In a perfect fashionable world, we would all have a minimalist mindset and function perfectly with very few clothes. The truth is, most of us fall into the category called “closet full of clothes and nothing to wear”. 
I believe the reason so many of us get stuck in this “bursting at the seams” place is because we haven’t been intentional about building our wardrobes. This is the premise behind Capsule Wardrobes.  Before I tell you HOW TO BUILD A CAPSULE WARDROBE, let’s define it:
…according to Wikipedia

Capsule wardrobe is a term coined by Susie Faux, the owner of a London boutique called “Wardrobe” in the 1970s. According to Faux, a capsule wardrobeis a collection of a few essential items of clothing that will not go out of fashion, such as skirts, trousers, and coats, which can then be augmented with seasonal pieces. This idea was popularized by American designer Donna Karan, who, in 1985, released an influential capsule collection of seven interchangeable work-wear pieces.

The term is widely used in the British and American fashion media, and has been the subject of several popular television series. The term has come to refer to a collection of clothing which is designed using only interchangeable items, in order to maximize the number of outfits which can be created. The aim is to have an outfit suitable for any occasion without owning excessive items of clothing. This is usually achieved by buying what are considered to be “key” or “staple” items in coordinating colors.
Building this elusive perfect wardrobe is simple.  The key to your stylish success is to plan and follow these steps.

Step 1 – Choose a color palate – up to 4 colors, 1 dark neutral, 1 light neutral, a pop color and your signature color.   Once you master how to create a Capsule Wardrobe, you can add in other colors that compliment your palate. The secret is all of these colors match one another, kind of like Granimals! So, everything will go together, GENIUS!
First, determine what dark neutral looks best on you.  For some, it may be black, however for most (yes, I am about to tell you that black might not be a good color for you) that dark neutral should be grey, brown or navy. Then choose a lighter neutral (white or cream).  Then add in some color; a pop (or wow color for the season), and your signature color (that one hue that you know looks great on you).
Here is an example of what your color palate might look like (this is mine):

For help matching your wardrobe, click here for a cheat sheet.

Step 2 – Figure out what cuts of clothing look great on you.  Knowing what your body shape is simply is knowing what your proportions are.  The cuts of clothing we choose can emphasize our silhouette, and camouflage  areas we hold a little extra fluff.  Some of us have broad shoulders, so need to wear pieces that minimize our shoulders.  
To start this step, choose your favorites: favorite pair of jeans, favorite skirt and so on.
For help choosing the right cuts of clothing, here is another cheat sheet.
Step 3  – List the pieces you are using in your capsule wardrobe. Typically, you will need about 30 items in your wardrobe, with 10 being your wardrobe backbone. I’ve seen a lot of numbers for a capsule wardrobe thrown around, but you should be able to build 30 outfits with 10 pieces of clothing.  You will want at least 5 shirts (some like enough for every day of the week).

Once you have completed your list, this will show you where you might need to add some things into your capsule wardrobe.  Try to get good quality pieces as the backbone of your wardrobe. Taking this list with you when you shop at Goodwill will help you to do a few things:

  1. Shop intentionally – only search for those things on your shopping list
  2. Choose pieces you can wear numerous times – as you will see by the chart, all of the pieces work together.  All of the tops match all of the bottoms, and all of the jackets can coordinate with any of the tops, bottoms and dresses.
  3. Add pieces you know will look good on you!  By the time you have made your list, you will have a good understanding of your color palate and what cuts of clothing look good on you. 

Here is a chart to help you get started. With this chart, you will have 20 pieces of clothing, giving you about 35-40 outfits.  If you want to get technical, I counted 64 different combinations using these 20 pieces!

The final step is to take some pictures of your outfit combinations.  This will make it much easier to choose what to wear in the morning. There are numerous apps for your smart phone that will help you store and organize these pictures. My favorite is called Stylebook. It allows you to mark an outfit so you remember that you wore it recently. If you are a fashionista at heart, you NEED an app like this!

Here are some screen shots from my capsule wardrobe (of course, all of the pieces you see here came from Goodwill!).

I hope this helps you and challenges you to be intentional when shopping at a Goodwill Industries of Michiana store.  Be sure to check this blog for the latest on 50% off sale days!
www.KathyFriend.com