Author Topic: Starting a capsule wardrobe. Ladies, what brands should I buy?  (Read 42373 times)

Czechgal

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Re: Starting a capsule wardrobe. Ladies, what brands should I buy?
« Reply #50 on: January 30, 2014, 06:59:13 PM »
I love this thread.   I have been wanting to pair down my wardrobe.  This is a great place to start.  Everyone has provided lots of good ideas.  I live in Texas so my wardrobe will mostly contain summer and winter/fall/spring.  I used to love black because it's so chique.   However our summers are brutal, 100+ degree weather than can last for upwards of 8 consecutive weeks.  My favorite foundation color is now white.  I pair everything with white.  I only choose colors that I like & that look good on me.  I'm a large gal so it's important to find things that flatter my figure.  Thanks for all the ideas. 

ZiziPB

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Re: Starting a capsule wardrobe. Ladies, what brands should I buy?
« Reply #51 on: January 31, 2014, 07:15:01 AM »
Quote
Never buy anything that you don't expect to keep for the next 10 years

I have several classic cashmere sweaters that I bought probably more than 10 years ago and that are still in excellent condition despite a lot of wear.  However, I no longer wear them because even though technically they are classic turtlenecks, even the classics change over time.  The sweaters are now too short and boxy, coming barely to the top of my hips.  I was comfortable wearing that length of sweaters for a long time but over the last couple of years, due to the change in the current style and changes in my body, they just don't look good on me!  I don't want to get rid of them because they are still in great shape but I don't wear them any more.  I try to put them on and take them off right away because they just don't look right.  So now they just clutter up my closet! 

So I am not convinced that the 10 year rule is the way to go.  I would be better off getting something less expensive and well made because by now it would be worn out and I wouldn't feel guilty about getting rid of it.

madgeylou

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Re: Starting a capsule wardrobe. Ladies, what brands should I buy?
« Reply #52 on: January 31, 2014, 10:37:00 AM »
Quote
Never buy anything that you don't expect to keep for the next 10 years

I have several classic cashmere sweaters that I bought probably more than 10 years ago and that are still in excellent condition despite a lot of wear.  However, I no longer wear them because even though technically they are classic turtlenecks, even the classics change over time.  The sweaters are now too short and boxy, coming barely to the top of my hips.  I was comfortable wearing that length of sweaters for a long time but over the last couple of years, due to the change in the current style and changes in my body, they just don't look good on me!  I don't want to get rid of them because they are still in great shape but I don't wear them any more.  I try to put them on and take them off right away because they just don't look right.  So now they just clutter up my closet! 

So I am not convinced that the 10 year rule is the way to go.  I would be better off getting something less expensive and well made because by now it would be worn out and I wouldn't feel guilty about getting rid of it.

hey izeve, what about layering the turtlenecks over a stretchy cami or tank top that's much longer? i'm quite tall and i find i'm able to wear a lot of slightly too short things with this trick -- the length of the under layer really seems to balance out the shortness of the sweater. you can do the same color or a contrasting one for a different effect.

yyc-phil

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Re: Starting a capsule wardrobe. Ladies, what brands should I buy?
« Reply #53 on: January 31, 2014, 12:08:56 PM »
My two cents as a guy who is into fashion, but on a very short shoestring, and who appreciate well-dressed men and woman. As mentioned earlier, my wife owns a consignment store and I spend most of my free time there. The idea that some classic items can last ten years, or even five, is mostly wrong. I see all kinds of brands from the cheapest to the most expensive, and in most cases it is very easy to spot something older than two years, which we rarely take. Even "timeless" and classic pieces such as suits, blouses, pants, dresses, from the best labels (Dior, Chanel, Prada, etc.) lose their appeal after a few seasons and clearly show their age. This is also true to a lesser extent for casual wear like jeans and footwear. In my experience, very few pieces I own can stand the test of time, usually casual footwear and wool sweaters, but rarely dress pieces, unless you have them altered by a professional tailor which will cost you more than a shopping spree at your local consignment shop. Older, high end items and accessories that fall in the "vintage" category are a different thing altogether and while they can be very fashionable, they are not for everyone.

