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r (attempts to) build a capsule wardrobe

 
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I've always had trouble choosing what to wear.  I want a simple collection of clothing that all match in style and colour theme.  Recently, I've discovered this has a name: Capsule Wardrobe

So I'm thinking of building a capsule wardrobe that would stay stable at between 18 and 24 items for a year-round wardrobe that can be layered or not for the different seasons.  This is a few more clothes than I normally have, but at least every single item will be valued.

Things I need to consider:
- what items do I need?
- what items are comfortable?
- what do I enjoy wearing?
- how many do I need to allow for wash days?
- what colour theme am I choosing?
- what sort of aesthetic do I want to aim for?
- what is easy to repair?
- what do I already own?
- probably more I haven't thought about yet.

Given my shape, I can see learning to sew to make the clothing that is comfortable.  It's been a steep learning curve.  But this means I can choose the fabrics that are durable and construction techniques that are easy to mend/alter if my shape changes.

I'm going to start with looking through my wardrobe and finding out what brings me the most joy.  Here are my two favourite items.




(not actually photos of me, alas)

I'm going to use them to guide the theme of the rest of the clothing.  They have a strong hint of the Japanese Edo period style but modernized.  I tend to gravitate towards the simplicity of Japanese traditional peasant clothing but I also love the late Victorian through to the end of WW2 British styles.  The mid 14th Century is also a big favourite for clothing but I don't know that this would work with my modern wardrobe.  

That's a start.  
I find clothing to be one of the biggest stressors in my life.  Probably because I've never had clothing that doesn't hurt me or make me feel like I'm wearing a bag.  But I think this capsule wardrobe would make things less stressful in the long run.  If I can get through this.  I might not.  I'm starting to feel anxious just doing this much thinking about it.  

I'm going to have to do this in small portions.  

But first, I need a cuppa tea to calm down.  
 
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Ah, yes. H.D.T. "Simplify, simplify." This is something I've thought much about. But, my lifestyle makes it difficult. I'm a farmer, biker, cruiser/vacationer, prepper, baker, herbalist, and several more. Each different thing requires different gear, including clothing. I can't exactly wear my heavy, leather motorcycle boots, on a cruise, any more than I can wear an evening gown, to milk the goats, or my range gear in the kitchen, to prep the herbs for making soap,  or my snorkeling gear to haul hay. While some things can overlap, some just can't. But, wearing my farming boots & cargills to construct a backdrop for the shooting range we plan to build will suffice - I essentially need capsules for each mode of my life. Add to that my fluctuating weight, and... ugh. I do try hard to keep it to a minimum, for each - but, it's a real challenge I've got little chance of tackling, right now, though my wardrobe is overwhelming. I wish you great luck, in it!
 
r ranson
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I love that Carla!
What a great lifestyle collection.

That's going to be the biggest thing for me to think about - what do I do and what do I need to wear to do it?

Mostly, I have farmlife and citylife.  Farmlife clothes I have enough for another year. So I'm going to focus my wardrobe on citylife clothes.

Mostly farmlife clothes are ratty, worn out citylife clothes.  Which means, when I choose my citylife clothes, I should choose styles that have lost of movement room and won't rip when wrangling a sheep.
 
r ranson
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From here: https://www.brogleys.com/post/an-introduction-to-the-capsule-wardrobe

How do I get started?

...
1. Determine your personal style.  
2. Discover your body shape and most flattering cuts and proportions for you.



sigh.
I don't know how to do either of those.  
I need to stop thinking about this or I'll talk myself out of it.  
 
Carla Burke
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That makes a LOT of sense! I do try to find ways to overlap, when possible - like my hiking and farming boots, for example. If I find some that all work for hiking & farming, with a couple of added details needed, for biking, then I can save my more expensive biker boots, for riding with the club, and wear the hiking/farming boots, for more casual riding. My jeans are the ultimate crossover item, being something that can be dressed up (to an extent), or down. Once they're getting too ratty for casual wear & group riding, they generally still have loads of life left, for casual riding, hiking, wildcrafting, farming, etc. Oddly enough, I've discovered that even my boot socks (and  underwear, for that matter, lol) are - or become often task specific, but can still be shuttled from 'good' to 'work' designations.

