2017 Transitional Clothes, Clothing Capsule

Clothing Capsule: March – April

In ALL, PREENING, STYLE by Stephanie Klein2 Comments

A transitional wardrobe. That’s what is needed come March because the weather in the Northeast is indecisive, throwing its weight between 65 and 20 degrees. Snow one day, sleeveless the next. And plaids are out of the question. Any hint of holiday clothing won’t work. All the magazines are pushing Spring, and you want your wardrobe to reflect the moment.

I’m always up for a new experiment, especially when it involves clothes. I’ve tried the Marie Kondo method, but I don’t have many drawers. She’s all about folding and placing things in drawers vertically. I have a closet with a top shelf, and even after discarding all the items that didn’t bring me joy, said closet became overcrowded with things I should wear (but wasn’t).

  • CAPSULE WARDROBE 101
    Enter my new pet project: the capsule wardrobe. I’ve emptied my closet and now it’s stocked with 37 items, yes, 37 and that number includes shoes. This does not include pajamas, workout clothes, or accessories like belts, jewelry, or scarves. You could create a capsule for everything. A makeup capsule, jewelry, scarves, belts. Capsule is just another way of saying minimized, adored, and efficient. With less to see, you use more. I swear it’s true.

    YOU ALREADY DO IT
    Every time you pack a suitcase, you’re creating a capsule. A jewelry and makeup wardrobe, complete with your must-have skincare and toiletries. Usually it’s only for a week, and if you’re anything like me, you pack an empty duffel inside your case to accommodate all the new vacation purchases. Now it’s time for that kind of clarity in your entire wardrobe.

  • SAY WHAT NOW?
    It’s not forever. It’s a 3-month capsule, designed to be changed as the seasons do. But it’s absurdly freeing to take summer favorites, say, and box them away, something to which I can look forward to unearthing as the wine turns from Sangiovese to Sauvignon.

    SEEING RED
    This entire process is a giddy maker for me. It’s fun now to create new combinations. It’s surprising how much of what makes up my outfits is in the accessories. Also, as a redhead, I’ve never been drawn to red, but lately I’m embracing it in big and small ways. Featured below, you’ll see a red clutch, red shoes, and red pants!

    MAKE A LIST
    Once you whittle your wardrobe down, make a list of things you think you “need.”

RECENTLY WORN OUTFITS:

Girls' Night Out, Wardrobe Capsule

Above: Friday Night Birthday Party of a dear friend in NYC.
LAST WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY + FRIDAY NIGHT’S OUTFITS:

NAVY, BLACK, CAMEL + RED

I love navy and black. Camel and black. Camel and red. Navy check shirt, black pixie pant, heather saddle sweater, pop of red shoe, statement necklace.

LADY IN RED, HEY NOW

Red pants. It took me forever to find a red skinny jean. At first, I had red pants, but I knew the cut wouldn't work for my capsule, as I needed a style that could be worn with flats, daytime or with heels for a sexy night out. The capsule method forced me to select a style that would serve the most wear.

BRIDESMAIDS' NIGHT OUT

Proportion. It's all about balance. With this outfit, I chose an elongating flare leg, to the floor, with a hint of red shoe just peeking out. With a flare leg drawing your eye down, you need less on the top. Without the limit of my capsule, I never would've found this solution: the strapless silk top from a bridesmaid dress! (Photo below)

WHY YOU NEED TO TRY A CAPSULE WARDROBE

  • YOU’RE VISUALLY OVERWHELMED. You spend too much time deciding what to wear. You’re not just visually overwhelmed when you look at your existing wardrobe. You’re planning the one you think you need. Go ahead, tell me you don’t have a to-buy list.
  • SHOPPING IS A TIME SUCK. Despite having so much, you always feel like you’re in the market for something else. Online shopping. Outfit ideas. Emails. Sales. Your errand list involves returns.
  • WHAT’S WORK/LIFE BALANCE? You’re not as productive as you’d like because you’re spending too much time deciding what to buy, as you spend countless hours opening brand emails and searching Pinterest.
  • GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE FUN. Getting dressed doesn’t feel creative, light, or exciting. You always reach for the same things and never take risks.
  • YOU DON’T NEED ANOTHER BLACK TOP. Okay, maybe just one, the one with the ruffle sleeves.
  • YOU REALIZE WHAT YOU DO NEED. In creating a capsule wardrobe, you realize what your wardrobe actually lacks, what you really need.
  • LOOKING FORWARD. Before the capsule, I only looked forward to shopping for new things. Now, with some of my favorite seasonal items (obsessed, but wrong season) out of sight, I’m excited for the end of May, when I’ll get a whole new wardrobe (in the clothes I already own).

BREAK THE FORMULA
Like so many of us, I was wearing basically the same outfit all the time. Sure the clothes changed somewhat, but the overall “look” was basically the same formula: jeans, colorful top, blazer, scarf. I’m not gonna lie; it’s still my favorite formula. Only now I’m mixing it up in a way I hadn’t previously. Before the capsule, I wasn’t jazzed about getting dressed. I wasn’t being creative. I wasn’t wearing most of what was there. The solution was seeing far less at once, knowing that in three months, I will mix things up again, swapping out winter sweaters for new seasonal items, while keeping my tried and true favorites.

THE FORMULA

THE FORMULA. My go-to move. A mix of casual distressed flare jeans + super earthy belt are dressed up with a structured doctor's satchel, blazer + scarf.

DAYTIME POLISH

Casual, cool toned day

NIGHTTIME POLISH

Warmer tones, for work or night. I love the ladylike hair bow. I include a belt here because I know the black cashmere mock turtleneck sweater I own runs short on me, so you'll see a belt, whereas the daytime version of this look above has no belt because that shirt falls long and loose on me.

HI HO, HI HO
Half your closet can be devoted for an appropriate work wardrobe. You know what’s called for. Just create a work capsule if you need one. It might differ vastly from your after work look. Only you know what you need. Try as much as possible to find overlap. If it helps, draw a quick pie chart illustrating how you spend your week. What percentage is work, walking the dog, grocery shopping, volunteering, nights out, date nights, soccer field, etc. Your wardrobe should reflect the life you presently lead, not the life you want to be living (but aren’t).

HOW TO CREATE A CAPSULE WARDROBE

LET THE PILES BEGIN
Remove everything from your closet and sort it into piles: OBSESSED, EH, OVER IT.
OBSESSED: I don’t care how old it is. If it loves your body, if you wear it constantly, if it brings you joy, keep.
EH: I’m not obsessed, but it’s a good enough piece. It goes with a lot. This is your maybe pile. Don’t worry. You’re not tossing anything.
OVER IT: I thought I’d wear this, but I just don’t. Or, I shouldn’t. It’s brand new, but it already has a hole. It’s stained. I don’t like the fit or the fabric. This shit hurts when I wear it. Either save for later, or donate.

COLOR SCHEMING
I have brand new sweaters still with tags attached. The colors don’t coordinate with most of what’s in my obsessed pile. I wouldn’t get enough wear out of them. But, I’m still obsessed. So they’ll make my summer capsule, when I’m tired of my current color scheme. I came up with color scheme simply by looking at my OBSESSED pile. I mainly wear navy and whites with denim and royal blue. Lately, as evidenced above, I’m loving pops of red. A red bag. A red shoe. A red lip. I even love red with pink. The other day, I wore red pants with a mint green top and navy cardigan–an option I never would’ve considered before the capsule. Pale pink with camel, with navy, with cream, with red. Endless combinations that feel fresh and new to me.

SAY MY NAME, SAY MY NAME

Give a name to the look you want. Make a list of adjectives. Then narrow the list to a handful of descriptions that best represent the style you want. Here are mine:
Ladylike
Bold
Touchable
Polished
Playful

Here are adjectives that didn’t make the cut: boho, boxy, androgynous, sporty, minimalistic, trendy, sexy, preppy, edgy, relaxed, rocker.

WHY NAME IT?
Name it because your style adjective exercise helps you define your style, making the decisions to keep or toss all the easier. Given my adjectives, I compiled a list of identifying details that help tell my style story. Naming your style helps to identify the elements that represent it. Click To TweetWHAT ARE THE DETAILS THAT REPRESENT YOUR ADJECTIVES?
For me, I created a list of details that represent "Ladylike, Bold, Touchable, Polished, and Playful," my style:
Tights
Bows
Ruffles
Lace
Silk
Ties, Ribbons
Hourglass Silhouettes
Stripes
Paint!

WHAT’S MISSING?
Assess the situation. See what’s missing. Make a list of things you might want to add in the future to really knock it out of the park (I’m obsessed with these shoes). Sometimes we think we need things, but we don’t. So, keep it limited to a list, and see if you can’t wait on that black top with the ruffled sleeve.

2017 MARCH – MAY CAPSULE WARDROBE

Here’s my current capsule (coming soon). In the meanwhile, get started with your piles!

Post contains some affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

Comments

  1. I miss your posts about what’s going on in your life. Maybe I’m in the minority but I’m not as interested in the diet, makeup, fashion, food posts. You’re so compelling when you’re writing about yourself and your family.

    1. Author

      I hear ya KHR, and I agree. Topic-prompts is what I really need. When you’ve kept a blog since 2004 (13 years), you sometimes feel like you’ve said it all and don’t want to repeat yourself. Which makes no sense because who is clicking all up in your archives? But you’re right. Thank you for the reminder. On it.

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