Fall Capsule Wardrobe: Lessons Learned

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I know what you’re thinking… we’re well into winter now. However, I never did a wrap-up about my fall capsule wardrobe experience and I didn’t want to leave you guys hanging. For a few reasons, I decided not to do an official winter capsule wardrobe. I am still wearing most of the pieces from my fall capsule though and I’ve pulled a few other clothing items that I already had in my closet. I’m really glad I tried doing a capsule wardrobe and it taught me a few things:

I can live on a pared-down closet. Like many people, I have way too many clothes. I have items that I barely wear, yet I still feel like I need them. One of my fears when I started is that I would get bored immediately, that didn’t happen. I mean, by the end of December, I was ready to switch things up a bit, but I think switching out one or two pieces would have satisfied that.

– I don’t have to shop constantly. I was so bad at this in college. I was either ordering something online or blowing lots of money at the mall (yikes). I thought it would be difficult not to shop while I was doing my capsule, but honestly, I was a bit tired of shopping. At the beginning, I was so gung-ho about getting everything ready for my capsule that I kind of shopped myself out (my sister can confirm this). By the time I was done shopping for the capsule, I was ready to take a break.

– I have an even better idea of what I really like. There were a couple pieces I included in the capsule because I thought I should, but I barely wore them (I’m talking about the white shirt and the blazer). I’m not saying these pieces aren’t useful, but they weren’t the ones I reached for. Instead, I wore some of the items constantly, namely my Madewell sweatshirt and my black sneakers. This experience has taught me to stick with clothes that I really love, not just items that I think should be a part of my wardrobe.

– I need to pay more attention to shoes. Since I’ve started to gravitate towards simple, understated outfits, I’ve realized that shoes can really make or break an outfit. I need more shoes like my sneakers: comfortable, classic with a bit of twist, and versatile. I don’t need a lot of shoes, but the few I have should be awesome. Also, now that it’s winter, I should probably get a pair of weather-appropriate boots…

– It pays to think about how well each item fits into your closet. I spent so much time planning out my fall capsule- thinking about the colors and textures and versatility. And you know what? It paid off. Getting dressed in the morning was easier because I had a set number of clothes to choose from and most things mixed very well together. You know that rule about picturing three different outfits before you buy a new item of clothing? I think it’s a really useful thing to consider. There are still some duds in my closet that I need to get rid of, but now that I have a base of items that I love, I really want to think about how any new piece of clothing will fit in.

Well, I suppose that concludes things for my fall capsule wardrobe series! I hope you enjoyed following along with this process and that you found it interesting. If you have any questions or if you want to tell me about your capsule wardrobe experiences, please do so in the comments below!

(image via)

Fall Capsule Wardrobe Update

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It’s been about a month since I officially kicked off my fall capsule wardrobe, so I thought it was time for an update. First, let’s talk about the things I was still undecided on last time…

– I was trying to decide between my two faux leather jackets and in the end I found myself reaching for the collarless one each time. That made my decision pretty easy then- collarless one it is!

– I still haven’t picked up a gray skirt. I haven’t really been looking since I’ve been trying to avoid shopping for clothes in general, but I’m still sort of keeping one eye open. I have some holiday shopping to do over the next couple of months, so if a gray skirt catches my eye while I’m out and about, I’ll grab it.

– I decided to keep the leather skirt. I still only feel about 80% on it, but I wore it on my birthday and liked the way it looked, so I decided that it would stay for now.

So far, I have worn something outside my capsule once. I mentioned that my capsule doesn’t include heels because I really don’t wear them that often, but on my birthday I wanted to dress up a bit, so I pulled out my heeled black booties. Other than that, everything that I’ve been wearing out of the house has been from the capsule (at home I’m almost always lounging about in my PJs). Here are a few observations I’ve made in the first month of this experiment:

– It’s definitely made getting dressed in the mornings easier and about 90% of the time I feel good about my outfit. It may not be anything flashy, but I feel comfortable and like I’m decently put together. There are a few outfits that I’ve worn and didn’t feel great about, but those are learning experiences and the next time I’ll try styling those pieces differently.

