My Capsule Wardrobes

My Capsule Wardrobe / Fall 2014

Let me start off with a big, big sigh. *Ahhhhhhhhh….*

Okay. Much better.

If you follow my blog regularly you may have been wondering where this post has been the past few days, because I kind of said that I would be posting it on the first of October… oops. (Insert embarrassed face here.) Alas, life with an ever adventurous and full of life toddler keeps me on my toes. I should really know by now that he sets the pace around here… and despite my best efforts, somethings got to give…

Onward ho!

This capsule wardrobe posed some serious challenges for a capsule wardrobe newbee like myself BUT, much to my determination, I prevailed! And in the end even surprised myself in my ability to down size yet again! More on that in bit though. Let’s get to the good stuff, shall we?

 

TOPS/ 18 pieces/ splurge level: low

This section includes 14 tops + sweaters, 1 vest, 1 blazer and 2 jackets. Here’s where they came from: 8 were pulled from storage, 5 rolled over from my summer capsule, and 5 were new purchases.

I know there are a lot of tribal cardigans. But, you guys… I really like tribal cardigans.

Also, I think I’ve finally realized the value in dropping some cash on good quality jackets. My faux leather jackets from Forever 21 and I have had a decent run, but they are literally coming apart at the seams.  We’ll see how they hold up this fall!

fall capsule 2014_tops

SHOP IT: white tunic tee* / sheer tunic blouse / knit tunic / cardigan sweater / tasseled drape tribal cardigan / raglan sleeve sweatshirt / chambray top / utility vest (refashion) / plaid flannel* / shawl cardigan / faux leather jacket / drape tribal cardigan / open tribal cardigan* / polka dot blouse / faux leather moto jacket / roll tab sleeve blouse / black tunic tee* / blazer

Note: Not all items are still available, but I’ve linked to similar items or where it was originally purchased where appropriate. 

 

Bottoms/ 8 pieces/ splurge level: low

This section includes 3 pants, 1 leggings and 4 dresses. Here’s where they came from: 5 were pulled from storage, 1 rolled over from my summer capsule, and 2 were new purchases.

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, for this season I had no intention to include coats as a part of my capsule. I stuck with that gut feeling. It’s not like I have a whole other capsule wardrobe dedicated to just coats, I practice minimalism there too, but — should winter come early — I WILL be warm! If you live in the midwest like me and experienced last winter (*shudder*) you will understand exactly where I’m coming from!

On another note, I am in LOVE with the new maternity t-shirt dressed I purchased. They are comfy, extremely flattering to my growing bump and get the double thumbs up from my man. Need I say more?

Fall Capsule Bottoms

SHOP IT: shift dress / maternity skinny jeans / maternity ponte pants / maternity crop pants / leggings / maternity faux wrap dress / solid maternity t-shirt dress* / striped maternity t-shirt dress*

 

Shoes/ 9 pieces/ splurge level: medium

This section includes 4 ankle boots, 1 wedge, 2 knee high boots, 1 lace up boot and 1 flat. Here’s where they came from: 4 were pulled from storage and 5 were new purchases.

I spent a large portion of my money on shoes for this capsule. My love affair for shoes aside, I think they are an excellent way to change up your outfits, express your style and a good way to invest money (that you’ll see even after you’re done being pregnant) into your closet when planning for a maternity wardrobe like me.

Fall Capsule ShoesSHOP IT: cut out buckled bootie* / cognac chelsea bootie* / taupe ankle boot / cognac wedge bootie / two toned riding boot / black chelsea bootie* / black slouch boots / lace up boot* / d’orsay flats*

 

THE PROCESS

When I set out to create this capsule wardrobe my biggest challenge was going to be accommodating my growing belly.  At 17 weeks, I haven’t seen significant growth yet (although I am starting to show!) but knew that over the next couple of months I would be seeing some serious expansion in my mid section. I thought it would be too difficult to try and plan for this ahead of time and that ultimately I would feel like didn’t have adequate pieces in my closet by limiting myself to a set number.

I’ll let you know in a couple of months whether or not I truly succeeded, haha, but as of right now I’m extremely proud to say that I think I may have pulled it off! AND that I even decreased my overall number from my summer capsule wardrobe… Can I get a high five?

As I began to ponder this predicament I realized that creating a maternity wardrobe in general is much like creating a capsule wardrobe. No one can afford to go out and by all new clothes to accommodate every stage of pregnancy, so you are forced to get strategic. By buying a few key staple maternity pieces and mixing them in with maternity friendly non-maternity clothes, most women are able to make it work.

One thing I’ve always had a difficult time doing is labeling my style. It’s not that I’m against labels or anything, I just seriously have no idea how to describe it. A little bohemian? A little classic? Southwestern? Maybe some edge? Eclectic?! Yikes. This entire capsule wardrobe process has made me realize that you are never really one set style. Summer brings out my bohemian side more so than fall, which instead proves to me that I’m a little more classic than I think sometimes. So much like everything else in life, my style evolves and morphs not only over a long period of time — say since I was in high school — but even throughout the course of a year.

Having finally realized this, I can now say that:

My style for the fall is cabin going hipster + somewhat edgy mom + a little bit of classic.

BUDGET

So last time around I didn’t go into budget because, well… I didn’t have one.  I decided at the beginning of July to commit to a capsule wardrobe and used only existing pieces in my wardrobe, along with selling and donating the most of my “purge”.  Prior to that I hadn’t bought any clothing since March and was doing my best to just cut back on spending all together. Thumbs up for me, because the first time I spent any money on clothes at all since March was mid September in preparation for this here capsule wardrobe. Take THAT 90 day challenge

Taking into account my 5 month shopping hiatus which allowed me to save and  figuring in birthday money, I decided on a budget of $400 for my fall capsule.

Eeek. That’s a lot, right? I decided to look at it this way: this capsule is going to last me for the next two months until I begin my winter capsule (remember I decided to change my seasonal timing so this capsule will be cut short…)  + much of my fall capsule will roll over into my winter capsule.

$400 / 2 (months) = $200/month —> not that great…

But if I take into account the 5 months I didn’t spend anything in preparation for this capsule then:

$400 / 7 (months) = $55.71/month —> much better!

Considering not all that long a go I could drop that in one spending spree, I add that up to some smart shopping. Not to mention that I actually stayed under budget, ending up at exactly $390.21. selffive

THE END RESULT

I ended up with 35 pieces in my fall wardrobe including 15 tops, 3 jackets, 8 bottoms and 9 pairs of shoes.

I bought 12 new pieces for fall. (You can see which ones are new in the photos above – they have an asterisk next to them) Most of them were either from Old Navy/Gap + ASOS + online thrifting. I shopped strategically, using gift cards + hitting up sales + snooping discount codes. The remaining 23 pieces were either rolled over from my summer wardrobe or pulled from storage (as detailed above).

My goal this time around is to show you more of the cool outfits I’ll be able to put together with these pieces with some actual outfit posts. Wish me luck!

SO pumped.

[UPDATE: The format of this post was utilized from the Un-Fancy blog written by Caroline Joy Rector.   I like the way she breaks down the process of putting together each of her capsule wardrobes so, in the spirit of being a newbie and experimenting with this process myself AND in not re-inventing the wheel — I’ve decided to use the same formatting this time around.  I am sure it will evolve over time and that I will add to and subtract from it, but for now you can consider this note me giving due credit where credit is due.]

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