Category Archives: Musings

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Capsuled Style Series: Shopping Day!

 

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).

https://www.reddit.com/r/femalefashionadvice/comments/2ur35d/updated_guide_to_brands_stores/

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.

 

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Capsuled Style: Day 5 Look at Your Loves

And we are back for day five!  Great job we are in the home stretch now!

Give yourself a GINORMOUS pat on the back. You have done the most time-consuming part of creating your perfect capsule! Take a step back and be proud of yourself, because I KNOW you trashed/donated a bunch of things you have been holding onto for ages. It’s hard at first, but I know in a few days you will feel liberated if you don’t already. And slowly your own unique and personal style will start to come through. Treat your new closet as something almost sacred. Don’t let just anything take up space in there. Be sure it is something that gives you a spark of joy!

So now that you have cut your wardrobe down to your LOVES you might be thinking you need some things to really create a well-rounded capsule. Sometimes adding a simple item like a slim black belt or a colorful scarf can really complete your capsule. Maybe you got rid of almost all your stuff and need to do some serious shopping. That’s fine too!

Here are the next TWO steps to putting the finishing touches on your wardrobe.

  1. Step back and looks at your LOVE pile with fresh eyes. Do you see a common thing among your loves? Style, color, etc? Play a bit with your pieces. Think of the 2-3 “uniforms” that you tend to enjoy wearing. Is your wardrobe missing any pieces that would fill in the gaps in your wardrobe? (It is VERY common to have big holes in your wardrobe because if you buy clothes mindlessly then you often will overbuy in one particular area; that was the case with me and my 15 cardigans! YIKES!)
  2. Make a budget. How much can you afford to spend to fill in the gaps in your wardrobe? Consider selling some of your nicer items you are giving away so that you can buy a few new pieces. You don’t have to spend a ton of money to build a well-functioning capsule. However, you might find you can afford some slightly nicer pieces since you are buying fewer things. 😉

I will post in the comments some uniform ideas, some color palettes, and some wardrobe basics to help you guys get some vision for where to go next with your capsule.

Today share one of your FAVORITE pieces from your new capsule!!!unnamed (1)

Thanks Stephanie!  Can’t wait to see your favorite pieces!

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Capsuled Style Day 3: Closet Cleanout

Did you all have fun brainstorming yesterday?  Ready for another day in the series?  Here is Stephanie to coach us through a closet cleanout!

Here is where the real fun begins! Today we purge our closet. This is always my favorite part because I love seeing my bare closet. It reminds me of the beauty of simplicity. It reminds me how much having empty space in my closet….being able to see all my favorite pieces….putting them back one by one…brings me JOY.

So today you must take EVERY CLOTHING ITEM OUT OF YOUR CLOSET. Yup. EVERYTHING. The only things you are allowed to leave are exercise clothes, pjs, socks, and underthings (things that wouldn’t fit into your capsule).

Take out:

Sweaters

Tanks

Dresses

Tees

Leggings

Socks

Jewelry

Purses

Shoes

Belts

Coats

Swimsuits

Other seasonal wear

Let me know if you think I’m leaving anything important out. 😉

I typically lay everything on the bed, but if you have a lot of stuff to go through, you should put your pile in a place where it can stay for a day without inconveniencing you terribly. When I did my big purge I laid everything on the floor in my living room. All day it looked like my toddler’s room after she has friends over.😱

Now, Marie Kondo might scold me for this, but I like putting on some classical music at this point. This is to prevent me from getting major decision fatigue after going through all my clothes. I find the music helps soothe me a bit so I don’t get overwhelmed by the large pile. DON’T use this as time to catch up on Downton Abbey or Serial’s latest podcast. 😛 You want to have all your attention focused on this task so you can get through it as quickly and efficiently as possible. Trust me.

So here is what you are going to do. You are going to pick up each piece of clothing and put them in one of 4-6 piles.

  1. Love
  2. Maybe
  3. Seasonal
  4. Donate
  5. Maternity
  6. Trash
  1. Love. These are the pieces that bring you JOY. This can be hard at first, but you will figure it out as you discover your personal style. These are the pieces you wear constantly and bring you a sense of joy and confidence when you wear them. No, your Target yoga pants and VS hoodie probably aren’t going to be in this pile. Think about what you would wear if you were doing a runway fashion show of your closet. Also, think back at your brainstorming day yesterday. You don’t need three fancy dresses if the only fancy events you go to are the occasional wedding and Christmas party. Also, though you might like the variety in color, perhaps that shade of green does nothing for your skin tone. 😉
  2. Maybe. If you can’t tell if you love it, that probably means it has to go. But I totally understand wanting to hold onto your “maybes”. As you figure out what your loves are, it’s totally ok to have a pile of things you want to hold onto to see if you end up wearing them. The caveat here is that if you don’t wear the this season, then OUT they go! I do this for a lot of my basic pieces. Right. Is I have a basic black sweater in my maybe pile. I rarely wear it, but it’s a basic, so I’m going to hold onto it in case.
  3. Seasonal. Swimsuits, short sleeves, fancy spring dresses, shorts, coats, flip-flops….you get the idea. Unless you live in a place like CA or FL, then put what isn’t in season into storage until you are ready to go through your next season’s capsule. I already have all my clothes divided by season, so I didn’t have anything other than my coats and a fancy dress for this pile. For those of you who can’t store anything or who live in a climate with constant summer, you probably don’t need/want this pile. One option for you guys might be to look into creating an all-year-round capsule….or maybe a two season capsule.
  4. Donate. I think this one is obvious?
  5. Maternity. Also obvious I hope! Lol! If it’s a piece you can and do wear when pregnant or not, keep it separate. But if it’s an obvious maternity piece and you don’t have a bun in the oven currently, then store it just like your seasonal stuff.
  6. Trash. If you wouldn’t give it to your sister, it goes here and NOT in the donate pile.

I ENCOURAGE you to get through all of your clothes in one day. Even if it seems like a lot of work, you will feel better about not dragging in on for two days. Again, trust me.

Once you have all your piles divided the store, bag, toss, donate each one. Hang up or fold your “loves” in your closet. I fold my “maybes” and put them on a high shelf where I can see the, but have to make an effort to get them down. This encourages me to only get it down if I really need to add it to my wardrobe. You could also hang your “maybes” in a separate part of your closet. Or you can just put them in a box. Just remember to keep the separate so you can toss/donate them after the season is over.

Don’t worry if you feel like you still have too many clothes, you got rid of too much, or you don’t have any real outfits. Tomorrow we will go over how to sculpt your wardrobe with what is left.

For fun, post a pic of your pile/piles of clothes! Or take a before and after of your closet! Or post a pic of something you can’t decide on so you can get feedback.  Lets make this process as enjoyable as possible, since this really is the toughest part.unnamed (2)

Thanks Stephanie!  Alright time to roll up my sleeves and get to work!  I’ll see you all tomorrow!