Your Plus Size Closet – Building Your Plus Size Outfits


Plus Size Closet

Now that you have your rules in place, it’s time to start building your plus size closet. I will detail below the next set of steps you need to create your plus size capsule wardrobe.

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Begin With What You Have On Hand

“[We] work to make many ‘new’ and amazing outfits from what you already have. ” Suze Solaris, curvy girl stylist.

The first step in building your plus size closet is to go through the clothing you already own, and assess whether it follows your new set of plus size capsule wardrobe rules. I know this sounds daunting, but it can be done.

Keep in mind WHY you are sorting your clothing. Your objective is:

To assemble a plus size capsule wardrobe that is inexpensive, practical, versatile, and most of all, makes you look good, and that you LOVE wearing!

Set aside a block of time to get your clothing sorted.

Create your piles (or boxes or bags, however your going to organize your clothing categories). Label them “Keep”, “Give Away”, and “Throw Away”.

Hint: In case of a limited replacement budget, you may want to hold off on getting rid of certain pieces. You can “limp along” with some pieces that aren’t totally within your rules, but you should make it a priority to replace these “limp along” pieces at your first opportunity.

Use the Following Criteria for Sorting

  • Does it follow my new set of rules?
  • Do I love, tolerate, or hate this item?
  • Have I worn this in the last year?
  • In ten years, am I going to remember this piece?
  • Have people complimented me when I wear this piece?
  • How often has this piece ended up in the reject pile when looking for something to wear?

Keep Going and Don’t Give Up Hope

When ever you get stuck, go back to the first step and remind yourself of why you are sorting your closet. If you get really stuck, enlist a friend or relative to help you stay on track and follow your new rules.

Sixth, act on your piles. Start your plus size closet by hanging up the “Keep” pile. Package up and take the “Give Away” pile to your local used clothing recycle center. Put your “Throw Away” items in the trash can, and put the trash can on the curb.

Plus Size Closet

An example of a plus size capsule wardrobe. But just a starting point in my opinion. This one needs color, texture, pattern, and shine!

The Basic Plus Size Closet

It’s time to figure out the individual pieces of your plus size capsule wardrobe. I will start with an example of a 15 piece wardrobe, and you can adjust per your rules and your needs.

  • 2 pairs of pants (1 black, 1 nice jeans)
  • 2 skirts (1 solid color, 1 print)
  • 2 dresses (1 solid color, 1 print)
  • 6 blouses (1 black, 1 white, 2 solid color, 2 print)
  • 3 completer pieces (1 sweater, 1 vest, 1 blazer)

With these basic pieces you should be able to get at least 30 outfits when you mix and match them with accessories.

Plus Size ClosetAssess What You Need and Your New Clothing Budget

Don’t let a limited budget stop you from creating your plus size closet! Here are a few things to consider when you are deciding on what pieces you need and what you can afford:

  • Start with a limited amount of pieces. I would start with 15 clothing pieces total. Chances are, you have a few in your closet already. You can always expand later when you get more money in your budget.
  • Stretch your budget by buying second hand clothing. Search EBay or any of thousands of sites that cater to reselling plus size clothing.  With a little work, you can find nice second hand pieces that will get you through until you can afford new clothing.

Stretch Your Budget!

  • Look for coupons and rewards programs, and use them. One of my best decisions in assembling my plus size capsule wardrobe was to get a Lane Bryant store credit card, which gave me 10% off my first purchase and regularly gave me deals. I worked to pay off my card every month, and therefore built my credit as well as my plus size closet!
  • Don’t take clothing at face value. If you find you have a piece you like that doesn’t fit or has a style element that you don’t like, don’t throw it away. Modify it. If you don’t sew, find someone who does. Most dry cleaners can recommend a person that does alterations, or may even do them onsite. Often, the price of fixing a piece is much less expensive than buying a whole new piece, and I find that items I have modified become my favorites because I had a creative hand in making them work for my wardrobe.

Plus Size ClosetDon’t Forget Shoes and Accessories!

Add in some inexpensive accessories, such as scarves. These add character and color to you outfits and also extend the versatility and quantity of your outfits. If I remember correctly, when I started my plus size capsule wardrobe, all I had were 4 blouses that followed the rules. I used scarves to achieve different looks with the lonely four, until I could afford more blouses.



