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Is a Capsule Wardrobe Right For You?

Is a Capsule Wardrobe Right For You?

Capsule wardrobes have never appealed to me but as I look at what I’ve worn this winter, I see that my clothes have morphed into one. Maybe yours have too. I own a decent amount (ahem) of clothes but I mix and match the same pieces over and over throughout the season, which is essentially a capsule wardrobe.

Here’s what I rotated most often this winter. I made a lot more than 25 outfits from these pieces because they’re classic shapes and neutral colors.winter capsule wardrobe

After our talk about black here and flattering colors here, I began to look for more clothes and accessories in my summer palette. Black is easy to center a wardrobe around because it’s readily available and everything matches.

I realize that if I’m going to have any success stepping back from my predominantly black wardrobe, I’m going to need a plan. I created a small capsule of 18 outfits using the 9 items below that fit my inverted triangle shape and coloring. There are lots of other ways to combine these pieces, but you see where I’m going with this.

9 Wardrobe Items


6 outfits summer capsule

 

summer capsule

part 3 of capsule

I used the 12 accessories below to add more variety.

Accessories

A capsule wardrobe contains however many garments you need, that mix and match to create multiple looks. They’re customized for your lifestyle, coloring and meant to save you money. They also simplify your life because they take the guesswork out of getting dressed.

Jennifer Connolly of A Well Styled Life wearing blue and white

Here’s what I’m Wearingsweater jeansballet flat shoestote bag

Seeing this capsule allows me to visualize a spring wardrobe that’ll be easy to put together, travel with and wear. Luckily I already own pieces that transition into spring. Here’s a mirror selfie from yesterday showing my move to blue.

Would you find it helpful to have a capsule wardrobe template for your body shape each season?

Would it also be helpful to have it in your color season?

If you liked this post, I’d love for you to pin this to Pinterest. Thanks!capsule wardrobe for a summer palette

Thanks for reading ladies and remember to wear what makes you feel confident.

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58 Comments

  1. Kim
    February 18, 2020 / 5:42 am

    Nancy Sheeran, I have the same no waist/no hip/no bottom issue. I’ve found a high-waisted jean from Madewell that is working well for me. It’s called the Stovepipe and comes in various lengths and colors.

  2. Cheri
    February 17, 2020 / 12:38 pm

    I could never do the capsule wardrobe thing! I love clothes, all colors, and different styles and I would get totally bored. I do have some basics like white tees, jeans (of various colors), and black pants. I’m sure it would be easier and I would spend less money, but at my age I want to enjoy what I like!:)

  3. Susan Bartlett
    February 15, 2020 / 9:29 am

    I love this capsule wardrobe. With the exception of the dress, I pretty much have these items in my closet and wear similar combinations. I hadn’t thought to put gray jeans with the grouping, and since I have a pair and don’t wear them much, that will be something I’ll be adding.

  4. Eve
    February 14, 2020 / 7:15 pm

    I column dress most of the time. I’ll buy four pieces in same color, jacket, shirt, pants, tee shirt and wear two of them plus a third pretty color. I have five sets. Navy, black, white, light grey and light beige and just intermingle. I use scarves jewlery, shoes, bags to add color. I also have four cardigans with two in bright colors like red and blue. I’m not sure this is a capsule but it works for me. Oh and shoes, boots etc in the four colors plus colors like leopard or plaid for fun.

  5. Penelope
    February 14, 2020 / 5:34 pm

    I very much like all the wardrobe choices shown here. The colors are very appealing and the groupings inspiring.
    It’s always been my goal to have capsule wardrobes for two main seasons.. warm and cold. But I have trouble with finding matching pieces with which to create the core outfits that other outfits are built around. . And some jackets/tops look best on my shape with slacks and other styles look best with skirts. I look best in
    “column “ dressing and it’s tricky to keep outfits from looking too matchy. I like interesting classics, textures.
    I do like basics that wear well, are easy to put together, and are of good quality. Make the capsule wardrobe interesting with accessories.

  6. caren
    February 14, 2020 / 2:28 pm

    Love the blue!!!

  7. Kathy
    February 14, 2020 / 12:40 pm

    I love the idea of capsule wardrobes and often pin them with enthusiasm as I did your post. I love to see how a small selection of key wardrobe pieces can be mixed and matched for maximum usage. I think they save time, money and space.

  8. Deb
    February 14, 2020 / 11:49 am

    You look great in your outfit! I am your coloring and height & weight. I am more hourglass. When I retired I decided that anything I purchase must be able to be worn at least 3 different ways minimum. I have a core wardrobe and then a few more pops of color. I find it makes dressing so much easier. Thank you for your wonderful blog I have enjoyed learning so much from you!

