Updated: Jan 31, 2019
Even though it's still in the high 90's over here, my mind is already making the transition to Fall. I've loaded this post with LOTS of links and favorites in case your mind is starting to drift to colder weather, plaid and everything pumpkin like mine :) If you have never done a capsule wardrobe, I believe that Fall is an awesome place to start! Summer was definitely a tough one for me with the lack of layering due to crazy heat. Fall layers can help you beat boredom and make an outfit feel fresh!
My inspiration for Fall started on a roadtrip to move my dear friend to Washington. After we made it through the dry desert of SoCal and into Shasta, the drive became gorgeous! I loved all of the rich colors of the forest, water and rock formations. That became my color inspo: forest green, deep teal, burnt orange/rust, and slate grey. Also mustard because I just can't stop, won't stop with that color! Each capsule I feel like I'm understanding my style more and more. In my summer capsule I got zero use out of my overalls (too hot) and kimono (too feminine). It's good to take this kind of inventory because it made me say no to lacy/flowy/floral prints for Fall that were good, but weren't totally me. I also pulled out my Fall box and noticed that it was full of ALL black, sweaters and long sleeves (not accurate for Fall weather in SoCal). This tub had been a mix-match of pre-pregnancy and post-pregnancy adaptable clothing. I made it my goal to shop for layering pieces that I will actually use. I got super picky this time around and did a lot of internet scouring to find the exact things on my list instead of settling. I did the most shopping for this capsule since last Fall I was a few months post-partum and was still in maternity clothing, and the Fall before, I was in early pregnancy. Most of my clothes were outdated, and I'm still learning how to dress my mama body.
If you are interested in doing a Capsule for the first time, or have already been on this train, my incredibly talented friend Liz created an AMAZING resource to help with planning! I have attached the Capsule Workbook so you can take inventory, plan a color scheme, nail down your style and start sorting and shopping!
This wouldn't be a capsule post without me stating that Madewell jeans have ruined me and I can't go back. I only purchased one pair of their denim shorts for my summer capsule and thought I would "supplement" with the other older denim shorts I had. Basically, I apologize to everyone who had to see me wear one pair of shorts all Summer, because that's what happened. I knew I wanted to purchase two pairs of their long jeans for Fall, which I was able to do with discounts and a free $25 promotion. If you sign up to be a Madewell Insider (free) you will get the emails for these promotions. Also, check the sale section on their site!! I found $49 jeans on their site a week ago that were awesome!! I ended up purchasing the roadtripper jeans (less expensive and feel more like a jegging), and the high-rise skinny in Frankie wash. These were my long term staple pieces that will carry me through Winter and Spring Capsules. My friend also convinced me to purchase this striped ruffle sleeve top and I'm glad she did! It was the perfect color and had just enough interest. Later on I purchased this cardigan in grey on sale. I added this deep green bandana as an accent color accessory. I will continue to agree that these pieces are more pricey, but if you use promotions, and watch the sale section, you can find great deals for quality clothes!
Another trick for capsule shopping! Type in your favorite brand into the search bar on the Nordstrom Rack website! I search for Madewell and Vans often. They update it daily, and although some things are only found in their stores (like singular pieces and returns) there are still a lot of great deals to be found. They usually carry quite a few Madewell plain shirts for about $17. I found this Madewell pin stripe button up in store on the clearance rack randomly, so unfortunately I don't have a link for that exact one, but there are some similar here, here and here. I also came across this buttery-soft shorter tee by a brand called "lime blue" that comes in multiple colors.
After purchasing some great staple pieces I started the hunt to fill in my capsule with some bargains that were still great quality and fit my rules. And WOW Target is delivering in a big way this season. The Universal Thread brand is the closest in style to Madewell, so surprise surprise, I can't get enough! I purchased a basic pocket tee in teal. These Free-People look-alike cutout shoes are going to be my go-to for the season (they come in cognac and black). The mechanic/y jumpsuit in the picture below just came out to Target this week and isn't even linked online yet! It comes in black and sage/olive green. This was definitely my risk item. Thank goodness for great friends who give honest advice. I feel so comfortable in it, and I think it will be a great Fall staple as I chase around my soon to be walking/running kiddo. If the link comes up for this soon, I will add it! Universal Thread also has some great plaids, and most of their shirts are on sale this week! I snagged this one for $15. Until then, run to Target!! I knew that I was going to want a light bomber jacket for Fall since a light jacket is probably all I will really need until February. I found the green one from my pictures in the Target Men's section!! The one I'm wearing is a size small, and comes in multiple colors. "A New Day" is another brand at Target that I've been liking. This copper/rust shirt is one of my favorites for the season! It comes in four colors and is on sale for $15. The material is thick and the texture is so soft. I found a similar color button up shirt by the same brand that is thinner/lighter and will be perfect for tucking in to high waisted jeans. The quality is definitely not as nice as the other one but it is a great fill in top. The exact polk-a-dot color top is linked here in plus-size, and the same style in solids is linked here. A New Day also has some cute accessories, like this rust hair scarf.
After Summer, I realized I wanted to add more pattern to my wardrobe, but it turns out I am suuuuper picky about patterns. Not only that, most patterned shirts are in a sheer (NO), chiffon-like fabric (NO) that I find to be uncomfortable, and just not suitable for my toddler holding lifestyle right now. Besides obviously liking a lot of stripes, I found that I also like plaids and graphic tees. I found some nice thicker tees from American Eagle that I related with, in my capsule colors. This vintage Ford Mustang Tee and this Love will Prevail shirt in mustard. They just came in the mail this week and I am so impressed with the texture, especially on the mustard tee!
Lotta from Stockholm
Two of my friends added Lotta clogs (legit clogs that come only from Stockholm) to their Spring Capsules. When I originally heard the word "clog" I was super skeptical. I thought of heavy, clunky shoes that would make my feet look huge and not be comfortable. I typically wear shoes with ZERO height to them. I haven't owned a pair of legitimate heels in years. I think I have one pair of business wedges with a one inch lift. I'm all about comfort, even more so now as a mom. After watching my friends get so much use out of them, I became more curious. I realized that one of the main reasons I don't wear high heels outside of comfort is because I usually don't have my toes done. The clogs have a closed toe and also come in low and high styles. Now that I was getting sold on the clog idea, I decided to watch for a deal. Lotta's website has a section called sales and seconds. "Seconds" are their pairs that barely didn't pass inspection but that they still feel comfortable selling at a discount. Once I settled on a style, I watched that page like crazy and signed up for email alerts to tell me when my size was back in stock. They ended up uploading a Low Wood T-Bar style in my size in forest green and I snatched them up! The non-seconds are normally $80, and as seconds they are $50. I haven't been able to find any imperfection on my pair. I've linked the style that I got, but the green color is not yet available, just a random fluke in the seconds section that went up. I have already worn them out on a date, and I can not get enough!! They have so much support and I can't feel the incline at all! They add a little bit of dressy-ness without sacrificing comfort. If you decide to order a pair, follow their sizing guide for the style that you want. I am typically a 7.5 and I ordered the 38. My goal this season is to try to wear them at least once with socks. Their instagram is full of cute ways to style them.
I received some awesome Capsule questions that I hope I can help answer here.
What is the magic number for a Capsule Wardrobe?
When I first started a capsule wardrobe, I was following the guide from Caroline Rector of Un-fancy. Her guide suggests starting with a capsule of 37 items (does not include outerwear, pajamas, intimates or exercise apparel). I stuck pretty closely to those guidelines for my first two capsules. In summer, I narrowed it down even further to almost 30 items. In each capsule so far, there are pieces that I have not worn. In Summer, I really felt limited by the end of the capsule. Each time I am adjusting to find the "right" pieces. At the end of the day, I feel like it's about finding those "right" pieces, not necessarily the right number. When starting out, I think that about 35 pieces is a great beginning to minimizing your wardrobe. Most of all, the capsule is meant to simplify, not complicate, so don't make it too much work and have fun with it!
How do you balance a work and personal wardrobe?
I have not had to cross this bridge yet but I have friends who have, and are also adjusting each time around. If you have a job that requires more business attire, I think it would be most helpful to have two mini capsules for work and personal. The more casual your work, the easier I think it would be to have one capsule with a few pants/shoes that are more suited for work, with tops that are inter-mixable. Again, I think this is a personal preference that may take some trial and error. When I get to this point, I will most likely start with two mini-capsules.
When do you start your Fall Capsule?
I am starting my Fall Capsule on September 1st and going through November 30th. I worked hard to be realistic with Cali weather. Even though I'm drawn to all of the chunky sweaters, I don't usually get to wear them until February. Instead, I loaded this capsule with short sleeve shirts, jeans and light sweaters/jackets. Including lots of fun Fall colors, helped appease the part of me that will be drinking a pumpkin spice latte in 80 degree weather.
If you have any more questions, don't hesitate to leave them here or on my instagram. Let me know if you're also doing a capsule so I can see all of your finds and outfit ideas! Keep watching my insta stories this week for some bandana tutorials!