Friday ReBlog – “One Piece at a Time” Wardrobe in Action

Sarah at Becoming Gezellig used The Vivienne File’s “One Piece at a Time” method to build her capsule wardrobe and lucky us, she shared the process!  This is a great post if you want to see an all-at-once graphic of someone’s capsule wardrobe and/or if you’re curious about building a wardrobe by adding one piece at a time, not just buying ALL THE THINGS at once and hoping they work out.  She gives great pros/cons and thoughts about how the process will shape her future capsules.

In an ideal world, actually living into this process slowly makes a lot of sense to me: start with one outfit you love, then slowly add a piece here and a piece there that complement and expand your starter outfit.  Sticking to this patient pace would help you discover where your holes are (“hmm, it’s getting chillier and I only have one thin cardigan…I’ll select a sweater as my next add-on”) and how pieces play together (“I love this luscious blouse…what if I mixed it with the cardigan I already have and tried it with the skirt I own in addition to pants?”).

It’s how I live into a capsule during the season I’m wearing it – for example this summer I’ve been looking for the “perfect” blue sheath dress to go with my 2 pairs of summer work shoes and the white denim jacket I love and already wear – since I own one in white know it would be my style and would go with oodles of accessories.  I don’t need to go out and buy 5 different dresses or blouse/skirt combos to scratch that itch.  I can take it slow.

On the other hand, when you’re restyling a section of your off-season wardrobe to escape the urgency of “it’s freezing out, I need a sweater NOW,” this gets harder.  You aren’t wearing the clothing day to day, so you don’t get to “know” it – how it lays, whether it’s warm or cool or itchy on its own, if those snug pants are going to feel like sausage casing by the end of the day – and you don’t know how it’s all going to play together.  You have to make educated guesses based on what you *think* you want and how things look in your mirror at home (as you try not to sweat while layering on sweaters and corduroy in Atlanta June heat).

I’ll give you a peek next week on how that non-one-piece-at-a-time winter restyle is going – I think for now, other than tailoring some of the pants, I’m going to hold off on adding anything else until the weather is actually cool and I can see how the whole coalesces (or doesn’t! yeeps).


What do you all think of “One Piece at a Time”?  Helpful concept or are you too impatient/in need of clothing stat?  Scroll down to comment, and happy weekend Thrifters!


2 thoughts on “Friday ReBlog – “One Piece at a Time” Wardrobe in Action

  1. Hi Leah, thanks so much for featuring my “one at a time” post!

    I should have my follow-up post up by the end of the weekend so I hope you’ll come back and check it out.

    Just for the record — because on re-reading, I didn’t make this as clear in my post as I had intended — my “one piece at a time” experiment was done with clothes I already owned, so I didn’t actually buy a thing. (So I was using the system a bit differently than Janice originally presented it.)

    I love your language about “living into” a capsule. That’s what I try to do too, and I think it really helps vs. only shopping for a defined period at the beginning of a new capsule as many bloggers in this area seem to do. Sort of the wardrobe equivalent of living in a house for a while before renovating it.

    I can’t wait to read more about your winter restyle. I agree that it’s so tricky to revamp a capsule off-season. And yet learning how to do that well would be such a useful skill for anyone who is focused on secondhand shopping. So I’m eager to learn what tips & tricks you’ve developed.

    1. Sarah, thanks for trying it out so others could see how it went!
      I realized you were using items you already owned but should have emphasized that. I think as you did it it’s also a useful way to see if your wardrobe is going to give you as many outfit combos as capsule wardrobe posts say it “should” – a good gauge for how well everything plays together that can help you decide to streamline more or come up with a few new outfit idea.
      Looking forward to reading your update as you “live into” your capsule! I think I’m most satisfied with the capsule when I love most of what I have and can just tweak a bit, so hope that’s where you landed (and where I land with the winter revamp – fingers crossed!).
      Thanks for commenting!

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