Is it possible to have a small wardrobe if you love pattern and color?

All these posts about small streamlined mix-and-match wardrobes, minimalism, and purchasing items that work in capsules or investment pieces etc. are so inspiring, and yet I can't help feeling a little guilty that I can't seem to achieve this with my own wardrobe. It feels like a lofty goal that would never work for me no matter how hard I try. Everything I own does fit in my closet and one dresser, but I feel like my wardrobe is too big compared to others and I don't feel like it's a cohesive wardrobe. I mean, it's definitely cohesive in the sense that everything in it fits within my personal style and I have lots of outfits that make me feel fab, but I can't seem to think in terms of capsule dressing or a true mix and match wardrobe.

The problem is I really love patterns (I don't feel like myself unless I have at least one pattern on) and bright colors (including many different colors from autumn shades to sorbet brights to ink blue, black/white and red). I do wear a lot of neutrals like cream, black, grey, navy, and cognac too, but more as supporting pieces. I think if I had to wear solid neutrals that all mixed and matched (like those Vivienne files) I would feel kinda sad and bored. I also love statement pieces and they don't always play well with each other (kind of like divas!). With patterns, I do like to do some pattern mixing, but there's a limit to what you can do with that before it turns tacky. And my style tends to run a little ALGO as well which seems to be at odds with minimalism. And then I really like to wear dresses, which are kind of like stand alone outfits and don't remix well (I wear dresses with jackets on top rather than layer shirts under my dresses). I like variety, but because my clothes are so distinctive and disparate, I tend to get my variety by wearing many different complete outfits in my favorite combinations, rather than remixing a small number of clothes in endless permutations. I'd rather come up with the perfect iteration of an outfit and wear it that way every time, rather than trying to come up with new combinations just for the heck of it (even though I tend to change things up anyways, so you guys don't get bored with my WIW's if you've seen it before).

I know lots and lots of people here definitely rock the streamlined neutral mix and match capsule wardrobe and I really admire their style, so I know it's definitely acheivable, but I don't seem to have the talent to think in those higher planes. When I started YLF I was definitely learning about fit and evaluating individual items, and now I've been getting the hang of creating finished outfits with accessories and pattern mixing and layering, but I still can't wrap my head around capsules yet. I did dabble in travel capsules the last couple of trips, but the thought of trying to make my whole bloated wardrobe fit into a set of capsules overwhelms me.

I think I may be forced by external health factors into trying to be more minimalist though, because if I continue to gain weight I am going to not fit into a lot of my clothes anymore, and I won't have the ability to spend as much money and time as I did creating my original wardrobe (not to mention lack of space in my closet!).

So maybe that will be my next challenge for this coming year, to learn more about wardrobe remixing and capsule dressing! I'm kind of scared and don't know if I can really do it though! Can an ALGO, pattern/color/statement piece loving girl really have a minimalist wardrobe and still be happy with it? I need help and advice from all you fab capsule dressers! Thanks for putting up with my closet angst!

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.

41 Comments

  • cheryle (Dianthus) replied 5 years ago

    Natalie, we all have to determine what our perfect wardrobe size is based on our life and circumstances. What works for one will not work for another and that is okay.

    You lead a very busy life with two young children and a demanding career. I know you derive a great deal of pleasure from shopping and wardrobe planning and that is okay too. Find your own equilibrium and don't sweat it.

    That is my sage advice for the day. :)

  • rae replied 5 years ago

    I don't think you are anyone needs to have a small wardrobe just to jump on the bandwagon - your closet works for you, so why feel bad about it?

    My large wardrobe works for me, too. I AM trying to make it smaller, but this is due to space reasons and feeling overwhelmed with clutter - you are much neater than me. I don't feel that one way is better than the other. Like you, I would be totally bored with most of the capsules ont he Vivienne Files (though I still read the blog and love it).

  • Zapotee replied 5 years ago

    There is no need to make it smaller, Natalie.I LOVE pattern too. it is funny I said that because there is no picture of me here where I have a patterned item.
    You have a well cultivated closet. I love everything you own and I would wear most items myself.

