Happy day, reader dear!
Welcome to December! And to a new season’s capsule wardrobe. After fall’s sartorial adventures, I need some rest. And for me, rest means back to basics, my kind of basics. Heavy on the neutrals and built around columns of color. If this is your first visit, Welcome! My name is Liz. I’m a professional Image, Wardrobe, and Color Consultant, and I blog about style, capsule wardrobing, and a variety of other topics that touch (often VERY loosely) on personal style, midlife, and reclaiming the fun that should be getting dressed each day. (Hence Closet Play…) If you are returning, Welcome Back! It’s lovely that you’ve come back to visit!
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Each season I rethink my capsule wardrobe. I need seasonal change. (I think it’s connected to growing up in a four season climate!) I ALWAYS shop my wardrobe first, and aim to purchase only five fashion items twice yearly (Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter). The caveat here is that I don’t count replacing jeans, or basic tops (white shirts, neutral flat shoes, etc.) in my five. Some people call this the French 5 Method or French 5 Wardrobe, I just call it setting limits to help me keep a cohesive and stylish wardrobe on a budget. (Not a Hollywood star’s budget!)
If you’d like a more detailed walk through the capsule creation process, here’s a 5 Step primer to get you started.
1. What Kind of Look Do I Want? (Imagine)
I want snowflake-y, sleek and modern, with touches of red for cheer. If sleek, modern, and cozy are in conflict, well, I’m just going to have to find a way to reconcile them. I expect textures will be my saving grace for cozy. I’m done with the berries (again) and blushes. Although I may need to keep one blush blouse to prevent naked-idity. I’d love a wide legged cropped jeans look like the pair on the willowy brunette on the inspiration board below. (Even if I am neither willowy nor brunette…)
2. What Do I Have? (Assess)
Shopping My Closet/Storage Box:
If you think I have a ton of clothes in storage, you’d be mistaken. I have one Rubbermaid Rough Tote and a shelf of out of season shoes in our spare bedroom. Otherwise my wardrobe fits in a standard 4 ft. by 2 ft. 1970s ranch home closet. No walk-in with fancy lighting, drawers and special shelving for shoes… And I’m okay with that! (Although… Some fancy shelving for shoes and bags might be nice. Sigh.)
I certainly own enough clothing in denim, grey, and (almost) white. As for red? Well, I have a red wool flannel skirt that should be perfect for cozy cheer. Add to that plenty of red accessories; including an old red leather tote and a red belt. I have a grey ribbed turtleneck and cozy cardie, my trusty year-round grey trousers and a variety of grey bags. For white, I have my jeans, shirt, and my white leather pre-loved satchel. On the denim front, I’m set with my 501’s, denim tops, and some blue sweaters.
I’d love a medium blue day bag to finish the blue set; maybe Santa will make that happen… I have a large chambray leather clutch that will do if he does not! In the teal quarter, my teal trousers, moto jacket and short sleeved sweater will give me both an inner and outer column in that hue. Sounds pretty complete to me!
I’ll also be well shod. I have boots, booties, or shoes in each color included in this capsule. There is a pair of red suede sandals I have been coveting since last summer, but bright red is probably not the most practical choice… Nor are sandals. It’s winter. Win. Ter. Do I sound convinced?
3. What Do I Need? (Evaluate)
What do I need?
As usual, white tops are always in short supply. I picked up an inexpensive white sweater this fall to replace an old stained one, and I could really use a nice white shirt. My problem? I don’t like collars, or long sleeves. My summer linen shirt is perfect, and I will keep that in my closet for warm days, but hopefully something more weather appropriate will show up. I’d LOVE a 3/4 sleeved swing style tee, or woven top. (Why woven? Read here.) Not holding my breath.
I should also be fine for bottoms. I will need to drop a few pounds to get back into the red skirt or my red jeans, so please think thinning thoughts for me! I can crop my wide legged chalk jeans (I may regret that move come spring.) to wear with booties this winter. I know, cropped is not the most flattering for me and my short legs, but I LOVE my jeans over the ankle.
Cozy is where I run into trouble… Since it is so warm much of the year, most of my cozy pieces have either been relegated to the box in the roof to be broken out in case of emergency (or trip North in the winter.), or donated to charity. My turtleneck, grey cardie above, and a blue cashmere sweater are about as cozy as it will get. Hopefully a couple of big scarves and those pops of red will help with the cozy/hygge vibe.
How much do I need?
As always, not as much as I think! Last winter’s item count was 35, and I didn’t wear 6 of them… As mentioned in my Fall 2019 Debrief, I want to make sure I don’t get too many pieces in this capsule; that overwhelms me, but do need to make sure to include plenty of toppers. Toppers and scarves are a good way to get cozy. I’ll even make sure to throw in a couple that have more of a holiday feel for the season. (Our family’s holiday season extends all the way into February… We have a pile of birthdays starting in January, so the festivity extends past New Year’s!)
4. What Will I Buy? (Eliminate Options)
I fell for a pair of red booties (in this post here) back in September, and by November decided that they were exactly what the doctor ordered for winter. I’m hoping to find a pair of red tights to wear with the skirt and booties. Bare legs will be too choppy; at 5’3”, I need all the length I can get!
Other than that, everything else is already in my wardrobe. YAY! A few more red accessories may be in order. I’d like a bright red scarf, and those red bubblegum pearls… Yup. Those are definitely on my list.
In the fall, I made the mistake of not ordering the scarf before it sold out. Looking on the bright side, that fail made room for the red booties. I also found a short sleeved teal sweater that I wore all fall and will include in my winter capsule, too. As you can see, the dress and shoes from this wish board made it onto winter’s style board, so I am looking forward to getting more wear from them this season.
How about you? Are you thinking forward to your next season yet, or is it too early or too late? What colors and/or neutrals do you want more of this coming season? Is there anything you are just “done with”? Which of the three grey jackets in the video would you choose? Let me know in the comments below… I do so love to hear from you!