically never go out of style. I splurge on classic pieces, but go more inexpensive for trendy items. Recently I invested in a Gucci Belt, a black Miu-Miu bag and some hermes jewelry that I wear non-stop. If you look at how much you wear these pieces, they are worth the investment!
These are your trendy items. Find 10-15 on-trend pieces each season that can mix and match with your capsule wardrobe. For me this season it has been the cut-out shoulders, ruffles, off-shoulders and embroidery. I am still yet to make true “summer” purchases, so I will keep you posted as I go. I tend to try to find seasonal trends on a budget. Because it may be something you only wear a handful of times, you don’t want to spend a fortune on it.
Shoes and accessories will also be fill-in items, as trends change each season.
When I was at Evereve in Minneapolis I found so many amazing, mix and match pieces that I have been wearing non-stop. What I love about them is that they are versatile. They can be dressed up or down, which takes me from school events to a night out on the town. From baseball games, to lunch with girlfriends. I also found a few great “on trend” items too, and all are affordable which make them perfect fill ins for this season.