Monday, January 11, 2016

Homeschooling Fashion Study: The Capsule Wardrobe



"...to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes..."
Isaiah 61:3

Friends I am so glad that you are joining us in our humble journey in learning about beauty and fashion. I am blessed by you. If you've missed the first two posts that started our homeschooling fashion study, you can see them here: You're Beautiful and Anatomy. Thank you for being with us. 


When I picked out this song this week, I cried as I listened to it. I've heard it lots of time before, but it never ceases to amaze me the love and life and mercy and grace that is given to each of us freely, even to such as me. My prayer is that you know it too. You are loved and in that love you are beautiful...His love makes it so! (This clip has portions of the movie The Passion in it. Please preview before sharing with your young daughters.)

This week we are going to focus on a capsule wardrobe. Capsule wardrobes are about doing more with less.

So what's a capsule wardrobe? It is generally a set of 12 pieces of clothing that go together to make approximately 60 outfits. Yep, 60. It's not a typo. The key to a capsule wardrobe is that all of the pieces have to look great with everything else and by themselves.

A professional capsule wardrobe would include a dress, a 3 piece suit, a white button-up, a pair of jeans, a frosting jacket (a special stand-out kind of jacket), and 5 knit tops. And you can get 60 outfits from just those 12 pieces by some simple switching around:

  • pair all the shirts (knit tops and the button up) with the pants from the suit
  • then repeat adding the jacket from the suit
  • then do over with the skirt from the suit
  • and again with the skirt and jacket
  • now put the shirts with your jeans
  • and add your jacket
  • oh wait, be sure to switch out all of the places that you have your jacket from your suit with your frosting jacket
  • then comes the dress with or without the two jackets


Then if you throw a seasonal scarf in and you've doubled the amount of outfits.




My work capsule:



Okay, so, real life here. I homeschool, most of my time is spent at home. I am a chef, maid, home herbalist, nurse, gardener, diaper changer, a snot rag, and sometimes I am on puke patrol. More often then not, my clothes end up with something on them, something that I don't even recognize. So my homeschool capsule list is a bit different than say a work capsule would be. I'm looking for comfortable, fits well, and cheap because lets face it, I'm very fortunate if these clothes aren't ruined by the time a year is up.

My around the house homeschool capsule consists of black yoga pants, black leggings, 5 tunic-type shirts, 2 cardigans, 2 sweaters, a maxi skirt, and a dress that can be worn with my leggings. Nothing is included that I'm afraid will be ruined or that can't be thrown in the wash.

Another option for homeschooling (or at home) Mommas that are out and about more than at home, would be to use a capsule with 12 pieces similar to this: a dress, a cardigan, a maxi skirt, khakis, jeans, a dressy shirt, 5 tops, and a camp style jacket.

A solid capsule for Mommas on the go:



While adult capsules clothes should really be an investment, inexpensive options for kids is a good idea. For girls, you could also consider brands that can be worn often and pass down well, if there is more than one girl in your brood. A capsule might be a good idea for your daughter if she is growing out of things quickly and you are starting over, or if she has finally stopped growing and needs some lovely and classic pieces.

For homeschool girls, I would recommend a capsule that includes: a dress, 5 shirts, 1 cardigan, 2 sweaters (one with buttons all the way down so that it can double as a cardigan), 1 dress shirt, 1 pair of jeans, a skirt (or an extra pair of jeans or another dress), and a pair of dress pants, khakis, or a third pair of jeans.

A capsule for Ceesa looks like this:

A capsule for Jo-Jo looks like this:
You can freshen this up as the seasons change by getting a seasonal cardigan or shorts (jean and khaki) or a special dress.

Some tips for capsule wardrobes include:
~try to get as many wears out of your clothes before washing as possible; washing and drying are very hard on clothing
~iron your clothes when there are wrinkles (we need to do our capsule clothes!)
~you can spray a light mist of water and baking soda mix (about 1 tsp. baking soda to 2 cups of water) onto your clothing to illuminate some odors, but if you choose to do this test the fabric first

And now the fashion show... :)

First up is a dress that I have worn to church and when I chaperoned a ball.

It is a sweater dress and one that is two sizes bigger than my normal dress size. I have never been able to pull off a sweater dress, they are just too tight. But with this one being bigger and shapely on its own, I feel comfortable wearing it. I have tried it with brown boots (which look great) and a belt (which Poppa didn't like, so unbelted it is). The plum color is lovely and the cowl neck is always a plus for me.

Both girls' outfits this week are hand-me-downs with the exception of Jo-Jo's scarf (which was borrowed from my closet).

Ceesa's black dress looks lovely with her golden blonde hair. We have a big, black dog and she matches him too. :) She wears this to church and it would be cute to wear to a birthday party too.

The dress itself is a bit short on its own, but the lace leggings make it just right and the cardigan makes the dress wearable even in cooler temperatures. 

Speaking of good color combinations, Jo-Jo's complexion is perfect for shades of purple. She would wear this outfit for going out for casual dinners or get-togethers with fellow homeschoolers.

While it is hard to tell in the picture, she has matched this sweater with a scarf in the same shade family and has a white tank top under the sweater. It is another one that is just about ready for the give to a friend box.

Portfolio Assignment: Look through your closet and pull out the pieces that could make a capsule wardrobe. Take pictures of the pieces. Print the pictures out and then mix and match them to make outfits. Make a list of your options. If you are missing something from the list of 12 items, this might be the best place to start when thinking about making a new clothing purchase.

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Wishing you homeschool blessings,


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