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How to Create a Lingerie Capsule Wardrobe

From the The Orange Lingerie Blog
How to Create a Lingerie Capsule Wardrobe

If you watched our latest video, you know that one of my favorite things to do each season is to put together a lingerie capsule wardrobe. While there are several different kinds of lingerie wardrobes, such as date night, loungewear, etc., each season I put together an everyday lingerie capsule to work with my seasonal clothing wardrobe. 

Benefits of a Lingerie Capsule

The benefits of a lingerie capsule wardrobe are similar to the benefits of a clothing capsule wardrobe. To start, there are less decisions to make when getting dressed each day. When you open your lingerie drawer, you see only the pieces that work with your current wardrobe rather than all of the super pretty, but perhaps less practical every day pieces. Having less in the drawer also means you can clearly see all of your choices which means there is no need to dig around for the pieces you want to wear. Less in the drawer also means you need less space. Overall, the simplification of the lingerie drawer makes it faster and easier to get dressed each day.

By only having a handful of pieces in current wearing rotation you get another benefit – you can prolong the life of the pieces in your collection as you move them in and out of seasonal wearing rotation. I also like seeing past season favorites in the larger collection and wearing them again in the season when they look best. It is kind of like getting new lingerie!

Lingerie capsules also ensure that you have all the necessary underwear to meet your clothing needs. You will be able to pull out any piece of clothing from your closet and know that you have the right bra and underwear to pair with it. This means the sheer blouse has a bra that blends with your skin tone and the fitted top has a bra that won’t show any seams.

I also like to have my lingerie compliment my outfit for a complete look. This means looking at my seasonal color palette and choosing lingerie that will work with my clothing.

Define the Lingerie Capsule Wardrobe Goal

The first step for any project is to define the goal. For my lingerie capsule wardrobes I aim to have a minimum of 7 bras with their matching underwear (2 matching pairs for every bra) that work with my seasonal clothing wardrobe. This quantity allows me to go up to 2 weeks without the need to do my hand-washing. (You can see my video on how often to wash your lingerie here.) I have also found that this number or choices provides just enough variety for a given season. Your goals may vary but it really helps to define them up front. 

Building the Wardrobe

The first step in building the lingerie capsule wardrobe is to look at the clothing for the season to determine if there are any lingerie needs. Because I also use a clothing capsule wardrobe for each season, it is easy to see to what I will be wearing at a glance.

To find out what you need to include in your lingerie capsule, look at your clothing and ask yourself the following questions:

Is there anything sheer?
If so, you will want lingerie that blends with your skin tone or has the color contrast you want to show underneath.

Is there anything that fits snuggly or that closely hugs the body?
If so, you will want invisible smoothness and skin tone blending lingerie to wear underneath, including a thong or seamless underwear.

Are there any low cut tops or dresses?
If so, you will want a plunge style bra to keep the neckline unobstructed or beautifully complimentary materials for visibility in the neckline.

Are there any strapless, one shoulder or racerback garments?
If so, you will want a strapless or convertible bra to avoid showing any straps underneath, or complimentary straps if that is the look you want.

In my fall clothing capsule, I do have a sheer white blouse and sheer white t-shirt that I want to wear with skin toned lingerie. None of my tops are low-cut but I like to have at least one plunge bra and I don’t have any pieces that fit so snuggly that I need invisibility underneath.  

With lingerie needs identified, the next step is to look through your existing lingerie collection for the pieces that work with the season’s clothing and fit the needs identified above. 

When pulling from your collection, be sure that every piece you select is in good wearing condition and be sure to try everything on to be sure each piece still fits and feels great. 

If your lingerie collection is anything like mine, you probably found everything you needed right there! Because I also like the colors to be seasonably appropriate, I sometimes end up a few lingerie sets shy of my goal.

For this seasonal lingerie capsule wardrobe, I found 4 bras that I like with this season's clothing, including a bra to wear under the sheer tops (beige/copper Berkeley bra) and a plunging bra for under the v-neck top and dress (black/gold Lansdowne bra). I also found a bra with matching colors (blue and ivory Berkeley bra) and a foam lace bra (navy/black/pink Boylston bra). All four of these bras are from my collection and all have at least 2 pairs of matching underwear. This means I still want 3 more sets (and 6 pairs of underwear) for this capsule.

The next step is to shop your bra making materials stash, or go shopping for the supplies to fill in any gaps.

I find it helpful to start the materials selection process with the laces I like for the season and then evaluate them by placing the lace lining over my arm with the lace on top and then adding the fabric on top of that to get an idea of what the bra will look like. I then evaluate the materials against the clothing to see what looks best.

Once you select the materials you like best, you can choose which patterns to use for both the bras and matching underwear and set your sewing queue according to your preference (e.g. biggest need first, want to sew the most first, etc.) Have fun with it!

For my seasonal capsule I looked at 6 potential lace and materials combinations to go with my fall clothing capsule wardrobe. I am cutting that back to 3 or 4 selections and finalizing which bra and underwear styles to sew with the help of comments on the video on our YouTube channel and the votes in our newsletter subscriber poll so stay tuned for the final collection!

Because blog comments are disabled due to Spam issues (that happens if you blog about lingerie!), if you want to provide your opinion, head on over to the "How to Create a Lingerie Capsule Wardrobe" video on our YouTube channel and add your comment.

I will be reviewing your feedback and sewing over the next week or so and I will unveil the fall lingerie capsule wardrobe in an upcoming YouTube video. Be sure to subscribe to our channel to be among the first to see the results!