September 12, 2014

My First Capsule Wardrobe: Outfit Creation... and Beyond

This week I'm talking about capsule wardrobe creation. I'm sharing my wardrobe from this summer and the tips and tricks I learned along the way! Be sure to check out the previous posts if you missed them: Introduction, Creating A Palette, Lifestyle Needs, & Item Selection.

At last, the great reveal! The photos below showcase every outfit I've constructed since the initiation of my summer capsule wardrobe in late July (minus one or two weekends spent at home in my pajamas... shhhh!)

I've arranged them by circumstance, as outlined in the Lifestyle Needs section of this series.

1) Professional Work Days



 
2) Weekend Outings & Vacations




3) Rehearsal & Casual Work Days
 


4) Special Occasions  
 

So, unless I've blinded you with my science of casual posing (I assure you, the limoncello scream was necessary after 5 hours of shooting), you probably want the dirt. What about the capsule wardrobe was a drag? What felt limiting? Would I do it again, and if so, what would I do differently? I'm so glad you asked!

TIPS, STRAY THOUGHTS, AND LESSONS LEARNED:


-Stylist's Block: Just like with writing, no matter how great my resources were, I still struggled with an occasional loss of imagination. Wardrobe minimizing is liberating for the most part, but if you've only just emerged from The Land of 1000 Options, it's hard not to lust for it when your creative impetus fizzles. I overcame this hurdle by creating simple challenges for myself. Not doing laundry for a couple weeks will sure do it; I only have a sweater and it's 90 degrees outside? Guess I better get creative with my bottom half. Other fun challenges include "let's-pull-three-things-at-random-and-run-with-it," "let's-dress-in-monochrome," and "lets-match-the-boyfriend-without-him-realizing-what-we're-doing."

-Wearing the Same Thing Twice: Guess what? -- GASP! -- No one cares. Or rather, no one will notice. They're too busy worrying about the same thing. Still, if you have a personal partiality to uniqueness, you'll get by with a little help from the secret weapon of the fashion world: the accessory. Scarves, purses, tights, sunglasses, belts, earrings... go wild with these! They don't take up much space, and they're an inexpensive way to spice up the same outfit. Also, never underestimate the power of shoes. Just watch how your jeans clean up when they're paired with with a heel instead of a flat. 

-Laundry: Living with a man who goes through clothes like they're bacon, doing laundry once a week is already a necessity. That said, I'm pretty sure doing a load every ten days or so would be just fine for the average individual. Also -- unless you live in nudes and neutrals, you may have to get used to mixing whites and colors. I think you'll survive being this much of a badass.

-Wear & Tear: Just recently, I finished Elizabeth Cline's Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion. It's a fabulous read for anyone who's ever felt immediately and totally overwhelmed while attempting to navigate Forever 21 -- or anyone infuriated by the Polyester Invasion that is 21st century clothing. (Warning: This book will make you want to sew things.) For capsule clothes that last beyond the first month, you're probably going to have to invest a bit more. As usual, I highly recommend thrift shopping for a happy medium. Just stay the dickens away from polyester.

    Winner of Best Wear Through Most Washes: Flare Jeans (Lucky Brand) 
         Still looking bluer than ever after 2+ years of weekly wear.
    Loser of the same category: Dot-print Tee (H&M)
         Bought it brand new this summer. The very first day I wore it, my seat belt caused the fabric to permanently pill. Not awesome.

-Fall Capsule '14: It's happening, yes. This time I've given myself more planning time to fine-tune my personal style. I'm aiming for less (ho-hum) solids and more challenging, mixable prints. I will probably donate more and invest in some nicer pieces, since autumn clothing is THE BEST. For some reason, my main source of inspiration so far has been foxes. I kid you not, foxes. I may continue writing down my outfits every day (though I probably won't go through the process of photographing them all again.)

What amazed me most about the process? How easy it was to remix the same item different ways! Once I had a functional palette and knew exactly what was in my wardrobe, outfits practically formed themselves. Plus, with a few minor exceptions replaced along the way, I genuinely loved everything in my closet.

And that, my pumpkins, is what it's all about!

Did you enjoy this exploration series on building a capsule wardrobe? Did I leave anything out? Let me know in the comments!

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