When I wrote Capsule Wardrobe: Create Your Own, I included a photo of my closet. I had so many people ask if I could give more detail about what is currently in my closet for fall. First of all, thank you so much for your kind messages and great conversations about capsule wardrobes! It was a lot of fun to talk to you about this. Here are a few topics I want to address:
Don’t be discouraged if you live in a place where the weather is unpredictable, or where there is a huge temperature range. You can still create a small wardrobe that you love! I live in Ontario, Canada where the temperature ranges from +35 Celsius in the summer to -35 Celsius in the winter! I find it easiest to deal with this by having great coats/boots appropriate for the ranges in the fall and winter.
I like layering my clothes, and it gives me more flexibility to wear items through several seasons. September brought some days with 20 degree afternoons, while the evenings can drop to be quite cool. As the months go on and it gets colder, I continue to wear my dresses by pairing them with tights and a sweater. (I’ve even found fleece-lined tights for the dead of winter!) I layer sweaters over t-shirts and long sleeved shirts. I can wear my outfits with any of my coats and boots in order to layer appropriately.
I have 3 coats and 3 pairs of boots, but I’m usually wearing one set depending on the season. I have a lined rain coat with rain boots for the slushy spring, a lighter coat and waterproof ankle boots for the fall, and lastly a down coat and waterproof snow boots for winter. I’m currently using the fall coat and ankle boots and will switch to my down coat when the temperatures drop to -20 and -30. Choose good quality outerwear and you’ll be toasty warm and prepared for any weather.
Your capsule needs to make sense for your lifestyle. What I have might not work for you, so build a wardrobe based on your needs and where you work. When I was working in an office I had dress pants and a skirt. I don’t need those right now and so I didn’t replace them when they were worn out. Think about how your spend your time and how you need to be dressed, and then build a wardrobe around your specific needs.
If there’s a piece I need or something that needs to be replaced, then I’ll buy it. But remember that choosing to live with less isn’t supposed to be an exercise in deprivation or frustration either. If I find something I simply like and enjoy, I’ll probably add it to my wardrobe too! I might make sure it’s something I really want, or I’ll think about if it can mix and match with clothes I already own. The point isn’t owning as little as possible, but rather about being intentional and mindful about our purchases, and making sure our possessions serve a purpose to be useful or bring us joy. A capsule wardrobe is supposed to make your life easier, not more difficult.
Capsule Wardrobe Combinations:
There’s more combinations than shown, but this will give you an idea.
8 tops (4 long sleeve shirts, 2 t shirts, 2 tank tops)
2 pairs of jeans
4 sweaters (2 heavier, 2 cardigans)
1 formal dress (in photo above, but not shown in gallery)