October 26, 2020
If you’re not familiar with Fiona Ferris and her books, I strongly recommend that you click on the link below and get to know her!
She’s lovely, wise and lady-like, with so much good advice it’s amazing. I’m currently working my way through a workshop that she did on writing books, and I get to hear her talk her way through everything – her voice is charming, modulated to an elegant tone, with a New Zealand accent! What’s not to love…
But what caught my eye right away in her new book was her idea about organizing a new capsule wardrobe each month to help focus, edit, and enjoy our wardrobes. Her target number is TWENTY-ONE!!!!
(I had to write to her immediately and ask permission to use her idea – and she graciously agreed…)
Twenty-one is a great number – maybe just pick seven 3-piece outfits? I’m sure I’m going to try that…
But to get my head around the number and the idea, I decided to start with my own wardrobe.
First, we have to think!
For me, these 5 items are ALWAYS in the laundry, to the point that I actually purchased duplicates of some of them:
WOW that’s boring… or as I like to think of it, timelessly versatile!
Next are 4 garments that may not be helpful for many people who are locked in their homes for weeks at a stretch, but I’m including them because I’m the kind of nut-ball who will sit outside with Slim and drink tea in a skirt, even during a pandemic!
I’m still getting adjusted to the idea of a 21-piece capsule wardrobe, so I’m going to pause fairly often and re-assess what I’ve done. These 9 garments would be pretty good for a travel capsule wardrobe – I would have to have another cardigan, but other than that, this is versatile as heck, and with the right accessories could be good fun!
At this point, I have some things that I REALLY REALLY want to wear… And they bring some color into this neutral wonderland:
These are rare and difficult days for many of us, and I think we have to frankly address the fact that we need to have some relaxed, warm and comfortable clothes for ALL THIS TIME that we’re spending at home. Assembling a wardrobe for a “normal” autumn doesn’t make any sense this year – ignoring reality won’t make us happy with our wardrobes! So I’m definitely looking for warm, soft, and cuddly…
Holy handbags – this is already 17 pieces of clothing! Before I do something really ill-considered with the last 4 things, I’m going to stop (yes, again) and evaluate my situation…
This would be a great travel capsule wardrobe for something like a family visit that combines hanging around the house playing soccer in the back yard, going to a religious service, maybe a meal out…
Let’s sort things, and see where I have lead myself:
After much thought, this is what I chose:
I’ve found that a sweatshirt dress is possibly the most lovable of garments. You can, literally, sleep in it if necessary. You can layer it over all kinds of things, too…
For some reason, this seems a LOT bigger than the 17-piece wardrobe. I can’t explain it…
Just in the interest of exhausting the possibilities, a perfectly-chosen 21-piece wardrobe could give you 343 combinations. (that’s 7 2nd layers, times 7 tops, times 7 bottoms) The woman who always wears black bottoms, white tops, and colored jackets and cardigans can achieve this, but those of us who mix things up a bit more won’t have that many options. But a month is only 31 days at the longest, so I think we’re okay…
Here’s a few possibilities that jump off of the page at me:
Her other advice around this 21-piece wardrobe is equally good – move everything else OUT OF THE WAY (a couple of good canvas garment bags would be ideal for this) and hang EVERYTHING. Knit things won’t stretch out of shape in a week or two…
So I’m going to try this, probably starting mid-November when I’m back from Florida. (oh yes, we’re driving down…)
BUT!!!!! Think of this: a 12-piece Common Wardrobe + 5 garments in your 1st accent color + 4 garments in your 2nd accent color!
You’re going to see this, starting Wednesday.
Yes, this brings up the question: “Which wardrobe plan do I use? Project 333? A Common Wardrobe? A French 5-Piece Wardrobe? 4 by 4? Whatever’s Clean 13?”
Try different ones. Stick with one that you really love and find successful for you. Make up your own system that is used by nobody but you!
There are no rules…
p.s. Nine years ago (!!!) I was trying to visualize all of the suggestions from the book L’Armoire Ideale by Jeanne-Aurore Colleuille and Laure Gontier; we look at some different ways to wear a simple white shirt!
