Have you heard of Capsule Wardrobes and wondered exactly what they are, and if one is right for you? That’s what we’re talking about today! I’m sharing what a Capsule is, why they’re a great way to build a wardrobe on a budget, and who they’re right for. I also clear up some of the questions I get asked often.
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Read the full episode transcript below! – Ep 52 Office Hours What are Capsule Wardrobes?
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Welcome back to Office Hours–the weekly show of the Everyday Style School podcast, where we answer one question, submitted by you, you lovely listeners to help make style easier, and getting dressed more fun.
Today I’m covering a bunch of questions, because I talk about Capsule Wardrobes all the time–what they are, how they save you money, how they make style easy…so I figure that by now, everyone has to know what a Capsule is, but I still hear from people all the time who have no idea what this is, or how it works, and wonder if the whole thing is too complicated to try.
So, today I’m going to answer a few of the top questions I get every season. Our Summer Guide is being released in just a few days, and I want to help you figure out if Capsules are right for you.
The first question I always get is “What is a Capsule Wardrobe?”
Almost every woman I’ve ever worked with has asked for a stylish, mix and match wardrobe, without the unnecessary clutter, that makes it easier to get dressed, instead of more difficult.
Thats essentially what a capsule wardrobe is-let’s not over complicate it. It is a collection of clothes that were chosen to all work together to create a lot of outfits out of fewer pieces, rather than a few outfits out of a lot of pieces.
I was in a client’s house when I was just starting my Capsules Guides, telling her what they were–that they were 34 pieces that could make over 100 outfits, and she was like “34 is a lot, I could do that out of 34 pieces”. I had my clothing rack set up in her room, and a bunch of clothes on it, so I counted out what 34 hangers actually looked like. It was less than half of what was on the rack, and that was just a small part of her wardrobe.
Then I said, but of course we have to take about 10 of these pieces away to fit in the shoes and accessories. She was shocked that we could do so much with so little–that’s what Capsules are about–making your wardrobe bigger than the sum of it’s parts, not smaller, which is what happens in most of our closets.
Most women, and I feel you nodding, have more clothes than they do options. Capsules simply change that equation, so you have more options than you do clothes.
Now, that’s a different question than what are the Everyday Style Capsule Guides? Our Guide is an eBook that shows you what to buy, where to buy it, and how to put it all together. Let me break that down.
We show you what to buy-there is a page with pictures and descriptions of each item, so you know you need dark jeans, or a floral top, or a navy dress. Then we show you where to buy it. We give you 4 live shopping links per piece-a save option, a spend option, a petite option and a plus option. We want you to create a wardrobe that fits your body and your budget.
Then we show you how to put it together. Have you ever wanted to buy something but stopped yourself because you didn’t know what you’d do with it? Our guides have almost 20 pages of outfit ideas, showing exactly what to do with each piece. Our guides are organized by piece, so if you don’t like that floral blouse, just skip that page in the guide.
Print it out and chuck it. It’s like it never happened and the guide is still easy to use. There’s also a printable shopping list to keep you on track, and ideas on how to customize the Capsule Guide to fit your body, style, and lifestyle, as well as a page on how to build a Capsule Wardrobe on a budget.
One of my favorite things in the book is the Vacation Packing Guide, where we show you which 10 pieces to pack from the Capsule to create 10 outfits–and we show you the outfits, too. You could pack in an overnight bag for a 7 day trip. That trick always impresses people!
So that’s what a Capsule Wardrobe Is, and what the Everyday Style Capsule Guides are..but I’m going to answer just a few more questions we get.
I work in an office, is the Capsule right for me?
The Capsule Guide is meant to be smart casual, which means its nicer than yoga pants and a t-shirt, but not dress pants every day. It’s perfect for women who stay at home, or work from home, but want to look polished, and it can become business casual quite easily.
But, for women who need a little more, or less formality.
In every Capsule, we give you a Workwear Edit and an Athleisure Edit. These are each a one page visual guide of what to swap, what to drop, and what to add to our 34-piece Core Collection to make them work for your lifestyle.
I used to do a workwear capsule, and an athleisure capsule, but I hate the idea of people buying 3 guides, and essentially 3 separate wardrobes, when, with a few simple tweaks, you can make the Capsule work for any lifestyle.
There are crossover pieces, so that you can have one wardrobe that can go anywhere.
Next one, I don’t live in the US, will this work for me?
I always joke that once we took out the graphic tee of uncle sam riding a bald eagle over the statue of liberty, it does, but the reality is, there is nothing so uniquely American that you can’t replicate it where you live.
Do you have shorts where you are? You can do the capsule. Do you have t-shirts and dresses? The capsule will work for you. Our links may not work, but in our All-Access community, we have people in other places who post links as well.
Also, one of our capsule team members currently lives in Germany, and it’s super fun to get her take on European trends, and to find out what she’s seeing.
Along with this question, I often get, “My season is different than yours, will you sell a past Capsule? And we don’t—But our annual members have access to 3 past capsules, so if you’re heading into winter as we’re heading into summer, you get to see the last cold weather capsules we did.
This is also great for people traveling to a different climate, who are not sure what to pack–you’ve got wardrobe inspiration for a year the minute you sign up for the All-Access plan.