– At this point, I’d say my most worn pieces are my black striped teeblack cardigangraphic sweatshirtblack jeggings, trench coat (similar), black flats and chelsea boots. I wear my trench pretty much everyday and if I can’t figure out what to wear, I automatically reach for my Madewell sweatshirt (I’m so glad cute sweatshirts are a thing now). The black flats I’ve been wearing are actually my old black flats, not these ones. I tried to wear the new ones once, but they just felt so small. I’m not sure what’s going on- this is the second time I’ve bought flats that felt fine at the store, but were way too small when I got home.

– So far, I’ve worn everything at least once, except for the white button-downblack blazer and black dress (similar). I’ve put on the white button-down a few times, but I usually end up swapping it out for something else. It always feels a bit too buttoned up- I wish it had a more relaxed fit like my polka dot button-down. The black dress I haven’t worn yet because I’ve been too lazy to iron it (no joke, need to get on that!) and the black blazer also feels too serious most days. I want to try pairing it with sneakers and a plain tee for a casual Friday look.

– Now that the temperatures are starting to drop into the 40s and lower, I wish I had a few more sweaters in my capsule. What I might end up doing next month is swapping out a few of the lighter/sleeveless tops for sweaters. I anticipate carrying over most of these clothes into winter, so it will just be about switching things out for warmer layers and stocking up on cold-weather accessories.

Tell me: Are you still shopping for fall or have you moved on to winter?

Fall Capsule Wardrobe 2014

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I’ve been talking about it for over a month and now it’s finally here, my fall capsule wardrobe! Technically I meant to have this finalized by the first of the month, but it was taking me a bit longer than expected to find some of the items on my list (*I’m actually still missing one item, the grey skirt, but I didn’t want to wait any longer to share this!). Let’s break it down, shall we?

PLANNING + BUDGET

I spent a lot of time on the planning process. I wanted to be really intentional about my purchases and I used Caroline’s free wardrobe planner. I thought about colors, silhouettes, fabrics, and how I wanted to be able to mix and match all of the pieces that I picked. I was documenting my process along the way and you can check out my previous fall capsule wardrobe posts. I wanted mostly classic pieces with a few trendier items mixed in. I tried to get the best quality at the price point I was working with and I was extra picky about the fit and style.

All together I have 40 pieces: 18 tops, 9 bottoms (5 skirts and 4 pants), 2 dresses, 5 jackets/coats, and 6 shoes. I’m surprised I don’t have more dresses, because I love dresses. I do have quite a few skirts though because I thought separates are easier to mix and match. My outerwear section also includes a winter coat, which I’m hoping to replace sometime soon (probably not until the new year). You’ll see that there are no heels in my capsule because I don’t really wear them that often. If I need to dress up and wear heels for a fancier occasion, I’ll just pull out a pair from my closet that’s not on the list.

Originally I’d planned to buy 17 new items and I’d estimated that I would spend $700. However, I really wanted to cut that number down and save money, so I decided to adjust a few things and not buy a few of the things that I’d planned to replace. In total I spent about $430 and bought 12 items. I’m pretty happy with that number and the pieces I got. Plus, I have a feeling that if I decide to do a winter capsule wardrobe, I’ll carry over the majority of these clothes into the next season.

THE CLOTHES

Some of the items pictured above are not the exact item in my wardrobe, most likely because I bought it years ago and it’s sold out. I tried to choose pictures that were representative of the item in color and in style. The items that are still available are linked below, otherwise I’ll link to a similar item and the site where I found the image.

