Closet 101

Confessions of a Capsule Wardrobe Wearer + My Plans for 2015

Confessions of a capsule wardrobe wearer + my plans for 2015 neutral cable knit sweater, light wash jean leggings, cognac booties, black tote Wearing a capsule wardrobe while pregnant Maternity style

Yep. That chalkboard in the background is bothering me too.  Not only is it blank it’s crooked. Sigh. So goes life.

Oh yeah, right, the confession! Soooo… I’ve really, REALLY wanted to buy a few things over the past month.

Okay, so maybe it’s more of an admission as opposed to a confession. I haven’t actually bought anything… yet.  But when I first started having these thoughts, it made me  wonder if I was failing at my, so far very successful, endeavor of maintaing a capsule wardrobe. I wondered what had changed since my previous two capsules — my summer capsule and my fall capsule — which had gone off virtually without a hitch.

After some pondering, I realized a few things:

1. Doing this while pregnant is challenging, like… super challenging. I am a little over a month into wearing my third capsule wardrobe and I am almost 8 months pregnant. I knew even during my planning that this phase would be difficult, but I think I still underestimated the challenges it would pose. I need to be willing to bend the ‘rules’ right now and not feel guilty about it.

2.  Some pieces really do just work year round. Even as my style has continued to evolve throughout this process, it’s become much clearer to me that there are some definite things I know I like and work for me as well as some things that don’t .  Making judgement calls on pieces that can easily transition throughout all the seasons (and whether or not to include them in my current capsule because of the set number I’ve decided on) just isn’t seeming to work for me.  For instance: I pulled a piece from storage the other day that I was sure I wouldn’t even think about again until spring and voila — layering it the right way made for a perfect bump flattering winter outfit. Furthermore, last winter I got really good at “winterizing” summer looks — but with all that stuff packed up and earmarked for summer it does me no good.

3. Different climates may mean different “rules”.  Each seasonal transition has posed a true dilemma for me: a mix of extreme temperatures that leave me needing to use, theoretically, two capsules at once.  In the midst of my fall capsule I thought maybe I had just gotten my timing all wrong and decided to change up what months my seasons were comprised of.  Although I still think that this was a much needed revision, the ‘other day for instance’ left me thinking that something could still be tweaked… overhauled even…

So after (way too) much thought,  I have decided on changing the ‘rules’  yet again and:

I set a goal this year to attempt to build what I will call: an all seasons capsule wardrobe. 

As in: a comprehensive wardrobe that is used throughout the duration of an entire year.

Eeek!

I have still not yet worked out all the details, but am hopeful that I will be able to share with you ‘the plan’ sometime next week!

So. Now that I’ve spilled my guts, tell me, what are some of the challenges you find you’re having with maintaining [or starting] a capsule wardrobe?

Sweater: Old Navy

Jeans: Gap — sold out! (similar)

Boots: Gap

bag: Nordstrom

 

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16 Comments

  • Reply
    Sarah
    January 9, 2015 at 3:35 pm

    This is great! I started reading your blog (met you through Kelley, a girl you went to high school with) and I find it so relatable. I am thinking about starting a capsule wardrobe – or at least have pinned my ideas, haha – but am so anxious to pull the trigger. I am so excited to see what you include! I want my items to be high quality, on sale, and I will LOVE for years to come. I can’t afford un-fancy’s approach to 1,000 each season, but could do a year round capsule, with some leeway with seasonal items.

    • Reply
      Laura
      January 9, 2015 at 3:42 pm

      Thanks Sarah! I really appreciate your kinds words. :) I’m pretty excited myself! Lol. I think I have all of those same exact wants when it comes to what I want to put in my capsule(s), which let’s face it — is a really tall order! I’m hopeful that this new approach I am scheming can help me further attain my super tight budget goals for this year as well. I suppose time will tell ;) Anyway, thanks again so much for your feedback — I hope to hear from you more often!

  • Reply
    Erica
    January 16, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    While I currently do not practice putting together a capsule wardrobe, I’ve been reading a lot about them. Last week, I took some of the starter tips and did a complete closet clean out and stored my summer and spring clothes (mostly shorts and light colored crops and a few tanks I wear with blazers). I don’t own a lot of clothes to begin with, but it felt good to narrow down what I look at every day.

