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Did you know that in 1930 the average women had 36 pieces of clothing in her closet? Today, the average women may have up to 120 garments in her closet. Most of those garments go unworn.
When I think of this statistic, I think of my grandmother. She grew up in the depression. Her parents were immigrants. She lived her entire life with very little and was very content. I remember vividly that she only owned 4 pairs of pants. She didn't have a closet FULL of clothes she didn't wear. She wore each piece until they didn't fit or wore out. Then, she bought a new pair!
Unfortunately, I didn't pick up on her habits. My closet is full of things I just don't wear. I've spent the last 18 months, paring down my closet and rethinking my purchasing habits. I'm on a mission to find quality pieces that fit me and mix well with other garments.
I've learned the quickest ways to save BIG money each year is to have an intentional, small capsule wardrobe. Creating a functional capsule is not hard, but it does take time. If you are looking to pare down and live with less clothes, consider starting with 10 pieces.
Think of these 10 pieces as the foundation to your wardrobe. These pieces must mix and match. You should feel comfortable in them. They should fit and flatter YOUR shape.
So, how can you create a super functional 10 piece winter capsule? Here are 6 tips to get you started!
1 WHAT IS YOUR LIFE AND CLIMATE LIKE?
Take a moment to consider your, your lifestyle and the climate you live in.
Do you need a business casual wardrobe?
Do you work with kids?
Do you work from home?
Are you home with babies most days?
What is the climate like where you live.?
All these things factor into what you will need. For example, I work from home most days. I want a comfortable polished wardrobe so I can go from work to basketball games with ease.It is really cold here during the winter so I need lots of layers and warmth. I don't like to wear skirts in the winter because of the cold. I like dresses that can layer over jeans or tights for warmth and ease.
2 HOW MANY PIECES DO YOU NEED OF EACH GARMENT?
Next, decide how many pieces you will want of each garment. Do you prefer pants or do you like to wear skirts and dresses? Do you like lots of layers? Here are some different examples of how you could divide your pieces.
Go through your closet and see what pieces you already own. Do you love them? Do they fit well? Use those pieces to create your perfect 10 piece wardrobe. Make a list of items you may need to purchase!
3 CREATE A "MY STYLE" BOARD ON PINTEREST
If you don't have one already, go over to Pinterest and start pinning looks and outfits you like. You can see my Styleboard here.
One tip about style boards: If you have NO clue where to begin, find a blogger or friend who wears things you love. See if they have a Pinterest style board and repin looks you love. It is helpful to find someone with similar body type as you. Pinterest is a massive platform. Chances are if you look hard enough, you can find someone you love!
After you have built up 30 or 40 pins on your style board, pay attention to what types of clothes you pin over and over again. Do you like more structured looks like jackets and blazers? Maybe you love dresses? Write down the things you see over and over again. Purchase items in your capsule that reflect this style.
4 LET'S TALK ABOUT PANTS
The secret weapon in any capsule wardrobe is pants that FIT. I'm talking about great fitting pants for YOUR body type, not just pants that are in style. Here's the thing girls, our bodies change a lot and I'm not just talking about weight. After you've had a baby or two, your body is different. Even if you weigh the same! The jeans you wore 10 (or 20 years) ago might not flatter your body today. Let's embrace the changes and take the time to find great fitting pants.
Try on as many types of jeans and pants as you can. Go to stores you've never been to. I find great leads on pants from fashion blogger on Instagram or Pinterest. Pay attention and try things one. Once you find ones "THE ONES" that fit you, don't look back. Buy them!
For years I loved the look of boyfriend jeans but my body type looks sloppy in slouchy, unstructured jeans. I almost gave up, but then I on a whim I tried on Madewell's slim boyfriend jeans. I love them! Gap has a similar jean with the Girlfriend jean. The point is, don't give up. You can find something that flatters you.
5 USE THE STYLEBOOK APP FOR INSPIRATION
I love using the Stylebook app. I can plug all my pieces into the app by snapping a pic! The Stylebook app will take your pieces and make outfits for you. You don't even have to think about what to wear with what!
If you want to get super organized, you can program what outfit you want to wear each day ahead of time. I will admit, I am not that organized! I wish! You can download the Stylebook app here.
6 FIND OTHER CAPSULE WARDROBE INSPIRATION
Go over to Pinterest and find some other capsule wardrobe ideas. We have a board on Pinterest dedicated to capsule wardrobes here. Find out how other women organize and purchase garments. Make notes and think about what would work in your life.
Here is a 10 x 10 I created for winter.
The polka dot blouse and sweater are from JCrew. I bought them both on 40% sale. This sweater is the softest sweater I have ever owned. It is worth the money. Don't forget to use EBATES when you purchase clothing on-line to earn cash back!
Here are some more budget-friendly options from Target. Click the picture for links to shop!
You can find my gray t-shirt here. I size up in this shirt.
I bought my duster cardigan from Oh Sweet Joy. I love purchasing things from other small business owners when I can. The price is right and this sweater is SUPER warm!
I have a simple dress from Anthropologie for 75% off. I can wear it with tights or over jeans. It is comfortable and versatile. A must for my lifestyle.
I have a pair of boyfriend jeans, one dark rinse, and one black jean. My dark rinse and black skinnies are from the GAP. My boyfriend jeans are from Madewell. I bought them for 50% off years ago. You can find a similar pair at Target for MUCH less.
Keep in mind, you may need to keep a few other pieces in your closet as "add-on" pieces for special dates or work events. It is up to you! You can make the rules. I know some women who only have a certain number of hangers in their closets to limit purchases and garments. I LOVE this idea!
But when you have our 10 pieces, challenge yourself to make do with what you have. Don't buy new unless you NEED it. Especially if you are working towards a big financial goal this year. Curating a small wardrobe is a fun way to squeeze extra money out of your budget to save up for a big purchase or pay down debt!
I have found that once I reduced my closet, I had money to purchase higher quality clothes. I was able to spend more per garment. I am paying attention to quality. It has not only changed my purchasing habits but thoughts on consumption.
If you only had 10 pieces this winter, what would you choose?