My Capsule Wardrobes

My All Seasons Capsule Wardrobe / Spring 2015

Waaaaaay back, I shared with you some things that weren’t working about a seasonal capsule wardrobe for me, a few specific goals I had in mind for 2015 AND introduced the idea of creating an all seasons capsule wardrobe — as I’m calling it.  I’ve taken the past couple of months to round out what I really think this whole “year round capsule wardrobe thing” would look like.  I mulled it over.  And then mulled it over some more.  And then I had a baby and well, priorities. ;)  But! I’m happy to report that I’ve pulled it off!

So. Without further ado, take a gander at my first ever all seasons capsule wardrobe!

I’m so psyched!!!

People still say that, right?All Seasons Capsule Wardrobe Spring 2015 UpdateAh. Where do I even begin?

I guess it would be good to start off by mentioning a few things, you know to provide some context:

1. I started this whole process by drafting my master list (that I wrote about in this blog post).  My final cuts have been altered here and there, but surprisingly it looks really similar to that original draft.

2.  My revised master list totaled out at 74 items.  Just one shy of my originally estimated 75.  In the end 74 was enough.

3. Also, I don’t currently own all of the items pictured above. Right now, my closet rests at 53 pieces. I will work on completing my capsule over the next several months or even year (or two).  I have indicated below which pieces I currently have and which pieces I’m still aspiring to attain. Surprisingly so, 53 pieces feels like plenty! Although I’m sure I’ll be singing a different tune come fall and winter when I’m longing for more layers ;)

4. In the case of some old + thrifted items, some of the images used above are representations of what I actually own. After crafting a wardrobe like this I’ve learned that in most cases it doesn’t matter if it is that EXACT pair of black sandals.  Sure we all have our preferences — but for the purposes of putting together a cohesive wardrobe? It’s beneficial to learn + be mindful of the fact that many different styles, etc. can fill the void of “black sandal”.  Yes?

Oh, and a few reminders.  I don’t include: underwear, socks, pajamas, workout/lounge clothes or accessories in my capsules (seasonal or year round). Or for that matter what I call my “farm” clothes. (I’ve actually sort of got a separate “capsule” for those that I’m thinking about sharing at a later date.)  And of course I have jeans I paint in and semi formal attire sitting in my closet as well that’s not accounted for here — but rest assured it’s only a few pieces.

Whew. That was a lot of words…

Now for the goodies!

Below I’ve provided links to where you can find each piece. In the case of old + thrifted pieces, I’ve linked to similar items as much as possible.  Items marked with an asterisk are items already in my closet . All other pieces are representative of the cohesive capsule I have in mind. In the case of these items, I’ve linked to pieces I’m currently lusting after. ;)

 section 1white tee* / white button-down* thrifted, similar here / white graphic tee* thrifted, similar here or here / baseball tee

section 2white jeans* old, similar here / over-sized sweater* also similar here / maxi skirt* old, similar here or here / long sleeve striped tee* old, similar heresection 3short sleeve striped tee* thrifted, similar here / long sleeve graphic tee* refashion, tutorial here / v neck tee* / purl knit cardigan*

section 4solid t-shirt dress* / grey blazer* thrifted, similar here / marled turtleneck / grey graphic tee*section 5drape cardigan* / long sleeve thermal / cocoon cardigan* old, similar here / striped t-shirt dress*section 6
cable knit sweater* refashion, similar here and here / button-down cardigan* old, similar here / tasseled tribal cardigan* old, same here / belted trenchsection 8kimono* also in love with this one / olive skinnies* thrifted, similar here / parka* old, similar here / quilted drawstring jacket*section 7blush blouse / flannel* old similar here and here / oxblood skinnies / tribal cardigan*section 9boyfriend jeans* refashion, similar here / chambray* thrifted, same here / light wash skinnies / jean jacketsection 10gingham button-down* thrifted, same here / jean cutoffs* refashion, similar here / navy blazer* thrifted, similar here / dark wash skinnies*section 11navy tee / vegan moto jacket / black jean skinnies* / black bazer* thrifted, similar here and here
section 12trousers* old, similar here / black tee* old, similar here / pencil skirt / shift dress* old similar heresection 13maxi dress / drape sweater / leather leggings / flowy skirtsection 14black leggings* old, similar here / black blouse

section 17printed slip ons* / red slip ons* / black slip ons* / black sandals*
section 19suede booties* / quilted booties / nude sandals* / riding boot*section 18crochet slip ons* / white converse / d’orsay flats* / black sneakers*section 20suede booties / nude booties* / lace up booties* / strappy heels*section 15pointed heels* / leather booties*section 16strappy booties / caged heels

So what’s my plan moving forward?

