Creating a Capsule Wardrobe To Simplify and Change Your Life




These photos are from three years ago when I attempted to create a capsule work wardrobe that was efficient, classic, and, once assembled, required little thought. After several things that have happened to me over the past year, I am more convinced than ever that simplifying things helps your mindset. Now it’s time to make that happen with my work wardrobe.

Okay, ladies…I think I’ve finally had the epiphany I’ve been waiting for. I am ready to streamline and downsize my work wardrobe. Who wants to do the same?

Those pictures of me above are from three years ago when I attempted this endeavor the first time, but then fell off the wagon. I’m ready to try again.

In an effort to include more classic pieces that are versatile and can mix and match, I am ready to invest in this project—both time and some money. As a professor at a university who teaches business communication, and as someone who is in her fifties but still yearns to be stylish, I enjoy fashion and dressing for work. Style does matter to me. I strive to look professional and put together. However, as I cursed my bulging closet yesterday, I realized something has to be done. There’s just too much “stuff,” and honestly, too much stuff I don’t need.

Ever since I read the article and then blogged about a woman who created her own “work wardrobe,” I’ve been keen on giving this a try.

It’s time to purge. My closet is not large, and I know I’m not using it effectively or efficiently. It’s time to get in there and rebuild.

As simplification is my goal—and as an upcoming birthday treat to myself—I’m going to reconstruct my professional wardrobe. I am sure there are some of you out there who might like to do the same, so I figured we can do this together! Additionally, I’ll blog about the process along the way to help encourage us and keep me on track.

I spent the weekend assembling a French-inspired “wish list” of clothes that can work to create an effective spring and fall wardrobe. French-inspired pieces tend to be classic and have a longer life-span. Think Grace Kelly or Audrey Hepburn. The two “cheat sheets” below that I’ve constructed can serve as a guideline for the starting pieces we will need to begin this project. I’m using these references as my “starting points,” and, of course, variation regarding cut and colors of the clothing may vary from person to person.



French-Inspired Miminalist Wardrobe-1.jpg

With both my spring and fall capsule wardrobes, what I’ve designed here is truly a starting point. Once you’ve established your basics, you can add to them. For example, in the fall wardrobe capsule, there are no prints, and a color like red is completely missing from the equation. At any point, you can add colors in to diversify, which will stretch your wardrobe. I chose to go with the neutrals for ease of constructing my basic wardrobe.

However, before we shop for new things, we must first “shop” in our current closets to see what can stay and what should go. The parameters I will use for myself during the dissection process are as follows:

  • Does it suit my age/body/mind/spirit and the “feel” I am going for?
  • Does it fit well?
  • Does it serve a purpose in my capsule wardrobes for fall and/or spring?

We can’t be afraid to clear out and create a donation pile. If things aren’t working, let’s get rid of them and either donate the clothing or consign them.

If I haven’t inspired you to consider purging your closet by now, for more inspiration, below are some “street style” shots of what I’m attempting to do with my work wardrobe.

Another person who can inspire you is someone such as Jennifer Aniston, who I would describe as boho meets classic. I love her style. She wears a lot of black, grey, cream, tan and blue jeans, but she knows exactly how to put them together to her advantage. She is not afraid to stick with these colors and does not let people tell her not to wear black (I actually read an article a few years back that said she didn’t take enough chances with her wardrobe, to which she said she didn’t care). Gotta love that about her.

So, over the next couple of weeks, I’m going to begin this arduous process. I’ll keep you posted on how I’m doing, and feel free to keep me posted or offer any tips in the comments.

Remember, if you’re inspired by this, let’s tackle it together.

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