  • Isabel replied 5 years ago

    Natalie, you shouldn't compare you wardrobe size to other people's. Everyone had different needs and tastes. I think that because prints ( especially larger ones ) are very memorable, it is harder to have a smaller wardrobe. But a wardrobe should be functional and make you happy.

    I recently have been reading about Project 333....33 items of clothing for 3 months. I was also reading about a man who implemented this and more. He told of a 3.5 week trip through Europe with his wife and 5 kids. They went MINIMALIST. He wore a pair of pants and shirt while traveling. In his bag was an extra pair of underwear, shorts and t-shirt. He and his wife shared a tooth brush....and that was it !!!!! My point is that something works for everyone. Find your something.

  • Mo replied 5 years ago

    I think you kind of answered your own question here. There is no one size fits all. One person's ideal need not be another.
    For myself, I wish to have a smaller wardrobe because I hardly ever truly wear out my clothes by purge time, as Isis pointed out on another thread. Clearly I have too much, if things don't ever get the chance to be literally worn into the ground but rather purged still in fine condition.

  • replied 5 years ago

    The important thing is that your clothes are being used. There is no economy in using valuable closet space and spending untold amounts of $ for things that aren't worn.

  • Sylvie replied 5 years ago

    I could never live with the capsules on the Vivienne files. I don't want a large wardrobe but I do crave some variety. I am also a lover of bright colors and unfortunately, that means they just don't all go together. I could never wear a mostly neutral wardrobe. I have to force myself to add neutrals other than black to the wardrobe so I have something to match the colors with.

    If you have a large, functional wardrobe where everything is getting worn, I don't think there is any need to purge it just to get down to some ideal of a small wardrobe. In your case, if you do end up needing to create a temporary wardrobe in a larger size, it wouldn't hurt to use the capsule approach for those clothes while incorporating as many of your prior purchases as possible. Remember that your belts, shoes and bags will still fit and we know you have a great assortment of those already to help add color/pattern/interest to your outfits.

  • Isis replied 5 years ago

    As per Mo's comment, I think it is OK NOT to wear things out too---give the rejects away to friends or to charity.

    Wearing things to the ground is my personal preference, only because I actually like wearing favorite things over and over, in different combinations. They become comfortable favorite friends. But that is me!

  • Makrame replied 5 years ago

    I think that everything is possible but may not be necessary for everyone. :) If your wardrobe works for you, no matter how big or small it is, that's great!

    That said, since I like patterns and color too, I can see potential for having a small wardrobe even with this in mind. For example, for myself, I could imagine having 3 or 4 patterned dresses plus a denim jacket for the summer, and wearing these every week for work, mixed with a pair of denim capris and a couple of bright tops. I also find that I will often pick a dominant color (not a neutral) and a lot of items will work with it. For example, in my fall wardrobe I have quite a few burgundies, oranges, and olive colored pieces - most of these can be combined with each other.

  • Isis replied 5 years ago

    I just thought of something---Sveta always has interesting colors, patterns, textures.

    Yet the number of items in her wardrobe is amazingly small! She is the mistress of a small consolidated wardrobe!

  • Angie replied 5 years ago

    I LOVE what Dianthus said. *applause*

    Your wardrobe has to work FOR YOU, Natalie. We have different wardrobe needs and preferences - and that is key. I have worked with enough clients on very personal levels to understand this concept completely.

    Some like to investment shop, others don't.

    Some like to create mix and match capsules, others prefer to wear single outfits over and over again. Both strategies can work.

    Some like to purchase items made in the US, others don't mind where their items are made as long as the price is right.

    Some like to purchase fast fashion, others don't. Some enjoy mixing high-end with low end like I do. I love wearing a Zara blouse with my Valentino bag. I like to mix Ann Taylor with Prada. Chanel with the Gap. Kate Spade with H&M. It puts a huge grin on my face because to some extent the playing fields are evened out.

