Capsule Wardrobing

Winter Capsule Inspiration

Winter 2021/2022

Happy day, reader dearest!

It’s almost December!

Which means it’s time to jump into my Winter Capsule Wardrobe. That makes me one very happy woman!

I know capsules aren’t for everyone. Or for every season. This fall, I didn’t do my regular capsule planning routine and I still managed to get dressed every day!

But, and it’s a big BUT… I felt like a crayon box had thrown up in my closet. For me:

Too Many Clothes + Too Many Colors = Wardrobe Stress

For a woman who LOVES color and style, that sounds strange, right?

I LOVE color and style AND I love limits. Creating easonal capsules brings these loves into alignment! I can limit a season’s colors in a way that allows them to all play together nicely. Which means… Less clothes in my closet and less overwhelm and oodles of options in the colors that I’m craving!

This season, I’m trimming my 5 Step process to 3 Steps. Why? Everyone is pressed for time as we roll down the hill to the end of the year. This is the perfect weekend to prepare!

If you are capsule shy, take a deep breath and relax. I’ll wager that you’ve already built more than one capsule wardrobe in your time! Because… If you’ve ever packed a suitcase, you’ve created a capsule! Capsule Wardrobes aren’t just for minimalists. A seasonal capsule is like packing for the next three months. Without the worry of leaving something you need behind!

Join me while I talk through the steps…

Step 1: Review

I’ve been building seasonal capsules for years now, so you’d think I’d skip this step, but it’s crucial. Ask yourself these questions:

First, Look Back: What’s working? What’s not working? What colors am I loving? What am I tired of? Did I feel good in my outfits? (Most of them, that is!) What did I feel was missing? What did I have enough of? What didn’t I wear? (This one is particularly powerful!) What colors feel right for me now? What colors make me happy?

My Look Back: (To fall.) When you build choosing from only what you love, your closet makes you happy. I especially loved my skirts! As our weather cooled, I brought in warmer pieces that derailed my mix-and-match color story and caused some second guessing in the mornings. (Stress.) I loved BIG earrings and Columns of Color. Jeans + Heels + Jackets is back as a favorite Outfit Recipe.

Then, Look Forward: What’s coming up in the next three months? Occasions? Stressors? Family? Work? Conference? Play? Vacation? How do I need my wardrobe to support me in the coming months? Maybe you have a lot of family caring and health issues, so comfort and movement are of primary concern because you’ll be at physical therapy and caring for others. (Been there.)

My Look Forward: Obviously, there are holiday ‘do’s coming up and family birthdays. (Including a BIG one for Mama!) We also have a wedding in February (and its ancillary shenanigans) so I need to take travel and social events into account! (What I wear to the wedding itself won’t be part of this capsule. (I have a Special Occasion Capsule that handles that kind of hoopla.)

Step 2: Inspiration

Create an Inspiration Board that crystallizes and visualizes your choices. For me, that’s a gradual process, but creating the board itself takes less than an hour. It is a great investment of 45 minutes (or so) that saves me hours later, both when sorting my closet AND when getting dressed each day.

If it takes less than an hour, why did I say it’s a gradual process? Well… The images from which I choose accumulate over months (sometimes–years). When something I like catches my eye, be it an outfit, clothing item, color combination or any visual that makes me happy, I Pin it to my Pinterest board(s). Often it ends up on a board for the coming season.

Scroll to the bottom to catch a chatty video about this inspo board!

I keep ONLY TWO seasonal inspiration boards, Fall/Winter Style Inspo + Year and (Yes! You guessed it!) Spring/Summer Style Inspo + Year. Do NOT make a new one for each calendar year, simply update the year! You want to see what inspired you previously. When you are looking for inspo, throw it all in– patterns and themes will surface! I’ve gently persuaded more than one client who was too granular with her boards to generalize. Okay, maybe I wasn’t so gentle.

