Plus Size Capsule Wardrobe Rules -They are YOUR Rules!


Plus Size Capsule WardrobeIt’s time to elaborate on how you are going to build your plus size capsule wardrobe rules.  The first thing we need to lay down, is YOUR set of rules on what clothing to keep from your existing wardrobe and to buy the clothing you want to add to what you already have. I will give examples of my plus size capsule wardrobe rules as we go along, so you can draw your own conclusions.

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The Rules – YOUR Rules

The most important thing to remember when you are setting up the rules for your plus size capsule wardrobe, is that there are no established rules. Some authorities may say that there are rules, such as “overweight people should not wear horizontal stripes.” Or, how about “You should not wear white after Labor Day”? Plus there’s this one:  “You shouldn’t wear black shoes with brown pants, or brown shoes with black pants or athletic shoes with skirts, or socks with sandals”. Some capsule wardrobe “experts” will even tell you that there are rules about how many pieces to have and what kind of pieces they should be.

None of that applies to us anymore. You do not have to follow any of these rules! We are going to wear what makes us happy, regardless if it breaks someone else’s rules.

You are going to establish a group of rules that will ultimately make you happy! It will be a set of guidelines that keeps you from buying, and ultimately wasting money on clothing that you are not going to wear, that will just pile up in your closet and make you feel like a failure. So, Let’s get busy putting your rules together, so that your plus size capsule wardrobe is a dynamic success.

Plus Size Capsule WardrobeRule # 1- Comfort

Comfort in your plus size capsule wardrobe can be realized in many forms. Of course there’s physical comfort, but there’s also a level of mental comfort as well. If the clothing item isn’t comfortable, for whatever reason, you just aren’t going to wear it, and you might as well not have it in your plus size capsule wardrobe. Here are a few considerations you should take while evaluating clothing items for your plus size capsule wardrobe:

General Physical Comfort

Here, think about materials. Do you want breathable yet warm items? Is the material too itchy or too slippery, or too chafey? Are the materials too stretchy or not stretchy enough? If you try an outfit on, and you notice any issues such as these with the material itself, that should be a red flag to you, because short of returning the item, there is little you can do to change these issues.

An example of my rules here: sweaters or completer pieces must be thinner gauge materials, such as sweaters you will find in the summer clothing offerings. Heavy cable-knit sweaters just don’t work for me because they are always too hot, even on the coldest days. And sweaters need to button or zip all the way down the front. Since they need to be removable for three seasons of the year, I don’t want to be pulling them off over my head and having my blouse or cami come flying up to expose all my “finer features”.

Plus Size Capsule WardrobeLook and Fit

When thinking about clothing for your plus size capsule wardrobe, look and fit are very important. If you hate how an outfit looks on you, you are not going to wear it. Consider color and pattern, as well as cut and length, plus style of the clothing. Is the item too long or too short? Are there  buttons or zippers that hit you in the wrong places? Another biggy for me, is room in the shoulders. Can you function in a garment that limits your movement? Do you like “fit and flair” or straight skirts? How about flowy items or more form-fitted items? What do you think about boot cut or wide leg jeans vs. skinny jeans or leggings? Do you like mini, midi, or maxi skirts?

Here’s an example from my plus size capsule wardrobe: Lately I’ve had issues with the length of shirts and blouses. I learned while watching “What not to Wear” on TLC years ago, that I need to emphasize my thinnest part, just under my rib cage, and then the garment needs to “float away” to de-emphasize my round tummy and ample hips. Well, I need a lot of square footage up top as well, so by the time I cover my top and belt my waist, there was little material left to float away, leaving my big tummy and big hips right out there for the world to see. So I have learned by trial and error, that I need shirts and blouses to be of maxi tunic length, at least 32″ from the shoulder to the hem.

Plus Size Capsule Wardrobe

Weather and Climate

What’s your typical weather where you live and work? Is it predictable? Do you get every season’s weather in one day? Does your office feel  meat-locker-cold or volcano-eruption-hot? Will you experience rain, snow, sleet, or hail? Oh and let’s not forget MUD, my nemesis! (We have an entire season devoted to MUD where I live. It’s a way of life for several weeks in the spring.) Does weather bother you that much, or is it a source of constant aggravation for you?