1. To create seasonal updates.

One of the “rules” I eliminated about a seasonal capsule wardrobe when beginning this task was the rule about only shopping for clothes seasonally — as in 4 times a year.  Although I like the premise behind this rule, for me it wasn’t practical at all because I really like to try and buy stuff secondhand.  Instead, I’m more or less sticking to the mindset that if something new comes into my closet, then something else must go. Pretty fluid, I know. But for me the evolution from seasonal to yearly capsule wardrobe is more about the desire of and commitment to a certain lifestyle — as opposed to an experiment that needs concrete rules for comparison.

2. To slowly continue to build my capsule wardrobe until it is complete — while remaining inside my yearly budget.

I’ve managed to spend a healthy portion already of my yearly budget.  So I really only plan to add a piece or two more to my  wardrobe for the remainder of the year (which makes me oddly happy and proud I might add…)  and perhaps ask for a few things for my birthday in the fall.

I’ve also kept to my goal of adding as many second hand items as possible — so far it’s a 50/50 split.  I’ve got game when it comes to thrift-ing, but obviously  I stand to improve some ;)

3. To increase the number of outfit posts you see around here because, #ohmygoshilovemycloset

Haha! But no, really.  Since having embarked on this journey/conducted this experiment I’ve been able to totally own my style and I feel at home in everything I wear. And, at the risk of sounding like a total dork, that’s a pretty rad feeling and sense of accomplishment.

New here? What are your thoughts on capsule wardrobes?

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40 Comments

  • Reply
    Kelley
    April 20, 2015 at 8:34 am

    This is great! I think it’s more realistic than some of the other capsule wardrobes I see. Plus you truly are decreasing your spend on shopping whereas I feel like other capsule wardrobes spend just as much money, they just compress it into a very strict time frame.

    Also, you are a thrifting queen! I’m so impressed with the pieces you’ve been able to find pre-owned. You just might have to write a post on your thrifting secrets!

    • Reply
      Laura
      April 20, 2015 at 9:19 am

      Thanks Kelley! I’m very happy with everything so far. And you betcha! I have a post in the works about sharing some of my thrifting advice ;) Hopefully I’ll be able to get to finishing it sooner than later!

  • Reply
    Sarah
    April 20, 2015 at 9:25 am

    I have been looking forward to this post! Kudos to you for continuing to post while juggling a toddler and a newborn. I think this capsule wardrobe is amazing, and something I will take with me as I go shopping. I’ve been reading other bloggers’ posts about capsules, and it seems gimmicky to me. Are you really saving money when you spend more than I spend all year in one trip that’ll last 3 months? I guess it’s all relative, but “minimalism” is supposed to be the key here, yeah? You have really encompassed the capsule wardrobe and budget for the every girl. I second the thrifting post! I’d love to see how you’ve found these pieces at second-hand stores.

    • Reply
      Laura
      April 20, 2015 at 10:22 am

      Sarah, thank you so much for all your kind words! I am truly happy to be of inspiration ;) And you definitely touched on something huge for me — and that was the money factor. My goal is to prove to myself that, with some planning, patience and creativity, I can craft my best wardrobe ever — all while spending less on clothes than I ever have. So glad to have you around this part of the blogosphere!

  • Reply
    Lo
    April 20, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    This looks awesome! Do you plan to rotate anything in and out of storage during hot or cold weather?

    • Reply
      Laura
      April 21, 2015 at 2:50 pm

      Thanks you! Currently I have no plans to do any rotating. Given the climate where I live, I found myself pulling from storage more often then I found practical when practicing a seasonal capsule — due to extreme temperature ranges that we experience here in Southwest Ohio. It was honestly my main motivation in creating a year-round capsule. I found it to be a time suck to constantly have to pull stuff from storage and not simply have it in my closet already. Granted, I probably won’t be using my heaviest weight sweaters in the hottest part of the summer, nor my shorts in the middle of the winter — but since I have minimal numbers of all of those things I don’t have a problem letting them sit in my closet alongside everything else. Especially when all of a sudden we dip down to 47° at night when earlier that day it was earlier 92! Lol. But of course all of this is particular to the climate that I live in. I’m a believer that seasonal capsules work better for climates that are less extreme in range, and a year-round capsule or one that simply divides the year into two are better fitting for climates that don’t have extreme ranges in temperature all throughout the year.

