Build a Formal Capsule Wardrobe (+free printable worksheet)

One month ago I published an extended post about my F/W Minimalist Wardrobe and you loved it! *happy feet* However, as you might have noticed, my previous post didn’t include formal or fancy attires, rather it was really focused on casual, simple and easy outfits. That’s partly because I’m not the kind of person that goes out a lot and partly because even when I go out I hardly wear super-duper fancy outfits. A few days ago though I received an email from Stephanie, asking me to suggest her ways to build her capsule wardrobe based on the fact that she attends many galas and formal events. After a long long email that I shared with her my insights on how to achieve that, I realized that most of you will probably need some formal outfits as well. Thus i decided to write a post focused entirely on that.

FYI, unlike my previous post, this won’t be focused on my existing Wardrobe. On the contrary, I will work with you, use the worksheet I share below and step by step I will create my ideal Formal Capsule Wardrobe. Having worked on my Casual Minimalist Wardrobe earlier this year helped me a lot in developing the strategy I need to achieve the Ultimate Formal Capsule Wardrobe. 

So, let’s do this! 

LIFESTYLE

Correct me if I’m wrong, but we all have very different lifestyles, thus different needs from our Formal Wardrobes. Also, we all have a different meaning for the word “formal” in our heads. It is pretty clear that a birthday party requires simpler attires than a Black Tie Gala for example. So, it makes total sense to me that the first important thing we need to do in order to build a Capsule Formal Wardrobe, is to acknowledge these differences and identify our needs.  

I, for one, know that I won’t be attending any Black Tie events any time soon, so I guess my Formal Capsule Wardrobe doesn’t need to be focused on that kind of “formal”. I know, however, that many of you might be way more glamorous than me, so please take some time to think what your specific needs are and how your Formal Wardrobe has to “serve” you. 

THINK SMART; USE EXISTING ITEMS & FANCY ACCESSORIES

What i really love about Capsule Wardrobes is that they “force” you to think outside the box and use your clothes efficiently. Personally, I believe that having thought carefully of your clothes leads to having more confidence when wearing them. Plus, you don’t mind wearing them again and again, since you really love them. That being said, it is absolutely possible to use some of the clothes you already have, paired with fancy accessories, statement pieces of jewelry, high heels and great make up and…still rock!

Till now that was basically my strategy. I could really write a whole post (and probably I will) on how helpful it has been to have a couple of Little Black Dresses in my Wardrobe. Every time I need to attend to a Formal Event, I wear one of my LBDs, spiced up with a funky pair of earrings and high heels and I have to admit I’ve never felt that I needed something more. Or at least until now. I get that the LBD situation is perfectly convenient when you actually need to attend as your dressier self once in a blue moon. But still, it helps you posses less and still be amazingly dressed. 

PAY ATTENTION TO THE OCCASION

Unfortunately, building a Formal Capsule Wardrobe needs some extra thought mostly because there are many different types of formal events. However, if you’ve done a good study on what you will need based on the events you normally go, you won’t have a problem building your Capsule Wardrobe. And if you need help with that process the Free Worksheet I give you below will save you some time. I’ve listed all the Type of Events and linked them with all the appropriate or required attires. So believe me, if you are not sure how you should be dressed, it will help you a tone! 

INSPIRATION, STYLE & COLOR PALETTE

Once you’ve done the hard work of identifying your Formal Wardrobe’s needs, you’ll have to collect all the information you will actually use in order to choose the specific items of your small, yet neat and amazing, collection. In my opinion this phase includes three basic steps; seek inspiration, find your style, choose your colors. 

  • INSPIRATION: There are numerous ways to seek inspiration. For me, the number one source is Pinterest and then a couple of fashion blogs I really love and follow for years. Do whatever works for you though and collect as many images and notes as possible that describe your ultimate style. 
  • STYLE: After collecting the inspo-material you will need to pay attention to what is good for you. We all have different bodies, skin colors, hair styles etc. You need to pay attention to what is good on you based on your characteristics. I get that we all want to be able to wear whatever we want but unfortunately some outfits are not flattering on us. That being said, try to develop your own style and create a dressing strategy that makes you feel confident.
  • COLOR PALETTE: Lastly, what I like to do is work with a specific color palette. That way, your shoes will match your clothes, you won’t need a bunch of accessories and every item will work harmonically with the other. For example, below I chose black, blue and metallic colors. 

So, if you want to build an amazing Formal Capsule Wardrobe, you can download your Free Worksheet here and do it like a boss! 

GET YOUR FREE CHECKLIST HERE !https://mylifebox.leadpages.co/leadbox-959.js

MY IDEAL F/W FORMAL CAPSULE WARDROBE

Well, as I mentioned before, my collection is based on a black, royal blue and metallic accents palette. I don’t know about you, but I find the combination of black and blue very chic and sophisticated, while safe for all formal occasions. Then I added some splashes of gold and bronze just to spice things up and feel more festive. New Years Eve is around the corner after all and we all want to shine that day, right? 