So, it seems there is much to think about, for anyone looking to encapsulate their wardrobe!
 
r ranson
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Having the right undergarments (apparently these are now called, foundation garments?) for the situation is vital.  I'm excluding them from the wardrobe limits as I don't want uncomfortable foundations.  

This capsule idea is going to be very much a custom fit.  Everyone does different things, has different colours, styles, etc.  I had a look at some websites talking about what "should" go into a capsule wardrobe and I thought "gee, I don't wear any of that - and never would".  

But the idea seems solid.  Just needs personalizing.  
Imagine being able to pick any clothe out of the closet and know they go together.  That would make my life so much better.
 
Carla Burke
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I agree! I think with a lot of thoughtful planning, it's a solid decision, good for the budget, good for peace of mind, good for space saving, good for the environment... And, I think the more of it you can provide for yourself, the more all those benefits are amplified. I hope you'll keep us in the loop, because I'd enjoy, and likely learn much from your process.
 
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I found this quite interesting - as I have unconsciously done just this...

My colors are blues with Pinks/Purples; and the staples of black/tan.

My uniform is long sleeve Tee's in winter, short or tank in summer; yoga/pajama pants in winter, shorts in summer.

Layers in winter are the addition of down vest, polar fleece and rainproof outer jacket/pants.

Sox are two different weights of Marino wool; footwear is the most varied: rubber boots, hiking boots, laceless leather pull ons, cheap plastic dollar store "summer shoes", and leather and fleece slippers.

When you find a shirt/pant etc. you like, wait until the price is right, then buy two or three in each color; nothing is worse then trashing your favorite and it is too expensive or no longer available.

As most of my stuff falls into the casual category; I rotate based on use: fresh and pristine = town clothes, then house clothes, then yard/work clothes THEN laundry.
 
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r ranson wrote:From here: https://www.brogleys.com/post/an-introduction-to-the-capsule-wardrobe

2. Discover your body shape and most flattering cuts and proportions for you.



sigh.
I don't know how to do either of those.  
I need to stop thinking about this or I'll talk myself out of it.  



You don't need to worry about "most flattering", just go for what makes you feel good. You're the one who has to live in the clothes.

I've tried doing a capsule wardrobe with store-bought clothes, but some colors are hard to find in commercial winter clothes and others are hard to find in summer clothes. Depending on your climate and what colors you choose, you might need to sew for certain seasons. But since you're thinking about sewing for custom fit anyway, it's no additional effort.
 
r ranson
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i wonder if I can adjust this patten to fit my shape

 
r ranson
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So I found out that my down-town fabric store has free local delivery for orders over $50.  
I'm not ready to order yet as I still have enough fabric at home, but I had a gander through their sales department and these are the pretty things that speak to me.

cottons:
https://www.galafabrics.com/shop/sale/fabrics-sale/sale-fabrics-quiltiing/yarn-dyed-stripe/
 
https://www.galafabrics.com/shop/sale/fabrics-sale/sale-fabrics-quiltiing/quilting-cotton-scarecrow-acres-cornfields-on-corn/
 
https://www.galafabrics.com/shop/sale/fabrics-sale/sale-fabrics-quiltiing/quilting-cotton-gloaming/
 
https://www.galafabrics.com/shop/sale/fabrics-sale/sale-fabrics-quiltiing/quilting-cotton-french-paisley-brown/
 
https://www.galafabrics.com/shop/sale/fabrics-sale/sale-fabrics-quiltiing/quilting-cotton-emma-2-tonal-sage/
 

wools:
https://www.galafabrics.com/shop/sale/fabrics-sale/sale-fabrics-fashion/wool-gabardine-navy/
 
https://www.galafabrics.com/shop/sale/fabrics-sale/sale-fabrics-fashion/wool-serge-black/
 


The problem is at this stage, all the cottons have patterns on them and really, I like to only wear one item with patterns (normally skirts - because it hides the dirt) at a time.  So I'm wondering if I need to avoid the quilting cotton section.