    Some have huge budgets to spend on their wardrobes, while others don't have the luxury of it - yet they need a working business casual wardrobe that functions on a daily basis with a budget of $400 a year. They *have to* make it work and I fully support those purchasing decisions.

    Personally, I have always enjoyed working with a small wardrobe because I am a less is more kind of a gal with a passion for well made things. I do not wear jewelry. Our house is small, my car is small, our furniture is small, and my dogs are small! I don't shop at Costco nor do I shop in bulk. My small wardrobe thinking works with my persona.

    Natalie, I also work with clients who prefer to have lots of variety and large wardrobes. I respect this fully and we make this strategy work for them.

    I am however NOT tolerant of people who do not wear their wardrobe items. If you have a large wardrobe you MUST WEAR YOUR STUFF. People can get overly focused on the hunt and the bargain that they forget to wear their clothes. PLEASE wear your stuff and have fun with fashion. That's my plea to all :)

  • Ingunn replied 5 years ago

    Your wardrobe looks very exciting! I think there is plenty of room for variety and colors in any wardrobe as long as you have a good selection of basics to pair it with. I try to use accessories to add some pattern and color to my outfits.

    I think you seem to be making considerate choices about your wardrobe. To create capsules from what you already have might be fun, and maybe you'll manage to combine your love for solitude standers with a more versatile and a bit smaller wardrobe with some practice?

  • Ruby Tuesday replied 5 years ago

    Natalie, I think you have have made decisions which have ensured your wardrobe has not become too large, you have identified your style, you have identified your needs and you have identified your colour palette. Each piece in your wardrobe reflects these choices, your wardrobe is not random or full of orphans. I think you need to give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done.

  • Lokibear replied 5 years ago

    Like you, I like the idea of a smaller wardrobe but don't think I could give up variety! From travelling VERY minimally (not sharing a toothbrush, but still!) and studying abroad a couple times without many clothes, I know that I get sick of my clothes quickly if I have too few and am barely able to force myself to wear them after a couple months! You could always try a 30 for 30 challenge or something like that if you were interested in exploring what a limited wardrobe would feel like- maybe you would be surprised! Or not! :)

  • Jamie replied 5 years ago

    Great comments -- everyone! Just my 2 cents, but I wouldn't sweat it, Natalie. Stand by what works for you, and don't worry about the rest. Of course, there is always something to learn from others, but filter what works for you, and leave the rest.

    I have a small wardrobe and try to work with capsules because it fits with my personality as a whole - like Angie, less is more for me. But that's not right for everyone. And I don't think I'm all that swift at remixing. That's a skill I need to hone. I watch how you and others remix and learn so much.

  • Diana replied 5 years ago

    Natalie, I agree with everyone who says it's a very personal thing! The right size wardrobe is what is right for you and not for anyone else.

    Personally, I have a large wardrobe and I like it that way. However, I have collected it over many years (I tend to hold on to things for a long time) so I don't spend that much on it every year. If I had to build a wardrobe from scratch I would probably settle for something MUCH smaller to start with as I have neither the money nor the inclination to shop for that much clothes in a short amount of time.

    I find capsule wardrobes interesting and a fun challenge for short periods of time only (like when traveling or something) but I'm always glad to get back to my diverse, interesting, large closet!

  • Firecracker replied 5 years ago

    I think I'm more like you than like Angie--I can't imagine anyone accusing me of tending toward minimalism is my wardrobe. I feel like the advice to think in capsules (or other advice about wardrobe planning) is helpful in sorting out places where I get stuck--e.g., trying to figure out why I don't wear items that I like, or what new combinations I might come up with when I tire of my stand-bys. If you're not feeling stuck, though, I wouldn't worry about trying to change your approach and certainly wouldn't try to conform to some imagined ideal.
    I appreciate Angie's dictum: Wear your stuff. I need to post that in my closet!

  • Mochi replied 5 years ago

    "you MUST WEAR YOUR STUFF. People can get overly focused on the hunt and the bargain that they forget to wear their clothes. PLEASE wear your stuff and have fun with fashion."

    I think Angie put a finger on something I was struggling to articulate.

