Spring 2017 Capsule Wardrobe

IMG_5487

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:

IMG_5489

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.

IMG_5490

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.

IMG_5488

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!

Standard

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.

Standard

Fall 2015 Capsule Wardrobe

fall closet

 My favorite clothing season is here! I love, love, love Fall fashion and I had a ton of fun planning this capsule. I have an affinity for dark and edgy pieces so this capsule was right up my alley to plan. Things I kept in mind going in:

Overall “feel” of my capsule. In my Summer capsule I didn’t choose my pieces with each other in mind and because of that I had a harder time mixing and matching.

What do I love to wear in Fall? Leather, leggings, plaid, skinny jeans and long tops came to mind so I included lots of those. I also included a couple of maxi dresses that I can wear now when it’s still warm and transition with boots and jackets later in the season.

Stick to a color palette. In the Summer, I didn’t really have one and again, this made mixing and matching more difficult.

First I considered what pieces I would roll over from my current capsule:

  • Black Caftan Dress
  • Grey Racerback Maxi
  • Black Blazer
  • Black Cardigan
  • Camo Jacket
  • Soft Black Pant
  • Dark Blue Skinny Jean
  • Fleetwood Mac Concert Tee
  • Tres Cool Top
  • Black Tunic Blouse
  • Basic Black Tank

Then I looked at the items in storage that I could use:

  • Floral Blazer
  • Grey Sweater Coat
  • Oxblood Leather Jacket
  • Studded Black Leather Jacket
  • Blue Plaid Cape
  • Black Jumpsuit
  • Basic Black Leggings
  • Shiny Black Leggings
  • Black Snakeskin Pant
  • Navy Graphic Tank
  • Blue/Green Plaid Shirt
  • Chambray Shirt
  • Studded Black Tank
  • Navy Print Kimono

I considered these pieces and could clearly see that my emerging color palette was mostly blue, black, white and grey. I decided for the shopping portion to look for pieces that would work with those colors. I decided I could use a few new tops and a pair of black skinny jeans. I also left room in my budget for one fun wild card piece, something I didn’t plan for that spoke to me. I gave myself a limit of $300 and I did a TON of planning for the capsule, easily two weeks’ worth of pre shopping and scouting for items I wanted to try on when the time came.

We had our Calgary trip planned for mid-August and this was when I did my shopping. I ended up buying mostly only items I had already scouted out and then tried on but I still didn’t find that one special wild card piece. After quite a bit of contemplation I decided I would splurge on a statement necklace from Baublebar, specifically the Courtney Bib in silver. I’ve lusted after it for months and knew I would wear it a ton. Technically jewelry isn’t part of my capsule but I figured putting the money toward an accessory I’d get a lot of use out of was better than settling on another clothing piece I wasn’t stoked about.

I bought:

  • Black Skinny Jeans
  • Grey Paris Graphic Tee
  • Army Green Tunic
  • Indigo Cowl Sweatshirt
  • Black and White Plaid Blouse
  • Black and White Print Kimono

The cost of these clothing items was $213 total.

Here is my finished capsule, 31 pieces to be exact. Keep in mind that many of these items were old so I had to find something similar to give you an idea of what I chose. I debated skipping this part but I love visualizing when I read these types of posts and I decided that close is better than nothing at all in this case.

outerwear

dresses

tops

tops2

Bottoms

 

Outerwear

Floral Blazer    Sweater Coat      Oxblood Leather Jacket

Black Blazer    Studded Black Leather Jacket    Black Cardigan

Blue Plaid Cape     Camouflage Jacket

Dresses

Black Jumpsuit    Black Caftan    Grey Racerback Maxi

Bottoms

Dark Blue Skinny Jean   Basic Black Leggings   Shiny Black Leggings

Black Snakeskin Pant    Soft Black Pant   Black Skinny Jean

Tops

Navy Graphic Tank       Grey Paris Graphic Tee

Tres Cool Top      Fleetwood Mac Concert Tee

Army Green Tunic      Black Tunic Blouse

Blue/Green Plaid Shirt      Chambray Shirt

 Indigo Cowl Sweatshirt       Studded Black Tank

Basic Black Tank        Black and White Plaid Blouse

Navy Print Kimono           Black and White Print Kimono

That’s it for now! I can’t wait to put it into action this Fall.

Main Image via Pinterest

Standard

Summer Capsule Recap

closet

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

Standard

My Capsule Wardrobe Picks

minimal closet

While planning my capsule, I knew I didn’t need much in terms of buying new as I had just picked up some new things and already have a lot of great basics. I did need a pair of slip on sandals and a black shrug and I’d really been wanting a full black midi skirt and knew it would be versatile this Summer.

Now let’s talk about that neon pink beauty below. Impractical? Maybe, but I’ve been lusting after it forever. I decided that my capsule could use an injection of colour and fun and nothing else compared to that skirt for me. By the time I was ready to say yes though, my size was sold out! Oh, the horror. By some miracle though, it finally happened to come back in stock last week, also on the day of a 50% off sale! If that’s not fate, I don’t know what is.

My allowed budget for these four items was $200 and purchasing everything on sale allowed me to get them all for $197! Just under the gun…I’m pretty stoked about that.

I’m always such a lover of black but I really wanted to make sure I picked enough colorful pieces for Summer so I don’t get stuck in a rut. I can brighten up things with shoes and accessories so that helps too. I also wanted to include a few layering pieces because my office is often freezing and 9 times out of 10 on a Summer day at work, you’ll still find me wearing a blazer or cardigan over my sundress.

I have included photos of the items I chose for a visual reference. If I couldn’t find the item online anymore I found a photo that was as close as possible.

Here are the pieces for my Summer Capsule, in no particular order:
army green tee      Black Tunic Blouse BlueGreen Plaid Camouflage JacketBlack LeggingsBlack Caftan DressBlack and White Stripe TeeDenim ShirtdressBasic Black TankGreen Print KimonoSleeveless Coral DressTres Cool Graphic TeeBermuda ShortBlack ShrugSleeveless Black MaxiFleetwood Mac Concert Teedark skinny jeansPrinted Joggergrey baseball teeSoft Black PantFull Black Midi SkirtSheer Polka Dot BlouseLightweight Black CardiganHot Pink Midi SkirtSnakeskin Dress

Leopard BlouseLightweight Black BlazerJean JacketMarilyn Monroe Graphic Tee

Dresses:

  • Black caftan dress
  • Denim shirt dress
  • Black and white snakeskin print dress
  • Black sleeveless maxi dress
  • Sleeveless coral print dress

Bottoms:

  • Dark blue skinny jeans
  • Black leggings
  • Full black midi skirt
  • Black Bermuda shorts
  • Black jogger
  • Printed jogger
  • Neon pink midi skirt

Tops:

  • Lightweight black cardigan
  • Marilyn Monroe graphic tee
  • Fleetwood Mac concert tee
  • Leopard print blouse
  • Polka dot blouse
  • Black tunic blouse
  • Green printed kimono
  • Black shrug
  • Blue/green plaid shirt
  • “Tres Cool” top
  • Black tank
  • Grey baseball tee
  • Army green tee
  • Black and white striped tee

Outerwear:

  • Camouflage jacket
  • Jean jacket
  • Lightweight black blazer

I have downloaded the Pureple app to have my capsule at my fingertips. That way when I am feeling bored with my options I can play around to get inspired again.

I’m really excited about starting this journey and will keep you posted with my thoughts!

Main Image via Pinterest

Standard