Friday, January 20, 2017

Mid-January: Keeping Warm

Hi guys! How is January going for you? I'm using my winter mini-capsule as my wardrobe base, adding other clothes from my closet when I have the desire and time to think more about getting dressed. If I want to throw on something quickly, I just grab a few pieces from the mini-capsule and I know they'll work fine. 


For this outfit, I added an indigo cardigan to pieces from my mini-capsule.
Striped tunic (similar)
Frye boots (here in black)


This outfit is all from my mini-capsule. It's super comfortable and great for running around in.
Tunic made by altering the Linden Sweatshirt pattern
Suede Vans



Here I added a white sweater from J. Crew Factory that I bought last year. Here's a curved hem sweater currently at Boden.
Flares (similar)



Here's another one with items drawn completely from my mini-capsule.
Striped t-shirt (similar)
Flares (similar)



For this outfit, I added a black tank top and a newly sewn sweater. The sweater is the Driftless cardigan, but I lengthened the pattern by 7" since I didn't yet have a super-long cardigan.
Frye boots (here in black)



Here is another newly sewn top, the Toaster sweater. I also added my old Clarks ankle boots from my closet and the flared jeans from my mini-capsule.
These boots are Clarks Spyes, like mine, but with cute buckles instead of the fringe that mine have. 

*Some of the links above are affiliate links.*

I've made a reasonable sewing plan for this year, intending to make only things that I think I'll wear a lot. Of course I keep adding to the list, so who knows how many things I will make by the end of the year. I'm on a roll with sewing so far this month, so you may see a couple more new things in the near future. I'm talking about the things I make on madebytonya.com, so please come visit if you are into that. 

Monday, January 9, 2017

Early January 2017 Outfits

Hi guys! Are you working on any resolutions this month? I'm trying to ease into better habits this year. One of them is eating better, so I'm trying to add vegetables whenever I can. In the past I would have tried to eat 100% healthfully starting on January 1st, but this year I knew I needed to try a gentler approach. Lately when I've tried to make all-or-nothing changes, I have failed or given up pretty quickly. We'll see how this approach works for me! 

I'm also trying to get back my old habit of exercising every day, but I'm just trying to work out most days right now. If I miss a day, no big deal. I don't get to take the rest of the week off and start again on Monday; I just try again the very next day.

Different approaches work better during different phases of my life, and that's okay. Are you going all gung-ho on anything this year? Or gradually making any changes?

Here are some outfits from the last week. So far I'm sticking with my mini-capsule for the most part. 




Grey Ribbed Wool-Cashmere sweater from Everlane - I love the side vents on this sweater
Madewell flares (similar)




White button-up shirt (similar)
Tan cardigan (similar in black)
Jeggings (similar)
Grey Frye boots (here in black)



Scatter-dyed tunic, pattern altered from Grainline Studio's Linden sweatshirt
Grey Frye boots (here in black)



Denim shirtdress (similar)
Grey Frye boots (here in black)





Long turtleneck sweater (similar in red)
Jeggings (similar)
Toms boots (similar)





Tan cardigan (similar in black)
Burgundy t-shirt (similar)
Madewell flares (similar)

I hope you started your week off well. My kindergartener was so excited to go back to school after winter break! Many of the parents seemed pretty happy at drop-off, too. 

Monday, January 2, 2017

Flannel, Metallics, and Knits: Winter 2016-2017

Happy New Year! I hope 2017 is going well for you. So far, so good around here. I've got four outfits to share today:


Flannel Shirt
Black Jeans
Ankle Boots
Hat - the first hat I knitted, made a couple years ago from this free pattern from Purl Soho.





My New Year's Eve outfit was a metallic linen dress I sewed, leggings, and shiny oxfords. Jason and I went to party while the kids stayed home with their beloved babysitter. We've been able to go out four times since finding this great helper - it's amazing!



Handknit sweater


Breton tunic (similar)

Did you guys make resolutions for the new year? Clothing-related, I'm going to see if I can go all year without buying anything! Right now, it seems totally possible. We'll see what happens when spring arrives -- I may change my tune. 


Thursday, December 29, 2016

White Tank, Tan Cardigan, Jeggings, and Grey Fryes

Hi guys, here's my first outfit with my Winter Mini Capsule. I only added a white tank top; the rest of the clothes are from my capsule. 



As usual for me, this is very simple and easy to wear. I can sit on the floor to play Gooey Louie or carry my 3-year old around. There's nothing fussy or easily ruined here. 


It's all neutrals today, but since there are four different colors, I don't think it looks too boring. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Winter Capsule 2016-2017

I've got my winter mini-capsule ready to share with you. I aimed for 20, but ended up with 21 pieces that will form the base of my wardrobe. I'll add in other clothes as needed or as desired. On days when I need to get dressed quickly, I don't need to think about what to wear - I'll just grab something from my mini-capsule. When I have more time to put together an outfit, or if I'm bored with just these 21 items, I'll wear whatever I want! 

This is how my use of capsule wardrobes has evolved, and I think it's great for me. I love the ease of getting dressed with a capsule wardrobe, but the rebel in me loves to break the rules and wear things from outside of my capsule. Also, I hate the idea of having clothes that I like but am not "allowed" to wear because they don't fit into a prescribed number of pieces. For now, this combination of mini-capsule + leaner closet seems like a great fit for me.