    And it reminded me of this portion of an interview where Iris Apfel was talking about visiting a friend of hers who had a gorgeous couture item (probably inside a vault-sized closet). Iris said to her, "This must be so much fun to wear!" and the friend replied, "Wear it? I never wear it. I bought it so I can look at it."

    I think that it's also common for many of us that once something is actually acquired, it loses some of its allure, and it's all about moving on to the next thing that's out there.

  • CocoLion replied 5 years ago

    Angie said:
    I am however NOT tolerant of people who do not wear their wardrobe items. If you have a large wardrobe you MUST WEAR YOUR STUFF. People can get overly focused on the hunt and the bargain that they forget to wear their clothes. PLEASE wear your stuff and have fun with fashion. That's my plea to all :)

    Like someone else said, I have to paste that on my wardrobe. Or maybe, my forehead.

  • CocoLion replied 5 years ago

    Oh ... and Natalie ... don't sweat it! There are lots of us with large wardrobes, yet struggling to figure out what works best for us. Fashion is definitely my hobby, and I do spend quite a bit on my hobby. I too am thinking, fewer things, fewer sales, more quality items. But I'm not there yet. It's a process, and we're here for a reason.

    I think what's important is that we do not judge each other. This is what I love about Angie and YLF. There is no judgement! We're all here to learn and have fun with fashion.

  • Zapotee replied 5 years ago

    As a side note, I must have the opposite problem. Once I find what I'm looking for I wear it to the ground, then neglect the oldies.

  • Debbie replied 5 years ago

    Natalie-I probably can't add anything that hasn't already been said but your wardrobe is wonderful. You derive a lot of pleasure from it and someday a smaller wardrobe might suit you but not now. Enjoy your pieces and wear every bit of it.

  • Suz replied 5 years ago

    Natalie, you just keep on doing what works for you. You enjoy your clothes, even love them, and your enthusiasm is infectious. A large wardrobe works for you well.

    Just follow Angie's dictum and get rid of the stuff you DON'T wear. And continue to have fun.

  • nancylee replied 5 years ago

    As someone who also loves pattern, I totally get your dilemma, Natalie. I think it's almost impossible to have a tiny compact wardrobe if you really love pattern and/or color (unless you're a fashion expert like Angie!). Before joining YLF I actually had a very small wardrobe of neutrals that I tried to jazz up with patterned scarves and interesting costume jewelry. It worked ok, but I found myself a little bored.

    Since joining YLF 18 months ago my wardrobe has probably doubled in size! It's larger than minimal, but not so large that I have trouble wearing everything. To some, it might seems large, but for me it's just big enough to avoid boredom and small enough to actually wear everything. I also live in a varied 4-season climate that demands very different clothing options for different times of the year.....so I think this factor opens the door to a bigger wardrobe by necessity.

    Interestingly, my years of minimal dressing were useful training for when I have to travel. I still pack a very neutral-based capsule of basics and patterned scarves and/or interesting jewelry when I'm traveling. It works great when I'm on the road, but I'm always happy to have the variety of my entire closet at my fingertips when I return!

    I wouldn't worry too much about the size of your wardrobe. Like a lot of us, you were probably overdue for some shopping and a wardrobe shakeup when you joined YLF, but now you've reached a point where it's time to take a breath. Like you said, it might be time to do some experimenting with what's in your closet rather than buy any more for the time being. Like you, I don't do a lot of experimenting with my clothes. I tend to find a formula that works and stick with it! And there's nothing wrong with that either. That said, I am going to try to mix things up a little more going forward just to see what happens.

    You're not alone. A lot of us in the same boat! :)

  • cciele replied 5 years ago

    I hear your concerns about possibly needing to work with a smaller wardrobe because of your medical issues. It is daunting to think about replacing a lot of stuff! But guess what, you have already done a great job evolving your style and I think you will be able to handle the next challenge admirably (and of course YLF is here for you). Take small steps and take it a day at a time.

    PS I don't even know what a wardrobe capsule is, haha!

