Barbara Diane so true, I know that often my time would be better spent playing in my own closet rather than shopping.

Sal, that's so useful to have a perspective from someone who organizes her thinking around functional/activity capsules. When I was playing around with groupings of clothes yesterday I realized that I had not included nearly enough casual bottoms. So it's clear to me that I need to keep multiple dimensions in mind, not just color.

I am late to welcome you-but I do! Yay for such a thoughtful new member! I hadn't responded as I don't really think in capsules. I loved your inner magpie Queen-I have one too. And I have the All the Things in All the Colours syndrome as well. I hardly own any nude shoes as I want shoes that match. I think I can learn from your approach and look forward to more posts.

Thanks for the welcome, Jenni NZ. Glad to know another color hoarder, I'll look out for your posts. You know, until I wrote that post at the start of the thread I had never exactly realized that I had an Inner Magpie Queen but I typed that phrase and thought: Oh! I am so glad to know her! (I love corvids.)

Welcome to the forum! You ask some very good questions, and it seems that you are getting great advice, I am following this thread with interest.

Unfortunately, I don't think I can offer you very specific advice myself, as I don't think much in "capsules"--in fact, like some others here, I often find this term (or the ways it is used) somewhat confusing. However, I am willing to share some of my own dressing concepts with you:

I prefer to dress in a mix of neutral and non-neutral colours. (My neutrals are cool brown, white, grey --light, medium, dark and silver--and black. And my non-neutrals are cool and clear, ranging from lemon, via pink, blue-reds and violet to blue, turquoise, teal and forest green.) I make sure that I have at least one, preferably two or more, neutral items in each category (pants, skirts, pullovers, blouses, jackets, shoes, boots, etc.) Then I'll add non-neutral accessories and/or a top. Or I might start with a non-neutral dress, skirt or pants and then "calm it down" by adding non-neutral accessories. There are lots of possibilities. I will happily wear more than one neutral and one non-neutral in an outfit. If wearing a printed scarf, for example, I may choose to wear clothing items and accessories in various colours found in that scarf.

Apart from neutral basics, I don't think I need to wear several items in the same colour. For instance, wearing a hot pink pullover with an otherwise neutral outfit may be enough. On the other hand, there's nothing wrong with pairing that pullover with a colourful scarf and/or shoes.

I feel OK wearing any of "my" colours on the upper part of my body. However, when I wear a bold colour on the lower part of my body (pants, skirt, shoes, hosiery), I find that repeating that colour somewhere near my face helps creating balance in the outfit and directing the attention to ME (my face, my eyes), not just to the ensemble. Tip: This is extra important in situations where you want people to pay attention to what you are saying.

For example, cobalt blue shoes could be balanced by cobalt blue earrings or a cobalt blue blouse or jacket, or simply by a patterned scarf where cobalt blue is one of the colours.

I don't feel it necessary to buy a lot of things in the same colour. But if I buy for example a pair of cobalt blue shoes, I will make sure that I have at least 2 things for my upper body (a top, some jewellery, or a scarf) in the same colour or with the same colour represented in a print/pattern.

And I do the same when packing: If I want to bring for instance my red pants, then I'll make sure to also pack my red necklace, a printed red scarf and perhaps a red top and/or cardigan. Then I know I will be able to combine these items with items in several other colours (neutrals as well as non-neutrals) while still having cohesiveness and balance in my outfit.

Maybe you can use some of these ideas.

By the way, dressing in a column of colour (as others have mentioned) and then adding other clothing items and accessories in one or more other colours is an excellent idea, which I have used for decades. Note that the column can be non-neutral as well as neutral, and that you can create several columns based on your favourite colours and your various activities.

Columns of colour look great and can be very useful when traveling. For more flexibility, you can pack two tops for each bottom. For instance, a short-sleeved top and a long-sleeved top. Or a casual top and a dressy top.

Just chiming back in that I also find the column of colour as referred to by The Cat really useful. On me it is also one of the most flattering - not that that is always the prime goal.

I love variety, so I started with colecting good essentials in my neutrals than added one at a time pops of colors I loved (mostly in tops and prints). In the next years I continued to add other items (including essentials) in the same color like my initial pops and so at the end my each pop of color evolved into a good working color capsule.

lyn67, excellent, that's a great example of success over time. Very inspiring!

Cat, thanks for the welcome! I think there is a lot of overlap between our palettes, so I'll look forward to seeing your outfits and gleaning some ideas from you. Those are helpful points about making sure that you have items in a color for different parts of the body -- two above the waist and one below seems like a good rule of thumb.

Cat and Sal, you know, I have been sort of resistant to the column-of-color approach (especially column-of-neutral) in the past. It looks very elegant on others but on me it often feels a bit flat. (Mixed neutrals feels much more natural to me.) But I will revisit. Never say never! In general, I feel like I have a good sense of how I want to put outfits together, but where I struggle is in figuring out how to shape my wardrobe to facilitate that. Maybe, as your posts suggest, a trick is to start with the outfits and work outwards from there. Hmm....

Interesting that you say that you are struggling to figure out how to shape your wardrobe to facilitate putting outfits together. When I looked at your capsules, I loved the color combinations. But I was confused, because I couldn't figure out how those collections of items would translate into outfits.

Why not play around with turning one of those capsules into an actual collection of outfits and see what happens? Maybe start with the smallest one, and add in all the items that you'll need to turn those tops into two or three outfits. You'll probably be adding toppers or layering tops, bottoms (pants or skirts), shoes (one or two pairs), and accessories.

I've been experimenting pulling color-based outfit capsules to wear for the past few weeks. It's been really useful -- I've found out just how important some items are (like my denim jacket and gray layering tops) that I'd never paid much attention to before).

Funny to me that you say you find mixed neutrals easier than a column of color. The mixed neutrals some folks here wear are way beyond me, but column of color feels easy.
Different strokes/different folks.

Fashiontern, horses for courses indeed!

Liz, good reminder of the importance of actually engaging with a collection of clothing. I tend to want to analyze and work things out in theory first, but sometimes there is just no substitute for learning through doing. I'm having fun playing with my Nutcracker collection so far and am looking forward to sharing some outfits with you all.