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November 6, 2018 at 1:34 pm #12585
Lately I’ve been really intrigued by brands with curated collections like [Universal Standard’s Kits](https://www.universalstandard.com/pages/kits), [VETTA’s capsules](https://www.vettacapsule.com/), and [MM LaFleur’s Bento Boxes](https://mmlafleur.com/bento). Brands that, in addition to their regular offerings, offer curated capsule wardrobes (usually at a discount).
While I haven’t found one that quite fits my style (most have too much black or are too boxy for me), I’m really excited by the idea, and if I find one that really nails my aesthetic I’d be willing to get rid of literally all of my clothes to replace it with 15-20 pieces (5-10 for spring/summer and 5-10 for fall/winter). Getting dressed in the morning causes me massive anxiety and usually takes me upwards of an hour even though I have a pretty good handle on what I like. I probably have 50 pieces and only end up wearing like 7 of them in any given week anyway, so why not eliminate the excess?
Has anyone tried one of these pre-built “capsule wardrobes”? Did you use it to supplement your existing wardrobe or did you take the plunge and do a complete overhaul? Did you have a positive or negative experience? Any brands you recommend? Any you don’t?November 6, 2018 at 1:34 pm #12586
So I worked retail for a company that had a very strict dress code. Like, down to shades of pink nail polish strict. The basics were color – black and charcoal gray only – and a few specific silhouettes. (Exceptions could be approved by a general manager *only*.) Here’s my experince with that.
It was super easy getting dressed for work. I had maybe five outfits during the course of ~2 years. (At one time I would have one dress, one skirt, one pair of pants, 2 sweaters in rotation.) People absolutely did not notice/care that I wore the same thing all the time. In fact, people regularly told told me, “Page, you always look so put together!” I also learned to care about super small details. Example: I would be looking for a fine knit, black scoop neck sweater, but one that’s a bit more of a scoop (and less of a boat neck) than my last fine knit, black scoop neck sweater.
And that’s where you get into the negative side. You can become obsessed with little details and finding the perfect piece. It also wears your clothes out. Wearing the same things often is good, but it means they get worn out faster too. This can be a bit difficult if you’re on a budget or rely on thrifting to supplement your wardrobe. Finally, you do get bored. After awhile, even the “You look so chic” compliments got boring. I know that sounds mean; you’re not supposed to say that. But there were days we’re I didn’t feel good – I got my period, spilled ranch dressing on my leather jacket and knew a messy kitchen as all that was waiting for me at home. But I’m glad you like the same outfit I’ve been wearing for the past year. You kind of stop caring.
Overall, I enjoyed this part of my life. I learned a lot about how small details can make a big impact on the overall fit of a garment. I also learned how to still show your personality when your job requires everyone to look ~*complementary*~ to one another. But breaking out of that strictness is difficult; or it was for me.
And maybe that strictness what some people want. For some it probably comes with a certain type of freedom. For me, it meant being really critical about every piece I considered buying, which was really difficult sometimes. I still find that I follow “rules” for my clothes (no bows, stars, or polka dots) because those details are sweeter than my prefered codes (chain details, studs, leather trim). And when you shop that way, you develop a very distinct style; I always felt like *me* when I looked in the mirror. Capsule wardrobes rely on these unspoken codes or rules in order to be cohesive. The second you start making exceptions is the second you stop having a capsule wardrobe.
My advice? If you want to go for it, then do it. Figure out your color palette and your own codes. Identify items that you like, but that don’t fit within your core style. Consciously decide that you won’t buy those colors/silhouettes/etc. It’s not going to be easy and fun all the time. Shopping can be frustrating. But there are good things that come with it, if you can embrace the strict lifestyle.November 6, 2018 at 1:34 pm #12587
First of all, thank you for introducing me to VETTA – gorgeous!
