How to find you style and build the perfect capsule wardrobe for you
Ciao, welcome back to my blog lovely people!
In today's post I will share with you my personal advices to build the perfect capsule wardrobe for you.
But first, let's define what a capsule wardrobe is.
Well, it is a much smaller amount of pieces compared to the average.
Because of that, all the items should be chosen in order to be paired together without effort and should be worn regularly.
A minimal, capsule wardrobe doesn't have any strict rules.
In everyone's mind it is usually made of a specific amount of total black outfits, no patterns, no bright colours, only neat shapes.
This is a stereotype. There are people that adopt this kind of perspective, which is totally fine but it doesn't have to be like this.
A capsule wardrobe is simply owning less, carefully selected items that work perfectly for you and make feel great about yourself.
Look at the exemplary capsule wardrobe below:
It is not all black and white and it has a specific style, it has colour and it has personality!
We can all achieve that!
These are the reasons why I am a firm believer in the capsule wardrobe:
Classic, timeless pieces in colours that suits you and shapes that are flattering to your body shape will last for years, they will never go out of fashion and they will always look elegant.
All the items will always work nicely together allowing you to be quicker to create outfits and therefore to get dressed in the morning without that anxiety of the: "I don't have anything to wear".
Not following temporary trends will make you save money and you will always feel confident in what you are wearing.
Sticking to less but well chosen items will improve your personal style and therefore you will feel unique and special among the others.
That sounds amazing to me.
But how to choose the right items?
There are a several things to consider to start with.
The list below is the exact order you should follow to find your own personal style and as a result, the right capsule wardrobe for you.
It is not going to be a quick process. It will require months to understand what you actually wear from your wardrobe and to understand if your style suits you or your lifestyle.
Don't get discouraged: take your time. The longer you take, the better the results will be.
1) Your lifestyle:
Think deeply about what you are doing on a daily basis and what your habits are.
Fashion choices and lifestyle are interconnected: our style is always evolving because it is a reflection of what we are doing with our clothes at a particular time in our life.
Mt style now at 33 living in London is not going to be the same of myself as a 23 years old student in Italy. And yes, if your style is still the same after 10 years, then there is surely something wrong.
Are you a mum?
Are you working full time in a conservative environment?
Do you go out often after work or do you prefer to chillax at home?
Are you sporty?
What are your hobbies? Do you need specific clothing or equipment for that?
Do you travel a lot?
What is your budget?
How many season do you have where you live?
All this questions will define what you need to keep from what you already own.
For instance: I live in London, where there are 4 season, but the winter months are usually longer than the summer ones.
I work full time in retail management, so my daily dress code is smart-casual.
I am sporty but I don't go to the gym, I rarely go out when I am off and when I do is for casual dinners/events.
Therefore I will need the majority of my clothes to be suitable for work, I need comfy shoes as I stand 9 hours a day, what I wear at work is ok for my free time and I will need loungewear to stay at home/workout.
2) Find your signature style.
This section is deeply related to the one above and it is a consequence of self awareness.
Many wardrobes are a hot mess of several trends put together but not connected to each other. They often are the result of impulsive shopping. Does the classic: "How cute, I'll take it!" (without pondering first if it will match the rest) says anything to you?
The truth is, unless you determine what your REAL style is, you'll keep struggling with your wardrobe.
The question that we need to ask ourselves after being aware of your lifestyle is:
What do I like?
Sometimes it is difficult to decide what we truly want. There are too many alternatives and possibilities out there and it makes our plan to select even harder.
Another question to ask yourself is:
What do I hate about my wardrobe?
Maybe your aesthetic doesn't match your lifestyle and therefore you are frustrated because you are not wearing enough the items that you actually like but only what is practical.
For example: you love silk dresses and fancy heels and you bought several of them but they are all sitting in the wardrobe untouched because you actually don't go out much and you have to wear a uniform at work.
So the silk dresses and fancy heels suit you aesthetic but they clash with your lifestyle, when you wear other kind of clothes. My advice here is to face reality: who do you really want to be?
If you feel very depressed about it, maybe it is time to change your lifestyle in order to match your style. It's 2020, we have the freedom to do so and you should.
On the other hand, you might find this new awareness eye opening and you might want to be even more specific about which items you are wearing the most.
If that's the case, it would be beneficial to play a little game for a couple of weeks:
Turn all the hangers in your wardrobe stand the other way round.
Every time that you are wearing something, put it back as you normally would.
After two weeks, check the items that have not been touched (you will see that the hangers are still on the other side).
This simple little trick will show you what you are wearing the most and it will help define your fashion style, which is crucial to achieve cohesiveness.
Fun fact: did you know that most people doing this exercise found out that they were only wearing 20% of their wardrobe 80% of the time?
Now, that 20% is the base of your true style.
