Last week I discussed the Capsule Wardrobe with super blogger and maker Hila.
In the course of describing how to create a SWAP plan I suggested some colour schemes that might work for Hila, and slightly to my surprise (as I included some more conservative choices) she wrote this.
I will try my best to use stash fabric so that will most likely determine the palette I will use. Though if I didn’t have my personal rule on using stash fabric – I’d have loved Emerald green, shocking pink, red and orange.
For my own SWAP I too would prefer to use existing fabric, for obvious reasons (I can barely move for fabric and vintage patterns!). But it is not always possible. SWAP is special. You want it to be your best work, rather than just using up what’s in the cupboard. Previous experience suggests it is best to stick to the SWAP plan with conviction and to find/buy/procure/make the right fabric and colour for each outfit. This might mean you have to actually create the right fabric by printing/dying/recycling/knit/embroidering it.
We need some Kondo-inspired “joy” in our collection. Notice Hila says she loves the colours I suggested – love is more motivating than “I need to use up my stash”. Please Hila, and everyone else, come up with a plan that excites and stretches you. Better to create five items you love, than thinking “use the stash/complete the SWAP”. I know many SWAP participants will focus on using existing patterns and fabrics only, and it is laudable. I feel that if something is worth doing, it is worth doing well, and that means not compromising too much (when compromise might what you do all day everyday in real life).
I like to have an image or idea to kick me off. As Hila is a keen reader I had the old style Penguin book covers in my mind when I thought about her capsule. Can you see how this image influenced me?
“I do love a nice jacket and am thinking of a lightweight mac for one of my “overs”, Hila added.
I think two “overs”, in this case jackets, will give Hila loads of outfit choices. They are also practical in the UK as it is rarely hot enough to do without a jacket. I propose one working jacket – probably in a deep neutral, and a fun jacket or coat in a colour. A nice coat or jacket always looks smart, sassy and confident, and helps us make our way in the world. I recommend putting most SWAP time into the outwear/overs as I think you will get most wear from them.
The Hila colour palette includes dark navy and white as its neutrals. Gus, who has a much lighter palette might choose a light grey and white. Someone with warm colouring might choose tan and cream. I would always include three or four neutrals in a SWAP so you can play it down, extend the wardrobe, and create an authority look when required. I find neutral clothes have less character and therefore are easier to wear, and go with everything else in your wardrobe.
By mixing navy and white Hila can create a high authority outfit if she needs it on one of her committees, or at work. There is navy trouser suit here (swap the jeans for trousers or a neat tailored navy skirt if jeans are unacceptable in your workplace). The main colours for the wardrobe are orange, shocking pink, yellow and emerald. I thought yellow might be more fun that red, but of course all of this is indicative and Hila can easily swap other bright colours eg. bright blue, vibrant purple, mint.
- Jeans (dark navy)
- Wide leg trousers (emerald green)
- Maxi skirt (yellow or patterned)
- Knee length flared or A line skirt (orange)
5. Slim fit shirt (shocking pink)
6. Clingy sweater (I would make (knit) this in orange (inspired by the old Penguin books), white and navy and maybe write HILA on it)
7. Important blouse (white) I love this top (from Finery) but if it is too fussy Hila might just prefer a well tailored white shirt with interesting collar and cuffs
8. Embellished blouse (navy with colourful embroidery, slimmer fit than my image)
9. Dress made with a bright patterned fabric
10 Glamorous jacket (yellow leather moto? Or maybe a bright pink or emerald raincoat? )
11. Practical jacket (navy)
Would this capsule work for Hila? She has lots of cool shoes – tan and white brogues, navy, turquoise, African fabrics, tan sandals, etc.
- smart navy trouser suit with an important white blouse
- wear the pink blouse for a change
- emerald trousers with the embroidered blouse
- orange full skirt and the orange graphic jumper
- jeans with the orange jumper and navy jacket
- pretty dress with navy jacket for a PTA meeting
- emerald trousers or jeans with orange jumper to dash to shops
- dress with yellow jacket for a summer wedding
- yellow skirt with pink blouse and a navy belt
- embroidered blouse with the jeans and yellow jacket
- full orange skirt with bright pink blouse and navy jacket for a night out
- emerald trousers. white blouse and navy jacket to take the children swimming
- yellow skirt, embroidered blouse, yellow jacket for a music night
- orange sweater over the dress for a summer barbeque
- yellow skirt, white blouse, navy jacket, turquoise shoes
- green trousers, pink shirt, yellow jacket for a gallery opening
Really, by sticking to colours in the same group (cool and bright), and a consistent silhouette, everything literally goes with everything else.