Can you believe we’re barreling straight towards Thanksgiving!?
(Heads up turkeys! I’m comin’ for you!)
October totally slipped away from me… and here we are. A little colder, a little wetter and finally experiencing true fall weather after what was a total Indian Summer (a.k.a October).
Each season, I like to share with you the pieces that I’ve personally worn on repeat — you can check out a few of my recent posts HERE + HERE! Sometimes they’re new additions and sometimes they’re the classic investment pieces that I’ve owned for a few years. Isn’t it great when you love something SO much that you can’t wait to wear it over and over!?
This season (Fall ’17), my favorites happen to be an eclectic, neutral mix of textures. Not much bold color or pattern to speak of, but a whole lot of goodness regardless.
I guess you could call this summer, the season of all things EXTRA.
Extra pattern, extra volume, extra embroidery, extra ruffle — on everything. The maximalist styles of your wildest dreams are now reality. While I love all of this “flare” — both metaphorically, as well as LITERALLY, it’s nice to take a step back and fall back on some easy-breezy, minimalist summer fashion to keep from visual overload.
Last year I spent some time defining my personal style and streamlining my seasonal (3 month) wardrobe into a collection of 33 pieces, accessories and outerwear. You can read all about my process and experiences HERE, HERE + HERE.
The results were pretty enlightening: By limiting my overflowing racks of clothes into just a finite number I was forcing myself to really figure out what I loved, what I needed and what defined me as an individual. By living with less, I was actually enjoying personal style and fashion MORE.
Now, isn’t that ironic?
As we turn the corner and head full speed into the holiday season — one of the most difficult times to control the urge to BUY! BUY! BUY! I wanted to be really thoughtful about the message I communicated to all of you.
Some of my clients has asked me if I am “discouraging” shopping and consumption. Honestly, that’s not my intention. I love shopping (No really, I do. A LOT!)… I love clothes and fashion and accessories… I love experimenting with new trends and new brands… I don’t think I could personally give that all up! If you can, all the more power to you.
I think the best way to sum it up is that a mindful and structured approach to shopping and fashion is the easiest way to curb our spending and slowly build a wardrobe we will love for years to come.
(click on images for product details)
Building on some of the lessons I learned over the past few seasons of living with less, I think this season’s wardrobe really is a great representation of who I am and the lifestyle that I currently live. It came together effortlessly — honestly, it wasn’t even an intentional project, it just sort of happened. You won’t see much fuss or frill, you’ll see many modern lines and minimalist shapes and you’ll definitely see a ton of black and neutrals.
(What can I say?! You can take the girl out of NYC, but you can’t take the love-of-all-things-black out of the girl…)
Let’s get down to serious business and break it all down by numbers:
SWEATERS (x 7) — These make up the bulk of my cold weather wardrobe, both literally and figuratively. I live in sweaters between the months of October and March, so I really focused on putting together a good variety and number of knitwear styles. From chunky cardigans to refined cashmere, I think I’ve got it covered. Here’s a quick style tip: I purchase the majority of my knitwear and sweaters off-season at a major discount. Trends and seasonal styles don’t change too much season to season so that awesome chunky turtleneck I bought last spring looks just as good this fall and beyond.
SHIRTS (x 3) — For the cold weather months, I recommend incorporating 3 types of shirts into your wardrobe: a silk, a plaid and a chambray. Those 3 simple styles will give you unlimited outfit options for any type of event, dressy or casual.
TEES (x 4) — Not much to say here, except quality reigns supreme. Slightly more expensive t-shirts wash better, drape better and wear better over time. If you’re looking for a budget friendly option that holds up to its much more expensive competition, read THIS!
SKIRTS (x 3) — I threw in 3 very different styles here to give me the most available options and silhouettes. The body-con ribbed midi skirt will be perfect to layer with chunky sweaters and tights, while the pleated leather mini skirt can be dressed up or down depending on what footwear I throw on. Now, as for the culotte — it is a skirt?! is it pants?! Whatever it is, I am looking forward to adding a pop of bright winter white into my rotation!
DRESSES (x 2) — Out of the entire wardrobe, I think I had the hardest time building the dress collection. Based on last year’s capsule experience, I realized that I wore dresses far less than I thought I would. With that in mind, I narrowed down my dress selection to only 2 — which let me tell you, was not easy. I figure the styles I selected (a wrap and a knit sheath) are so simple, I’m going to be able to use them to build a number of looks.
PANTS (x 3) — I’ve been trying my best for a while to expand to daily wardrobe to include more denim alternatives (i.e. pants) since I’m always drawn to those looks in magazines and online. Obviously, this capsule will force me to do so, especially because I did my best to select pants that in theory, should be just as comfortable (if not MORE comfortable) than my old jean standbys.
JEANS (x 3) — Clearly, jeans will be the workhorses of the season. I did my best to include the 3 styles that I thought would wear the best with the other clothes I selected: a skinny black denim, a distressed boyfriend style and of course, my beloved flares.
JACKETS (x 3) — What would a season be without my beloved moto jackets?! I also decided to throw in something new and different into my jacket collection — a classic navy blazer… with a twist! Have you guys heard of VERONICA BEARD? It’s an amazing women’s line of ready-to-wear contemporary clothing, with a strong emphasis on jackets and blazers. What’s special about these blazers is that the lining can be zipped out and is fully interchangeable — I think the official term for it is a “dickie.” So while my jacket has a cable sweater knit component, I can remove it and instead add a down puffer, or a ribbed knit, or even a sweatshirt hoodie liner! Genius.
