I’m back to conclude this 2-part series on building your capsule wardrobe. Today I’ll show you some of my favorite capsule wardrobe inspirations from the blogs Un-fancy, A Girl Obsessed, and The Blissful Mind. As well as give you a look at a capsule wardrobe I put together.
Now on to the fun part, planning your capsule wardrobe!
As mentioned in my previous post, a general guideline for the number of pieces a capsule wardrobe contains is 30-40. This includes clothes, shoes, and outerwear (Pajamas, accessories, fitness apparel and special-occasion outfits do not count.). You can always create a collection with the number of pieces that make you feel comfortable. If you would like a 60 piece collection go for it! Or if you’re feeling daring and cut your collection down to 20 items, hooray. It’s totally up to you and what fits your lifestyle. Rector of Un-fancy.com chose to make her collection 37 items while Culver of Project333 decided on 33 key pieces.
A simplified structure for crafting your capsule wardrobe, suggested by Rector is to select in three’s. She chose three – flats, heels, boots, skirts, shorts, and jeans. This way you can pick one casual, one dressy and one in between. You may want to select more than three tops as this can become a bit repetitive with too few selections. Nine tops may be a good starting point, three dressy, three casual and three in between. And with the remaining items you can mix them with dresses, outerwear and shoes.
Below are a few examples of capsule wardrobes from some of my favorite online muses:
What I love about Mandy’s capsule collection is the chic dressed down approach she incorporated into her Autumn/Winter capsule. There are lots of great basics, like stripes and plaids and denim that you can easily pair with ballet flats and an elegant handbag to create an elevated look. This gives you fantastic options for both day and night.
Catherine, on the other hand, has a more office friendly vibe to her capsule collection. I very much enjoy the way she mixes blouses and basics which can be weekend or workday appropriate. She has an excellent collection of sophisticated pieces but uses color and pattern to make her outfits a bit more playful and fun.
Finally the authority on capsule wardrobes, Caroline from Un-fancy has a very downtown, cool girl vibe to her collection. Her items all have a monochrome feel and when mixed together look edgy and modern.
Now a look at my capsule collection.
Similarly, to Catherine of The Blissful Mind, I like having items in my closet that work well for the office and on the weekends. Having tops that can easily pair with jeans or dress pants makes life a little easier. I am also a huge fan of patterns and feminine style. So incorporating lighter colors and more playful pieces mixed in with basics would my route. Finally, because temperatures can change from indoor to outdoor settings, I like to keep short sleeves and sleeveless in my winter rotation but also include cardigans and jackets to layer. So without further ado.
For outerwear, I primarily stuck to the basics. I chose a fun wool coat with an adorable faux fur detail that will keep me from being bored. There are a couple of oversized cardigans that are perfect to wear alone or to layer. A trusty moto jacket that will make any outfit edgier and a couple of cute blazers for good measure. I feel the blazers are both work appropriate and night on the town worthy.
The items from (top)left to right are as follows:
- Gray wool coat with fur trim
- Faux leather black moto jacket
- Cream shawl collar cardigan with dolman sleeves
- Black jersey blazer with single button closure
- Oversized gray cardigan with button closure and pockets
- Black peplum jacket with zipper closure
In my selection of tops I did end up with more black and white pieces than I originally intended, but they are so easy to mix and match and provide a good base. Since I had late winter and early spring in mind, I chose a lot of shirts that I could layer and vary in sleeve length. I really like tops that have adjustable sleeves, which allow you to wear them long on colder days and rolled up on warmer days.
The items from (top) left to right are as follows:
- Zebra sweater with a mock bow undershirt layer
- Black knit with ruffle sleeves
- Black tunic with adjustable sleeves
- Off-white knit sweater with lace trim
- Mint blouse with three-quarter sleeves
- Gray knit top with contrast collar and lace trim
- Black and white polka dot tunic with adjustable sleeves
- Sheep print blouse with ruffles
- Black and white heart print blouse with pussy bow
- White and blue horse patterned blouse with adjustable sleeves
- Navy blue anchor print blouse with ruffle sleeves
Next up are bottoms for my capsule wardrobe. I played it pretty safe here; I selected some great basics like black slacks, a mid-thigh length black skirt, and two pairs of Levis. I did include two items with patterns so that I could create a more playful look when I’m in the mood.
Here are links to my choices from (top) left to right:
- Vegan leather skirt with wrap front
- Mid-rise patterned trouser
- Levis jeans
- Gap skinny black ankle pant
- Black wrap front skirt with shorts
- Levis black jeans
- Fit and flare midi length polka dot skirt
I kept it pretty simple when picking out dresses for my capsule collection. I went with a very simple little black dress that you can layer over a button up to maximize my number of looks. I also added a festive polka dot dress for a special occasion or date night, and finally, I included a very classic shirtdress that you can wear alone with over the knee boots or over pants. The shirtdress is also a great piece to layer a cardigan or sweater over.
Links to the items are below from (top) left to right:
- Black and white polka dot color block dress
- Little black dress
- Light blue striped classic shirtdress
Finally, shoes!! I’m actually not a big shoe or handbag person myself. I usually find shoes that are comfortable and multi-purpose and wear them until they fall apart. So for the shoe portion of my capsule wardrobe, I kept it pretty minimal, sorry shoe loving ladies! Since we are still in winter months I decided to throw in two pairs of over the knee boots. This is because when early spring hits you can still wear them with bare legs. I have black heels, black flats and cute black booties which are excellent wardrobe staples. Also, I had to add in a pair of sneakers. I really love the way a classic white sneaker looks with pretty much everything. You can wear them with dresses, slacks or denim, so they are always #1 in my book!
Links to the items are as follows from (top) left to right:
- Black pumps with silver stacked heel
- Black pointed toe flat
- Brown over the knee suede boots
- Black over the knee leather boots
- White Keds sneakers
- Black bootie
And that’s a wrap! I ended up going the Project333 route and landing on 33 pieces in my first capsule wardrobe.
Thank you all so much for checking out this two-part series on creating a capsule wardrobe for 2016. While I’m not 100% ready to take the plunge into only utilizing a capsule wardrobe, I have decided to establish a work capsule collection. My hope is that the extra time I have in the mornings, instead of trying to figure out what to wear, can be spent on creating an intention for the day. Reading the paper, enjoying breakfast and feeling more calm and collected before heading out the door. I’d love to hear about your experience with capsule wardrobes in the comments section! Feel free to link your blog as well!
Sonya – Founder, Idol Collective