Winter 2018 Capsule Wardrobe

It’s the first day of winter and it only seems appropriate to share my Winter Capsule Wardrobe. There is typically not much difference between my fall and winter wardrobes. I pack up some of my tops and dresses that worked well in early fall when the days are still warm. Those are replaced by my thicker sweaters that have slowly been creeping in as temperatures drop.

The past few seasons I’ve tried keeping more items in my wardrobe. I had my primary wardrobe, which were my most worn items. Then, I had a secondary wardrobe which were items that weren’t worn in my typical rotation. Toward the end of fall, my closet started to feel a little cluttered. That may be the result of some of my winter items making their way in before I took my warm weather clothes out. Either way, it made me want less in my wardrobe.

I decided to be a little more strict with the secondary items and packed up more than I typically would. I’d like to be a little more strict with myself this season and really put these great items to work for me. I have a few items that I have kept out as a trial to see if it is time to purge them. These include two cardigans, dark gray skinny jeans, burgundy cords, and 2 other tops. I found I didn’t wear these during fall, so I’m going to keep them accessible, but pay attention to if I wear them and how they feel compared to my other items.

It seems every time I post a new capsule, I quickly add a couple more items. My goal is to keep new additions to a minimum this season and work on getting creative with what I already have. These basic goals from when I started doing capsules are still something I find I continually have to work on.

Here’s what I’ll be wearing this winter.



TOP ROW

T Sweater (Jamie + the Jones, medium) // This was my big investment piece late last fall and it’s probably my favorite item to wear ever. It’s soft and cozy, but I just love the shape. I love that pairing this sweater with basic jeans or ponte pants is so easy, but feels so effortlessly styled.

Wide leg crops (Everlane, size 6) // I added these to my wardrobe early last spring because I felt I needed some variety in my pants/bottoms. I spent a lot of fall experimenting with how to make these work on my short frame. I’m slowly figuring it out.

Cashmere crop sweater (Everlane purchased secondhand, side medium) // I got this sweater mid-spring and it was my first cashmere sweater ever. I love the cropped length paired with my high-waisted bottoms.

A-line dress (Brass Clothing, size medium) // I wasn’t 100% sure I should include this dress in my winter capsule because I’m not sure how often I’ll wear it, but I’d like to try some tights and layering to make it work year-round.

SECOND ROW

Striped tee (c/o Tapered Collection, size medium) // I am always a big fan of a basic striped tee and I love the tapered waist and drop shoulders of this one. It has a slightly more dressed up feel than a typical tee, so it’s perfect for work. I almost always include a striped tee in winter for layering purposes as well.

Striped popover tunic (Everlane purchased secondhand, size medium, same in blue, similar in silk ) // I bought this on a whim over the summer. I think the longer length will be nice to wear over my ponte pants or under my longline cardigans. I love the look of button-up oxford shirts, but always feel I look a little too masculine in them, so I hope this is a good alternative.

Checkered T Sweater (c/o Jamie and the Jones, size medium) // I was so humbled to receive this sweater as a gift from Jamie and the Jones when I hosted a giveaway for them. I have worn it a handful of times already and love it. It is a thinner knit than my other T Sweater, so it works for a greater part of the year.

High low pullover (Brass Clothing, runs small, size large) // This was a mid summer addition thanks to my Brass Edit credits. The Brass Edit was a 6 month program I invested in last fall. I got 1 new item of clothing each month for 6 months at a slightly reduced cost. Lightweight sweaters are perfect for work and I felt gray would be a versatile option. I didn’t wear this sweater as much as I expected during the fall, but I hope to change that because I really love the feel and fit.

THIRD ROW

Convertible oversized sweater (c/o Vetta Capsule, size small) // Every time this sweater was stocked it sold out quickly. Unfortunately there won’t be any more made. The sweater converts from turtleneck to crewneck to cardigan, which is why it was such a popular fall item. Vetta Capsule always has such genius designs, so keep an eye out for what they release this spring. Use code STYLETHISLIFE for 10% off your order.

Longline cardigan (old from Old Navy, size medium) // Last spring I fell in love with layering my long cardigans over dresses, so I’m sure that will be a styling option I go with a lot this fall. This grayish-brownish color is the perfect mix with my black dresses and tops. I didn’t wear this at all during fall, so it’s an item I’m putting to the test this season.