    The part of the capsule wardrobe idea I’ve been stuck on is how I use some items all year long to be warmer/more comfortable. I work in a fairly conservative office environment. I go to conferences multiple times a year where it is freezing inside. During the winter, I use t-shirt and tanks all year long under blazers and sweaters to add a layer – less washing and I am warmer. I will also occasionally still use my cotton blazers to attend a conference when it is in a warmer climate. I’ve been thinking about doing a 6 month capsule wardrobe with “supplement” items. I would keep the core pieces that stay with me all the time , and then rotate the small seasonal pieces (wool sweaters packed away in spring/summer).

    I am interested to see what you come up with here as I am working through defining something similar for myself.

    • Reply
      Laura
      January 16, 2015 at 12:28 pm

      This is great! And I love the idea of a six month capsule wardrobe – one that simply breaks it down into warm weather and cold weather. I have a feeling my final product may be something similar to what you have described. ;) Thanks so much for sharing. Hope to hear from you more!

  • Reply
    Tania Smith
    January 17, 2015 at 6:54 pm

    Hi Laura, I’ve done two capsule wardrobes now (Spring & Summer as I live in New Zealand) and I have been thinking about looking into have two wardrobes – Spring/Summer & Autumn/Winter but your idea of key pieces that I use all year is genius! I am going to look at this and see what this might mean for me. For example, some key pieces off the cuff would be: denim vest, denim jacket, jeans, brogues, ankle boots. Really helpful, thanks!

    • Reply
      Laura
      January 17, 2015 at 11:01 pm

      Thanks Tania! As I continue to flesh out what this plan will look like, it makes more and more sense for my lifestyle as well. Glad to have been of some inspiration!

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Kathleen
    February 3, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    Hi there! Just found your blog and am very excited to have discovered you! :) I love the capsule wardrobe idea and did one for the summer, but I live in Houston where it is mostly just hot or cool. So I think a year-round capsule wardrobe would be perfect for me! Even the sweaters are good to have out in the summer because everywhere you go the air conditioner is blasting inside so I am perpetually cold. Looking forward to seeing your plan!

    • Reply
      Laura
      February 4, 2015 at 7:20 pm

      Awesome! And I know exactly what you mean about the sweater thing. For us here in the Midwest it can be a sweltering 85 during the day (darn humidity) but if a rain shower comes, it can cool it right down to a chilly 50 at night. I’m pumped to have it all “down on paper” so far and have begun scouting to fulfill items on my “master list” — but don’t expect I’ll begin making purchases, etc. until March or shortly there after. My winter capsule was planned to span from December through February and I’m expecting our second boy by March 14 (yay!) so realistically I believe my work will be begin then! My goal before then is to have an collage representation of my year round capsule — you know to not only have something pretty to look at but, but to help me visualize it in its entirety. And I will of course be sharing on the blog ;)

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  • Reply
    Manda
    September 21, 2015 at 10:16 pm

    I did a(n undocumented) fall capsule wardrobe at the end of my pregnancy – it IS challenging!
    I have no idea how to break up “seasons” either – the part of Canada I live in has such extremes.
    Congrats on the baby, btw!

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  • Reply
    Rhonea
    July 6, 2016 at 4:28 pm

    I love this idea! Yours is one of very, very few blogs I’ve found that eschew’s some of Project 333. I’ve been doing a capsule wardrobe for a little over a year now and while I feel more put together and my closet looks nicer, I mostly feel that it influences me to spend more money to fill in wardrobe holes. I don’t like packing away clothes. I live in PA where we go from extreme heat to 3 feet of snow to 60 degrees in a matter of weeks. Also, if it’s hot, you end having to go into buildings where the air conditioning is set to North Pole and you end up needing a sweater. I want to get out of debt and buying more “essentials” and “staples” that are not me will not get me very far and will frustrate my spouse. I also have children to support.

    So now I’m working on building an all-season capsule of 33 items, not 33 items for 3 months. Project 333 is a good place to start if you have a clothes shopping problem, but if you don’t I think it makes you spend more unnecessarily.

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