Style · Wardrobe Architect

Wardrobe Architect: Capsule Wardrobe Silhouette Autumn ’16

Week Nine of the Wardrobe Architect plan is to design a capsule wardrobe for the season ahead ~this post focuses on my core silhouette for autumn 2016.
 “A typical capsule wardrobe consists of between 20 and 33 items, depending on who you ask and what kinds of items you’re including. It doesn’t have to include every single thing you might wear for the season, but it is the foundation for the rest of your wardrobe. The idea is that once you have the capsule wardrobe figured out, the rest is gravy.” Sarai Mitnick
I looked at Sarai Mitnick’s examples, as well as those of the Into Mind blog. Then, I began collecting images for a mood bard on Pinterest, while also defining my seasonal silhouettes. The mood board includes online fabric swatches (with prices). This is my strategy to avoid impulse buying. I will select the items that I need or want to make first and then shop my stash. If there is nothing there, I will turn to my mood board and shop selectively. (That’s the plan anyway ~ call me on it if you see my stash growing on Instagram).

The Uniform or Outfit Formula

The Blog Into Mind suggests the idea of a core uniform/outfit formula.
“An outfit formula is a specific combination of items that expresses your style perfectly and that you can see yourself wearing a lot in slightly different versions. ” Into Mind
This is a good strategy for me. I often work from home, and don’t have many formal events, so I may wear this outfit 4-5 days a week; at home, running errands, walking, having coffee and to work. I need to be able to stay warm (heating doesn’t come on until November), get messy, move easily, all while pleasing my eye and sparking joy.
My uniform consists of straight jeans, flat boots or shoes, a smock/tunic with pockets, thermal undershirts and/or jersey tops that can be used as outerwear if the smock/tunic is too hot. The smock/tunic can be very casual in a plaid flannel or it could be a made from a beautiful hand-embroidered wool challis. I feel comfortable in this and I can move easily. It has pockets for storage and lots of opportunities to accessorise or embellish it. I can wear patterned or plain shirts underneath and, as the weather gets colder, I can layer with wraps, shawls and coats.


silhouettes of my daily uniform for capsule wardrobe Autumn '16
Items Required
  • straight jeans
  • smocks/tunics (with pockets)
  • thermal undershirts and/or jersey tops
  • tall boots, ankle boots, flat shoes

Silhouette Variation 1

This silhouette swaps the smock/tunic for a 3/4 length jacket, to be worn open or closed.
These are jackets (with pockets) for indoor/outdoor wear. This is for the seasonal transition; I don’t intend to wear an overcoat with this look, but I can add extra warmth with wraps and shawls.
blog silhouettes vari 1
Items Required
  • tall boots, ankle boots, flat shoes
  • straight jeans
  • long sleeve jerseys
  • thermal undershirts
  • close fitting 3/4 length coats/smock coats/coatigans/thigh-length jackets

Silhouette Variation 2

This is a dressier look. I’ll wear this at home, social events, to work and to teach. I can fit an overcoat over any of these looks.
Autumn 2016 capsule silhouettes variation 2
Items Required
  • Boots or shoes with slight heel (3cm)
  • tights
  • A-line dresses
  • 3/4 length jackets or short cardigans

In addition to these core silhouettes, I also need overcoats, rainwear and accessories. Organising my capsule wardrobe this way, helps me to focus on the items I really need. My first makes will be the smock/tunics as I will wear these a lot and as soon as the weather turns.

 A Word About My Silhouettes

Me Made May proved useful again. I used the photographs I took of myself in May, to make my silhouettes. It’s helpful to have silhouette drawings based on my actual proportions. I will use these to try new silhouette ideas in future seasons.
For more information on how to draw an accurate silhouette of yourself, sign up for my bi-weekly newsletters. I will be including a tutorial.

2 thoughts on “Wardrobe Architect: Capsule Wardrobe Silhouette Autumn ’16

  1. It’s so interesting and fun to watch you map out this process. I can resonate with your style (but our colors are very different), and it’s helping me make decisions, too! Thank you!

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