Light wash jeans (Madewell via Poshmark, size 28) // I just added these jeans after finding them on Poshmark after months of hunting for them secondhand. I love my medium wash pair that is a similar cut so much I knew I wanted to add another pair in a different wash. They are high waisted and cropped (which is full length on me) and are just the right fit. Not too tight, but not too loose.

Medium wash jeans (Madewell via Poshmark, size 28) // These have been my go-to jeans since I discovered them late in the fall. They are my ideal fit and the high waist is so comfortable and easy to wear.

FOURTH ROW

Raw silk tee (Two Fold Clothing from Garmentory $20 off your first purchase here, size medium) //  The blush color is a great addition to my neutrals and I love how easy raw silk is to care for. I kept this short sleeve option around to layer under my T sweater and cardigans.

Cropped sweater (Brass Clothing, size medium) // This was another Brass Edit item that I got in January.  If I had to choose between this and my cashmere crop sweater I would choose that one because the boxier cut is more flattering. I am going to keep it around this season to see if it’s really a wardrobe need.

T top (c/o Jamie + the Jones, size small) // This was a great gift from J + J over the summer when I wrote a blog post for them. I decided to add some color to my wardrobe and this Umber really jumped out at me. I have a T Top in black also and I love the cropped, boxy cut.

Boyfriend cardigan (Old Navy, size medium) // This cardigan was a fall impulse purchase after I could not get this color out of my mind. It is thin enough to wear on warmer days and I love the subtle statement color.

FIFTH ROW

Chelsea boots (Nisolo, true to size but narrow) // My husband and I purchased a 5 year bundle membership a year ago. It was a 5th anniversary special that Nisolo ran – for 5 years we get 2 pairs of shoes for a set price we paid up front. So, every year we each pick one pair. These boots were my second pair. These run a little bit narrow, so if I wear thick socks or am on my feet all day they start to feel snug in the toe. I have found that without socks they fit perfectly though.

Faux suede booties (old hand-me-downs from Forever 21, inpsired by these, ethical option) // These boots have become my favorite option when I wear my cropped wide leg pants. The ankle is high enough to not leave any skin exposed with the crop pants and the higher heels adds some length to contrast the wide leg pants.

Ankle strap mid-heel clogs (Lotta From Stockholm, run slightly big) // I got these clogs last spring because I loved my open-toed version so much. Every time I wear them I feel they take my outfit up a notch, which is perfect since I wear so many neutrals and simple styles.

Low heel clogs (Lotta From Stockholm, run slightly big but ordered a size down and the heel straps don’t fit) // Late in the fall I finally bought these after going back and forth about it for a month. I love my mid-heel pair, but wanted something more casual since I don’t feel sneakers are ‘me’. These are the same color as my other pair, but a classic style clog with a low heel. I have worn them at least once per week since I got them and I don’t see that changing.

D’orsay oxfords (Nisolo, true to size) // Similar to the Brass Edit, my husband and I bought each other a Nisolo 5 for 5 membership last year. We get 2 pair of shoes each year for 5 years for a discounted price that we paid up front (it was a 5th anniversary promotion). This was the pair I picked last fall and I love them. The quality is great and I love the mix of feminine and masculine details.

SECOND ROW FROM BOTTOM

Cashmere sweatshirt (c/o Everlane, size medium) // This was another mid-fall addition. I chose the sweatshirt style over the standard crew neck style to add some interest by way of small details. It has the sweatshirt style x-stitch at the neckline and larger cuffs and hemline.

T Top (Jamie + the Jones, size small) // After I fell in love with my T Sweater last winter, I invested in a black T Top last spring. I love the easy to wear cut and details that make this top look like a million bucks. I plan to get extra mileage out of both by layering my T Top under the T Sweater.

Black slim turtleneck (Brass Clothing, size medium) // This was one of my first Brass Edit purchases last winter. I love how simple and chic this turtleneck feels with everything from denim to a black pencil skirt.

