Fashion (My Style) · Simply Wardrobing · Wardrobe Remix

[The Closet Chronicles] The Final Stretch (aka “We’re Gonna Go…SHOPPING!!”)

It’s finally coming to an end, everyone! When I started this “Capsule Wardrobe” process, I didn’t think it would take over a month of work to finalize. The last time I went through a closet overhaul, it took me just about a week or so to finalize. I think the biggest difference this time was that I wasn’t simply buying items that I liked (though that was part of the thinking process). I also was looking to make sure they were pieces that would fit well with my style and I knew would fit into a closet where I could grab anything and want to actually wear and could style in a number of different ways.

It was a long lesson to learn, but totally worth it!!

Of course, I do want to share with you the steps I took in the shopping process, as I finished “filling the holes” in my wardrobe. So let us recap what it is I still have left to look for in my capsule planner list:

  • Bottoms Specifically, I would need a new pair of black skinny jeans, and a couple of lighter weight denim jeans (maybe even cropped?) for the warmer months. This was probably the BIGGEST need, lest I wear my one pair of bootcut jeans everyday. I also wanted to find a pair of denim shorts. While I don’t wear shorts very often, I knew I would want to have that option on those very un-Michigan-like HOT HOT HOT days. Also helpful would be to find at least one casual skirt (knee-length or at most 2 inches above the knee) to give my wardrobe a bit more versatility.
  • Tops – All I knew as far as tops were concerned was that I wanted to stick to looser, flowy, solid colored t-shirts as my core (at least 5 total), but also wanted to bring in a boyfriend-style button-down shirt (color didn’t matter), a couple unique, flowy pieces (tunic length preferred), and a couple of tank tops that were also a looser fit.
  • Dresses – I needed at least one or two casual dresses that could be worn in the place of my usual jeans-and-t-shirt attire. I wanted to stick to a neutral color palate (favoring gray and black) and cuts that didn’t cling to my body, but also weren’t overly flared. I wanted these dresses to fall nicely off my body. Plus, I wanted to be able to pair them with a nice vest (like my J.Crew utility vest).
  • Outerwear – There was only one item I REALLY wanted when it came to outerwear…A DENIM VEST!! But it had to be the right cut, length, and shade of blue (picky, picky, picky!!). I didn’t even know how to describe what I was looking for…I just knew I would know when I saw it. Other than that, if I could find one other vest top that would add interest to my t-shirt/jeans almost-uniform, I would snatch it up.
  • Shoes – My need for shoes boiled down to four…a pair of brown/cognac flat sandals, a pair of dressier shoes/sandals for fancier affairs (that are NOT boots), a pair of black walking sneakers, and a pair of Vans in a lighter, neutral tone (I prefer Vans over Keds or Converse).

With pregnancy, having a baby, and then some weight loss that resulted in significant changes in my body shape, it was inevitable that the shopping would be a tad more extensive for me this time around (but consider that I had not purchased non-maternity summer clothes for almost two years!). Still, my goal in the shopping was to buy only items that I knew I would last, so they had to meet two key criteria:

  1. The items I bought had to be of good quality that (with special care) would be ones I could re-wear for as many years as I can.
  2. The items have to be basic and classic in style…nothing overly trendy…so that they would be able to stand the test of time. Of course, I naturally gravitate towards such items, so I knew I didn’t have much to worry about there.

So, here are the items I have purchased for this first summer capsule wardrobe (and the brands/shops I bought them from). Just so you know, I am (and this post is) not sponsored by ANY of the brands/shops listed below. 

Photo 20160704, 7 44 38 PM
The biggest haul of all the shopping trips it took to fill the gaps…I promise there are only one or two items in each bag!! And I save these bags for transporting stuff all the time. #savethetrees

Can I just say that looking for jeans have become a whole new ordeal for me? I was determined to find pairs that were not only of better quality, but ones that fit me as close to perfectly as possible (and make my legs look GOOD!). This is not an easy thing to do, as my shorter stature means most jeans are too long on my legs and my unique body shape makes finding ones my calves fit into jeans that also fit my hips and waist difficult. All four of the above jeans do just that…and I can grab any one of them and feel really good about the fit. I may have spent a tad more overall than I ever have on jeans before, but I do plan to make them last as long as possible, with proper care and actually wearing all of them in rotation.

Do you see a theme here? I’m totally obsessed with the looser tee trends going on right now. While they are slightly flowy in the way they hang off my body, they aren’t so baggy that I feel my shape is lost in them. The Madewell whisper cotton tees are definitely my favorite of the bunch.

At the same time, I didn’t want to be in uniform with these similar tees and jeans all the time, so I made sure to vary the styles a bit. My favorite non-tshirt top is definitely the Vanessa Virginia Ladder Lace Tunic from Anthropologie. This is brand that I never thought I could ever afford, but my sister taught me (very well) that the sale/clearance racks are a gold mine…and I TOTALLY hit the jackpot with this one.

  • Outerwear – There was only one item I REALLY wanted when it came to outerwear…A DENIM VEST!! But it had to be the right cut, length, and shade of blue (picky, picky, picky!!). I didn’t even know how to describe what I was looking for…I just knew I would know when I saw it.

I FOUND IT I FOUND IT I FOUND IT!! After years of searching, I have found the perfect denim vest. Seriously…the shade of denim, the cut, and the simple design are all exactly what I wanted. When I walked into Madewell and saw it, I knew it was the one. What gave me pause was whether I wanted to pay so much for it. I had to tell myself that this was a piece I would be wearing for a long time, and that it would be well worth it. Besides, it was one piece that I didn’t think would go on sale anytime soon (being one that can be worn multiple seasons and can stand the test of time). So I made it mine!

Needless to say, I went a bit crazy when it came to shoes. But while before, I would simply browse through DSW sale racks and buy whatever caught my eye, I went in knowing I had specific styles of shoes I wanted to incorporate into my capsule. I am completely satisfied with this collection  of footwear for this summer capsule. And since I tried my best to go with as simple/classic styles as possible, I’m hoping I can easily re-introduce them to my summer capsule in years to come.

In case you’re wondering (it’s confession time), I did pick up almost all of these items on sale (Read: drastically discounted prices!!). I can’t help it…I have a hard time paying full price for clothes, knowing that if I wait a just a little while, I can get them for 20-70% off retail…especially if I shop mid to late in the season. I guess that explains why the shopping process took so long. This is probably the one place where I veered from the “rules” of capsule wardrobing. But I do plan on slowly moving away from this habit as I continue my capsule wardrobe journey. 

Photo 20160709, 9 57 57 AM
I may or may not have journaled about some of my shopping deal wins…maybe…

And, thusly, I ended my shopping for my very first capsule wardrobe. In my next post, I will give you a peek into the final capsule wardrobe collection that resulted from this process (as well as a few unexpected detours I had to take).

So until then…keep on living to learn and love, folks!

 

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