But I do like the wollens very much!  I have a heavy woollen coat but maybe something like a hoodie or ...?  I don't have any fall/spring jackets.

Edit to add: now I see the colours again and side by each, I think I like the top one best.  Maybe as a lining for the black wool?  or a shirt?  My grandmother taught me to be nervous of matching stripes.  
 
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there is a blogger type person who created something called Project 333- apparently it is now a book but a lot of her articles and meditations are still available for free. https://bemorewithless.com/archives/

I was really enamored with this idea for a while but, like Carla, I have a lot of different roles/hats/uniforms. I need to dress up and go to clients, occasionally teach a seminar, haul manure, beach, mountains, hiking, vintage car meetups, etc etc. After a few years struggling with it, I realized the following: I had a romantic idea that I was going to "find something magical" in that capsule wardrobe that, like a makeover, was going to make me into something I wasn't. Instead, I took what I figured was the kernel of truth from the process of making these capsule wardrobes and ran with it (after doing some decluttering). Anything I didn't love to wear, I got rid of. Anything that had a stain, an excuse, etc, I got rid of. Anything I wasn't sure of, I put in the attic to be reevaluated later.
(I won't even get started about the "most flattering look" for my "body type", which is like something out of a comedy show. Likewise flattering colors. I've embraced the great delight of middle age, which is not giving a poo about norms, standards, or what anyone thinks. I'm wearing my carhartts and a tank top and damn the torpedos.)

The heart of the capsule wardrobe is this: nobody notices or cares what you're wearing, and you can repeat all you want. Be comfy in the things you love. Get rid of things that make you feel bad about yourself.
I noticed that I like a certain kind of thing and when I travel and do my shopping, I only buy that kind of thing. And multiples of proven things are fine (since I have storage space and can't just run to the store here and buy another XX if I ruin one). I had a really hard time trying to create a capsule wardrobe but realized I already just wore the same few things over and over again-- and that is just fine.
(when I was in college I had a weekend/holiday job in NY working for a FancyPants Person. I brought him his dry cleaning and learned that he only owned black jeans and black T-shirts. No need for anything else, he said. And that was fine, particularly because he was a man. I'm a bit more diverse than that, but I can say for sure that I have only things I like and nothing that weighs me down with guilt about money spent, not being used, etc etc.)

I guess my whole point with this is to say that you can make the thing with 4 shirts and 4 skirts and 2 cardigans and etc etc but your own preferences and likes are worth more than what anyone can say to you. You like wearing that skirt every day? Wear it, and when you find another one like it rejoice.
I hear you on the endless search for the flattering thing- I think it's helpful to find individual elements you like (for me, it's a high neckline on t-shirts, for example) and pursue those. In my experience as a full busted person, it is really hard to find flattering things, I realized a long time ago that what I really wanted was the look, not the clothes, and since that look wasn't going to happen for me, I decided to pursue comfort instead.

Edited to add: your questions you're starting with are AWESOME and a super starting point. I look forward to seeing what you come up with.
I'm really glad you're considering the clothes washing thing-- I depend on water rationing and sunny weather to do laundry, and that means I need enough of everything to last at least 10 days or so.
 
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When I find something I like I buy it in all the colors. I have some work pants that are the same style in 3 different colors. Admittedly I have WAY TOO MANY clothes. I need to go through it it's just hard for me to let go of clothes now that I'm fat. I keep telling myself I'll be skinny again. Mostly I wear empire waisted dresses to work and yoga pants at home. So what I actually wear isn't all that large.
 
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The more I read about a minimalist wardrobe, the more I begin to understand that most people have a LOT of clothing.  

I do not.

Doing this project, I'm going to be increasing my wardrobe from 5 items* to 20-ish.  This is actually quite scary.
I'm going to have to buy hangers.  I'm going to have to make another rod in the closet to hand clothes.  I'm going to have to be very careful to make sure they all match each other.