  • Lisa replied 5 years ago

    Great post! I think a key take-away for me here is that the size of the closet does not matter, it's how often the clothes are getting worn and if that frequency is enough to satisfy oneself. Some people will desire items worn often with lots of remixing abilities. Others may desire items worn only once or twice a season in the exact same combinations. And I think both of those can work. It's all a personal preference. I do think that your heavy pattern wardrobe is lovely and has many wardrobe stars that like to shine on their own. Enjoy each star!

  • KathyL replied 5 years ago

    If you live within your budget, and you wear and enjoy your closet, that's all that matters. Of course, this is coming from the person who just bought 14 things during the NAS so take that as you may ;-) But seriously, you shouldn't feel guilty about having a big closet.

    You have some great pieces in your wardrobe, and I hope you won't have to rebuild your whole wardrobe due to your health issues. I'm sure that you can remix and put together capsules with what you have and just add some key pieces here and there like some waist surrendering tops and flowy, stretchy skirts.

  • KL replied 5 years ago

    I have the same love for patterns and colors, and at this point in my style journey I've accepted that I won't have a small closet. I have been living on a small capsule wardrobe for 10 weeks now (one large suitcase) and I'm BORED! Even though half of my "capsule" consists of brightly patterned pieces, there are a limited number of combinations I can wear because I packed very few neutral supporting pieces. I find myself repeatedly thinking of things in my closet back home and wishing that I had them with me--that's a good sign, for me, that I am indeed wearing most of my clothes.

  • Sveta replied 5 years ago

    Natalie, I am not sure what really triggered this post. Was it just all these other posts on the wardrobe size and you felt that yours is different? Or do you feel you do have so many things you don't get to wear everything in a season?
    If it was the former I would not worry about it: after all we all have different tastes, life styles and habits. Some like it safe and some like to play!
    However if it is the latter and you do feel you cannot wear everything you own because you have too much then maybe it is time to look at it and evaluate it. Nobody but you can judge it and nobody should.
    If you feel like you want to hug your wardrobe and each single piece in it and it makes your morning less hectic and more pleasant then i think you should be in wardrobe nirvana. Both too big and too small wardrobes can make dressing difficult I think.
    I was also following all these threads on minimal wardrobe, investment pieces, etc. for the last couple of weeks and this is what occurred to me:
    If dressing is your hobby and a way to express yourself then it is hard to do with a very small closet. Creativity requires a certain critical mass to be possible, enough components to play with patterns, shapes and textures. Too few and there is no room for creativity. Too many and you don't need to be as creative. However what is "just right" is different for everybody and this is completely OK. If it fits your style, your lifestyle and your budget I don't see a reason to change it just because somebody else does it differently.

  • Gaylene replied 5 years ago

    As long as you are enjoying your clothes and wearing them, your wardrobe is the perfect size. I like a smaller closet because I don't crave as much variety as do others. And the thought of spending time in front of a mirror playing around with different combinations sounds horrifying to me. But the world would be such a dull place if it was inhabited only by those of us who like to wear our neutrals. You, and all the ladies who love color and pattern, brighten up our world. You bring a smile to our faces and light up the room when you enter-- and we love you for it.

  • shevia replied 5 years ago

    Enjoyed this thread very much and I hope you do also Natalie. A minimal wardrobe is not a moral imperative! Do what works for you and wear your clothes with joy.

  • Vix replied 5 years ago

    Hi GP --

    If your medical issues (sorry!) do/will require different clothes, and you're asking "HOW can I have a smaller wardrobe that includes pattern and color?" then I think you need to edit this title or start a new thread.

    [And I do think in general one can have a smallER closet that incorporates pattern and color...but it definitely requires certain strategies and a lot of stepping away from temptation!]

