I mentioned in an earlier post that I would take some time to talk about the differences between a capsule wardrobes and a year-round wardrobe. Capsule Wardrobes have always been a thing, but they have gained a lot of traction over the last few years, becoming extremely appealing to people who are embracing a more minimalist lifestyle. There are challenges like the 10x10 or the 30x30, where you take 10 items and create 10 outfits. Or 30 items and create 30 outfits. Then you have the French style, which is a very classic and timeless small wardrobe. There is also the seasonal capsule wardrobes where you take a certain amount of tops, pants, shoes, and outerwear for each season.
I love the idea of minimalist dressing, only wearing the things you absolutely love. But I don't like feeling confined by rules or being a bit constricted by what patterns are acceptable by minimalists. Maintaining a lot of neutrals and feeling like you can't get too expressive isn't for me. Now, don't misunderstand. There are definitely capsule wardrobes that can be quite expressive, creative and colorful if that's your thing. But I don't like being held to rules about what I should or shouldn't do to curate a capsule wardrobe. I do love the ideas of challenges though, so maybe we'll do a few of our own here, but for now, let me move on to the explanation of the Year-Round Wardrobe.
So what makes the Year-Round Wardrobe different from the Capsule? Honestly, there are simply fewer rules and limits. To achieve the max amount of creativity and outfits, you don't want to keep items that you don't love or wouldn't want to re-wear. But you can have as many items as you want. You don't have to stick to any particular color palette or limit your patterns. You can have all you love, you just need to feel like you can wear them as often as you want without growing tired of them. If getting the max wear of your favorite outfits means you need to get rid of some of your lesser-loved items, do it. If you love variety and do not feel like you are overwhelmed with choices then maybe it's time to simply mix it up and try out a few NEW ways to wear a piece that you love.
Personally, I wouldn't encourage a giant wardrobe if you become overwhelmed easily when you look at all of it while trying to decide what to wear. But most certainly keep the things that you find yourself loving and wearing often. If there are pieces you love but don't know how you could wear them more than a season or two because of color, pattern, or fabric, keep them for a while and experiment layering with a jacket, leggings, rolling up the sleeves, etc.
Anyway, once you know what you want to wear year-round, it's time to experiment with layering, mixing patterns (I'll do a post on that another time), accessorizing, and so forth. Some outerwear and accessories I find very helpful in creating a year-round wardrobe are; a leather jacket, a denim jacket, a neutral belt, a versatile purse, a pair of neutral flats (I prefer tan or camel color, but my current go-to is black), neutral boots, a silk scarf or two if that's your thing, a pair of sandals, some sort of vest or blazer depending on preference, a couple hats (i.e., a neutral wide brim hat, a straw hat, a baseball cap, a fedora), and your jewelry of choice. Of course these aren't must-haves. But I found these helpful in creating my own outfits.
In my closet I have a limited amount of purses, but an exorbitant amount of shoes. I also have quite a few belts and scarves that I've thrifted over the years. I probably do not need near as many items as I have, but it's helpful in creating some very fun outfits. So if you have a particular item that you keep a lot of like shoes, scarves, purses or jackets/vests/blazers, when creating outfits, I would focus on trying to find at least several ways to utilize those particular items.
I also find it helpful to have some versatile patterned pieces, like the leopard print skirt above. I can wear that particular skirt in all seasons, with almost any top. That one specific piece can lead to the creation of many outfits, year round. You never have to feel restricted from expressing the fact that you enjoy certain bold patterns and styles when you style them right.
In the video below I take the cropped sweater and demonstrate how to turn a chambray summer romper into a unique summer look, along with sharing some other seasonal ideas. By utilizing two simple pieces, and a belt, you can make some lovely eye-catching outfits.
Hopefully this post has given you some inspiration if you are looking for a new way to create a year-round wardrobe, utilizing all your favorite pieces in your closet.