I'm having trouble identifying with the literature on this topic.




* that I wear in public.  Farm clothes are just old wearing-out clothes that are too grubby to wear in public.
 
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r ranson wrote:

The problem is at this stage, all the cottons have patterns on them and really, I like to only wear one item with patterns (normally skirts - because it hides the dirt) at a time.  So I'm wondering if I need to avoid the quilting cotton section.  

it used to be the quilting section had solid coloured cottons to go with the patterns - they just don't give those prime shelf space as they're "boring". I totally agree that you've either got to have multicolour pants/skirt or multicolour blouses - pick one with rare exception! I also agree with the Princess Blouse you've shown pictures of elsewhere, obvious stripes are not the place for a new sewer to start.

r ranson wrote:

Doing this project, I'm going to be increasing my wardrobe from 5 items* to 20-ish.  This is actually quite scary.
I'm going to have to buy hangers.  I'm going to have to make another rod in the closet to hand clothes.

Yes, clothing quantity often "creeps" for people who can easily buy it or, like me, keep being given it. As for the hangers, more clothes than we think can be "rolled" and stored in drawers if that's any easier. People used to regularly put their "winter clothes" in a box for the summer and vice versa, although I find on the Pacific Wet Coast there's not a firm demarcation.

r ranson wrote:

i wonder if I can adjust this patten to fit my shape  

As a new sewer, I totally get that you're looking for a "simple" pattern, but if it were me, I'd put my time into the Button shirt you're already assembling the pattern for. That's a classic shirt that once the pattern fits your body, can be changed relatively easily to short sleeves, with a little work  sleeveless, and with a little more practice, multiple necklines. The multiple panels front and back should make it easier to cut efficiently out of narrow fabric, again, once you have a little practice and experience with doing it. I've done lots of sewing, but I still get anxious when dealing with a new pattern the first time - so I totally get how scary it is when first cutting expensive fabric. I think that learning to sew a single, classic and adaptable pattern well, will save you time and frustration in the medium run.
 
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it's just hard for me to let go of clothes now that I'm fat



I think we're in the same boat, Elle.  I've been periodically singing Weird Al's "Fat" around the house and my husband tries to argue with me that I'm not, but I tell him he's denying me the right to define my own reality.  My ten year old son joins in the chorus enthusiastically.

But I can only wear three different tops and two different skirts, which is the extent of my wardrobe at the present;  I can't wear any of my dresses as they aren't breastfeeding compatible, and I don't fit into any of my other tops or bottoms.  Luckily I don't care that any of my clothes may or may not match.  A pink floaty silk top over a tartan pencil skirt?  That's me.  

This thread has prompted me to consider adding a few more pieces to my "capsule" though, in particular with regards to breastfeeding access:  I kind of miss wearing dresses.
 
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r ranson wrote:The more I read about a minimalist wardrobe, the more I begin to understand that most people have a LOT of clothing.  

I do not.

...

I'm having trouble identifying with the literature on this topic.



This was my experience as well when I looked at capsule wardrobes years ago.

My biggest problem is seasonal wear. I absolutely hate having multiple jackets and different footwear that need to be stored when the weather's not a match.  

For jackets, I've pared down to one nice/wearable in public raincoat, one ugly rain poncho for working at home, and a couple hoodies. Winter doesn't get all that cold here. Minus 20C is pretty rare. Minus 5-10 is more usual. A hoodie with my rainjacket, a toque, and mittens works just fine. If I get cold, it's cause I'm not moving enough. Working at home, if I'm splitting wood or shoveling paths, I'm usually stripped down to just a shirt after a little while anyway. So no winter coat to store!

For footwear, I have one pair each of thongs, rubber clogs made from my old rubber boots when they cracked beyond repair, rubber boots, and running shoes. I have two pairs of dressy shoes for the office, but they don't come home. I'm thinking of getting rid of the running shoes, cause I love my clogs so much. Hiking boots? Thongs or rubber boots work just fine. Winter boots? Some warm insoles and another pair of socks in the rubber boots are good for me.