Elizabeth Ellen Carter says
Oh, I love this idea so much! Even though I’m at the opposite season to you, I can see how that will work for a warm Queensland spring. I’ve got to the point where I love my wardrobe and the items in it so I’ve held back on doing a seasonal capsule because 1) we don’t get dramatic shifts in temperatures. 2) 3 months seemed too long to go without reaching for some other nice pieces. But a one month capsule seems very doable. I’ll give some thought to that for November. Thank you for such a wonderful site Janice!
A new Plan! Cozy, tidy, with the fun of change every month. Can’t wait to see what you do with it!
Sara K says
To me, this looks almost unreal because this is EXACTLY what I have been doing this year. My life is in transitional stage and every month seems to bring new challenges -such as, change from covid uniform to businesslike workplace to a casual workplace to… well, you get the point! Not to mention that our weather is very unpredictable and no two years are ever alike, so one-month period is way easier to plan and put together than 3-month season.
I have excluded my loungewear (aka. covid uniform) from my capsule, but otherwise, I aim at getting around an “active wardrobe” of around 20 items. I also collect a few pairs of most relevant shoes nearby, as well as a handful of scarves and jewelry that I see myself wearing with selected garments.
My basic formula that works very well is a season-appropriate version of The Common Wardrobe + 7-8 extra garments that customize the wardrobe for the coming weeks. The Common Wardrobe ensures that I have a a sufficient and balanced selection of basics while extras add personality and address any specific needs I might have. Having this formula in my head means that building a month’s capsule takes me less (usually a lot less) than 30 minutes.
A lovely idea, I will give it a go for November. I especially like the suggestion of including a ‘problem’ piece in the mix. This autumn I unearthed a lime cable knit sweater I had ignored for years – it works really well on Zoom whereas had felt a bit too bright. I’ll assemble a few more ‘should love’ pieces, and pick one for November’s 21.
Beth T says
Just looking at your 21 pieces, I’m already splitting thim into ‘at home’ pieces and ‘going out’ (even if it’s just to get groceries).
My ‘at home’ clothes are:
Long sleeved t-shirts and polo necks
Comfy thicker cardigans and jumpers (save on heating).
Velour two-piece (posh track-suit) – cowl neck tunic and elasticated trousers.
Jersey trousers with elasticated waist
‘Going out’ or ‘with friends at home’:
T-shirts and polo-necks – these are universal
Cotton and plaid shirts
Thicker weight jersey trousers
Thin and embellished jumpers and cardigans
Thick jumpers when it’s very cold and for country walks
Smart shoes and boots
Gym wear – only to be worn at the gym!
I was conditioned to get changed to go out as a child by my mother. She changed several times a day. It’s nice to feel ‘put together’. I had play clothes and best clothes.
However, some days I might just change my bottom half if it’s a quick trip to the local shop. My daughter is aghast if I pick her up wearing my velour two piece or even worse gym clothes!
These are intriguing new ideas. I look forward to Wednesday.
Book Goddess says
Love it! And since you’re going to be in Florida – maybe you could do a version for us in warmer climes?
I was just thinking the same thing! I love this idea but was trying to convert everything pictured above into an idea of lighter clothing.
Lovely idea! Questions: Does this exclude all my wonderful scarves, coats, and shoes?
I like the month at a time concept to account for some seasons being one month and others five depending upon where you live. But even with just a month, how oh how do you accommodate 85 degrees on Thursday and snow and 23 on Monday? (Yes, that is really what’s happening in my neck of the woods this week.)
Sara K says
I live in a climate where sometimes this is exactly what happens. If it’s just a short weather anomaly, I’m ok because usign a Common Wardrobe base means that I have layering options -if the weather gets unexpectedly cold, I’ll wear my warmest options together (eg. turtleneck + my warmer cardigan), or warmer underwear. If weather is getting much warmer than usual, again thanks to Common Wardrobe, I have neutral t-shirts and lightweight shirts available -and jeans work pretty much always. In case the weather suddenly changes dramatically in a way I didn’t expect, and it looks like it’s going to last for weeks instead of a couple of days, I’ll create a new capsule. As I wrote earlier, it’s less than half an hour’s task, so no huge deal. The goal of my capsules is not an exercise in suffering but making my life easier, therefore, if a capsule stops working for whatever reason, I adjust or change it. It’s also good to remember that underwear or outerwear is not included -so adjusting these layers is always an option.
