Capsule wardrobes can be colorful! (busting common capsule wardrobe myths)

August 4, 2018

Written By

Tabitha Dumas

Before I start busting common capsule wardrobe myths, I need to confess something: I have a much larger wardrobe than what’s in my 27 Hangers capsule. When I show my capsule, it’s really only about 20% of my total wardrobe. Whaaatttt?? It’s true! Which brings me to

busting common capsule wardrobe myths.

I’d hate for anyone to miss out on having a capsule wardrobe due to false information!

Look, a limited wardrobe isn’t for everyone. I get it. We like variety, we love changing our look, we enjoy shopping, we have the closet space, we live in an area with all four seasons (unlike Phoenix where I live). But if you have been avoiding trying a capsule wardrobe because you’ve bought into one of the capsule wardrobe myths, I’m here to address your misgivings.

Here’s one iteration of my capsule in my closet, this one was my summer maternity capsule in 2017. Pinks, blues and greens. I normally don’t include brown.

Here’s the most current version for spring/early summer 2020. My neutrals are black, white and denim. My Signature Color is turquoise/teal. My accent colors are coral and magenta.

Look in an image consultant's closet Tabitha Dumas Phoenix Image Consultant

This is an example of a summer capsule wardrobe from my friend Charlyn Thomasson of The True You Image Consulting who is a LIGHT Color Code. “I chose the items I love most. My neutrals are white and shades of classic blue. My pop colors are pink, teal, and red. I live in casual NE Florida. I love dresses I can dress up and down. I have 4 dresses, 13 tops, 7 bottoms, and three layering pieces.”

Charlyn Thomasson‎ The True You Image Consulting

Beautiful summer capsule wardrobe for a LIGHT Color Code.

Now instead of telling you everything capsule wardrobes aren’t, I’m going to tell you what they are, starting with how I define them.

Capsule wardrobes are just mix and match pieces that work together within a cohesive color palette.

It doesn’t have to be six, twenty or even fifty pieces, it can be any number you want. The main idea is the tops and bottoms coordinate and items are as versatile as possible (like a dress that can be layered over a tee or dress that doubles as a top).

I do, however, recommend the 27 Hangers concept outlined here.

The limitation helps you shop on purpose and makes getting dressed easier. Unfortunately that can be seen as limiting but…

Capsule wardrobes can be colorful!

(this one was the main reason I put off trying a capsule wardrobe myself!)

As the creator of Signature Color Style, you can imagine how high my resistance was when I saw so many capsule wardrobes that were various shades of blah, bleh and meh (a.k.a. gray, beige and white).

Of course every wardrobe needs some neutrals (mine are white, black and denim) AND I do suggest sticking to a color palette but there’s no reason your capsule wardrobe can’t include fun, bold colors! Depending on your Color Code, you can build your wardrobe around virtually any colors as long as you’re able to mix and match the pieces easily.

Here are a few examples of the wardrobe color palettes I have suggested to my Discover Your Signature Color customers.

Capsule wardrobe myths - Tabitha Dumas Phoenix Image Consultant

This is a graphic that represents my typical capsule. Yes, there are black, white and denim pieces but there are also plenty of colors and prints.

Busting Capsule Wardrobe Myhs Tabitha Dumas Phoenix Image Consultant


Now related to how I started this post…

Capsule wardrobes can be a portion of a larger wardrobe.

There is no wardrobe police who will come to your house and take away your sentimental, seasonal, travel, fun or “when I lose weight” clothes outside of your capsule.

When I work with clients, we talk about “majority lifestyle.” Read about it here.

Most of my life is spent working from home or with my kiddos when I need to be casual and comfortable. This often includes trips to the store, park or coffee shop so of course I want to look cute and feel confident. When I go out without the kids, it’s mostly to meet clients or attend a meeting so my style is “pretty casual” meaning laid back pieces with a little pizzazz. Then a few times a month I am the speaker at an event or attending something with fellow professionals so I wear a dress, skirt and/or blazer. You can bet I’m not wearing a dress, skirt and/or blazer on the days when I’m just shuttling kids around and editing blog posts. So my capsule is what I wear, on average, about six days a week. I have the closet space so I have an entirely separate and smaller “professional capsule.” Beyond that I live in a climate where it’s summer weather for about six months out of the year so it makes sense to have more warm-weather clothes.

Your capsule doesn’t have to be all you own, especially as you adjust and modify, which leads us to one of the more common capsule wardrobe myths that a capsule has to last you a long time.

Capsule wardrobes evolve.

One of my favorite moments from my favorite movie, “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?” is when Gilbert’s girlfriend meets Mama, who is so overweight she can barely move around the house, let alone live a normal life outside of the house. Mama Grape apologetically says, “I haven’t always been like this.” The girlfriend replies, “I haven’t always been like this.” #relateable

If we’re living life right, we’re constantly redefining ourselves and discovering new things about who we are. Our wardrobes should reflect that.

Capsules are often taught to be fewer, high-quality pieces which would necessarily mean you’d want to hang onto it for a longer time. But capsules are also a great way to play with and fine tune your style! So…

If a piece becomes uncomfortable, get rid of it! If you find a fantastic new top or the comfiest pants, add it in! If you suddenly hate the color yellow, toss all the yellow items! You should love every item in your capsule. In fact, capsules are a great way to determine what you really love which is why it’s OK to have outlying pieces. You’ll discover either you love them and want to add them in or never wear them so you can get rid of them!

A capsule wardrobe shouldn’t just be limiting, it should be freeing!

The best way to get started is by Discovering Your Signature Color here because I include a suggested color palette based on your Color Code and Signature Color. I’d love for you to pin and share this post so more people can get on the capsule wardrobe bandwagon!

What other capsule wardrobe myths have you believed? Maybe I can bust them!


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