Winter Capsule: Lessons Learned

As I’m putting the finishing touches on my spring capsule, it’s a perfect time to reflect on what I learned from my winter capsule. Not only is this a great way to keep honing in on my personal style, but it’s a great way to continue building a better and better wardrobe.

So, here it is, my takeaways from my winter wardrobe.

  1. I need more variety with my bottoms. I had a limited number of pants to work with for winter and it didn’t take long before I felt like every week I was rotating the same 3-4 pairs for work, especially when it was too cold to mix in a dress or skirt. I have been hesitant to buy anything, since I’m still hanging on to some postpartum weight. I did the same thing in fall, where I just knew my old clothes would fit in no time…until they didn’t.  I mentioned that as a lesson with my fall capsule, but it’s one I clearly didn’t learn because it happened again. For spring, I sprung (catchy, right?!) for a couple of new pairs of pants.
  2. I need to be sure I include enough weekend/comfy wear. Midway through the capsule, I “cheated” and added 2 comfy pants – knit joggers and a second pair of leggings after not having enough options. I live in these items after work and on weekends and I really shorted myself in that department for the winter capsule. I was so focused on work clothes that my casual mom gear was an afterthought. For spring I tried to better balance my items with the percent of my time in each type of clothing as is suggested here.
  3. There are certain styles I just don’t like for me. Plaid button downs, blouses, and crew necklines to name a few. These are all items that I never felt my best in. I can be really, really hard to look at my blog pictures and scrutinize every detail. And while it’s sometimes not fun, is very eye opening as to what does and does not work for my figure. I haven’t necessarily nailed down why I don’t like particular styles, but the important part is identifying them so I can stop adding them into my wardrobe.
  4. I love my striped shirt. Notice how many of my favorite looks involved my striped tee?! It’s a keeper.
  5. I need to work on a better way to pull off the over-sized clothing trend. All of my least favorite looks have a frumpy feeling. Most involve an attempt at an oversized, relaxed look that I just didn’t pull off. I think that the heavier weight of winter clothing can make it tricker to balance the over-sized, layered, bulky look and that is something I need to be more aware of, especially on a shorter frame. It’s a look I love, so I will continue trying to make it work for me.
  6. I love my layers…there is definitely something to the idea that a third item helps pull an outfit together (when it’s done right). All of my favorite looks involve that extra detail that layering adds.
  7. Add more variety. I feel like this capsule bordered on being a uniform. Some style/color of jeans, a tee and/or a sweater…every single day. A little more variety in color, texture, and style would have broken up the outfits more. The few items I did have with color or pattern were also pieces I didn’t wear as much due to ill fit or being styles I don’t like, so I didn’t incorporate them as much. I also had a lot of masculine feeling pieces, so adding some items with a more feminine vibe would have been fun to mix and match.

All said, I liked, but did not love, my winter capsule. But, I learned a lot from it both in terms of my personal style and how to build future capsules. Here’s a look at my least and most favorite looks from the last three months:

The Bad:

Let’s start with my most cringe-worthy outfits of the season. Ugh. Most of these made the list because of the frump-factor. The blush sweater and black jeans I just don’t care as much for the contrast of the pastel and black.

winter misses

The Good:

I love all of these looks for how they made me feel pulled together. They are styled outfits without being too much. I think these looks fit into my goals of looking effortless, classic, casual, and pulled together.

Winter Hits

I have been putting these lessons to work as I put the finishing touches on my spring capsule. I cannot wait to share it with you next week!

Do you ever evaluate your wardrobe and outfits to see if there are any lessons to be learned? If so, I’d love to hear what you’ve found out about your style!

On a completely unrelated note, I was a guest on The Nourished Podcast with Shawn Mynar and Meg Doll. I’d love for you to take a listen to why and how I capsule and what I love about it.

More about Paige


    1. I think the biggest reason the shirts look “frumpy” in the first set is because of the fit through the shoulders – they’re too big for you and that throws off the outfit where in everyone of your good outfits the shirts fit perfectly through the shoulders. The seams line up and white the chambrey is looser, it works because the shoulders fit! I love the oversized look as well and it really is alllllll in the shoulder fit, if you look at most slouchy fits in products shots the body of a shirt/tunic/dress might be really loose but the shoulder seams always line up.
      It has been really fun to look back through your capsule outfits, I think the black dress has looked amazing on you every time you’ve styled it! And good luck with your spring capsule, I know I wish I’d put more colors into my 20×21 capsule, I didn’t realize how much I liked having colors until I felt like I was wearing the same black pants/shirt/dress everyday!

      1. Katie,
        That is such a great tip, thank you! I think I know when something doesn’t fit, but I didn’t totally understand what was wrong. I’ve also discovered that although I don’t consider myself a very girly or feminine dresser, with my shorter hair I like to have more feminine elements mixed in, which was surprising to me.

        My 20 items are all very neutral too, which I haven’t minded too much, but I notice my spring capsule is also looking very neutral, so I’m wondering if I’ll miss the colors in the long term. I just am missing having a variety of shoes!! 🙂

        Thanks so much for following along.

    1. This is so inspiring Paige! You’re right, we can learn so much from analyzing what worked and what didn’t. I think Katie’s comment is spot on.

      I’m excited to see your spring pieces!

      1. Thanks, girl! It’s interesting to me that I would even wear those outfits – I knew I didn’t like them when I put them on. 🙂 But, I think the more I reflect, the less that will happen.

    1. Hi Paige – I recently found your blog (through Thoughts by Natalie) and wanted to comment to say hi. I haven’t tried a capsule wardrobe yet, but am getting more and more inspired. I’m pregnant with my first child, so I think my first capsule attempt will be somewhat out of necessity, although I’m already planning to continue it after I have the baby in August. Anyway, your blog has given me a lot of ideas and inspiration. I really enjoy reading your thoughts about creating capsule wardrobes and your summaries/analyses about what you liked and didn’t, what worked and didn’t. Thanks!

      1. Hi Stephanie,
        It’s so nice to “meet” you. It was actually pregnancy that motivated me to actually give the capsule a try for real. Though, with my size changing weekly, it was more of a “fluid” capsule :). I have my maternity capsules linked in a pulldown menu if you want to see? When are you due?

        Thanks for reading along,

        1. I just started checking out your maternity capsule–thank you! I’m due in mid-August, and although I’ve barely started showing yet, I’ve started looking for some core pieces that will get me through the next six months, or at least most of it. I live in Boston, so the weather might be tricky to plan for during the next couple of months, but I’m sure I’ll get some good ideas from your summer maternity capsule.

          1. Congratulations! I had Brynn in July, so similar timing 🙂 In the beginning I invested in jeans and tees and then used cardigans, jackets, or open shirts to switch up the looks and adjust for crazy spring weather. In summer I lived in my maternity dresses from Target – they were so much more comfortable than anything around my belly! Have fun – I miss my belly so much!

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