Create Your Perfect Plus-Size Capsule Wardrobe for Women

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The key to creating a plus-size capsule wardrobe is to understand your body type and how to dress to show off your best features. Armed with that information, you can build your own capsule wardrobe with 30-50 pieces of clothing. Every piece can match with almost everything else in your closet. 

Did you ever think there must be a simple way to organize your clothes and have less laundry? Did you go a little more minimalist in the rest of your house, but never really tackled your wardrobe?

Table of Contents
Why a capsule wardrobe is
What’s in your closet
Building your plus-sized capsule wardrobe
Shopping for your wardrobe

woman with white shirt and asymetrical skirt

Why Do I Want a Capsule Wardrobe? 

  • Increased confidence that everything in your closet looks great on you.
  • Showcase your personal style.
  • High-quality clothing lasts longer and is more cost-effective.
  • Save time getting dressed. 
  • Less laundry to wash, fold and put away.
  • Less need to shop if an occasion pops up.

What’s in Your Closet?

The first step is to start with what you have in your current wardrobe. 

Have you heard people wear 20% of their closet 80% of the time? So start with those well-loved pieces. Review them with a critical eye and inspect their condition. New pieces deserve the same scrutiny as older ones; buttons get loose and hems sometimes need an extra stitch.  

Look through everything all the way to the back of your closet. Did you forget what was back there? Find any great things to bring back into the rotation that can help you craft your gorgeous plus-sized capsule wardrobe.

Things to Remove 

Yes, you need to declutter your closet if you haven’t worked on that lately. 

Get rid of clothing that doesn’t fit. Think about whether you will be that size in the next six months (or year) and make a decision about whether to keep it. If your weight changes, will you prefer something new instead? 

Be ruthless about the clothing that you don’t wear. You don’t need it taking up space if you aren’t going to wear it again. Whether you are going to donate or sell it, remove it from your closet now. 

If it makes you feel bad, then it shouldn’t be in your wardrobe. Maybe it was a good sale price, but you don’t like how it fits you. Or maybe you find it’s too high maintenance. These pieces can leave your closet too. 

If it’s sentimental and you don’t wear it, then don’t keep it in your closet. Move it to your memory bin.

 Your closet is for what you wear.

Check out this blog post about decluttering.

Things to Pay Extra Attention To: 

  • What colours do you wear a lot? 
  • Do you favour neutral colours or patterns?
  • Do you have any missing pieces you need to replace?
  • Are there certain fabrics that you like or don’t like?
  • What are your favourite pieces that make you happy?
  • What pieces do you wear the most?
lady sitting with black top, jeans and throwing a hat

Building the Perfect Plus-Sized Capsule Wardrobe

For your capsule to work for you, you need to build your outfits ahead of time.

This is a good time to grab your phone to take some photos or a pen and paper to take some notes. You can lay clothing flat to do this, but trying on clothing will give you a better sense of the outfit.

The best things are already in your closet. Pick something you love – maybe a pair of black pants, an A-line skirt or a statement shirt – and match pieces to it to create new looks. You want to include shoes, accessories and jewellery. Take a photo of each outfit. 

Building different outfits will get easier with more practice. If you get stuck, there are capsule wardrobe guides online with specific clothing lists. Professional women and stay-at-home Moms all deserve to have a wardrobe they love.  

Quick style tip for balance: If one piece is fitted or structured, match it with something looser or more flowy. Wide-leg pants pair well with a fitted blouse or a structured blazer with a maxi dress.

Try to make at least three outfits with each key piece. Experiment with different combinations you haven’t tried before. If you love wearing cozy sweaters with dresses, try a leather jacket or a blazer. A capsule has less clothing so versatile pieces give you more choices.

Repeat the process with a different starting item. Find ways to use those statement pieces that really express your style. The perfect layering piece – maybe a black sweater or a long sleeve – can be a great way to carry an outfit from a spring and summer look right into the fall season. 

When you’ve gone through all your clothing, you’ll have a catalogue of outfits on your phone or a detailed list. Nice work! This should make getting dressed easy. 

If you’re looking for inspiration, this site has some great examples.

Lady standing with white coat, black purse and brown hat

Assessing Your Wardrobe

Now that you’ve gone through your current closet, you can be a little critical about what you have. You will have a very good understanding of the key pieces that you build everything around. Does that match your personal image that you’re going for in your new and improved plus-sized capsule wardrobe? 

Did you find a shirt from last year that no longer fits you or a pair of pants that shrunk more in the wash than you thought and are now too short? Get that out of your closet. Poorly fitting clothing does not feel good. 

Review the items that were never chosen to be part of an outfit and think about why you didn’t pick them. Are they worth keeping?

Have you found a balance between dressing for professional occasions and for your personal life? Have you considered what you could wear for a special occasion instead of shopping? It’s already in your closet.

Did you find any gaps in your wardrobe through this process? Keep a list of items you need as well as a list of things due to be replaced soon. This way, you’ll be ready if you do come across a sale and know exactly what the right pieces are to fit into your capsule closet. 

Depending on the number of clothes you have and the climate you live in, you may opt to have seasonal capsules for summer and winter. Some individual pieces may be included in both. Consider packing away the off-season clothing if you have a second space available. There are fewer decisions with the wrong weather clothes out of your way.

beautiful lady wearing plus-sized capsule wardrobe with black top and blue long skirt

Shopping for a Plus-Sized Capsule Wardrobe

Sooner or later, everyone has to go shopping. Over time, you’ll build up a solid collection of high-quality items and need to shop less. But, at the start, you might have those gaps to deal with. Keep a list to make sure any shopping you do is mindful and targeted.

Plus size fashion has improved with many designer brands adding larger sizes to accommodate a wider range of body shapes for curvy women. 

Whether you embrace sustainability with classic vintage pieces bought secondhand or buy new, keep shopping at your favourite places and get pieces tailored for the most flattering look. We all know the fashion industry has no universal standard for sizing so it’s best to ignore the number on the label. I’ve been caught in this trap a LOT.

Online personal stylists can help you if you are second-guessing whether you are on the right track. You know more than you think. Focus on your own body positivity.

To simplify moving forward, try to stick to an easy colour scheme. You don’t have to copy Steve Jobs and only wear black trousers and black sweaters. Neutral like black, navy, white or gray can be brightened up with a couple of accent colours. Keep your favourite colour or print.

Be mindful that the right colours for you can change with the time of year. Maybe you love white in the summer when you are tanned, but not in the winter. Maybe that white tee only belongs in the spring and summer rotation.

Keep your body shape in mind as you select clothes. 

Most women already know their shape — apple, inverted triangle, pear or hourglass. Work with that as you select great styles for your gorgeous plus-sized body as you hone your capsule wardrobe.

With plus-size denim jeans, a woman with an apple shape might like skinny jeans with a long tunic or straight cut while a woman with a pear shape will look great in bootcut, flared or wide-leg denim.

 A v-neck or scoop neck can be a great cut to elongate the torso, especially for women with fuller busts.

Wrap dresses and blouses will help define your waist.

woman wearing leopard print top and faux leather pants

Love Your Clothes

In the long run, the most important thing is not the set number of items in your capsule wardrobe. It’s about having a closet of clothing you will wear that lets your personality shine. If you love plus-size dresses or that pair of jeans with the perfect amount of stretch, those are the high-quality pieces you should wear. 

Marie Kondo has nothing on you. Your closet should make you happy.

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