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Re: Starting a capsule wardrobe. Ladies, what brands should I buy?
« Reply #54 on: January 31, 2014, 08:32:56 PM »
Another point is that quality things can be tailored (jackets, jeans, pants, etc.) to update the look. My grandfather gave my husband several of his bespoke suits and my husband had them tailored not only to fit but also to update the style (not trendy).  I always hated the droopy feeling my jeans would get by the end of the day and the answer to that problem was some darts put in above the pockets. Now I can wear my jeans 4-5 times (the recommended amount) before I have to wash them.

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Re: Starting a capsule wardrobe. Ladies, what brands should I buy?
« Reply #55 on: February 01, 2014, 07:21:25 AM »
great comments here!

Big fan of the capsule wardrobe.  I have sold or donated some of my clothes, but mostly "shopped" my own closet & set aside about 2 feet of rod space for my current capsule.

2 thoughts:
1-dry clean/dry clean only.  Yes many items can indeed be washed, but test first!  Less (or even no) soap is usually better. **In my experience most sweaters and many knits do better with hand washing.  Even on delicate/hand cycle in my washing machine there is enough agitation to contract the yarn more than can easily be stretched out (cotton usually-not saying always- is fine in my washing machine).  **For slacks in the washing machine, be aware that wool may shrink a bit the first time, but very slightly (not a whole size in my experience, but enough to notice).  The innerfacing at the waist often puckers, pulling it taught & ironing it dry immediately on taking the item out of the wash helps (I usually let the rest of the garment drip-dry then touch up with an iron to press).  **blouses work pretty well, but if unsure of material, get an out-of-sight spot real wet & let it dry and possibly iron to make sure it's not "allergic" to water.  **blazers I spot clean or brush off and dry clean only if absolutely necessary - if you sweat a lot, try putting dress shields in the blazer armpits to avoid needing to clean.

2-when you do have an essential that wears out and there isn't a replacement in your own non-capsule closet, do research first and then buy when you find a good deal - be patient & willing to wait.  And feel free to be creative!  I got a great pair of casual-to-business-casual leather boots on clearance at Tractor Supply (really) after keeping an eye out for a few months.  I got a new rainshell last year on clearance in the children's section of EMS.  My current "chore" pants are from Salvation Army.

KatieSSS

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Re: Starting a capsule wardrobe. Ladies, what brands should I buy?
« Reply #56 on: February 01, 2014, 07:39:04 AM »
entire post

That post has inspired me to really take a hard look at my wardrobe - cue weekend project!

And +1 for Athleta. I own a few items and they are extremely durable and surprisingly versatile. For example, I wear some of their dresses in the summer both going out and to work. Plus, the fabric breathes well, meaning I can survive the sweltering heat/humidity without too much trouble. Athleta is pretty expensive, though. The durability has been a factor in my willingness to pay the high price, though.

Zaga

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Re: Starting a capsule wardrobe. Ladies, what brands should I buy?
« Reply #57 on: February 01, 2014, 07:51:54 AM »
I don't know if I do a capsule wardrobe, but I stick with a narrow color scheme.  I do gray, black, white.  The only colors added in are blues and greens.  I think that finding a pair of like new Uggs three years ago started this (they were turquoise and $20).  I only have blue/turquoise jewelry (other than diamond/white gold).  My stuff all goes together.  It is really simple.  I hardly buy clothes, but I like Merona from Target just fine, and I feel like my stuff of that brand lasts longer than other brands from that store.
This is very similar to my color choices.  I'm just getting started on this, but I looked at what I liked to wear the most and am heading in the direction of having only clothes in that color scheme.

Mine is black-grey-white for the neutrals, then red, teal, and purple for colors.  Those colors all look good with my coloring, dark hair with pale skin.

Though I'm not too far into it, I absolutely LOVE that I can grab pants, a shirt, a sweater, and a scarf in like 30 seconds and know I'm going to look professional and put together.

Zaga

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Re: Starting a capsule wardrobe. Ladies, what brands should I buy?
« Reply #58 on: February 01, 2014, 08:12:03 AM »
great comments here!

Big fan of the capsule wardrobe.  I have sold or donated some of my clothes, but mostly "shopped" my own closet & set aside about 2 feet of rod space for my current capsule.

2 thoughts:
1-dry clean/dry clean only.  Yes many items can indeed be washed, but test first!  Less (or even no) soap is usually better. **In my experience most sweaters and many knits do better with hand washing.  Even on delicate/hand cycle in my washing machine there is enough agitation to contract the yarn more than can easily be stretched out (cotton usually-not saying always- is fine in my washing machine).  **For slacks in the washing machine, be aware that wool may shrink a bit the first time, but very slightly (not a whole size in my experience, but enough to notice).  The innerfacing at the waist often puckers, pulling it taught & ironing it dry immediately on taking the item out of the wash helps (I usually let the rest of the garment drip-dry then touch up with an iron to press).  **blouses work pretty well, but if unsure of material, get an out-of-sight spot real wet & let it dry and possibly iron to make sure it's not "allergic" to water.  **blazers I spot clean or brush off and dry clean only if absolutely necessary - if you sweat a lot, try putting dress shields in the blazer armpits to avoid needing to clean.

2-when you do have an essential that wears out and there isn't a replacement in your own non-capsule closet, do research first and then buy when you find a good deal - be patient & willing to wait.  And feel free to be creative!  I got a great pair of casual-to-business-casual leather boots on clearance at Tractor Supply (really) after keeping an eye out for a few months.  I got a new rainshell last year on clearance in the children's section of EMS.  My current "chore" pants are from Salvation Army.
Oh ugh, just reading that post makes me cringe!  If my clothes are so delicate that they don't last in the wash, then I do NOT need them!  Since most of my shopping is at thrift stores, I don't feel too badly if I buy something that does not hold up in the wash.  If it doesn't hold up, it goes in the trash.  If it needs ironing to look acceptable, it gets re-donated.  I just don't have the patience for all of that.

Now, I do buy and alter things a lot.  I'm short and thin, about the size of your average 12 year old, so many things can be cut down to look good on me.

amyable

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Re: Starting a capsule wardrobe. Ladies, what brands should I buy?
« Reply #59 on: February 01, 2014, 08:35:02 AM »
I used to love black because it's so chic.   However our summers are brutal, 100+ degree weather than can last for upwards of 8 consecutive weeks.

I wear black on bottom pretty often, but never on top.  I'm also lucky, because I don't have to work through the worst months--I teach middle school--so, my summer wardrobe is mainly jeans and t-shirts.

Nice username--my husband is Tex-Czech!

ichangedmyname

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Re: Starting a capsule wardrobe. Ladies, what brands should I buy?
« Reply #60 on: February 01, 2014, 09:57:41 PM »
My problem with black is all the lint. For some reason everything that comes out of the dryer is linty even with dryer sheets in there :(

Evie

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Re: Starting a capsule wardrobe. Ladies, what brands should I buy?
« Reply #61 on: February 01, 2014, 11:44:56 PM »
Pull out your ten favorite items from your closet.

Are they textured?  Modern? Bo ho?  Casual? Sporty?  Take a good look at the colors and the style.  Often times people mix way too many styles together, when if they edited to their core style shopping would be easier.

Organize your shirts and clothing by color in your closet and see if you can get a sense of what colos you where the most.

Brands I like are Banana Republic (a fashion designer friend turned me on to their basic pieces), BCBG, Laundry, Theory, J Crew, and Calvin Klein.  I have found all of these at my local thrift store.

I also gave up on pants a few years ago. I mainly buy dresses at the thrift store, or skirts. I find these are way more forgiving than pants when it comes to gaining or loosing five pounds, and yes you can still ride a bike in them.
   
Browse a few thrift stores to find out what is available in your local area, and if you don't find much you can also try consignment stores. You will pay more, but there are a number of great deals.  Finally, if you or a friend are good at coupon shopping Macy's can sometimes be ok in terms of value. 

Hint for thrift store purchases:  throw a 1/2 cup to a cup of vinegar in the wash to remove the disinfectant/scented detergent smell. This is the only thing I have found that works, and boy does it!

Zaga

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Re: Starting a capsule wardrobe. Ladies, what brands should I buy?
« Reply #62 on: February 02, 2014, 06:59:00 AM »
My problem with black is all the lint. For some reason everything that comes out of the dryer is linty even with dryer sheets in there :(
When I separate our clothes, between DH and I there are so many blacks that one load every week is black.  therefore, no lint problem!


