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Capsule Wardrobe Outfits Week 4 & Closing Thoughts

I feel like I barely started wearing my winter capsule wardrobe and now it’s over. I can see why you would create a capsule for an entire season. After putting that much thought and effort into it, you need to reap the benefits for longer than a month.

WINTER CAPSULE WARDROBE 2016

It is still very much winter in Philly, so I will continue living with my capsule for a while and slowly integrate new pieces as it warms up. While I’ll be posting spring outfits every day in March for our 27 Days of Spring Fashion, I probably won’t be wearing many of them “in real life” because March tends to be pretty brutal here in the northeast. I’ll continue to post my daily outfits on Instagram as long as they don’t get too terribly repetitive.

First I want to share a few things I learned from doing a capsule wardrobe, and then I’ll show you pictures of the outfits I’ve worn this week from my winter capsule.

closet

10 Lessons I Learned From My Capsule Wardrobe Experiment

  1. I love having fewer clothes hanging in my closet.
  2. After 4-5 weeks of creating outfits from my 50-piece capsule, I could easily come up with more new outfit combinations.
  3. With 50 pieces in my capsule, there are several items I never wore, so I could definitely reduce the overall number if I were to do this again.
  4. Weather is a huge factor in what I didn’t wear from my capsule. Some of the pieces were too lightweight to be comfortable in this climate.
  5. Even with 50 pieces in my capsule, I find myself gravitating to the same few pieces over and over.
  6. I didn’t miss anything I put away in my “maybe” bin. I plan to put it in the attic and revisit it next fall. I have a feeling most of it will end up at the thrift store.
  7. I didn’t get bored with what I had to work with, but I did find myself already thinking ahead to spring clothes. I don’t know if that’s because my job requires it, or because I have an incessant need to shop. Ha! Let’s go with the former.
  8. Accessories are key to keeping simple outfits interesting.
  9. There were a few pieces I wished I had along the way, and if I were going to do this again, I’d take notes so I could make a better capsule for next time.
  10. This experiment has definitely helped me hone in on my personal style, and I think I’ll make wiser purchasing decisions going forward.

Did you play along? I’d LOVE to hear your thoughts.

Capsule Wardrobe Outfits Week 4

Here are the outfits I wore this week.

capsule week 4

I wore this last Saturday. Funny thing about this sweater. I got it last spring, and I hardly wore it until I started this capsule wardrobe, and now I find myself going for it a couple times a week. It’s a great neutral piece, and the relaxed style is flattering. It goes with about every scarf I have, and it also looks great under quilted vests. This one is similar.

With it, I’m wearing my Emma skinnies and a verrrry old pair of UGGs. This Wanderer “mini statement necklace” is from Stella & Dot, and it’s only $39.

oatmeal - 1

I wore this on Sunday to church, and I already wrote a post about it. Get all the details here. 

black on black sunday - 1

I think this was Monday. No makeup, but I did shower and get dressed. The sweater is sold out, but this one is similar and on sale. The tee is this one. It never goes on sale, but it’s only $18. The jeans are the Florence skinnies, and I wore my Chucks.

marled sweatr - 1

I schlumped around on Tuesday in my workout clothes.

On Wednesday, it snowed. I wore my pink V-neck sweater and black quilted vest with my Emma skinnies and my Sorel snow boots to run errands and cart the kids around. Wednesdays are my busy day.

pink with black vest - 1

On Thursday, I was back in the oatmeal pullover from my top post so I didn’t take another picture. I wore it with jeans and my Sorel boots, and I think I wore a different necklace or a scarf with it. I can’t remember.