One thing I find helpful is to have different clothes for different tasks. This summer, I've worn the same set of clothes every day for puttering around the yard or house. They never get very dirty, so I can wear them the whole week until laundry day. When I do sweaty or dirty work, I put on a certain pair of shorts and one of a few ratty work shirts. Those are just dirty. And when I wear them, so am I. So again, I can just wear the same thing for a few days in a row. When I go into town, I put on my presentable clothes. When I get home I take them off again and put them away for the next trip into town.
 
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G Freden wrote:

it's just hard for me to let go of clothes now that I'm fat



I think we're in the same boat, Elle.  I've been periodically singing Weird Al's "Fat" around the house and my husband tries to argue with me that I'm not, but I tell him he's denying me the right to define my own reality.  My ten year old son joins in the chorus enthusiastically.

But I can only wear three different tops and two different skirts, which is the extent of my wardrobe at the present;  I can't wear any of my dresses as they aren't breastfeeding compatible, and I don't fit into any of my other tops or bottoms.  Luckily I don't care that any of my clothes may or may not match.  A pink floaty silk top over a tartan pencil skirt?  That's me.  

This thread has prompted me to consider adding a few more pieces to my "capsule" though, in particular with regards to breastfeeding access:  I kind of miss wearing dresses.



I'm even there with the breastfeeding. 9 months in, hoping to make it 3 more but struggling. Good luck!!
 
r ranson
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inspiration for days when I feel like this is too big a project.



Here colours are close to colours that match me, but I'm not good at wearing white because it ends up speckled after a few hours.
 
Jay Angler
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r ranson wrote:

Here colours are close to colours that match me, but I'm not good at wearing white because it ends up speckled after a few hours.

Sounds like me cubed! I wouldn't let any of my kids wear white either. Also, if you're on a well with hard water - white turns grey!
 
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I wonder if I could get away with wearing a cape?  I sure would love an ulster coat one day.  But I already have a winter coat so I should focus on my daily clothes first.
 
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I use black as my basic neutral color. I sometimes feel like Pig Pen in the Charlie brown comics. There's one where he's totally clean, hair combed etc, on a sidewalk, standing still. And his hair starts snarling, his clothes start rumpling and getting dirty, by the last frame he's filthy, and he hasn't moved. That would be me. No white here, it doesn't even last out the door. I'm a magnet for messes. I wear a lot of black :D
 
Carla Burke
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Of course you could get away with wearing a cape. They're more practical, imho, than a coat of the same length. For anything from about the hip down, I'd recommend something you can add a belt to, though - or maybe an internal drawstring. On very windy days, a cape will billow (even the more tailored ones, at times), leaving you exposed to the cold. But, a cape will much more easily accommodate various skirts and dresses than almost any coat style I can think of. Even something as generous as a loose trenchcoat would crush a very full skirt, or (tulle petticoats) underneath. In fact, for that very reason, my mom made herself a beautiful wool cape to wear over her square dance outfits, back when she and my stepdad used to dance.
 
Tereza Okava
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I'm another who feels incomplete without black clothing.

As for capes.... I made myself one during college, I can't remember what my motivation was (besides Snow Belt freezing); I was taking a lot of classes with SCA people and getting into things I could make myself, maybe that was it. I sewed it by hand, super simple, and it was washable wool. In any case when I moved to Asia I brought it with me and it was eminently practical. I wish I had a better picture but the only image I can find is me and a friend in Seoul, on a freezing day in November, but I was toasty. Capes rock!
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As a trying to reform hoarder, short person And oldster, I’ve struggled with this a bit too. Things I’ve learned:

See if you can find multiple uses for the lighter weight pieces. Leggings work pretty well as long johns or sleepwear, for example.

My capsule is socks, leggings, tank tops, turtlenecks, t shirts, some long sleeve shirts, pants, and jeans. I have 3 dresses For summer when it’s just too hot for anything else. I use t shirts and flannel pants to sleep in. I also still have a business outfit and a dress up outfit and what I call my funeral blouse.