  • Deborah replied 5 years ago

    Natalie it has all been said so I just want to encourage you to have the wardrobe that works for you and enjoy:)

    I am guessing in general terms I have a moderate (whatever that is) sized wardrobe, however in comparison to some friends my wardrobe is quite big... but I find i get bored easily, and dressing is a creative pursuit for me so I do like variety. As long as I feel I can manage my wardrobe and I am wearing most of my items, I am pretty happy. This is going to sound really silly, Im sure, but I love it when I walk into my closet and pull out a garment that maybe hasn't been worn for a while (a few weeks)and then the enjoyment I experience at putting it into an outfit and wearing it that day. (ok maybe I need to get a life??) But it's true. While it brings me pleasure, i know I my closet and the size of it's contents are ok. But when it starts stressing me out and is too full and/or disorganised then I know it's time to take action.

  • Jyoti replied 5 years ago

    I really don't have anything deep to add to this like everyone else, but I just wanted to chime in and say I hear you! I just love dressing up in different stuff and having all these options far too much to maintain a minimalist wardrobe. And like Deborah, I get this crazy pleasure from pulling out something I haven't worn in a while and figuring out a cool new way to wear it.

    Also I love your closet. It's so big and neat and pretty. JEALOUS.

  • goldenpig replied 5 years ago

    Thank you thank you thank you everyone for your words of wisdom and reassurance! I hope you all don't think I'm a whiner or navel-gazer for starting this thread. I was just inspired by Angie and Mochi and everyone else's minimal wardrobe threads and feeling a little frustrated that I didn't know how to achieve it myself. But I realize now that I don't really need to have a minimal wardrobe, I can have a large wardrobe as long as it's functional and organized and I wear everything. I would love to have a mix and match wardrobe like Sveta's but right now I don't think it's achievable for me.

    I still would like it to be a little smaller, just because I feel like I am not able to wear my favorites as often as I'd like without neglecting everything else. I LOVE Angie's dictum above to "WEAR YOUR STUFF" because it's so true! I need to repeat this mantra over and over! (I'm so glad I started this thread just for that...it's like going to the top of the mountain and hearing the guru speak!) My favorite pieces I typically wear 2-4 times a month, but other things I may wear only once every 2-6 months. I guess I have to decide if that is often enough for me to justify keeping. I wish I had read some of these small wardrobe threads back when I was first starting to accumulate. Because like Diana, I tend to hold onto things for a long time...once I fall in love with something and it passes my K/R, I tend to always like it, even if the fashion world has already moved on. I think my "dated" filter is a bit defective, LOL! (I still even kept a couple of those 90's skirts!). It's so much easier to not buy something new than it is to purge something that's already in your closet, especially if it's relatively new and fits well and already works with your style persona.

    I did get rid of a lot of stuff for the OC YLF swap (some of it was even post-YLF purchases). I will definitely try to keep purging regularly, but I think the key for me for decreasing wardrobe size will be to avoid shopping temptation and make more thoughtful purchases. It's easy to get carried away and duplicate favorite silhouettes or colors (my dress collection seems to multiply like rabbits!). I have to remind myself to only buy things that are a true wardrobe hole that actually needs to be filled, and not get seduced by something that is cute and fits and is "so me", if I already have similar items.

    I think another test question that I need to keep repeating when I consider a purchase is "Would I rather wear this, or my favorite dress/shirt/skirt etc. more often?" If I like my favorites better, then I need to stick with those! To that point, I recently was browsing the Anthro website and found all these cute dresses on sale (some of which I had considered ordering when they were full price) and filled my cart with a bunch of them, each in multiple sizes. Well, I ended up deciding not to hit "buy" yet and think about it for a day or two. And now, I decided I don't really need those items as I have others that would work just as well. So, that is real progress for me! Old me would have just bought everything and tried it all on and returned most of it. Much less work for me not to buy anything in the first place! It's just as well, because I'm getting kind of fatigued with shopping and the whole order/try on/return cycle. It's nice to be able to just shop my own closet instead!

