When Capsules are a Mistake

My wardrobe is getting overrun again, and I’m going to have to pare down.

I’ve bought a bunch of pieces without thinking too clearly about how they’ll interact with the rest of my garments. I need to stop doing this.

What’s worse, I’ve taken capsule sewing a little too far in a few instances.


These jackets are essentially the same jacket. I sewed the one on the left with a contrasting band and the one on the right with a band in the same fabric as the body of the jacket.

While the one on the right looks a lot more interesting in a picture, notice that you can only wear it with black, red, or white to have the jacket “work” as a coordinated outfit. Because the band is patterned, it also means that you don’t want to accessorize much at all or the outfit becomes far, far too busy.

As proud as I am of that jacket, in terms of wardrobe coordination, it was a mistake. I do wear red, but I really don’t want my color choices to be mostly black and red. The capsule consisted of a skirt in plain red, a skirt and pants in plain black, and three shells – red, the band pattern and black. As long as I dressed within that capsule, it looked fine. But that was too limited. If I wanted other colors, I’d need to make another capsule.

The jacket on the right? That one I can dress up with scarves, or wear it plain. I can wear any color that will go with black (all of them) and the outfit will be work.

The reality is that as much as I love an interchangeable wardrobe, I need to sew with buying clothes more in mind. While I get a kick out of sewing my own garments, my time is more limited these days. I am much more likely to buy something and alter it to suit my tastes better. (I’m looking at you, designers who don’t put waist darts or princess seams in your torsos for plus-sized clothing!)

I also need to be pickier and buy clothes with my closet in mind. I have about five or six pieces I never wear because they go with nothing else and while they looked great on the plus sized model in the image, even with alteration, they just look sloppy on me.

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