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Capsule Wardrobe

OldBiddy | Posted in Feedback on Threads on

The article by Susan Lazear on “Mix & Match with Domino Design” in the January issue (#134) about creating a capsule wardrobe by carrying over fabric from one garment to the next was very intriguing.  Along the same line of making a coordinated wardrobe instead of a closet full of lovely but unrelated garments, has anybody done anything with reversible garments? I’m working on a set using two colors of lightweight linen-like fabric & two carefully chosen prints; when finished I’ll have in reversibles one jacket, two blouses, one skirt, & one pair of walking shorts, or essentially ten mix-and-match garments for the price of two in the stores.  Also, by selective choices of non-bulky trims & details, each side of each garment can have an entirely different look & not be just a carbon copy of the other side.

Pat Johnson – Bakerton, WV


  1. MaryinColorado | | #1

    That sounds lovely, I hope you will post photos.  Mary

  2. Josefly | | #2

    What a great travel wardrobe! Sounds like you're getting inventive with the trims, too, so I do hope you'll show us when you're through. It's been a long time since I've tried a reversible garment; when finished, I found I only really liked to wear one side of it, probably because I wasn't careful enough choosing my fabrics, but anyway I was discouraged from trying it again. A reversible jacket sounds very useful, though.

  3. User avater
    mscgal | | #3

    I love the idea of making a reversible garment as a way to pull together a capsule wardrobe. My current wardrobe has used black as the basic color, but now I'm replacing that with gray and charcoal for a softer look that will still go with plums and purples.

    I'm planning to do a five-piece capsule using Connie Crawford's Butterick B5053 as a reversible jacket - doing one side in a solid color (maybe a texture) with the long lapels in a print; which would reverse to a print jacket with solid color lapels - a skirt and blouse in the print fabric - and pants and a shell or knit top in the solid color. With the 5 garments I'd have two tops, two bottoms, each can be worn with the other, a two-piece dress when needed, and any of these combinations can be worn with either side of the jacket.

    Another wardrobe idea would be to include a reversible vest, incorporating fabrics from the other capsule pieces. I recently was commissioned to make a quilted vest, for which I used raw-edge appliqué collage piecing and free-motion quilting to assemble all layers. The pattern has a crossover front closing and lapels just on the front pieces, with bias binding finishing all edges. For the focus side I used a variety of blue fabrics and for the reverse I used a lighter colour coordinate print fabric. As the lapels are hidden when wearing that side out, it has a completely different look.

    Carolyn, Canada

  4. suesew | | #4

    I'll bet you're not really an oldbiddy. Anyway, I love the idea of a capsule wardrobe and generally make lots of my things in greens or browns so they almost all go together. For the life of me I don't understand the concept of reversibles, especially for travel. If I spill coffee down the front of me (it's been known to happen) I've spoiled two outfits. Why wear two things at once and get two things wrinkled and dirty?

    1. Teaf5 | | #7

      The capsule and reversible approaches intrigue me, but I always spill the first thing I eat while traveling, too. My travel wardrobe now consists of knit slacks and tops in subdued colors and subtle textures so that I can wear them for more than one day! I've started packing a few gorgeous silk scarves and a sarong to vary the look AND disguise the most conspicuous stains--the ones right down the front!

      1. suesew | | #8

        Martha Pullen had a tank top once that was made out of different fabrics front and back and was also lined with two different fabrics. It could be worn four different ways. A great idea if you don't mind wearing the same thing for four days, and always wear a jacket. I also travel lightly and always wear things more than once, rinsing out my socks and underwear at night.

        1. Teaf5 | | #10

          I remember that top--it was made in gorgeous jewel tones, and it seemed so very clever! But my full bust and narrow back mean that I couldn't wear it backwards, and I rarely wear sleeveless garments, so I didn't try it. I thought that it would be a great piece for a week-long conference if I had to wear a suit.Fortunately, I don't have to go to such conferences, and on other trips, the only person who would know that I'm wearing the same thing every day is my husband, wears nearly the same thing every day anyway!

  5. JanF | | #5

    I'm sorry - I think the article about mix and match fabric /wardrobe shows the worst case scenario re. choice of fabrics etc.
    The results are definitely not for me - unless i want to look every inch an old -fashioned, frumpy out of touch woman!
    I think the fabric choices for this article - together with what to do with them are so "naff" I won't give it shelf space - pity Threads appears to me to make 1 step forwards and then a blip backwards!
    Sorry to anyone who thinks they are great choices - after all its a personal thing isn't it - but.....
    Oh dear

    1. Teaf5 | | #6

      I completely agree with you; the concept sounded great, but the combinations were ghastly for anyone but a wearer who is 18 years old, a size 2 and who is into punk and retro fashions. The pink & green lace paired with the weird plaid on the skirt really had me squinting and made me wonder whether the fabrics were salvaged from a dumpster.

      1. solosmocker | | #9

        I think this issue is really quite good, but those outfits in that article just were not my cup of tea. It looks like someone is trying to relate all those odd impulse fabric buys, and I guess they are. Personally I like a little more cohesion. JMHO, solo

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