This happens where I live, too, and recently I’ve started keeping a shelf available in my closet for expansion pieces into cooler or warmer weather. There now are warmer leggings and sweaters—wearing today because iced in—and a stack of shorts and t-shirts kept out from when I put summer things away. I find that as I clean out and organize my clothes for each season, I have a bit more room for off-season items to be out and available.
I’d be interested to give this a go, if nothing else to see if I get bored over the course of a month. I have most of these in my closet – or variations of what I wear most – so wouldn’t be difficult to do. When the boys were little I would routinely drop them off at school in my pj’s and a jacket. And I’ll never forget the time I ran to the store “real quick” and of course saw my neighbor! Have never seen him before or since at that store, but the day I went in my pj’s and a coat, there he was! Lesson learned.. Hubby was appalled.
I’ve been wearing dresses and skirts *even more* since the ‘rona season started.
A knit dress or skirt is essentially lounging around in a t-shirt and no pants, but that won’t scandalize the neighbors when you go get the mail. 10/10, would highly recommend.
Paula Bousquet says
I LOVE this idea! So easy to pick out one month’s worth of clothes. And I don’t feel like I am bidding adieu to some of my favorites for months at a time. I can do 30 days easily. Less time to figure the switch and less time to get dressed each day. Thank you!
With a limited total numbers of garments concept, I have recently decided to figure out where I spend most of my time these days ( home) and focus on putting the greater volume of my garments into that category., so it’s volume of garments by function . I have adopted Shari Braendel’s 27 garment theory ( YouTube) . She suggests 7 bottoms, 14 tops, 3 toppers, and 3 dresses . Her idea is for a full season, but that is not how I am working it . However, I am making her theory fit into my own needs, so I need fewer tops and more toppers, and I don’t wear dresses, so that means for me it’s 6- 7 bottoms, 10 tops, 7-10 toppers ( I am always cold, no matter the season) — cardigans, and 1/4 zip pullovers . With the temps fluctuating as they have been, I have included a pair or two of culottes and some short sleeve tops in the total mix, and then rotating them out as the temps cool, and then rotating in some more long sleeved tops and longer pants, keeping the total number of garments in the 25-30 range. I don’t believe in rigid numbers set up by someone who doesn’t live my life and it’s needs, but I do like the idea of getting my total closet volume down to a lower amount, and keeping an oversight of just how many pieces this entails . For “ informal leaving the house clothes” I include within that total number some nicer pants and tops , but limit that to just a few pieces. Dressier church , more formal occasions and travel clothes remain unworn , hanging in another closet until Covid restrictions finally go away . They are collectively another numbers category by themselves .
I am also rotating seasonal accent colors. September was a mix of Summery lighter colors, with a blend of more Autumnal ones. Right now is all Autumn — mustard, olive green, rusts, and a smidgen of teal. November brings deeper rusts, darker teal, and some soft dark red. December focuses on more reds , burgundy and forest green and teals. January and February contain teal, forest green , burgundy , and a little red. March continues January and February colors as long as the outside temps are still cold , but when they warm , as sometimes they do in late March, Springtime yellows , coral, and lighter greens emerge. Summer is yellows, sherbet orange , peach, sage green , and primarily aquas. The trick is , with all of these colors, is to not have too many of each one at a time. As you may surmise, I love and crave a variety of color !
Yes, I am frequently working on the rotation, storing the out of season clothes in the big blue Rubbermaid bins in my garage, but every time I open one, it’s like shopping in my own boutique, which I thoroughly enjoy !
I am really looking forward to your monthly capsule ideas, Janice, this should be fun !
I forgot to add that I actually found this concept while randomly scrolling on my news feed on Facebook, and came across Tabitha Dumas ( also on YouTube), who is a devotee of Shari Braendel, but who adapted Shari’s plan to her own needs , as I also do for your inspirations .
Beth T says
I like your idea of marking the seasons with different colours and tonal values. Your wardrones sound lovely. My daughter does the same, using similar colours to you plus black. Whilst, I mark the passing of the seasons wearing very similar colours but just varying sleeve lengths and necklines. ?
My wardrobe and drawers are packed tight. I haven’t even put my autumn/winter dresses and coats in my wardrobe yet. They are still in the loft. The way things are going in the UK. I doubt that I’ll wear them this winter. There are gloomy predictions of social and travel restrictions at Christmas, which might mean my student son not coming home!
Using different accent colours, tonal values and seasonal patterns, as well as these new ideas of Janice’s, could be the answer to helping me to split my six month wardrobes into more manageable collections.
However weird, it might sound, in the depths of winter, I love to wear ‘frosty’ colours of light blue, pale pink, lilac with ivory and silver grey. So those colours would have to feature along with deeper jewel tones. I shall have to give this deep thought. ???
Thank you, Beth T ! I should have added that my “ stay at home neutrals include tans, browns denim blue , and olive green right now, as I am a “ warmie” , but about December I drop the olive green . Over the Winter, I rely heavily upon my tans, browns and denims as my neutrals , along with a few accent colors to brighten things up a bit . In the Summer, I drop the browns, and have tans and much lighter denim blues . I occasionally add navy blue to the mix for more dressy occasions over the cooler months . This pretty much applies to my bottoms, my starting point, as I am hard to fit, but then I always make both an inner and outer column with all of my neutrals .
It has also recently come to my attention that my Autumnal tops are mostly 3/4 sleeve lengths, a fact that I have been overlooking in the past. So as the weather continues to chill, they shall be packed away for another season, and long sleeved tops and turtlenecks shall prevail — with scarves ! Must have scarves in chilly weather for going out casually ! I love inexpensive soft Cashmink scarves to be worn with a warm lined jacket !
Sally in St Paul says
Shrebee, your seasonal colors made me smile! That sounds so, so lovely. “Not have too many of each one at a time” is brilliant advice for those of us who love to have a lot of colors.
At the top of the Excel file where I keep my shopping wish list, I have a collection of helpful statements like that which I read in its entirety before I get down the my wish list (and anti-wish list; things I’m NOT purchasing). (This blog is well represented in my collection! Both Janice and commenters.) Often, before I get to the end of the advice/reminders section, I realize I don’t want to add something I was thinking about to my wish list or I figure out something to add to the anti-wish list or I decide I don’t need to shop for anything at all.
I definitely see your statement helping me in those moments that I decide I really love a particular accent color that I have…so I should buy more in that color, right? Sigh. In most cases I should wear the one(s) I ALREADY OWN. The “at one time” is a reminder…this doesn’t have to be the only orchid sweater I own for the rest of my life, but for now, it can be the one.
Sally in St.Paul,
It has come into my awareness during Covid that what I currently have is clearly enough, though a few more printed tops in my colors and scales would be nice to add, but with clear decisions as to how they fit in with my other existing garments. I have formerly been on the hunt for the next item to add to my wardrobe, without pausing to think about what I already have that fills the need ! The mentality of more, more, more ! The joy of the purchase ! The next new thing ! The next novelty ! Covid has taught me that I already have what I need ! There is no question, a new purchase is fun and exciting , but where does it end ? That is why I am now working with a total number of garments , a concept that I formerly found as too rigid and frankly, rejected ! But the realty is that a smaller number of garments for a month , say about 30
, turns out to be plenty ! Again, I am referring to a collection of garments for a special role and function in my life . Additional roles require additional
garments , but still limited to a generous , but workable amount ! It is enough ! Not as exciting as always being on the hunt, but then I can use my life’s time in more constructive areas !
Beth T says
My big challenge being a Soft Summer is that I like to wear all my colours all year round! Hence why my decisions are based on the type of material, sleeve length and appropriateness of floral designs and embelishments.
Sally, I applaud you for having an Excel spreadsheet for your prospective purchases. That does sound organised. I tend to have a rough idea of what I’m looking for and keep trying stuff until I find somethimg that fits my proportions and the image in my mind’s eye. It can take a long time and frustration of finding the ideal garment but it’s too long. I’m on the hunt for a replacement pair of slipper boots. I’m a size 4 (37) but my feet are very wide. Most shops make slippers in sizes are Small 3-4 (36-37) or Medium 5-6 (38-39). Why can’t they do a 4-5? I dont really want to pay a lot when I know that they will only last one season.
