Capsule Wardrobe Bliss
As we were on a rare family outing to Yorkdale the other day, Mike looked at one of the displays in a store window and said, “I don’t have enough stuff in one colour palette. None of my clothes coordinate very well.” Usually quick to commiserate, I had to stop myself because this spring I have really focussed on limiting purchases to a specific colour palette (light neutrals in denim/blue, cream, and nude), that not only work well together, but that tie into my pre-existing spring/summer wardrobe as well, resulting in a selection of pieces that I can mix and match very easily. And my rigourous planning paid off on our recent trip to Seattle because I packed no less than six outfits in a carry-on! This is an achievement considering I am a chronic over-packer. (One of the memories that stands out most vividly from our honeymoon is poor Mike heaving my huge suitcase into and out of taxis, our rental car, and the train).
I kind of love having a capsule wardrobe for several reasons:
1. Putting outfits together is easy when everything pretty much goes with everything else. The power of the mix-and-match wardrobe cannot be underestimated! But I will point out that arriving at this place of wardrobe nirvana required a lot of blood, sweat, and tears beforehand, in terms of deciding which pieces to buy. It’s hard to teach an old buy-whatever-you-like-dog, new tricks.
2. I am getting wear out of the clothes I did choose to buy, which not only makes me feel more socially and ecologically responsible (I am still nursing a bit of a Minimalism hangover), but it is better for our bottom-line too. Plus, instead of buying anything that tickles my fancy when I’m out (read: cheap thrills), I have been buying better quality items that I actually love. Win, win.
3. It makes packing a cinch. I did the same thing when we went to Portugal last November and it seriously takes all the guess work out of figuring out what to wear, letting me focus on more important things like drinking in (literally–we had all the wine), a new city.
Here’s what my capsule wardrobe looks like. Not all of the pieces are the exact ones I bought but I linked the most similar items I could find.
Clockwise starting in the middle:
I cannot understate my love for these jeans. They harness a magical butt-boosting power and they are the perfect wash and cut for me. They are probably the mainstay of my summer wardrobe.
Boyfriend-style Sleeves Tank, $16 (on sale now!)
The one pictured is T by Alexander Wang, but I went for the much more affordable version from Gap’s vintage line. I love the tough-chic look of a sleeveless tee. It’s a great option for toughening up summer florals on the bottom.
Top with Ruffled Sleeves, $39.99
The one pictured is from Mango but I got the light purple, more ruffly number from H&M, linked above. Ruffles are the trend of the season and I can wear this top with virtually every bottom I own.
White Leather Cross-body Bag, $69.90
I bought one with fringe and a detachable woven strap from Zara because I love that it can be dressed up or down. Plus the neautral shade easily transitions from one outfit to the next.
Vince Noella Leather Lace-Up Flat, $300+
I scored these exact go-with-everything flats by Vince at Winners! You can buy them in black, here.
Pearl-embellished Oxfords, $100
Another score from Winners. Mine are pink with all-over pearls. This pair is a total splurge from Nichlas Kirkwood.
Cream Wide-Leg Cropped Pants, $24.99 (on sale now!)
These are the perfect summer pants–they are comfortable and they go with every top and every shoe in my wardrobe. I’ve been dressing them up and down all over town 🙂 The ones pictured are a much pricier version than by Gap stand-boys, from Off-White.
Denim Skirt, $39.99
I have been living in this denim Skirt from H&M. So much so, that I bought it in black too–and I never do that!
Patchwork Dress, $50
Mine was from good old Winners again, but it’s a similar cut to this one by Fraiche.
Bejewelled Blouse, $45.90
Gems aren’t typically my style but I loved the cut of this blouse so I bought it and am I ever glad I did. I wear it a ton (with the jean skirt, wide-leg pants, and Levi’s above), and every time I do, I get so many compliments on it!
I hope my you’re inspired by my positive capsule wardrobe experience! If it’s something you’ve been curious about anyway, then give it a try! A bonus side effect is that I feel more satisfied when I’m out shopping, knowing that I essentially have what I need to get me through the summer, and I can allocate my money to other things–like the down payment on a future house–without feeling like I’m doing without.
Have you ever tried your hand at creating a capsule wardrobe? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below! Here are some shots of mine in action: