Updated: Sep 25, 2020
Let me start off by saying I am not a fashionista. This isn't my usual content, but I wanted to share it with you because as a busy mom I am always trying to find time-saving hacks for every aspect of my life, and I thought if this could help another mama save time and money, then I owe it to you to share!
I heard about "capsule wardrobes" last year, and when I googled and Pinterest-ed (is that a word?) it I found some inspiration and a lot of methods out there. After a summer of buying almost nothing new, because #quarantinelife and where the heck are we gonna go anyways, I decided it was time to try this method out. For two big reasons:
1) I wanted to fall in love with my closet closet again. I knew I had some great pieces in there, I just never felt like I knew how to put outfits together.
2) I didn't want to spend an obscene amount of money. I believe you should love your wardrobe and feel amazing in your clothing, and that means being mindful with what you buy. And not just because it saves you money, but also because it helps our environment too.
Before I show you all the pieces and the outfits, let me walk you through the process, so if you're considering doing one, well then you know how to create it :)
6 STEPS TO CREATING YOUR PERFECT CAPSULE WARDROBE:
1) CULL YOUR CLOSET
Take EVERYTHING out, yes everything, and put it on your bed. All shoes, accessories, bags, everything. This is the perfect time to spring/fall clean and I love the way Marie Condo does it: keep what sparks joy, donate/get rid of what doesn't (and be sure to thank each piece for being in your closet before you say buh-bye!). I ended up donating a bag of clothing to Goodwill, I moved summer items into a downstairs closet (because my closet is uber-tiny) and then I was left with items that were the potential capsule pieces. Before I did ANY shopping I went through this process, figured out which pieces were missing from the capsule, and then I went online shopping. Throughout I'll share what was new (everything else was already in my closet!)
2) CHOOSE YOUR BASE COLOUR: NAVY or BLACK
Back and navy are the two most commonly seen colours in capsule wardrobes. I chose black, because I already had a ton of pieces that were black. The other colours you select are going to compliment this base colour, and allow you to create an endless combination of outfits. If you don't like black or navy, you could also use a shade of brown/tan.
3) SELECT YOUR NEUTRAL COORDINATING ESSENTIALS
First, what the heck is an "essential"? Essentials are tops and bottoms that are SOLID colours, like tan, grey, chambray, or white, and these classic pieces never really go out of style. Some examples are: the classic white button up shirt, grey short-sleeve t-shirt, black skirt, etc.
I chose 5 bottoms: black denim jeans (Abercrombie & Fitch), dark-wash jeggings (Old Navy), medium-wash jeggings (Old Navy), white jeans (Abercrombie & Fitch), and a pink skirt (Aritzia, not shown here). All of these items were already in my closet (yesss!)
I chose 4 pullover sweaters: black crew neck (Old Navy $39), tan crew neck (Banana Republic $73), grey crew neck pullover (Old Navy $39), and pink crop pullover (H&M). This is where I had to shop, as I only had the pink pullover already and wanted layers, because we live in Montreal, and its freaking cold ok!
Next, I wanted long open cardigans, and I chose 5: black with low pockets (Old Navy $39), grey ribbed (H&M), tan with low pockets (Old Navy $39), pink textured (Gap), white with stripes (Gap). I had all but the black and tan cardigans, and these were on sale and super affordable.
Lastly, I already had all these 5 pretty camisoles in my closet and wanted to have them part of the capsule: black lace (Artizia), blush sleeveless (Le Chateau), blush cami (Abercrombie & Fitch), white lace cami (Abercrombie & Fitch), white cami (H&M). More savings!
4) CHOOSE YOUR ACCENT COLOUR(S)
If you haven't figured it out already, blush is the accent I chose for the capsule. I also chose olive and orange in a few select pieces because I love that fall vibe so much. The key with selecting the accent colour: make sure it coordinates with your selected base colour.
Here I already had all these pieces in my wardrobe: olive long-sleeve utility dress (Banana Republic), cream sweater dress (Gap), blush skirt (Aritzia), black bodysuit (Aritzia), white bodysuit (Aritzia), orange plaid blanket scarf (Amazon).
5) ADD A FEW PATTERNED ITEMS/LAYERS
This is where the fun happens! Add a few patterned pieces (1-3), and they can be tops, bottoms, skirts or dresses. The most popular pattern item that is also considered essential is the horizontal striped tee, with a navy or black stripe. This top goes with almost everything in your wardrobe. Other patterns that go well here are polka dots, floral, leopard, gingham, windowpane or plaid. I went for 4 options here with: leopard silk blouse (Banana Republic $63), white/black windowpane shirt ( H&M), classic blue striped shirt (Gap), blush floral blouse (Dynamite), striped scoop-neck long sleeve (Gap $35)
I also selected some blazers I already had in my closet and this new vest, as another layer for the fall: black blazer (H&M), blush blazer (Dynamite), white puffer vest (Old Navy $45)
And of course, you can't go through a Montreal winter without some warm outerwear. Here I had some warm long trench coats: tan (Le Chateau), black (Ted Baker), and a big investment a few years back in a Canada Goose jacket. I believe these staple important pieces should last you years, so I am all for investing some cash into these items #worthit
6) CHOOSE YOUR SHOES & ACCESSORIES
Now that the staples are selected, shoes and accessories can be chosen. For shoes you can add a pair or two in the base colour, add a neutral pair of heels or flats, and casual shoes like sneakers or booties. I had all of these in my closet already and love them all! I also have a pair of grey winter boots (Columbia), and a pair of knee-high brown boots (Timberland) that I am getting repaired - they're beautiful and I'm giving them life again!
Not shown here, I selected 2 necklaces I already had (long silver and long gold), 2 blanket scarves (orange plaid, and black/grey), and in terms of handbags I have a black tote (Michael Kors), grey purse (Coach), and black/pink floral crossover bag (Michael Kors). Again, I don't have many high-ticket items, but classic pieces like handbags I save up for and treat myself every so often #treatyoself
Shown here: black booties (Old Navy), tan booties (Old Navy), blush/white flats (Michael Kors), leopard flats (Aldo), grey sneakers (Dr. Scholls)
There you have it friend! My entire Fall/Winter Capsule Wardrobe in 45 pieces. The new items I purchased (only 8 pieces) were $445 with tax. That's going to last me until the spring/summer when I'll probably do this again. So I'm saving money by eliminating impulse purchases, and I've saved oodles of time #momwins.
Now for some fun outfits to inspire you to get creative with your own closet and try your own capsule wardrobe. And tell me in the comments below: which outfits/pieces do you LOVE the most?