January 5, 2015

Fall 2014 Capsule Reflection



Whew! What an adventure I've had with my closet this season. As this was my first capsule wardrobe for fall and only my second attempt overall, there was much to discover along the way.

Here are some general lessons I learned this time around:

Not Shopping 

This was perhaps the most surprising thing to not bother me. It's true I'm a window-shopper by nature; a true perfectionist/maximizer, I will suffer from buyer's regret the instant I spot a similar-yet-superior item in the next store. Not buying new clothes for three months allowed me to focus on what I actually needed vs. what I wanted.

To ease my occasional cravings, I kept a running list of trends to incorporate in my next wardrobe, once reassessing time came in December. And guess what? Almost everything I'd listed -- everything I would've been 100 times more tempted to buy without the shopping restriction -- lost its charm. Throughout most of fall I had it bad for a pair of sequin-covered dress pants. I'd seen some featured on Sidewalk Ready, and when I found a similar pair at Nordstrom, I started drooling. The seasonal interim awoke me to the following facts: a) I'm never invited to holiday parties that warrant anything this fancy and b) My legs would benefit not at all from a pelt of glittery plastic. While shopping for my winter capsule yesterday, I happily bypassed the same pants.

The Replacements 

To me, the most delicious aspect of capsule wardrobes (aside from the opportunity to create endless lists and spreadsheets) is the concept of actually wearing out clothes. To often in our society we buy, get bored, buy again, get bored again, buy again... until finally we discover we own eleven pairs of only slightly different black heels.

When both my navy and black skinny jeans (purchased at the same time, about 2 years ago) started to look stretched and faded, I decided it was worth it to invest in a higher-quality pair of each.*

Also, for the record:

    F2014 Winner of Best Wear Through Most Washes: Chambray Blouse (The Gap)
         Looking good after two seasons -- which is more than I can say for most Gap items. This one is likely to become a year-rounder!
    F2014 Loser of the same category: Pink Waffle-Knit Top (The Gap)
         Purchased toward the end of September. I loved the color and softness so much, I wore it twice between each laundering, babied it in a pillowcase during the wash cycle, and always laid it flat to dry. It's soft as ever, but it's also starting to pill and fade.

Embracing Uniformity 

Five years ago I would have been ashamed to be associated with the word "uniform." Uniform equaled common, basic, and uninspired -- everything I considered myself against, creatively-speaking. Now I'm starting to recognize the benefit of having an outfit blueprint. It dissolves one less distraction on the road to style-creation. If I know I like a natural waist, comfy top, and sturdy shoe, for instance, I can basically ignore hiphuggers, restrictive jackets, and stiletto heels.

The pencil skirt I included in the fall capsule is an excellent example of this: Though I love the idea of pencil skirts (sex appeal, curve-enhancing, smart-looking), actually wearing them in a sit-down office situation drives me crazy. They wrinkle. They require complicated shirt-tucking. They make crossing your legs extremely difficult. I wouldn't rule them out for parties, but I know I can avoid them on future shopping expeditions.


Finally, if you have any recommendations, questions, or requests for next season, don't hesitate to comment below! I'd love to incorporate them into next season's posts.

Check back on Thursday for my 2015 Winter Capsule Wardrobe!


*Confession: I did shop for these two items in mid-season, stored them for a bit, and eventually swapped them out for their deteriorating counterparts, which are now in the donation pile. This is upkeep shopping, not cheating.

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