Capsule Wardrobe Week 1 Recap

It’s been a week since I started officially living with my 50-piece capsule wardrobe. I’ve been posting my daily outfits on Instagram, and they’ve generated a lot of interest. A few people were curious as to WHY I’m doing this — they couldn’t imagine being so limited with their wardrobes. A few others chimed in with their support and reasons why they love living with a capsule wardrobe. It’s interesting to hear the different perspectives.

I know not everyone is on Instagram, so I’ll share my outfits here at the end of each week, and I’ll also share how it’s going.

Winter Capsule Wardrobe: My Outfits, Week #1

First, some thoughts. I will be totally honest with you and tell you that the novelty of having a smaller wardrobe is beginning to wear off. I am not exactly tired of the clothes in my closet, but I do feel that my outfits are already getting repetitive — which wouldn’t matter if I had an ordinary stay-at-home mom life. But I do make a living putting together cute outfits, and I have fun styling new pieces, so it’s not ideal for me. And yet, on the other hand, it is a fun challenge to stretch my smaller wardrobe and make different outfit combinations.

I’m also learning that I didn’t give myself a lot of options in my capsule for layering and mixing and matching. I knew I was setting myself up for failure in this way, but that’s just how I dress. I don’t wear a lot of layers, and I can’t really change that for the purpose of a capsule wardrobe. At the end of the day, I’m a t-shirt and jeans kinda girl. (Or, in the winter, sweater and jeans kinda girl.)

I’m doing my best to use accessories and scarves to jazz things up, and shoes also help. I’m glad I kept a lot of shoes!

It’s not so hard to NOT shop for new things, but some items I ordered before I started living with my capsule arrived this week, and I really want to wear them!! They are sitting in my closet staring at me, begging to be worn. I also received a box from a brand wanting me to feature their clothes, and I have another piece coming this week. Both were arranged before I started the capsule, so I will probably style them and share pictures, but not actually wear them or count them towards my capsule wardrobe outfits.

What I DO like about the capsule wardrobe is that everything goes together — or, at least, everything goes with something. I don’t have to worry about not having the right pants to go with a top I’m wearing, or the right shoes to go with a certain pair of jeans. I’ve already planned it out so everything works, and that is really nice.

I think a capsule wardrobe is great for the woman who gets overwhelmed by too many choices and wants to simplify getting dressed in the mornings. But a capsule wardrobe is not so great for the woman who truly enjoys trying new trends and changing things up often.

With that said, here is what I wore this week. There’s a lot, so I’ll TRY to be brief. Ha!

Capsule Outfits: Week 1

FRIDAY (January 15): Last Friday was officially the first day of my 30-day capsule wardrobe challenge. I wore this outfit on the plane to meet Cyndi in Nashville.

ootd fri 15 - 1

similar pink sweater | Emma skinnies (limited sizes ON SALE at ShopBop) | OTK boots
similar grey peacoat | scarf (ON SALE!) | similar carry-on | necklace | D Yurman ring

SATURDAY: I wore this outfit IN Nashville with Cyndi. We spent most of the day working in a coffee shop, and then we went shopping at Nordstrom. We turned in by 9pm both nights. We’re such grannies! LOL!

ootd sat - 1

pink turtleneckEmma skinnies (limited sizes ON SALE at ShopBop) | OTK boots
similar grey peacoat | New Moon Necklace | Cage Cuff | Alex and Ani bangle

SUNDAY: This is what I wore home on the plane. I also wore this sweater on Friday night to dinner with my black boots and Emma jeans.

ootd sun - 1

ivory cowlneck sweater | similar black jeans | similar leopard flats (dupes for cheaper)
pink crossbody (old) | Dalton pendant

MONDAY: I called Monday a “grace day” and didn’t bother to put on makeup or wash my hair. The kids were home from school, and I took it easy and tried to get caught up on stuff around the house. It’s been soooo cold here, so I bundled up. Yes, I even wore my scarf in the house!

