Sunday, November 30, 2014

91/91: Constellation T-Shirt, Grey Jeans, Vans Chukkas


It's the last day of my fall capsule! I can't believe I was able to make 91 different outfits from only 40 items of clothing. This was a fun first foray into capsule dressing, and I'm excited to try it again with my winter wardrobe. 

In the future, I will handle spring and fall differently, since there is such a wide range of temperatures and weather conditions during those seasons. I will somehow give myself more access to different-weather-appropriate clothes. I'm not sure exactly how I will do it. Two possibilities are: using a larger capsule OR having access to two consecutive seasonal capsules at the same time - like in spring, I'll still be able to use some winter clothes along with my spring wardrobe. 

I hope to do some tallying and figure out which clothes I wore the most in fall, and which ones I wore the least. I know there are a few things that I grew tired of and am ready to donate. There are also plenty of clothes that I will be happy to see again next year. Maybe tonight I can figure all that out and share with you tomorrow. If not, I'll have it on Tuesday. And tomorrow I'll definitely have a new winter outfit to share. See you then!


Saturday, November 29, 2014

90/91: Baseball Sweater, Jeans, Toms Boots


Day 90 already! I only have one day left with my fall capsule. I'm pretty excited to start making all new outfits with my winter capsule. I also want to do a little round-up of which pieces I wore the most and which I wore the least, what I will do differently and the same in the future, etc...







Friday, November 28, 2014

89/91: Polka Dot Top, Bootcut Jeans, Chevron Vans


Today I'm doing some pattern mixing. I'm not really into putting loud patterns next to each other (though some people do that really well!). This is more my speed, with two black & white patterns, separated by some plain jeans. 



Do you like to mix patterns? If so, your capsule could have a lot more patterned pieces than mine!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

88/91: Beige Sweater, Faux Leather Skirt, Leggings, Booties


Happy Thanksgiving! I hope everyone who celebrates has a great day with family and friends.



Thank you for joining me here as I figure out how to shop and dress to make my life simpler, more fun, and more stylish. 






Wednesday, November 26, 2014

87/91: Constellation Tee, Hooded Sweater, Jeggings, Booties




This is the 87th unique outfit I've worn this fall, all from only 40 pieces of clothing. I'm going to make it to day 91 without repeating an outfit - pretty cool! 

I posted my winter capsule and winter rules a little earlier today, so be sure to check out the previous post. I'm excited to start wearing those clothes in just a few days.

Winter Capsule for December and January 2014

Winter Capsule Tops 2014

Winter Capsule Shoes 2014

Winter Capsule Shoes 2014 by tonya-kitchel

Here it is! I'm so excited about my second capsule wardrobe. I think this one's going to work better than my first one. It feels easier in a way, because this season will be cold the whole time. Fall started out hot and ended up extremely cold, which was a challenge with a limited wardrobe. 

I'm changing up some of my rules this time. Here's what I'm doing:

* I'm using 50 items. Even though I know that 40 would be plenty, I had a really hard time choosing just 40 this time. For me, this experiment is not about depriving myself, but about enjoying and having fun with my clothes. Trying to cut it down further made me unhappy, so I'm just going with it and using 50 this time. 

* I'm going to use this capsule for just two months, December and January. In February, I can rotate in other clothes from my closet. I won't buy anything new, but I have some other clothes that I like that didn't fit in my 50-piece wardrobe. 

* If I manage to make time to sew any clothes, I can add them to my wardrobe. During the fall season, I only finished one skirt. I held a spot open for a dress - and I still haven't finished it! I don't expect this exception to add much to my wardrobe, but I'd like to sew more and this could be a good incentive. I can add an unlimited amount of homemade clothes. I hope, and have plans to add two dresses.

* Like last time, I didn't include workout clothes, pajamas, underthings, socks, scarves, hats, or gloves in my capsule wardrobe. 

* If clothes no longer fit or are ruined somehow, I can donate them or throw them out and put something else in their place. 

If you like anything that I chose, the links under the images take you to Polyvore. From there, you can go directly to each item. I linked to the exact item if it was still available; otherwise, I linked to a similar item. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

86/91: Maroon Tee, Zipper Cardigan, Jeggings, Booties


I have always been a sweater-lover, but some people don't like them. Is it because they get too hot? Cardigans might be the solution to that problem. This one zips up for more warmth, or can be open, or is easily removed for three different levels of warmth.

