Cultivated Wardrobe

Editing an All Seasons Capsule Wardrobe | The Process

Previous to pursuing a year round minimal wardrobe I practiced a seasonal capsule wardrobe as outlined by Caroline over on Unfancy for an entire year. I  can say without a doubt that this process allowed me to own my personal style and thus able to dream up an ideal year round wardrobe at all; but now that I’m another two seasons into crafting this year round wardrobe process I want to take some time to reflect and share with you “my findings”.  Albeit there is nothing very scientific about them or this process in general. ;)

Here are a few of my reflections…


1. That I can be an impulsive shopper + that I don’t like that about myself.

2. That I can appreciate some one else’s sense of style even though it does not align with my own — therefore not have to replicate a look only to ultimately feel dissatisfied.

3. That thinking about your wardrobe as a whole and planning different looks as you build it works so stinkin’ well.

4. My ‘three rules of three’ (explained below).

5.  That rules can help foster good habits, but will eventually feel restrictive if a lifestyle change has successfully taken place.


1. That I can still be an impulsive shopper — no matter how many capsules I have under my belt. Darn it.

2. That no matter how much better you get at this or how much of a baller you are at that.  You will always have to give yourself grace — and probably more than you want to.

Ahem, four words: dressing a postpartum body. It’s tough! Trying to accommodate for the now while thinking + planning for the long term is either downright impossible or impossibly expensive! Say it with me now, grace.

3. That it’s still easy to justify irrational purchases with rational sounding words. DARN IT.

4. That your version of minimal and some one else’s version of minimal are not, have not and never will be the same. Remember that saying that’s all-over-everywhere right now? ‘Comparison is the thief of joy’? Yeah. That.

5. That you can get by with less than you think you need. The moment I designed my “perfect” wardrobe I HAD to have it now.  But I obviously couldn’t afford to go out and buy it all, new or thrifted.  Waiting is a good thing.

6. In fact I’ve now learned to emphasize waiting even longer than I originally decided. One month to be exact.  The longer I’ve assessed the more I’ve fine tuned my “perfect” wardrobe list.  The longer I wait on something I impulsively want to buy, the less appealing it looks to me.  If it really belongs in my closet? I’ll still want it and be able to find some version of it in a month, if not 6 months.

7. That I still like to buy seasonally. I’m still allowed to buy more than four times a year (whatever allowed even means), but I’ve learned that I actually enjoy buying multiple pieces at one time and it works better this way to create cohesive looks.  It’s where the magic making happens.


Yeesh… Um…?

1. I love the way it looks and feels on me. But it also meets the needs of my reality.

2. It follows my ‘three rules of three’:Add better pieces to your closet with these three rules of three

See Caroline’s Rule of Three here.

3. Adding it to the ‘master list’ per my original parameters. And then waiting at least one week before purchase.

4. It shares similar characteristics of my three (another three!) most worn items that I love in my closet. Characteristics might include: casual, the color navy, a stripe print, soft texture, etc.


1. All of the above + up the one week wait period to one month. And now for my internal freakout + rationalizations to the previous statement in the form of a word dump: Oh my gosh! But what if it’s not on sale then?! It will be. Probably even more so. But what if its COMPLETELY sold out?! Check on Ebay, I bet it’s there. Uh, well, it’s NOT. Okay?! Why did I wait so long?!?!  Um, chill? Its a shirt. Or a pair of shoes. There is definitely something else out there like it. Go buy that and be totally content + confident in your well thought out decision.  Who knows, it might even boost your self confidence and teach you to make better decisions on a shorter timeline the next time around.

2. Buy less quantity and more quality. YES. I still have a lot of work to do in this department. This inherently makes me think more critically about my purchases and yet my impulsivity still wins out time and time again.

How fascinating! For all you Un-fancy fans out there ;)

Wow. That was just so many words. And I probably still didn’t cover all of the thoughts floating around in my head. I feel like you have to have questions.  Ask away my friends!


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  • Reply
    September 9, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    I am totally prone to that thinking that if I wait too long to buy something, the price will go up. And Labor Day sales were especially willpower-testing, because, well, some items I was eyeing did go back up in price after the weekend. But you’re totally right that if I can’t shake the particular thing I want with time and consideration, I can absolutely still find another version somewhere. It almost feels like I’m earning things more, not just with my $, but by being mindful for extended periods of time about what I really need. It’s nice to be conscientious about shopping while simultaneously remembering not one item is THAT big a deal.

    • Reply
      September 17, 2015 at 7:48 am

      ^THIS^. All of it! It’s like you’re in my brain or something! ;)

  • Reply
    September 10, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    Hi! I do love quite love your blog and instagram! I’d love to hear more about your postpartum wardrobe struggles if you ever feel like posting specifically about that — I’m 32 weeks pregnant and currently struggling to dress myself. I love my wardrobe (I’ve KonMarie’d it til its pretty sweet, I have to say) and have been so much looking forward to fitting back into all my lovely pieces, but many of them are not, uh, newborn friendly. And also, maybe I won’t fit back into them! You and I seem to share lifestyle goals (I live in a smaller midwestern town, I love my chickens, still love fashion! etc) so I would definitely eat up a post about what you’re wearing during your postpartum/nursing phase. My instagram is @wonderblood.

    • Reply
      September 10, 2015 at 1:30 pm

      Thanks Julia, I’m glad to hear it! I was actually contemplating just today doing a post that goes a little more in depth on my experiences dressing a postpartum body — so I will definitely start drafting soon ;) I’ve never read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, but if you read anything on the web you obviously see snippets of its insight here and there. I’m curious, does it go into how to manage the ever fluctuating needs during child bearing years? Postpartum anything?

  • Reply
    September 10, 2015 at 1:39 pm

    I actually haven’t read it either! I do know she’s pretty strict — stricter than I would probably be: for example, she uses a woman with a bowel illness as an example. This woman apparently had a huge stockpile of toilet paper. No dice! Marie still recommended she get rid of the stockpile and only keep what she immediately needed. (My sister shared this anecdote with me when she saw my stockpile of toilet paper :-).

    I’m interested to hear your take on those fluctuating postpartum needs, because I definitely want to balance being comfortable with my desire to have less. We recently moved and gave away about 1/3 of our furniture/housewares/dishes, etc and we are very, very happy with what we have left. It was liberating! But I also know I’ll need to buy some kid-friendly clothes since most of my wardrobe is silk and other delicate fabrics.

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