    • Jennifer
      Author
      February 14, 2020 / 4:21 pm

      You’ve got a great plan going

  9. Carolyn
    February 14, 2020 / 11:29 am

    This has been a great informative post. I’m also very interested in learning more about a capsule wardrobe since I seem to only be wearing same clothes over and over but have a closetful! Thanks for helping me.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      February 14, 2020 / 4:22 pm

      It sounds like a closet cleanout is your first step.

  10. Emilie Pirrone
    February 14, 2020 / 11:13 am

    Jennifer, this post is such a good idea. Thanks for your efforts. I-d like to print these up & post them in my closet but I don’t know how to print up the entire post. Can anyone shed some info?
    I use a Dell with Windows 10. This is so exciting to start using.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      February 14, 2020 / 4:22 pm

      You should be able to right-click and save the images, then print them on your computer.

    • Susan Bartlett
      February 15, 2020 / 9:30 am

      Emilie, I love this idea! I think I’ll do the same.?

  11. Paula
    February 14, 2020 / 11:00 am

    Loved this post and the previous one about a capsule wardrobe.

    Yes, definitely would love to see a capsule wardrobe for my hourglass body and Autumn season coloring (and please no shorts).

    I am told I am an Autumn so that runs the gamut of mostly earth tones which are hard to find when summer is all about pastels and here in So. California it’s warm most of the year.

    So, yes!!

  12. Joan
    February 14, 2020 / 10:09 am

    I love your blue outfit. It looks great on you and it’s amazing how you picked up the same shade for top, scarf, and purse. That being said, when I shop I usually gravitate towards anything/everything that fits, is flattering, and appeals to me. Depending on color and pattern, I may buy coordinating pieces right then so that I’ll have a complete outfit. Confining myself to a capsule wardrobe sounds too limiting. There are too many things that I couldn’t have if it were outside that capsule. Not my thing. However, because I buy prints or a season’s featured color, I sometimes flounder in the mix-and-match area when I am trying to decide what to wear on any given day.

  13. Elizabeth
    February 14, 2020 / 9:48 am

    Happy Valentine’s Day, Jennifer!
    I really love the capsule wardrobe featured today. Although a Winter- pale skin with pink undertones, dark hair (originally!!) and dark eyes, I wear the colours in these photos, especially blues, whites and Breton stripes, in summer. Right now I’m stuck in a wardrobe rut of black /grey thick woollen & cashmere sweaters, turtlenecks because of -20 C temperatures in Canada!
    A suggestion for future blog posts- capsule wardrobes for various colour types and body shapes ( think I’m a rectangle & 5’4” ). Thanks, Jennifer!

    • Jennifer
      Author
      February 14, 2020 / 4:25 pm

      That is exactly what I have in mind, Elizabeth. Hang in there, spring will arrive

  14. nanci sheeran
    February 14, 2020 / 8:30 am

    That pale blue outfit looks really great on you. I love seeing the clothes on a real person. In fact I bought two 1916 pieces after one of your blog posts. I’ve noticed other bloggers doing those Pinnable groupings of clothing and they mean nothing to me… I love seeing things on people because it’s inspiring. I am struggling with jeans… I wear them all the time but since a hard health year they are all hanging on me. I usually wear J Jill, but they don’t seem to be working for me now and because of my no waist, no hip, no bottom body it has been difficult to find a good choice. It seems the trend is curvier bods (which is good because I think they’ve been ignored in the past). Have you done a jeans fitting post? Thanks Jennifer!

    • Jennifer
      Author
      February 14, 2020 / 4:26 pm

      I’m so sorry you’ve had a rough time. I hope you are on the mend soon. I’ll work on something for fit soon.

    • Kim
      February 18, 2020 / 5:41 am

      Nancy Sheeran, I have the same no waist/no hip/no bottom issue. I’ve found a high-waisted jean from Madewell that is working well for me. It’s called the Stovepipe and comes in various lengths and colors.

  15. jmp
    February 14, 2020 / 8:18 am

    I have to admit that I didn’t think a capsule wardrobe was for me. But after looking into it, it has some real advantages. Since I’ve retired, my wardrobe has changed so much. Following a “capsule” when I shop really helps me out. Shopping is easier and I can resist buying impulse items. (not always!!!). The capsule wardrobe idea is great for traveling. I don’t have to lug my entire closet with me. Jennifer, your collection looks terrific. It inspires me to create one. Thanks!

