I know that we are in the midst of continuing The 33 Days Declutter Project–Round 2, yet I still felt it was necessary to share some tips relating to how I shop for my capsule wardrobe. If you are participating in The 33 Days Declutter Challenge–Round 2, then you are most likely also looking through your wardrobe honestly and letting go of all items that do not fit, have seen much better days, and that don’t fit your current lifestyle. Once you’ve decluttered, created your ideal capsule wardrobe checklist, and are clear with what items that you already have that fit your checklist, it’s time to look for the items that you need to complete your list. You can see my 15 item capsule wardrobe checklist here.
1. Shop Patiently
These days revolve around instant gratification whether you are conscious of it or not. Now that you’ve finally decided to pare down your wardrobe, create a new signature style, and design your own small capsule wardrobe know that there is no rush. Instead of desiring to already have all of the items that you want right away so that your capsule wardrobe is complete, take your time finding the pieces that you will absolutely love. When you rush through this process, you end up purchasing filler pieces that you won’t really enjoy wearing for the season, and will most likely end up replacing very quickly. Believe me I’ve done it and I could have saved that money towards an investment piece.
2. Try On As Many Different Items As You Can
When I am shopping I may try on 20 items and purchase only one piece but nothing is lost only gained. Sometimes I don’t find anything that I like. Trying things on can seem like a tedious task, yet this is when you learn what cuts, silhouettes, fabrics, and styles really work for you. By trying on tons of pieces I have now become so clear when I look at a dress if the cut will be flattering on me even before I get into the dressing room. Even then I still try it on.
Recently I have been focusing on finding great dresses for my capsule wardrobe. Although dirndl (fit and flare) dresses look nice on, they don’t generally suit my personal style. After trying on so many dirndl dresses, it has finally clicked in my head to stop. I instead look for shift styles or even body conscious style knit dresses. Every once in awhile there may be an exception, yet there is a specific silhouette that I tend to like more than others. I would not have ever discovered what I truly loved if I hadn’t tried on so many different styles of dresses.
To make trying on clothing as convienient as possible wear slip on shoes and possibly even a dress when shopping. I prefer to wear my favorite ballet flats and a tunic or knit dress that can slip on and off easily. This way I’m in and out of dressing rooms quickly.
3. Understanding Silhouettes
The silhouettes of the items that you look for must flatter your current pieces so that everything is effortlessly interchangeable. Well obviously it won’t be completely effortless since you have taken the time to break down the science of preparing your capsule wardrobe, but the aftermath will be effortless. It is important to choose pieces that look and feel balanced with each other.
For example if you love skinny leg pants, wearing looser tops or a flowy jacket will compliment the silhouette of the pants. If you decide to have both skinny leg pants and wide leg pants you will need two different types of tops and jackets to go with both style of pants. If one style actually flatters you more than the other, stick with one silhouette of pants so that the silhouette of all of your tops and jackets will interchange with grace. There are always exceptions, but until you really understand how to design your best capsule wardrobe, make things as easy as possible for yourself.
This also relates for your winter coats. Make sure that the coat you have or choose to invest in works well with everything in your closet including your dresses. It is the most annoying experience to have a great dress to wear for an occasion but not the appropriate coat to flatter it. In general a knee length wool coat work well for most dresses and everything else in your wardrobe. Lastly look for items that will compliment each other in color and pattern as well.
4. The Smaller Your Wardrobe, The More You Can Invest
My capsule wardrobe is usually around 15 core pieces, a few tees, a jacket or two, a few dresses, and a few bottoms, and around 5 pairs of shoes for the season. Currently some of my items are actually pieces that work year round so I am no longer creating completely new capsule wardrobes from scratch. This allows me to truly invest in a few items each season.
I personally tend to shop consignment stores for the majority of my capsule wardrobe because I actually enjoy it, it saves me a lot of money, and it is the most ecofriendly way to shop. Having a small wardrobe also allows you to easily splurge on investment pieces that will last in your wardrobe for years. This season I have been diligently looking to invest in an amazing day dress to add to my wardrobe and a great pair of versatile heeled oxfords or a great ankle boot. Read more on the benefits of having a small wardrobe here.
5. Shopping Consignment
Lastly another incredible benefit about shopping consignment is that you can find summer and winter clothes no matter the current season. Because I share my current capsule wardrobes on Minimalist Beauty, I can’t wait until the new season to begin putting my capsule wardrobe together. During the summer I kept my eyes open for pieces for the fall. That is how I found a great pair of J Brand black skinny jeans. I haven’t worn them yet as it has been way too hot, yet they will be that perfect staple piece when it does get cooler. Now that I am clear about what I like and what I need, I can slowly piece items for my capsule wardrobe together over time. I mainly do this with basic staples though as I am not always sure what I’ll be in the mood for when the seasons change.
(Image by Dawn Michelle)