Capsule Wardrobe For People Who Love Color and Print

Capsule Wardrobe For People Who Love Color and Print April 17, 2017

I love to dress with color and prints! I am never going to be a person who is happy with a wardrobe of all black, white, and gray (though I do love me some gray). Capsule wardrobes are the concept of having a small number of clothes that all mix and match with each other to create a variety of outfits. In order to make them versatile, a lot of proponents use basics in neutral colors. But I don’t think you need to do that!


The beauty of a capsule wardrobe is that it’s easy to know what you have and to always feel like you have something to wear. Everything goes with everything!

So one of my blogger friends is participating in a 30 item capsule wardrobe challenge in May. I think I will be joining her and posting outfit of the days, probably on Instagram. Maybe Twitter or Facebook. Read on for my tips on putting together a capsule if you love colors and patterns!

Here are some basic ideas to work from that should help you to put together a capsule wardrobe that has plenty of color and pattern.

Principles of a colorful capsule wardrobe:

  • aim for solid tops and print bottoms or vice versa.
  • keep colors in the same tone family
  • prints with multiple colors to pull from
  • Think about lifestyle and what you truly enjoy wearing

Using these guidelines, you can build a wardrobe of 30 pieces that will all mix and match wonderfully with each other.

Solid v.s. Print

I don’t do much pattern mixing. I usually do a solid color with a print. So picking either tops or bottoms to be the patterns gives good versatility.

If you are interested in mixing patterns some of the tips for doing it well are:

  • mix different scales of pattern (small pattern on one, large pattern on another)
  • if your patterns are going to be different, keep your colors consistent (have some of the same colors between the patterns)
  • break it up with a solid color in-between the patterned pieces
  • a pattern like a houndstooth or stripes can function as neutrals

Tonal Family

The key to lots of color is to pick colors that are in the same tone family. So pastels all match each other, jewel tones all match each other.

Here is an example of what I mean. Notice how the color pulls from the same part of the grid in each one:


I go for jewel tones and I have a lot of red, purple, blue, and pink that I mix together. For example, one of my favorite outfits pairs a rich teal blue shirt with a hot pink lace shrug (see below). Or I have a red shirt that I wear with a purple cardigan.


You can experiment with different colors together, though. People sometimes tell me that I have no ability to color match. I don’t know, maybe I see colors differently, but there are things I think look great together that other people think clash. Be confident, though. What you think looks beautiful is what matters!

Pink with pink
Pink with pink

Multiple Colors Per Pattern

When looking for a patterned piece, it’s great if you can find one that has multiple colors from your favorite tonal family. That makes the mix and match look really pulled together.

Like these leggings (which I don’t own, this is the picture from ebay, poor lighting and all!)


There is red, purple, black, white, pink, etc. So this would match with any one of those colors on top. You can also take any colors in the tonal family and match it. It just looks even more really pulled together if the colors are present in both.

Knowing Your Style

I’ve realized over the last several years that my style sense has actually been strongly influenced by salwar kameez suit styles. I love longer tunics, I love a long fitted top over voluminous bottom (either pants or skirt), I love layers and layers and layers. I like to layer a dress over a skirt. Flow is everything. You can see more about my sense of style at my Polyvore page.

dress over dress
dress over dress
Shirt over dress over jeans
Shirt over dress over jeans

Think creatively about how each piece can be used. For example, Lularoe clothing (which I haven’t tried yet but hope to soon) is famous for being versatile.

Here are a bunch of ways you can wear the same maxi skirt:


I got started doing capsule wardrobes with Project 333 (see my first post about that here That was four years ago now, so my closet has changed somewhat. Particularly because a lot of those clothes don’t fit me anymore. Some of the clothes are the same, though! You’ll see my hot pink shrug). So Project 333 advocates having three separate wardrobes for each season. I have found that doesn’t work well for me. Partly because the weather is so unpredictable so I never know when I’m going to want dress warm or cool. I like to have access to all my clothes all the time. So what I do is use a lot of layering to make a cool outfit warm.

I’m in the process of reorganizing my clothes and wardrobe. I’ll do a video on this subject once I’ve got my new capsule wardrobe ready!

(By the way, today is my birthday! I’m 35 today, April 17th)

Capsule Wardrobe Challenge #Moms30For30 May 2017


Thank you to my wonderful Patreon supporters, who make it possible for me to stay home to raise my son…

Brian Hanechak
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