Capsule Wardrobing

Fall 2018 Capsule

Happy day, dearest reader!

In the US, the past Labor Day holiday weekend is traditionally seen as the end of summer. Many school districts start after Labor Day, and the evenings are cooling off enough to signal the coming change of season. (Not here, but certainly in other places I have lived!) If you like rules and precepts, it’s time to put away the white shoes. (More about that, here.) We didn’t take an end of summer getaway, but I did take some time to get my fall capsule wardrobe together, so today I’m sharing how I put the 5 Steps to a Great Capsule into practice… (The photos here are just me and my phone, so my apologies for the lighting and clarity. This is real life.)

1. What Kind of Look Do I Want? (Imagine)

I continued to polish the inspiration board from the 5 Steps to a Great Capsule post, and ended up here. It’s not as cohesive as my summer capsule inspiration board, but I’m happy enough with it to get on with executing the plan. (I don’t believe in perfection!)

My neutrals are Denim and Grey (These are year ’round neutrals for my light cool coloring.), and my two accent colors are reds and teals. Everything from blush to the deepest wine are all tints or shades of red, so even though it looks like three accent colors, blush and wine are the same color family. If that’s cheating, I’m okay with that. The change into teals and berries from summer’s pinks and aquas gives me a fall feeling, even if the pieces are, for the most part, lightweight. I’m looking forward to trying some of the all white looks I’m seeing everywhere, and I’m impatient to get back into my frayed edge jeans. Right now, blush paired with wine and blush and teal look fresh and non-standard, so I think these will be fun to experiment with. I’m going to need a little tough girl or rock ‘n roll vibe added to the softer blush to keep it from being to “sweet” for my taste. Never you fear, I’ll work in those leopard print pumps somehow, even if they don’t seem to fit with the feel of the rest of the board because, well, leopard.

2. What Do I Have? (Assess)

Shopping My Closet/Storage Box: I pulled out all the clothing from my closet and storage box that fit with my chosen color palette, and piled them on my bed by color. Great start! I certainly have enough clothing here for a season; nakedness is no threat. If you choose capsule palette colors that you don’t already own, you’ll find yourself with a longer shopping list… I tried on and looked over everything to determine what still fits, and what needs repair or possibly replacement. The largest number of pieces I found are grey, with smaller numbers in the other colors. You can see that grey doesn’t feature heavily on my inspiration board, but it will be a good choice to ground the accent colors, especially for business situations that don’t warrant denim. I selected the pieces that best suited the feeling of my inspiration board, and put the rest back into the storage box to be revisited for winter, or as the weather cools. (It’s like having my own boutique in a box!)

Look what I found in my closet and box in my chosen colors!

In spring and fall, I work a rolling capsule rather than a more compartmentalized one. Some of the pieces here are simply too heavy to wear right now, but will roll in and replace lighter items as needed. For example, I have a grey tee shirt that will stay in my capsule for now, and a grey v-neck pullover will replace it (I wear it like a tee.) as the temperatures warrant. My sleeveless denim dress will be replaced by a short sleeved denim sheath from the stack. And sandals will make their way into storage as our temperatures drop from the current daytime 90’s into the more boot-friendly 70’s. (As a Wisconsin girl, I never imagined wearing boots in 70 degree weather. When it got up into the 60’s was when you broke out the sandals! Obviously, my blood has thinned.)

3. What Do I Need? (Evaluate)

What Do I Need?–I need clothes for work, play, and everything in between. My work clothes run the gamut from jeans and a blouse when working in a client’s closet, to a dress or suit for business presentations. Weekends call for more jeans, and church clothes. Our social life is pretty low key and casual. We have a family wedding coming up, and with it, a variety of wedding showers, and all the festivities of the wedding weekend. (Our youngest son is getting married. Yes, we LOVE her. We are looking forward to quite a party.) I have a 5 piece (or so) special occasion capsule for these kind of affairs, and bought my dress for the wedding months ago. When I chose it, I was looking for something I could wear again after the wedding for the holiday season, and other dressy events. I have pretty much everything I need clothing-wise to get me into fall and winter, and want to freshen my look with some new accessories to wear with old favorites.

What I have already fits well with my inspiration board. I do not have any wine colored trousers, but I do have raspberry/wine jeans I picked up at my favorite local consignment store last spring. They were on the clearance rack, and I thought they would be perfect for fall… As for gaps and orphans, none leap out at me; I have been a very disciplined shopper (You can tack on some unflattering letters there, if you like.) for the past few years, and as a result, there aren’t any real orphans or gaps. Except a replacement for my now defunct skinny jeans. I can make do with what I have and wait for the right pair to come along. Also, I should probably start looking for a replacement for my grey dress trousers. They are fine for now, but their day will come…

How much do I need? — Finding the Goldilocks number… Last spring’s capsule of 20 pieces. was too few. This summer’s 40 was too many. Right now, I’m looking at 33 pieces (not including shoes and accessories.), which isn’t far from my thought of doubling my Baker’s Dozen capsule from last fall. My ratio of tops to bottoms looks right at about 2:1, and I have a few dresses on the rod as well. I have quite a few toppers, which seems silly in our warm climate, but Arctic. Air. Conditioning.

4. What Will I Buy? (Eliminate)

As usual, I have more on my list than I have room or funds for! Yes, I have a clothing budget, too! My wish list starts with the white booties, silver pumps, and plaid booties on the inspiration board above, to some edgier/darker jewelry pieces. (Yes, I have a shoe problem. I own it.) A light colored work tote and simply colored scarf have also been on my list for a while, and finally made it onto my board. I have been flip-flopping over the practicality of a light colored tote, white or blush, and if I should even bother. In the spirit of staying flexible, a light grey tote might work even better. It wouldn’t get dirty as quickly as white, and would be more neutral than the rosy blush. My leopard pumps are years old, and are losing their hair at the toes, so those may need replacing if I find a worthy and comfortable substitute.

If I were to highlight five (or so) of the most important pieces to buy. I would say the (1) white booties are really trendy, but that’s okay, as long as I keep other purchases less flash-in-the-pan. It would probably be crazy to buy three pair of new shoes, when I already have plenty in my closet. I will try the (2) silver pumps when I get to New York later this month, and see if resistance is futile. I don’t usually count the replacement of basics (like jeans), and inexpensive jewelry as part of my five, but I do need to limit my jewel purchases, because I know that is another place I can get into trouble. If a great fitting pair of (3) wine trousers jumped into my path, I could see taking them home since they would be very versatile now and through the spring. (4) That scarf.

5. Shopping  (Refresh)

To date, I have bought the scarf (Ebay), and the white booties. I also picked up a teal moto jacket last month at Old Navy. I wore my grey sweater moto constantly last year, and hope this version will prove just as useful. A few weeks ago, I snapped up a consignment store clearance rack special when I popped in to pick up a check. It was a cool brown collarless jacket. Cool browns can be hard to find, and for a few dollars, I can try a new color, and it can keep those leopard pumps company! So far that’s four purchases to update for fall and winter. We’ll see what else is worth the investment…

How about you? Have you given any thought to what you might like to add to your wardrobe for the upcoming season(s)? I love to hear what you are thinking…

Stylishly yours,

PS: I do have the hat! It was a Christmas gift last year… Now to get it out and about more often!

PPS: Thank you to Nancy, at Nancy’s Fashion Style for graciously hosting her Friday Link-Up!





  • Denise

    I’m 154cm and don’t like rolling my jeans with booties, is it ok to take up just over my ankle bone. Don’t want them to look like they are getting ready for a flood lol.
    Thank you for the great ideas.
    P.s I live in New Zealand

    • closetplayadmin

      Thank you, Denise, for both the visit and the question! I’m not much taller than you, only about 5 cm taller. The choice to roll, crop, or wear long comes down to what effect you want. For the longest most slender looking line, wearing your jeans long (down over your booties) would be the way to go. Rolling shortens the leg line and creates extra horizontal lines and bulk especially when the inside denim is much lighter than the outside. This makes the ankles look thicker, but lots of people love the casual look of the roll. I prefer cropping mine. It avoids the roll, and gives a kind of elfin look with a feminine touch (especially with bare ankles). It really comes down more to personality, proportion and the visual effect you want to achieve. I don’t think rolling or cropping look ready for the flood. If someone made a comment, I’d just say I’m preparing for global warming…

  • Bojana Krienke

    Great graphic. Okay, I always pair blush and burgundy but I am totally going to try your blush and teal combination. I can honestly say that I’ve never had that combo before and am totally intrigued. Thanks for the inspiration!

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