Evie, I'm going to try that with the vinegar.  I hate that smell!  I often end up washing new thrift store purchases 1-3 times before wearing them because of that smell.  Shirts/sweaters especially because they are closer to my nose.

ichangedmyname

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Re: Starting a capsule wardrobe. Ladies, what brands should I buy?
« Reply #63 on: February 02, 2014, 11:41:09 AM »
My problem with black is all the lint. For some reason everything that comes out of the dryer is linty even with dryer sheets in there :(
When I separate our clothes, between DH and I there are so many blacks that one load every week is black.  therefore, no lint problem!


Evie, I'm going to try that with the vinegar.  I hate that smell!  I often end up washing new thrift store purchases 1-3 times before wearing them because of that smell.  Shirts/sweaters especially because they are closer to my nose.

I've tried it with all black and even though there are no light colored lint there's still lint and hair. Ugh.

Melody

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Re: Starting a capsule wardrobe. Ladies, what brands should I buy?
« Reply #64 on: February 03, 2014, 04:32:15 PM »
With the fitted blazer these are easy to get at any end of season sale as the stores tend to always have leftover blazers as there is always some-one who buys more pants/skirts than they should. Choose one that you can get away with hand washing (I have a nice black fabric that isn't wool - it's held up to two winters of hand washing and still looks good) as this saves you numerous $12 trips to the drycleaners! It was $130 marked down form $350.

Faith2014

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Re: Starting a capsule wardrobe. Ladies, what brands should I buy?
« Reply #65 on: February 08, 2014, 10:39:15 PM »
OP - what kind of job do you have?  I am not fashionista, but have been reading corporette and capital hill style for a couple of years.  There's a  lot of opinions there on brands, and express was just trashed by many lawyers (due to a letter being written in by a young attorney).

There are lots of complaints about quality over the last couple of years - Ann Taylor being one of the most frequent names I've seen called out.

Personally, I plan on setting up an appointment with a personal shopper.  I don't want/need uber expensive clothes - as a consultant, I need to look nice, but don't want to look overpaid.  Evidently they really work with your budget.

Edited to add:  I plan on googling to see if there are any consignment shops near me - so many great tips in the comments here!

KBecks

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Re: Starting a capsule wardrobe. Ladies, what brands should I buy?
« Reply #66 on: February 11, 2014, 06:06:33 PM »
Just came across this blog and it's  pretty cool

http://zerowastehome.blogspot.com/search/label/Wardrobe


pumpkinlantern

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Re: Starting a capsule wardrobe. Ladies, what brands should I buy?
« Reply #68 on: March 11, 2014, 08:33:48 PM »
I am very precise about the clothing pieces I want to buy, but will take forever to buy them because I won't get anything that isn't good quality, stylish, and is on sale...and I'm willing to wait for it.

Depends on your lifestyle, but here's what my classic staple pieces would be:

Bottoms
- 1 dark denim jeans*
- 1 pair black pants*
- 1 black skirt*
- 1 pair shorts (for gym/working out)
- 1 pair fleece pants (when it's too cold for anything else or overtop of shorts - I live in Canada)

Tops
- 1 dark blue fitted blazer jacket*
- 3 blouses (various colours - eg. red, blue, white) for work or going out
- 1 black cardigan
- 3 t-shirts (for working out)
- 1 knitted sweater
- 1 cashmere sweater*
- 1 sweatshirt
- Various different colored tank tops

Dresses
- 1 black dress (formal)*
- 1 colored dress (formal/semi-formal)*
- 1 fun summer dress (casual)

Other
- 1 high quality suit*

Shoes
- 1 pair black heels (buy high quality and re-sole)*
- 1 pair black/brown boots (buy high quality and re-sole)*
- 1 pair black flats
- 1 pair running shoes
- 1 pair sandals

Handbags
- 1 large casual bag
- 1 medium sized casual bag
- 1 medium sized formal bag*

The asterixis (*) are the ones I would spend good money on purchasing high quality.

And then you can accessorize to add flavor to your outfits.  Colorful scarves are great for that.  Good use of jewelry or belts can also do that.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2014, 08:36:00 PM by pumpkinlantern »

peppermint

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Re: Starting a capsule wardrobe. Ladies, what brands should I buy?
« Reply #69 on: March 11, 2014, 08:49:59 PM »

I also gave up on pants a few years ago. I mainly buy dresses at the thrift store, or skirts. I find these are way more forgiving than pants when it comes to gaining or loosing five pounds, and yes you can still ride a bike in them.