As you see, I’ve included a couple of statement jewelry pieces because half of the dresses I’ve chosen can be easily upgraded with a jewelry addition! 

DRESSES

SHOES

ACCESSORIES

GET YOUR FREE CHECKLIST HERE !https://mylifebox.leadpages.co/leadbox-959.js

* Click on the photos for the links. Note that none of the products I share is affiliated or sponsored. I share only what I truly like and no commission will be earned by clicking on the photos. 

Develop a Solid Brand Identity in 5 Steps & Without Breaking the Bank

Making a decision on becoming serious about your creative hobby by opening a shop might sound extremely exciting, but you know that it can be extremely daunting as well. Many people, including me when I started, tend to believe that everything needs to be perfect before launching your shop. Guys, I’m telling ya…they don’t. Oh, wait….ABSOLUTELY, they don’t. Is that clear enough? 

Almost a year ago I gave an interview and when they asked me about how I got at this point in my career I said “Luck and mistakes”. And that’s it. Amazing? When I started, two years ago, I didn’t even know what an infopreneur is, let alone I thought of searching on “How to Open an Online Shop” on Google. Now that I think about it, I clearly remember having 20 tabs open in my browser, all from other Etsy shops -the ones I admired the most- keeping notes on every little detail I could identify as useful. 

This guide is exactly what you will need – and exactly what I wish I had a couple of years ago – in order to develop your brand quickly, efficiently AND affordably before launching. So, let’s cut to the chase, shall we?

BRAND NAME

All businesses need a name. That’s obvious. But, what’s not very obvious to some people is that the name plays a rather small role in the overall success of your brand. Try to remember of your last purchase through a platform such as Etsy, Amazon or Ebay…yeah, you probably don’t remember the name of the shop. You most likely stumbled upon the product, bookmarked it and returned to buy it. I’m not saying that the name should be insignificant to you, pick something you like and you resonate with. 

What we want? simple, short, elegant and easy to pronounce. Think of an anagram of your name, or your pet’s name. Or invent your own word, how cool is that? Don’t spend hours on it though! And you know why? it is also possible that someone else got it first. And when that happens (I really wish you that it doesn’t) you will feel terrible. Guaranteed!

Before launching my shop I already ran myLifebox as a blog without its own domain* (of course someone had already bought it) so I went for my-lifeboxblog.com….how messed up was that? Then I started dreaming of launching my jewelry line under the name myTreasurebox so it would be Life=Lifestyle Blog / Treasure=Jewelry! Wonderful right? I might have spent a whole month on thinking everything through. So you realize that when I saw that the names were taken I was so bummed out. Don’t fall in that trap. The name doesn’t matter. Think a few, check if they already exist and choose the one that doesn’t. Also, please don’t go for numbers or extra letters that don’t make sense, i.e. myLifebox64. Not good πŸ™‚ 

* PS: it won’t hurt if you check whether your name is available as a domain too, you’ll soon need a website/blog, don’t you think?

DO I NEED AN AMAZING LOGO ?

Now that’s a hot topic! I’ve seen many of you obsessing over your logo and ,ok, I kind of get it. Been there, done that. But I’m pretty sure that it is really early to either spend money for a fancy logo designed by a professional, or, as a matter of fact care so much. Don’t get me wrong. I really pay attention to the details and I do believe that a nice logo and an overall brand appearance will make the difference. I’m just saying that you don’t have to break the bank to do that. There are dozens of amazing websites out there that will generate a logo for you. Some of them might ask for a minor payment but still, no need to spend a lot. 

And here I will tell you a secret…. GO FOR SIMPLE (again!). 1. many people get frustrated by overdesigned, way too colorful/fancy logos 2. simple logo = more room for your actual products to shine!! 

One of my favorite and most inspirational infopreneurs I know, Regina, highlights the importance of “Staying Scrappy” in your business and I couldn’t agree more. Running a creative business will teach all sorts of new creative skills – logo designing included, at least for now πŸ™‚

By the way: Next week’s post will be all about How to Create your Logo without spending a ton of money, so stay tuned! AND if you download the free worksheet at the end of the post you will earn a great bonus preview of that!

