Francesca Dattilo, MSW
Certified Law of Attraction Coach
Certified Style Coach (MIASC Accred.)

Call me:  613.204.0781


  • By Francesca Dattilo
  • 24 May, 2017

Guidelines to creating a Capsule Wardrobe

When it comes to my wardrobe, I follow the adage, “More is better!”   Many other personal stylists and image consultants would disagree suggesting you buy less and purchase more quality and timeless items.  

But, I can’t help it! I love variety in my closet.   Lots of styles, colours and options to choose from.   Remember Carrie’ Bradshaws ultimate closet in the popular and iconic show “Sex in the City?”.   That is my dream closet.  

But, I know not everyone is as enamored by clothes and accessories as I am.   Some people do not want to give too much conscious thought to their choices and have little interest in looking stylish.   They may view clothes purely from a practical perspective and consider aesthetics to be nothing more than a bonus. They want to spend their time and energy on things that matter to them.     They want to spend less time on deciding what to wear.   They also want to spend less time shopping and caring for their clothes.  

That is where a Capsule Wardrobe can be very helpful.   To put it simply a capsule wardrobe is a small group of clothes and accessories which can be mixed and matched to create a number of individual outfits.   This is also a great option if you travel a lot, have limited space to store clothes and are on a restricted budget.  

To create a capsule wardrobe that provides lots of flexibility and creativity, follow these guidelines:

  1. Choose 12 co-ordinated items to create 30 + outfits.
  2. Use the 80/20 rule - 80 % of clothing for the upper body and 20% for the lower body (People notice what you wear on your upper half more than they notice what is worn on your lower half.)
  3. Out of 10 garments, 2 should be trousers or skirts.  
  4. The 2 bottom pieces can be worn with different tops and accessories to create a variety of outfits.  
  5. Include one clothing capsule for each lifestyle activity, for example: one for work, one for evening fun such as date night and night out with the girls, one for errands or casual daytime activities, etc.. but be sure to focus your capsules on those life areas where you spend most of your time.
  6. Begin with a core item in a neutral colour such as a coat or blazer.
  7. Have a small selection of tops in matching or well co-ordinating colours- can choose plain colours, stripes or patterns that combine well with neutrals (Most neutrals go with all colours.)
  8. Maximum of 3-4 colours in one outfit including an accent colour, for example, navy, red, white and then tan for an accent colour.
  9. Use accessories such as scarves, pashminas, belts, jewelry and shoes to create different looks to bring an outfit from day to night.

I highly recommend that you choose classic pieces to stand the test of time if you are not a “shopper” and express your individuality with your colour choices and your accessories.   Also, update your look by buying at least 4 new pieces per season.   When purchasing these items, make sure they go with at least 3 other things in your closet.   And, buy items that can carry you through at least 3 seasons, think layering.  

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