Yes, I love wearing dresses - with leggings and boots in the winter, and flats (and hose, depending) in the summer. Dress, boots and a cardigan is a work uniform for me (pretty casual office). Last year I was dissertating and my weight was fluxing a lot (go figure) so I really appreciated the dresses!

madgeylou

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Re: Starting a capsule wardrobe. Ladies, what brands should I buy?
« Reply #70 on: March 11, 2014, 09:05:30 PM »
I've been traveling for a month and I am a carry-on only type of girl. Here's what I brought, and it's worked out quite well:

2 dresses (one work appropriate, one beach appropriate)
2 pairs of trousers
2 skirts
3 tank tops
3 short sleeve blouses
1 3/4 sleeve blouse
1 long sleeve blouse/jacket for layering
1 knit blazer
1 thin cotton/cashmere pullover (for the many plane rides I've taken)
6 underwear
2 socks
2 pairs of sandals
1 pair of lightweight Mary Janes
1 pair flip flops

I've done laundry a few times, and everything was black, white, grey, or turquoise so I could easily mix and match. Prolly could've gotten away with 2 tanks instead of 3, and 1 pair of sandals instead of 2, but overall I felt very happy with how I packed for this trip. The crucial thing was that everything I packed was a piece that I really like to wear -- if I had any items I felt meh about, this small of a wardrobe wouldn't have worked.


slughorn

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Re: Starting a capsule wardrobe. Ladies, what brands should I buy?
« Reply #71 on: March 12, 2014, 08:37:57 AM »
One thing that works well for our family is this:  at least 2 shirts for every pair of slacks.

I can wear slacks more than once; shirts generally go in the wash after 1 wearing.

socaso

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Re: Starting a capsule wardrobe. Ladies, what brands should I buy?
« Reply #72 on: March 12, 2014, 12:19:14 PM »
I agree with the folks who say to shop your own wardrobe before making purchases. I have been engaging in a little experiment this month with some clothes I have and never wear. I put together outfits with the clothes and wear them to work and if no one comments on my outfit I get rid of the item. I've ditched a couple of sweaters and a skirt but I've rediscovered some items as well and these were all things that I wasn't wearing on a regular basis. This is working for me because I work in a female-dominated workplace in the beauty industry and we often compliment each other on our outfits so if something looks good on me I'm guaranteed feedback. Might not work if you don't get feedback from your coworkers but it's working for me.

mbl

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Re: Starting a capsule wardrobe. Ladies, what brands should I buy?
« Reply #73 on: March 13, 2014, 08:53:27 AM »
Don't know if this was mentioned already.
Once you have some knowledge as to what is good quality for the price(material, seams, finishing and fit),  find a good tailor.
Poor fit can make the nicest piece look bad.
Most people can't buy off the rack and have clothing fit properly.
Having items altered to fit well is worth it.  JMHO.

peppermint

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Re: Starting a capsule wardrobe. Ladies, what brands should I buy?
« Reply #74 on: March 13, 2014, 09:09:57 PM »
I agree with the folks who say to shop your own wardrobe before making purchases. I have been engaging in a little experiment this month with some clothes I have and never wear. I put together outfits with the clothes and wear them to work and if no one comments on my outfit I get rid of the item. I've ditched a couple of sweaters and a skirt but I've rediscovered some items as well and these were all things that I wasn't wearing on a regular basis.

I have been doing this too! I have so many clothes I forget to wear, I've been making a concerted effort to wear something "new" from the rest of my closet I never wear each day. That way I can find out if it works, is comfortable, etc., basically whether it belongs back in the regular rotation or not.

ichangedmyname

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Re: Starting a capsule wardrobe. Ladies, what brands should I buy?
« Reply #75 on: March 14, 2014, 09:17:16 AM »
I wanted to ask here since I can't seem to find a good answer anywhere else. I am looking for tights that I can wear under skirts or dresses. Not "control top" something that would fit a person not a leprechaun. I got 2 different tights from Target and the picture attached is supposed to be for a 5'11" woman weighing 180-200 lbs. It barely reached my waist! I just need good old tights that I don't have to wrestle with to wear. Any ideas where I can find some?




