Saturday, February 10, 2018

Working Wardrobe

Published in 1981, I believe (but am not certain) Working Wardrobe; Affordable Clothes That Work For You! was the first book to present the capsule concept of wardrobe planning. The author, Janet Wallach, has impressive credentials in the fashion industry. Her career, at the time of publication, spanned 20 years and included work as a fashion designer, fashion coordinator nad fashion merchandising director.

The capsule concept involves planning your wardrobe around a grouping of basic garments in coordinating colors that can be worn interchangeably. As discussed in the book, a professional capsule consists of 12 garments and provides 48 different looks. The first capsule discussion includes illustrations of all the possible looks for the capsule...just in case you have trouble envisioning all the looks.

The book includes numerous examples and color fashion illustrations of the concepts discussed, as well as 60 suggestions for capsule color combinations, also in color. Also included are case studies of various individuals and how the capsule concept was applied to their specific life circumstances. One of the more useful features of the case studies is a description of how the women used pieces from their current wardrobes as a basis for their first capsules. As the chapter headings suggest, the author has also expanded the concept beyond a professional wardrobe. 

As the book was published in 1981, some of the featured fashions  dated; however, they are very fine examples of 1980s fashion illustrations. Since the author stresses classic pieces the problem is not as pronounced as in some books on wardrobe planning that feature trendier designs. One other thing that dates the book is the inclusion of dollar amounts in the case studies. Truly, some of the figures given are laughably small by today's standards; I could drop more in 15 minutes in Eddie Bauer than these women paid for entire wardrobes!

The book also includes some blank capsule planning charts. If you're lucky enough to be able to purchase a copy of the book, good for you! Otherwise, the charts would be easy to reproduce on notebook paper or in your word processing program.This book is not a must have but it is an excellent book on wardrobe planning using the capsule concept. This book is out of print, but affordable used copies are available on Amazon.

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