One of my friends in elementary school (Stacey!) once told me derisively, "You wear a lot of sweaters." She alternated between two oversized, crew neck sweatshirts. She did not elaborate on why she disliked sweaters, and I've never figured it out. Maybe we just had different styles already. My kids are almost 4 years old and almost 2 years old, and they both have opinions about what they want to wear. Style starts early, I guess!



I'm going to post my winter capsule choices tomorrow. If you need a break from baking pies, come check it out!

I've decided to do things a little differently this time, and I'll tell you what my new rules will be. I think it'll be fun to try different variations on the theme of a capsule wardrobe and see what works best for me. 



Monday, November 24, 2014

85/91: Bird Shirt, Grey Jeggings, Booties


As the end of my fall clothing season is nearing, I'm thinking about each piece of clothing. Is it worth keeping? Should I donate it? This shirt is probably going on the donation pile. It is soft and comfortable and has served me well, but I always wished it were a little longer. The v-neck could be a little lower. I like the spooky bird print, but I don't think it's enough to overcome the fit of the shirt. 



I told you that I'm reading Marie Kondo's decluttering book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and while she is nuts, there are a few things that I'm really enjoying about her recommendations. She says that when you get rid of something, you can thank it for what it gave you, whether it's years of wear, or teaching you the lesson that you didn't need it. It does seem to make it easier to get rid of things. Instead of thinking, "I didn't get my money's worth out of this," you could think, "Thank you for showing me that I don't need this in my life." 


What Are You Afraid Of? How to Develop a Capsule Wardrobe

Okay, if you're here, you might be interested in dressing with a capsule wardrobe. But some of you might be worrying about different roadblocks or wondering how to decide what to include. I came up with a few different ways that you could think about your clothes to help you decide what to choose. 

1. Are you worried about balancing what you need to wear to work, meetings, certain occasions with what you want for fun, comfort, bright color?

First, when you count your capsule items, you can just leave out special category clothes, like pajamas, workout wear, and gardening clothes. If you wear a uniform for work, you could also exclude that from your capsule. You choose what to include and what to exclude!

Now think about choosing 80% clothes that you need: basics, work-appropriate, responsible, neutrals. That's 32 pieces that are hard-working. You will mostly be using these as your canvas.

20% is the space you have for crazy prints, a shirt and skirt that only go with each other, high heels that you almost never wear, and things that are totally inappropriate for work. If you're using 40 items, that means you could have 8 outliers. That's a lot of fun items to mix with your plainer, more responsible choices. This could be a way to add short-lived, trendy clothes. 

2. Are you worried about getting bored with all neutrals? 

First, you don't have to use lots of neutrals! It is easier to mix and match if you have a lot of neutrals. It's really easy if you choose only black or brown (unless you like to mix the two together). But you can choose whatever scheme you like. However you can finagle it, you want to have a lot of pieces that go together. Each top should go with at least 3 bottoms. The more you can mix and match, the more outfits you can make. Lots of outfit possibilities will stave off boredom!

Now you can start with 70% neutrals and 30% patterned, wild, colorful clothes. If you have a 40-piece wardrobe, you could have 28 neutral pieces and 12 colorful ones. I'd suggest that most of the colorful ones should go with at least two outfits, but there may be a few special things that are one-offs, and you should still be able to make plenty of outfits. 

3. You want to cultivate a long-lasting wardrobe of quality clothes, but you don't want to miss out on some adorable trends or really great seasonal things that you might only like for a few months. Can you fit both into a capsule wardrobe?

You can use the same type of formula: for example, choose 85% enduring pieces, made responsibly in the USA of organic natural fibers. Then 15% can be crazy patterned, cheap, or short-lived fads. You could add 6 trendy pieces to your wardrobe. 

I think it's smart to consider investing more in things that will last a long time -- in terms of the clothes physically lasting through lots of wearing and laundering, and also in terms of being in style for a long time, or being so basic that they're outside of style.   

Your better clothes can be used for years and years, stored in the off-season and brought out again as beloved friends when the appropriate season arrives. The cheap, trendy stuff? Maybe some of it rolls over to another season, or maybe you donate it after six months. You'll have some empty spots in your wardrobe for new trends the next time that season rolls around. 

Did that help? Do you have any concerns that we could discuss? I'm happy to brainstorm ways to overcome whatever obstacles are standing in your way. 

