Capsule Wardrobe Series - Part Two (find your style & go shopping!)

I split our closet right down the middle with my husband - note the Penn State jersey to the left :).

I split our closet right down the middle with my husband - note the Penn State jersey to the left :).

Happy Monday everyone! I wanted to bring it back to one of my favorite topics - capsule wardrobes! If you missed last Monday's post, I talk about what a capsule wardrobe is and my first steps in clearing out pieces in my closet to make room for new items that genuinely sparked joy!

So before we get started, I want you to get comfortable with the idea that this probably isn't going to be a quick process (at least, if you're intentional).  For me, it took months and months to rebuild my wardrobe. But, the work is WORTH IT when you look into your closet and see so many options that you love (insert heart-eye emoji here). 

The next step in the capsule wardrobe process was to find my personal style.  Wow, could that sound any more overwhelming?  Personally my first step was to go down a Pinterest rabbit hole and start pinning any and all outfit ideas that were aesthetically pleasing to me. I didn't overthink this - I spent about .2 seconds about each outfit and just went with my gut whether I liked it or not. I pinned enough ideas to see certain themes develop:

  • Comfort is the most important to me.  I think it's totally possible to be completely comfortable put also put-together and stylish.
  • I gravitate towards looser tops (think oversized sweaters) with slimmer bottoms like skinny jeans.  I really dislike tight clothes in general, so I prefer to go for this silhouette.
  • I don't like overly feminine pieces.  For me, when I wear florals or frills I find that it can veer into super girly and childish really quickly (on ME!).
  • I don't like high heels.  Wedges, flats (or let's be real, my converse) are MUCH more my style.  This goes back to my comfort point above.
  • I prefer basics (with fun details) over statement pieces.  I like to have pieces that can all work cohesively together in many different ways, as opposed to pieces that I feel are one-time wonders.
A fav Madewell sweater <3. The coziest!

A fav Madewell sweater <3. The coziest!

I then compared these themes to what I was actually missing in my wardrobe, and made a shopping list.  I'm a believe in lists for this process -- it really helped me to stick to what I actually needed as opposed to getting overwhelmed and distracted in large department stores.

I then went on a shopping trip by MYSELF. This might sound kind of lonely, but I found that shopping solo was super important to give myself the chance to listen to my gut, without any other influences, prior to making purchases.  

Like I mentioned, I found that this process took a LONG time. Because I wanted to be extremely mindful of each purchase, if something (even the smallest detail) was "off," I didn't buy that item.  So this wasn't just one shopping trip - this was over the course of a couple of years to build my wardrobe back.  It also took longer because the pieces I was investing in were more expensive than my typical Forever 21 fare. Some stores that I found to resonate with my personal style were (and still are!): Madewell, Universal Thread (Target line!), and Velvet by Graham & Spencer for casual wear, and Banana Republic (Sloan pants are the BEST), Nordstrom, and Sezane for more work-appropriate options.

I also did my fair share of shopping online.  Although, I think before you go down the online shopping route - promise yourself that anything that doesn't work, you will return it.  I made the mistake a couple of times of not checking the return policy on an item, and ending up stuck with something I didn't even like that much.  So before you buy online - make the commitment to yourself that you will return anything that doesn't work for you!  Otherwise that kind of defeats the purpose of clearing out items that don't spark joy, doesn't it :).

I know that was pretty high level, but I think this process is so personal that I don't want to give detailed step by step instructions - definitely make it work for you! Next week I'll be back with a post on rotating your wardrobe during each season, and you can look forward to reflections on my Winter '18 capsule and choices for Spring '18 in upcoming posts!

Sending love to you all!