My job requires business professional clothing, so I’m a big fan of MM LaFleur and have had several bento boxes and highly recommend the company (whether for bentos or for your own orders) – I use bento boxes to supplement my existing wardrobe, largely because I really enjoy getting pretty work clothes, so I like adding a few pieces here and there rather than having a small, specific capsule/go-to uniforms, and I like having a stylist suggest things for me to branch out a little bit. The clothes are thoughtfully designed and well-made (and many are machine washable) and you could definitely curate a versatile capsule from their basic pieces, though it may take a couple of rounds of bento boxes/your own orders to round it out perfectly since they are put together by humans and have a pretty wide range of options.November 6, 2018 at 1:34 pm #12588
Identify those 7 things you wear in a week and box up the rest for awhile. Free 7-piece capsule wardrobe.November 6, 2018 at 1:34 pm #12589
While the simplicity appeals, I actually usually dislike wearing a one-brand outfit. This is probably because I haven’t found the ‘perfect’ me brand, but I find that the fit ends up in unbalanced and the textures and pallette too repetitive. I guess the repetition is the point of a minimalist curated capsule though? Maybe it just doesn’t appeal to me.November 6, 2018 at 1:34 pm #12590
I like the idea, but to be honest I find it’s easier to just make sure that when I’m about to buy a top, it already goes with most of my bottoms, and when I buy a bottom, it goes with several tops; and throw in a random unique dress here and there. My old buying habit was “buy it if it looks good and make it work,” which was how I ended up with a closet full of mismatched clothes and nothing to wear. Now that I’ve stopped doing that, it’s a lot easier to be minimalist.
I agree with another comment that it’s hard to find a single brand that encompasses my whole look. And I think really these capsule wardrobes are designed to be augmented with other purchases.
By the way, I buy a lot of Universal Standard, and their whole thing is women of all shapes and sizes, who all want something different when they get dressed. Which is awesome, but also means that everything is in a range of “omg this is perfect” to “wtf um no, this is not for me.” And their kits usually have both hit or miss pieces, and are not much cheaper than picking out everything separately – it’s mostly “buy all of these and get a free tee or tank” or something.
Eileen Fisher has something similar called The System, but it’s just oh so boring. And expensive.November 6, 2018 at 1:34 pm #12591
Sounds like you should KonMari your wardrobe, u/canibalope, to really hone in on what you enjoy wearing and to reduce anxiety about all the rest. Such a freeing thing!November 6, 2018 at 1:34 pm #12592
Do you know of any that aren’t hundreds of dollars ??November 6, 2018 at 1:34 pm #12593
I’ve had issues w Vetta’s fit/sizing/quality which is a shame bc I loved the designs and idea. I hope they refine it as they grow! MMlaFleur is excellent – I’ve received their bentos and also have visited popups they’ve had in my city. Great dresses in appropriate work lengths, most are machine washable, generally just useful and flattering.
As far as complete overhaul… it can be hard reducing to so few pieces. Most YouTubers/bloggers I’ve seen that have done capsule wardrobes all go back to just kind of a more curated wardrobe after a while. There’s a lot of limitations, like if the weather changes, something gets damaged, or if you aren’t able to do laundry. My takeaway is that it’s good to find the pieces you utilize or gravitate to most often, then just stick to wearing and buying those things when you can!November 6, 2018 at 1:34 pm #12594
This is really cool. I’ve never heard of that before. 😊November 6, 2018 at 1:34 pm #12595
I’d love to find something like this in the UK.November 6, 2018 at 1:34 pm #12596
I actually did something similar to a customized capsule in that I knew Target was having a good jeans sale, so I took my measurements and ended up purchasing 3 pairs of pants, a skirt, 2 jackets and 3 shirts for $230 and shipping. So worth it. I’m not crazy about Target but for basics that you can trust (unlike through Amazon, which is hit or miss) this was a great way to make an ‘essentials’ capsule for cheap.November 6, 2018 at 1:34 pm #12597
Agree with some other commenters that it’s worth experimenting with items you already own. I used to be similarly anxious: now I just rotate 5 different pairs of pants and around 20 shirts / blouses, and 6-8 pairs of statement-ish earrings. I also have my ‘no fail’ items always hanging at the front of my robe so if I’m in a bit of a frenzy, I can reliably just fall back on those.November 6, 2018 at 1:34 pm #12598
I recently came across [Issue Clothing Co](https://www.issueclothing.com) – they offer capsule wardrobes and are based in New Zealand. Shipping is free to Australia or $40 to the rest of the world. While I really like their aesthetic, I haven’t purchased anything because it really doesn’t fit the casual vibe of my workplace.November 6, 2018 at 1:34 pm #12599
I’m trying out [StitchFix](https://www.stitchfix.com) right now, haven’t gotten my first shipment yet so I’ll have to update this later.
It’s not a capsule wardrobe per se, but definitely you could use it for that.
Similar to the other services you mention, they send you 5 articles of clothing to try and you pay for the ones you keep. A stylist picks everything and you can customize the budget and style in fairly high detail.
Seems worth checking out if you want more tailored selections.