The next question I get is “Isn’t it expensive to buy 34 pieces each season? And yes, it would be, if you were actually buying 34 pieces. One of the biggest benefits of Capsule Wardrobes in general is that they save you money.
The first thing we do is encourage you to shop your closet before shopping the stores. Take that shopping list into your closet and check off the pieces you already have. I bet you’ve got a lot of these basics in your closet right now.
Also, we are so committed to reusing as many pieces as possible from past capsules, so that each season, you’re buying less and less. One of the most fun things for me is to create a capsule that looks totally fresh and on-trend mostly out of pieces we’ve used before.
This Capsule is over 50% recycled pieces, and with a couple of simple swaps, could be closer to 75-80%. We always save a few spots for items that are trending each season, so that you can pepper in those on-trend items and have a wardrobe that looks fresh and current, without starting over each season
I know its strange to hear a wardrobe stylist encourage you to buy less stuff, but it isn’t the stuff that makes you happy. It’s how you feel when you wear the stuff, and feel stylish and confident. More stuff isn’t going to get you there. The right stuff will.
I also get asked the difference between the Capsule Guide and the All-Access Membership. When you purchase the Capsule Guide, that’s what you get–the guide, the links, the workwear and athleisure edits, the vacation packing guide..all that stuff.
When you enroll in the annual All-Access Membership, you get the guide, actually you get 4 guides, starting with the season you enroll.
You also get all of our Style Masterclasses. You get the Everyday Style Challenge. You get bonus resources, like extra podcast resources, guest experts, or checklists, and you get to join us in the All-Access Community, which is our Facebook group exclusively for members.
We give you extra shopping links in curvy and tall sizes. There’s a Q&A each week with me where you can ask any style question and get personalized advice.
You can connect with other members for advice or inspiration–these ladies are the nicest people on the planet–Its seriously such a great group.
I always say Capsule Guides are a tool, The All Access Membership is the whole toolbox.
The final question I get about Capsules, is “I’m pregnant, or nursing, or losing weight”–is a Capsule a good idea? Girl, Capsules were made for you.
No, like literally, honestly, this is how I started creating capsules. At the time, I was working with a lot of women who either had babies, and were trying to reclaim a little of themselves, or were in between babies, not sure they were done, but wanted to feel good while they were figuring it out, or who were working on getting the pre-baby body back, but were sick of frumpy clothes.
What they all had in common was they didn’t want to spend a ton on clothes they wouldn’t wear for long. All of them had done the “buy the same t-shirt in 10 colors, and a few comfy shorts at target” routine, but they were feeling frumpier than ever.
So we’d shop, and put together these little mix and match wardrobes–and the very last thing we’d do before our shopping session was over, is pull out all the clothes we bought–the mall had these huge ottomans in the seating area, and I’d lay out all the bottoms, and then start mixing and matching the tops–you can wear this with this, you can wear this with this, you can add this jacket, put that jacket over the dress..you get the idea.
Women who were shopping used to watch us do this, and I can’t tell you how many clients I got this way–they’d wait until I was done, and then say “can you help me”? And that’s really how Capsule wardrobes were born in my business.
So if you’re in a time of transition, and are tired of feeling frumpy during that time, Capsule wardrobes are the perfect way to have a plan, pare down your wardrobe, and feel stylish without wasting a ton of money.
The other thing we do in the Guide is have a one page Essentials edit. Its usually about 12 pieces, and these are the ones to start with. If you really want a minimalist, get you through, wardrobe, these are the pieces you need.
On the other hand, if you want to invest in a few key pieces, the essentials are a good choice.
One of the things we really try to do with our Capsule Guides is to meet you and your needs where you are. You want a smart-casual, stylish wardrobe, we’ve got that.
You need a workwear wardrobe, we show you how to do that. You don’t want pants with a zipper and comfort is key, we help you have that. You only want to buy 12 things, but you want to look fabulous, great, you can do that too.
Without buying separate guides, or having to figure it out yourself. We do the legwork for you, so all you have to do is get the pieces you like, and then love getting dressed everyday.
Capsules make it so easy to feel stylish and confident. If you haven’t tried it, but you’re curious, why not make this the season you take the plunge!
The Capsule Guide comes out on Thursday. If you already get my emails, you’ll get an email about it. If you already follow me on Facebook or instagram, there will be a post about it.
And if you’ve been following along on social media, you’ve probably seen the sneak peek of some of the outfits already. I’ve put the links in the show notes above so you can check those out.
As a special bonus for our listeners, I’m opening up the All-Access Membership a few days early for you. All-Access members usually get the Capsule Guides before anyone else, and I’m not guaranteeing anything, but i think there’s a good chance!
That’s all I’ve got for you today. I hope this clears up any confusion you had about Capsules–if you’ve got questions, email them to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’re listening, and have a question you’d like me to cover in Office Hours, email it to email@example.com. You can find the show notes for this episode and all episodes on our website.
Thank you to Living Wonder for sponsoring today’s show. Head over to mylivingwonder.com/style and use code style15 for 15% off of your purchase.
That’s all for today–see you next week!