  • Reply
    Jennifer Adams
    April 21, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    This is awesome!! I’ve been slowly minimizing everything in our home and the closet has been tricky. This made it so much easier. I printed your 74 items and counted how many of each thing…… Then I counted mine. Now it’s easy to see where I need to have a better plan of attack. Not that I’ll get down to the 75 range but closer. It was less overwhelming to see it in categories with the pictures. One question though. What about work and church?? It seems if I need to dress more “corporate” I’d need to expand categories of have different ones. Dress pants, tops, shoes, etc…????? And church would mean the same thing but I would use the same clothes that I use for work. Help???

    • Reply
      Laura
      April 21, 2015 at 3:03 pm

      I’m so happy to of been of such inspiration! Couldn’t agree more when it comes to having visuals as great tools. And in an attempt to answer your question about work and church clothes: I have thought those through as well! I’m still at an office setting two days a week which requires a more “corporate look” as you’ve described as well — although I could probably skirt business casual more so than business professional. I’ve included specifically multiple blazers, a couple blouses, black trousers, and a couple other different color pair of pants that I have planned to remix over and over. I hope this will suffice the need there! I’ve found a few really good pins on Pinterest that demonstrate how to remix a super minimal business wardrobe. As you’ve mentioned church clothes are simply a combination of work and casual for me, so that would be my answer there! Please let me know if you have any other specific questions, I am by no means a style expert but I’ll always do my best to answer!

      • Reply
        Jennifer Adams
        April 22, 2015 at 2:21 pm

        Well, what’s difficult now – other than having several projects going simultaneously, which is OK by me – is the personal stuff. Art, books, nick knacks, kitchen, living room, family room, toys, craft supplies. All easy for me. Bathrooms – piece of cake. My clothes????? Shoes???? Harder. Since you had your list and I broke it down further (pants, skirts, jackets, etc…) it made it easier for me to count my stuff. I’m not necessarily trying to get down to 75 total items. 50 pairs of shoes sounds like tons until I say that’s coming from nearly 200 pairs…… It’s all relative. In some ways once the clutter is gone and it’s the final pairing down, you really “see” what you’re left with – it’s LESS overwhelming. But still hard. I have a small list of things to get to replace (white button down). My list showed me GLARINGLY which items I have a lot of. I’m grateful for that and seeing what’s left makes me realize what I truly love to wear but also it’s hard to get down past a certain level…… I’m sure I”m not explaining well. I know, although I cut down my dresses by MORE than half, I don’t need 37 for instance….. I even broke them down into “Dressy”, “Casual”, “Business/Church”. So I can be really accountable. Just having difficulty letting go of some things and other areas I feel spot on. Definitely the journey, not the destination. And the relief of 1)enjoying what you have 2)being able to clean, organize and maintain what you have 3)not being overwhelmed by what you have.

  • Reply
    Stacy / Boulevard House
    April 24, 2015 at 10:56 am

    Laura, I am so impressed with this! I’m just finally buckling down to create my first capsule wardrobe, and a bit overwhelmed by the whole thing. This is amazing! Really inspired by your commitment to minimize, especially with a little one.

    • Reply
      Laura
      April 25, 2015 at 1:21 pm

      Thanks Stacy. Best of luck in creating your first capsule ;) Just remember it should be fun and to never stick to “rules” that don’t work for you and your lifestyle!

  • Reply
    Rafaela
    April 28, 2015 at 4:22 am

    Hi! I really like some of clothes that you pick. I would even like them for my self. Ok, I’m more all black and white style, but I get this :)

    If I only can add… I think that you have maybe too much things on you list. I started writing my own capsule wardrobe and I stoped at 33 things for all year. Becouse, I looked what I wore this winter – only my acne pistol boots, and Nike trainers. All 3 months. I didn’t touch my boots or other shoes. So I really don’t think you need 3 pairs of Tom’s or 6 pairs of similalr booties. I’be my weak spot for shoes so I know it hard, but do you really need a pair of shoues for every day of the week + high heel shoes, boots and trainers? Don’t judge, and don’t know really your lifestyle or your climate :)

    • Reply
      Laura
      April 30, 2015 at 12:53 pm

      Thanks! And you may be right about having too many TOMS in my capsule wardrobe, haha! But I will say I know I could never get away with 33 pieces in our climate — it requires for much more layering than that! I expect my number will dwindle down as I continue to hone in on my style and my clothing needs + desires, but right now I felt that 74 was a good starting point. Currently I only have 53 pieces in my closet (tops, jackets + coats, bottoms and shoes) and feel really good about that number and how it accommodates my lifestyle (farm + office + mom + social). I plan to assess all along at certain “checkpoints” (i.e. change of seasons) and determine if I need to change things up! Good luck with your capsule journey :)

