Friday, June 28, 2013

Capsule Wardrobe (Summer 2013)

Hint for boys: This is probably a post you'll want to skip!

cornflower blue t-shirt:

My Mom and I were talking on the phone the other day as I was cleaning the closet and working on this plan, and she said, "I don't get how all the tops and all the bottoms in a capsule can go together."  
So I thought I would create this post to give a visual example.

I have gotten a lot of inspiration from these websites:
Note: Into Mind is super well-organized and more extensive, but fascinating!
I went through the process she writes about on one of my rest days and found it helpful.  She talks about creating a concept, building a color palette, and a bunch of other interesting things.  It may be your cup of tea to think about those things or it may not!

Here's one for women over 40 who like COLOR! 
(Too many minimal wardrobes are boring neutrals - not me!)

And you can browse Pinterest for more ideas, too.

I've been reading up on capsules of various kinds, and I am experimenting with a more minimal direction in a few areas.

I am figuring out the wardrobe part, and now I'm going to be working on figuring out a capsule of beauty products (I think I'm mostly there already - I don't branch out much in skin care, make-up, or hair care products), a capsule of cleaning supplies and products, and a capsule of pantry items.  I think I'm pretty much there on those two fronts, too, but I would like to narrow it down in writing.
I'm sure many of you are much smarter than I am and you've already figured this out, 
but it's not natural for me!

So I cleaned our closet earlier this week and brought out the items that lend themselves easily to being in a capsule.  I practiced training my mind by telling myself I was packing for my annual trip to Minnesota to visit our families. And I will use these items as my base items for that upcoming trip.

I have a casual feminine style.  I like color.  I like comfortable, stretchy clothes, partially because I don't like tight things on my stomach (ouch!) and partially because I move around a lot (cleaning, cooking, playing on the floor with kids, running errands) and don't like to be hampered by clothing.
I wear a skirt pretty much every day, but I like to wear them in a low-key way.
I live in a VERY casual state in a VERY hot climate 
(right now my outside thermometer says 111.2, but my phone says it's 115 in Chandler right now!)
To make sure I am not too sloppy, I ask myself, "Would I feel comfortable conducting a training or meeting with a new client in this outfit?"  

 In order to keep myself from appearing too formal, I ask myself, "Would I feel comfortable in this outfit at the beach?"  
(Usually with a quick switch to flip-flops, my outfit would be beach-ready . . . not that there's a beach anywhere nearby. . . ).

If I say yes to both questions, I know that I have a good outfit!

So here are the basics of what I will take with me on our trip this year:


pink t-shirt:
black & white daisy-print roll-sleeve top: Dalia's from Marshalls

cornflower blue t-shirt:

gray t-shirt:

logan green t-shirt:

red t-shirt:


In the summer, most of the bottoms I wear are skirts (cotton and often flowy).  They allow for air to circulate (!) and are feminine at the same time.

muddy green tiered skirt: thrifted

yellow & white polka-dot skirt: Eileen Fisher (I think), from Marshalls

black & white striped skirt:

turquoise denim skirt: Jones New York (I think), Marshalls

denim pencil skirt:

black denim skirt: Gloria Vanderbilt from T.J. Maxx

skinny jeans: don't know brand, from T.J. Maxx, I think . . . maybe Ross.
I think these jeans were $7 or something ridiculously low like that!

skinny stripe boyfriend jeans: DKNY, from Macy's
brand new this month and I LOVE THESE JEANS!


The "third piece" or "finishing piece" is usually something that's not necessary to the outfit, but that adds functionality (such as a sweater in a cool restaurant) or spices things up a bit (such as a patterned overshirt or sweater).  I don't get to wear them much at home in Arizona in the summer because it's just too hot for layers!

floral chambray shirt: Forever 21

camel v-neck cardigan:
Are you noticing a theme about where I buy a lot of basics?  :)

gray cable-knit sweater:

navy & white striped sweater:


As you can see from the above items, most of the patterns and interest in this capsule are in the finishing pieces.  I am not a big accessorizer; I wear the same small range of dainty jewelry almost every day.  
I like simple outfits (I don't typically like scarves, complicated jewelry, or belts), so that works for me.  
I prefer interest in my outfits to come in the form of bright cheerful colors rather than crazy patterns.

I am a big believer in YELLOW and METALLIC shoes and bags.  They look good with everything and add a little extra interest!

yellow ballet flats - DSW

pewter flats with flower - AK Anne Klein iFlex from DSW

striped straw hat: found at Kohl's for $2! 

multi-colored faceted stone necklace: Fossil, saw on my friend Jihae,
found on eBay

necklace by J. Crew:
It's 45" long and I will wear it hanging down straight or maybe tied in a loose knot.
It will make a simple outfit more interesting
Also there's no/minimal metal, so it won't make me get an itchy rash! 

I didn't take pictures of stuff like my swimming suit & cover-up, my flip-flops, my exercise clothes, and that sort of stuff, even though of course I will be taking those things along, too.

So now, the mixing!

I asked myself the question when considering an item:
Does this top/bottom go with almost every bottom/top in the capsule?

Let's use the red t-shirt as an example.
*Does the pink t-shirt work with the muddy green tiered skirt?  YES
*Does the pink t-shirt work with the yellow polka-dot skirt?  YES
(I know many of you would not wear these colors together, but I believe yellow goes great with everything!)
* Does the pink t-shirt work with the black & white striped skirt?  YES
. . . 
And at the end of the list, the only bottom that I wouldn't pair with the pink t-shirt is the turquoise skirt.
Any of the finishing pieces can be worn with ANY of the outfit options.
And any of the accessories except the hat (which has navy stripes, so I wouldn't pair them with an outfit that had black in it) can be worn with any of the outfit options.

So THAT is the idea behind a capsule wardrobe - almost everything works well with almost everything else!
Minimal fuss, minimal frustration trying to figure out a reasonably cute outfit whilst digging around in a messy suitcase.

Have any of you experimented with this sort of wardrobe planning?
What about beauty products or pantry items?

Those are next for me!

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