Wardrobe Capsules

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I was directed by Christine to a Wardrobe Capsule Challenge on the Sewing Pattern Review forum boards and wanted to share with you the fantastic capsules that were put together.  You can check out lots of entries and the wardrobe capsules they put together for the competition.

The winner did a great job, not only making the clothes, but also choosing really flattering colours for herself, as well as coordinating a range of garments to create multiple outfit options.

Click here for the winner’s outfits and patterns and how she found the experience – you can see what she made, click on the photo thumbnail to blow up the picture so you can see all her outfits.

With only 5 tops, 4 bottoms and a jacket, countless outfits can be mixed and matched for variety and interest.

Do you have wardrobe capsules in your closet?  If not, have you thought about getting out your clothes and seeing what kinds of capsules you could put together?

They’re great for quick and easy dressing, but also travel.

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I'm not sure if it's for you but how would you feel if you learned all about the colours and styles of clothing that suit your individual personality, shape and style? Just imagine what it would be like when you can open your wardrobe and pull together fabulous outfits that make you look and feel amazing every day? If you'd like to stop wasting money on the wrong clothes and accessories plus join an amazing bunch of very special women also on their style journey - then my 7 Steps to Style program is right for you. Find out more here.

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18 Comments

  • Her wardrobe is very feminine, adult and elegant, I must say. My style is much more simple and mostly it is gathered around jeans (!), my basics, which can be worn almost everywhere, just by changing the tops and accessories ( including coats-a must in this climate-, shoes, bags and jewelry ). This fall I found a neat d.grey, skinny pair of jeans ( for women, the zipper on the left side ) by Dior.

  • What a fabulous collection from the winner.
    The third Capsule Wardrobe Contest will take place in January on my blog.

  • And this, folks, is why we sew! I had a long-distance consultation with Imogen several weeks ago, to help me select the most flattering shapes and lengths for tops, skirts, pants, dresses, etc. It has helped me enormously. Another sewing forum is called Stitchers Guild and we start our wardrobe sewing contest on December 26. The sewing community is supportive with mutual mentoring that results in continuous growth in our craft. Thanks for posting about this!!

  • Print/pattern is what makes my boat float. You can't make much of a minimalist capsule with a strong print skirt or patterned jackets -mine are mostly plaid. All too memorable and put their stamp on the outfit. There is no alternative look possible.

    I have a favorite jacket that is mostly black but has a broken plaid of narrow threads in white and the red family (red, coral, pink). Can put this with various black skirts or pants or with white jeans but you still see the jacket first so it's pretty much the "same" outfit in feeling.

    I do have solid color jackets and cardigans but I tend to reach for the more distinctive first. Same with patterned skirts. If I liked a blended contrast it would work but I like a more distinct pattern.

  • Print/pattern is what makes my boat float. You can't make much of a minimalist capsule with a strong print skirt or patterned jackets -mine are mostly plaid. All too memorable and put their stamp on the outfit. There is no alternative look possible.

    I have a favorite jacket that is mostly black but has a broken plaid of narrow threads in white and the red family (red, coral, pink). Can put this with various black skirts or pants or with white jeans but you still see the jacket first so it's pretty much the "same" outfit in feeling.

    I do have solid color jackets and cardigans but I tend to reach for the more distinctive first. Same with patterned skirts. If I liked a blended contrast it would work but I like a more distinct pattern.

  • Wow, I love Barbara's winning capsule–and many of the others. Those colors are perfect for her and she looks completely at ease in all her creations. The main image is probably my favorite as she looks so chic.

    I can't sew a lick, but I really think a sewers are some of the last women on the planet to think about cohesive, mini-wardrobe looks for a new season vs item-based or outfit-based shopping. Well, sewers and a friend of mine.

    This fall/winter I had a certain amount to spend, and I ended up with what I'm calling "The Accidental Capsule."

    When I was ordering individual pieces (2 patterned sweaters/1 solid, 2 solid bottoms…all color-colors) I knew they'd all work with a ton of stuff I had, but I didn't cotton to the fact all tops would work with all bottoms til they all trickled in.

    So that's been great for me, and I think I might actually TRY to do this going forward, ha. Really increased the bang I got for my buck.

  • I am like metscan – I find her look very adult and elegant – admirable but not my thing, being a 'relaxed/natural' style person. I also wear mostly jeans and basics, so the whole thing is more or less a capsule.

    I've got to mention my love of cardigans – I hate the hair static from pulling sweaters on and off. I do wear thinner ones though, since they stay on all day. But better a cardigan which can be opened or closed throughout the day…

  • Love how comfortable she looks in her clothing! Honestly, my closet is pretty much two capsule wardrobes. I have my dark brown/olive based winter wear (2 skirts,2 dresses,2 silk blouses, leather jacket and a few sweaters) and my white/nude/grey-brown summer wear (1 dress and 2 skirts) and then a few colored t shirts/camis that work with either season. I have a few other random items as well, but not in regular rotation.
    Of course, my shoes and accessories are a whole other matter.

  • Would love to heist this wardrobe! The idea of a capsule wardrobe is subversive. Fashion exists on the premise that we need tons of clothes and must have changes- cannot be seen in 'the same thing'.

    Her fabrics are primarily wool and silk; beautiful fabric extends the wearability.

    re Sal's comment: I have many overflowing closets, but return to the same dozen items 80% of the time anyway.

    Thanks for posting this, Imogen!

  • I love the concept of a capsule wardrobe but get very frustrated when trying to come up with one because it seems to me that the outfits will not be very diverse. Also somethning I found out is that I tend to go to dual tone prints not leaving much space to combine the same print with many diferent colors.
    I do love the winner wardrobe and some of the other capsules.Thanks for sharing.

  • Hi Imogen – so glad you put this up on your blog – I thought you'd appreciate it. ūüôā

    I'm not the best capsule wardrobe sewist (attention span of a flea!), but I have been doing my best to stay focused on sewing things that go with stuff I already have (and like to wear), rather than whatever new pattern/fabric happens to catch my eye.

    There's a woman named Jennifer Skinner (The Very Small Closet) who has what I think is a really great way to build a wardrobe: for every pant/skirt, have two shirts/tops to go with it, and when possible, have tops that go with more than one bottom. (I'm probably paraphrasing this all wrong, as her wardrobe planning info was on her now-defunct website.) Anyway, I've been going through my closet keeping her advice in mind as I start planning my sewing for the new year. No more "orphan" clothes for me (I hope!).

  • I also found Jennifer Skinner's worksheet good for focusing. I believe it was 6 bottom pieces listed on the lefthand side and for each would be set A and set B, those sets would be top but also cardigan or jacket, all summarized as "top."

    Skinner also had a good article giving her opinion on why she was against capsules! Sorry don't remember it and it was from her other site also defunct and not available for reading. She does advocate small capsules for special purpose, such as dressy or perhaps sport.

    I believe she's been working with Sandy Dumont so no idea what her opinions on capsules are now.

  • I so enjoyed reading this. It made me realize I've completely neglected my own style in the last months as I've been consumed with starting a recycled clothes business online.

    The capsule wardrobe I didn't intentionally plan is: blue jeans, black jeans, four wool sweaters, three scarves, one wool coat, and green Dansko shoes. Wash and repeat.

    Happy Christmas Down Under, Imogen. Love, Sallymandy

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