**10/4 Edit:** Just got my box today, and I would agree with most of the comments.
I got almost exactly what I described wanting in the notes section and on my Pinterest board, which I appreciate. (Wanted v neck sweaters, one military jacket, and leggings, all very basic, just to test it) but I only like 1/5 things and I didn’t ask for a purse.
The quality is *meh* for ~$50 per item. One of the sweaters ($64) is paper thin and has gold buttons up both arms/shoulders that catch my hair. Idk why it’s more expensive than the thicker one which is basically what I wanted ($52). The jacket was ok but not worth $108.
The card with outfit options looks like someone sloppily hacked it from a roll and they probably just searched things in a stock list of generic outfit items in their database. Maybe the “stylists” don’t even see what they’re sending us. No human being would send a decent sweater with a crap one on purpose. I’m lucky to live in a major city with lots of outlet selection so maybe I’m just spoiled. But these clothes definitely will not survive the winter.
They tried though, and maybe I’ll buy from the website where the item I liked came from. For the rest, they goin straight back to hell. I could easily find something similar for the same price or cheaper at j.crew factory, Nordstrom Rack or H&M and they would be better quality.November 6, 2018 at 1:34 pm #12600
[Brass](https://brassclothing.com/) offers some kits you can semi-personalize. You’d have to get several of these to make up 15-20 pieces, though.November 6, 2018 at 1:34 pm #12601
First time hearing of VETTA and I’m extremely taken with their catalogue! Thanks for the introduction!November 6, 2018 at 1:34 pm #12602
Eileen Fisher has [The System](https://www.eileenfisher.com/plus/collections/the-system/) of eight easy pieces which is the Menocore holy grailNovember 6, 2018 at 1:34 pm #12603
VETTA is super pretty. Does anyone know of stores with a similar style and plus size options?November 6, 2018 at 1:34 pm #12604
My trick is, when i go shopping, to only buy pieces that already go together. like if i’m trying on outfits, get a top that goes with the skirt AND the pants i’m looking at. if you’re buying multiple items at a store, every single item that I end up with should be configurable with the others. my theory is if you can’t figure out what you’d wear with it IN the store, you’re not going to figure out what to wear with it in your closet.
here’s another trick when you’re clearing out your closet: pretend you’ve got a 12 day trip coming up, but can only take a weekend bag with you…what’s the fewest items you can take that won’t require doing laundry halfway through? the pieces you select are the pieces you take. do this a couple of times for different “occasions” (summer outfits, work outfits, winter outfits), and keep only what you can mix-match with 2+ other items. Look at what’s left over and pick out 3-5 statement pieces (those that are too outside the box for the rest of your wardrobe) that you LOVE or wear frequently. Donate or sell anything else.
> Any brands you recommend?
I really like Muji and Uniqlo for capsule basics. I don’t know that I can articulate why…something about the way that their clothing is designed feels very neutral and balanced to me so it’s a great place to hunt for whatever that thing you need (a white tee, a neutral jacket) that will go with everything else in your wardrobe.November 6, 2018 at 1:34 pm #12605
I *love* MM LaFleur, but they can’t seem to get my fits quite right, so I’ve had to send back the bulk of what I’ve been sent from them. I actually really like the stylist I’ve been working with, but I need them to figure out what size to send me consistently, or I’m just going to have to start buying individual pieces for myself.November 6, 2018 at 1:34 pm #12606
Anyone get MMLafleur bentos or have several items from them? I bought just one dress, which is nice but it’s unlined! Kind of expected lining. Was that a fluke with me just picking the wrong dress and are most of them actually lined?November 6, 2018 at 1:34 pm #12607
Frank and Oak do something similar in Canada.November 6, 2018 at 1:34 pm #12608
Have you ever tried a Style Challenge? Two style bloggers that I’m aware of do these – [Gypo blog challenge](https://getyourprettyon.com/style-challenges/) and [Putting me Together Blog challenge](https://www.puttingmetogether.com/putting-me-together-outfit-challenges/). They essentially pull together a casual capsule wardrobe for you, and you can buy the pieces from multiple sources, and then they provide a large number of outfits based on the capsule wardrobe. I’ve tried both and doing the style challenges really helped me to hone in on my particular style and figure out what works best for me. And I eventually created a mix and match wardrobe based on a color scheme that I really like.November 6, 2018 at 1:34 pm #12609
I love MM LaFleur’s styles, but they don’t really do petites. Lack of extended sizing is what really knocks these niche capsule brands down below “mass” brands. It’s easy enough to hem items; but altering pieces in every dimension is just too hard.
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