I wore the white scoop neck tee with my red fringe scarf on Friday. This is a combination I haven’t put together before. Usually I layer this tee under a cardigan, but I think I like it as a stand-alone piece. I probably wouldn’t have tried this if it weren’t for this capsule wardrobe and having fewer pieces in my closet to work with. I really like it!

red and white - 1

Saturday morning, I attended a Bible Study with the ladies at church, and I wore my pink wool turtleneck under my black quilted vest with jeans and the grey boots again. It was soooo cold.

pink - 1

That night, my husband and I went out to dinner for Valentine’s Day. I had planned to wear my red wrap top with grey coated jeans and black suede pumps, but it was far too cold for bare feet in pumps or a lightweight top with 3/4-length sleeves, so I wore this instead. I felt cute and sassy in my OTK boots, and I was toasty warm.

otk boots - 1

I haven’t worn the ivory cowl neck tunic very much, but I really like it. I paired it with my Hudson super skinny cropped jeans, and I added the orange quilted tassel purse for color (it’s from LeTote; I ended up purchasing it when I sent my last tote back.) I tried to dress the outfit up a bit with chandelier earrings and a statement ring. My ring is sold out, but Stella & Dot has a ton of cute ones. Most are under $50.

Yesterday, I wore my LOFT sweater dress over leggings to church. I accessorized with the red fringe scarf, and I wore my tall black boots. Pretty much everything in this outfit is sold out except for the leggings.

Capsule Wardrobe Week 4: Sweater Dress with Fringe Scarf

I’ve started wearing darker eye shadow, and I really like it. I notice you can see it in these pictures because I’m looking down. I keep meaning to write a post about my daily makeup routine. Hopefully I can get to that sometime this week.

So this is the end of my 30-day capsule wardrobe challenge! As I said at the beginning of this post, I will still be using it for a while, but I won’t feel quite so confined. If I want to break out one of my new spring tops, I can, and I’ll definitely start wearing my new hooded leather jacket as soon as the weather permits. I need to see if it fits over some of my heavier sweaters.

I’m glad I tried a capsule wardrobe, but I don’t think it’s for me. I learned a lot from it, and I will definitely try to keep my closet pared down going forward, but I’m also looking forward to trying new things.

If you joined me in my capsule wardrobe challenge, I’d love to hear your thoughts. How did it go for you? Will you continue it? Will you do a capsule wardrobe for spring? Let me know!

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41 thoughts on “Capsule Wardrobe Outfits Week 4 & Closing Thoughts

  1. I’d love to see a makeup routine post! I have no idea what I’m doing in the makeup department, so I’d love to see what you do!

  2. I started a capsule wardrobe just this year and am actually still building my winter capsule – not really sure how people afford to create it all in one fell swoop at the end of the previous season like they recommend. Anyway…….I am enjoying the process and already looking forward to spring a bit. I am finding the process is helping me to stretch myself and try new things and also be very strategic to ensure I can wear everything in my capsule in more ways than one. My capsule goal is 37 pieces and even not having it completed yet – I still have a ton to wear. I’ve realized I did not plan for enough sweaters this past week in these frigid temps -egads!

    1. Yeah, I started out with way too much stuff, so paring down was the challenge for me. 🙂 But it’s funny, I don’t miss any of the stuff I gave away or put away. And if you are building from the ground up, I agree the best way to do it is slowly. You don’t want to buy stuff you don’t love just to finish it up, or b/c it’s more affordable than what you really want. It pays to be patient. 🙂 And I hear ya on the sweaters. I did leave a lot of sweaters in my closet – more than I truly loved – b/c I knew I’d need them. I am so ready for spring!

      1. At this point – I think I will have to continue building my winter wardrobe in the fall. All the cute sweaters I’m finding are sold out or unavailable at this time…..sadly. But, it will be fun to continue the process again with the foundation I have built this year. And shoes are my most expensive part of my winter wardrobe – I seem to spend a lot on shoes for quality and comfort and love love love my tall boots 😉

  3. Hi,
    I think your experiment with the capsule was very interesting. I agree with you though it can be a bit limiting too. I found myself obsessing over getting ‘the perfect one’ piece then ending up being far too rigid and stressing, and wearing really old clothes. Now I’m relaxing the ‘rules’ it’s easier.

