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College is a time of transformation, a time of growth and change, and though I learned a lot in the classroom there is one thing I learned from our College Panhellenic president, Amy. Amy was the queen of being stylish and polished. She had an outfit for every occasion and dressed with pose and confidence one could only dream of. She also was the queen of maximizing her time and efficiency. She was known across campus for how quickly she could pack and unpack for any trip or even moving into her chapter house. I learned that these principles of efficiency and polish she used in her wardrobe too. Amy lived a “capsule wardrobe life”. You may be asking what a capsule wardrobe is? Wikipedia defines a capsule wardrobe as: a term used in American publications as early as the 1940s to denote a small collection of garments designed to be worn together which harmonized in color and line.” 

You may be asking yourself why you should make the transition to a capsule wardrobe. Think of it as dressing for the job you want, not the job you have. As a college student, you can wear really anything to class, leggings and a t-shirt is normally the uniform, but most of the time, that isn’t how you will dress in a professional role. Unfortunately, most colleges/universities don’t have a development program that tells you how to dress for any career. As sorority women, we want to always be prepared for any occasion and to dress the part. Many sorority women will have internships or attend business meetings requiring more formal attire. This is a great way to prepare you for life after college. 

Building a Capsule Wardrobe 

The concept is simple pieces that you can combine and interchange to make an outfit for every occasion. Classic looks, shapes and styles make timeless outfits that compliment your shape and style. The rules are as follows:

  1. Stick to a color scheme. One in your color wheel and that compliments you.
  2. Consider your shape. Some cuts of clothing are more flattering than others and that’s ok. Wear what looks and feels good on you.
  3. Choose classic shapes and styles. Trends are great but they will not always be in style and therefore not versatile.
  4. Choose quality over quantity. If you only have one pair of jeans you can splurge on, get a pair that will last. Choose a pair that is high quality and a flattering shape. It is a good idea to choose clothing that is well made and looks good despite wear.

In a world where we are taught to be consumers and quick fashion causes a lot of waste. I love the concept of buying less and using things longer. For environmental reasons, it is a great way to clear out a closet and not fill it with clothing you do not use. 

As you and your sisters transition from your college attire to becoming a professional, consider a capsule wardrobe and how it can help you with your budget but also how you can ensure you can always look polished and posed. 

If you need more information on how to make this transition, read this blog from Gabrielle Arruda who shares how you can build your wardrobe from scratch.

Written by CJ Smith

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