It’s easy to forget about outerwear when planning your wardrobe, because at least for me, I didn’t really consider it to be part of an outfit until recently. When you go to an event like a wedding, people generally comment on the dress you’re wearing, not the coat you wore over it on the way there. However, after seeing photos of Kate Middleton in her coats, (Check out some of her coats here) I started to notice what a difference it makes. Plus since moving to NYC, I spend a lot more time outside looking at what people are wearing! (Seriously, I’m considering doing a post about my recent wardrobe additions that have been directly influenced from New Yorkers).
As much as I love Kate Middleton’s style, I still have to consider that I have a Capsule Wardrobe and can only allot two to three outwear pieces per season, because while I’ve discovered how fun outwear can be, I still have to save room in my wardrobe for shoes, denim, tops, dresses, bags, etc.(Watch a video on how I built my Capsule Wardrobe)
How to Choose Outerwear for Your Capsule Wardrobe:
(Check out my post: 5 Steps to Build A Capsule Wardrobe , if you don’t have one already / are interested in the concept)
- Identify the base and accent colors within your existing wardrobe: This is probably the most important step, because you’ll want it to compliment the outfits you’ll be pairing it with. As you all saw in my Capsule Wardrobe post, my wardrobe is super heavy in blacks and neutrals, so it made sense for me to get a black and white coat! My accent colors for Spring 2016 are blush and light blue, which will also go well with this black and white coat. You don’t have to choose a color that matches your base or accent colors, but it should look nice with them. One of the best perks of having a Capsule Wardrobe is the freedom to mix and match without having to worry if they go well together! Do the work up-front in buying items that make sense and then fuhgeddaboutdit :p
- Determine where you’ll wear the outerwear the most: I have a day job which requires I wear business attire, so it makes sense for me to choose a jacket that can be worn in a professional setting. The other two days of the week, my outfits are much more casual. If you have to dress professionally 70% of the week, at least one of your outerwear pieces should allow that. (See how I styled one black dress three different ways for work.)
- If you’re drawn to it, figure out why: Even though most of my clothes are neutral in color, I love big prints to breakup an otherwise plain look. (Check out my patterned bag to see an example) I saw this jacket in the sale section of Madewell and put it on immediately. While you’re out shopping, and find yourself gravitating toward a specific piece, ask yourself why you think that is. Did you see someone whose style you admired wearing it? Do you like the way you look in that color, cut, fabric, etc.? The more you do these types of exercises, the more you’ll learn your style and easier it gets building your wardrobe.
- Quality over quantity: This one is a given, but a good reminder. If you have a minimal wardrobe, you better invest in quality pieces so they don’t fall apart after a few wears. The same is especially true for outerwear because most people will wear the same coat / jackets everyday for months, so they wear out much faster than other pieces within your wardrobe.
Above all, make sure that you love whatever piece you buy!! (Because you’ll be wearing it all the time) 🙂
Lots of love,