Wardrobe Architect: The capsule wardrobe, palette, pieces and accessories

My participation in the Wardrobe Architect (WA) project was initially so I could create a Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter wardrobe for myself. Since we’re already in August, I suppose you could say I failed miserably at creating a Spring/Summer wardrobe (at least for 2015) but there’s still time for Autumn/Winter 2015. My last post finished with week 8 so let’s move on to weeks 9-12: creating a capsule wardrobe.

The capsule wardrobe

In week 9, Sarai explains:

A capsule wardrobe is a small, manageable subset of your wardrobe, and it usually is something you can plan seasonally (twice a year, or perhaps 4 times a year). A typical capsule wardrobe consists of between 20 and 33 items … it is the foundation for the rest of your wardrobe.

The method of creating a capsule wardrobe involves four steps: 1) Choose one to six silhouettes for the season; 2) create a color palette; 3) break down your silhouettes and colors into a list of pieces; and 4) organize what to make, what to buy, and what you already own. So here goes!

After looking through my eight silhouettes I collated back in February, I chose around three silhouettes each for Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter using Polyvore.


Spring/Summer | Sleeveless tops or blouses; a high-waisted skirt, short or ‘skorts’; and a mid-waisted dress with circle skirt, all with the option of wearing a blazer over the top.


Autumn/Winter | Capped, elbow or long sleeved blouses and shirts; wrap or pencil skirt; mid-waisted dresses with flowing skirts; and high-waisted and long fitted trousers.

The capsule wardrobe palette

Following Sarai’s lead in week 10, I narrowed down each of the palettes I created in August — Neutrals, Nearly Neutrals and Statement Colours — to a total of 6 colours for Spring/Summer and 6 colours for Autumn/Winter but I imagine some of these colours will readily move between the different palettes.

WAcapsulewardrobepaletteSS WAcapsulewardrobepaletteAW
Planning my pieces

Week 11 examines whether any of these silhouettes in the palette you’ve created already exists in your wardrobe. I would say at around half of these already exist in my wardrobe somewhere; black blazer, grey pencil skirt, royal blue top, purple blouse; navy trousers; and several mid-waisted dresses with full skirts. However, many of these need updating, or don’t exist in one of my palette colours. Also, one item I’ve not added to the silhouettes but know I’d like to have and also try making is a waterproof coat. Here’s the list of items I’d like to commit to making, in some order or difficulty and need:

It was fairly easy to find suitable patterns but difficult to limit it to just these! There are so many others I wanted to add to the list (you can see just some of the patterns I’m craving on my Pinterest Dressmaking Board) but I stuck with what I need most.

You’ll see most of my knowledge of suitable patterns comes from New Look, Simplicity, Sewaholic and By Hand London. If anyone has ideas of similar patterns that you’d recommend, I’d love to know and to try them out! So let me know in the comments.

I was also supposed to think about which items I need to buy in addition to what to make but that might require a little bit more thought.

Adding accessories

Week 12 finalises your capsule wardrobe choices with some accessories; functional and decorative. Here are my lists for each.

Functional accessories

  • Shoes: comfortable, able to withstand some rain. Includes both comfortable heels and flats.
  • Bags: daily leather shoulder bag with plenty of room, a shoulder tote bag for extra items
  • Belts: thin, leather, simple. For trousers, skirts and dresses.
  • Sunglasses: Dark, including tortoise-shell, not too big for my face.
  • Legwear: skin-coloured or light black, very occasionally knit for warmth in the winter
  • Scarves: for warmth in the winter, fairly chunky.
  • Hats: Warm, knit, sit on the back of my head. Brimmed hats to keep the sun off during the summer
  • Gloves: for warmth in the winter, knit
  • Legwear: Warm fleece-lined tights in Fall/Winter.

Decorative accessories

  • Jewellery: Silver, gold, or bold colours e.g. luminous. Both modern and vintage styles. Often geometric, occasionally chunky
  • Scarves: Silk or chiffon in pretty colours or designs
  • Nail varnish: bold colours which co-ordinate, pale pink or french manicure

Why not finish off with an image of some of these? Just this weekend I lost my sunglasses (left them at a wedding venue), I could do with more belts and jewellery plus filling in my nail varnish collection so I shall purchase some of these.


And that’s the end of that, at least for now. Onwards with the sewing!

Taking part in Wardrobe Architect? Add a link to your blog in the comments!

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