My Capsule Wardrobes

My Capsule Wardrobe / Winter 2014

We are currently 15 days into the month of December, which means that December is really half way over… And I still haven’t shared with you my winter capsule wardrobe that I began (almost) at the beginning of December…

What gives? Right?!

Wait no longer my friend.  I present to you, my [maternity] winter capsule wardrobe.

my winter [maternity] capsule wardrobeNow that you’ve seen the good stuff and pinned it accordingly (not too presumptuous am I?), here’s the breakdown:

TOPS: 24 pieces

This section includes 15 tops,  9 sweaters and 1 jacket. Here’s where they came from: 4 were pulled from storage, 7 rolled over from my fall capsule, and 13 were new purchases.

Unbelievably neutral, right? Ah! I’m in love.  I can honestly say I never thought I’d be so excited and inspired with such “boring” clothes. And by boring, I mean awesome.  Instead of feeling compelled to artificially inject color into my winter wardrobe I decided to wear the warm and cool neutrals I feel inspired to wear when colder weather comes to town.  Not surprisingly I’m finding I love everything I have in my closet and and feel presented with limitless outfit opportunities. Which is normally is a #score in my book, but considering I’m seven months pregnant and rounding out quite nicely, I’ll consider this time a #hugescore

I would describe my top selection as tomboy + modern + winter romantic. Tees, oversized sweaters + tunics and cableknit-ish finds are my jam this time of year.

WHERE TO FIND IT: purl knit tunic / tribal cardigan / oversized sweater / turtleneck tunic / wool cardigan, old Anthropologie – thrifted / waffle tee /  sheer blouse, old Kohl’ssweater tunicwhite tunic tee / diy long sleeve graphic tee / tunic blouse / diy short sleeve graphic tee  / grey sweater / cowl neck tunic, old Liz Lange / baseball tee / dolman cardigan / denim tunic, old Liz Lange – thrifted / striped tee, old Gap – thrifted / marled tee / raglan sweatshirt / polka dot blouse, old Old Navyblack tunic tee / abstract geo cardigan / moto jacket, old Forever 21

Bottom: 7 pieces

This section includes 4 pants, 1 legging and 2 dresses. Here’s where they came from: 4 rolled over from my fall capsule, and 3 were new purchases.

Towards middle to late fall I identified a serious need for the winter. Pants.

With my last pregnancy, I saw most of my growth during the warmer weather months. So I could easily accommodate my growing midsection with sundresses and maxis.  This time around it will be cold. Like really cold.  And pants will be a must.  I took the opportunity to purchase two more maternity jeans (light + black wash) plus maternity leggings. Which by the way kick regular leggings butt!

I was oddly excited to add a light wash denim into the mix this season.  Its honestly been a long time that I have worn any like it.  PLUS one of the pair of maternity jeans I bought are really regular jean leggings with elastic triangles sewn into the sides… which means I could easily wear these post-partum and label them “comfiest jeans ever”.  No?

WHERE TO FIND IT: light denim, sold out! Gap – similar here / grey tee dress / dark denim, old Gap / black denim / cropped ponte pant, old Gap similar here / striped tee dress / black leggings

Shoes: 9 pieces

This section includes 4 ankle boots, 1 wedge, 1 riding boot, 1 lace up boot, 1 heel and 1 flat. Here’s where they came from: 2 were pulled from storage and 7 were rolled over from my fall capsule.

I was so pleased with my fall footwear line up that I only made two changes to it.  I swapped out two of the knee high boots (that I didn’t really find myself wearing at all) and replaced them with an old riding boot and pair of heels from storage.

Heels, you ask? When you are embarking upon your third and final trimester of pregnancy?  Why, yes.  I found that last time around I had minimal problems with swelling and that adding heels to any outfit added that little extra va va voom you start to miss during the last few months. (Yes, I just laughed at myself for using that expression as well.)  In all seriousness though, heels elongate your leg line and really make any outfit feel a little bit sexy.  Plus, if we end up attending any surprise semi formal events during the holidays, etc. I’ll be ready to roll.

WHERE TO FIND IT: cut out bootie / cognac bootie / suede bootie / wedge bootie / black bootie / lace up boot / d’orsay flats / blush pumps, old / riding boots, old

THE PROCESS

Full disclosure: I did not wrap this capsule up until the the first week in December.  I thought I’d finished and when I took a step back to look at the big picture, I saw holes.  Big holes.  I had 35 pieces and a brain infected with “capsule wardrobe block”.  (Totally just made that up.)

From where I stood, I felt I had a few options.

1. Roll with it and just deal.

2. Add 5-7 buffer spots.  Where I would set a budget up but allow myself to acquire these pieces throughout the season.

3.  Regroup and maybe start this capsule a little late.

I personally didn’t feel number one was a very wise option.  Sure it was the most budget friendly, but I felt it would leave me desperate around the 9 months pregnant mark and I would be forced to go out and buy stuff and ultimately gravitate away from this awesome journey I had begun.  So I scratched that one off the list.

I liked the solution number two offered, as I felt it provided me with the most flexibility.  And I honestly still consider it a completely viable option and wonderful “modification of the rules” to meet a particular season of life — in this case, pregnancy.  But…

Ultimately after a little more searching and thought, I easily pulled together the last of my capsule with a few more awesome finds and felt completely confident to move forward just as planned.

And, shazzam!

