“I wish I had an actual wardrobe instead of just a closet of clothes,” I thought to myself as I glanced over shirts I never wore because I was too lazy to iron them, or I didn’t have the right bra. There was also pants that needed hemming, dresses that were too small, and clothes in colors I didn’t really like. None of it felt like me.
Little did I realize I was about to get so much more than I wished for.
(And, I want that for you, too, which is why I’ve included affiliate links. You don’t have to use them, but if you do, I may earn from qualifying purchases.)
I’d heard of Get Your Pretty On from the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle my book was in earlier that year. After trying the free outfit challenge in that bundle, I typed “Get Your Pretty On” in the search bar and signed up for the Summer Style Challenge.
I shopped my closet as much as possible, then filled in the gaps with new pieces from Target and T.J. Maxx to create my first Summer capsule wardrobe.
This was also the Summer Mr. Hines and I drove our daughter from Texas to California. And, I swear to you, part of the fun of that trip was planning, and wearing, outfits from the challenge. By the end of the Summer, I felt so much better about my wardrobe and myself that I signed up for the Fall challenge. And, I’ve signed up for every style challenge since.
In the process, I’ve learned a few things about curating a capsule wardrobe that I want to pass on to you.
7 Tips for a Curating a Capsule Wardrobe
- If it’s not a heck yes, it’s a no. This tip is straight from Get Your Pretty On, and after some trial and error, I’ve proved her right. Your time, money and self-esteem are too valuable to spend on a quick fix. This tip also applies to clothes you already own that you don’t wear or that don’t fit. Do yourself a favor and donate them. You deserve to feel confident, and pretty, in your clothes.
- Take your time. There is a movement in fashion called slow fashion. This simply means you’re more intentional about buying quality items less often. You are curating a wardrobe, which means you aren’t in a rush. It’s worth taking your time to find pieces that will last a long time as well as meet all your requirements.
- Know what you like and don’t like – You’ll discover your preferences over time. Over the past few years, I’ve realized I am very picky about how fabric feels on my skin and have figured out which fabrics to avoid. I know v-necks and halter necklines are the most flattering for me, so other necklines are out. I’ve also discovered I prefer a 5” inseam for shorts, and am most comfortable wearing a high waist rise. Knowing what you like and don’t like will save you time, money and stress as you curate your capsule wardrobe.
- Curate a color palette – I like to wear black and I cannot lie. I used to feel embarrassed by that, now I embrace it. But, I’ve also learned which colors I both enjoy wearing and that best compliment my skin tone and coloring. Now, my color palette includes navy blue, cobalt blue, yellow, olive, gray, white and a small dose of pinks. The great thing about this is, so many colors are considered neutrals and can be mixed and matched to optimize your capsule wardrobe.
- You get to decide how many pieces make up a capsule. I think capsule wardrobe conjures up ideas of minimalism, but it doesn’t have to. Your capsule should have as many pieces as you deem necessary. And, it doesn’t need to include shoes, scarves, belts or jewelry.
- Get to know your favorite brands – Over time, you’ll find what brands fit and flatter you best. You’ll also learn what is quality and what isn’t, which, by the way, is not dependent on names nor price. My favorite t-shirt brand is one from T.J. Maxx with the A New Day line from Target being a close second. Another note about brands, you might find that creating a capsule wardrobe leads to supporting brands that align with your personal values, whether that’s ethically sourced, vegan, eco-friendly, all sizes inclusive, or something else.
- Be resourceful – First and foremost, shop your own closet. If you’re following a style challenge, step out of the box and substitute with what you have, or skip it altogether. Create your own outfit formulas. For example, I decided to wear dressier blouses with denim shorts and more fitted tops with flowy bottoms this Summer. If you do need to shop, try resale stores. I always check Thredup. Others love Poshmark. Otherwise, get tips, tricks and inspiration from outside sources.
My inspiration comes from:
After gathering inspiration and finding my way through these tips over the past couple of years, I no longer have clothes that don’t fit, or that I don’t love. I have so much fun using the challenges as inspiration to mix, match and style my clothes in ways that fully express who I am on the inside. The style challenges are without a doubt, a part of my becoming story.
I would love for you to join me on that journey.
See you in class,