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white lacy top (similar | image via) // white sweater (similar | image via) // white tee // white button-down

fall capsule wardrobe, fall capsule wardrobe 2014, gap grey sweater, old navy plaid flannel shirt, gap grey tee, loft grey cardigan

gray tee // gray sweater (similar | image via) // plaid shirt // gray cardigan

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polka-dot button-down (similar | image via) // chambray shirt (similar | image via)
blue striped tee (similar | image via) // black striped tee

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burgundy sweater (similar | image via) // black tee // short-sleeve sweatshirt (similar | image via) // black cardigan

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graphic sweatshirt // black sweater (similar | image via) // black blazer // leather jacket (similar | image via)

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burgundy pants (similar | image via) // skinny jeans (similar | image via) // indigo jeggings // black jeggings

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gray skirt // navy skirt // polka-dot skirt (similar | image via) // black skirt

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leather skirt (similar | image via) // gray dress
black dress (similar | image via) // cold weather coat (similar | image via)

fall capsule wardrobe, fall capsule wardrobe 2014, target trench coat, black flats, joe fresh oxfords, h&m pink cargo jacket

pink cargo jacket (similar | image via) // trench coat (similar | image via)
black flats // oxfords (similar | image via)

h&m leopard sneakers, black leather petty boots, sam edelman, topshop boots, chelsea boots, aeropostale sneakers, black sneakers

black sneakers // leopard sneakers (similar | image via) // black ankle boots // chelsea boots

FINAL THOUGHTS

To recap, I’m planning to only wear these 40 pieces through the end of December. I’m trying not to buy any new clothes during this time (except for the grey skirt that I’m still hunting for). Also, this capsule wardrobe doesn’t include accessories, underwear or loungewear. I may end up purchasing a few more accessories, like jewelry and scarves, to help with switching up my outfits.

There are two items on my list that I’m still questioning a bit. One is the faux leather skirt I bought- I like it a lot and the faux leather is really nice, but I’m not 100% sure it’s the most flattering on me. I’m going to try it on a few more times and if I decide to return it, I will swap it out for a different faux leather skirt. I also have two leather jackets (one is collarless and the other is a moto jacket style) and I still haven’t decided which one I’m keeping in my capsule yet.

I’m setting these rules for myself, but I’m not going to be totally inflexible to the point where I’m unhappy. It is a challenge, but I also want it to be a good experience. I think the hardest part will be not buying any clothes. I’m also curious to see whether I’ll be entirely sick of all of these items by the third month.

Let’s mark today as the official start date! I’m thinking of possibly doing monthly check-ins on the blog and I also think it would be fun to snap an #ootd every day on Instagram so I can really see how I changed my outfits from day to day.

Thanks for making it all the way through this long post today! I’d love to hear your thoughts on my capsule below or let me know if you have any questions about my process.

 

Fall Capsule Wardrobe: Sneak Peek

Fall-Capsule-Wardrobe-Sneak-Peek

It’s been a little while since my last capsule wardrobe update so I thought I’d show you guys a few of the things I’ve bought so far. There were certain items on my list that I’d seen online and wanted to check out in stores, many of which I did not end up purchasing. In most of those cases, the fit wasn’t what I wanted it to be or I didn’t like it as much in person. I did get the four items above though and I’m pretty excited about them.

Madewell maison des a.r.t.s. sweatshirt // Old Navy Plaid Flannel Boyfriend Shirt
Joe Fresh Striped Ribbed Knit Tee // Topshop Advent Chelsea Boots

Here’s what’s left on my list:

– burgundy sweater (I think I’ve settled on a pullover style that’s cropped.)

– black v-neck cardigan (Just a basic cardigan with long sleeves that hits me at the waist. The options I’ve checked out so far have been too long or too scratchy.)

– gray v-neck cardigan (same as above)

– black pleated skirt (Still not entirely sure what shape I’m going for yet, but I was thinking possibly a wrap skirt.)

– gray skirt (Again, not set on the shape yet, but I want it to be different from whichever black skirt I get.)

– solid gray dress (Something basic that I can style several ways. I’m considering this dress from LOFT.)

I’ve seen some options for the items above, but they weren’t exactly what I was looking for, so I’m still on the hunt. I am being pretty picky, but I think that makes sense because I will be wearing these same clothes for three months.

Tell me: Have you bought any fall clothes or accessories recently?