My style for the winter is: comfy modern + a healthy mix of masculine/feminine + a touch of hipster

BUDGET

[In the spirit of being real and totally transparent, I discuss real dollars and numbers in this section.  I’d be forever grateful if you’d do me the solid of withholding all judgement, recognizing that we are all working with different budgets and different long + short term goals.  That being said, you can always assume I’m working on becoming thriftier + thriftier by the day. ;) ]

Last time around, my set budget was clear. And with it brought a lot clarity while making purchases.  Things felt different this time around.  I definitely felt a lot more hesitation buying things, because I knew some of it would have to be maternity and I couldn’t exactly consider those purchases “investments” (that is if you can ever consider clothes an investment…).  But I think you get what I’m saying.

I didn’t want to spend money, but did at the same time.  In the end I gave myself a ball park of “no more than last time”.  I felt $400 was my cut off, and maybe even realistic — but I honestly didn’t like the way it sounded.  It was too much and I didn’t like it.

In the end  I spent $343.49 on my winter capsule, which shakes out to be about $114/month.  Not terrible.

Although I feel like there’s a lot of room for improvement when it comes to minimizing spending money on clothes — I also feel very empowered in just knowing exactly how much I’m spending on clothes period.  I would have never been able to tell you with exact certainty before embarking on my capsule wardrobe journey — and for that at least I feel very proud!  Ultimately I want the percentage of my money spent on clothes to do a better job of reflecting my priorities in life — and I’m happy to say I’m at least headed in the right direction.

THE END RESULT

I ended up with 40 pieces in my winter wardrobe, including: 24 tops, 7 bottoms, and 9 pairs of shoes.

I bought 16 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 + H&M and a few others were from Target, Forever 21 and Gap. I shopped smart  hitting up sales + using discount codes. The remaining 24 pieces were either rolled over from my fall wardrobe or pulled from storage (as detailed above).

Last time I detailed to you a few new goals I had during the season — namely of me sharing more outfit posts with you.  With the help of my awesome photographer of a mother-in-law, I managed to share with you a handful of studio quality images.   And if I’m being perfectly honest, I realized that I may not be so cut out for marathon photo shoots (#weak… I know.)

SO, this time around I’m thinking a lot more real + in the moment outfit shares — on both Instagram and recapped right here on the blog. Yes, and by that I mean #selfies. But maybe not if I just snap the outfit laid out? Haven’t worked out all the details yet… but, well I don’t know.  The more I thought about it, the more it felt more natural to share with you my capsule wardrobe in action.  If nothing else to prove to you that a minimal wardrobe can work for anyone at anytime in their life — with just a few personal tweaks.

Still not convinced? Check out another blog post of mine 5 tips on how to create a maternity capsule wardrobe.

Again.

SO pumped.

[Noteworthy-ness: I have totally subscribed to the capsule wardrobe process detailed on the Un-Fancy blog written by Caroline Joy Rector. I have been inspired on my capsule wardrobe journey by many things and at many times — but ultimately Caroline is the one who tipped the scales for me.  You should check out her blog if you haven’t already! Be prepared to fall in love with the capsule wardrobe.]

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14 Comments

  • Reply
    K. Nicole
    December 16, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    Love, love, love this! I’m still rounding out my winter capsule (I’ll be infusing it with holiday gifts *smile*) so I’m waiting until the first of the year to post mine, it’s taken 2 posts and another one getting ready to post on Friday just to post my fall capsule. Who knew how much time it’d take me to get everything together visually.

    Just wanted to say I love your blog, you’re in my links list on mine. <3

    • Reply
      Laura
      December 16, 2014 at 4:57 pm

      Thank you so much! It does take some pretty good planning but I think it’s the secret sauce behind what makes using a capsule wardrobe so succesful and beneficial, right? I’ll be sure to check out your blog as well. Always looking to be inspried and I love hearing about different tweaks people make to make a capsule wardrobe work for them. :)

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Amy Fisher
    January 16, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    I LOVE your style and your honesty about putting together a wardrobe that works for you! I’ve also become inspired by Caroline Rector and Un-Fancy and just made my winter capsule wardrobe last week. I’d also like to share the minimalist love on my blog. Can you tell me what you used to put together the collage for your winter capsule? I really like the clean look of it! ps. Love your style advice over on Un-Fancy today!

    • Reply
      Laura
      January 16, 2015 at 2:10 pm

      Thanks so much Amy! Such kind words! As for putting together the capsule collage, I used photoshop this time around. I too liked the clean look of everything against a white background. I just took the photos on my iPhone with them laid out flat on the floor and then edited them accordingly in Photoshop. But If you don’t have that software available to you I would point you in the direction of two other tools to use in combination. The Stylebook app allows you to take pictures of your clothing items and then “white out the background”. You could then use a free online tool called Canva to easily create the collage. I use Canva a lot to quickly throw together a lot of my food post images because they have an abundance of beautifully pre designed graphics to use at your disposal! Good luck, I’ll be sure to check out your blog!

      • Reply
        Amy Fisher
        January 16, 2015 at 3:37 pm

        Thanks for the advice, Laura! It’s truly inspiring to meet other women and moms who have similar interests and write about it. I’ll look forward to following your posts!

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Samantha Roberts
    February 20, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    First of all, I loved this post and I LOVE your style. Second… this is kind of a weird question, and if you don’t want to reveal your trade secrets that is totally understandable! But to create your collage, did you photograph the actual items in your wardrobe? Or did the images come from the manufacturer’s website? I ask because I have an ongoing capsule wardrobe series on my blog, and I have been struggling with photographing all of my pieces effectively. The way you have yours presented is very visually appealing!

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