If you’ve ever perused style blogs you’ve probably heard about capsule wardrobes. I’ve wanted one for a really long time, and I’ve finally done it. I decided the time was right with my move. Going from a perpetually hot climate to a cold one meant I needed to buy clothes, so why not do it right? We live in a world of excess, so having 10 pairs of jeans, 50 tops, and as many dresses is the norm. So is loudly announcing you have nothing to wear despite a closet bursting at the seams. I used to be like that but over the years have slowly whittled things down to more manageable levels. But I still wanted less.
Right now I have the following in my closet:
2 pairs of skinny jeans
1 pair of bootcut jeans
1 pair of nice slacks
1 sweater dress (can be dressed up or down)
1 “fancy” dress
1 black wool skirt
2 cashmere cardigans
3 cable knit sweaters
2 v neck sweaters
2 sparkle cardigans
1 short sleeve t shirt
1 3/4 sleeve t shirt
Plus an assortment of camisoles
Laid out like that is seems like a lot, but really it’s not. It’s four pairs of pants, two dresses, nine sweaters, and four shirts, that’s nineteen items total. I get really cold so I bought more sweaters than anything else since I’ll never leave the house without one, in fact I’m usually wearing 3-4 layers. I don’t have many shoes either, seven pairs total. Most all of them go with everything in my closet, if anything they all go with everything except the dress pants. I have to wear heels with those.
One of the most important things in creating a capsule wardrobe is making sure everything works with everything else. Right now every sweater I have will work with every bottom. The shirts will all pretty much work the same way but not everything will work perfectly, but as they’re mostly layer items that aren’t really seen I don’t worry. After all, in the summer when I’m most likely to want to wear just a t shirt my wool skirt or lined dress slacks will be a bit heavy. So I’ll just be sure they look okay with my summer weight bottoms, I already know they look good with my jeans.
Another thing to consider is color palette. I had a hard time with this the last time I attempted a capsule wardrobe. This time it just sort of came about organically, I didn’t have to sit around comparing swatches. I went with mostly neutrals this time which made things easier, it wasn’t a conscious choice it just sort of happened. I found a grey sparkle cable knit sweater at Banana Republic factory store and fell in love. I kept moving through the store and found really cute pants. I wanted something to try them on with so I grabbed a pale pink button down. When I tried everything on it all looked great so I grabbed a white button down as well. Jeans work with pretty much everything so I picked up a couple of pairs of skinny jeans at the J. Crew outlet store and I had the skirt (also J. Crew). I think the tipping point for my colors came at Anthropologie. They were offering an extra percentage off their clearance and I found this sweater:
It’s called the sequin flurry sweater and it’s super cute and cozy. That pink sweater combined with the pink button down and grey sweater convinced me to look for grey, pink, beige, white, and navy. They’re easy colors to find, there’s also a lot of variety when it comes to those shades. Last time I had purples, blues, and teals. That might not seem difficult to work with but not every blue works with every purple, and it can be really hard to find purple anything. So neutrals are best for people looking to start a capsule wardrobe. I figure as things wear out I can replace them with bolder shades should I wish and they’ll blend with everything, but if I’m going to keep up with this I think most of my clothes will be neutral in color. It’s just easier and they always look good.
Here are some other cute things I bought to create this wardrobe.
This sweater dress is so cute, comfortable, and slimming. Most sweater dresses are very unforgiving but this one is great. I probably could have gone with a small, but they only had a medium. I think the medium fits fine, it’s just a smidge more loose than a shown on the model.
I got this on clearance from Anthropologie as well. They really didn’t forget any detail with this. The sleeves are rolled and then there’s a little strap that buttons. The button is mother of pearl and there’s even lace on the strap. It’s really sheer (despite the photo showing it opaque) so I’ll have to wear a camisole underneath it but I probably would anyways so it’s not a big deal.
These are the “Gwyneth” from Kamik. I’m totally in love with them. Kamik uses this stuff called RubberHE, I don’t know much about it except it’s synthetic and PVC free. I love that because I’m allergic to rubber. I’d kill for Hunter Wellies but they’re made of latex. 😦 These are a great alternative if you’re allergic to latex. They also make another version called the “Jennifer” that’s quite similar to the Hunter boots and I have them in black. They’re both really comfortable and have removable inserts so you can take it out for more room or add in your own.
These are the Sam Edelman “Felicia” flats, I have them in black and nude. They have to be the most comfortable flats ever. The leather is so soft (so is their suede version) and they come in every size from 4 to 13 and offer both regular and wide widths. I think that’s pretty impressive, there aren’t many women’s shoe companies that are catering to such a broad range. They’re also pretty cushioned for a ballet flat. They don’t seem like like they are at first glance but I’ve spent an entire day on my feet in these at Disney and felt fine at days end. So if you have a hard time finding comfortable ballet flats I highly recommend this brand, not just this style.