    I was so inspired by the wisdom on this thread that I spent over an hour working on my closet tonight--hanging everything up that I had tossed on the floor this week, going through everything and pulling a few things for swap/donation, and setting aside my whole jeans collection that doesn't fit me anymore (around 20 pairs, yikes!) I'm saving them in case I can make it back down to my original weight, but it was such a relief to clear them all out of my closet...I felt like I could breathe a little easier! Having them there and wondering whether I could still fit into them was stressful! I realized that I haven't worn my colored denim (except the red) all that much, so maybe next time those will be the first to go. I do have the boyfriend jeans and larger sized jeans so I do have a few pairs that I can still wear. I think I'll be OK. I also culled a bunch of T-shirts that I rarely wear because they're a little too tight/short now and a few other items that I wasn't excited to wear. I'm going to put them all in a holding pile and re-evaluate them later when I have more time.

    So, long-winded response to say that I took all of your advice and applied it to my closet and while it's still large by any measure, I feel like I made a lot of progress in streamlining it as much as I can! Thanks for your support--I really enjoyed reading your responses!

  • goldenpig replied 5 years ago

    Oh, and I don't think I could survive one of those 30 for 30 challenges. I love the IDEA of those Vivienne file capsules, but if I had to wear this for a month I think I'd cry! They all look the same to me!

  • Gaylene replied 5 years ago

    And I'd go hmmm... that could work with a couple of bright scarves and a few accessories. Isn't it wonderful that we both can feel at home in this forum!

    It sounds like you have fun with your closet, Natalie. :)

  • goldenpig replied 5 years ago

    Yes, Gaylene, I love the wide variety of styles and approaches at YLF and how we are all supported no matter how we do things! I wouldn't want everyone to dress like me! I don't think I've seen your WIW's before but I have no doubt you rock the neturals!

    I went in my closet and just sat for a minute or two...so relaxing to have it neat and organized again (it had been getting messy).

  • Abie replied 5 years ago

    You've gotten a lot of great commentary and advice here. I am a lover of color and pattern too, but I also have a pretty small wardrobe at this point. I still have some holes to fill but none that are urgent needs. I don't do a whole of remixing, but I do some, like taking a statement top and wearing it with jeans/capris/pencil skirt.

    I look at some things as 1-2 season items and some as longer term. I keep around 10 dresses and buy a couple each season and pass a couple on. If I'm not sure if I'm ready to pass on I'll put them away a while.

    Bottoms - I buy these pretty basic as I'm more apt to pick more statement tops. I tend to keep these multiple seasons, often until they wear out. Because they are basic to me I tend to not overbuy and I will re-wear a lot, especially denim. I might wear a favorite pair of jeans or Bermudas a couple times a week.

    Tops - I buy several statement tops that are less expensive. I tend to wear them a season or two until they wear out or I tire of the print and then I pass them on in favor of shiny new colors and prints.

    Toppers - I go for more basic toppers to work over my statement tops and dresses. I tend to keep toppers a long time, and I have fewer of them.

    I've had quite a bit of success limiting my neutrals. I try to stick with Black/Blue/Grey/Metallic - Staying mostly out of the brown family (I do have one cool brown pair of boots) help's my bottoms and shoes mix and match with my statement tops and dresses.

    Basically my dresses and tops are the divas. I try to not repeat within 2 weeks at work, but I will often use a statement top or dress one week at work and then the next weekend. Replace my statement pieces as I get bored so I get to keep having fun shopping and trying new things.

  • Janet replied 5 years ago

    Natalie, just wanted to lend support as a fellow print-loving large wardrobe owner who would be bored stiff with that 30x30 capsule pic you posted upthread.

    I like that we all have our own individual styles -- and that applies to wardrobe and shopping preferences as well as fashion! Some of us will thrive with tiny, tightly edited wardrobes that skew towards solid colors, simple shapes, neutrals, etc. And then there are some of us who love colors, patterns, and have a bit of "collector" personality when it comes to our clothing.

    Enjoy your closet -- all of it! Whatever you don't enjoy, let go of it. That's my philosophy.

  • clearlyclaire replied 5 years ago

    I would be bored stiff with the capsule you posted directly above too Natalie! I think you have a wonderful closet, and I could see you branching out with accessories if weight gain is a temporary problem. I've been thinking about silk scarves, bags and shoes since my body is changing, and is likely to change some more in the next couple of years.

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