WE ARE VISUAL ANIMALS: the importance of PHOTOS 

Now…if you MUST hire someone, let it be a photographer. I really believe you can do it yourself if you are willing to devote some extra hours to it, but you should definitely have really good photos of your products and there are several reasons for that:

  • when people buy something online they want to be sure that what they’ll get is what they saw on the pictures. Therefore, you should take a good close-up photo of anything that might interest your customers and makes your products unique. You also need to pay attention to the scale/sizes of the items. Of course you know how big they are but a photo can be very confusing, thus you need to find ways to indicate their scale. 
  • it is also a matter of safety for you, because if someone feels fooled when he gets his parcel expecting a huge thing and receiving a tiny thingy instead, he will most likely leave a bad review – and you don’t want that!
  • GOOD PHOTOS WILL DRIVE TRAFFIC TO YOU ! I guess you get that. Good photos that are easy on the eye will draw the attention of potential customers, pinners and bloggers. The more likeable the photos the more shareable they are. And you want that! 

But, something you need to understand is that again you don’t need to exaggerate. Don’t go overboard and hire the best photographer, book a studio and a couple of well paid models to do your photo shoot. Of course, when your biz grows enough you’ll do all that. There is a right time for everything. But spending that much money on something that isn’t giving you back is not a key to success. 

KILLER PRODUCT DESCRIPTIONS

Hello hello mr. Writer πŸ™‚ Were you good in essays in school? No? bummer! It’s never late tho! OK, kidding. BUT you neeeeed to have good descriptions of your products. Again. Many. Reasons. 

  • safety: as mentioned above, you don’t want to leave any gaps open, misleading your customers. Here you can describe in detail every little detail of your item, making it even more appealing. 
  • SEO SEO SEO: everything on the web need to be SEO friendly. Use your descriptions to do that by adding all the necessary keywords that might a potential customer use in Google Search in order to land on your shop. 
  • people relate to stories. If you have a little behind-the-scenes story of the product to share, then do it! 

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE DETAILS

I already mentioned the word “details” many times. But the little branding details are what will make your business stand out. Use your imagination to find ways and make people buy from you. What would make someone buy something like my product? What problem am I solving by offering my service? What would make me feel special? Are some of the questions you should answer to yourself about your brand, product or service. 

I know it is a lot to ask but you need to find all the little details that will make you unique and different from similar creative business owners. I will brainstorm with you, OK?

  • add a handwritten thank you note inside the envelope
  • design and use special packaging
  • add a small gift inside the package 
  • offer a discount coupon for their next order 
  • offer customizable products
  • develop a story, share it and help people relate with you! 

People Buy from People. That’s what Personal Branding is all about.

— Braid Creative

This quote sums up all my favorite things about being a Creative Entrepreneur. You have always to remember that behind your brand identity is a person, you, that actually adds value to your business. You are the core of your company and you are the one owes to be seen and credited. Feel free to make mistakes and use your own voice until you figure out what truly reflects your taste and personality. 

Last, but certainly not least, don’t forget to download your FREE WORKSHEET so you can start working on your Business Branding now πŸ™‚ In essence, it is the absolute mini-guide that will help you through all the aforementioned topics PLUS a great BONUS CHEAT SHEET on how to create your own logo πŸ™‚ yeah yeah! 

GET YOUR FREE WORKSHEET HEREhttps://mylifebox.leadpages.co/leadbox-942.js

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MYLIFEBOX & BLOGGING THOUGHTS

Today is a very special day for me and myLifebox. And not only for the obvious reasons πŸ™‚ Firstly, i’m really excited because two years ago I officially launched my jewelry collection, aka. opened my Etsy shop. I cannot believe that two years already passed by. My two year younger self wouldn’t even dare to imagine that myLifebox would  turn into something professional, and yet here I am; with more than 400 lovely customers and numerous wholesale collaborations in my “resume”. 

However, today is a special day for one more reason. I found the courage and strength, after two weeks of drafting, to send an email to my people (friends, fellow bloggers and family) informing them in extend about myLifebox’s progress over the past months, the new direction of the blog and my general intentions as a designer and blogger. 

That might not ring a bell to you, but for me it is a huge milestone. Stepping out of my comfort zone, reaching out to all the amazing people I know, risking that many of them might have forgotten me, opening my cards, letting them know about my professional plans etc. are only few of the things that this email exposed me to, but also some of the really important factors that will -hopefully- lead to fruitful collaborations and strong followers.

I often think that it might be easier to start a blog from scratch. For some reason I have to fight with the demons of my past. I’ve long shown interest in DIYs and recipes, posts of which categories drive most of the traffic in this blog. But now I feel the need to start over, share more consistent content, more related to my profession, share things I know more about and so forth. But here is the question? What do I do with my old posts? Do I keep them just as traffic magnets, hoping that some of the visitors will show interest in the new categories? Do I delete them? No god! I wouldn’t delete them, they are a huge part of what I am after all. 

Anyway, ALL these, and many more led to the decision to inform some of the people I know about the new, exciting things happening around here. And if you care to read in more detail what these changes are GO HERE. And of course feel free to subscribe to my newsletter as well, I’ll keep them shorter next time and I hate spams so I’ll be kind!