COATS (x 2) — Since I had a good number of pretty warm jackets, the coats I included were not the heaviest. If another polar vortex comes my way, well, then I go back into my coat closet and pick out my warmest parka that’s been stored away. This is an important time to remind you all that rules can be broken and this is not a finite exercise that you should stress too much over. Hey, we all screw up sometimes! Also, I wanted to touch on the ZARA CAPE selection. With all of the bulky sweaters and layers, I wanted a coat that would comfortably fit over my clothes without that annoying bunching in the sleeves and armpits. The cape was the perfect solution.
SHOES (x 7) — Ok, I am in love with this shoe assortment. I’ve got all of my style and color bases covered and even managed to throw in a few fun (slightly less practical) options!
Let’s chat about those GOLDEN GOOSE HIGH TOPS for a sec… I’ve been obsessed with these sneakers for over a year. I know, they’re definitely not for everyone but I love them and wear them to death. I scored them on sale a few months ago and have never regretted the investment. People (men AND women) literally stop me on the street to compliment me on my sneakers!
I decided not to include accessories like hats, scarves, or jewelry because I like having the flexibility to get creative and the ability to add a bit of my personal touch. Hopefully, seeing this wardrobe come together will inspire you to think more constructively as you go about your shopping, even if you’re not into the whole capsule wardrobe notion. My end goal is to help my clients and YOU create a wardrobe you love and are happy to wear for many seasons to come.
If you have any questions about living with a capsule collection, or building out your own wardrobe, please feel free to reach out any any time, or leave a comment below!
As you may recall, I dipped my toe into the MINIMALIST CAPSULE WARDROBE approach to fashion last fall. While I’m by no means a die hard advocate of limiting your closet to a set number of items and associated hard and fast rules, I do find value in a well-edited, tight seasonal collection that really gets some action in your day-to-day life. There is nothing worse than a new purchase that sits unworn with tags still attached, hanging sadly in your closet.
For those of you who haven’t tried this approach, I cannot express how easy it is to get dressed and recognize all of the available options in your wardrobe when your closet is filled with only items you love. I still struggle with parting with some beautiful clothes and accessories that just don’t “do it” for me, but with time and practice I find that I’m buying less, closet purging less and shopping my own closet more. It’s a long term win-win scenario.
With spring approaching, I took to evaluating my own wardrobe and creating a capsule that can work perfectly in this in-between type of weather as well as into the warmer spring months. Here’s what made it into my seasonal capsule (items that need to be purchased are notated with a *)!
You might recognize most of these pieces as items I’ve written about or worn in the past. Which is kind of the point I guess?! You don’t want to go and run out and spend a fortune buying an entire seasonal wardrobe every few months. Rather, what you’d like to happen is to easily combine pieces you already own and fill in the occasional gap with a new, on-trend item that works with the rest of the collection.
Over time, I’ve realized that I’m definitely not too much of a skirt girl, but I still want a feminine touch to what is a pretty androgynous assortment of clothes. I selected 2 dresses in easy silhouettes to give me a few more lady-like dressier options. How amazing is that sheer COS CRINKLE DRESS? I can see it layered over a nude slip and worn on it’s own with a heeled sandal, or even worn open over a tank/tee and a pair of jeans. The long, emerald colored TOPSHOP TUNIC DRESS can easily be dressed up or down as well. The HELMUT LANG MINI SKIRT is a comfy jersey blend that just seems to work with my lifestyle. In my hectic day, a bit of stretch is always a good thing!
Now, onto accessories!
As you know, accessories can be a game changer for any outfit. I really tried to account for any scenario that could come up in the next few months using items that were already in my closet. Unfortunately that means some of these items have sold out. For example, that grey ALEXANDER WANG TOTE? Gone, gone, gone. In case you’re interested, HERE is a good alternative. Also, that CHANEL CROSSBODY BAG? It was something I borrowed from my mother circa-2001 and ‘forgot‘ to return. Love you, mom!
Those STUART WEITZMAN LOWLAND boots are probably my favorite purchase of the year. A bold statement, I know. I’ve literally worn them with everything. Don’t believe me? Here’s DOCUMENTED PROOF. I’m hoping to get a good number of wears in before I trade them in for the GLADIATOR SANDALS. This specific pair is splurge worthy, but check out THIS POST for some true steals!
So, have I made any capsule wardrobe converts out of you yet?
I’d love to hear how you go about curating your own seasonal wardrobe! Are you a fly by the seat of your pants kind of gal, or do you have a solid strategy in place? Please share any tips or thoughts in the comment section below.
How was your weekend, guys? Mine was a flurry of packing, prepping and getting excited for our SF/Napa trip ahead. As I mentioned last week, I was a little concerned about packing for 6 days using just my capsule and fitting it all in a carry-on bag, no less. I am happy to report it was actually not bad at all! The outfits came together so easily and because everything is essentially interchangeable, I could get a lot more wear out of each individual item that made it into my bag. You’ll be seeing more of those outfits shortly!
As I get deeper into this experiment I’m also starting to recognize things I would want for future capsules that were not included in this one. Priority A#1: more BOTTOMS! I could definitely use another non-denim option like ARMY GREEN TWILL PANTS, or a COLORED CORDUROY. I think it would be nice to have another casual option to work with that was not black and/or denim.
OK, my last observation of the day and then I’m done. Promise! Because my closet options have been cut down immensely, I’ve tried to be much more “respectful” and conscientious about keeping everything in pristine shape. It’s actually pretty funny that for the first time ever, when I’m done with appointments for the day I actually make a point to change out of my nicer clothes and into sweats. Sweaters get folded immediately after removing them. Pants get hung and ironed when necessary. I never realized how “rough” I was on my clothes until I was committed to wearing them exclusively for a set period of time. With this movement to minimalism, not only have I cut my shopping bill, but I think I may have also cut my dry-cleaning bill as well… and obviously, that’s a good thing!
Now, without further adieu, I present Week #2 of #Project333 stylings: