Capsule Wardrobing

80/20 Capsule Update (One Month In)

Happy day, dearest reader!

It’s April and I am just over a month into this 80/20 Spring Capsule experiment, so it’s time to take a step back and see how it is working… For those of you new to my blog, the 80/20 is my capsule wardrobe version of the Pareto Principle; I chose 20 clothing pieces, and 80 accessories (jackets, shoes, jewels, etc.) to see how this ratio would work for dressing for a season.

Also, I have been shopping for clients, and (unfortunately!) finding all kinds of lovely things I want for myself in the process. Sometimes I am all about quality, other times about novelty, and right now I am jonesing for a new tote bag. Really. Badly. I don’t need a new tote bag, but that doesn’t stop me from wanting one. I still struggle with that distinction; how about you? I cannot be allowed into Target unchaperoned until I get past this.

FYI: The pictures you see here are all just me and my iPhone. No fancy lighting. No editing. No filters. No Instagram husband. Sorry! Real life. Not lifestyle.

My 20 (Clothing)

For the record, I wasn’t really worried about having “only” 20 items to wear for the March through June. Ok, so maybe I was a bit panicked about not having enough outerwear. But I worked around that by choosing 5 to be part of my 80. Yes, my short tweedy jacket did end up being number 5.

Caveat: Deciding on a number of items for a capsule wardrobe is completely individual. If you wear items only once before washing, and do laundry infrequently, then you may want more pieces. I wear most things more than once (until our ghastly hot and humid summer gets here), and do wash a few times a week, so I am happy with a smaller number.

When I chose my 20, I made an effort to make sure I had a good variety (for me) of color. Now that we are into the season, (and the aforementioned client shopping adventures) I realize I am on a blue streak. Everything I see and fall for lately is blue, lots of blue, shades of blue, but definitely blue. I will need to review my camera roll to see if the outfits I put together in the next few weeks reflect that blue (but not blue) mood.

Weather Effect

Our spring has been decidedly wetter and cooler than usual, (Sorry, Master’s week patrons!) so I am incredibly glad I included three sweaters, one wool, and the cozy striped cotton. They have been in much heavier rotation than I expected. The cold weather also played games with my outerwear choices. I’m grateful I chose my short trench, AND that it is roomy enough to layer a sweater and jean jacket underneath. That sorted out most of my chill problems. The cool has also had me feeling not into my 2018 Dress More resolution. My dark green floral has gotten plenty of wear, and I have popped on my confetti print wrap. Time to make the other three work a little harder.

Special Occasions

I did break an old black dress coat out of the roof (storage) for a funeral. I am beyond glad to see the back end of March. The month was grueling, and included two. There was a third funeral the same day as the second, and as I was hundreds of miles away for the second, I was unable to make the third. I felt appropriately dressed in what I had already chosen for my capsule, but would have appreciated a more somber dark dress.

On a more cheerful note, we have a pleasant surprise coming up this month! Our oldest is receiving a work award at the annual banquet, and I have plenty of dressing options. It will come down to the weather, and how I feel about heels that evening. I did not include any “fancy” special occasion wear in my 20. Since my special occasion wear is still hanging on the far side of my closet, I’ll be covered if the need arises. I don’t foresee any soirees dressier than a wedding shower, so my capsule should cover me. Notice to the royal family… An invite to the wedding would wreak havoc with my capsule plan. Thank you for not derailing me.


With it being so chilly, I still have not swapped my old Levi’s for my lighter skinny jeans, and the red wool skirt is still in rotation. Nor have my boots been traded for sandals yet. I assumed that those swaps would have taken place by now. The same chill (and some weight issues) had me not feeling any love for my white jeans until last weekend. Now that I took the leap, they should find themselves in regular rotation for the rest of the season. On the color front, I combined my red skirt with two pink sweaters; although it was way out of character, it made me inordinately happy! Sometimes we surprise ourselves!

My 80 (Accessories)

If you have been reading my blog, or following me anywhere else on social media (FB, IG), you’ll know I have some magpie tendencies. (That may be an understatement…) This was where the panic set in! Only 80 accessories? I do know that sounds ri-dic-u-lous., but I am all about being honest with myself and others. My apologies if that’s not your bag. We’ll get through it. Honest and kind are not mutually exclusive.

Being a planner (read: relatively neurotic type A) in need of change, I decided not to choose my accessories in one batch, thinking through what coordinates with what, and how I would have the versatility and variety I need. Instead, I decided to take a more organic approach, and add scarves, necklaces, etc, as the spirit moved me.

The less strategic and more relaxed approach seems to be working so far. I am surprised to be nowhere near my 80 yet. That may be due to a shift in my magpie-ness and a recent urge for less bling and more simple. I pulled in a final pair of shoes earlier this week, and at present the jewelry count stands at 13 necklaces, 3 bracelets, 9 pair of earrings, and 2 rings. My biggest surprise is the bracelets, I have been prisoner to the “stack” for a long time and seem to be taking a break. I chose one necklace at the very beginning of the month that has not been worn again, so may count as a mistake. Only time will tell… I know it’s time to add some more colorful necklaces as we move into the more neutral clothing season for me.

As noted by the jones-ing at the beginning of this missive, it appears I should have included another tote in my handbag selections. I’m feeling the need for a more casual large bag (but not as large as my work tote), especially for the weekends. Noted. I’ll keep that in mind when planning my summer capsule. My clutch has been getting lots of wear, and my cream studded bag has been the favorite for quite a few weeks now… It’s my ‘tude bag.

Looking Forward

The next few weeks are all over the thermometer, so it’s looking like everything from boots to sandals, and Levi’s to shorts. It may be time to retire the red skirt, and I think I will be more grateful for my linen shirts coming up. We’ll see if lighter clothing and fewer layers brings back a need for more sparkle. If so, I still have some options to add to my accessories arsenal!

How about you? Has this spring (or fall if you are below the equator) been a dressing challenge for you? What has been your biggest issue this season? Are you happy with the choices in your wardrobe? Let’s start a conversation in the comments below! I love to hear what you are thinking…

Stylishly yours,

And many thanks to Catherine at Not Dressed as Lamb for the Link-Up!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.