The ingenious capsule wardrobe

One of my favorite capsule wardrobes
Unfortunately for me, I didn't get the memo that yesterday was to be the first real day of spring, complete with a solid azure sky, high temperatures and lots of sun. While my red knit skater dress with three-quarter sleeves seemed like a good idea in the chilly morning, by the end of the afternoon the coziness had transformed into uncomfortable stuffiness. It made me realize that I don't have many summer friendly outfits. Since I swore off shopping and vowed to sew more, I am thinking of creating a summer capsule wardrobe to fill the gap in my closet.

You may have already heard about capsule wardrobes before: they are making a huge comeback thanks to bloggers and fashion forward pinners. The ideas isn't new: the term "caspule wardrobe" was coined by Susie Faux, the owner of the legendary 70's boutique Wardrobe. At the time, it was a revolutionnary way of dressing: the capsule wardrobe provided classic essential pieces that would always be in style and that could be updated with accessories or a few of-the-moment garments. Think go-with-everything pants, skirts, coats, jackets and dresses. In the 80's, DVF (that's Diane Von Furstenberg to you) popularized the concept with a collection of 7 interchangeable pieces. Even 30 years after introducing the idea, Susie Faux is still advocating the capsule wardrobe and provides valuable insight in this article on her blog.

After reading about it and seing dozens of elegant idea boards, I can see why the capsule wardrobe is such an attractive idea...First off, it makes for a versatile and practical closet. Who would'nt love getting up in the morning knowing that everything in their closet fits well and is coordinated? It takes the fuss out of dressing yourself on those busy mornings where time is of the essence. It is also a great way to achieve a stylish look in an affordable way. Buying less clothing and wearing more what you have makes perfect sense. The trick is choosing quality over quantity, picking coordinating colors and shapes that work for you and you silhouette.

Many fashion gurus, columnists and stylists like Trinny and Susannah, Nina Garcia and Gok Wan have tooted the capsule wardrobe's horn. The latter provides amazing examples of capsule wardrobes in season 2 of his Fashion Fix show. His motto is to buy less and wear more: exactly what I want to achieve. It's all about choosing classic pieces that you'll jazz-up with accessories. Like Tasia would say : more cake, less frosting!
A capsule wardrobe chosen by Gok Wan.

After thinking about it, I figured out what I would like my summer capsule wardrobe to be:
  • Comfortable: no itchy, stiff or sweat-inducing fabrics.
  • Colorful: I want to avoid black, as it attracts the sun and is quite dreary during hot summer days.
  • Light : no skin-tight dresses or heavy skirts. Ideally, I want light and airy fabrics that breathe.
  • Casual: I will make things I would wear on an everyday basis, not just at work.
  • Feminine but not overtly sexy: more dresses, less pants!
Now that I have established these rule of thumb, I should establish what pieces are missing in my wardrobe. A few everyday dresses, flowy skirts and light tops should be in the mix, and maybe i'll consider a romper or a maxi dress. I'll try to use the patterns I already have as much as possible. Then it's off to pick colors, fabrics and overall style... Last year's Spring/Summer palette challenge from Colette Patterns might provide valuable inspiration. I'll also be pinning garments in a new pinterest board if you want to follow me.

I have to admit it all seems quite overwhelming, so I think I'll ask Josie for some help!


  1. I love the idea of a capsule wardrobe but there are so many places to start! I can't wait to see how you build yours!

  2. Loving this idea as well! Thanks for sharing! Xo, M&K at