Now, let's look at the clothes. This post contains some affiliate links, meaning if you click through and buy something, I might make a small commission but your price would stay the same.







 Many of these are older, so I'll link to similar items if the exact clothes are available anymore.

Tops, tunics, and a dress:


Top row, left to right: 

Second row, left to right:
Self-dyed and self-sewn sweatshirt tunic

I have a variety of colors and lengths included here. There are 4 shirts, two tunics, and one dress. Three of the shirts (not the flannel) can be layered under pullover or cardigan sweaters. The flannel can go on top of t-shirts (though I wouldn't layer it with the navy or burgundy shirts I have here). I can layer the tunics and dress over skinny jeans, jeggings, or leggings for warmth. 

I will definitely wear, but did not include, t-shirts and tank tops for layering.

Sweaters:


Top row, left to right:

Middle row, left to right:

Bottom row, left to right:
Self-knitted speckled sweater

In this category, I stayed pretty neutral. I have a lot of color in my tops, and it will be easier to layer them with neutral sweaters. 

I really like my Everlane sweaters so far. Their clothes seem to be good quality and long-lasting. I also have several plain tank tops and t-shirts from them, and they are my favorites. The company places a focus on transparency, letting you know a bit about where their clothes are made, and that their factories are not sweatshops. They also offer easy returns and good customer service. If you haven't checked it out yet, why not click over

Pants:


Top to bottom:

I think this assortment will serve me well this winter. I like to wear longer shirts a lot in the winter, for extra warmth. They go best over slim pants. It's also nice to tuck skinny pants into boots, especially if it is wet outside. My flared jeans' hems would get wet if I walked through snow or slush, but I could stay dry with waterproofed boots on top of leggings or skinny jeans. 

 Shoes:


I don't imagine that I will only wear these four pairs of shoes and boots all winter, but they are a great place to start. Those fleece-lined Vans are so cozy, I can't wait to wear them. I just got them for Christmas and haven't worn them outside yet.

The Toms suede boots are similarly cozy and comfortable. I wear them a lot, as you might be able to tell from how dirty they are. I should really clean them up and waterproof them to make sure they last a long time. 

I love the grey and black boots, and one or the other of them can complete almost any outfit this time of year. 

So that's my mini-capsule. I'll be sharing my outfits a few times a week and letting you know how my plan is going. 

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Winter Capsule 2016-2017 Is Coming

Hi guys! I lost my capsule mojo this fall, but I think I've found it again. I didn't use a capsule wardrobe this fall, and I had mixed results. On one hand, it was fun to use all my clothes and not feel limited to a certain number of items. On the other hand, I had a mess of clothes from late summer, fall, and winter jumbled together in my closet. There were several times when I tried to get dressed and felt like I had nothing to wear. I felt frustrated and like I was wasting time.

So I'm back! I cleaned out my closet, put away all the summer and early fall stuff (anything that's too lightweight for winter weather), and donated a few things. I organized everything so that similar items are together. I tried on some clothes to make sure they fit right now (I weigh a bit more than I did last winter, and a recent spate of eating cheesecake and cookies has added to the situation). 

Now everything in my closet is right for the season, for what colors I like now, and what fits now. I thought I'd put together a small capsule to use as my wardrobe base. I can use those as my defaults to make quick outfits, and layer on variations when I have more time or imagination. If I feel like wearing something outside of that capsule, I will! I'm not imposing many strict rules on myself this season.* I'm just making my life easier by choosing some outfit components ahead of time. When I'm in a rush to get kids to school, I'll know I can grab anything from the capsule and it will work. 

*My one rule is that I'm not buying any new clothes this winter. I have plenty of stuff that I love and I don't need anything.

I'll admit that I wore baggy sweatpants to preschool drop-off twice this fall! I was a little embarrassed and would rather not repeat that. Even though I was really cozy and physically comfortable, I didn't feel like I had on "real" pants for going out in public. It was psychologically uncomfortable.

I'm choosing 20 items for my base capsule and I'll share them with you this week. I think it will be fun to make and share outfits again.  

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Fall 2016: Warm and Cold

Hi guys! The temperature has varied a lot here so far this fall, so I've gotten to wear a lot of different kinds of outfits. 


Tank top from Everlane
Cardigan from Old Navy
Denim skirt from Boden
Slip-on oxfords from Pikolinos



Tank top from Everlane
Moccasins from Minnetonka


Flared jeans by Madewell
Ankle boots from Clarks (similar)


Handknit sweater - pattern by Isabell Kraemer
Skirt from J. Crew Factory
Slip-on oxfords from Pikolinos


Addison tank top - pattern from Seamwork Magazine
Flared jeans from Madewell
Ankle boots from Clarks (similar)


Luxe Sweater from Everlane.
Grey jeans (similar)
Rain boots from Madewell. I just got these boots and I think they're great for rainy and slushy days. We haven't had many this fall, but I'm sure there will be plenty to come. 


Tank top from Everlane
Cardigan from Old Navy
Black jeans from Madewell

I still haven't chosen a true capsule yet, but I can see the things that I'm reaching for the most. I got out all my cold-weather clothes today and my closet feels pretty crowded. Maybe this weekend I'll narrow it down. It will be nice to have a go-to capsule again instead of having to make so many choices every morning.