My plus size capsule wardrobe centers almost entirely on weather and climate, because I would say my biggest comfort factor is heat/cold/wetness/dryness. Of course, if you aren’t bothered that much by the weather, then YOUR rules for your plus size capsule wardrobe will not have as many weather constituencies.  My main way of dealing with the weather is to dress in layers, and be ready for anything.


Winter calls for pants or leggings, boots, cami, blouse, and one or two completer pieces, and of course the thickest wool socks I own.


Spring requires the same layers, except the removal of the wool socks and one completer piece. Oh and rain gear and footwear for the mud!


Summer calls for pants or leggings in the morning, (because we can be close to freezing in the morning and be close to 90 in the afternoon) with socks and shoes, to be changed to a dress or shorts and sandals in the afternoon, and I bring the completer piece with me in case we get wind and hail later on.


Fall calls for much the same as spring, but not as much need for rain and mud gear.

And here’s a rule I needed to institute: All blouses or camis in spring and fall must look good on their own, and here’s why:  I had in years past made do with shorter shirts, as I mentioned above, because I would wear them with a completer piece that covered what the shirt missed. That worked OK in the dead of winter, but when it was warmer in spring or fall, I would have to take off my completer piece, and there I was, uncomfortable with the belly and butt sticking out. So, that’s one of my rules: Make sure completer pieces can be removed without changing the coverage.

Plus Size Capsule WardrobeRevealing or Modesty, or Appropriateness and Environment

How comfortable are you showing a little decolletage? How about showing a high thigh? If the situation calls for it, go for it. And I’m not here to judge. These are YOUR rules for YOUR plus size capsule wardrobe, so wear what you want. However, there are situations that call for attention to what is appropriate, and what is not.

I will give you an example of my plus size capsule wardrobe where it comes to appropriateness. First of all, I have an unwritten dress code at work. My bosses mentioned “no holey jeans” but they didn’t mention low cut tops. As an office manager for the last 12 years, it’s kind of a given that you don’t wear low cut ANYTHING in an office environment.

But in my case, it’s always been on the extreme side of modestly.  This is not because I am overly prudish, but because I’m working with a lot of truck drivers, mainly men, from all over the country, with a wide range of values. Now I don’t want to stereo type anyone, and for the most part, the guys I have worked with are very professional and mannerly.

But every once in a while, I ran into a guy that was not familiar with the #MeToo movement, and I just had to be prepared for the looks and the comments. In this situation, coverage is good. Work is hard enough, and fending off unwanted attention is hard enough, so why bring it on yourself worse with the low cut blouse? FOR ME, dressing modestly has made things a lot easier in this regard. But, like I said, this plus size capsule wardrobe is YOURS, and YOU need to wear whatever makes YOU comfortable.

Plus Size Capsule Wardrobe

Rule #2, The Rules are Changeable

Don’t get the mindset that your rules are set in stone. Remember the reason for the rules: You want a plus size capsule wardrobe that is inexpensive, practical, versatile, and most of all, makes you look good, and that you LOVE wearing! To accomplish this, you need to be willing to try new things and to experiment. My rules have been set after years of trial and error, and even now, I’m not afraid to ditch a rule that isn’t working.

Be willing to switch it up! Really think about what works for you, and what doesn’t work for you. Don’t be afraid to change it up if it isn’t working. AND DON’T feel you have to go by what other people say and do. BE YOU! Don’t give up no matter what! So remember, if you want a wardrobe that works for you, set up rules that will get you that inexpensive, practical, versatile, and good-looking plus size capsule wardrobe that you will LOVE wearing!

Psst!  Where did you get those clothes?

My favorite store is Amazon!

Please comment below, and lets start a conversation about what YOUR plus size capsule rules should be!

Brought to you by Wealthy Affiliate.


