Well, I’m on day 9 of my 10-Item Wardrobe and not even a little bit bored!  This week’s Monday Style Prompt inspired a week’s worth of outfits with layered necklaces

Striped dress $5, Kenneth Cole blazer $7, Fly London shoes $13.30
Core item #2 striped dress $5, Kenneth Cole blazer $7, Fly London shoes $13.30

This necklace combo consists of vintage copper Accessorize from my closet, blue thrifted strand and She Does Create pendant.  I am not exactly a minimalist when it comes to accessories…

To be fair, I’ve been curating my collection for a lifetime!

Minimalist or not, accessories are an easy way to spice up a small wardrobe AND they can last endless seasons of small wardrobes!  Same goes for scarves…

A little stripe on stripe action...
Stripes on stripes makes me happy.

Later this month, I will share what I consider to be the essential scarves and accessories… just as soon as I ponder the sad thought of having only a few necklaces and earrings…  Actually, thrifting in general leads to a curated collection of interesting pieces that you evaluate and edit regularly, and pieces that stand the test of a few edits and make it into a few capsule wardrobes are those that most likely reflect your true style.  My OOTD had a couple of those pieces – the polka dot top which I found almost 2 years old will never leave my closet until it falls apart and the camel cardi is in the running beside my beloved mustard as the favourite.

Core item #6 sage pants $5, core item #10 polka dot blouse $3.50 plus camel cardi $3.50, scarf $1.50 and Hispanitas shoes $3.50.
Core item #6 sage pants $5, core item #10 polka dot blouse $3.50 plus camel cardi $3.50, scarf $1.50 and Hispanitas shoes $3.50.
An unexpected neutral cropped pant just happened to coordinate perfectly with several of my necklaces!
Sage is a less common but still neutral choice for my main pair of dress pants for my 10-Item wardrobe.  AND it inspired a nice combination of layered necklaces consisting again of thrifted pieces, Accessorize and She Does Create.
Love the look of layered necklaces!  Maybe it will be layered necklace month!!
Love the look of layered necklaces!

Accessorizing a small wardrobe is easier when there is cohesion to the pieces.  As I go through April, you’ll notice that everything coordinates with everything else – that is not a happy accident!  Nope, I put some serious thought into my 10-item/small/capsule wardrobe!  Call it however you like, but if you decide to try a small wardrobe for a week, a month or a season, here are some guidelines to choosing a capsule wardrobe:

  • Consider your main roles for that time period  (So very MOHO of me.  That’s an OT joke.) – for me, I’m primarily working and momming, AKA working my second job.  I need professional and casual options.
  • Pick 1-2 primary neutral colours – I didn’t want black to be the focus of my capsule wardrobe so though I have a few black pieces, my primary neutral is blue (navy/cobalt/denim).
  • Pick 2 accent colours – sure, you can pick more but try to stay in the same hue otherwise you run the risk of pieces not coordinating!  Consider contrasting or complementary colours for your accent choices as these tend to keep things interesting!  I chose greens and pinks as the accent colours for my actual clothing but can and will go crazy with colour in scarves and accessories!
  • Include classic patterns – stripes, florals, polka dots, houndstooth, plaid are all easy to mix and match.  Of these, including something striped is ESSENTIAL.
  • Consider quality of the garments – you don’t have to choose expensive designer pieces but ensure your pieces will stand up for the duration!
  • Include layering options – one button-up top in classic white or chambray will add tons of mileage to your capsule wardrobe.
  • Include variety – at least one dress, one dress pant, one casual pant, one skirt.  Do you tend to wear more variety in your tops than bottoms?  Then include more tops!  If you’re like me and counting on those extras to bolster the top options, include more bottoms in the core pieces.

I will be using these guidelines this weekend as I help my favourite Chantel find a capsule wardrobe for her upcoming master’s student placement.  She transitioned into grad student life last August and now needs to update her professional wardrobe on a student budget – thrifting is the obvious solution!  Here is the primer from her existing wardrobe to launch her capsule wardrobe:

Here is the bare-bones.
Chantel is aiming for cobalt and kelly green as her accent colours.

Of course, with thrifting you go with what you find!  Tune in on Sunday to see what we find and how the guidelines played out!  (And any other shenanigans that may ensue.)

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