Originally, where I thought I was going with the idea of a common capsule wardrobe was to show that a wardrobe of 75% neutral, basic, “work horse” garments could be made unique and extremely versatile using 25% “signature” garments. We all got swept up in a tide of great accessories, and I lost track of where I was headed! But now I’ve returned to my original idea: the Common Capsule Wardrobe, with 4 “accent” garments, and some accent accessories…Does it go without saying that you could wear one of these outfits, pack the rest of the garments, and be in good shape for quite a long trip?
And muddle this over for a moment – project 333 could be 2 “common wardrobes”, 2 “accent colors”, and one wild-card garment just for the heck of it…
As the new year approaches, it’s a good time to prepare for a three month… wardrobe focus? A shopping fast, and some intense concentration of what we already own might be a nice way to begin 2013…
Janice- I think you were reading my mind. I was about to go back through your posts to find suggestions on how to style my everyday basics and here you are. You even reminded me that I have two wrap watches that I haven't worn in ages. Because of you, I am having so much fun rediscovering my own wardrobe. Mixing and matching has never been more pleasurable. Although my wardrobe is still quite large, I am breaking it into capsules. And my sister, who has suffered a financial setback, is benefiting from my downsizing.
I think your idea for starting 2013 with a 3 month shopping fast and a wardrobe focus is spot on.
I'm prepared for a shopping fast starting December 1st, but have been struggling with how to think about all the purple/plum in my wardrobe. I have as much, if not more of that colour than any neutral–including black!
I have the capsule above (including velvet jacket, and skinny cords, bag, scarves–in 'aubergine'. Wish I had the shoes!)
The idea of a common wardrobe with 2 accent colours will work. The common wardrobe of black, grey, and jean as neutrals and purple/plum and cobalt capsules as the accents. A wildcard BCBG pucci-esque multi-print top as the wildcard garment.
I'm going to set aside $200. for every successful month of the shopping fast.
I need to do a shopping fast, I have way too many things but you are getting me excited about using what I have and remixing. I am going to put in some thought and effort and come up with a capsule/color scheme of my own! Thanks and keep up the excellent work. You definitely inspire me.
What I admire most about this wardrobe is the rich, brick-red of the garments–a color that is flattering to almost everyone (unlike candy-apple red or burgundy)and that goes with almost any neutral. A blog-post that is inspiring and helpful in every way. Thanks, as always, Janice!
I am ready to join the shopping fast, but I am still on the fence about 333. Do you remove clothes that are not part of the project? While I do not have a large wardrobe compared to many of my friends (everything fits into the closet that I share with the husband with room to spare), I don't much relish the thought of packing and unpacking every three months. By the way, the brick red is beautiful.
I am on a shopping fast – waiting for January sales. I am seriously considering your suggestion but with less pieces. 1 common wardrobe plus 2 accent colours would be more than enough for me. The main problem is – which colours? :-)
I like the idea of building a wardrobe by combining 2 capsules. I could see myself doing this in Spring/Summer. One would be tan and coral, the other navy and green, and of course many combinations would be possible between the 2 capsules. I'm curious how you would integrate dresses. I wear a lot of dresses in warm weather. I'm thinking ahead of course, but my hobby is sewing, and sewing wardrobe capsules requires a lot of planning.
This is gorgeous and so inspiring. I have trouble selecting just a few colors to go with my black & gray neutrals, but seeing this proves that "limiting" the colors in my wardrobe would still give me tons and tons of options.
Beautiful combinations! I wonder if 2 "accent colors" could be 2 "core of four"? Maybe it's too eccentric?
Oh, that would ABSOLUTELY work! You'd have to be sure you didn't wind up with an out-of-balance ration of tops and bottoms, but otherwise, I say DO IT!
Renee @ AddMoreChocolate says
Janice, can you remind us what a good ratio of tops to bottoms is?
Something around 2 or 3 tops for each bottom – there's no really hard and fast rule. But bottoms tend to hold up better, and last longer, and they don't trend to be as memorable as things worn closer to your face.
Here I was having so much fun after discovering the common wardrobe hiding in my closet and all those lovely accessories stuffed into dresser drawers. I can't believe it's going to get even more exciting! Now my red, green, and purple tops and cardis are going to join in the revelry! I'm all for a shopping fast, since I'm discovering so many "new" outfits in Moi Closet. Except that when I see all these lovely shoes, I must confess a footwear lust.
Here I am with another request. I have moved to an "only homemade" plan for my wardrobe. This means I have to plan well ahead and make sure I have time and the right fabrics for creating capsules. It also means I have more money available for accessories.
So, here is the request: We are going to Vietnam and Cambodia in February 2014 for two weeks. We will be on our own in Hanoi and Saigon,and on a river/land cruise in between. The weather will be upper 20's ( Celsius, I am Canadian)and there may be some rain most afternoons. As I will be 66 then, I will only do knee length shorts. I think the cruise dinners will be casual, it is a small boat, only 120 people but I am thinking I would like a couple of fun, dressier outfits. The days will be casual, visiting local villages and temples.I am an Autumn with auburn hair and blue eyes and would like a wardrobe that celebrates colours like the people there do with a background of neutrals. I have picked a couple of photos that inspire me.
Deb from Vancouver
My brother lives in Thailand and so we have visited as much as we can.
You may find the heat much higher than 20s Celsius — one day we were there, in February, it was in the 40s Celsius almost every day. I suggest "long and loose" for clothing. Most Thais dress modestly covering arms and legs and wish that tourists would too. Have a great trip!
Coco Colmani says
We start summer, here in Australia, on Saturday, so I've determined to start my summer fast and wardrobe refocus then too. Thank you for the suggestion, Janice – an excellent idea! I hope by committing to it publicly I can better keep to it. And what a good idea, CW, to put away a nice spendable sum for each month of not shopping – a real incentive.
I look forward to suggestions from the Queen of Trip Planning for Deb.
And here, another excellent set of combinations for the common wardrobe. Janice, you make shopping the closet such fun.
At the beginning of this year, I tried to do a shopping fast for 6 months, but, unfortunately, I failed after 64 days. I am very motivated to start again and will join the shopping fast, I am really looking forward to it.
BTW, my first attempt was the reason why I started my blog… I have made a 'blog pause' during the last weeks because I am so engaged in decluttering my wardrobe and deciding what may stay, deciding about the colors etc. I am also looking forward to continuing writing – so much has moved and still does, of course. Thank you Janice for your help, again. -Birgit
Thanks Janice. Love 2 “common wardrobes”, 2 “accent colors” idea since I often wonder about making these capsule wardrobes work with duplicate items. Personally my capsule always needs 2-3 pairs of my favourite jeans and long sleeve white t-shirts since these are my go tos whenever they’re clean.