    One question-as a busy Mum I need a cross body bag (practical). I like leather which is pricey so can only really afford one and in staying with the capsule principle I don’t want too many bags (it’s mostly financial constraint though if I had the cash is have many bags ????) I like the a cross body by Fossil, but it comes in several colours. Would you go with black or tan/cognac? My winter coat is a black puffa but I wear mostly brown boots. Most of my wardrobe colours are berry/purple/emerald green/navy/grey… So I’m thinking black to match the winter coat, but on the other hand tan is more versatile and could work for spring/summer (don’t have a coat yet but probably navy or green).
    Sorry for the long post!

  4. I think you look great in everything you wear. I have noticed that some people, no matter what they are wearing, just do not look good. How can that be? I have decided it is the one accessory that can’t be bought – personality. Yours is lovely????

  5. i love this Jo-Lynne. I’ve been going back and forth in my mind about a capsule and really with being pregnant I’m finding it to be a great opportunity to try it out. I’m basically doing it anyway, not a choice. lol!!
    I agree about the weather, I love reading the perspective of someone that actually deals with frigid temps. Sometimes that’s all that’s even a factor in outfits here!!
    Great post!

  6. The capsule post made me really look hard at the things I own . I tried everything on to make sure it fit perfectly and if it didn’t , I donated it. It also seemed like I had a lot of doubles in my closet. How many black tees do you really need? I didn’t hone in on my style too much because I tend to like quite a few different styles. In the end , I got rid of tons of stuff and enjoy the extra room in my closet. My friend suggested during lent to get rid of one piece you don’t wear every day. At the end of lent you will be down 40 . I don’t think the capsule is for me entirely but I did use a lot of the rules and really cleared out the clutter! So thanks !

    1. That all makes a lot of sense. I also had the same realization about doubles. Now I will not allow myself to buy something if I have something that serves the same purpose. Like, I was sooo tempted to buy a grey V-neck tee that I loved, but I have on that I love, and it was $$ so I refused to buy the 2nd one. (It didn’t come in another color that I wanted, or I’d have done that.) Anyway. Point being, I love the rule about doubles, and it is definitely freeing to have fewer clothes overall.

  7. I cannot thank you enough for the capsule post. I am retired and basically only need casual clothes except for church. My social life is going to lunch with friends mostly so you can see this would work for me. I want to simplify my wardrobe and donate things I don’t love or wear often. I took the 40 day Lent challenge to get rid of one piece a day. So far I am ahead of the game. I love having fewer things in my closet. Can’t wait for the spring capsule.

    1. I definitely should have done a 40 day lent challenge to part with a clothing. I did not know about it. Maybe I will start it today, and play catch up. 🙂 Love your blog Jo-Lynne. You are awesome.

  8. I did a 12 week capsule last winter and I think I’m still hungover from it! I admire people that can do it, but it definitely wasn’t for me. I felt suffocated and not creative. So, I will save my hardcore remixing skills for long trips!! I do love all the pieces you picked and that you still incorporated plenty of color and great accessories to keep these interesting!
    Carylee | http://morepiecesofme.com

    1. Hungover, ha! I hear ya. I think part of my frustration was that I felt like I was on the spot b/c I’d blogged about it. I don’t think I’d have felt so restricted if I wasn’t blogging my daily outfits and trying to keep them interesting. 🙂

  9. I really enjoyed reading about your “journey” with capsule wardrobes. I have been tempted and regularly pare down my closet but never went full capsule. Totally fun to look at your styling and get ideas as well as take some notes for my own closet.

    1. You seem to have a very minimalist style. I would think the capsule idea would appeal to you! (Not that I think you need to settle on an arbitrary number, but I’m not surprised that you keep your closet pared down.) 🙂

  10. Although I woudn’tt call it a capsule wardrobe “technically” .. I tend to weed out/clean mine every few months- I never end up with much I don’t wear…except for cocktail dresses or special occasion items. Its so much easier to get dressed when you love EVERYTHING in your closet:) You look fab each and every day!!!
    C

    1. Yes, and see, I would have said I did that, but now I see that I still held onto way too much. This is my goal now – not a capsule, per se, but to really keep it weeded down to stuff I’m actually wearing. 🙂

  11. Your outfits look great! You’ve given me a lot of ideas to try out on my own.

    Have fun at the Survivor event! This season looks intense!

