Capsule Wardrobe | Winter Wrap-up

Welcome to my 2016 capsule wardrobe challenge. If you read my intro to this blog series, you’ll know that I’m encouraging myself to “do more with less” this year, and I’m diving in wardrobe first. (Learn more about capsule wardrobes and the reasoning behind them at Unfancy.com).

March is upon us, which means it’s nearly time to pack up my winter capsule closet and make way for spring -- and I couldn’t be more excited. Don’t get me wrong, I will miss woolen knits, but #sorrynotsorry, I love open-toed footwear more.

Winter was pretty mild in North Carolina, but because I have the blood of a reptile, my too-small sweater selection was in heavy rotation. I probably should have anticipated I’d be in a sweater everyday, but somehow didn’t account for that when pulling together my winter capsule.

On that note, here are three lessons I learned from my capsule wardrobe this season:

38 is a big enough number...if you’ve picked the right garments.

While 38 garments was a good target to aim at for this first capsule, the harder and more important task was making the most out of that number. Truth is, no matter how many items you choose, if they’re not a best fit for your lifestyle, they won’t be worn. That may seem obvious, but I think it took me a season to acknowledge the way I really dress from day to day. While that slinky silk blouse may look fabulous on the hanger, it’s not so appealing on 32 degree morning when static cling gets real. Next season, I’ll be less stuck on the numbers and more focused on how I honestly choose clothes each day.

Make room for outerwear.

Having several stylish, functional coats on deck for winter became crucial as temperatures dropped -- so much so that I purchased another (well-made vintage) one this season. There were many days where my coat didn’t come off to reveal whatever was underneath, so having a few options kept things less monotonous.

Casual > fancy every time.

This ties back to knowing your lifestyle, but for me, dressing casually (i.e. jeans and a flannel) beats dressing up (i.e. blazer and skirt) every time. Given the choice, I’ll pick flats over heels and jeans over slacks, even if I’d like to imagine otherwise. Now that I’ve accepted this fact, I imagine my next capsule will be filled with less dressy blouses and more comfy t-shirts.

As I mentioned above, some garments got more love than others this winter. Here are a couple of my most-worn combinations:

( 1 ) Trench, Old - Target |  Tunic Dress, Second-hand |  Wedge, Second-hand ( 2 )  Sweater, Second-hand  |  Jeans, Second-hand  |  Flats, Second-hand ( 3 ) Moto Jacket, Old - Target  |  Button-up, Second-hand  |  Weekend Denim, Old - Target  |  Ankle Boot, Old - Nine West ( 4 ) Cover-up, Old (10 years at least) - Belk  |  Graphic Tee, Benefits Nashville residents recovering from homelessness, addiction and mental illness |  Boyfriend Jeans, Second-hand  |  Heel, Old - Carlos Santana

( 1 ) Trench, Old - Target |  Tunic Dress, Second-hand |  Wedge, Second-hand
( 2 )  Sweater, Second-hand  |  Jeans, Second-hand  |  Flats, Second-hand
( 3 ) Moto Jacket, Old - Target  |  Button-up, Second-hand  |  Weekend Denim, Old - Target  |  Ankle Boot, Old - Nine West
( 4 ) Cover-up, Old (10 years at least) - Belk  |  Graphic Tee, Benefits Nashville residents recovering from homelessness, addiction and mental illness |  Boyfriend Jeans, Second-hand  |  Heel, Old - Carlos Santana

That’s it for this installment! Next time I’ll share my first attempt at a spring capsule, complete with open-toe footwear.


IN THE MEANTIME, join me at CAM Raleigh on Wednesday, March 23rd at 6pm to learn more about applying as a designer for the 2016 Redress Fashion Show. The whole Redress team will be there to answer questions and help make your application the best it can be.

About the author

Carrie is Redress’s long-time graphic designer. She loves good local eats, her rescue pup Daisy, and still thinks that dress was white and gold.