      • Reply
        Julia
        April 30, 2015 at 2:36 pm

        I don’t think you have too many things on your list! I think you are doing the capsule wardrobe perfectly. It’s a beautiful selection, and I’ve been trying to figure out what pieces are practical but also stylish for me as a mother (expat, three little boys). Though I’m fascinated by minimalist blogs, most of them are from women with no kids and very different life situations than mine. 33 pieces isn’t enough with rugrats smearing food and who knows what else everywhere. I will say that with the climate extremes, there is a girl here who is from OH as well and she dresses with ten pieces a season. http://www.paris-to-go.com/ I think she may be from a different city but she wrote about wearing the same pieces during the polar vortex and during hotter weather as well.

        • Reply
          Laura
          April 30, 2015 at 2:41 pm

          Thanks so much! I’ve had a lot of people ask me about doing a capsule wardrobe and being a mom and I can honestly say it works great for me — spit up and all! Haha! And thank you for sharing another blog with me, I’ll be sure to check out!

  • Reply
    closet 101 / how to thrift quality pieces for your closet, part I: what to look for | The Lovely Laura Life
    May 1, 2015 at 8:00 am

    […] after posting my first all seasons capsule wardrobe early last week, I received several requests for a post on how to thrift for quality pieces. Or in […]

  • Reply
    #minimalistchallenge Day 7 The Capsule Wardrobe Cont. | APARTMENT STORI
    May 3, 2015 at 12:09 am

    […] guidance to keep me on track and found another great post on The Lovely Laura Life documenting a Minimal Year Round Capsule Wardrobe for all seasons comprised of roughly 75 items. This number feels much more attainable compared to […]

  • Reply
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    May 8, 2015 at 2:46 pm

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  • Reply
    Kristen
    May 15, 2015 at 12:59 am

    I love what you’ve done! Being originally from Ohio yet having moved from Germany to London to Australia, my wardrobe has been somewhat of a pack-into-a-suitcase capsule. But now that I live in California the climate is much more conducive of a year round capsule and your posts have been amazing!!! I cannot tell you how much it’s helped. One question though, the items with asterisks, are they generally repurposed and thrifted/ things you already owned? Thanks again!

    • Reply
      Laura
      May 15, 2015 at 11:08 am

      Thanks so much! The items with asterisks are a mix of old, thrifted, refashioned, newer and totally new pieces. Everything I have in my closet at this very moment. Items without asterisks are pieces on my wish list that I’ll hunt down over time while staying in my yearly clothing budget. I expect that the list might change over the course of time and in even the time it takes me to save up money to make purchases to “complete” my wardrobe. I look at this wardrobe as one example of a infinite amount of possibilities of cohesive year-round capsule wardrobes. I expect as my wish list changes and evolves in accordance with my lifestyle, I’ll continue sharing more examples!

      • Reply
        Kristen
        May 15, 2015 at 11:28 am

        Thank you! Perfect approach.

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Kate
    June 13, 2015 at 8:49 pm

    I started checking out your blog about six months ago- and am finally just now getting around to commenting! I absolutely love your idea of the “all season capsule wardrobe.” Over the past few years I had started considering the idea of having “one wardrobe” to span all four seasons (I live in the Northeast). I think this started because I was SO sick of pulling out the Rubbermaid bins to switch clothes with each change of season. And then there was always the dilemma as to which clothes to put away and what to keep in the closet (i.e. what to do with items that didn’t seem to fit clearly into one particular season, and what to do about the weather that didn’t seem to fit clearly into one particular season, such as the inevitable heat wave that happens every fall…). So the more I thought about the idea of having ‘one wardrobe’ it became more and more appealing-and then one day I came upon your blog talking about the ‘all season capsule wardrobe.’ I think it is absolutely fantastic!! There is something about the idea of having fewer clothes that all coordinate with each other. Just simpler- and when you look in your closet you know exactly what you have. I think it is a way to be more thoughtful about each item you buy-and in general it seems we all have too much ‘stuff.’ (And having one wardrobe helps to spend less money as well:) I hope you keep posting on new wardrobe developments. I look forward to future posts!

    • Reply
      Laura
      June 13, 2015 at 9:15 pm

      Absolutely. Yes to all of this!

  • Reply
    Kate
    June 13, 2015 at 9:08 pm

    what does it mean when my post says “your comment is awaiting moderation”…?

