Spring 2017 Capsule Wardrobe

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Let’s talk capsules! I haven’t shared one here since last spring/summer. Last fall, I had just purchased a few new things and then realized that much of it wouldn’t fit for long because I was expecting. I returned what I had purchased as none of it would be pregnancy friendly and cobbled together a little capsule with my existing clothing that had room to grow. Then I did a small shop at Thyme Maternity at the end of 2016 and that has gotten me through until this point.

As I am due at the beginning of June I knew that I needed a few easy warm weather pieces that are still work friendly to get me through until I deliver. My plan was to choose things that fit well now, can transition me through the end of my pregnancy and then into the postpartum period. I understand that this post will not apply to everyone but I think it’s important to show how useful a capsule wardrobe can be no matter where you are in life. This is a really different capsule for me to put together and I’m excited about the challenge. I’m also looking forward to the simplicity of using a capsule when I’m way too tired/overwhelmed to think about outfits with a new baby. I always feel my best when I feel put together so I’m hoping if I plan some easy options now that will help me through the shock of new motherhood.

A different approach this time around; this capsule will include three very different components:

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Core Closet

  • Casual Dresses
  • Leggings
  • Super Stretchy Jeans
  • Tunic Tops
  • A Light Cardigan
  • My Fave Jean Jacket

In short: things I’ve always loved and know I will wear, that wash well and are unfussy. With an ever-changing body this is not the time to take fashion risks. I do need these pieces to get me through my last month or so of work before maternity leave starts so that had to be considered also. Example: that midi dress above is a non-maternity one but I just wore it to our Easter gathering over my third trimester bump and it worked great.

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Lounge Wear

  • House Dresses
  • Light Robes
  • Pajama Sets

Nothing groundbreaking, just things that will be comfortable and easy for nursing at home but will also be semi-presentable in front of guests if necessary. I haven’t ever focused on these items as part of a capsule but I know I’ll be glad to have them in this new season of life. Example: Tom bought me that beautiful (non-maternity) robe above and I’ve been wearing it since earlier in my pregnancy. I’m hoping it will help inject some glam into things when I haven’t washed my hair in a week and am covered in spit up.

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Active Wear

  • Compression Capris
  • Basic Tanks
  • Printed Leggings
  • A Hoodie or Sweatshirt

This is a component that I plan to finalize when I’m a month or two postpartum; a fun little active wear capsule so I can feel put together while casually dressed. I am also hoping this motivates me to get outside with baby. I’m giving birth at the beginning of summer and I want to take full advantage of that. Example: this distressed blue sweatshirt was a recent Minot find (also non-maternity) and I’ve been wearing it a TON. I know it will work well post-baby and can be worn so many ways.

Some key traits in all of the pieces I looked for:

  • Ease of wash and wear
  • Flattering and forgiving on my changing body
  • Nursing friendly
  • Silhouettes that will work with a bump and without

The biggest thing I’ve learned when dressing for pregnancy is that you probably don’t need to invest in an entire maternity wardrobe. Obviously this will depend on your style, size and shape pre-pregnancy but I’ve found that because I wore a lot of flow-y silhouettes and empire waist dresses those things have been easier to make work throughout. I also love knowing that I can keep wearing my new favourites after baby comes. All the items pictured above are non-maternity and I’ve been wearing them at eight months pregnant so I hope that encourages you if you find traditional maternity clothes lacking, as I did.

That’s about it! I’ve been doing capsules for two years now and I’m still amazed at how much I’ve learned from this practice. It has simplified my life, streamlined my closet and ended my impulsive shopping habits.  I don’t remember the last time I made a clothing purchase I’ve regretted because I truly know what I will wear and what I won’t and that feels like a huge win to me.

Do you capsule? I’d love to hear your tips!

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Life Lately

View More: http://sterling.pass.us/shaleen-and-tom

Oh my gosh, I’ve been neglecting this blog! We’re swamped with wedding planning and you may not see much of me for the next while so I thought I’d give you a little update.

I’ve been LOVING my Spring Capsule. I am super happy with everything that I chose and I’ve already made a ton of outfits that I love. It’s evidence that I’m really figuring out my personal style so that makes me really happy I’ve continued with capsules. Tom got me this bag for my birthday, which I’ve been wanting desperately, and it’s the perfect accompaniment to my Spring closet.

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I started Aquatic Kickboxing a couple weeks ago and I’ve been loving it, although trying to balance two classes a week with everything else going on right now has been challenging at times. I always forget how much I enjoy having a regular commitment each week. It makes me feel accomplished and building a healthy habit is a bonus too. I do miss Nix now that I’m out more during the evenings. He fell asleep with his arms crossed recently and I had to document it.

nix sleeping

DSW just moved in right by our condo so I’ve been there three times already and I’m obsessed. The selection is insane. Save On Foods also opened in our neck of the woods and I love it! So many fun, different products. Have you been? Here’s a photo of Tom holding a $220 wheel of cheese for your viewing pleasure.

tom and cheese

I’m doing my own wedding makeup and I decided to invest in some good products so I’ve been testing a lot of stuff, which has been super fun. I’ve finally got my look cased. A few new favorite products include NYX HD Concealer, Urban Decay’s Naked Flushed Palette and Kat Von D’s Everlasting Liquid Lipstick. I plan to share the entire (long!) list after the wedding.

makeup faves

My bridal shower was this past weekend and I’m still blown away by how awesome it was. It’s very overwhelming to walk into a room full of people who are all there to show you how much they love you. Everyone contributed to a Tupperware fund for me so I could purchase an organization system for our walk in pantry. I was able to order that and also upgrade a ton of my kitchen tools so that was exciting. I’m so bummed that I didn’t get photos with anyone! I don’t know where my head was at. This balloon bouquet is still floating around the condo. It’s too cute to part with.

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The next day was my birthday and it ended up being mostly a low key girls day with my Mom and sisters. Tommy took me for birthday supper at East Side Mario’s that evening and we had the most delicious meal ever. These fried pesto mozzarella balls were insane.

mozza balls

We’re in the home stretch of wedding planning — just a few weeks to go! We had a few setbacks but I feel like we are on track with what needs to get done. Honestly I’m just looking forward to getting there and having the rest be out of my hands. My tendency to control every detail is in overdrive right now, as much as I try to remind myself how NOT life threatening any of this is. We are visiting our venue soon to tie up loose ends and the to-do list is getting shorter all the time. I’ve also been breaking in my wedding shoes as much as I can.

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Some exciting news: we bought Meatloaf tickets! The show happens to fall  on my parent’s wedding anniversary and they are huge fans so Tom and I are joining them for a double date. I cannot wait for this concert. My Mom will have just completed her last chemo the week before so we will have lots to celebrate. The thought of just being married, having my Mom in much better health with the whole Summer ahead of us makes me so happy I can’t even stand it.

That’s about it for now! What have you been up to?

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Spring 2016 Capsule Wardrobe

mainAhh, I’ve missed this. The last capsule I planned and shopped for was for Fall 2015. I had a lot of fun with that one and it really solidified the benefits of the practice itself for me. Choosing outfits from a streamlined closet of coordinating pieces that you love just makes life easier. Fall was fun; then Winter came. I had a Ton of Winter-y clothes in storage and decided that I could get through the season with what I already had. However when I actually pulled those pieces out of storage, I wasn’t excited about many of them and the majority didn’t work together at all, with mismatched colors, random patterns and a ton of grey. This made for a season of limited outfits I wasn’t super happy in.

Now it’s Spring. We’re in the throes of wedding planning and a new capsule hardly seemed like a priority. I pulled out all of my clothes again at the beginning of March and did another mini overhaul with what I had but I knew I needed to just bite the bullet and buy a few things. It may seem superficial, but fashion is a form of self-expression for me and I’ve learned that if I neglect it for whatever reason I just end up down in the dumps. The good news? Capsule wardrobes have made me a much smarter shopper and it didn’t take me long to decide on a short shopping list, keeping in mind what I already had and looking back on my 2015 capsules as a reminder on what did and didn’t work for me previously.

Here’s the thing; I could pretty much choose 30 maxi dresses for this capsule and that would be all I need. I love them. They are comfortable, easy to wear and work in a multitude of ways. Hot day? Throw it on and go. Cooler weather? Put a cardigan over it. Beach day?  Wear it over your bathing suit. Wedding? Put on heels and throw on a blazer in the evening. That said, I still like a little variety, especially because our weather is unpredictable and so I chose a few bottoms and tops. A big lesson to keep in mind here; do what works for YOU. I love the look of capsule collages filled with separates but that just isn’t what I like to wear myself and I’ve learned that if I don’t love it, it doesn’t get worn.

After looking at what I had to work with I decided I could use 2 or 3 new dresses, a few basic tanks and a pair of capri leggings. I had one super successful afternoon of shopping and I found everything I needed. I will still keep my eye out for one more dress though. I had a harder time with the color story for this season because most of the maxis are colors and prints that don’t coordinate. That said, I don’t ever wear a maxi dress with anything but a neutral topper of some kind so I didn’t worry about that too much. Here is what I came up with for a color story:

COLOR STORY

And here are the pieces I’ve chosen. Keep in mind that for many of these items I had to choose the closest looking image I could find. The visuals are a bit painful to create but I also find them helpful for outfit inspiration, so until I find better way, here it is:

DRESSES
Dresses:

  • 3/4 Sleeve Black Maxi
  • Army Green Shirt Dress (purchased for this capsule)
  • Black Caftan
  • Grey Tank Maxi
  • Chambray Shirt Dress
  • Sleeveless Black Maxi
  • Blue Ikat Maxi
  • Blue Floral Maxi
  • Pink Floral Maxi
  • Cobalt Blue Maxi (purchased for this capsule)
  • Black and White Printed Maxi

TOPPERSToppers:

  • Lightweight Black Cardigan
  • Jean Jacket
  • Black Shrug
  • Green Print Kimono
  • Black Drape Blazer

BOTTOMSBottoms:

  • Black Capri Legging (purchased for this capsule)
  • Distressed Boyfriend Jean
  • Dark Skinny Jean
  • Printed Soft Pant
  • Black Full Length Legging
  • Hot Pink Midi Skirt
  • Black Midi Skirt

TOPSTops:

  • Nirvana Concert Tee
  • Gray Tank (purchased for this capsule)
  • Navy Graphic Tank
  • ¾ Sleeve Black Graphic Tee
  • ¾ Sleeve Gray Tunic (purchased for this capsule)
  • Army Green Tank (purchased for this capsule)
  • Black Tank
  • Fleetwood Mac Concert Tee

 

As usual, I took photos of everything and uploaded it in my Pureple app and now I’m all set! I’ll let you know how I make out this time around.

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Summer Capsule Recap

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My first capsule period is coming to an end and I wanted to share what I’ve learned this round!

The first month was fantastic. Maybe it was just because we were in the process of moving but what a treat it was for me to proclaim proudly, “My whole wardrobe is in one suitcase!” (It was a huge suitcase, but it was one suitcase. Just let me have my victory here.) I loved that it only took me a short while to organize my new closet and I still had a lot of extra space after. Getting dressed in the morning was exponentially easier and I was more creative when dressing. Often times before bed or in the morning before I actually got up, I’d check the weather and then scroll through the Pureple app, choosing my outfit without having to touch my clothes. In terms of shopping, I didn’t feel tempted too often. I knew the reward would be sweet in August when I got to start planning my new capsule and that kept me disciplined. I also got sale emails to flow into my junk mail. This helped a lot with avoiding temptation.

I hit a bit of a wall at the beginning of July. It was absurdly hot every day and I started feeling limited with my options. I had one pair of dressy shorts in my capsule and four pairs of pants. Seriously?! What was I thinking? It’s funny because when I look back on the capsule now, it feels quite Spring-y to me, which makes sense because I chose it then. It definitely isn’t peak Summer appropriate though. My favorite thing to wear in Summer has always been maxi dresses and yet I only included two, both black, in my capsule, which left me resorting to those a lot. Also, because my hot weather options were pretty dressy, I ended up wearing mostly workout clothes on my days off. Not exactly my goal. Oops.

I started to panic. I realized that I hadn’t made the best choices in this capsule, but I also didn’t want to feel unprepared for the rest of the Summer. I decided that this was my first capsule and it was okay that it wasn’t perfect. I’m still learning! My solution: I allowed myself to pick out three versatile maxi dresses and traded those for three of the less than appropriate items I had originally chosen. I decided to store them until Fall when they will be more useful.

In general this has already made me a better shopper. I am a lot more selective and am definitely becoming more of a “quality versus quantity” person. I also feel that I understand my own style and taste a lot better so I don’t settle for pieces that won’t suit me.

Did I miss any of the many things I donated? Two maxi dresses, specifically, but I reminded myself that although I had liked them, neither of them had fit me properly and I knew that I had done the right thing.

All in all, this way of living is incredibly satisfying to me. It has eliminated emotional shopping and makes everything, from dressing to closet organizing to packing for trips so much easier.

Things I wished I had included:

Another tank or two

A more casual pair of longer shorts

More casual dresses

Things I could have done without:

The polka dot blouse

The plaid shirt

The pants

 

Lessons learned:

Think about what you’ll actually want to wear in the season you’re planning for. Looking back on my Summer capsule choices I feel like I didn’t take into consideration the REALLY hot days, and there were many; I didn’t have enough options for those in my downtime and then I resorted to workout wear more than I would have liked. It wasn’t that hot when I planned my capsule so it was hard for me to envision what I’d need.

If you don’t LOVE something in your capsule, you will not wear it. That polka dot blouse? It was in my donation pile twice and for some reason I saved it and added it to my capsule, where it sat unworn the whole time.

Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get it right the first time. If you realize you could have chosen better and it’s impacting the wear-ability of your closet, there are lots of ways to rectify things while still benefiting from the practice. Live and learn!

Now on to planning my September-November capsule.

Fall fashion is my very favorite so I am stoked!

Closet photo via Pinterest

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