What’s Inspiring Me? Blues, Greens, Blushes. A painting I saw at the Columbia Museum of Art. Bluebirds (and other birds, too!). Shoes that catch you off guard. Black punctuation marks. Unusual layering. Scarves (As usual!). Heels with jeans. (Boots and jeans aren’t doing it for me this year, except for super casual. I might change my mind when the weather gets even colder!)) Skirts. Waist detailing.

What’s Missing?

After looking at my board, I realized there was NO red! What? I know from history, I NEED some red for holiday cheer and hygge… I pulled together a little red Beauty Bundle to splash into my outfits as desired. Problem remedied.

Step 3: Build

Once you know the color palette and the feeling/vibe, pulling your capsule together is the easy part! Keep your inspiration at hand and refer to it as you work. I find the easiest way to do this is to pull all the clothes in my season’s colors and pile them on the bed. Then I set aside anything off-season. (I put away warm weather items at the end of of the season and won’t look at them again until it’s time to build spring.) I’ll start with 30 hangers and see how far that gets me. I might add an extra item or two… It’s cold and there will be lots of layering!

As you build, you may notice that you are missing an important question answer from your Step 1: Review. Maybe you have been loving casual dresses and realize you don’t own any that work for the current season. That sounds like a strategic wardrobe addition. Especially if it’s a dress you can style in a variety of ways! Maybe you have the dresses, but need tights to wear with them! Starting with what we have and making that work BEFORE adding more to our wardobe is good for our style, our budget AND the planet. (3X Win!)

NOTE: You can repurpose or refresh an item to make it current and fit with your inspiration. Or the trends. Dying and/or cropping jeans is easy. Belt a jacket (or cardigan) you already own. Add darts or princess seams in a top. (This is a quick fix for a seamstress or tailor!) Paint a pair of shoes! (Yes, you can do that.) Remove the sleeves from a sweater to run with the sweater vest trend. Add sequins, lace or faux fur and take ordinary to luxe.

How About You?

Do you change out your wardrobe for the seasons? Maybe you like to keep everything at hand all year long? Is more choice a good thing for you? Or less? (Understanding AND accepting these things about yourself makes life much easier!) What colors are you loving for winter? (Or summer for my Southern Hemisphere friends!) What colors feel holiday to you? Is it not colors but accessories? Do tell… I love to hear from you!

Stylishly (And hygge-ly) yours,

4 Comments

  • OnceUponaTimeHappilyEverAfter.com

    Very pretty winter palette. Kind of frosty and fresh with those blues and pinks. I tried to ‘do’ my colors using an online program and think I am probably an warm, brightish autumn. Would you agree with that? I would think you are more cool, light colors…not sure which season…winter? spring?

    • Liz K

      Color systems are very different! The one I use is tonal and not “season” based. I’m cool, light and soft–a Sublime. The intensity of your eye color is what always jumps out at me, Leslie and your coloring is light. As far as warm or cool? That I can’t tell without makeup-free photos in just the right light! Frosty and fresh sounds lovely…

  • NATALIE K

    Liz, I do change out my clothing every year for the seasons but I could never do this without the strong helping hand from my best friend Karen. I have always been a girl of more options but I’m actually feeling as I get older fewer options may be more enjoyed if I LOVED EVERYTHING!! During the Holidays I feel the need to wear red only within the last several years!! I also always pull out even more of my sparkly jewelry!! This is me!! Antique and newer items of jewelry!! Looking forward to all the HOLI days!!

    • Liz K

      It sounds like you understand the key, Natalie! When you love everything, you can live with much less… It’s those unloved pieces that we never wear that trick us into thinking we have options. When you look at something ask yourself “Does this rate AT LEAST an 8?” (On a scale from 1-10) If not, leave it behind! Another question I often ask is “Will I wear this AT LEAST 30 times?” If my answer is “No” or I don’t think it’s made well enough to last 30 wearings, then I’ll leave it behind.

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