Maker Capsule Wardrobe series: how to define your style

Maker Capsule wardrobe series - how to nail what works for you. Free planner to help you nail down what will work for you.

OK, I’m no style expert. I have 0 experience styling or in fashion and hardly look like the coolest chick on the block.

But since I started making my own clothes I’ve definitely started to pay more attention to how my clothes make me feel and what I enjoy wearing.

All this paying attention has made me realise there’s no right or wrong way to approach style. It’s fluid. Which is great, right? It means you can play with style again and again. Keeping it fresh and fun.

But then, sometimes I know it can be a bit daunting to really know where to start. So I thought it might be helpful to walk you through my process.

So, here’s how this post breaks down:

  • Why it’s helpful to define your style
  • Defining your style – the process
  • Defining your style – my example

Oh, and, I’ve created this free downloadable workbook for you to print out and use (because who doesn’t love a good free printable, right)? Get the printable here.

So why should I bother to define MY style?

Well, I guess you don’t have to. Heck there are no rules, right?

But, I know how good I feel when I find pieces that 100% work for me. That feel like ‘me’ and basically just get tons of wear.

Plus, whether you’re a maker or just a capsule wardrobe nut, you can’t really afford to spend time or money on clothes that will sit in your closet gathering dust. Just making or buying things on a whim doesn’t really cut it in a wardrobe with minimal pieces.

So defining your style can help streamline your thinking and help you focus on the things you need. Not just the nice to haves. It also helps getting dressed 1000 times easier since you already know what you like wearing and what works for you.


Defining Your Style – the process

I think this all builds nicely on our previous thinking around lifestyle and key activities. It’s just another piece in the puzzle to help you identify what works for you.

I’ve also suggested you collect some images to help you find your inspiration, but really you could just skip this step if you have a strong sense already of what you like (I’m definitely a ‘need all the visuals’ kind of girl).


What colours do you seem to like the best?

Looking at your inspiration, what colours do you see coming up again and again?

You might find it helpful to break it down into categories:

  • Major colours – these come up a lot, they’re your ‘safe’ colours,colours you could wear head-to-toe without any issues
  • Minor colours – these come up frequently, you’d love to wear one piece in this colour mixed with a major colour
  • Accent colours – these add interest, but you probably wouldn’t want to dress head to toe in your accent colours

Don’t forget to include patterns in this!

What shapes do you see popping up again and again?

Now take a good look at your inspiration. Try and define what types of clothes you seem to like the best. Do you like skinny jeans or wide, ankle length culottes? Do you like pencil skirts or a-line? What about length? Colour? Material? Make sure to include:

  • pants/trousres
  • jeans
  • skirts
  • tops
  • knitwear
  • dresses
  • shoes/boots
  • jewellery
  • bags
  • other

And remember, I said get really, really specific? 😉

What Are Your Key Looks?

Now that you’ve identified some of your favourite pieces look at them again. How were those key shapes combined? Were pencil skirts combined with tees or shirts? Were those tops tucked in or left loose and baggy?

Be sure to include a few key looks for each of the major types of activities you do most of in a typical month (see this post for more detail on defining this).

Defining Your Style – MY Example

A series aimed at makers on how to create a capsule wardrobe you love.


As some of you may have heard, I’ve been in a real style rut lately. So I thought it helpful to go through this process to help me get excited about my closet again. It’s been really helpful to use this process to work out where my current style is at.

  • Major – faded or washed out black, denim, navy
  • Minor – light grey, warm white, dark teal, stripes
  • Accent – blush, gold, tobacco, rust, olive, light blue, leopard

I’m a really basic colours kind of girl if you haven’t noticed already 🙂

Key Shapes
  • skinny black jeans
  • black ankle boots
  • leather jackets in black or tobacco
  • 70s inspired floral dresses – midi with interesting sleeves and black as a background
  • semi-fitted sweaters in soft fabrics or heavy knit
  • mid-length, simple structured coats in tobacco with simple hardware
  • soft button-down shirts in drapey fabric
  • feminine tops in blush or burgundy with loose sleeves and soft peplums
  • semi-fitted dresses with defined waists – either fitted or gathered waists
Key Looks (For WINTER)
  • slim jeans + loose (untucked) tees or shirts + ankle boots or flats
  • mini skirt + loose tee or sweater tucked in + flats
  • knee length pencil skirt + loose tee or sweater + ankle boots
  • knee-length semi-fitted dresses with defined waists + ankle boots
  • 70s inspired midi dresses with interesting sleeves + ankle boots

I broke this down into my winter wardrobe for the moment as I have really clear differences between what I want to be wearing for winter (knits, jeans, pencil skirts) compared to what I wast to be wearing in the summer (tees and midi skirts).


Congratulations you’ve now got a pretty solid blueprint for your ideal capsule wardrobe. Not only do you have the individual items that will work for you (and your lifestyle), but you’ve also got a good idea for how to combine them to create different looks.

Next time we’re going to tackle how you can spend some time with your current wardrobe to see what to keep and what to let go of.

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