Here's the link to my winter capsule plan. You can save a copy and alter it to reflect your own choices. It could be a starting point for planning your winter wardrobe. 

In the copy below, I placed asterisks beside the pieces that might be your wild, fun clothes. 


Winter Capsule Plan


Tops

Sweaters: 8
Light Crew Neck
Dark Crew Neck
Light Turtleneck
Dark Turtleneck
Light Cardigan
Dark Cardigan
Cocoon
* Fun/Bright/Printed/Embellished

Shirts: 8
Sweatshirt
Light Long-Sleeved
Dark Long-Sleeved
Button-Down
Henley
Flannel
* Fun/Wild/Embellished
* Party Top
Bottoms

Pants: 7
Leggings
Denim Jeggings
Black Jeggings
Skinny Cords
Skinny Jeans
* Colored Jeans
Bootcut Jeans

Skirts: 2
Casual
* Party

Coats: 2
Casual
Dressier
Dresses
5
Dark Sweater
Light Sweater
* Patterned
Tunic
* Party
Shoes
8
Black Tall Boots
Brown Riding Boots
Tan Sheepskin Boots
Black Ankle Boots
Brown Ankle Boots
* Metallic Ankle Boots
Lace-Up Sneakers
Slip-On Sneakers

Sunday, November 23, 2014

84/91: Off-White Sweater, Grey Jeans, Birkenstocks



I think this sweater will be staying in my closet for my winter capsule. The jeans have become too loose, so they'll be added to the donation pile. The shoes will go into storage for now. I still like them, but I'm ready to wear something else now. 


It will be fun to do a fall capsule wrap-up and think about how my first capsule wardrobe experiment went! I'd love to hear how you're doing. Are you sick of any of your clothes? Did you learn anything about your true clothing needs, or your style? Do you want to keep going, or was three months long enough? 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

83/91: Red Chambray Shirt, Bootcut Jeans, Vans Chukkas


Here come those wrap bracelets again. They go with just about everything.

Are you ready for your winter capsule? December 1st will be here before we know it. I need to narrow down my final selections this weekend and I'll share them with you next week.


Friday, November 21, 2014

Beaded Leather Wrap Bracelets


I posted my tutorial for making beaded leather wrap bracelets on my crafting blog, The Make Me Sisters. I love how these bracelets add a little sparkle and a little bad-ass to any outfit. 


You can stack a few to make a bigger impression.


There are so many different kinds of beads available, you can make a bracelet to go with any outfit. If you make too many, just give some to your lucky friends! 


I love making jewelry and I love making gifts. They can be more meaningful and personalized than buying something. They are a tangible product so I have something to show for my time. Small projects like these are a great way to relax, focus (even meditate!) and use down-time in a positive, productive way. Or you can make them while you watch your favorite TV shows. :) 

82/91: Jersey V-neck Shirt, Bootcut Jeans, Ankle Boots



One thing I've really enjoyed about this fall capsule experiment is that I've started accessorizing again. For a few years, I didn't wear much jewelry. I didn't want to scratch my babies, or have them yank on my earrings or anything. I also just didn't take the time to think about jewelry. It's been fun to figure out what I like now. I've always loved silver, but I've been sort of liking gold recently, too. I tend to like fairly simple stuff, as opposed to elaborate or ornate pieces. 


I'm also loving the beaded leather wrap bracelets that I made this fall. I'm going to take photos for a tutorial today, when my little guy takes his nap. When I post it on my crafting blog (The Make Me Sisters), I'll link it up in case you want to make some with me. They would be good gifts for friends this winter, too. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

81/91: Baseball Sweater, Denim Skirt, Leggings, Toms Boots


I had to swap out another piece of clothing. This time it was my denim skirt. The one I'd been wearing was getting pretty loose and I thought it wasn't very flattering anymore. I've added it to my ever-present donation box.


I had this smaller one already, from my pre-pregnancy days. I just got it out from storage and it fits now. I think the length and shape are a lot cuter. Yay!


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

80/91: Constellation Tee, Leather Jacket, Bootcut Jeans, Booties



Eighty days! I haven't repeated an outfit for 80 days. That's amazing to me, working with a small wardrobe. There are only 11 days left in my fall season, so I'd better finalize my winter capsule. I'll share my official picks next week.




