As a riff on the "5 Piece French Wardrobe", I present to you the "6 Piece USA Wardrobe.
While I use the term "capsule", this is not about minimalism this time. I don’t care if you have 16 walk-in closets overflowing in your mansion and rented storage space as an additional "closet"- this isn’t about the totality of your clothing collection. This is about
1) arranging from your costume horde a manageable amount of clothing to mentally wrangle into a user friendly, cohesive, wardrobe and
2) being able to budget your money wisely.
A few of the other benefits that this approach makes possible:
- trying on a new look, vibe, and presentation
- keeping your wardrobe up to date
- playing with trends without going over-board
- learning to make pieces work together for head to toe looks
This list is SIX pieces per season (spring/summer and fall/winter are the two shopping seasons) instead of five because I’m AMERICAN and I like more stuff. Just kidding, it’s six because I like the idea of being able to do one item per month. If you’d rather buy six items in one shopping extravaganza, do your thang. I’ll be out wandering the shops for exercise.
So what else makes it U.S. American? What's more American than a base of jeans and tees? Also, this approach is about six BIG PERSONALITY pieces. It relies on having a solid base of basic neutrals (neutral colors for: tops, bottoms, outerwear, shoes, accessories), which you then put your six personality pieces on top of. It’s a great compromise for people who don’t want to spend a huge amount of time perfecting a personality-full wardrobe (or maybe haven't decided on the vision they want to present to the world), but also hate boring outfits.
Your Neutrals base needs to go with everything, and account for the entirety of your lifestyle throughout the year (if you work on a ranch, your needs will be different from a CEO. If you live in Mexico, you will have different needs than folks in Alaska). I can’t guess what your needs are, so divide the suggested number of basic neutrals to fit your reality. You can pick a varied neutrals palette, as long as they all go with one another and create the level of contrast that you need. If you’re a high contrast person, you’re going to need a neutral palette that is more than blue jeans and mid-gray alone can offer you. Neutrals possibilities include: white/off white, natural/beige, blush, grey, olive, black, navy, tan, brown. If one of your basic neutrals wears out, it can be replaced at any time and does not count toward the 6.
Your Personality pieces can stay in your neutrals scheme. This is not what I’d recommend, but it is an option I feel obligated to mention. I know I tend to be down on entirely neutral basics wardrobes, but there are a few valid arguments in favor of it that I'll cover in the future. I’d recommend using your Personality pieces to add color, texture, and design interest, KLM Addition style. Use it to explore other personas or facets of yourself (FB types, B5 types, Signature Looks). Below are a few examples of ways to use your 6 Personality pieces.