"Capsule Wardrobes" are having a serious moment. This blogger's post went viral this week, and for months now every time I log onto pinterest (Hah. As though I ever log out?) there are at least a dozen new ones waiting for me.
What is a Capsule Wardrobe?
Capsule wardrobes are a collection of versatile, neutral wardrobes staples. (The LBD, for example.) Collections contain about 37 pieces. Famed capsule wardrobe blog, Un-Fancy breaks down these 37 pieces:
- 9 pairs of shoes
- 9 bottoms
- 15 tops
- 2 dresses
- 2 jackets/coats
Now, I'm not about to reinvent the wheel here. One search on pinterest delivers a zillion capsule wardrobe results that are inspirational and educational.
What I AM going to do is walk you through the process of sewing your own, plus tips on adapting the wardrobe I make to best fit your frame. Ideally, you'll sew along with me!
Dude. Are you REALLY going to sew 37 pieces?
HECK no. Rome wasn't built in a day, my wardrobe is not going to be either. And while it's flattering you think I'm capable of such a sewing feat, imaginary-and-somewhat-snarky audience commentator, let me assure you I have a much more realistic goal in mind.
You see, fashion bloggers suggest rotating about 9 pieces per season, to keep trends current and clothes weather-appropriate. Nine is the goal I've set for myself, and I'm looking to have them complete over the course of 8 weeks. This will bring me right into the July-September "Summer" fashion season.
But what about all your other clothes?? We've seen you post so much - you probably already have 37 pieces to complete your wardrobe!
The simple answer is "no, I don't." The more complicated, personal answer is: most of them don't fit me anymore. I was diagnosed four years ago with thyroid disease. My weight goes up. My weight goes down. My shape shifts, sometimes right before my very eyes. I can walk through my closet like a timeline: "I was at my all-time-high weight", "I lost a bunch of weight", "I was pregnant", "I was nursing", "pregnant.. again", "I was emaciated," "I gained my 'winter layer'", "The scale and I are not on speaking terms..." This is my everyday reality, and I'll probably spend the rest of my life trying to create a wardrobe to keep up with the constant changes.
Yo-yo-ing is not an uncommon theme in many women's lives. Especially when there are pregnancies involved! So if you're in the same boat - and your closet is overflowing with ill fitting clothes, or even just clothes you don't love, vow to sew along with me.
I don't know, man... 37 pieces seems really limiting.
Actually, that's part of the beauty behind it. I've long been a believer in what Barry Schwartz calls the "Paradox of Choice." I hate it. The more I have, the more I struggle. I spend more time than I care to admit 1. searching for the pieces I'm looking for in my over-crowded mess of a closet, or 2. saying "well wait, what would this outfit look like with....." And yet, on most days, I run out of time to get ready and grumble all the way to the car saying "I have NO clothes."
...........do I look like someone with "no clothes" to you?
Anyway - choice. I hate it. Give me like.. 37 options and I'll be good. I'm scrappy, I can work with that.
Wouldn't it be way easier to just stop by Target and pick up 9 pieces?
Well, duh. But there's a reason we have our ill fitting wardrobes, isn't there. They're probably filled with easy things we picked up from the store. What you and I will be doing (because at this point, you ARE doing this with me, right??) that these other capsule wardrobe blogs don't? We're sewing a custom fit. That's right. No more saggy booty jeans because we need a size up in the waistband. No tent-tops for my big busted friends. Why suffer a waist-less existence in store bought shirts when you can taper your own top to fit a smaller middle? We don't have to send store bought clothes to a tailor. We can save our dollars, sew stuff we love from the start, and work in some sewing therapy time while we're at it :)
Ok, ok, where do we start?
PURGE. Seriously. Do it the un-fancy way. Pour a glass (or two or three) of wine and carve out some time to do it this weekend. Of your remaining wardrobe, do me a favor... throw your 3 most favorite pieces on your bed spread and snap a photo of them. Tag them #summercapsulesewalong or tag @beccaduvalphoto. Then come back here Monday. We'll discuss style, fabrics, and plot our individual capsule projects then! Ready??? OK - BREAK!