Make it Your Own!

Consider sewing or knitting or crocheting scarves. It’s an easy, inexpensive bang for your buck!

Fun chunky jewelry can also add versatility to your outfits. You can make some pretty cool items or find them in second hand stores, or on EBay or Etsy.

Also consider your shoes! Start with basics. I recommend 1 pair of black flats, 1 pair of brown flats, 1 pair of nude or taupe flats, and 1 pair of casual athletic shoes to start. These go with EVERYTHING and every occasion. This way you will have shoes that go with any outfit, and will allow you to expand your shoe wardrobe at a later date.

You Are Well On Your Way!

These steps provide a starting point for putting together the plus size capsule wardrobe of your dreams. One last thing, don’t be afraid to make it your own! After all, the goal is to make you happy with your clothing. So, take the suggestions above as a starting point and modify it to achieve a plus size capsule wardrobe that is inexpensive, practical, versatile, and most of all, makes you look good, and that you LOVE wearing!

Please share below any questions or suggestions or hints of your own that you would like me to address.  I really would love to hear from you! Thanks for reading!

Psst!  Where did you get those clothes?

My favorite store is Amazon!


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  1. Hi RhondaLeigh
    I love how empowering your website is, it is just full of positivity and a ‘can-do’ sense of taking pride in yourself. I think a lot of women are going to take encouragement in your no-nonsense just be yourself attitude, your confidence and enthusiasm shines out of every page. Congratulations on all you have achieved here, I hope you keep going from strength to strength!

    • RhondaLeigh

      Thank you so much on your encouragement and complements! I just want one woman to read my stuff and put it into action, and find her self-esteem, self-worth, and inner and outer beauty! And it looks like I’m well on my way to getting that one woman! The struggle is real for us plus size girls, because there is a stigma attached to obesity by society, that we are lazy and have no self control, and are not worthwhile people. You have to work really hard to get that negativity out of your head, and I think dressing to make yourself happy goes a long way in smacking down those negative feelings.

      Thanks again for our support and comments! I really appreciate your consideration! RhondaLeigh

  2. Andrew G

    Yes I agree definitely a plus size the closet you need to absolutely have something that you want to, rather that you love to wear. Saving space does seem like a daunting task as you have to eliminate the things that you really do not want at all first. Also of course, things that are not up to quality standards.

    • admin

      Hi Andrew, and thanks for responding to my post!  It really can be a daunting task to go through a closet and get rid of the stuff you don’t use, or don’t love to wear.  I know I’m a borderline hoarder and I have a hard time getting rid of anything.  But I came up with a method you might like, for never having to sort your closet again.  I posted it a couple days ago at:  https://rhondaleighplussizecap

      So you might want to check that out.  Anyway thanks again for visiting and commenting.  RhondaLeigh

  3. Vesna

    Great topic.I think most of us plus size or not can benefit from your tips when it come to organizing our cloths. Having a criteria for sorting is so helpful. I personally save things thinking maybe I will wear it which I often don’t end up wearing….Great ideas of how to stay on track as well as how to stretch ones  budget. 

    On your page you mentioned starting out with 15 piece wardrobe,and how you can get 30 outfits. I think if you add pictures of different outfits of mixing and matching those 15 pieces would add value to your post. Since we love pictures I think it would be helpful. For me personally first thing that came to my mind was how in a world will I get 30 outfits…so some visual guide would be helpful. just on idea 

    • admin

      Hi Vesna, thank you so much for commenting on my post.  Thanks also for your suggestion of pictures.  That’s in the works, and I will soon be showing off my capsule wardrobe.  If you page through some of my other posts, I have some pictures, but more are in the works.  You’re going to laugh at this, but my accountant sister and my engineer daughter did an exercise with 6 wardrobe pieces, (6+5+4+3+2+1).  It amounted to 21 combinations.  Not possible to actually do, because you can’t wear a shirt by itself, or pants by themselves, so we had to take 6 outfits off of that.  But we did come up with 15 outfits.  So…it will be a fun experiment to do it with 15.  Thanks again for your comment, and watch this space!

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