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To Capsule or Not to Capsule

A Question for my lovely readers: Is it better to have complete outfits hanging together in your closet  or to have only a certain number of favorite pieces you need to mix and match into many combinations? 

As mentioned in a previous blog post, capsule wardrobes are all the rage. Everyone’s (including mine!) favorite blog on the subject seems to be UNFANCY. The author, with her chic, spare, casual yet totally modern and hip style, advocates a capsule wardrobe of 37 pieces which one changes out every 3 months, according to the seasons. She has a free capsule wardrobe planner on her site that you can check out for more details. As a side note, I’d kill to be as cool as this girl in my next life! 

unfancy instagram post

The idea, which we at RLS also preach to our clients, is that one should love and wear every single piece of clothing hanging in their closet.

But is this the best system for everyone? We have many clients who simply can not get dressed without their “pictures”, ie the pics we take of completed outfits, detailing every ingredient, including shoes, jewelry and hosiery. One client has only complete outfits hanging together, while others like to hang sure combos like a print blouse with the exact matching cardigan.  Mixing and matching a capsule wardrobe on their own is just too much for most non-fashion people. Perhaps a capsule wardrobe is best for those with a natural style and the time and mental space to flex their creative muscles each morning (not to mention the time to do laundry!)? Or for those with a more simple, chic style? What do you think?

unfancy caroline

A few weeks ago I wore two outfits which struck me as so perfect, so easy, comfortable AND chic, that it inspired the exploration of a different style philosophy. Why not hang your closet (or part of your closet) only in perfect outfits, as opposed to by category? This is actually how I used to hang my closet back in the day when I had time to spend 2 hours each Sunday night “styling” my outfits for the week, taking into account the weather and my work schedule that week. Now that I don’t have the time (or maybe just the energy!) for that exercise, perhaps it is a matter of creating outfits at the beginning of each season, as I do with my clients, and then leaving them in place?  Maybe not flexing my creative muscles each morning when I go to choose my outfit (a stylist challenge I always think!) would give me time and energy to do other things (like thoroughly clean up my trashed dining room table after 2 kids have breakfast there every morning!). Maybe I should become my own client, but then skip the step of checking my “pictures” each morning by just going directly to my perfect, already hanging together outfits?

Maybe there is a middle ground? I’ve begun taking pictures of outfits I like after I’ve worn them. This is the time saving way of doing your own outfit pics! Try it 🙂 I have perfect light grey carpet to lay my outfits out on but you could use your bed too. I wish I had more long-hanging space in my closet so that I could have a section just dedicated to outfits, as I used to be able to do. I suppose I could just use the front of another section but I hate messing with my organized system :).  RosaLovesDC, a fashionable friend of mine with more open space in her bedroom, has a rolling rack with her favorite “capsule” pieces separate from her closet. Every few weeks she switches it out so that she is utilizing her whole wardrobe (See blog post here). That is probably the best of both worlds.

 rosa closet pink hangers rosa loves dc

How do you organize your outfits?
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Lani Inlander is a personal stylist, working with women who want to feel their best and look put-together every day. You can find her in the Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia and New York areas.

You can find Lani Inlander and Real Life Style on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

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