peppermint

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Re: Starting a capsule wardrobe. Ladies, what brands should I buy?
« Reply #76 on: March 14, 2014, 09:27:15 AM »
I wear leggings with boots a lot. I find leggings more comfortable and durable than tights (= no runs).
I have some very good quality tights from LL Bean, too. Nude hose I just buy from the drugstore.

ichangedmyname

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Re: Starting a capsule wardrobe. Ladies, what brands should I buy?
« Reply #77 on: March 14, 2014, 09:36:24 AM »
I am actually 5' but i weigh about 170 lbs so I had to pick the largest size but it's still too tiny. size 16 petite. I'll look at the suggestions. Thanks :D

MissPeach

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Re: Starting a capsule wardrobe. Ladies, what brands should I buy?
« Reply #78 on: March 14, 2014, 11:29:49 AM »
I'm average height but have really long legs for my height. I usually find the Hue tights at Nordstrom work well for me in a small or medium. I imagine in a bigger size they would be plenty long. I can usually get a few years out of them before they run too. Right now is a great time to buy them because I can usually find them on the clearance table for next year.

kite

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Re: Starting a capsule wardrobe. Ladies, what brands should I buy?
« Reply #79 on: March 14, 2014, 05:19:39 PM »
I attended a clothing swap with I group I met online.   We each brought a snack to share plus wearable but no longer right for us items from the closet.  Everyone got a token for each item brought and  could select from the pile something for each token.  A few specialty size lingerie designs were available for purchase,  as well as some hand crafted accessories.   Excess clothes in the swap were donated to charity.

I cleaned my closet of ill fitting pieces and clothes that didn't suit my life anymore.   I was able to try labels I'd never have considered and I came home with almost a whole new wardrobe for the price of a few bottles of beverages. Once you've culled decent giveaways from your closet, float the idea of a swap with some similarly sized friends and friends of friends.   Could be a good wardrobe refresh for very little money.

I get that this doesn't directly answer the "which brands" question.   But that's really tough to answer for another person.   I'm tall, and order trousers for work from The Gap online because they are the most cost effective I can get with the right inseam.  I'm still getting weekly wear out of some from 2010.  I also wear Dansko clogs every day.   One pair lasts years of daily wear.   They go perfectly with jeans or work trousers.   If im wearing a skirt or dress for work, I still use the clogs as my commuting shoes and have that all purpose pair of dress pumps under my desk.  Feet are happy and dress shoes last forever.   

naturelover

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Re: Starting a capsule wardrobe. Ladies, what brands should I buy?
« Reply #80 on: March 14, 2014, 09:05:06 PM »
Thanks, OP, for introducing me to the term "capsule wardrobe." I had not heard that before. Regarding brands, I have an assortment of dress pants from The Limited that I have been wearing to work for the last 10-12 years. I think my most recent purchase was in '03 or '04, so I can't speak to their current quality, but hopefully it's still as good. In fact, I was just wondering the other day if I could get another 5 years out of them (will hopefully be close to FIRE by then). I'm going to try! I believe they all (or most) say dry clean only, but I have been laundering them regularly on a gentle setting with just a few minutes in the dryer, and all have held up quite well. Plus, with the poly/rayon/spandex content, no ironing is needed - hooray!

I know others have mentioned the "shop your closet" idea. I do this regularly. Instead of getting rid of stuff I don't like, I put things away for a while and then periodically go through them and pull out something to give it a whirl. I'm amazed how I can put something away that I didn't care for at one point in time only to pull it out a couple of years down the road and have it be my favorite piece!

