Sorry about the delay. Hope you all had a wonderful weekend! I was laid low by a bug, but am back now to continue the hunt for the perfect capsule wardrobe with you! Here is Stephanie to tell us what comes next:
Now that you have your LOVES all picked out and a list and budget, you get to do some SHOPPING! Depending on how many items you need and the type, this might take you several days of hunting. But don’t get disheartened! If you need help finding a particular item, post in the facebook group and I am sure me or some of the ladies here can point you in the right direction.
Ideally I would make a drive over to the mall to do my shopping, but with two kids in tow, that just doesn’t happen. I save time and sanity by just doing all my shopping online. But that’s just what works for me! Do what works best for your life. So what I have done is I found the three stores that fit my style and my budget, and every season I buy a bunch of items online to fill the gaps in my capsule (usually just enough to get free shipping) and then return what I don’t need. Usually between these three stores I am able to get everything I need for the season. If you want to save a lot money, I recommend buying fall stuff NOW and fill in the rest of your winter capsule in March.
Here are the stores I shop at.
Nordstrom for shoes, loungewear, and underthings (they also have free shipping and returns)
GAP for basics like tanks, tees, leggings, jeans and belts
LOFT for dresses, sweaters, scarves, and statement necklaces
I recommend you do some research to find some stores that fit YOUR style and budget before you spend hours shopping online. If you thrive on thrift stores, I commend you for your skills and bravery and would love it if you shared some advice on how you go about finding items.
This is a FANTASTIC list of stores with reviews and comments to help you get an idea of where to start. I found it SUPER helpful in narrowing the field. (Also, this subreddit has great tips, ideas, advice, etc for those of you who really want to get into capsule and like the minimalist style).
Once you have a few stores to order from or go to, then plan a day to go SHOPPING! My number ONE tip with shopping is this BE PICKY AND BE OKAY WITH COMING HOME EMPTY HANDED. Remember, your closet is a very special place for JUST the items you LOVE. Not just anything deserves a spot there.
Here are some tips for deciding whether or not to purchase an item. These tips are from this website, which is also really fantastic, and I’ve copied and pasted the tips for you below.
1. does it fit my style concept?
The overall look of an item is what will draw you to it initially when you see it on the rack or online and can definitely be used as a first filter to make sure the item is in line with the look you are going for. Inspect each piece carefully and compare its shape, colour, pattern, texture and details to your style concept for the current season. If you are aiming for a classic French-chic wardrobe for example, consider whether the item would support this look or distract from it. Think of your style concept like a painting – each item in your wardrobe should contain elements that match the concept but at the same time should not contain any that clash and would taint the overall look. Be as specific or general as you like – look for a theme or certain colours, patterns and details.
2. do i like the fit and fabric?
Fit and fabric are the two big non-negotiables. An item that is an inch outside of your style concept is something you can work with, but if its fit does not suit your body or its fabric feels horrible on your skin, you will eventually just stop wearing it. To save you time in the future, it is a good idea to write yourself a little fit/fabric guide on which cuts and fabrics you love/hate, so you can focus your search on a smaller range of items from the start. Garments can often look very different on the rack than on the body, and it can also sometimes be difficult to judge whether you would be comfortable wearing a fabric just by touching it with your hands, so unless you have bought the same item before, you should always try on possible keepers, either at the store or at home (keep receipts!). While trying on items, make sure you move around in them, sit down, etc. As a last step, check the laundry requirements of each piece and, if it’s relatively high-maintenance, decide whether you would be able to commit to wash items by hand or take them to the dry cleaner regularly.
3. what place/function will it have in my wardrobe?
Before you buy an item you should at least have a vague idea of the role you want it to play in your wardrobe. Do you want it to be a part of your capsule wardrobe for the current season or even a part of your uniform? Will it be one of your key pieces or could it make a good basic to pair with bolder statement items? Do you plan on wearing it regularly for work or everyday stuff, or would you reserve it for special occasions? Every new addition should at least harmonise with your wardrobe’s internal structure and your preferred outfit building methods. Even if an item fits your style concept perfectly, if you can’t assign it a function from the top of your head, chances are it would not work with the flow of your wardrobe and you would have to ‘work around’ it more than anything.
4.will it fill a gap in my wardrobe or add to an already overrepresented area?
For this question you need to put your sensible hat on and consider whether you actually need this item and whether it would help you build a wardrobe that matches your lifestyle. Besides expressing your visual ideals, your wardrobe should also represent all of your activities, ideally in proportional frequencies. For example, if you spend most of your time wearing casual daytime clothes and only a few nights per month at venues that require evening wear, your daytime wardrobe section should be considerably larger than your stock of evening wear. Try to keep track of over- and underrepresented areas in your wardrobe just so you can make a more informed purchase decision should you suddenly find an amazing item. If it would add to an already jam-packed section of your wardrobe, you might want to reconsider whether you could not make better use of the money and closet space to stock an underrepresented area (and thereby make a greater marginal difference to the functionality of your wardrobe).
5. can i think of at least 3 outfits to wear it with?
If your item made it through all of the above four questions, you might well have discovered a valuable addition to your wardrobe, congratulations But before you make a final decision, quickly double-check the versatility of your item by brainstorming a few possible outfits. A strong style concept and a coherent wardrobe structure should already do most of the work for you, but just to be sure, try to come up with three outfits using the potential new item and the rest of your wardrobe. If you can easily think of three or more outfits that you would happily wear, I’d say your item is a keeper!
Remember that it can take a lot longer to shop since you are being much more particular and purposeful about your purchases. Don’t feel like you have to complete your capsule in a week especially if you are new to them. Take the time to find that STELLAR piece, and feel free to use the next few days to post in this group for feedback and successes/failures in your shopping!
Today share what places you love to shop and share a recent purchase if you have already started shopping!
Thanks Stephanie! I plan on doing some in store shopping with my sister later this month. I do dearly love shopping online though, and thought I would share a trick for saving money online:
One of the first places I go to is Thredup.com (heads up if you sign up through that link you get $10 off!)* Think of it as an online consignment store for name brand items. It works especially well it you have identified brands you love as Stephanie suggested, since you can filter your search by brand. price range, etc. I usually save around 70% retail.
I can’t wait to hear about your awesome capsules soon! See you here again tomorrow for the last part of the series!
This is a referral link so know that if you do end up getting something fabulous with your credit, I also get a $10 credit.