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Melissa Young, a Buckhead-based lifestyle and wardrobe specialist

Create a capsule wardrobe with tips from a renowned Buckhead-based stylist.

Melissa Young, a Buckhead-based lifestyle and wardrobe specialist

It’s 7:15 a.m., and you’re already running late. You walk into your closet to select an outfit for the day, and you stop. There are so many items in the jam-packed space that you don’t know what to put on. You spend an inordinate amount of time trying to settle on a blouse, pants, shoes and accessories, and you head out the door feeling stressed and depleted.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Melissa Young, a Buckhead-based lifestyle and wardrobe specialist, offers the following tips for building a capsule wardrobe that will simplify your routine and give you more outfit options than you could imagine.

What is a capsule wardrobe?

A capsule wardrobe gives you a way to create more than one outfit with a small number of items in your closet. For instance, you could have 10 items total but be able to create 40 outfits depending on how you mix and match them.

What kind of pieces should I have in my capsule wardrobe?

Start with the basic essentials. That could be a black turtleneck, a white button down, a black pair of pants, a gray tee, a pair of white jeans and abasic dark denim. That’s the foundation of an outfit. Then you can add a layer on top of that, such as a trench coat, a white blazer or a denim jacket that will give you added style. And you can choose pieces that can be layered and worn through all of the seasons. A capsule wardrobe should last you a long time.

How can I add color to those neutral foundational pieces?

Accessories. If you’re wearing all black, add a really bold statement earring or a pop of color with a necklace. You can also add colorful bags to your wardrobe or use any type of shoe to add that color. You have to become great at accessorizing.

How many pieces should I plan to purchase or have?

I think 20 pieces is a comfortable place to be. That could entail five pairs of trousers or pants, two skirts and a number of blouses to mix and match. You can also have five pairs of shoes in there. You may even have items in your closet now that you can build a capsule wardrobe around, such as a cardigan that looks good and makes you feel great. You know what works best for you.

How much should I plan to budget for new items?

It’s helpful to set a budget of around $99 per outfit. That includes a top and a bottom. But it’s also good to start small. If you know what you’re able to afford, give yourself 50% of that so you can be comfortable as you make your first purchase. When you see what you can do with that 50%, then you have that extra cushion as you add more quality pieces.

How long will it take until I have a streamlined capsule wardrobe?

This isn’t going to happen overnight. Be patient with yourself and trust the process. As you begin adding items, you’ll be able to see a difference in your wardrobe in about four or five weeks. You may even find yourself preparing your outfits the night before, and you won’t start the day standing in your closet feeling overwhelmed. You’ll feel organized and ready to go. I always say that if you have clarity in your closet, then you have clarity in your mind.


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