Good luck building your wardrobe, and let us know what you end up including.

happyfeet

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Re: Starting a capsule wardrobe. Ladies, what brands should I buy?
« Reply #81 on: March 14, 2014, 10:08:05 PM »
If you belong to Pinterest you can search wardrobes and they have suggestions and photos for a mix and match kind of wardrobe collection.  I myself packed away a good part of my clothing and will shop what I have for the remainder of 2014(undies and tennis shoes excluded).  So trying to wear what is hanging in my closet.  So far it is actually easier to assemble an "outfit" with less choices. I have about 90 things hanging there right now. And many more packed away. I know too much stuff!  But most of my clothes were purchased at the local thrift store for under $5 an item.  So my personal goal is to wear what I own, shop my closet and after a year donate what is not worn.  My personal favorites are natural fabrics - cotton, linen, wool, cashmere.  My brands are Lands Ends, Banana Republic, J Crew, Ann Taylor, and Eileen Fisher(mostly purchased at thrift).  I have Ann Taylor pants that are 15 years old(wool) and look brand new. I usually go with neutral basics and mix up with colorful sweaters and blouses.  The few times I go to a mall I cannot believe how much stuff costs!  So used to paying resale prices.  Really we are a country with so much stuff - it always amazes me what I can find at the Salvation Army wardrobe wise.

slughorn

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Re: Starting a capsule wardrobe. Ladies, what brands should I buy?
« Reply #82 on: March 15, 2014, 09:15:31 AM »
My personal favorites are natural fabrics - cotton, linen, wool, cashmere.

How do you care for these?  Do they show wear after a short time?  (Some of my cotton shirts have faded quickly).

Worsted Skeins

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Re: Starting a capsule wardrobe. Ladies, what brands should I buy?
« Reply #83 on: March 15, 2014, 10:01:54 AM »
Great thread which I missed on the first go around.

I have become a J Jill shopper.  Twice a year I go into store prepared to shop.  They send me catalogs so I have an idea of what I want to try on in advance.  (Shopping overwhelms me so entering the store intentionally makes it all easier.)

Just this week I went to J Jill (with my 30% off coupon) to try on some pants that I liked in the catalog.  They were great but they did not have the color I wanted in my size.  No problem.  The company will ship them to my home at no extra charge.  This aspect of customer service is appealing.

I really need to toss a lot of stuff from my closet.  I have more than my share of ratty things--some I need for cleaning or yard work, but a closet full? 

Gin1984

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Re: Starting a capsule wardrobe. Ladies, what brands should I buy?
« Reply #84 on: March 15, 2014, 10:15:52 AM »
I'm still working to perfect my wardrobe.  Right now, I'm in purge mode.  My next step is alterations.  I have NO sewing skills, so I'm going to a tailor.  Does anyone have any advice for looking for one?  Or have a tailor recommendation in the Bay Area (south/east bay)?

1. Take something that you aren't that attached to for the first time and give it to the tailor. If they can fix it, you're good to go. If they botch it, you can just move on.

2. Look in ethnic neighborhood. It'll probably be cheaper, and the language barrier isn't a huge problem. I don't speak Fukkinese and my tailor doesn't know a word of English. But she's fantastic.

3. Tip your tailor every so often. They never get tipped, and it means the next time you have a sartorial emergency, they will move heaven and earth for you. In a pinch my tailor will drop everything and turn around an item in under an hour or keep the store open late for me. She knows I come back and she knows I tip.
There is one I know in San Jose, sorry not in east bay though.  Go to Valley Fair mall, across Forest is a "barn" restaurant and a ice cream shop.  Between those two is a dry cleaner who also does alteration.  They are great!

happyfeet

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Re: Starting a capsule wardrobe. Ladies, what brands should I buy?
« Reply #85 on: March 15, 2014, 10:19:12 AM »
Thanks for the care tips!  I  meant to add.  Cashmere washes like a dream.  Much better than dry cleaning.  And cheaper!

4alpacas

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Re: Starting a capsule wardrobe. Ladies, what brands should I buy?
« Reply #86 on: March 24, 2014, 10:18:12 AM »
I'm still working to perfect my wardrobe.  Right now, I'm in purge mode.  My next step is alterations.  I have NO sewing skills, so I'm going to a tailor.  Does anyone have any advice for looking for one?  Or have a tailor recommendation in the Bay Area (south/east bay)?

1. Take something that you aren't that attached to for the first time and give it to the tailor. If they can fix it, you're good to go. If they botch it, you can just move on.

2. Look in ethnic neighborhood. It'll probably be cheaper, and the language barrier isn't a huge problem. I don't speak Fukkinese and my tailor doesn't know a word of English. But she's fantastic.