I was in a shop yesterday and saw several light knit jumpers that were designed like blouses.
I’m tempted as I sometimes dont want to wear a blouse and jumper. I have one in purple with a thick pearl collar. It looks stunning and I can wear thermals underneath.
Sometimes, I just find the ideal thing when I’mnot looking. Last year I bought a floral cardigan – navy flowers on a mauve background. I could only wear it with a navy tee until yesterday. In the same shop as the blouse/jumpers, I saw a very fine sheer blouse (unseasonal!) with a ditsy floral pattern of mauve flowers on a navy background. Wow. Got it home and not only do the colours tone with the cardigan but the ditsy flowers have a similar ‘ragged edge’ to them. Tried them on and hubby said it was a great match. Blouse and cardigan are now put away for spring.
I want to live in your closet; those are my colors!
Linda P says
Hello fellow SLP!
First I want to say that I still love your blog and have been a loyal for for several years now. Keep up the good work.
Here is a travel tip. Until I retired, my job moved from California to Connecticut. My parents lived in Louisiana. So I routinely traveled between these 3 places. After trying to figure out how to pack my liquids and gels while traveling, I decided it was easier to just leave small quantities of all my toiletries in each place. I found a small space at my parent’s home, out of the way and hidden. I put everything into a bag and left it there. At my home in California, I just made sure that I had my toiletries in their usual place. No more worries going through security checkpoints at airports.
I hope this tips can help you and or you readers who may travel to the same places frequently.
This is SO wise; I’ve kept toiletries and a small assortment of clothes at my mother’s home for years! I could literally travel to visit her with my handbag, in a pinch…
Beth T says
I always kept a winter dressing gown, slippers, and a few toiletries at my parents house. Dressing gowns are bulky to pack. When I got married my husband also left a dressing gown slippers there.
Linda P says
Hi Janice and everyone! It’s always good to read about different ways to refresh fashion choices. The 5 guidelines for me thinking about what goes on the wash every week: long sleeved t-shirts or tops for layering) , turtlenecks, cotton socks (plain or funky), knit pants/leggings, and any second layers that have been worn over a two week span and need freshening up (blazers, sweaters). I appreciate your inclusion of Quarantine Wear: usually a sweatshirt and jeans for the 2d layer and bottoms. I have to make myself wear a skirt or dress during the week; I work with preschoolers in the morning and teach via Zoom in the afternoon. Perhaps finding some good tights in neutrals will get me to wear them.
I did something similar to this years ago when I followed Kendi’s 30 for 30 Remix plan (hers included shoes).
It was amazing to me how many different combinations I could come up with with the small collection of clothes and shoes, and the fact that I was only doing it for a month gave me the mental space to enjoy the smaller selection of clothing without feeling like I was locking myself into the same pieces and colors FOR-EV-ER… I think limiting things to a month is also extremely useful for locations with changeable weather. For example, last week I wore shorts for several days but this week will see cool and rainy days in the 50s all week. I like your idea of starting with what is always in the wash, too. I should spend some time thinking about what a good Common Wardrobe for me and my life would look like.
I love everything capsule wardrobe related, that also includes some “ wild cards”. Not everything has to go with everything else in order for me to fulfill my creative “ mood of the day” way of dressing.
I appreciate your reference to Kendi’s 30×30 plan , a plan that is similar to the 27 Hangers concept that I stated above . I recognize that I have had a numbers mindless collection of clothes that I enjoy, but even I have come to know that there are just plain too many pieces !
So a more structured plan, like one of Janice’s suggestions ( I’m still deciding which format I prefer) helps to narrow down the total closet size . With a large number of clothes, 30 seemed like too limited of a number, however, that was just my limited belief ! In practice , 27, 30, 32 or 36 items on a rotating basis is plenty for 30 days or more , depending upon personal preference and changing weather needs .
I have gone on to Kendi’s site and have enjoyed reading her posts ! Thanks to Janice for allowing reference to other bloggers concepts !
