State of The Capsule

At the end of the summer of 2013, I decided to do the whole “capsule wardrobe thing.” It was starting to become more mainstream, but nothing like it is now. I originally fell in love with the concept after I discovered Into Mind. I used her approach but customized it to my needs/mindset/brain. You can read my post about how I first simplified my wardrobe here.

I transitioned into the summer of 2014 without a plan but still kept my entire wardrobe under 20 items. I am a creature of outfit habit. I can wear the same thing every day and (if it makes me feel good) not care. When I look back on last summer, however, I can’t think of a single item that I really love(d). When we went to Vegas in September, I felt even more frustrated and realized that I lacked focus. I lacked so much focus that I ended up buying floral Birkenstock-style sandals because I literally didn’t have a sandal or summer shoe of any kind. I purchased a lot of trendy crap that leaves me (now) rolling my eyes. Hard.

I got a bit better last fall and my winter wardrobe has a vast improvement. It was more robust than I wanted (probably closer to 45 items) and I rarely wore half of what was hanging up in my closet. Last month I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and we plan to implement what I learned this upcoming weekend. I won’t “spoil” or break down the concept in full, but it comes down to one problem in our home. We really don’t have a lot of clutter, but we have a lot of shit we don’t care about. We own too much stuff that doesn’t bring joy. Clothes that make us feel uncomfortable or itchy. Books that we would never recommend. I own too much drugstore makeup that I never use but can’t throw away.

The clothes depicted above in that oh-so-lovely-makeshift-collage are the clothes that I wear consistently. All. The. Time. GOSH ALLIE, LOVE NEUTRALS MUCH? This winter I’m wearing a lot of white and cream and surprisingly not spilling mustard down the front of myself. I did have more than this all winter, but I recently got rid of about 20 pieces via my Instagram closet sale this past weekend. I can tough it out with these 14ish items until Ohio finally sees the light of spring. I hope to sell off the rest next week so keep your eye out at @alliepal_closet.

I’ll be posting again at the end of March once I pick out, purchase and finalize my spring and early summer capsule for about $250. I’ll be doing most of my purchases after I do another Whole30 with Adam and get back into the habit of working out. No need to buy a bunch of spring and summer clothes after hibernating under fleece and bread all winter! HA!

PS: I bought half of my winter wardrobe via ThredUp! Use my link to get $10 credit (and I get credit too!)

A Consideration

A weekly email where I share things that made me stop and consider. Never sponsored, no affiliate links.

Powered by ConvertKit

Comments (11)

  • I LOVE this. I was just out shopping with my friend last night at one of the biggest and best malls in the world. And she watched me not buy anything. I considered one blouse/shirt seriously but didn’t fret over it because they didn’t have my size. She was so sorry that I didn’t end up getting anything but it’s such a different mindset for me now that I am working with what sort of looks like a capsule wardrobe. I love how something has to be perfect or else it’s not worth my money or time or even emotional attachment. Great post- and please tell me more about thread up… What is it?

    • Isn’t is such a confidence booster while shopping? I don’t really doubt myself or wonder what I should buy. Thred Up has been awesome because it’s buying second hand clothing (that’s been washed and approved) at SUCH an affordable price. I’m able to get JCrew, higher name brand and more at a fraction of the retail cost. I bought 3 Ann Taylor Loft sweaters for less than $30!

  • I started trying out a capsule wardrobe this January and, if I’m honest, it’s HARD! I really didn’t put enough thought into my first wardrobe (e.g. I don’t have anything to wear on the “fancy, but not too fancy” drinks after dinner/event. Lesson learned.). I’ve started to brainstorm (and purchase) my Spring capsule wardrobe and trying to add a bit more versatile pieces and make sure I cover all the bases!

    Chrissy x

    • It IS hard when you don’t have enough. I’m going to be a bit nervous before spring hits with only 14 items. I’m starting my spring capsule a month in advance because I don’t really have a vision for what I want yet. I feel a bit blah from winter so the thought of wearing revealing clothing sounds unappealing with the cold weather haha.

  • Laura Lampe

    Love this concept! My wardrobe is getting smaller and smaller, and yet I feel like I have more options. Also, I recently ordered a pair of beige suede booties just like the ones pictured in your collage from DSW for late winter/early spring!

  • Agilborder

    Hi Allison,
    Thanks so much for your “how you did it ” post and the follow ups. I have been trying to figure this wardrobe simplification for about three years. Getting a classic winter wardrobe has been pretty simple and mine looks a lot like yours except less sweaters and no tall riding boots except when I am on my horse! I wear them a lot to ride and my friends would always ask if those were my “real” riding boots…so I quit tall boots unless on my horse!

    I have found it very difficult to get a summer classic casual wardrobe together. I am looking forward to seeing yours. I still want to look pulled together, but be classically dressed. I don’t wear shorts, no skirts. Skinny jeans and maybe a long Capri…but finding a comfortable mix has been difficult. Finding footwear that is casual but pulled together and comfortable has been hard. If it is comfortable, it is typically frumpy or club- footed looking. Therefore, my Summer uniform becomes the t-shirt and skinny jeans with Sperry topsiders in Summer. But…it just doesn’t seem to be enough, so I hope you will have some great insight that will help! A post like your winter one where you show your pieces and footwear would be much appreciated.

    I find scarves too fussy and hot to wear all day and ” statement jewelry ” pieces just look kind of silly. I don’t wear blazers much in summer either, but occaisionally just to dress up the t. I do have a couple of those very light weight drapey long tapered sweater things that I wear and they are the only over jacket that is light enough and not so stiff.

    I have taken to wearing a silver Tiffany timeless choker, always pearl or silver stud earrings as my standard jewelry uniform.
    I moved to the coast of northern CA last year and here the temperature is always between 55 and 65 year round. I think my wardrobe is becoming more year-round here…just lighter weight versions of your winter work year- round. So I am updating my winter capsule appropriately.

    Thanks again for your help…we are all waiting to see what Spring and Summer capsules lok like!

    • I’m so glad it’s been helpful Pam!! I agree – it’s so difficult to narrow down a classic summer/warm weather look. Especially because I’m always sweating (HA!). So far I’ve gotten about 20 pieces so I’m hoping to round it out over the next two weeks and then share! I can’t wait to see how it all comes together!!

  • I love the idea of a capsule wardrobe (something I am currently working towards) and also having a closet sale via Instagram! I’m curious to know if you had luck with selling most of the items you listed? I have a rather large pile of clothes that I don’t wear & don’t love that are still in great condition but haven’t had much luck selling in other online marketplaces like Poshmark, etc. A virtual closet sale on IG sounds so much better!

    • I have had A LOT of luck selling on Instagram. I usually sell 10-30 items at a time in short bidding windows (24-48 hours). Everything starts at $2-$5 but people can bid while leaving their paypal email address. I do think it helps to have a larger Instagram following on your own personal account (I sell via a separate one) but keep in mind that only 10-15 people are actively bidding per sale.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.