You may notice that these boots weren’t in my capsule. I never put them away, and I have found myself going to them all week while I’m at home. I don’t usually wear them out and about, unless I’m doing a quick school drop-off or picking up milk at the dairy. They’re more like slippers than boots, so I’m going to count them as loungewear. (I know, I cheat. So sue me.)

ootd mon - 1

similar marled cardigan | similar black thumbhole tee | similar cropped skinnies
UGG Classic Cardy (ON SALE) | similar infinity scarves

TUESDAY: On Tuesday, I was feeling more like myself! I got a workout in and then got dressed in this cozy outfit. I love my new LOFT skinny utility pants. SO glad I added these to my capsule. They’re a nice update to the olive cargo skinnies I’d been wearing for a few years.

ootd tues - 1

LOFT Skinny Utility Pants ON SALE for $39 | J.Crew Cambridge Cable Chunky Turtleneck
Sam Edelman Felicia Flats (dupes) | similar blanket scarf | Alex and Ani bangles

Wednesday was another day spent mostly at home. I went back to my faithful marled cardigan and black tee, but this time I wore them with black jeans and leopard flats. I must have gone somewhere because I’m carrying a bag. This orange tassel crossbody came in my last LeTote, so I linked to a similar one below.

I have paused my LeTote subscription during my capsule challenge, but I didn’t return my last tote yet. I’m allowing myself to use the accessories, but not the clothing, since there is no limit on accessories in the capsule wardrobe. Oh, and I bought that grey and black baseball tee. I can’t part with that!! I set it aside for spring.

ootd wed - 1

similar marled cardigan | similar black thumbhole teesimilar black jeans
similar leopard flats (dupes) | New Moon Necklace | similar orange tassel clutch

THURSDAY: I wore this outfit to meet friends for lunch. I decided I wanted to wear wedge ankle boots, so I pretty much built the outfit around them. Then when I realized I wanted to run some errands in addition to my lunch date, I changed into my black OTK boots. I give up! LOL!! My life is too casual for heels.

A word about this tunic sweater. I LOVE IT. I saw it on Instagram and ordered it in my usual size — a medium. I had to return it for a small, and this one fits perfectly, so if you order one, I recommend sizing down. I love the fit. It’s not bulky at all, and the curved high/low hem is flattering. I struggle with finding tunics and turtlenecks that don’t make me look frumpy, and this one hits the sweet spot. The turtleneck isn’t too tight, and the material of the sweater is super soft. It’s a bit pricier than the Nordstrom juniors sweaters I often link to, but the extra $$ is worth it because it feels and looks higher quality than the juniors ones. The grey and ivory are on sale for $49, but sizes are very limited. They do have a whole slew of gorgeous colors at full price, which is $79. If you wait, I expect the other colors to go on sale before spring. At any rate, this Chelsea28 brand is one I’m going to watch because I think it’s a great price point for nice quality products.

ootd thursday - 1

Chelsea28 Turtleneck Tunic (more colors) | similar cropped skinnies
VANELi  Jara ankle boots (gifted) | my Stella & Dot Veda Split Ring
LOFT Mixed Metal Pendant | Tory Burch Britten Slouchy Tote (my color discontinued)

FRIDAY: Yesterday I met my husband for lunch, and I DID wear heels this time! I brought flats to change into when I went over to the mall to make a few returns. Here is where I come clean and admit to you that I did some shopping in Nashville. But you know me, I’m going to justify it all to you. Ready? Here we go. So I had a pair of nude pumps from Payless that I really loved. They fit well, they were comfortable, and they were super cute. But the heel broke just a few days before my capsule wardrobe started. Womp. Womp.

So I decided that it was time to invest in a nice pair of nude pumps since they are such a classic wardrobe staple. I ordered a few pairs, which I returned because none were comfortable or fit just right. When the capsule wardrobe started, I had not found the perfect nude pumps, so I just didn’t include them. I did include my leopard ones, which I have determined are a half size too big, which is why I can’t walk in them.

I kept them in my closet because a) they make me happy when I look at them and b) because I knew I could wear them for outfit pictures even if I couldn’t wear them out anywhere. Yes, that probably sounds stupid, but it’s my job to make up cute outfits, so I figured they sort of count as work wear, right? Ha! I do adore them. I just wish I could WALK in them.

So. Fast forward to Nashville. True to my word, I did not purchase any clothing, but I did find The Perfect Nude Pumps! The lady in the shoe department had fun bringing me lots to try — including a pair of Prada with a price tag of $670. GULP.

