Monday, December 8, 2014

Natalie's Winter Capsule Wardrobe

If you missed it, or want a refresher, you can find an introduction to my capsule wardrobe here. I started all of this because I was unhappy with what I had in my closet and getting dressed in the morning was a real pain. I had a ton of stuff that I only liked and just a few pieces that I loved. And what's the point of having something you don't love? I narrowed it down and for the next 3 months I'll be rotating 36 pieces. 19 of them I pulled from storage or rolled over from my last capsule, and the rest are new. Here's an overview...

From my trial run capsule from September - November, I learned a few things: I like feminine fabrics, clean lines, and monochrome. It's much easier to put pieces together in the morning if all of the pieces already go together. I tried to find an accent color and decided on burgundy/wine. But, I had a hard time finding things that I loved. So, I have a few burgundy, red and blush pink... kinda sticking with the pink/red family which I love for the holidays.

Here's how I put it together:

Step 1: Plan
The first thing I did was look at my calendar. Since my winter capsule will take me through Christmas, New Years, Valentine's Day, and multiple birthday's, I wanted to make sure I had enough holiday appropriate-ware. Then I looked a my work calendar. We're business casual M-Th, and casual on F. We have a few meetings coming up that call for full-on business, so I'm just going to switch out my pants on those days/weeks for my more business/suit trousers. Since they're not something that I'll be wearing on a weekly or even monthly basis, it didn't seem necessary to include in the entire capsule. I also know there is at least one trip to Texas in December and one to Boston in February. So keeping those in mind was important.

Then, I tried to decide on a number that worked for me. I allowed myself up to 40 pieces, but fell under that at 36. Here's how I allotted them: 20 tops, 9 bottoms, 1 dress, 4 jackets and 6 shoes. Below you can see the planner that I used. Everything that is in italics is rolled over or pulled from storage. The majority of my items are from Banana Republic, Aritzia and Loft. When shopping I looked for good sales and when I found something I really liked, I bought it in multiple colors.

Step 2: Shoes
Chicago is stupid cold, so I knew the easiest second step would be shoes - they're a no-brainer. I took my only 2 tall boots, 1 pair of booties, 1 pair of flats, and 1 pair of heels. They'll work with the weather, and they're versatile! I had wanted to add an additional pair of booties but couldn't find a pair that I loved. I think if I happen to find some while I'm out, I'll allow myself to buy those, but otherwise no shopping for me!

Bottom row (L-R): Cognac Boots*; Black Boots
*=actual item in my capsule
Step 3: Tops & Jackets
This is where the majority of my budget went for the season. I knew I wanted more sweaters and a few basic tops. One thing I absolutely wanted/needed to add was a basic black top that wasn't just a cotton t-shirt. Check. I also wanted some boxy sweaters, and lots of black and cream. Check and check! I also knew this was where I wanted to add the color. Blazers are included in this category too! I don't have images for everything that's in my capsule. If I couldn't find the exact item, then I tried to find something similar.

Step 4: Bottoms
There are only a few bottoms that I wear on a regular basis, so this was easy. Mostly because I absolutely despise shopping for pants. Probably because I'm not a stick. I've have an ass and hips (thanks mom!). Don't get me wrong, I love having curves, but they really make shopping a pain. Ya feel me? I have a professional work environment and a causal home life, so the majority of my bottoms reflect my professional work place. Casual Friday's are awesome, so I do have some jeans thrown in for that and the weekends. Also leggings with long shirts or long cardigans are okay in my book, so I have 2 pairs.

Step 5: The Extras
I wanted to include some extras, so I threw in a black shirtdress, a black skirt and the same skirt in a pink/blush color (all are pieces I don't wear regularly, but will be great with the upcoming holidays). I also hope that having them as part of my capsule will force me to be more creative in wearing them.

Note: Not Included
I haven't included my winter jacket, winter boots and workout clothes. Since Chicago is so cold, I don't typically change my jacket or boots, so those will stay the same.

In the end, there wasn't as much black and I had planned or intended. And there wasn't as much pattern as I wanted. Which is okay! I didn't find any patterned pieces that I really loved, so I passed on them.  I'm really excited about everything that I have for the next 3 months and I can't wait to share the outfits I've been putting together!

Are you doing a capsule wardrobe? Leave a link to your blog in the comments below!