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Wardrobe Basics

Whether you're building a new wardrobe or updating your existing wardrobe these wardrobe basics will help you use your colors and styles to create a working mix and match wardrobe.

Start by choosing key garments to suit your lifestyle and climate. Wardrobe staples include...

  • Coat
  • Jacket
  • Pants
  • Skirt

Ideally these will be in trans-seasonal fabrics in classical styles. These items are the foundation of your wardrobe, so spend more money on these than on fashion items.

Do you understand the fundamental elements of style?

If you don't know your best colors and styles yet first take a look at how to determine your best color and then look at how to determine your body shape and face shape to work out your best colors and styles and then return here.

These key garments should be in a neutral tone or medium to dark core or basic colors from your flow seasonal color swatch (the swatches I provide have the tone and wardrobe designation marked on them). Base your wardrobe around two of these colors then choose tops and accessories in other basic and accent colors from your color swatch to add interest and update an outfit.

The number of items you need and their purpose will be dependant upon your lifestyle analysis. You also need to take into account the frequency you want to launder your clothes, for example weekly, or every two weeks.

Build Wardrobe Capsules to Simplify Your Life

A wardrobe capsule, clothing capsule or wardrobe cluster is a small group of items that mix and match to create a number of outfits. Clothing capsules are particularly useful for travelling light and for working within a small budget.

For example, 9 items of well co-ordinated garments can give you 20 outfits. Add 3 more items and you can make 40 or more combinations from these 12 items...

  • 1 coat
  • 2 jackets
  • 3 bottoms
  • 6 tops

I find I need at least one clothing capsule for each lifestyle designation (formal business, business casual, smart casual, casual, sport), especially as I like to keep my work gear separate from my non-work gear. So, create one or more capsule wardrobe as you see fit.

How to Create a Capsule Wardrobe

  1. Start with a key garment, for example a jacket or coat, in one of your chosen neutral or basic colors. This could be from your existing wardrobe or a garment to go shopping for to use as the starting point for a new wardrobe capsule
  2. Add another key garment, such as a pair of pants in a matching color
  3. Add one or more tops in matching or co-ordinating colors
  4. Add accessories to give the wardrobe capsule different looks (such as dressing it up or down)
  5. Add another key garment such as a skirt in a matching color or in your second neutral or basic color
  6. Add another pair of pants or a skirt in your second neutral or co-ordinating color

To expand a clothing capsule add a top, jacket or coat. People notice tops more than bottoms.

Now you have all the information you need (your colors, your styles and wardrobe basics) to make informed choices when you go shopping.

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About Me

jane liddelow

"Your style makeover may require a few tweaks or a total re-think. Using a mix of science and art I show you how to discover your style and look great every day.

Hi, I'm Jane Liddelow, the Personal Image Consultant and Stylist responsible for this site. Find out more about me here."

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