  12. When you wear that maroon scarf, it just makes your whole face brighter – you look even prettier than you normally do. That is such a fabulous color for you. I love the white shirt with the scarf and definitely think it is a stand alone piece for you. I have also really enjoyed the capsule wardrobe and have been trying to downsize my wardrobe over the past year. It is hard not to want to replace everything at once and to decide what version of a capsule wardrobe works for you. Every post I read about capsule wardrobes tells you to get a black blazer but in the end after trying on so many I decided this just wasn’t something I felt comfortable in or even wanted to wear. I think a good lesson I learned was is to try something new……maybe not invest in a high end piece from the start and once you decide if it’s something you wear often and feel good in, then buy an investment piece. I do definitely love having less clothes and really focusing on how good I feel when I wear certain clothes.

  13. I’m ready for Spring fashion. I’m glad you picked the first of March to start. That way we can buy the pieces we want before they are sold out in our size.
    I can see the benefit of the pared down wardrobe but would never do it myself. I love variety and like to shop. Guilty as charged!

  14. I know that in one of your earlier posts you had mentioned not doing a capsule wardrobe again per say. Even if you don’t officially do one, knowing what you might include in one for Spring/Summer/Fall, would be a super helpful post. I don’t have much of a budget for clothing, and shop mostly sales and thrift stores, but seeing how you pair things is so helpful! Thank you for all your inspiration!

  15. You’ve done such a great job with your capsule, I’m very impressed! I think it would be hard to do, but you have really inspired me to go through my wardrobe and purge. I love your blog and really appreciate you!!! Karen S.

  16. This is a great post, summing up what worked & what didn’t. I don’t plan on doing a capsule wardrobe just yet, but your post really gave me incentive to change the way I’ve been wearing some of my clothes. I see you wear a lot of solids & it makes your wardrobe go so much farther. Me, I’ve always been the gal that if a saw a top with a scene on it or any kid of print, I had my name on it. In fact, a sweater that I loved to wear during the holidays, my adult daughter asked to borrow for her school’s ugly sweater contest! Of course, she did it lovingly, and we both had a good chuckle over it, but I have always gravitated to those tops! After seeing all your combos, with solid tops, really made me realize how much further my clothes will go. So little by little as I wear those “winter scenic tops” one last time, off they go to charity. I recently purchased some great cable sweaters at a good price from Lands End & will continue to look for a few winter bargains before concentrating on spring. And as for my spring “scenic” tops, they are already being bagged for charity. Thank you again for all that great info.

  17. I really enjoyed reading about your experiment with the capsule wardrobe concept. While I did not do it, I have reduced the number of pieces at our primary residence, and plan on doing it at our country home. We are here until the 22nd, so I will definitely be removing one pie pace of clothing per day, if not more. I have way too many clothes and there is someone out there that needs what I don’t love. While I really like the long sleeve tee from Nordstrom, I need to purchase either a white or grey short sleeve tee. Do you know if Nordstrom has them for about the same price? I have not found them on-line. Thanks!

  18. While I did not participate with a capsule wardrobe, I did recently clean out and reorganize our closet. It really was eye opening as to what I truly wear and love. Now I have a better idea of what I truly need going into the warmer months. I have love seeing all of the outfits you put together. It just goes to show you can pull off a new look with just a few pieces simply by mixing things up and changing out accessories.

  19. Really enjoyed reading your experiences with the capsule wardrobe. I have read a lot about the concept from other bloggers too. We have moved to Singapore where it’s hot and humid all the time. I’m not genetically made up for this weather, but I’m told I’ll get used to it! But, while waiting on our container to arrive, I am somewhat forced into very pared down wardrobe with just the clothes we took with us. I’m surprised to say that in 7 weeks I haven’t worn about 40% of what I took. Once our house contents do arrive, I plan to further reduce and do a rotating capsule every few months, even if the weather doesn’t change. What’s funny though is shops are carrying winter collections! I have to wait until their spring/summer collections hit the shelves to get shorts. Too funny. Eagerly awaiting your spring, and hopefully 27 days of summer 🙂

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