    • Lizette
      February 14, 2020 / 6:27 pm

      Strangely I’m having the opposite trouble. Now that my wardrobe is more coordinated, it’s hard to leave behind items when I travel. They all work together (mostly :)) so I keep adding to the suitcase.

  16. Joy
    February 14, 2020 / 8:05 am

    I love capsule wardrobe. I would change the slacks to pencil skirts, cause I wear more skirts then pants. This has been very helpful. Thank you so much. I will be planning my spring wardrobe very soon and this has been a big help. I have most of these clothes. Just need to find a dress like the mint green one. Or I might sew one. It looks like a very easy pattern.

  17. Carla
    February 14, 2020 / 7:45 am

    I learn so much from your posts. I look forward to them every day. I am more of a muted autumn coloring and pearish shape. I would love to have a template as I am stuck and need to stop purchasing more. When I look at photos of myself I see that T-shirt s especially white are doing me no favors. Maybe too much color contrast.

  18. Sheri
    February 14, 2020 / 7:02 am

    I would love the idea of seeing more capsule wardrobes that are tailored to the needs of the 50+ age group. While still wanting to be modern and up to date in my clothes, I also want to address the need for comfort over trendy style and classic over too trendy, so that I don’t have to reinvent my wardrobe every season. Addressing the coloring of the individual is important, as I’ve had many differing analyses for color over the years… quite confusing! Of course, body shape is of tremendous importance when selecting the perfect pieces. I love seeing your ideas and the benefit of your expertise! Thank you!

    • jmp
      February 14, 2020 / 8:20 am

      I agree with you!!!

      • Sharon
        February 14, 2020 / 2:27 pm

        I also agree with you.

  19. Rose
    February 14, 2020 / 6:55 am

    I guess I’ve been doing that forever! Really does make life easier if everything goes together. So looking forward to Spring!

  20. Carol Frey
    February 14, 2020 / 6:43 am

    I am curious about the sizing for that Everlane cashmere sweater. What size do you take?

    • Jennifer
      Author
      February 14, 2020 / 7:18 am

      I wear a medium but could easily wear a large. The medium is close fitting and the older I get, the less that appeals to me:)

      • Carol Frey
        February 14, 2020 / 7:20 am

        Well, it looks fabulous on you!

  21. Jen
    February 14, 2020 / 6:37 am

    You look lovely in that blue. I wear blue in the summer to lighten up my black and grey. I tend to go through phases with capsule-like wardrobes. Right now, it’s wide legged jeans, white t-shirts and sweaters/jackets. I find it easiest to get dressed when I have a uniform and it keeps me from reaching for sweats/athleisurewear even though I work from home.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      February 14, 2020 / 7:19 am

      I’ve been hunting for wide leg jeans but haven’t found the right fit. I do love having a sort of uniform too.

  22. Linda
    February 14, 2020 / 6:26 am

    I am a Spring and would enjoy a Capsule Wardrobe for that skin color …. I have way too many clothes I NEVER wear. It would be nice to know what to get rid of and what to keep.

  23. Nancy
    February 14, 2020 / 6:17 am

    Navy is hard because it can be so different, black is usually black.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      February 14, 2020 / 7:24 am

      Actually, blacks have varying undertones. The ones with green are particularly unflattering on me.

  24. Penny Larson
    February 14, 2020 / 6:16 am

    I would love to see a capsule wardrobe in my Winter colors! I have noticed that I do gravitate a bit toward softer Summer colors, though, when the weather is warm here in the Pacific NW and they seem to work. I realize from your post that I have essentially built a capsule wardrobe since I retired. it’s easy and fewer things mean I can choose quality over quantity. Thank you for a fun and informative post!

  25. Robin
    February 14, 2020 / 6:07 am

    Love this combo of style and colors! I am not sure about the whole capsule thing? I like the idea but I get bored with things way to easy. although, I would like to see a capsule wardrobe for my body shape (petite pear) and color season (spring).
    You look lovely. ?
    Happy Valentines Day everyone❣️

    • Jennifer
      Author
      February 14, 2020 / 7:25 am

      Happy Valentines Day

    • Jennifer
      Author
      February 14, 2020 / 4:12 pm

      Happy Valentines Day Robin

  26. Donna Nance
    February 14, 2020 / 6:07 am

    I always learn something from your posts. This collection was pinned so I can refer to it later. We have the same summer coloring so you did all the heavy lifting.