Pencil dress (Brass Clothing, size medium) // This was another Brass Edit addition late last spring. It’s definitely a little out of my comfort zone, but I think that’s a good risk to take sometimes. For me, pairing the dress with more casual shoes makes me more at ease wearing a form-fitting dress to school. The fabric is thick and feels amazing and I know this is a versatile option for my wardrobe. I know this will also be perfect under my longline cardigan on really cool days.

BOTTOM ROW

Wide leg crops (Everlane, size 6) // I had decided to purchase another pair of wide leg crops in a darker color when my friend, Andrea, decided she was going to get rid of her black ones she got last year. I jumped to the front of that line and claimed some hand-me-downs! The off-white color can feel unflattering if I’m even remotely bloated or up a couple of pounds, so I wanted a darker color to hide some of my flaws.

Ponte pants (Brass Clothing, size small) // These pants are like work-appropriate leggings. They definitely fit snug, but with longer tops I can definitely get away with wearing them to work. They hold everything in place and I always feel great in them. I have a lot of looser fitting tops and longer sweaters that will pair well with these pants.

Black denim (Everlane, size 27) // I tried a pair of dark gray skinny jeans for the fall, but I seem to have fallen out of love with that style. I decided a straight leg fit in black would be perfect for work where I’m not required (nor do I like to wear) slacks. I have been surprised at how easily these fit into my wardrobe and the gap it filled that I didn’t realize I had. They are a bit stiff, but I don’t mind that.


What I Included:

Overall I have 6 pairs of pants, 5 tops, 8 sweaters, 2 cardigans, and 2 dresses. Mathematically (because I’m a nerd like that), if I wear each of the pants with each of the tops or sweaters I would have 78 outfits. Then, if I figure in wearing each of the bottoms paired with a different top/cardigan combination that would be 60 more outfits. Plus, the two dresses. So, if I don’t even get all that creative and I just mix and match everything I have 140 outfits. That’s 28 work weeks worth of outfits! See, this capsule thing isn’t so bad 🙂

What I Didn’t Include:

I have a couple of black and white t-shirts from Tapered Collection that I did not include in my capsule collage, but that I wear regularly.  I keep my casual/loungewear wardrobe as lean as possible, so I have a pair of joggers, some plain black leggings, and two sweatshirts I wear often on weekends or after work. Also, the five pair of shoes I included are my winter mainstays, but I do have a few other pair that I occasionally throw in the mix.


I look forward to sticking a little closer to the capsule ‘rules’ this time. I’ve loosened up a bit over the past year, but I am ready for a reminder about what drew me to capsule wardrobes in the first place. 
Where are you in your capsule journey?

More about Paige

14 Comments

    1. I’m so excited that you finally found the light wash jeans—I can’t wait to see how you style them! I’ll be taking inspiration all winter 🙂

      1. Bev,
        I am so excited to have finally found them in my size! I swear I saw tons of 27s and tons of 29s, but the 28s were very elusive! A reader/follower is actually the one who found them on Poshmark and tagged me right away, which was awesome!

        Have a wonderful holiday weekend,
        Paige

    1. I didn’t specifically set out this number of pieces or say ‘capsule wardrobe’, but I sorted my closet and moved all my summer things to a lower rack and partially hidden behind the side of my dresser, finally owned up to the fact that while I LOVE dresses I never actually wear them except in summer, and sorted out the things I wear all the time. Now everything is on my top middle rack of my closet or on my free-standing clothing rack. Yes, I’m wearing the same things, sometimes I wear the same stripe shirt every weekend because it’s just so darn comfy, but I feel better about what I’m wearing. While I am still not super creative in my outfits (other than my daily watch, bracelet and my wedding rings), I feel more put together. The majority of my winter wardrobe is grey, black or blue and it seems to just feel more cohesive. I had this experience with my winter wardrobe the last time I did a capsule. So winter must be my thing (even though I hate the cold).

      Spring seems to be where I fall apart!

      1. Andrea,
        The past few seasons I used the upper/lower rack trick and I loved it! It kind of created a ‘capsule’ without feeling restrictive. This summer I got rid of my lower rack though, so I’ve tried keeping it all on my upper rack and I think that’s part of what started to feel cluttered. I may need to get more creative or put a small section of lower rack back in my closet.