3. Tip your tailor every so often. They never get tipped, and it means the next time you have a sartorial emergency, they will move heaven and earth for you. In a pinch my tailor will drop everything and turn around an item in under an hour or keep the store open late for me. She knows I come back and she knows I tip.
There is one I know in San Jose, sorry not in east bay though.  Go to Valley Fair mall, across Forest is a "barn" restaurant and a ice cream shop.  Between those two is a dry cleaner who also does alteration.  They are great!
Thanks!

Winter's Tale

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Re: Starting a capsule wardrobe. Ladies, what brands should I buy?
« Reply #87 on: May 03, 2014, 04:35:48 PM »
MissStache, how is the wardrobe overhaul going? Would be interested to hear an update!

onehappypanda

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Re: Starting a capsule wardrobe. Ladies, what brands should I buy?
« Reply #88 on: May 04, 2014, 07:15:42 AM »
Great thread, and I love all the tips about paring down. I did this successfully with my fall/winter wardrobe and now I'm working on the summer/spring clothes.

My take on brands is that almost every brand has a mix of good-quality and terrible-quality items. I have Ann Taylor stuff (thrifted) that is great quality, but I have also seen some of their stuff that falls apart fast. I even have Target clothes that are pretty decent. Rather than shopping a specific brand, it pays off to learn what makes something "good quality" and shop based on that.

I spent a lot of time looking at material and stitching, since those seem to be the biggest giveaways to me. Lots of synthetic blends, overly stretchy material, and irregular stitching is a dead giveaway that something will fall apart IME. I tend to prefer cotton tops, jeans that feel heavier/sturdy, sweaters that aren't acrylic, etc. I've found these at both cheap places and nicer ones, although the nicer clothes I often buy thrifted/consigned.

Shoes are my one exception to the any-brand-goes perspective though - I find that certain brands produce good quality shoes pretty consistently while others make crap-quality shoes most of the time. Most of the good brands cost a bit more, though you can often find discounts online. Look for an online retailer with a good return policy in case it doesn't fit quite right.

ScienceSexSavings

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Re: Starting a capsule wardrobe. Ladies, what brands should I buy?
« Reply #89 on: May 04, 2014, 12:20:15 PM »
Also, different shoe companies fit their shoes to different molds, so if you find one that's great for your foot, stick with them!

abhe8

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Re: Starting a capsule wardrobe. Ladies, what brands should I buy?
« Reply #90 on: May 04, 2014, 01:38:46 PM »
well, most people could clean out their closet and be left with a capsule wardrobe. :) I need to head in this direction (after 4 babies, my size has changed so many times!!)

1. wash every thing (and iron too)
2. try on every single piece of clothing. set aside anything that does not fit, has a stain or hole OR does not make you feel like a million bucks. be ruthless. get rid of all but your absolute favorites.
3. hang everything back up in your closet.
4. try everything on again. try all different combos. find outfits that work and that you feel good about.
5. make a list of a few pieces that would go with what you have and allow you to make new outfits from what you have.
6. then shop judiciously. try thrift stores or ebay if you have some serious restraint. (i fall into the "its kinda cute and cheap, so buy it" syndrome). or pick your favorite store and only buy what makes you feel wonderful. the key to a capsule wardrobe is LOVING every piece.

if you have a tight budget. you could probably consign all the extra clothes and make enough to buy what you need.

and...i admit...i think the whole "capsule wardrobe" idea just causes people to buy more clothes. all it is, really, is a smaller wardrobe. and since most people wear 20percent of their clothes 80percent of the time, the 75percent you wear least and be done with it. :) (the 5percent is saved for those specialty items you need but don't wear often, like a swim suit or formal dress).

Worsted Skeins

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Re: Starting a capsule wardrobe. Ladies, what brands should I buy?
« Reply #91 on: May 04, 2014, 02:20:26 PM »
I went shopping in my closet this afternoon.  (Insert embarrassed face here.)  I found a lightweight knit skirt that I forgot I owned; paired with a linen shirt, it will be perfect for a business/casual event planned for down the road. 

Yup, I have too many clothes that I don't wear!  My afternoon "shop" led me to purge three sweaters (one is in such bad shape I can't even donate it to the thrift shop!) I also tossed two pairs of shoes and one shirt that doesn't really work anymore.

Goodness, much more should go but at least it was a start.