Prada Pointy Toe Pump

I tried them, and as incredibly gorgeous as they were, they were NOT comfortable. They had no cushion on the sole, and they were rough on the sides and rubbed my foot. Crazy, right!?! For $670, you’d think they could make a comfortable pair of shoes. But my goodness, were they ever gorgeous.

I ended up buying these Charles D Pact Pumps for $99.

Charles by Charles D 'Pact' Pump

They have a cushioned footbed, and the leather around the edges is super soft. They don’t rub anywhere. They ARE higher than I wanted, at 4 inches (I was looking for something lower than 3.5 inches), but I’m doing better walking in heels these days (my foot injury still nags me, but it’s getting better.) I decided to bite the bullet and get them because I’ve tried so many pumps in the past few weeks, and these are actually the most comfortable I’ve found. They don’t make QUITE the statement the Prada pumps do, but then, $670 is not in my shoe budget.

I was planning to hold off on wearing them until my capsule is over, but then yesterday when I got dressed to go out to lunch, I wanted to wear heels. I put on the leopard, thinking maybe I could make them work, but I kept walking out of them. That’s when I decided to trade out my new nude pumps for the leopard in my capsule. So that is my long story justifying a new purchase during my capsule challenge. I couldn’t even make it a week.

Anyway, here is what I wore to lunch. I changed into my Felicia Flats for the mall. Also, behind me you can see my new wall hanging! For 10 years, we have had nothing over our bed. I found this white carved piece at Pier1 on Thursday, and as soon as I saw it, I knew it was perfect. It was also 15% off. WOOT!


similar sweater | Florence skinnies | Charles D Pact Pumps
LOFT Mixed Metal Pendant | Tory Burch Britten Slouchy Tote (my color discontinued)
my Stella & Dot Luna Wrap Bracelet | silver hoops

Did I say I was going to keep this brief? Bwahaha! Well, anyway. There you have it, my first week living with a capsule wardrobe. It’s been interesting, for sure.

I’m glad I’m doing it. I think it is going to change how I shop, and I’m curious to see how I feel about it when the 30 days are up. I can definitely say this, though: I’m glad I’m not doing it for 3 months!

Have a great weekend, and STAY WARM!

Join The Conversation

37 Responses

  1. I’ve done a challenge like this in the past and was not a fan, although it did cause me to get creative with my clothes. I’ve heard of people swapping out prices for different ones that aren’t working, maybe you could do that with you new clothes to swap out the ones you’re second guessing???

    1. That’s kind of what I did with the pumps. I am pretty much wearing all my tops, though — and those are what I have new ones of, so I don’t know. I feel like it’s cheating to add brand new ones. I have heard of people allowing themselves a few bonus items they can trade in if they want. I guess I can stick it out for 30 days. 🙂

  2. So love this post! A capsule wardrobe seems like telling an artist to only use 4 colors of paint… fascinating challenge! If I am reading this right its only temporary and I am happy you will be back out there “freedom shopping” soon! This was a great read! Thank you!

  3. Thanks for your honesty! Capsule wardrobes are so trendy these days, it’s refreshing to hear a real-life assessment of how it works well and maybe not so well in other ways.

  4. I am a stay at home kind of gal, other than going to town to shop. Capsule would not suit me because I would quickly become bored with having so few items to select from each morning. My closet is bloated and bulging at the seams and I like it that way I guess.

  5. I have to say….I think the pumps you ended up with are WAY prettier looking than the expensive ones – I know they are higher than you wanted but the instep dip makes them look sexier

    1. YAY! Well, there’s that. Haha. I actually really want to try Stuart Weitzman pumps. I have the one pair of suede that I LOVE. They are 10-15 years old. I don’t know why I didn’t order a pair – I mean, they are $$$ but nothing like prada.

  6. I don’t think I will be able to do the capsule challenge because I am still getting LeTote and Stitch Fix items, but the whole closet clean out and thoughtful process of how things work together has definitely been a worthy excersise. Thanks for the inspiration!

      1. I have a guestion about Trunk Club Jo-Lynne. Is this something that you could schedule for a future date? Say a Spring trunk. I think I have enough winter and am wanting to wait until I am close to my goal weight- another 15 pounds. Thinking sometime in March might be good but I don’t want to fill out the forms if that isn’t possible.

        1. I’m not sure – you can ask them. They’re very responsive. You talk to them before you get any orders, so you can sign up and make your appt to chat with the stylist and she can fill you in – all before you spend any $$.

  7. I’m enjoying hearing about your capsule wardrobe, but I have to agree that it’s more for those who need to dress quickly and easily and aren’t in to putting outfits together. I actually enjoy thinking about what I’m wearing tomorrow, based on plans for the day. And my mood! What I do love about the capsule wardrobe is the clean closet. But maybe we can have an orderly closet AND more than 50 pieces.

    You brought up the topic of layered dressing. I keep reading about how putting that third piece on is what really makes the outfit. And when I look at photos, I see it. Like you, though, I don’t do well layering. I’m a jeans and top girl. But I’m trying to incorporate “third” pieces into my wardrobe that add to the look and don’t make me look frumpy and lumpy due to my curved figure. I’d love to see a post on layering for us none-layer . . .ers. Lol.

    1. Yes, the clean closet I want to keep at all costs. I think I might like having 4 seasons too. I don’t know, I need to figure that out. But I definitely don’t want to have a cluttered/crowded closet. I do like having fewer nicer pieces. I think I will try to keep shoes and jeans and bags to a certain number b/c I do spend a lot on those. And then I can have a lot more tops and things, and I will keep weeding them out often.

      The third piece – that is an interesting way to think about it. I like it! For me, the 3rd piece is often the scarf, or I did add those vests to my closet this year, which help a lot. I like my turtlenecks so much better with a vest over top. They create that vertical column that is slimming, and they help hide any muffin top. 🙂

      1. I’m the same. Scarves add a little punch to the usual t-shirt/sweater with jeans/pants/skirt. And I’ve added several vests this year and am enjoying them, usually with a scarf too. Here in north Texas I seldom really need a coat. For some of us the capsule wardrobe is as much about stopping the mindless, endless buying as it is about simplification. And reading fashion blogs only fuels that urge to buy. You may be an exception, Jo-Lynne, because of the blog or your personality, but statistics show most of us wear the same things from our overstuffed closets anyway. A pared-down closet just clears out what we weren’t wearing anyway.

        1. Yep, exactly, and that is the reasoning behind the capsule – to figure out the pieces you’re wearing most and getting rid of the rest. I do like having a simplified closet. I’m going to have to figure out a happy medium. 🙂

  8. Enjoyed this & had to laugh at many comments you made. I think my version of this will be to just not shop til spring. 🙂

  9. Loved the psychology of your capsule wardrobe experience. I too like to change it up and make it more interesting. I would call a capsule wardrobe for me, a Purge of sorts-as if I wear it, and don’t feel fabulous in it, then I get rid of it. Too, I’ve been shopping at Thred-up, and unfortunately made a bad purdhase, jeans of course, but at least I’m not wasting money at higher end stores. I really I always go back to my expensive, Hudson brand jeans, and a black pair of Paige. quality vs quantity-right? I’m having a difficult time tossing my jean collection. Too, as I learn new tricks from Pinterest and your site, I realize I can mix and match and things work differently. One of my purging of clothes episode, I got rid of my jean jacket and jean vest. Mistake? No I think not, I just don’t feel happy in them, and feel like a farm girl, Too, I got rid of 2 leather jackets, as I didn’t like the placement of the zippers or the color on the other one. Oh, I could go on and on. At 50, I’m still learning what works for me. 10 years ago, I had a capsule wardrobe and always felt put together, in my low-rise jeans, wedge healed suede shoes, and Tees, somehow all has shifted when I moved up north from the south, I’m still frustrated and confused. Thanks for your honest post!

  10. Interesting reading! I like the challenge of going through my closet often, weeding out things that aren’t working the best, and giving away to the local hospice shop. I’ve seen up-close the great good they do, so supporting their work feels good.

    I would not like a set number of items to limit my wardrobe to, though. I think it would feel like a diet in which you are restricted and then immediately want those things! Moderation works better for me – in food consumption as well as clothes buying/wearing.

    Due to necessity, I became a very good bargain shopper. I don’t spend a lot on clothing items (although I know that’s relative; there’s always someone who is thriftier). I do get the best quality possible on basic items that I know I will wear often.

    Although I can learn from your experience with the capsule wardrobe, I will look forward to its end so that we can see new pieces! I could never have the quantity or quality of clothes that you style, but I enjoy seeing them and getting ideas to think about. That’s what makes the new pieces interesting! (If you kept the capsule for 3 months, is probably take a break from your blog. It would be like watching the same t.v. episodes over and over. ????

  11. I like choices. I never know what I’m going to wear until I look in my closet. It’s usually the pants that set my outfit for the day. Plus, I enjoy shopping. So, a capsule wardrobe is not for me. I do go through my wardrobe seasonally and donate items I no longer want. This must be very hard for you, as a fashion blogger, to be restricted to a minimalist wardrobe.

  12. Ha ha! I too enjoyed your post – very funny! I love how you are honest and always “come clean” with us. Thanks also for posting the outfits from Instagram, as I do not follow there, but love to see what you put together….especially the outfits with that pink bag!! I haven’t used mine yet…waiting for the right outfit and place to go with it. Thank goodness you’ve given me lots of ideas!

  13. I know I could never do a capsule wardrobe, except maybe for a trip…But even then, no, probably not. LOL
    I dress a lot based on emotion of how I feel a particular day. Kudos for giving it a try!

  14. I, personally, could not do a capsule wardrobe. I want the freedom to enjoy ALL the clothes in my closet. Part of it is where I live as well. I live in Southern California where we really don’t seem to have distinct seasons. It could be 85 degrees one day and 65 degrees two days later!

  15. I found your blog two months ago. Follow you and Cyndi almost daily, and you two aren’t necessarily my style in some ways, but I am always drawn back to the variety and the great writing and the Christian perspective. So I scoffed at the idea of a capsule, but just two weeks ago, I did it given your challenge. I have an L-shaped closet, so my method of cheating (!) is my capsule of 50 pieces (I can’t get it lower!!) is on the short side of the L, and all “other” clothes are on the long side (with my athletic stuff and overcoats). I gave a LOT away in the process…The capsule makes getting ready for work a piece of cake (I work in a middle school so my clothes don’t vary between work and my life), but I can go “shopping” in the other side as long as I make a trade. What I’ve learned: the capsule process really highlights what I am missing (black sweater, black flats, nice dress) so that when I do venture out shopping, I can be better equipped to not waste $$. My closing note to you: I appreciate your 30 day run at this, but I completely get it if tomorrow I open your blog to a post about NOT continuing!!! I love when you point us to deals (my new athleta metro pants and matrix hair products) and keep the fun in dressing ourselves to our best possible selves. Capsule schmapsule!!

    1. Haha, Barbara, you are my new best friend. 🙂 I think I will see it through, but I appreciate all the support and understanding if I don’t. I don’t hate it…. YET. Haha. So we’ll see. It IS an interesting experiment. I feel that I still have some to learn through it, so I’m going to try to see it through.

  16. I am doing the capsule wardrobe (going on 2 weeks). I have 33 clothing items. I do have a casual lifestyle-SAHM with little ones (and big ones too). I found it interesting that in only a week you wore 2 of the sweaters twice. I am sure that’s why you feel limited! I have worn my favorite sweater twice in 2 weeks & my favorite tee twice in 2 weeks but otherwise I haven’t repeated a thing. BUT I don’t think a capsule is for everyone! I am loving it & will continue doing some version of a capsule. I still feel cute in my clothes & like I have so many outfits to choose from-and I dress emotionally like the other ladies have mentioned. I also like that I am not shopping mindlessly! I enjoyed the post & Seeing a different perspective!

    1. I do find myself repeating things – I think because it is so cold and I am not wearing my lighter stuff right now. 🙂 Today I tried to make sure to wear something new. Honestly, before I started blogging fashion, it was nothing for me to wear the same thing a couple times a week. I don’t mind it for daily life, but when I’m posting my outfits for public consumption, I feel like I need more variety. LOL!

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