Such a long title, but there’s so much to talk about today!
I’m going to show you the process I ended up following to start creating my ultimate capsule wardrobe without knowing what my style was yet.
If you have ever typed on Google or YouTube “how to find your style” you maybe realized that almost everybody simply shows styles as bohemian, tomboy, classic, grunge, etc, even quizzes work in this way. And each time I got a result I was like “nope, this is not my style” and when I was watching to videos explaining the different fashion styles I liked different things in each one.
Did you have the same experience? If yes, you know how difficult is it then to create your ideal wardrobe!
Not knowing what my style was, I ended up buying garments that didn’t really suit my body shape and don’t make me feel good when I wear them. That’s against having a minimalist wardrobe – that I need to have since my closet space is ridiculously small – but also against sustainability and not very helpful for my small budget either.
This had to stop! That’s why I developed this easy 5-step method that I hope is going to help you to define your style without naming it. Ready to start?
1. Declutter, Severely
Pass through each of your items. Does it fit? Is it still in good conditions? How much have I worn it in the last 6 months (up to 9 months if it’s a seasonal garment like a coat)? Does it make me feel amazing and comfortable in my body?
If your answers are all positive and you wore it a good number of times, put the garment in the keep pile. Everything else is going to be then divided in stuff to bring to a clothing recycling point – I usually bring mines to a North Face store near my house – and stuff you want to keep for a while because of their meaning or because it’s an outfit you’re keeping for special occasions.
In the end, you want to have your capsule wardrobe core. If you already know your style and love it, you may have a good amount of cohesive items, but if you’re like me, you probably end up with only the 20% of your wardrobe in your keep pile!
2. Take Pictures of the Items in the Keep Pile
It’s time to take pictures! Grab a few large sheets of paper in different colors – a white one for black garments is ideal, as well a black one for white garments and let’s say another one in a color you don’t have in your wardrobe so your black and white striped tee can really pop-out from the background.
Take pictures of everything you want to keep, tops, bottoms, outwears, shoes, bags, and hats. Jewelry too if you like!
3. Start Creating Your Visual Board
For this step, I use a program called Sketch, that my husband uses for his job as a User Interface Designer. It’s easier to use than other apps and you can try it for free just to create this board – and then buy it for $99 a year if you like to make your own infographics or YouTube thumbnails. I strongly suggest reading this next part when you have the app open on your screen so you can follow the process step-by-step.
Create a new document, then click on the + button on the top left corner and select artboard then just draw a big long rectangle on the screen to create your first board. Now import all your pictures in your board – when they’re all selected click on Scale in the middle top of your screen to make them smaller or bigger if you need to – and start deleting the background from each one.
Just double-click on one image, select Magic wand in the window on the right, then click and keep pushing your mouse’s key moving on a side: you’ll see a circle forming and the color of the image you clicked on becoming red. When the whole item is selected in a red color, click on Crop and you’re done!
Sometimes it helps to select the background, click invert selection and then crop. Just try and choose the method that works better for your picture.
When you have all your garments’ pictures ready, divide them like I did here and make your color palette. To do this, simply click on the +, add some circles and use the color picker to select the colors from your garments, all the colors!
And now you’re actual wardrobe board is done!
4. Seek Inspiration and Define Your Own Style
Now it’s time to look around and pin like crazy! Pinterest is my favorite resource for this kind of projects. Create a fashion inspiration board or refine the one you maybe already have, deleting everything that you don’t really like anymore.
Let’s analyze it! Does it look like every picture comes from the same “style”? Maybe yes, maybe no – that’s me. So instead of trying to name it, find the key garments and colors that you see on the whole board.
For instance, in mine I see fedoras and similar hats, maxi dresses, simple and clean lines, neutral colors like black, white, and denim, earthy tones like rust, camel, blush, and olive, blazer, long coats with fitted shoulders, headscarves.
Now save some of those pictures that represent all those things you clearly like and create a new artboard near the one you already made. This one is gonna be your Capsule Wardrobe Inspiration Board.
Add the pictures and create the color palette as I explained before. You can also create a Texture palette! I realized that my whole wardrobe is pretty plain and I’d love to add some more movement, so adding some texture to it would be interesting.
To make it, put a circle on top of your image, select them both and click on Mask (center top of the screen). Voilà!
Now incorporate the new colors – and textures – in your first board and see if everything looks cohesive. I simply take my new color and put it near all the other I have, one by one. Does it look good with anything else you have in your wardrobe? Yes? Good!
5. Make Your Wishlist and Start Shopping
It’s time to really have fun now! Make a note on your phone or write it down on a notepad if you like it better with a list of all the items you put in the inspiration board that you don’t have yet. For me, that means a maxi dress, a long coat, some headscarves, a blazer…and write down or take a picture of the colors of your new improved color palette. So when you’ll go shopping you’ll know that you need a blazer, but that electric blue blazer that’s on sale and even fits you perfectly doesn’t work with your capsule wardrobe.
You’ll be able to be very consistent and decisive when you’re shopping, having a perfect tool to not buying clothes that you don’t need or are completely wrong for your color palette. And it’s also gonna make the whole shopping experience way less overwhelming, because you know what you’re looking for and in which shades! Also, if you love shopping online, just save an image from the store and put it on your new board: does it look like a good fit?
I really hope this method is going to help you if you are struggling with finding your true voice in the fashion world!