my accidental capsule

I recently noticed that I've been pulling from the same collection of clothing when putting together outfits since about October. After doing the 30x30 last spring and a workwear 7x7 in the summer, I got a pretty good grasp on the whole idea behind creating a capsule. The point is to get a lot of use out of your clothes by mixing wardrobe staples with interesting stand out pieces...again and again. Who doesn't want to love their clothes? When I'm standing in LOFT or scrolling through ASOS (my two favorite four-letter words), and I spot something I can't live without, I want to know that I really couldn't live without it. This sounds dramatic, but my point is that I want my clothing to have a real purpose in my closet and in my life, and using the capsule as a guide has helped me do that.

I thought it would be fun to share my fall/winter 2015 "capsule" with y'all to show you what can come from the basics of capsule dressing. My preface for this is that I don't blog everything I wear, so there have been a few more variations on outfits than you see here, and also a lot of repeats of these outfits over the last few months.

fall-winter-capsule-2015

The items:
Tops // teal blouse, black floral blouse, grey tee, gingham shirt, emerald sweater, white sweater
Dresses // LBD, burgundy floral dress, teal printed dress
Outerwear // grey cardigan, black blazer, navy blazer
Bottoms // gold skirt, black midi skirt, tweed mini, polka dot skirt, black skinnies, blue skinnies
Shoes // berry flats, brown flats, silver flats, black flats, tan booties, black boots, cognac boots

The thing I think is most interesting here, as a blogger, is that I didn't share brand new clothes every outfit post. For a whole season, I pulled from the same pile of clothes to make new outfits that wore in my real life. Some of these items are new, but many of them are from seasons' past. Because of my experience with capsules, I was able to think in terms of color palette (check out a really cool perspective on color palettes here!) and remixing options when I shopped for a few new items this season. 

I think this is as good a time as any to say this: for me, capsule dressing is not about minimalism. I am not a minimalist. It's just not in my blood, and even though it's something I could try to do if I really wanted to (I do love a good goal), I don't want to. I don't want to be a minimalist. What I want is to make better outfits and have a better closet. These are my goals when I'm shopping. Not to own less things. I love owning things! Judge me all you want, but I do me and I support you doing you. This is a judge-free, minimalist-free zone, my friends.

For me, the idea of a capsule wardrobe is about being able to put on clothes without having a major breakdown every time. In a lot of ways, my attraction to the idea of capsule collections is an attempt to cope with my anxiety, depression, and deeply-rooted body issues. If my closet is full of things that make me 1. happy 2. feel good, I'm going to get through my day in a better mood, get more done, and avoid crying in the kitchen at work because I hate the way my sweater looks with my dress.

To be honest, the whole capsule idea sort of goes back to the reason I started blogging. I don't think I'm the best dressed person and I know my outfits aren't that interesting. So why do I blog outfits? Because I think maybe someone will get a little inspiration for how they can style that one item in their closet they feel clueless about; maybe something I post will be their new favorite item to wear; maybe they'll feel more confident trying something new or getting in touch with the clothes in their closet or how to shop for new ones.

If you're interested in hearing more perspectives on capsule collections, I super encourage you to check out what Fran and Adina have to say.

8 comments

  1. I've started playing around with seasonal capsule collections also. I am personally trying to focus a bit more on the minimalist approach, but I really appreciated you sharing your own take on the subject. I think you are completely right, in the end it's just about us inspiring and encouraging one another to feel our best. I like your style by the way and I really enjoy the outfit posts you share. I would love to see more posts like this at the end of each season. To really see how you have changed it up and adapted it over the months.

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  2. While I had full intentions of continuing with a new capsule for winter, I never formally got it together. It was being utilized, but I never made it final. I've added a handful of things, mostly just replacing items or adding things that worked well with what I already had going on. Doing the two capsules that I did helped me grasp the color palette of my closet and has helped me do like you and only add things that I love. (This is my favorite post about color palettes: http://bit.ly/1AOaMZS) Even though it may sound dramatic, it's true. I love seeing your outfits. I like it when bloggers show their own personal style and don't feel the need to go over the top all the time.

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  3. I so appreciate you saying that about sharing personal style. I had a lot of reservations in posting this because it's not a perfect "collection" and there are lots of things I would add and change. I just wanted to show a real perspective on what the ideas behind capsules can do for a real closet that is being used by a real woman.


    Also, yes! I LOVE that post from Into Mind! It was the inspiration behind Adina's post that I linked to, and I've had a blast referring back to the beautiful palettes as I start to shop/curate for spring and summer.

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  4. I'm like you in that I could never do an entire capsule wardrobe. I add too many thrifted items each month and my tastes change quite a bit. Your loose capsule wardrobe shows that you are coming into knowing exactly what your unique style is. You've obviously found pieces that you love because you keep reaching for them. Well done girl!

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  5. I think you're a really well-dressed person and I think your outfits are very interesting. I like that these projects helped you get in touch with your roots. You do the capsule thing well without getting boring.

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  6. Alison @ Peacoat DiariesFebruary 23, 2015 at 9:23 AM

    I think that anything that helps you see your wardrobe a little differently is a wonderful tool -- whether you do a formal capsule project or just try to apply the basic principles, you'll definitely learn something!


    This is one of the reasons I started blogging -- I can't just buy, buy, buy, so I wanted a way to be a bit more thoughtful and reflective about what's in my closet and what I should add to it. And I love getting inspiration from other real-life style blogs :)


    I've had an idea that I'm hoping to try out soon...I want to invite a friend (someone with a different aesthetic) to go through my closet and put together some looks. I'm sure I'd get some options that I never would have considered before, and maybe even think differently about potential additions.

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  7. I love this!! All of these outfits are so spot on and chic! I've never been into the capsule wardrobe idea because it's always seemed like something for minimalists, which I'm not, but the way you talked about it make it seem like something I could actually do!
    ~Sara

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  8. I have many, many things to say about this, my dear - so I'm pre-apologizing for what I think might be kind of a long comment...


    First of all, I have to applaud you for putting together some fantastic outfits over the past several months. You know exactly what colors, items, and silhouettes look amazing on you, and the fact that you FEEL amazing in them is even better.


    Second, the paragraph in which you talk about a capsule wardrobe serving the purpose for helping you feel good in the clothes that you wear is so wonderful. You put into words exactly what I've been wrestling with over the past several months (okay, let's just be real - I struggle with this ALL THE DAMN TIME). I hate that feeling of desperation when you're trying to get dressed and absolutely nothing feels or looks good/comfortable. It's been happening more often than I like lately, and it's really discouraging. I feel like throwing out everything in my closet that has made me feel icky and just keeping the essentials around (aka lotttts of dresses and skinny pants and flowy tops!!).


    I've done many-a-capsule wardrobe (am wrapping up my second 3-month-long one right now), and for me, there is a little bit of minimalism attached to it. I get really overwhelmed with a full closet, so I like dabbling in capsule wardrobes to help me really understand that I don't need to have one-of-everything-in-the-store-thank-you-very-much in order to get dressed and feel like I'm creating unique outfits. I absolutely couldn't be one of those people who only has like 10 shirts and 2 pairs of pants in her closet, though. It's all about finding a happy medium for myself between owning enough to feel satisfied and keep my creative juices flowing and not too much that I get overwhelmed.


    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this - you always do such a wonderful job of expressing what you think and being so open to discussion. Again, it's one of the things I admire most about you, my friend.

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