I wa trying for 10 pieces of outerwear and 2 seasons worth, but that hasn’t worked.

Lately I’ve been trying to go more minimalist no zippers, etc. one thing I found which really did help me cut down how many pieces I had, I buy mostly solids. Two reasons: colors go out of fashion slower than pattern styles and almost all solid colors can be worn together. The patterned pieces become accents or the focus of what I’m wearing...

Another thing I discovered which has helped me feel better about how many separates I have is to double hang them. Two tank tops on a hanger work just as well as one. Same with Lightweight pants, t shirts, etc.

I decided my goals were to take the least amount of room I can, not have to worry about what matches, easy to care for, and comfortable. Since I no longer have to worry about going to an office, this is much easier than it used to be.

But if you have to do that, find a core piece you love and look good in and build the capsule around that. I had a good book about this, I’ll have to see if I can find it, it may be long gone...

Ihth!
 
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I've occasionally toyed with thoughts of a capsule wardrobe. For reasons others have described here, I don't think I'll ever fully embrace it. But I do want to take that germ of the idea and incorporate it--I would love that I have fewer clothes and that I wear all of them. I (like many of you) have a wide variety of activities in my life that all require different types of clothing. And I live in a place that has an incredibly wide range of temperatures throughout the year... winter is cold, occasionally hovering around minus 25 Celsius or lower, and summer is hot... this summer felt like it was in the low 30s for much of the summer, and humidity along with that! So I need a nice winter coat, a sporty winter coat, hardcore winter boots, delicate sandals and filmy skirts... ETC!!

Anyway, I've been inspired to start sewing more of my own clothes. My primary reason is that I would like to have pieces for my wardrobe that are exactly what I want/need. Right length, right fit, right colour, right fabric, right style. I find that shopping for a piece that hits all of those notes takes a long time. And can be frustrating. So now I want to do it myself. I do sew already, although not frequently. I figure if I can make a doll's fitted and lined blazer, I can make myself something to wear. I did sign up for Brooks Ann Camper's Skirt Skills course that was talked about in another thread here. The course teaches a method to make custom skirts that fit your particular body. We've just started, so it will be awhile before I'm at the skirt stage :) But I'm excited to grow this particular skill!

I'm hoping a more me-made wardrobe will eliminate pieces in my closet that are ok, but not quite right. Wouldn't it be great if every piece was just right? It would allow me to chose quality, lasting, natural fabrics so pieces would have a very long life.
 
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I love the name and concept. We just moved for the 3rd time in one year and I realized too many garments! Yes - I agree need different clothes for different activities but thinking of what can be matched with other items and serve several functions.  Moving clothing, like moving books is really a pain and I'm rethinking what I have and how much I need, what can be repurposed.  Thank you for all these posts - they help as I continue my journey of lightening my load of stuff!
 
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I would love to include black, but i have animals...and dirt. Black shows every hair, feather and smudge. My "go to" basic colors are brown, olive and tan. I add in teal, turquoise, celedon, coral and light coral. For more 'formal' dressing I always wear bold red, because I am a healthy, striking red-head and I'm gonna stand out anyway. I do wear capes and everyone should. They are comfortable and versatile. I have one for work that I can button up to make a basket for gathering, like I do my aprons in the summer. Aprons are a life saver for harvesting, gathering kindling. cooking and preserving. For shoes I mostly wear Converse or similar canvas shoes, yes, even for dressy. I'm eccentric enough to get away with it. They can be thrown in the wash. I have a good sturdy pair of "muck boots' that are many years old, they just hose off. I do make my own clothing and it is not hard to learn. There are so many tutorials on patterns and designs on pinterest and sew alongs.
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I am trying to find all natural fabrics (sustainably grown cotton, hemp, linen and wool) manufactured in this country. I want to make a capsule wardrobe as well. My other issue is patterns. I do not wear weirdly shaped clothing, ie asymmetrical hems, pocketless skinny dresses or items fit for a runway. I have clothes for mucking out chicken pens and digging in the dirt. I need more presentable clothing for going to town, meetings etc. Who wears this designer like stuff patern makers make? I want patterns for normal people!
 
