What I Loved & What I Learned.
The premise of a capsule wardrobe is to have a small number of items you love to wear for a set amount of time. This season, I still had my favorites among the favorites. These items were either super basic or ultra versatile. They were also pieces that contributed to the style I tried to bring together in this wardrobe – a simple “Chic Mom” look. (See the full wardrobe and why I adopted the capsule approach.)
Instead of my typical modus operandi of buying 3 scoop neck t-shirts in different colors, I intentionally looked for tops that were either iconic “gamine” looks or had a distinguishing “chic” detail or feel to it. For example, a quirky pattern top, short-sleeved dolman sweater, and black scoop neck t-shirt are all trademark or gamine essential pieces. (These were all in my fall capsule.) Once you narrow down your style, you can start to build your wardrobe by collecting those essential pieces one by one. Here are the super stars of the season and why they were a hit.
What I loved.
Short-sleeved dolman sweater. I found this $6.00 wonder at Goodwill. Surprisingly, it was one of my favorite pieces. I wore it at least once a week – some times up to three. It invoked quite a few compliments over a white t-shirt and jeans. Originally, I was looking for a camel colored one, but was amazed by how well it worked with black-the dominant color for my fall capsule. I wore this cardi a LOT.
Black faux suede fit and flare skirt. This one stunned me. I was slightly hesitant about it, especially because it was a tad pricey for a previously owned garment, but I decided to give it a go because it was quite versatile. I could wear it with a top tucked in or out, giving it two completely different looks. I thought the “suede” texture was fun and new for me. The cut and color are very slimming. It was ultra comfortable and feminine. I plan to add it to my summer capsule and wear it for two seasons in 2016.
Military vest. This was one of my ultimate favorite pieces for fall and it will continue into winter. I really wanted one and was SO happy to find it at TJ Maxx. Truth be told, all the real fashion bloggers were wearing this a year or two ago. I’m just a mom at home trying to pull herself together every morning and have some semblance of style.
It’s such a fun piece that adds panache to jeans and a tee. I love the epaulets on the shoulders; I think they give it an European edge. I wore this on my son’s first day of kindergarten because I felt like his first of day school was also my first day of school. Don’t worry – I didn’t wear them with knee high socks!
Black tank. I bought this on sale at Macy’s for $7.00 and got what I paid for. By the second wash, the edge of the sleeve started unraveling and it developed a hole near the hem. Besides that drawback, I loved how versatile and comfortable it was. It got worn as soon as it was washed. To be fair, it did see me through two seasons, summer and fall, but I will be shopping for a better quality replacement next year.
Drapey cardigan. Also a TJ Maxx find, this cardi was fabulous. It had the drapey-capey look that is in vogue without the excess fabric. It’s so versatile because it looks completely different buttoned up or when open. I threw this over everything from dresses to jeans. I tried it on it at Nordstrom the year before, so I grabbed it Maxx as soon as I saw it.
Ivory tank. I found this at Target to replace a dingy white tank. The loose fit allows you to skip wearing an extra layer beneath and still stay modest. I wore it with a strapless undergarment for extra modesty points – no unsightly straps hanging out. More versatile than it looks, I wore it tucked in with skirts and the front tucked in or out with skinny jeans.
Leopard flats. Leopard print has been so popular for quite a few seasons that it’s now appearing on the “must have lists” for shoes by stylists everywhere. Frankly, they are versatile and classy. I know they aren’t for everyone, but I do love mine. These shoes are going on two years and you will see me wear them in 2016.
What I learned.
The biggest lesson I took from this season was to stop buying polyester! No matter how cute or low the price – no more polyester for me. I love knits and stretchy, breathable material no matter what the weather is. I found the best deal on the most adorable little button-down LBD, but frankly didn’t wear it as much as I could have because the heat made it uncomfortable.
It got colder sooner than I expected. I got stuck trying so hard to wear my capsule for the “whole” season and was miserably cold at the beginning of November. The capsule wardrobe is supposed to work for you, not against you. There are no rules as to when a new season starts, so I decided to transition into my winter wardrobe two weeks earlier than I had anticipated.
Once I got over that hump, the transition to my winter capsule wardrobe was easy. All I did was swap out the lightweight summer fabrics for warmer replacements. I exchanged tanks for long sleeve shirts and my summer cardigans for thicker knit sweaters, 2 knit tunics, and 1 flannel shirt dress replaced the 3 fall dresses. I also added two pairs of pants.
The winter wardrobe was the easiest capsule I have created because it was based off of the fall wardrobe. I kept the same theme and color scheme. Putting the capsules together gets easier and easier. As I hone down my personal style, more clothes overlap between seasons and the less I need to buy the next year.
Putting your own capsule together? Want ideas? Download my checklist of 12 Top Trends for Winter 2016. Tips on how to use the checklist are included. Click on the link to get styling tips for winter and my Trendsetter Winter Checklist
Want more tips on creating a capsule? Amy at Mom Advice put together a Top 25 Wardrobe Planning Printables and Tools!
How did your fall capsule go? What were your favorite items?