    • Terry
      February 14, 2020 / 2:43 pm

      I agree with Donna! Your capsule works perfectly for me, too! Thank you, Jennifer! I would appreciate a clothing capsule by body-shape and color-season series.

  27. Jan
    February 14, 2020 / 5:55 am

    Once again, your post makes me pause and think about my previous clothing choices and my future choices.
    I guess my wardrobe falls into three categories. I have my stay at home wardrobe. These are basic workhorse pieces that I wear to clean, bake or do my yard work. They are flannel, fleece, soft cotton shirts and comfortable jeans and shoes. Then there is my “social” wardrobe. This is where I see my “capsule wardrobe “ coming to my rescue. These pieces mix and match easily and I can be out of the house looking great, feeling confident and comfortable, very quickly.
    Lastly, I have those special occasion pieces that allow me to add items with a bit more color or a little trendy.
    Thanks again Jennifer. Another awesome post!

  28. Dee
    February 14, 2020 / 5:36 am

    I recently had to fly to UK for a funeral and for the first time I centered my clothing around one color. In this case black. Previously I always thought one color was just too confining but I found out how simple it was to dress each day with basically black, some white and the odd splash of a bright color. It stopped me overthinking what to put on each day and freed up more time to just wear my clothes and concentrate on other things. So I’m warming to the concept

    • Jennifer
      Author
      February 14, 2020 / 4:14 pm

      It’s freeing to me

  29. Bea
    February 14, 2020 / 5:05 am

    You look great in blue, Jennifer! Good choice to move from black to blue. I enjoyed looking at your capsule clothing collection, and I look forward to seeing more collections in the future.

    As I analyzed the clothes I have in my closet, I realized that I have many more prints than you do. I enjoy wearing prints because they I think they add interest and fun to my wardrobe.

    • Jennifer
      Author
      February 14, 2020 / 4:14 pm

      You’re right, I wear very few prints.

      • Bea
        February 15, 2020 / 11:40 am

        Jennifer, is there a reason you don’t wear many prints? Just wondering.

        • Jennifer
          Author
          February 15, 2020 / 7:54 pm

          I’ve just never been fond of prints on me. I prefer to see the lines of a garment. They’re also very memorable so it’s harder to get a lot of wear out of them.

  30. Yvonne
    February 14, 2020 / 4:45 am

    I don’t think I’m a capsule wardrobe person, except for travel, but I’m always so tired of those items when I get home that I don’t think I could do that for an entire season. Whenever I buy something new, it has to work with at least 2 current items in my wardrobe but I usually find I have my favourite combinations.
    On another note, I saw a royal blue faux suede long trench coat yesterday that I just may have to buy….even though I already have 2 spring trench coats 🙂

    • Jennifer
      Author
      February 14, 2020 / 4:18 pm

      That sounds gorgeous! I’m a big fan of faux suede.

    • Yvonne
      February 15, 2020 / 4:07 am

      Just wanted to add that your style boards above are a great inspiration for outfit ideas, and you look fabulous in that outfit. I could copy that look easily for my “winter” colouring by switching to royal blue or navy….. although it will be a few months before I can wear white jeans (sigh).

  31. Paulette Levy
    February 14, 2020 / 4:37 am

    I LIVE in a capsule wardrobe model absolutely . Breton tees layered with two to three basic v neck sweaters (northeast) or a white or Jean shirt layered likewise. I have three lively turtlenecks in pale colors to switch things up. There are Three basic winter pant categories: blue jeans, black jeans or black leggings. Will get the white jeans out in April
    There’s always a coat it jacket to contend with so must watch the bulky items. I wear brilliant plaid or solid winter scarves to perk things up as my chats are black and burgundy. It’s an easy way to dress in winter time up here.

  32. June
    February 14, 2020 / 4:19 am

    Would love capsule suggestions in body shape and color season…yes, yes!

  33. Tami
    February 14, 2020 / 4:19 am

    So happy to see this! I’m struggling to put together a capsule wardrobe as I have retired and no longer dress for the office. I also live in south Florida where temperatures are quite warm year round. Would appreciate any guidance you can give.

  34. Janet
    February 14, 2020 / 4:05 am

    This is great! I too resist the idea of a capsule wardrobe. They look confining and boring to me because I need variety and colour to feel good. Having said that, I have gravitated to the same basic pieces this winter more than ever. I think I need to think of it more as foundation or core pieces. I’m pinning this to look at later on a larger screen!

    • Jennifer
      Author
      February 14, 2020 / 4:19 pm

      Foundation core is a great way to see these pieces

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