THE most important attribute of a capsule wardrobe is versatility!
Or as I like to say, mixability. Each piece of clothing must have double or triple duty to keep your wardrobe fresh.
1. A versatile item will play nice with other items in the closet.
In other words, it can be paired with almost everything else. If it's a top, it can be worn with most of the bottoms. If it's a bottom, it can be worn with most of the tops. If it's a dress, it needs to be able to stand alone, but also partner with sweaters, tops, jackets and scarves. If a piece is too outlandish or is the only one in your wardrobe that doesn't go with anything else ~ it's not versatile. It plays alone. You don't want a wardrobe made up of those types of pieces because you will not be able to mix and match.
2. A versatile item must have flexibility.
It should be able to be worn dressed up or down. Even a fancy shirt can be dressed down with a cotton skirt and sandals. A suit coat can relax with jeans and booties. Dresses with great lines can also be dressed down with tennis shoes or Toms. If certain clothing items don't have flexibility then it's good to re-evaluate why you have them. If you keep a dress or tux for a formal dinner each year, then possibly you need to hang onto it. BUT if you could replace that piece with one that had some flexibility ~ you'd get much more use out of it. More wear for your money!
3. A versatile item must harmonize with other colors in the wardrobe.
The best way to help you understand this is to refer to the color wheel. Colors can harmonize with each other in these ways:
- Analogous - three colors next to each other on the color wheel (red, coral, pink)
- Monochromatic - having one color or tones of one color (black, gray, white)
- Triad - three colors equally spaced on the color wheel (yellow, red, blue)
- Complimentary - directly opposite each other (red, green)
You get the idea, they need to somehow connect and work together.
When forming a capsule wardrobe, you want lots of pieces that are highly versatile. This gives you creative license to mix and match each piece and keeps your outfits fresh without wasting money or harming the environment. Guilt-free style!
What's your favorite work-horse item?