        Anyhow, I am like you and seem to have much more luck getting my fall/winter wardrobes to feel cohesive. I’m not sure if it’s the layering possibilities make it feel like I need fewer options or because I don’t wear as many dresses, so I have more of a ‘uniform’? I love that you’re wearing what is comfy and feeling put together! That’s what this is all about, right?!

        Have a wonderful holiday,
        Paige

    1. I love your picks! I’m feeling pretty loose about my capsule rules this year, but I am trying to take stock of some things that I’m considering purging.

      1. Christina,
        The past few seasons I didn’t see much point in packing everything up, so I left a lot of it in my closet. For whatever reason the past few weeks it’s started to all bother me, so I packed up things I hadn’t worn since it got cooler or that had been on my ‘maybe’ rack for way too long. I’ll be interested how long it takes before I’m digging through it or browsing online because I’m itching for something new?!

        Have a great holiday, Lo!
        Paige

    1. I can’t wait to see how you style the Perfect Summer jeans, I will def be looking to you for style inspiration! I am in the process of trying to pair down my wardrobe even more…I have way too many pairs of jeans and sweaters (and I don’t really even need many here in Texas!) so seeing your capsule and outfit combinations with minimal pieces is very helpful!

      1. Christina,
        I was watching for those jeans forever – it seems like every size but mine was listed multiple times! And thank you, I look forward to pushing myself to be a little more creative and to embrace repeating outfits I love this season.

        Have a wonderful holiday,
        Paige

    1. I love this! Color me inspired!
      Can you provide some thoughts on sizing of the T tops and sweaters? I think we’re similar in size and am unsure between S and M. It seems width is generous and there are slight differences in length. What about the sleeves? Thank you!

      1. I’d like to hear her thoughts too, because I see she has them in two different sizes.

        I have a staple basic tee that I originally ordered in small, but I exchanged it for a medium. Here’s what I wrote to them about it when I requested the exchange: “My bust measurement is actually 36″, and the top lies nicely when my arms are hanging down at my side. But when I move my arms up or back the fabric pulls and gets caught across my bust in an uncomfortable and unflattering way. I think it’s partly because of how the armholes are cut (which are cute, don’t get me wrong).” (I later realized it’s also because of the fabric – the raw silk doesn’t “slip” against other fabrics like some smoother fabrics do.) The medium ended up working great for me, and I got a t-sweater in medium also, but I almost wonder if a small might have worked as well.

        1. Hi Vanessa and MJD!
          My first J+J purchase was the T Sweater. I ordered the medium for the little bit of extra length. I knew it would be slightly cropped, but I didn’t want to have to worry about not being able to wear it to work. I think the fit is perfect for me. I am 5’2″ and a size 6, but I am very small chested, so that isn’t a factor. If I had a bigger chest I may have sized up for even more length. I ordered the T Top in small upon recommendation from a friend. I didn’t want the neckline of the top to be too wide, so I went with a smaller size, but I honestly have no idea if that would have mattered. The small T Tops and medium T Sweaters are almost identical in size and fit for me. I think a medium T Top would have worked just as well, but I don’t think I’d size down to a small T Sweater, just because I prefer the extra inch.

          I hope that helps!
          Paige

    1. Loving this capsule!! I love reading your blog because of how you rewear and restyle items you already own. Excited to see what you put together. I am wondering- how do you balance wearing warmer knits while teaching? I find that while I want all the wool in theory, working in an elementary school & being fairly active at work, it doesn’t really make sense. I recently had this realization that items that are light- medium weight and tend to be cotton/ silk based get worn more. Curious as to if you have any additional thoughts!!

      1. Cat,
        I don’t have a ton of heavy knits for exactly that reason. My T Sweater is heavyweight, but the 3/4 sleeve and boxy cut make it cool enough. The Vetta sweater looks heavier than it actually is, but I still save it for colder days. I have stopped buying the big, thick chunky knits. While I love the look of them, I never wore them. And I find wool too itchy anyway, which helps! So, I am totally with you – most of my sweaters are the light/mid-weight for work. I hate being too hot at work and my room runs warm anyway!

        Thank you also for your kind words 🙂
        Have a wonderful break!
        Paige

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