My recent Capsule Wardrobe update
As I wrote in my post about how I create my seasonal Capsule Wardrobe, there is a phase where, after creating your basic structure and deciding what to add, you need to let it breathe and unfold. Only through putting a Capsule Wardrobe to the test in your day to day life, you can evaluate whether it holds up in practice.
Some examples: You might have chosen a very muted colour palette in the hopes of this making it easier to combine all the items. And then you realize through daily wear that it feels like too much of the same, day in and day out. Or you might have added a couple of fancier items only to discover that in reality, you never reach for them. Or perhaps it’s the other way around: Maybe you were going for a very casual vibe but then felt underdressed on many occasions.
Another point is our limited capacity to plan things out perfectly in advance. Sure, it seems cool to just decide on a structure, line up your stuff, purchase a couple of new items and then just enjoy your perfect setup. But most of the time, even the best planning can’t foresee everything 100 %. To give another example, you might have strived for that minimalistic Capsule Wardrobe only to find that you can’t keep up with the laundry side of it all. Or the current season is on average a lot cooler/warmer than expected. Sometimes it’s very practical things that we didn’t see coming.
My Recent Update
Now onto my update (click through the gallery below)! Some of the changes I made were through purchasing new items, some just meant rotating things I already had in and out of storage. Having a seasonal Capsule Wardrobe doesn’t necessarily mean that you are only allowed to possess a certain number of things. You can see it as a selection for right now and just put away what you don’t currently need. This can be especially helpful for people starting out on their Capsule Wardrobe journey.
First of all, from the overview of my current Capsule Wardrobe you can see that it got a bit more colourful. I kept to my original colour palette, but added more pinks and blue-ish tones relative to the whites and nudes. I added more colourful sweaters, because I realized that most days I’m wearing skinny jeans with a sweater and some sort of jacket on top, especially in the weeks it’s not really warm yet (we tend to have warmer and colder weeks interchangeably anyway). So basically I wanted a broader and more colourful selection of sweaters to have for my daily uniform.
I also added a pair of patterned pants, which I usually don’t pull out until summer. But I wanted to give myself another easy-to-wear option for warmer days, since I don’t always find it that comfortable to wear a skirt or dress when having meetings, riding my bike somewhere etc.
My shoe selection stayed exactly the same, but I switched things up in the jacket department. First, I removed one of the warmer jackets (a short beige parka) and instead added two cardigans: a patterned one and longer knit one in pink. This gave me the option to wear them either as jackets (above a t-shirt or a blouse) or to use as layers (and add the biker jacket on top, for example). Also I found that I only wore the beige parka with jeans and a sweater, but when things got warmer, it was much more practical to have cardigans instead, which I could either wear with jeans and a blouse or a dress. This was also a great way to include more colourful pieces (as my dresses and blouses are mostly solid colours, this works perfectly when mixed and matched).
adjusting to Changes in fit
The next change was concerning my denim jacket, which I realized had gotten way too small. This was a result of (a) it being cropped and form-fitting from the beginning, (b) me putting it in the wash from time to time, and (c) me lifting weights (I’m not kidding, I went up a size, especially in jackets). So I was shopping around for a substitute. At first, my mind went the usual blue denim route. But then I thought, wait, how would I actually wear it? And what I came up with was that ideally, I would like to wear it as an alternative to my pink biker jacket, so with jeans and dresses and skirts. So I looked for a denim jacket that was colourful while matching my existing colour palette. Luckily, I found exactly what I was looking for in a pastel lilac piece, which has a bit of stretch and give, so is also very comfortable. And it does look nice with blue denim skinny jeans!
With this new item I took another look at my colour range and exchanged a red dress I had put on the hanger for a black summer dress with a bit of a floral pattern. Now my selected dresses could all be mixed and matched with each jacket and cardigan — which makes getting ready very easy!
adjusting to practical considerations
The next thing I did was adapt to my laundry situation. I noticed that I was frequently grabbing either a striped longsleeve or a t-shirt, depending on the temperature, and equally frequently putting them in the wash. This was basically reflecting the intersection of my official Capsule Wardrobe and my lounge wear. So I took the process of adding a couple more longsleeves and t-shirts into the mix as another opportunity to up my colour game (again, light pinks and blues). By the way, I’m also showing you my storage basket for all the scarves I’m wearing this season.
Another specific addition I made was a striped blouse with ruffles and knotted detail. I wanted to have one item I could wear very casually, with skinny jeans and white tennis shoes, when it got warmer and still feel like I dressed up a bit. I already wore that outfit on Easter, which was perfect for comfortably walking around the city with my mum and at the same time feeling like it was a special occasion.
Lastly, I’m officially showing you the lined parka I’m still sometimes wearing on colder days. Due to the bulk it’s hanging in our entryway closet, but it has been a recurring member of my Capsule Wardrobe line up on days when it still felt freezing, was rainy etc.
3 Tips for your capsule wardrobe update
All in all, I would recommend a three-step approach to your Capsule Wardrobe update:
make it realistic: decide on what you want to change/add/subtract depending on your observed usage (outfit combinations, weather necessities, colour choices, occasions etc.)
make it easy to wear: go for maximum versatility when adding new pieces (can be part of different outfits, combined with many other items, colours etc.)
make it yours: be honest about what your wants and needs are and don’t feel like you have to follow someone else’s approach if it doesn’t work for you
To that last point: It doesn’t matter whether or not your Capsule Wardrobe works for anyone else. Don’t be intimidated by or let yourself be boxed into someone else’s Capsule Wardrobe setup or fashion choices in general. I used to see what other people did as a blueprint for myself: 5 t-shirts in the mix, that’s what I’ll do. Lots of high heeled sandals, that’s what I need. And then, through trial and error, I realized that it’s so different for each of us.
Same goes with things being flattering on you. Wear what you want, what you feel great in, emphasize who you want to be. Do you find an item „flattering“ in the sense that, yeah, you feel great in it, you’re confident, you’re authentically yourself? Then please, do us all a favour and go for it. For everyone who has the courage to be themselves, others around them are empowered to do the same.