Lessons with the Capsule Wardrobe

Hello Readers!  It’s Hump Day!  I am already looking forward to the weekend, and I’ll know more next week about my possible trip back to my hometown.  So today I want to take a moment to get into discussing a capsule wardrobe and some of my revelations that I’ve discovered while working on it.  Now, if you aren’t sure what the capsule wardrobe is, the best definition is that it’s a set of versatile clothing items that can be mixed and matched to form different outfits and looks, using less items to create more outfits.

Now, the first lesson to learn is to first discover your style and what fits you best.  This is sometimes tough to do, and even I have struggled with this.  I have a whole board on Pinterest devoted to the Capsule Wardrobe, including wardrobes that I like and ones I would like to do.  But not all of them match my style.  I am a classics girl, and I am a full-on casual gal!  Give me jeans over a skirt any day.  But my lifestyle doesn’t require dresses and skirts.  In fact, it requires the opposite!  Our city of Reno is the second windiest city in the U.S., and almost every day is windy.  And the wind is not kind to dresses or skirts.  So owning a ton of dresses is pointless here.

I also am a short and, now, squat kind of woman.  I have always had a fairly straight figure.  Even now, my waist is only a couple of inches smaller than my hips and chest.  So I have to be careful with what I wear.  Flowy pieces make me look bigger than I am.  And straight jeans tend to draw attention to my block-like frame.  So, I try to stick to empire waists, faux wraps and wraps, bootcut jeans, leggings/jeggings/skinny jeans, and figure-forming pieces.

To add to that my lifestyle is full of casual activities: SAHM, house cleaning, going to the park/zoo/library/museum, casual dates to the movies, visiting family on informal occasions, and similar occasions.  I rarely have any formal occasions like weddings or parties to attend.  If I need to attend something more formal, a simple dress or skirt that I can dress up would be sufficient.  I do have a few dressier events, but dressing up my jeans or wearing a pair of slacks instead would work.  Thus, my style really is classic casual.

But most capsule wardrobes focus on a more business classic or dressy classic style.  It can be quite difficult to see beyond those wardrobes to find what works best for you.  To add to that, there are lists everywhere that detail what exactly belongs in a capsule wardrobe.  But not everyone needs the same things.  So, here’s a list of what I feel everyone needs in their capsule wardrobe.

  1. A simple tee shirt.  This can be white, or black, or whatever color you want.  My favorite tee shirt is a black Windy Tee by Simply Vera Vera Wang at Kohl’s.  It’s lightweight, soft, and comfortable, yet the wavy design of the fabric provides a great detail to the simple tee.
  2. A favorite pair of jeans.  Bootcut, straight, skinny, boyfriend, mom jeans.  Whatever works for you that you love and flatter you.  For me, it’s a pair of dark bootcut jeans from Woman Within.  As a bonus, my jeans have an elastic side, which is great for my straight frame.
  3. A simple dress.  Yes, even I have one of these.  A little black dress or a little white dress would be just fine for this.  Mine is a black Zephyr Heights dress by Columbia at Kohl’s.
  4. A classic cardigan.  This is a button down one of your choice.  A classic button front that can be worn as a layer or a stand alone top is an awesome choice.  My favorite is a black solid Button Front Cardigan by Croft & Barrow, again from Kohl’s.
  5. A pair of pants.  Slacks, leggings, ankle pants, trousers.  The choice is yours.  My absolute favorite for this is a pair of No Nonsense black leggings, which can be found at stores everywhere.
  6. A button down shirt or two.  A White oxford shirt.  A Chambray shirt.  A silk blouse.  The choice is yours.  I love my Chambray Shirt by SONOMA Goods for Life from Kohl’s and my White Oxford Shirt from Apt. 9 at Kohl’s.  If I had to choose one, I’d choose my Chambray Shirt.
  7. A favorite skirt.  This is a tough one for me because I don’t get the opportunity to wear skirts that much anymore.  But I do believe you need to have at least one skirt that you love.  It could be a jean skirt.  It could be a pencil skirt.  A Maxi skirt.  It’s up to you.  I do have one skirt that is ages old but that I like.  I like the fit of it (a maxi skirt) and I like the current colors of black and green patterns.  But my evolution of my capsule wardrobe will mean that it won’t fit completely.  I did find a good substitute that I fell in love with at Kohl’s, and it fits my style and new capsule wardrobe.  It’s a blue stripe Gauze Button Front Skirt by Studio 253 at Kohl’s.
  8. A good pair of shoes.  Ballet flats.  Heels.  Pumps.  Loafers.  Sneakers.  The possibilities are endless and they all depend on your style and comfort level.  I have a pair of black loafers by A2 by Aerosoles that I got from Kohl’s right now that I love.  I also have my eyes on two other pairs of flats: a navy pair of Chuck Taylors by Converse, and a black and white striped pair of Cortini flats by Journee Collection at Kohl’s.
  9. A favorite coat.  This can be a parka, a bomber, a peacoat.  It should be a wintry coat that best fits the weather you encounter in your region.  In our region we get cold weather that requires heavier coats than others may get.  For this, I have a red wool peacoat by Croft & Barrow from Kohl’s.  But I’m also looking to get a 3-in-1 parka system with a wind breaker shell (water resistant, if possible, to double as a rain coat) and a puffer parka inner coat.  This type of coat would work year round as the shell can be used separately for warmer weather and the full system will work for the colder Winter months.
  10. A favorite sweater.  This could be sleeveless if you live in  warm climate.  This could be heavy duty if you live in a colder region.  It can be patterned or plain.  My absolute favorite is an old navy and white striped v neck thick sweater by Tommy Hilfiger.

These ten articles of clothing are simple pieces that most women do already own and can use in their capsule wardrobe.  What I look for when I start planning my wardrobe are these qualities in my clothes: versatility, quality, cost efficiency, and multiple uses (such as a maxi skirt can double as a strapless dress, a button down cardigan as a sweater, etc).  These aspects of the pieces I choose can really help pull my wardrobe together, sometimes better than the color scheme.  And I hope that this list will also help you understand what kinds of clothing you can find for you capsule wardrobe.

Until next time,

-BBM

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