...Can Set You Free!
There are many phrases thrown around in the fashion industry, so when the term capsule wardrobe came on the scene I took note. What is a capsule wardrobe? How should one use such a thing?
I did some research and found that capsule wardrobe is a term coined in the 70’s by Susie Faux, the owner of a London boutique. According to Faux, it’s a collection of a few essential items of clothing such as skirts, trousers, and jackets, augmented with seasonal pieces.
I played around in my own closet and discovered that 27 pieces is really all one needs to create the perfect capsule wardrobe. It offers the ability to mix and match multiple combinations to be worn together. One woman I know actually designed over 400 combinations with her 27 pieces once she was coached on how to do it!
Our team at Fashion Meets Faith decided to develop the 27 Hangers concept into a workshop and online video course to help women minimize their personal wardrobes. We’ve been referred to as the Dave Ramsey of clothing because...
We help women shop on purpose, not on impulse, and help them save money in the process.
What we didn’t know when designing the online course, is how 27 Hangers would be used to help bring freedom to young women rescued from sex trafficking.
I received a call from Katherine Lee, the founder of Pure Hope Foundation in Texas. She explained that women and girls rescued from sex trafficking deal with great bondage because they have been so controlled by their pimps, especially concerning dress. Then, once rescued, they’re again instructed in how to dress (in a more modest fashion) by their rescuers. And since they have learned how to manipulate others with what they wear, they are not having any of it. Basically, it’s a “don’t tell me what to wear” attitude. Many of the girls come from impoverished backgrounds so the only thing they have had control over is what to put on their bodies, and they are not giving that up.
Susan, the Pure Hope Foundation house director, researched online for some fashion help. She said she really didn’t know what she was looking for but knew she needed help. She found the 27 Hangers online course. After getting permission from the board to purchase the $27 program, she decided to give it a try.
“What happened to the girls after watching and engaging in the course was astonishing,” she said. “They learned about style, color, and were educated about their body type and how to dress with dignity.”
She said it was like they came to life. A confidence emerged that wasn’t there before.
Since then, Susan has shared with me that there is no fighting over clothing anymore. One of the greatest benefits for the women is how it has changed their perspective about clothing. They always thought you had to have a lot of clothes, but this course showed them how 27 pieces could provide them with everything they need. It also empowered them with the confidence to explain to others why they don’t need tons of clothes. I was able to Skype with the girls at Pure Hope and gave them advice on the best colors and styles for them. We talked about the different clothing personalities discussed in the video course. They had so much fun telling me which clothing personality they thought they were!
Since that first conversation with Katherine Lee, we at Fashion Meets Faith decided to ‘gift’ any non-profit with the 27 Hangers Online Course through our Women Matter Initiative. We also connect them with a trained Christian Image Consultant who will work directly with the women and girls as they go through the 27 Hangers program. She is able to teach them directly about how to dress for their individual body type and coloring, while also instilling confidence where there was none before.
Recently, we added another layer to our Women Matter Initiative. We also help fundraise for nonprofits by hosting fashion shows with local boutiques. We share the proceeds of 27 Hangers purchases at donor events, and we deliver a keynote message filled with the gospel, faith, and fashion to those in attendance.
Who knew that the little idea of a capsule wardrobe would be used to assist in the freeing of women from bondage and instill in them a God-honoring confidence? God. He’s so creative.
Shari Braendel is a speaker, author, founder of Fashion Meets Faith, and creator of the 27 Hangers Online Course and the Women Matter Initiative. She resides in Charlotte, NC with her husband Dave.