master pollinator
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I thought the idea of the 'capsule wardrobe' was to have as little clothes as possible, in such a way you could combine them in many different combinations.
Anyway: for me that doesn't work. I like changing clothes, dressing up or down, when I do different activities. In the garden I don't wear the same as on a bicycle ride, or when I go into town, or to a meeting, or ... And then I don't want to wear the same clothes the next day (maybe the day after, so often they'll stay hanging over a chair until that day). To have some consistency in my wardrobe it's built up around only a few colours. My colours are 'fall colours': brownish, greenish, khaki and wine red. The most important to me is: natural materials. I do have a few clothes made of viscose, but all others are pure natural (bio cotton, linen, wool, silk).
I don't like shopping, neither in real life shops, nor online. When I need something new I first go to the thrift stores nearby and when there's no piece of clothing I like, I start searching for materials to make it myself.
 
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Pearl Sutton wrote:I use black as my basic neutral color. I sometimes feel like Pig Pen in the Charlie brown comics. There's one where he's totally clean, hair combed etc, on a sidewalk, standing still. And his hair starts snarling, his clothes start rumpling and getting dirty, by the last frame he's filthy, and he hasn't moved. That would be me. No white here, it doesn't even last out the door. I'm a magnet for messes. I wear a lot of black :D


My natural inclination in clothing color is often black, and then I got mostly white, long-haired dogs who believe themselves lap dogs. They are bigger than a typical chihuahua, and smaller than a border collie. So black is worn much less these past 10 years. Walking in to work wearing dog fur covered black isn't my idea of appropriate, especially when I'll be cooking meals.

I have far too many choices in clothing. I try to cycle out winter warm choices like sweaters and flannels for summer temps of over 100F. I switch those out for tank tops and a few pair of shorts. The jeans are ever present, as are my many tshirts.

I am not sure I could ever get down to a mere dozen pieces. I could try for perhaps 25 per season, with both seasons (hot weather or cold weather) out at the same time for those in-between of spring and autumn. At least until I move.

 
Jennie Little
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Something I forgot!  I use clothing blanks frequently, if I have to get "new" clothes. I don't dye or embellish them, I'm not that talented, but I will buy white or black t shirts, etc. from dharmatrading.com and I pay a lot less than I might. I shop in thrift shops too, but I'm a weird fit: old, short, pear shaped, wants solids, and with huge shoulders. I can find new shirts that fit at LL Bean too, but they cost a lot more.

I was trying to find the author/title for the book I used years ago, didn't find it. I did, however find this free printable.
http://www.un-fancy.com/capsule-wardrobe-101/free-printable-wardrobe-planner/
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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beatrice taylor wrote:... I do wear capes and everyone should. ...


I did make a cape once, and wore it. But I found out a cape isn't the right garment to wear riding a bicycle. The cold air gets in through all sides. Yes, I do have a rain poncho  (poncho is like a rectangular cape) for bike riding, but that one goes over a coat.
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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Barbara Kerschner wrote:... I need more presentable clothing for going to town, meetings etc. Who wears this designer like stuff patern makers make? I want patterns for normal people!


Hi Barbara. I don't know if Burda (magazine about making clothes, with patterns) exists outside Europe. If it does: those are the patterns you want. Basic clothes (you can change or add to if you like) in many sizes.
I found this English language site: https://www.burdastyle.com/sewing-patterns.html
 
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I just posted (in a radically unrelated forum) that I once told a therapist that I wanted to figure out how to merge my aspirations to be the best:  yuppie, hippie, and goth: which wasn't working, and most of my problem was wardrobe space.

I've been in kind of a capsule wardrobe for a couple of years because I'm fatter than I want to spend money on.  (I did come into a bit of money a few years ago and went to a store with a personal consultant.  Everything I got talked into has been donated except the fabulous jeans, which I wore into holes in unfortunate places and which now live at the garden.)  