Sally in St Paul says
OK, this is a little eerie! This morning, I put on navy pants, navy/white striped long-sleeved T, and navy flats. Then I added a dark aqua classic cut cardigan and a navy/aqua/apple green scarf…and I loved it. It made me think about how little variety in base layer I would really need in my closet for this cool/cold WFH pandemic season. I have no need to accommodate the outdoor weather very closely (hurray!), and I could lean heavily on the top layers…sweaters/cardigans/jackets and scarves…to add interest/variety and accommodate my mood. I actually wondered how long I could go wearing this same T and pants combo (assuming elves did my laundry every night) with different toppers and scarves before I got bored, or before I replicated an outfit. And if I started my wardrobe with enough white, navy, and grey long-sleeved Ts/button up shirts (in solids and plain patterns like check/stripe/dot) to not have a laundry bottleneck and 3-4 pairs of pants (1 navy, 1 skinny jeans, 1 straight leg jeans, and maybe 1 grey pants), that would cover it. But the cold season is long, and I would miss never wearing any of my black winter clothes, so I thought about adding black in. Of course, start down that road, and you’re back to your entire wardrobe again after a while.
So imagine my delight to see this 30 DAY capsule wardrobe idea! Brilliant for all the reasons that other commenters have mentioned. I am not really a likely candidate for a capsule wardrobe, but this 30 day one is one that I can at least imagine…as long as my access to accessories is unlimited (and my closet, my rules, no?).
I pretty much loved your capsule, Janice. I don’t wear turtlenecks myself (they are not comfortable for me), but otherwise, I would wear all this happily. It feels very right for this season. I went through and mentally compiled a version from my own closet using navy, white, and dark aqua/teal with a hint of grey. I came close to matching yours item for item and appreciated seeing some items I would not have thought of (e.g., I would not have thought to include my “grey snuggle hoodie” but of course it would be perfect). I did strategically diverge in a few places, however. The biggest change was removing the dress and substituting a navy quilted vest. I couldn’t make it a cold-season month without having the option of another layer to add to a button up shirt and pullover sweater! I also went with the 3 pants instead of 5 so I could have room for another sweater and another cardigan. I was pretty happy with this, though realistically, 21 feels a tad too restrictive for me, even for 30 days and even assuming unlimited accessories. I would want room for my white quilted vest, and a denim jacket, and more colorful cardigans, at a minimum. But going through the motions of creating this 21 piece wardrobe was extremely helpful, and I 100% see this influencing my shopping in the future.
Your outfit today sounds lovely, and very similar to something I might wear! I loved reading through your thought process and was reminded of a time a few years back when I bought basic short and long sleeve tees in navy, gray, and white. Those pieces allowed me to expand my wardrobe options dramatically and pretty much went with everything. But, using some stripe, check, and polka dot pieces would really amp up the interest without overly competing with the accent colors of the layers.
Sally in St Paul says
P.S. Janice, thank you SO MUCH for taking the time to walk us through your thought process as you assembled the wardrobe in stages. Often people skip over this and present the reader with a lovely capsule that we can only appreciate or attempt to replicate. I know it’s a lot of work (well, this entire blog is a lot of work!) to break things down this way, but the insight into your thought process that you share with your readers really sets this blog apart and is GREATLY appreciated!
I found a good way to hang sweaters without stretching them out. fold in half length wise with the arms on top of each other. lay the hook of a hanger so it hangs down the armpit and the triangle portion of the hanger toward the neckline. fold over the arms on one side of the hanger and the body on the other. tuck both ends under the bottom of the hanger.
I use your “36 hanger” idea from a few years ago and it works great! I only change 2-3 “clusters” every month and it still works like magic.
Thanks for the brilliant ideas!
How to say this? The wardrobe works superbly as an exercise but it’s kind of generic. I remember your Paris purchases, your love of the more contemporary brands like Cos, and your favourite things from the past like leggings with an attached short skirt. I’d add a little sass here. This is the downside of 21 or 33: the charm, allure or idiosyncrasy gets lost.
Frankly, I’m not sure that these 21 garments will be what I actually choose – these are more for illustrative purposes. In “real life” I might be a bit more eccentric. Right now, I’m pretty much locked in our apartment for 11 more days, as I have been “exposed” to the virus and have to hide from the civilized world.
Today, it’s Paris print pajama bottoms and a grey thermal tunic!