Tuesday, November 18, 2014

79/91: Typewriter Tee, Green Cardigan, Denim Skirt, Leggings, Ahnu Shoes



It's all about layers around here today. Have you tried fleece-lined leggings? I'm going to include a pair in my winter capsule so I can (hopefully) stay warm while wearing sweater dresses and tunics. I'd love to hear recommendations for the warmest leggings you've found. 



Monday, November 17, 2014

Winter Capsule Preview + Your Checklist + 78/91


 Tiger Tee, Leather Jacket, Black Jeggings, Ankle Booties 



Oops, left my phone in my pocket. 



Also, today I want to share my winter capsule plans so far. I picked up some new sweaters and sweater dresses, and I found lots of things in my closet that I want to wear again this year. I laid everything out on the floor so I could see what color schemes emerge, and make sure that it seemed to make sense. 




How about pixelating the photo, to see more of a color overview instead of individual pieces? 



I like it. And a bit more...


Pretty!

And then, it's very important to see how it looks as a heat map. 


Just kidding!

When looking at your laid-out wardrobe, if something really sticks out, ask yourself if you will get enough use out of it for it to deserve a spot in your wardrobe. Can it be part of a few outfits? Will you wear it at least twice a month? It's probably fine to have one or two special pieces that you won't wear often, but you don't want too many one-hit wonders taking up space in your wardrobe.

But...I am shopping for a holiday party outfit or two. I'm not sure what I'll end up with, but it might be an outfit that I only wear a few times. That's okay! I'm excited to attend and host a couple parties in December and it's worth it to have a great outfit or two and sacrifice those spots in my wardrobe.

You can print my working checklist for my winter capsule. It might be a starting point for you, if you are planning your own capsule. I live in Colorado and this fall is already exceptionally cold, so I want plenty of sweaters and sweater dresses for the winter. If you want more skirts or whatever, great! Just cross out something that you don't need. As long as you will have a cold winter where you live, I think you could adapt my plan to suit your needs. If you do, I'd love to see what you come up with! Here's mine:


Winter Capsule Plan


Tops

Sweaters: 8
Light Crew Neck
Dark Crew Neck
Light Turtleneck
Dark Turtleneck
Light Cardigan
Dark Cardigan
Cocoon
Fun/Bright/Printed/Embellished

Shirts: 8
Sweatshirt
Light Long-Sleeved
Dark Long-Sleeved
Button-Down
Henley
Flannel
Fun/Wild/Embellished
Party Top
Bottoms

Pants: 7
Leggings
Denim Jeggings
Black Jeggings
Skinny Cords
Skinny Jeans
Colored Jeans
Bootcut Jeans

Skirts: 2
Casual
Party

Coats: 2
Casual
Dressier
Dresses
5
Dark Sweater
Light Sweater
Patterned
Tunic
Party
Shoes
8
Black Tall Boots
Brown Riding Boots
Tan Sheepskin Boots
Black Ankle Boots
Brown Ankle Boots
Metallic Ankle Boots
Lace-Up Sneakers
Slip-On Sneakers

Sunday, November 16, 2014

77/91: Jersey V-Neck, Grey Jeans, Vans Chukka Boots



I had a different helper for these photos. My daughter named our cat Two, because she was two years old. 


His middle name is Murray, and it is really funny to hear a now-almost-four-year-old and an almost two year-old calling, "Two Murray!, Hi Two Murray!" The vet was pretty perplexed by the name, especially since Two doesn't have my last name (I didn't change it when I got married, but the kids and the cat have my husband's last name).


Back to clothes-talk! These jeans have been much-loved, but they are getting a little too big in the waist and they tend to sag down. In high school, I often wore my jeans loose and saggy, but now I really don't like the feeling. So unless I fatten back up over Thanksgiving, I don't think these will make it into my winter capsule. I can probably add a belt and keep wearing them for the rest of the month, though. 



Friday, November 14, 2014

75/91: Green Jersey Dress, Leggings, Ankle Boots


To go outside right now, this outfit needs a sweater, winter coat, scarf, hat and gloves (and socks). But I wanted to try adding a simple accessory and see what happened. 


So above is the before, and below is the after.



I just added a skinny black patent belt, and the dress looks a little different. It's a little more put together, a little dressier. 


I might prefer it without the white bracelet, but I like how the dress looks with a belt added. So, I just added another look from my 40-piece capsule wardrobe! Not bad.