I've always been drawn to the idea of a capsule wardrobe. It seems easy and time saving as well. Trouble is, after a while I always got bored. Or distracted by something I saw on line or TV and before you knew it, I'd veered off course. Recently, however, I've been working to refine, update and streamline my closet and my life and the capsule is back. I found the blog The Vivienne Files and this great post about capsule wardrobes. It's based on a book called Ma To-Do List by Jeanne-Aurore Colleuille and Laure Gontier and has 3 main points.
1. Dictate your rules: This defines what you want and how you see yourself. Short sleeves? Dresses, flats? Think of this as your personal style rules and then eliminate anything in your closet that does not fit. My personal style rules are trousers (preferably ankle length and slim), round neck tops, blazers and flat loafer style shoes. This is a switch for me from pencil skirts, cardigans and heels. The switch was mainly driven by 2 things. First off I have a bone spur and arthritis in my foot which makes walking in heels, even low ones unendingly painful. Second, I am the compliance director at a hedge fund in the Bay Area and the only woman in upper management as well as the youngest person. Somehow the cardigan and skirt look, just didn't work. This feels more authoritative.
2. Work on your coordination: A variety of colors, tops and bottoms that are impossible to coordinate, shapes and materials without a common ground: these are the enemies of the ideal wardrobe. At the base of the “capsule wardrobe” is a simple idea (and yet we apply it rarely!): everything should go with everything else, so that you can get dressed with your eyes closed. Think of this as a sort of grown up "granimals". I'm probably dating myself with that reference but that's how I think of it. My core colors are navy and gray. I accent with white, hunter green and camel.
3. Choose your signature piece: This is the part that makes it you. Do you love bangles? Scarves? Hats? Pick what pleases you and what you feel the most "you" in and go with it. For me there are 2 main one. First is pearls. I almost always wear the pearl and gold knot earrings my grandparents gave me for my high school graduation, the pearl necklace my parents gave me for my college graduation and the gold and pearl ring that was my mother-in-laws that my husband gave me at our wedding. I sometimes alternate with the gold and pearl necklace my father gave me on my wedding day. Second, I love brooches and have a collection of vintage ones that belonged to my grandmother and great grandmother. They look great on the various blazers I wear.
What do you think? Do you embrace the capsule look? Or are you more free ranging? Which suits you best and why?