Beth T says
Hope you stay well.
I’m not worried about myself, but my family members who are ill have got me worried sick…
I hope you & your family are able to regain health & strength!
As always thank you for enlarging my thinking & giving me opportunities for improving my wardrobe. It’s always a delight to read your blog posts.
I love it. I’m trying the 13 version (my problem usually lays with not enough clothes – I have been changing sizes from 38 to 52 in past 6 years, there and back again unfortunately). But seems so good – I think I could pause with 17 and maybe add shoes into equation? Anyway, your doing wonderful things again – thank you :)
OOOH, Fiona talks at length about dealing with fluctuating weight in her book – it was fascinating to read about how she handles it…
Top Ten Post! (I mean, there are several sets of top ten posts on your site, Janice, but this one definitely fits in one of the sets.) I’ve had fun playing in my closet with this idea. Going to try it until November’s end.
Thank you for the book recommendation – I got it and am really enjoying it. The idea of a 21-piece, one-month wardrobe is perfect for me (excluding gym wear and accessories) — I got up and put it together right away, whereas I’d been dragging on the 333 concept.
That’s why I offer so many different approaches to organizing a wardrobe – different things work for different women, and at different times of our lives. It’s fun to have options…
Fiona Ferris says
Your creativity in how to curate a 21-piece capsule is boundless, Janice :) I loved your post and it has given me a fresh perspective. And thank you so much for taking a chapter from my book and showing how it works with your magic touch! I am truly grateful!
Great work! Love this. So versatile. For me this is more than enough and I wouldn’t even be bothered to change it in a month. Travelling carryon for months at time has taught me that you don’t really need many clothes. When you only have a small number, you can actually wear them out and feel guilt-free buying new pieces to replace them. I went for years never wearing out any clothes. You get sick of them after years, but feel guilty to get rid of them cause they are still “good”.
Joanne Long says
I’ve been following Fiona for years and she really has some solid ideas about living chicly. I’m going away for 28 nights this winter (with laundry facilities) and I will try the 21 item plan. I’ve got into a cozy at-home routine so it is easy to add a few other pieces for away time. We have no concerts, plays or religious services so my t-shirt dress and my pleated Eileen Fisher skirt will suffice for any
“special occasions.” Grey, black and pink/rose will cover the whole time. Take care.
Nora Jaye says
I came here wondering if there were any of your wardrobe plans that would work for my husband, and I may give this a try (he needs a bunch new clothes and i am hoping to use this as a chance to up his look from eccentric professor to tidy professional (He runs a business. He is not an academic.)
But….I love the idea of a monthly capsule for me. I bought a top and three sweaters and some flats after buying nothing for months and I love the new colors and definitely have defined my October capsule!
If you search for “The Vivienne Files Men” you will find four posts that I did that are for men. Men’s clothing is SO EASY… sigh…
OH MY GOSH ….I LOVE THIS ! ( yes, I’m shouting.) I’m going to do this for my staying at home capsule. My poor family is used to seeing me in sweats and my robe with an apron on most days.
And the idea of loungewear pants in VELVET !!!!! Oh my. Thank you and thank Fiona. I’ll be checking out her work. ❤️
Renee D says
Done! Centered around my favorite missoni-ish scarf and what I have mostly been wearing anyway. I am naturally cold blooded and we have a drafty house, so I am not counting the half dozen long sleeved t-shirts that will go under my other tops. No dresses or skirts here, and all my shoes (I know they don’t count, but I am trying to limit the number of pair I have downstairs by the back door) are super practical because my kids have outdoor school in the park where I regularly help and it’s wet and muddy.
4 second layers: wine hoodie, grey leopard fleece, rust cozy cardigan, eggplant long cardigan (representing my 4 colors)
11 tops: 4 interesting sweatshirts (printed or otherwise detailed), 2 chenille sweaters, 2 thinner tunic sweaters, 2 chunkier sweaters, a turtleneck
6 bottoms: skinny, straight and boyfriend bluejeans, grey jeans, leopard print jeans, and nutmeg cords
I also have a leather utility jacket, a short wool overcoat, and a down jacket/rain shell combo, all of which work over my 2nd layers (except the long cardigan which just has to live in the house.)