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Build Your Capsule Wardrobe

Maybe you're traveling and don't know what to pack. Maybe you're headed into the office, and don't know what to wear. Either way, having it all in your wardrobe doesn't require owning it all.

In fact, you could dramatically reduce the size of your closet and suitcase, and still wear a unique outfit every day of the week—as well as be appropriately attired for any dress code the day's events have in store. Capsule wardrobes are essentially miniature-sized wardrobes made up of basic, but versatile pieces. And guess what? They're perfect for travel! Here are a few tips to get you started.

1. Find your staples.

The key to a capsule wardrobe is to have a small number of items in your closet (only 37, for example) and to discover different ways to pair them. Staple items include shirts or tops, pants, dresses, sport coats, outwear and shoes. Items don't include: pajamas and loungewear, workout clothes, underwear, swimsuits or the jeans you wear painting your house.

2. Build your basics.

Remember when your mom held that jacket up to you and said: "It will never go out of style?" Ten, 15, 20 years later and ... it turns out Mom was right (groan, mumble). There are a few essential clothing items that will always be in style. And there's a reason for that. Your wardrobe needs them.

3. Update your wardrobe.

Get tired of wearing the same clothing over and over again? Never fear, seasons are here! Update your wardrobe according to inclement weather patterns.

4. Accessorize.

Accessories are your capsule wardrobe's best friends. Items such as jewelry and watches, scarves and ties, purses and other bags aren't included in your staple items, so dazzle it up and personalize it to your heart's content.


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