A Capsule Wardrobe Workshop

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The week before last I taught a workshop at the Eliot School, one of places I've been teaching locally for the last few years. I thought I'd share a bit of what we did in this class, a sort of behind the scenes peek!

The concept for the class was pretty straightforward. Here's how it went:

Take two simple patterns, a top and bottom or dress.


Fit these patterns to your body using muslin mock ups.


Create a mood board of your personal style, including colors, textures, garments, ideas, and other inspiring images.


Create a color palette using your mood board or just going with your current wardrobe.

Decide on your favorite shapes: what do you like to wear and what do you feel good in?


Create three variations of each capsule basic. Think about how they'll mix with each other and your current wardrobe to make outfits.


Plan your sewing projects and get to it!

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My own wardrobe is a constantly evolving and changing organism which I've written about many times before on this blog. I now know that part of the reason I became a teacher is that I learn best by teaching others. It helps to deepen my understanding of a topic to work through it and explain it to somebody else. I was completely thrilled at the idea of creating a class and a workbook based on a concept I'd been throwing around in my head for my own wardrobe.

I decided to also challenge myself to make outfits using some of the items that I'd consider part of my 'capsule wardrobe'. Each day I documented the outfits and looking at them all together in this blog post, the theme is pretty clear. I even joked about it with my students, but I think that running joke also helped to get the idea across. It also got me thinking about my gaps that I determined in an earlier post. It was sort of a proof-of-concept for how much those pieces are needed. So I'm reminding myself here: More boxy knit/woven tops in my color palette, a brown A-frame skirt, and an off white cardigan (Making good progress on this one!)

When I have a bit more time (amidst crazy class prep for the fall semester...I took on an additional class at the college where I work and need to fine tune the syllabus) I'm planning to work through my own workbook, make some changes, and maybe add a few things? I'm very much looking forward to it. Perhaps I can time it to correspond with the changing over of my seasonal clothing (which usually happens well into November, admittedly).

Have you ever done an in depth evaluation of your wardrobe? Do you have what you'd consider a "capsule wardrobe" or do you have a sort of "uniform"? I'd love to know more about what informs your practice of getting dressed in the morning!