Today’s tips on creating a work capsule wardrobe were guest written by Jenn Mapp Bressan, stylist and founder of Tiny Closet, Tons of Style.
The Tiny Closet, Tons of Style Capsule Wardrobe
The Boss Lady Behind the Brand
By the time I had the epiphany that my clothes owned me, I was ready to make a big change. In 2015 I had a 2.5 year old and a 6 month old, I was working full time, pumping full time, sleeping practically never and scanning at the horizon for the next phase of my life. I felt powerless and my mess of a closet was no more serving me than the piles of half clean, half dirty clothes all over my house.
In searching Pinterest for organizational solutions, I came across an article on work capsule wardrobes and it’s like the clouds opened up and angels were singing to me! In an instant I knew that this would be my next career (don’t ask me quite how I knew this). Over the next four weeks, I purged over 300 garments from my closet and donated, consigned and finally gave away everything I didn’t love or wear. I started my first year round closet with 75 garments, and from those I selected 35 for my first season. The next day I started blogging about it. Four years later it is my full time job!
The Art of The Curated Closet
A capsule wardrobe is a seasonal edit of your year round wardrobe that contains around 35-40 garments (that fit!), selected intentionally to coordinate and reflect your lifestyle, the season and your personal style goals. You only wear 30% of your closet as it is – why do you need all those energy vampire clothes? For some reason women think they feel “safe” surrounded by possessions but honestly, if you can’t organize it, can’t see it or don’t wear it – it’s clutter and clutter is not your friend.
My business Tiny Closet, Tons of Style is founded on the capsule wardrobe philosophy and the idea that you don’t need all the clothes to be very, very stylish. You need the right clothes, clothes that actually reflect what you do every day, clothes that fit, flatter and make you feel amazing every single day! The first step of my process, with every single client, is a Ruthless Wardrobe Edit. After we deconstruct her closet we rebuild it with less. I also teach her how to break the impulse shopping cycle – so there’s a lot of psychology involved, too. After working with me you’ll never shop the same way again!
6 Benefits of a Work Capsule Wardrobe
As you grow in years and responsibility, the time-money continuum becomes painfully apparent. The mornings when I had an hour to try on various outfits are over! Now that my closet only contains garments that complement both me and each other, no time is wasted getting dressed.
2. Cost Savings
Now that I only shop once a season, the money I thoughtlessly spent throughout the year is spent intentionally during a finite window!
The very act of acting intentionally conditions your brain towards mindfulness, which in time can curb impulsivity in other areas of your life. My impulses include Pinot Noir and impatient parenting.
Keep in mind, mindfulness is a skill. When I master it, I’ll text you.
As Steve Jobs aptly said, “creativity is just connecting things.” Inspired results come from the imaginative use of limited resources. When you’ve curated a wardrobe that works like a puzzle, every piece clicks together to paint a new stylish story daily. Plus you feel like a boss for working the ish out of your closet!
If I leave the house in ill fitting clothes, I am acutely aware of it ALL. DAY. LONG. I can’t relax or concentrate or even listen to you. It’s a problem. I have gone home in the middle of a work day to change out of bad outfits. I mean, who has time for that? Now with a work capsule wardrobe, I leave my house confident that every outfit slays and I can get back to obsessing over something more productive.
As a younger adult I was totally laid back, but sometime between my career trajectory and raising small children I became a basket case when faced with elements out of my control (like small children). At my breaking point, my wardrobe was one of those elements. Today, when everything else is chaos, I find tremendous peace in my closet, the one corner of my world under my complete and relentless control.
Mastering a Curated Work Wardrobe
What are some of the biggest mistakes you see women making in their wardrobes and how can they avoid them?
Women shop mindlessly, literally all of the time. When you don’t know what you are looking for, you shop like a hungry toddler – all sugar! This is why we end up with a closet full of color! print! texture! and yet – nothing to wear. In order to make cute outfits all of the time, you need the right neutral staples first and then you layer on accents. Make sure you have the basics down before you get to the fun stuff.
What are four essential items women need in their work capsule wardrobe?
I am a firm believer that your wardrobe budget should be 25% garments 75% investment accessories. These are the four work wardrobe essentials every women should invest in this winter.
1. Great jeans that are tailored to fit really well and look modern.
7 For all Mankind
2. A cashmere sweater, thin enough to layer both over and under.
White + Warren
3. The best (neutral with a pop of personality) handbag you can afford to coordinate with.
While Armoire doesn’t currently carry handbags, we love these sustainable options from Matt & Nat.
4. The best neutral, comfortable block heel ankle boots you can afford.
While Armoire doesn’t currently carry shoes, we love these sustainable options from Everlane.
Renting your Work Capsule Wardrobe with Armoire
How does clothing rental fit into your tiny closet philosophy?
Even I am baffled by the amount of physical waste hanging in closets all over this country. Sad piles of unused, hastily purchased clothes that fit funny the one time you wore them and now they just hang there, taking up space and dragging down your energy. Rental is the answer! You get that taste of newness, you can try out a new trend – and then send it back! Inventory management, baby. No one needs to own something forever.
How does Armoire fit into your life as a boss lady?
It’s a smart approach to fashion, it makes me feel clever, stylish and fiscally responsible and it aligns with my mission to own as few clothes as possible.
Ready to curate your own work capsule wardrobe? Take our 3-minute style quiz to get started!