A Capsule Wardrobe in Real Life

ali greenberg richmond virginia chic stripes

Meet Ali.

She is the bomb.com, founder of The Broad (Richmond's first women only co-working space) and a Chic Stripes client (woohoo!). Ali reached out to work with us for the intention of pairing down what she was no longer wearing and creating a more intentional wardrobe - she didn't necessarily call it a capsule wardrobe - but that's what she wanted and that's exactly what we created. 

Since her session, every time she's walked into The Broad I've noticed that her style game has totally upped - she would come in looking boss as heck, confident in her clothes, and most of all COMFORTABLE knowing that her clothes would take her across whatever she had to do in a given day (which could mean schlepping 20 cases of La Croix, rearranging chairs, or meeting with some high profile people). 

Once I noticed that she was really loving her clothes, creating intentional outfits and putting out those confident vibes, I decided we had to document a week in the life. So that's what we did! I gave her very few instructions besides just wear what you would normally wear. 

ali greenberg capsule wardrobe chic stripes

DAY 1 - Monday

Ali's MAIN thing when we did our sessions was to get some freakin pants. She had zero. When I say zero, I mean she had like 1 pair of jeans but literally no other pants! Her style is minimal but she does like a little bit of quirk in her styles and clothes - these Everlane wide leg cropped utility pants were perfect! We actually ordered them in a blue color (a shade or two brighter than her top) but they didn't work with her body type. She is bigger on the bottom and the blue of those pants just drew the eye down too much - but these fun mustard / khaki color ones were perfect.

Her watch was a new purchase - we debated options via text. First we thought the round type would be better, but because she does like her style choices to be a little different than the average Joe, she opted for rectangle in gold and it looks perfect on her wrist! My questions during our exchange centered around how she felt with each watch option and to go with what she felt was right. While I certainly have my stylist opinions - I always encourage the client to see how they feel in certain items and go with what feels good to THEM. They are the ones that have to wear the clothes, not me. (But trust, if it's truly a bad option I'll tell them. :-P). 

All other items she already owned!

chic stripes capsule wardrobe


These blue Everlane straight leg pants work perfect for her! They are actually the same color as the wide leg ones that we nixed, but because they are a skinnier type vs. wide leg, they work with and flatter her body type. To help balance, her button down + knotted at the waist and earrings draw the eye up and away from her hips. 

Ali's capsule doesn't extend just to her clothes - it includes her jewelry, which you'll see! But when you have thoughtfully curated a closet with color tones that compliment each other, you can wear and re-wear certain items and mix it up for totally different looks. We both love all the earring options from Molly Virginia Made!

Note the repeat shoes!

the broad capsule wardrobe


This look is one of my faves - it's a monotone look punctuated with some sweet metallic Birks - this is a great example of how you can add some trendy items (metallic shoes) to a capsule wardrobe to stay relevant while still consciously creating a wardrobe that is based on your likes and style. I can see her wearing these shoes long past the "trend date."

Note the repeat pants and earrings from Day 2!

capsule wardrobe


Loving the color combos in this outfit! She had the shirt and her pants are the same ones from Day 1 - already you can see how she mixes and matches them in completely different outfits to get different looks!

Note repeat earrings from Day 1!

capsule wardrobe personal stylist


A dress! Ali is not a girly girl, but she does like pieces that make her feel good - this dress was the perfect dress (she already owned it) because it gives that bit of masculine touches while still being so easy to wear. A change of hairstyle is also another way you can add interest to your looks when you have a capsule wardrobe. 

Note repeat earrings and shoes!

When you think about a capsule wardrobe - I would encourage you to NOT think of it in all black, white or grey and limited to 10 pieces. Ali is a good example of how a small capsule works, but she has a great variety of colors in her wardrobe - the base items are blue, white, khaki and green, but then she can punctuate that with gold, black, and the fun lilac of her earrings.

Here's what Ali has to say about her capsule wardrobe.

Creating a capsule wardrobe has been my goal for a while. I love the idea of a uniform to free up the mind to focus on other stuff. Especially since starting a business, the last place my mind needs to be is on what to wear in the morning. I love the work to pair down and embrace minimalism with pieces that I love from brands I know and trust.

While I wear the same pieces, it always feels like they work together and I don’t feel repetitive because my pieces are all neutral. I don’t ever feel like anyone is looking at me and thinking, “You just wore that.” And we should wear the same things! We should wear our clothes. It shouldn’t be a weird thing to do. It makes me feel better about cost per wear.

Working with Sydney helped me understand what really works for me!
— Ali Greenberg

Got questions about capsule wardrobes? Not sure you could pull it off? Let me know in the comments or via social!

Interested in creating your own capsule wardrobe? Email Marisa at marisa@chicstripes.com to schedule your complimentary consult and take advantage of our beta pricing through 2018.