Sunday, 16 March 2014

Building a Wardrobe: How to Maximize Options in a Capsule Wardrobe

Over the course of this series, I've discussed finding your own style, how to determine number of pieces needed for your closet,  how to pick closet basics, key pieces, and shoes and accessories. Today I'm offering up some tips about how to maximize options in your capsule wardrobe.

Tip One: Use workout gear for daily life

  • If you choose carefully, many workout tops can be incorporated into your outfits outside of the gym. A wrap-style dance top looks pretty over a skirt, particularly something flowy. A basic striped tank mixes well with patterns in your work wardrobe. 
  • I can't even count the number of times I've worn my favorite black workout leggings under my work dresses or tunics. Find a pair that doesn't ride up and you're golden!
  • A new trend in fashion is wearing sneakers as casual wear. I'm not 100% on board, but you might like to give it a whirl!

Some examples:

Workout/Workin' It

Tip Two: Mix patterns

  • Patterned pieces add nice pizazz to your wardrobe, so mixing them lends double the fun!
  • I find it easiest to mix patterns in one of three ways: stripes with animal, stripes with floral, or animal with floral. 
  • Another fun way to play with pattern mixing is to mix two of the same type--like 2 different stripes or animal prints. The key here is to make sure that either the scale or the color of the pieces is different. You'd want a skinny stripe with a fatter stripe, or a black and white leopard print with a more traditional camel-colored one. 
  • Mixed prints don't have to 'match' to go. The biggest key to success in mixing prints is to rock the style! With enough confidence, you can wear really anything :)

Mix Master

Tip Three: Make a piece work for a variety of situations

  • Those who choose to dress via a capsule wardrobe need to be infinitely more picky about their selections than those who have your average (or fashionista-sized!) closet. Make sure that each item in your closet can be worn at least 3 different ways, or it's just wasting space.
  • We've already discussed that workout gear can be incorporated into your everyday outfit. Make sure that your 'casual' pieces can be dressed up for work, and your 'work' pieces can be dressed down to play.
  • If you're going to buy a piece that doesn't transition well between work and play (example: short leather skirt), I'd advise to make sure that it's enough of a chameleon (i.e., more of a basic than a key piece) to be worn often outside of work.
Striped Geometric Top

Tip Four: Make your basics not-so-basic
  • Some of my favorite outfits and info pics are very, very simple pieces that, when worn correctly, pop more than wearing a glitzy dress or shoes. There are several keys to making your basics unboring:
    • Top off a simple outfit with a top. A buttonup and jeans, or tank and a maxi skirt, always look more polished with a cute scarf to pull it together.
    • Dress in layers. Even if each layer is not super interesting in and of itself, combining the pieces will provide the eye with more to see and thus make your outfit more interesting and stylish.
    • Wear a statement piece. This can be a necklace, a fun coat, funky shoes, etc. The goal is to give the eye something to focus on so you don't notice that under the fun coat it's just a grey t-shirt and jeans!
    • On the other end of the spectrum, embrace minimalism. Some of the most chic outfits are those that are stripped down to the most basic and beautiful lines. If your LBD is begging you to let your body be the focus, let it! Accessorize simply!


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