Have you ever bought a top or a pair of pants that you later regretted? We’ve all done it at least once in our life, went shopping, found something on the clothes rack that we just had to have…at the moment. Is the item that you bought hanging in the back of your closet now?
You may already know my story and why I blog about capsule wardrobes. I even have an online store with pre-made seasonal capsule wardrobes…complete wardrobes all in a convenient e-book. Before discovering the capsule wardrobe system, I used to spend frivolously on clothes. I would see something I would like and buy it, not thinking if it would match anything in my closet. If I thought it was pretty, I would buy it. You see, I didn’t really know how to create outfits. Most of the time when shopping, I would buy complete outfits at a time. If a top and bottom was hanging together on a clothes rack and it matched, I would buy both pieces. I would wear both pieces together a few times, then get tired of them and they would just hang in my closet. I had accumulated too many clothes with too many patterns. I had no idea what clothing style I liked. My closet was a hodgepodge of many styles. My closet was a nightmare.
Then, I stumbled upon a “fashion blogger” website one day. What was a fashion blogger? What was a blog? For several months I discovered a few more fashion bloggers and realized there were women out there that shared what they wore and showed how to dress with the latest trends. Through the inspiration of a few fashion bloggers, I found my own style and my sense of fashion improved. I was dressing better and was receiving many compliments! Then, one day my life changed forever. I discovered a “capsule wardrobe” on Pinterest. This was a neat concept, but would it work for me? I emptied my closet, chose a few pieces to include in my first capsule, then purged several clothes and stored the rest. To find several initial pieces I needed, I first shopped at thrift stores. Then, I spent a couple of weekends browsing in stores, using the knowledge about capsules I had learned to find the rest of the items I needed.
Here’s a photo of my closet just before I created my first capsule wardrobe:
It took me a couple of seasons to perfect my capsule wardrobe process. I learned what works and what doesn’t. Now, I help women around the world improve both their closets and their lives by providing informative blog posts, tutorials and e-books about capsule wardrobes. Instead of the most common method of capsule wardrobes by using mostly all basic essentials, I expand my capsules to also include 1 to 3 trendy items each season to keep your seasonal capsules fresh and fun!
I can even store my capsule wardrobe on my clothes rack, so I always know what to wear!
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So, is there a way to build your wardrobe, to make sure you always buy the right clothes? A foolproof way to never feel guilty about what you buy, cut out unnecessary spending (and saving you money) and always love to wear what you buy? Yes! Ask yourself these questions to help you decide what clothes to buy:
1. Will it coordinate with at least 3 other items in my closet? Apply the “Rule of 3”
The #1 question to ask when buying an item is to make sure it will coordinate with at least 3 other items currently in your wardrobe. This is especially important when you keep a capsule wardrobe every season. Here’s an example: say, you find an ivory trim tank. You love the neutral color, the fit and the design. Will it go with at least 3 items in your wardrobe? If you already had the pencil skirt, jeans and pants in your closet (as shown below), this trim tank would be a great buy!
2. Does it fit well with my body shape?
You look your best when your closet fit your body. When you find a piece you like, try it on and look in the mirror. Does the shape of the item go well with your body shape? Does it show off your best features and hide any unflattering ones? If an item fits you well and you look great in it, chances are you’ll love it and will want to wear it over and over!
3. Is it the right color for me?
This is an important tip. As always neutral colors look great on everyone. But, not all color tones of neutrals do. When you wear white, do you look washed out? On the other hand, when you wear ivory does your skin have a glow to it? Gray colors are tricky too. You may look gorgeous wearing a charcoal gray, but you may not can wear light gray. When you find a piece you like, find a mirror in the store and hold up the piece in front of you. If it is the right color, then you’ll be happy buying it and will wear it.
4. Is it an unintentional or emotional buy?
Sometimes when we go shopping and buy one or more items at a time, it is an emotional purchase. If you have had a bad day at work, you may want to go shopping to take your mind off of it. Have you found yourself shopping because you are bored? Have you been shopping with friends or family and because they are buying something, you want to buy something too? All those are unintentional purchases. Instead of spending money on unnecessary clothes, shop with intent! Only buy what you need and even keep a list of items you are missing to make your outfits go further. If you are needing a new coat because you’ve had yours for a few years and it is getting worn, look around and wait until you find just the one that you like, then buy it. When you shop with intent you not only ensure that you will love what you buy for a long time, but your wallet will thank you too!
5. Did I try it on?
Always try on any item you are thinking about buying. When you see the item on you in the mirror, it helps you decide if you like it well enough to buy it. You’ll see how it fits and if it is the right color for you. What looks great on a hanger, might not look well once you try it on. Make sure the item fits well and it is not too loose or too tight. Also, make sure the material is comfortable and isn’t itchy.
6. Will I love wearing it for years to come?
If an item has passed all the above questions, then ask if you’ll love wearing it for years to come. Is it too trendy or costs too much to fit within your budget? If an item is the perfect fit, goes well with your body shape, is the right color for your skin tone, is something you’ve had on your list to buy for a while, then chances are you will wear it over and over. It also may turn out to be your most wearable item in your closet!
Here are several items you may need in your closet that you may like: