Capsule Wardrobe Part 2: My Wardrobe

Remember that one time, when I was going to post about my capsule wardrobe? Yeah…me neither.

Really though, sorry for the delay! Life happened and I really wanted to get my new blog up and going in a better format before doing a lot more posts, thus the time lapse. But it’s finally here! I’m going to do a series of posts on this, including how to find your own style, how to make a capsule and not go broke, and highlight some of my favorite pieces with links! So without further ado, I give you…Part Two.

As we can see, I am not a professional photographer. Forgive the randomness you see everywhere.

As we can see, I am not a professional photographer. Forgive the randomness you see everywhere.

For a recap of the what and why of a capsule wardrobe, read this post.

Items: 45-ish. This number is a little fluid because I have a few things that I’m still figuring out. I haven’t worn some things since prior to being pregnant with Jude, so I need to get a feel for whether I still think they fit in my wardrobe or not.

Color palette: Neutrals with pops of color. My husband was asked what my favorite color was, and he said gray. At first I was like “what?!” and all offended that he thought I was bland or something, but he’s totally right. I LOVE gray. I want to paint our whole house gray (half of it already is). My wardrobe has a large majority of gray…dark, light, deep, long sleeve, short sleeve. The only thing gray that I DON’T like is 50 Shades, which is another post for another time.

My Style: Classic basics, with a few fun pieces and a few dressy pieces. It took me a while to figure out MY style. I like trendy things, but I don’t like WEARING trendy things. I like neutrals. I like classic. I’m currently a stay at home mom of two littles; I do not need cashmere sweaters and heels everyday. (although, last night I tried on a cashmere cardigan and it took everything in me to put it back. The price tag did help. A lot.) If you looked in my closet even 3 years ago, when my days consisted of professional business-woman-type things there was a lot of cashmere and wool and dry clean only. In fact, after Graham was born I remember specifically going to buy some ‘cute, casual clothes’ because I realized that the days I stayed home with him my wardrobe at the time wasn’t going to cut it.

Versatility: I have a lot of items that stay in my closet all 4 seasons, which is the ideal for capsule wardrobe-ing. LAYERS. A good tank can stand alone in the summer, work under a chambray in spring or flannel in the fall, and layer under a warm sweater in the winter. ¾ sleeves are also my friend, because they easily work in most VA weather. I have basic jeans in different styles: dark wash skinny, basic black matchstick, medium wash straight, distressed boyfriend and dark wash straight. They can all be dressed up or dressed down, depending on accessories and shirt pairings.

Favorite brands: J. Crew, Cloth&Stone, Paige, Everlane. We are so very fortunate to live in a town with J. Crew clearance store…if ever we move, I will be making trips back for that. I have 3 pairs of jeans, 2 pencil skirts, 2 pairs of dress pants and a good ½ of my shirts and almost all my shoes are from there. However, the more options they offer, Everlane will soon be taking over…their clothes are amazing. Transparent pricing, ethical practices, superb quality. I have 4 shirts currently in different styles and colors and they are easily the most worn items in my closet. Their Ryan long-sleeve is my favorite. I have it in charcoal, and in one day I wore it with dress pants and heels for church, switched to jeans and tennis shoes for a kid’s birthday party, then switched out for dress flats and a vest for a meeting. Same shirt, all day, 3 very different ways of wearing it. I want one in every color, so I used some Christmas money and ordered a black one. I'm so lively...black and gray. 

Where I shop: J. Crew Clearance, everlane.com, TJ Maxx, Thrift stores. That’s about 95% of where I shop. On occasion I find something at Target or other stores, but I’m finding they don’t last as long and I need to replace them a lot sooner. When you have small children and have to wash clothes with spit up and food and who knows what else on them, you need them to last. Everlane products, again, hold up the best. I wash and wash and they still look new. TJ Maxx is fabulous for those weird high-end brands that you don’t find easily, and if you hit their clearance at the end of a season, you can get Paige jeans ($180 retail) for $20. Also, hit the Thrift stores nearest to where the stores you like are located! We have a couple good ones near the J. Crew outlet, and low and behold, I found 2 pairs of like-new dress pants (one Collection, one lined wool) for under $4/pair. I can do online shopping at smaller brand stores like Everlane, because once you figure out how their brand fits, it’s pretty easy to order. I have tried things like ThredUp, but you never know what the shrinkage is like on an item, how it’s structured, etc. I DO, however, use them for selling items. (more on that in the ‘don’t break the bank’ post!)

Those are my personal wardrobe basics. I have really been impressed at how well I am now able to filter through stores like TJ Maxx and hone in on exactly what I'm looking for, because I actually know. And, having a smaller number of things means I'm more willing to wait until I find exactly what it is I'm looking for. I went last night looking for a lightweight, dressy cardigan (I currently have a super-casual one and a sweater). I went through every rack, found 5 I liked, tried them on, and none worked, so I put them back. OK, one worked. It was the cashmere. Someday...someday.

Anyway. If you want to check out Everlane, feel free to use this link. Full disclosure: if you buy something, I will get some credit, and then I'll buy more black and gray shirts. But maybe I'll surprise you and spring for navy! Ooo...the mystery. The intrigue.