My 50-Piece Winter Capsule Wardrobe #FashionFriday

I’m super excited to finally reveal my winter capsule wardrobe!!

winter capsule wardrobe

What is a Capsule Wardrobe?

I’ve been talking about this for a while, but if you’re just tuning in, a capsule wardrobe is basically a mini-wardrobe made up of versatile pieces you LOVE to wear. See my post on how to create a capsule wardrobe for more details on the process.

A “mini wardrobe” means different things to different people, and while the typical number for a capsule wardrobe is somewhere around 33-37 pieces (that may or may not include accessories and shoes), mine is 50 with a few “bonus items”. I’m okay with that because it’s about 20% of what I used to have in my winter closet!

I didn’t give everything else away. Some things I put away for next fall/winter, some things I put in a box in the attic to consider for next winter (or for when my 30-day challenge is over), and the rest I donated to friends, family, and my local thrift store.

The best thing I did in this whole process was to live with my wardrobe for about two weeks after my initial reduction before finalizing my capsule. It was quite eye opening to see what pieces were on repeat, which ones I didn’t need, and which ones I wore and decided I didn’t love so much after all.

I did add a couple pieces to my wardrobe during the two weeks, but I forced myself to swap them out for something else so I wasn’t adding to my overall number. At the end of the two week trial period, I was able to reduce my wardrobe by a few more items. The plan is to live with this capsule wardrobe for at least 30 days. During that time, I cannot buy anything new. At the end of the 30 days, I’ll decide if I want to keep going or not.

I’m excited about this little experiment because as my friend Amy says: When you have LESS in your closet, you can do MORE with what you have. I have definitely found that to be true as I’ve lived with a smaller wardrobe for the past couple weeks.

Incidentally, Amy is the one who inspired me to try the capsule wardrobe. You can find a wealth of information on the topic over at her blog, Mom Advice. Use her search bar to find all her capsule wardrobe posts.

When I decided to do this, I was just planning to do it for 30 days, more or less as an experiment, and to show how it would work for those who might be interested in the capsule wardrobe lifestyle. I never intended to use a capsule wardrobe long-term because my job isn’t really conducive to keeping a minimalist closet, but I was intrigued by the concept and game to give it a try. I’m really glad I did, because it’s definitely helping me hone in on my personal style and learn how to shop more strategically.

I’ve been overwhelmed with all the stuff I’ve accumulated this fall/winter from our outfit challenges. I really don’t like having so much stuff. It stifles me, so I’m hoping this little challenge will help me find a happy medium.

In the past, my fashion posts have been about what I was actually wearing. I’m in the process of figuring out how to feature a variety of clothes for fashion blogging that I don’t necessarily need to keep AND how to create a capsule for personal use. I don’t know if I can do both, but I’m curious to try. It may be a total fail, and that is okay too.

Meanwhile, I’m excited about my new simplified closet, so I present to you, my 50-piece winter capsule wardrobe.

My 50-Piece Winter Capsule Wardrobe


Let’s break it down. Anything designated with an * is a similar item because the one I have is no longer available. A few I left without links because I just couldn’t find anything remotely similar.

20 Sweaters/Tops

  1. black tunic sweater
  2. grey turtleneck tunic sweater
  3. ivory cowl neck tunic sweater
  4. beige cable turtleneck sweater
  5. navy turtleneck
  6. red cowl neck sweater*
  7. pink wool turtleneck sweater
  8. white crewneck sweater*
  9. magenta cashmere crewneck sweater
  10. hot pink v-neck cashmere sweater*
  11. black marled cardigan*
  12. grey cashmere zip-up hoodie*
  13. red wrap top
  14. chambray shirt
  15. black poncho
  16. white long sleeve tee
  17. black long sleeve tee*
  18. black and white striped long sleeve top*
  19. lavender tank top
  20. black tank top

10 Pants

  1. black jeans
  2. super skinny cropped blue jeans
  3. light wash jeans
  4. white jeans
  5. army green utility pants
  6. black leggings
  7. lined black skinny dress pants
  8. grey coated cotton jeans*
  9. bootcut jeans*
  10. khaki moto skinny jeans

2 Dresses

  1. oatmeal cowl neck sweater dress
  2. grey cozystitch sweater dress

3 Jackets/Vests

  1. red quilted vest
  2. black quilted vest
  3. moto jacket*

15 Shoes

  1. nude flats
  2. leopard flats*
  3. chestnut OTK boots*
  4. black OTK boots (restocked! more sizes!)
  5. grey suede wedge ankle boots
  6. brown wedge ankle boots
  7. black flat ankle boots*
  8. brown riding boots
  9. grey rain boots
  10. snow boots*
  11. leopard pumps
  12. black suede pumps*
  13. brown heeled ankle boots*
  14. black heeled bootie*
  15. Converse

You may have noticed there is no jewelry or other accessories such as scarves in my capsule. Handbags are also not included. Capsule wardrobes vary, and some include these items while others do not. Some do not include shoes, but I did, so it’s all up to you. I did go through my accessories and handbags and put some away for other seasons, and I donated some. The rest I’m free to use to jazz up my outfits, but I will not purchase anything new during the next 30 days.


Bonus Items

Because of my job, brands send me clothing to feature, and I shop a lot so I can show the latest styles. When I purged my closet for this challenge, I ended up with a LOT that I truly love, so I decided to make a bonus section. These are items that I most certainly could live without, but why would I!? They work with the rest of my wardrobe, I already own them, and I truly love them. I didn’t include them in the official capsule because they basically duplicate something already there. (An example is my shredded black jeans and my regular black jeans. They’re practically interchangeable.)

I want my official capsule to be a good representation of a working winter capsule wardrobe without extras and duplicates. That said, I am keeping my bonus items in a separate area of my closet to “swap out” for an item in the capsule if I want to. I know, this sounds like cheating, but it’s my challenge, and I get to make the rules. Ha!

Here are my bonus items. There are only 7, but I just couldn’t bear to put these away.

  1. shredded black jeans
  2. dark skinny jeans
  3. black tall wedge boots
  4. coral V-neck sweater
  5. grey suede moto ankle boots
  6. mushroom suede ankle boots
  7. grey suede riding boots (super old UGGs)

I realized I probably should have left the flat ankle boots in my capsule and made the wedge ankle boots my bonus items because I rarely wear heels, but I guess it will all come out in the wash, as my mother would say. Haha! Suede often isn’t practical this time of year, anyway. I left rain boots and snow boots in there too, but who knows if I’ll need those or not. I will likely be wearing the same 5 or 6 pairs of shoes the majority of the time.

30 Days Starts NOW!

I will not be posting my outfits on the blog every day, but I will share what I’m wearing every day on Instagram, so be sure to follow along! I will continue to share outfits a few days a week, as I’ve been doing, interspersed with other fashion-related content and maybe a bonus recipe or update on my new favorite beauty products, now that I’m trying out all the different Rodan + Fields lines.

If you’re joining me, let me know! I’d love to hear how your capsule came together. Drop a comment below, or feel free to email me anytime: [email protected]. You can also connect with me on my Facebook Page.

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20 Responses

  1. I love the pieces you picked out for yours – all so versatile!. I think its a great idea to do a two week trial first! Looking forward to hearing how it turns out and seeing your outfits!

    Doused In Pink

  2. I’m really interested to read about this experiment. I’ve kept way to many clothes in my closet for a long time– I don’t know if I could part with it!! But I know I often wear just a couple of the same things most often.
    Very curious to see how it works for you!

  3. Hi Jo-Lynne! Your capsule looks great! Will be fun to see how it works for you over the next month. By the way, my TB pink bag arrived yesterday and I love it!! While it is bigger than what I normally carry, it goes with so much of my wardrobe and will make a great shopping/travel bag for me – so thank you!!! Have fun with Cyndi this weekend! Maybe you could talk about a future girls weekend with some of your followers – now that would be FUN!

  4. I am SO impressed with how dedicated you are to this! Get it girl It will be interesting to see how you feel after a month?!
    I am extremely critical of WHAT is my closet 12 months of the year. I constantly evaluate, constantly consign and donate, so I feel like I already live with a capsule.. it is always my goal to get my clients to wear 100 percent of their clothing…and feel FAB in each item, so I suppose the outcome is really the same:) Enjoy your weekend pretty girl.

  5. I’m looking forward to following your experiment! While I’m not doing that, I am doing two things in a similar vein. 1) I’ve turned my hangers the “wrong” way. I’ll see at the end of the year (or season or whatever) what didn’t get worn at all. And 2) I’ve hung all of my scarves on one scarf hanger (ok, 2!) and I plan to put the ones I wear on a separate, empty hanger to see which scarves get worn during the season.

  6. I absolutely love the concept but after having a baby I don’t even think I can conjure up 40 items lol. I was so frustrated I just tossed all my clothes. Maybe when I move to a new house I can do this. Thanks for this awesome post!

  7. I am loving this series. My weight has changed so I’ve bought a few random pieces of clothing to “hold me over until I can get back to where I need to be.” The end result is I feel like I wear the same three outfits ALL the time, and the getting back is going to be a longer process than I hoped. I need to face the fact that for now I am at this new size and therefore be intentional about my wardrobe, but I have felt extremely overwhelmed about knowing where to begin! I am using your capsule wardrobe as my guideline on what to buy to bring more cohesion to my closet. I really appreciate all the time you have put into this… it has made a staggering task a lot more manageable for me. Thank you. Looking forward to your ootd on Ig ☺.

  8. I love your capsule wardrobe. You have inspired to really clean out my closet and maybe I’ll do a capsule for spring. Enjoy your time with Cyndi.

  9. I’m sort of doing the capsule. We were traveling, so my space was limited. I ended up with 4 pairs of jeans, 1 pair gray cords, 6 knit shirts, 5 sweaters, 2 cardigans, 1 dress and 4 pairs of boots (no other shoes, b/c it will be snowy/slushy the whole time.) But we are going to be traveling to Thailand for about a week, where it will be warm, so I also brought a whole “wardrobe” for that- light linen pants, shorts, t-shirts, skirt, dress, and other shoes. 🙂 I’m not sticking to the no buying rule. I don’t add much as a rule, so I’ll go on as normal there.

  10. I love your capsule. I AM planning to do this, but have been working way too much to do it yet! Next week I have a couple of days off so I plan to go through my things then. I do have my colors chosen based on my favorite pieces–black, royal blue, white, purple with green/teal as my accents. I plan to limit it to 35 or so items, not counting shoes, accessories or coats. Thanks for inspiring me to try this!

  11. I have not done my 50 pieces yet but am so excited to see all you do with yours. I have wanted to simplify for a long time. Love your outfit today.

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