  1. Yes to #1 as comfort! I am lucky that I am at home most of the time. I always try to wear something that’s comfortable. Sometimes though the comfy stuff doesn’t always make me the happiest. That’s when I know I need to break out the cute and comfy stuff! Harder to come by as a stay at home mom on a tiny budget! haha I’m addicted to thrift shopping.

    • admin

      Hey Ashton! Thanks for commenting on my website! I understand being at home and gravitating toward the comfy stuff (and my comfy stuff is dumpy frumpy stuff!). And hey! Thrift shopping is the way to go! And I have found that shopping online, I find some pretty great deals. I plan on doing a post about my method for clearance shopping. It’s fun and I’ve had some pretty great success at it, so watch this space! Anyway, thanks again for visiting and commenting! Have a great day! RhondaLeigh

  2. Mariah

    I loved your article right from the start when you talk about the fact that there are no rules. I have always wondered why it was ever a thing to say, “don’t wear white after labor day.” And I have successfully worn brown boots with black leggings and it did make me happy! 🙂

    I agree with your rules and I’ve noticed that they basically all relate to making you feel good with what you’re wearing. If it isn’t comfortable both physically and emotionally (I say emotionally because if you don’t feel like you look good in it than it won’t be emotionally comfortable) as well as practical for the circumstances that you are likely to find yourself in, then you won’t wear it. And if you’re not going to wear it, why do you have it? 

    • admin

      Mariah, thank you so much for the comments!  You are spot on with your comment about being comfortable emotionally in your clothing.  I plan on writing a whole article on that very thing.  So watch this space, because there will be more to come!  Thanks again…..RhondaLeigh

  3. cpascal

    These are good tips for buying clothes. Too many people buy things without thinking, and only wind up with an overcrowded closet of clothes that never get worn. Not only is it hard to find anything, but it’s also a waste of money. When shopping for clothes, I’ve found that it’s best to consider items that I already own, and to specifically look for things that would go with them.  

    • admin

      Hi cpascal, yes, I have actually had that rule of 3 all of my life, where I only buy the item if it goes with 3 others in my closet.  However, I didn’t always follow that rule when I saw something that I loved on the hanger and had to have it!  I ended up with a lot of mismatched stuff that did nothing but take up room and waste money.  So, ya, this is kind of what prompted me to try to help people with the same problems.  Thank you for your comments and watch this space, because there’s more to come.  RhondaLeigh

  4. Rgpratap

    Hello Rhonda,
    Reading your review titled Plus Size Capsule Wardrobe Rules, I learned a lot of new things. I could not know that there are so many rules to keep clothes in the wardrobe. Basically, my wife takes care of this sector. When I go to the office or to visit, she removes clothes as per needed. But the rules are very good to know. I must tell my honey to read the review. She will be very excited. Thank you sincerely for the excellent reviews.

    • admin

      Thank you very much for your comment!  It is so much easier when you have someone else figure out what you’re going to wear.  I used to wish that someone else would be behind the mirror telling me I look great or that looks good on me, and “you’re the fairest one of them all!”  But alas a good share of us have to dress ourselves.  So we gotta come up with our own rules, so we don’t go off on tangents that make us feel ugly and stupid.  Thanks again for the comment, and yes, be sure to share this with your wife!  RhondaLeigh

  5. Daniella

    Hi there,

    Great article, I really enjoyed the reading!

    It reminded me of what my father used to tell me:) His words were, no matter what I would wear, the most important thing is to feel good with myself. And he was right. I remember that I bought a beautiful dress for the new year, but I didn’t feel good in it, and people could feel the energy through me. Incredible! Beautiful picture and lovely website. I have bookmarked your site so I can read other of your posts.

    Thank you!

    • admin

      Hello Daniella, thanks so much for your comments.  What your dad said really reinforces what I’ve been trying to help people with in their wardrobe choices.  Isn’t it interesting that people can feel a vibe you put out when you feel uncomfortable in what you’re wearing?  It’s pretty amazing.  Thank you again for your complements on my site.  I really appreciate your participation!  And yes, keep watch, because I have more articles to come!  


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