From now on, keep that 20% most worn items in your wardrobe and pack the rest 80%.
Put it somewhere hidden and wait at least for a couple of weeks.
This time will give you the opportunity to experiment several combination with the most worn items and it would give you the idea of what you really are.
Take pictures of your outfits everyday is also a good method to find out what your favourite combos are.
After the two weeks, take out some of the items you liked the most from the 80% you put aside and check if any of it can be reconsidered, maybe trying new outfit combos with the original 20%.
Anything that is really not working is to be sold or donated.
Repeat the process until you got rid of everything that is surplus and is not working effortlessly with the rest.
While being in this part of the journey the following step is crucial to decide what to keep and what to give away so include it. It has a separate point because it is rather important and it needs to be considered on its own.
3) Consider what suits you the most:
Certain fabrics. colour palettes and cuts are more flattering on us than others (check my previous post "Fashion hacks to look put together at all times" where I deal with it deeply)
Spend some time to know what your body shape is, what colours are great against your skin and which fabrics look amazing on you.
To do so, take pictures of your outfits daily but don't share it with others.
You should look at them as reference of what you like, what combos you are wearing more often and what really works on you without having another person's style or point of view to interfere with what you are trying to figure out.
You don't want to please others, the main reason you are doing this is to please yourself.
Your style diary, collected in a few weeks time, will give you a huge hand deciding which style you'd better opt for.
For instance: if you love and suit light colours, delicate flowery patterns and you look great in flowy A line dresses you might want to stick with a feminine and romantic look rather than tomboy.
This is just one example but the range of choice are endless.
4) Don't check Pinterest or your Instagram account to find inspiration.
I know it sounds ridiculous from a blogger to say so, but you are trying to understand what suits you and work for you here, not what looks amazing on other people with a different body and a different lifestyle. Don't compare yourself to others, you are unique and special.
5) Declutter ruthlessly.
Many people start from here but I think it is a gigantic mistake. Decluttering only the right items will be possible and easy only after acknowledging who you are first.
Taking everything out of your entire wardrobe making a hell of a mess in your bedroom will only overwhelm you and make things even more confusing.
Your old pair of jeans or your super comfy loungewear set may not sparkle joy, but you are still wearing them everyday so even the Marie Kondo method of sorting things out doesn't really makes sense for me, even though I respect and love her.
Having clear in your mind what suits you, what your signature style is, being aware of your actual lifestyle is vital prior decluttering in order to discard only the wrong items: the ones that don't get regular wear, the cuts that are not flattering for your body and the trends that are unsuitable for the new you.
This is not possible at the beginning of this journey, when things are still a bit mixed up and you don't really know what to do.
5) Wait some time before buying new items:
After decluttering, it is tempting to fill the potential gaps in your wardrobe.
But it would be like decluttering without having sorting out what your personal style is first.
I think it would be better to wait for at least a month before making any purchase.
You need this time to allow your brain to combine the (hopefully) few clothes left together and get used to experiment with the style you chose.
Remember that buying new clothes doesn't make you more stylish, style is what you actually do with them.
Until yours it is fully formed and you have a better idea of what you are doing, restrain yourself for shopping and play with what you already have.
9 times out of 10 you will realise that you don't need what you think is missing from your downsized wardrobe but you might actually need something that was not so obvious when you first started this process.
My practical tricks:
Hang pre-made outfits in your wardrobe to make your life easier.
It is quicker to get dressed in the morning when you can find straight away a selection of ready outfits waiting for you.
That navy cardigan goes nicely with that printed dress? Great, put it on the dress already, you'll save time the next time.
Do you usually wear a black blazer and a white shirt together? (who doesn't?)
Layer them together on the hanger.
Accessories are often treated as a second, less important category while in fact they can be crucial to the success of all your outfits.
How many times you had a great outfit in mind but then you realised you didn't have the right bag or a pair of shoes to match the look you envisioned?
My advice is to chose a neutral colour that you like, that suits you and that goes with the majority of the items you already own and then build a set of accessories of the same shade in the best quality you can afford. As a result, everything will work amazingly together and you will always look on point.
In my wardrobe I have got one black belt, a black pair of boots, black sandals, black pumps and a black bag. No need to think too much how to style them and with what. They will always work.
If you think that matching accessories are boring, feel free to break them with other neutrals or maybe a pop of colour but that will require more work and efforts.
Same thing with jewellery: best practice is to find the metal that suits you the most and stick to it. Find a cute set of dainty pieces that you can wear everyday with basically everything and they will elevate your outfit without effort.
Thank you so much for reading my post today, I hope you found it interesting and inspiring!
If so, please share this post on your social media accounts to help me grow.
What about you? Have you found your signature style?
I would love to know what you thoughts are!
Have a great start of week all!