    • Reply
      Laura
      June 13, 2015 at 9:24 pm

      It just means that it was pending approval. (I have it set that way so my site doesn’t get spammed so much.) The first time any one posts a comment I have to manually approve it, and then any future comments post instantly. Thanks for all the blog love! So glad to hear from you, don’t be a stranger! :)

  • Reply
    my all seasons capsule wardrobe / summer 2015 [nursing friendly] | The Lovely Laura Life
    June 19, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    […] What items I’ve shared.  In my first all seasons capsule update I shared with you items that were in my closet + all the items that remained on my master list. […]

  • Reply
    Desiree
    July 24, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    I LOVE your post!!!!

  • Reply
    Capsule Wardrobe & Fall Picks |
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  • Reply
    Julie
    September 29, 2015 at 10:16 am

    Hi Laura,
    I love this concept, and this may be a dumb question, but what do you do with current items that didn’t make your list? Did you get rid of / donate them?

    Thanks!

    • Reply
      Laura
      September 29, 2015 at 1:26 pm

      I have always: sold them to a secondhand store, sold them/given them to friends or family, donated them or, in the case they are beyond repairable, cut them up for scrap materials or cleaning rags. I am currently storing my maternity clothes and a couple pairs of shoes that I wasn’t sure I wanted to part with yet. Hope that answers your question! :)

  • Reply
    my all seasons capsule wardrobe / fall 2015 | The Lovely Laura Life
    September 30, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    […] As I began to take stock of my wardrobe and prepare my all seasons capsule update for this fall I realized something — by and large not a whole lot is changing anymore.  I think I realized this the last time I compiled + created the image for my summer capsule update.  It was almost an exact copy of my spring capsule update. […]

  • Reply
    Inger
    October 7, 2015 at 10:42 am

    Great post! Very inspirational. Thank you.
    It´s so much better when you have an overwiew of your closet and know what you have and what you need to put together great outfits!
    I cleaned up my closet reacently. I have a double closet for what I use dayly, single for the stuff I use occationaly and one for the stuff I hardly use. The rest I gave away to friends or donated to refugees.

    Now I know what I have, how to mix it, and got a good overview of what I need to buy. Life feels more simple, and you save so much money when not buying a lot of random crap on a whim that you end up never wearing anyway.
    It´s not how much you have, but what you have and how you mix and wear it is what´s important.

    Opening a closet with a good organizing system, nice display on pretty hangers and easy access to what you use daily gives the clothes the respect they deserve!

  • Reply
    Susana
    October 21, 2015 at 9:54 pm

    Great wardrobe! For some time I’ve started making a mid season capsule of about 50 items, and that includes going out clothes. It covers mostly spring and autumn with some bulkier items (10 or 15) for deep winter and the same for deep summer. For the most part, is very much like yours, and in case it gets too cold before hand I just layer and it feels great.
    I also make the 3 rule and include purses, shoes and accesories, because they do make a difference in an outfit. Most people don’t, and that’s a huge nono.
    My capsules don’t get bigger, I try to add 1 key element a season so to update the whole look. It’s not as expensive as you might think, since it’s just 1. Problem is when you suddenly put on weight. That’s a huge problem.
    I don’t do thrift, because since you add just one thing you can splurge and buy something really great. It’s got to be great quality and extremely versatile to be worthy of buying. I’ve been using my mom’s Hermes scarves instead of selling them, I know they’d fetch a great price, but on the other hand they’re great to use.
    I keep on collecting blogger’s thoughts, I hope to learn more. Some of my pieces I’ve been using for 5 years and now it’s time to let them go, and I don’t mind!

  • Reply
    lindsay
    January 4, 2016 at 8:34 pm

    Hello, I was wondering where the boots pictures in the photo Creating An All Seasons Capsule Wardrobe are from?

    Thank you:)
    Lindsay

    • Reply
      Laura
      January 5, 2016 at 4:20 pm

      Hi Lindsay! So the boots in that picture were from Kohl’s a few years ago. I think they were Mudd? I actually just gave them to my mother in law because they’ve always been a little too big and I was afraid of eventually twisting my ankle — Lol. Anyway, I hope that helps!

  • Reply
    Lauren
    August 25, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    Not sure why I’m only finding this now, but I think it’s about to change my life. Thank you so much!

    • Reply
      Laura Blanton
      August 29, 2016 at 8:13 am

      Haha! Glad to hear!

  • Reply
    kristina
    September 4, 2017 at 12:32 am

    where did you find the “strappy heals “?

    • Reply
      Laura
      September 22, 2017 at 8:47 am

      Shoemint! Forever ago though… :(

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