Current-ish capsule wardrobe, when I was going to work at a semi-casual software company:
--Pants, mostly jeans, neutral as possible
--Blouses, cotton, silk, linen and/or blends thereof, including polyester, all as long as it's breathable and washable.  Mostly black, some jewel tones, button front and at least elbow length.
--Knit tops, mostly black, not skin tight
--Blazers, mostly black, or cardigans, usually expensive bought second hand
--Hoodies given from work events - not classy, but work-friendly
--Scarves in bright colors - mine are my expensive folly, but there are tons of gorgeous cheap ones too
--Socks and boots for winter
--Ballet flats or loafers for summer (these are almost like being barefoot, but tidier)

Now that I'm WFH, I usually swap out pants for my long gothy skirts after the small thrombosis scare.  (Skinny jeans and sitting for hours on your grandma's dining room chairs don't mix, folks!)

For grungy work I wear whatever jeans are hanging on the bedroom door + either a knit top or a Tshirt from the BF (his capsule wardrobe is black Tshirt + jeans).

For garden work I wear whatever has been moved to the garden, including jeans with unfortunate holes and shoes I've abused into pieces.

To work out (ha!) I have a box of athletic bras and leggings, and I steal a Tshirt from the BF.

I like long skirts lots, but previously avoided them for work because they don't play well with rolling office chairs, and I like shorter skirts too, but have outgrown my expensive black tights and can't motivate myself to spend the money on the quality I like.

To note:  My "capsule" wardrobe is what I use day to day.  It all fits into a wardrobe about 80 cm wide and as tall as me.  I have a second wardrobe, fully 2x the size, with gothy and formal clothes for those kind of events, plus some capsule-y + gothy pieces that I'm too fat for but delude myself I'll fit into again.

I don't want to pretend to have answers, just what has sort of turned out to work for me.  Were I again a size 4, I'm sure I would go mad with power and explode my wardrobe with all the cute frivolous things.
 
r ranson
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Thinking about colours
caps-colour.JPG
lots of colours to choose from
lots of colours to choose from
caps-blue.JPG
maybe this?
maybe this?
 
Pearl Sutton
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My basic wardrobe colors.

 
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r ranson wrote:Thinking about colours



I like these! Blues and browns match a lot of colors, and these look particularly good together!.




I'm the odd woman out here. I don't wear black. At all. My husband thinks I look great in it, and it's a color that looks good on most everyone. But, I just find it depressing. Kind of like certain types of music, I just don't care for music that is sad or angry. It makes me feel sad or angry, and when I wear black, I feel that way, too.

So, brown, green, and denim tend to be my base colors. Due to my complection, I can't do pastels. Or lighter colors. I just looked washed out.

I find it hard to find colors that I like and that look good on me, because it's harder to match to brown than it is to match to black. I generally try not to buy any colors that don't match the other clothes I wear. This is hard, though, because these shades aren't ones in stores unless it's fall (pretty sure these are all "fall colors"), and I do nearly all of my shopping at Thrift Stores, anyway. Basically what this means is that whenever I'm at a Thrift Store, I wander through the clothing section. If there's nothing in my size that matches what I wear, I don't buy it. So, 75% of the time, I don't buy anything. But, sometimes I run across a bunch of clothes that work (probably because someone my size with my style donated a bunch of stuff!). So then I buy everything I can.

My hard thing is that I often forget to change out of my nice ("city," not-on-my-property) clothes and then I go out and end up working and rip a whole in my shirt, or stain my pants. It drives me nuts.

And now I'm struggling to figure out what color masks to make myself. I'm not used to having to work with something on my face, and the first mask I made kind of washes me out. I spent a good long time a week ago at my moms, sticking scraps of her left-over quilting fabric on my face to see which actually looked decent. Sadly, though she has a LOT of fabric, most of it isn't in these deep jewel-tone or earth tones I wear.  
Colors-I-wear.jpg
Not easy to find colors! Sometimes I get forest greens and blue shirts, only to find they don't match my other clothes. Maddening!
Not easy to find colors! Sometimes I get forest greens and blue shirts, only to find they don't match my other clothes. Maddening!
 
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