Fall 2016 Capsule Wardrobe

My last capsule wardrobe was during the 4-6 final weeks of my pregnancy with Moira when it was pretty easy to limit my clothing choices to the smaller number of items that still fit. That was actually, technically my first capsule wardrobe. I’ve been intrigued by the concept for a long time — pinning and researching other people’s wardrobes, but never quite ready to commit. I was never ready to follow all “the rules” required by a minimalist/capsule wardrobe. Like 25 pieces ONLY, or a set palette of black, white, and gray (example only). I don’t wear ALL the colors of the rainbow, but I love a good splash of color or fun pattern that may not match with everything else in my wardrobe. And sometimes you realize that a piece you thought you loved, really doesn’t work!

I finally stumbled across the blog of Amy Allen Clark (who happens to actually live in my area and I recently started reading her book The Good Life for Less!). Amy’s post on a capsule wardrobe outlines a modified version of the Project333 capsule wardrobe and I’m a big fan of the revisions she made. She gives herself a little leeway with the number of items and exceptions for shopping on special occasions, but the true concept of a capsule wardrobe still applies. Below are her stipulations that I’ll be following for the next 3 months (September, October, November)!

+/- 33 Piece Wardrobe – The wardrobe can have 33 pieces in it (or more… or less, but not more than 40). This wardrobe does not include pajamas (I’m going to downsize my PJ collection…promise), workout gear, undergarments, or camisoles (something that is a necessity for me), jewelry or shoes (these can make or break an outfit!).  The capsule is made from items I already own and all of the items I am not wearing and still love are being tucked in storage for the next fashion capsule. Anything I decide to get rid of will be sent to ThredUp (use this link to get $10!) or Goodwill.  I have created a Capsule Wardrobe Outfit Inspiration Pinterest board to help inspire me with the pieces I am using.  

Choose 3 More for Rotating – Select three additional items and put them aside in the closet. Rotate these items in during the next three months, but three other items have to be rotated out. Consider donating those items. 

No Shoe Shopping – I am not including my shoes for this challenge, but I am challenging myself to not buy any more shoes and use what I already have. 

One Steal Per Month – Special occasions and events come up and I am allowing myself one steal per month from items that I already own. I may find I don’t need this, but I think it might help with the shopping bug.

No Shopping For Clothing – I will wear the clothes I have selected and not shop for three months and only shop two weeks prior to the next capsule for items for the next season if needed. This is going to require a lot of discipline for me and I am planning to unsubscribe to shopping newsletters and avoid the shops as much as possible.

I have a couple goals with this capsule wardrobe. I’d like to make getting dressed a little more simple every morning and still feel put together, even if I’m just staying in the house (which, as a work-from-home mom, is more often the case). I also want to curb my spending on clothes, and really just the urge to shop. I don’t spend that much (maybe $800 a year?) but I know that these dollars could be put to better use elsewhere. And I don’t want to get into the same habit in shopping for my children’s clothes. I’ll probably be working on capsule wardrobes for the kiddos next, a la Andrea Dekker! I don’t think I’ll go quite as minimal as this mom but I like the direction of this one, especially with winter coming up!

Even as I was starting to prep for this capsule, all I wanted to do was shop for some new “key pieces”! When, in reality, a better way to start is to sort through what I already own and determine what I really love or, a la KonMari, whatever “sparks joy”. So, I’ve been trying to do that. I won’t say I haven’t bought anything… because I have. But I’m looking forward wearing to using those pieces in the next few months. And the encouraging part about the Project333 style capsule is that you can still invest in new pieces at the start of each season! A 3-month capsule seems so much more doable, knowing that I will be able to change in/out items as the weather changes. Because my personal preferences change just about as often. But maybe as I’m going through this process again, I’ll be able to identify what I really love and what looks best on me.

So, without further ado (drumroll please), here are the pieces for my Fall 2016 Capsule Wardrobe:

So this is 32 pieces total. I haven’t completely figured out my 3 pieces to retain in… that may come to me as I really get into creating outfits. What I’ve discovered already is that I really love pretty/fun/pattern pieces, but they are often harder to style. I had to reduce the number of patterned pieces I included, and try to stick with more solids or simple patterns. I can always add fun patterns or colors with scarfs or jewelry.
I plan on posting more outfit photos as I go, but for now, here’s one of my fav new tops styled three different ways.
Blouse + Bootcut Jeans + Ankle Boots
After spying a similar blouse during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, I fell in love with the color but couldn’t commit. I kept an eye out for something similar and found this version at Rue21 (which is weird because I pretty much never shop there… it was a random walk-through) for just $16.99 (not it’s on sale for 50% off!). And it’s been the perfect addition for my fall wardrobe — this is an easy outfit for staying at home or running errands. I can pop my leather jacket on top if the weather is chilly. I absolutely love these jeans although, sadly, it doesn’t look like Gap makes them anymore. These are all I could find online, and I’m considering purchasing this pair as my “back up”. I’ll have to wear these for all they’re worth! These ankle boots are super comfortable, too!

Blouse + Floral Skirt + Brown Wedge Heels 
I’ve had this skirt for several years and it’s been in the back of my closet for a while. I’ve considered getting rid of it, but every time I tried it on I was reminded of why I like it… even though it’s kinda hard to style. But I’m glad I kept it because it goes perfectly with this dusty rose blouse! This outfit would be perfect for church or a client meeting.
Blouse + Olive Pants + Taupe Cardi + Floral Scarf + Snakeskin Flats
Another around-the-house or running errands outfit, with a couple added layers as the weather gets cooler. This scarf was a birthday gift from one of my sisters and I’m loving how well it pairs with my fall wardrobe selections! She knows me well. The snakeskin print flats were a $3.50 from a consignment store. I love a good deal. And a good patterned flat to add some fun to an outfit.
Stay tuned for more styles! 🙂

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