20 Pieces 20 Outfits Part II: The Outfits

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Side note: The lovely Clemence from Oh the Lovely Things recently approached me to ask whether I would like to be a part of her summertime guest post series. Check out my post on the 5 essential steps to a refined personal style here.

Welcome to the second part of our little 20 pieces 20 outfits mini-series! Now that we've built a modular 20-piece wardrobe, the hard part is over + the main job is done, we can now reap the benefits of doing a bit of extra planning.

Before we get onto the fun part, building our 20 sample outfits, let's just quickly recap what the purpose of capsule wardrobes in general and this exercise in particular is: The idea is not to get rid of everything but 20 pieces in your wardrobe or to systematically catalogue every top, sock or piece of jewellery. The main objective of wardrobe building is always to improve how well your wardrobe fits your ideal personal style, your lifestyle and what you want to express through your clothes. Building a capsule wardrobe of 20 - 30 pieces is an effective way to make sure that your wardrobe includes a core set of pieces that are optimally tailored to your life and aesthetic ideals, and that you can combine with other pieces, but that would also work by themselves, for example when you are travelling. Essentially, a well-chosen capsule wardrobe ensures that both your aesthetic and practical wardrobe needs are met, i.e. you have a range of outfits to choose from for every occasion and those outfits all reflect your unique personal style. This post is an example of how versatile even a small capsule wardrobe can be, provided it has been carefully curated and developed with a set of criteria in mind.

The 20-piece wardrobe we built in the last post was supposed to work for daytime/ everyday activities and late summer/early fall temperatures. We built the initial wardrobe structure around a 6-shade colour palette (black, heather grey, white  and three accent colours: soft blue, light pink, peachy orange) and seven item categories (dresses, shorts, skirts, longsleeve tops, tanks/tees, sandals and flat shoes). This is the final set of items:

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So .... how many outfits do you think can be created with these 20 pieces?

The beauty of a modular wardrobe structure is that building outfits is literally just a case of grabbing whatever top and bottom you can find - the overall colour scheme and coherent style ensure that pretty much every item works well with every other, and you can mix-and-match freely. Although I will only be showing you my favourite 20 outfits, a 20-piece wardrobe could provide you with at least 4-weeks worth of different outfits, especially if you incorporate accessories, hair & make up and a few other tweaks to change the overall feeling of your look.

If we assume the below 20 outfits are worn on consecutive days, then each pair of shoes would be worn five-times, and each top, dress, shorts and skirt twice, except for the black skirt and white shorts (3x). Repeating items twice within a 20-day period is totally fine in my books, so our wardrobe definitely passes the stand-alone criteria and could work as the sole source for clothes for e.g. a holiday or even a season, when combined with accessories.

Here is the full list of outfits. Which one is your favourite?

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Here's where you can find the above items (from left to right): Dresses - Kain (grey), Modstrรถm (tie-dye), MW Matthew Williamson (blue). Shorts - Mint Velvet (grey), Edwin (white), J.Crew (blue), J.Crew (pink). Skirts - Sarah Berman (black), IRO (grey). Longsleeve tops - Zara (white), Witchery (striped),  J.Crew (blue). Tanks/tees - Topshop (black), Enza Costa (white), Alexander Wang (grey), Topshop (orange). Sandals - Zara (black), Sam Edelman (orange-tan). Flats - J.Crew (loafers), Superga (sneakers).