How often do you go to your closet and say “I don’t have anything to wear?” I think it’s part of the female experience to go through this rite of passage day after day, but it doesn’t have to be this way.
A few weeks ago I mentioned that I was creating for the first time in my life a capsule wardrobe for this spring. So as I was going through my closet and drawers I got a renewed sense of excitement as different outfit combinations began to emerge. The feeling was almost as good when I would go shopping for a new pair of shoes because there were a few things that I forgot I even had so they were like new.
I have to admit that I was a little hesitant to commit myself to doing a capsule but when I thought about why I was bothered by this I realized that it was a psychological thing. Even though I have OCD tendencies I like the option to do what I want to do when I want to do it and this includes how I dress and ultimately what I choose to wear. Restrictions, real or perceived, play a serious number on my psyche.
When I was working, my stylish boss said that she organized a week’s worth of outfits (including shoes and accessories) for work and she didn’t deviate from the days assigned to a specific ensemble. While I think her system was a good one especially since she was so diligent, when I attempted to do likewise it didn’t work for me and the reason why is because I’ve always dressed for how I feel.
So what I found was if I had a particular set of clothes, say, for a Wednesday, by the time Wednesday rolled around I might not be feeling inspired by my selection and would chose something else. The one thing I did pretty well was staying within the confines of the week’s selections even if I didn’t wear them on the appointed days. It was an interesting experiment but eventually I went back to my system of having a rough idea of what I’d wear for the upcoming day because it worked for me.
One of the other things that bothered me about the capsule wardrobe was that I felt there were gaps that needed filling in other words it wasn’t perfect. For instance, I really wanted a black jumpsuit but when I started going through what I already owned I could create the illusion of a jumpsuit with black pants, top and thick belt. I could throw on a jacket or sweater, heels, some bling, and be good to go.
Statistics indicate that women only wear between 10 & 20 percent of their wardrobe mainly because we keep going back to the same pieces time and time again. Personally I feel that back in the day I did more with less because more seems to stem my creativity. So if for no other reasons the capsule is at least forcing me to work within set parameters, and I’m looking at my clothing with a fresh perspective and asking myself what will work as multi-functional pieces.
I did a post a while back on creating the illusion of a skirt by using a sleeveless dress and a peplum top HERE. Layering pieces like the dress and top in the post I just referenced provides endless possibilities. When you include items like jewelry or scarves to the mix these increase the ways you can come up with stylishly clever wardrobe solutions. Try using a long necklace or scarf as a belt, twist together a necklace and scarf and use as a unique headband, piece of jewelry or belt.
When you look at your total wardrobe (closets and drawers), then include shoes, bags and accessories it allows you to expand your thinking beyond the day-to-day outfits. Wearing a dressy top with a pair of jeans, pearls with a tee or tank, and don’t forget to include outerwear like sweaters, blazers, jean or moto jackets.
In today’s featured pictures I am wearing three different outfits with pieces that can be interchanged to create several more combos.
- Navy and black striped jersey tank dress | Old Navy
- I.N.C. white linen embellished neck | Macy’s – with th jeweled crew neckline on this jacket there is no need for a necklace. The other features on this jacket are the front zipper closure, two small flap pockets in the front on either side and decorative stitching on the sides of the zipper and around the neckline embellishment.
- Audrey Brooke navy and black slingback heels | DSW
I could wear the embellished sweatshirt from outfit number 2 over this tank dress to create another skirt look or the denim jacket from outfit number 3 with a pair of sandals for a more casual look.
- Michael Kors gray embellished short-sleeved sweatshirt | Macy’s – This is not your average sweatshirt as the entire front is adorned with these shiny silver circular discs (the bigger ones are the circumference of a AA battery and the smaller ones are about a third the size of the bigger ones) and the short sleeves are cuffed.
- Charcoal gray jersey pencil skirt | Old Navy
- Bright orange, dark orange & purple flats, pointy toe slingbacks | Zara – The bright orange suede is on the toe of the shoes while the thin straps that criss cross over the arch of the foot and wrap around the heel are dark orange and purple.
The shell from outfit number 3 with a belt would work with this skirt or I could also add the white linen jacket from outfit #1 with a cute pair of heels for a totally different outfit or yet another option would be adding the denim jacket with the shell.
- Navy & white brush stroke print shell | H&M – This is one of my favorite tops because it’s sleeveless so I feel very comfortable wearing it under a jacket or sweater. I also like the white brush stroke print and front button closure.
- Skinny blue Jeans | Ann Taylor – I have to say that I love these jeans that I got on sale. I was skeptical because ordering online I wasn’t sure if I’d have to send them back but they fit and are so comfortable.
- Dirty Laundry nude d’orsay, pointy toe pumps | DSW
- Denim jacket | very old – A very good friend of mine gave me this denim jacket years ago and I love it because it’s so very versatile. I wear it with skirts, dresses, pants (just about everything).
- Chunky faux pearl necklace assorted sizes | Shop Lately
Switching out the denim for the white linen jacket would dress up the jeans and I’d probably add a different pair of heels with the jacket. The embellished sweatshirt would also work.
So I started out with 3 outfits but with the different combinations I ended up with ten without even adding in accessories and bags. Also on the days that I wore outfits one and three it was still rather chilly so I had to wear coats. For number one I wore a trench and an anorak with number three.
What clever ways do you mix up your wardrobe? Do tell.
“Many women have asked me if it is possible to have a well-built wardrobe on a limited budget. ‘Money,’ I tell them, ‘is no guarantee of taste, and an overstuffed wardrobe is often as bare as a skeleton when it comes to wearable apparel.” ~Edith Head