What’s In My Year-Round Capsule Wardrobe

On Tuesday, I shared my journey of how I started with a capsule wardrobe, and why I decided that a year-round capsule wardrobe would work best for me. Yesterday, I told you about how I actually created my year-round capsule wardrobe. Today, you finally get to see what’s actually in my year-round capsule wardrobe! Take a look:

As I mentioned yesterday, I don’t have a specific number of items that I try to stick to, because I don’t find that particularly helpful. I will break the numbers down for you in case you are interested:

Tops: 19
Layering Pieces: 6
Bottoms: 10
Dresses: 3
Outerwear: 6
Shoes: 9
Current Total: 53 items

This number does not include the categories that I don’t consider to be a part of my capsule wardrobe (undergarments, sleepwear, loungewear, workout clothes, and accessories), though I do try to limit what I keep in those categories to only the things I use and love.

Most items in my wardrobe are no longer available, but here are the links I could find (the color I have is no longer available for some of these items):

Mossimo Pocket Tee
Eddie Bauer Essential Tee
MNG Tunic
Plantain Tee (Blog Post)
Mossimo Boyfriend Cardigan
Old Navy Boyfriend Cardigan
Mossimo Lightweight Hoodie
Old Navy Hoodie
Old Navy Lightweight Hoodie
Express Jeans
Old Navy Black Skinny Jeans
Old Navy Pixie Pants
Xhilaration Maxi Dress
WeatherTamer Rain Coat (similar)
The North Face Fleece
Aerosoles Scot Free Sandal
Cobian Bounce Sandal
Sanuk Yoga Sling 2
A2 Riding Boots
Sanuk Meadow Loafer
Columbia Redmond Trail Shoes
ASICS Metrolyte Sneakers

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*This is not a sponsored post. All products were purchased by me. Some of the links above may be referral/affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Life in the Making(s)!*


Year-Round Capsule Wardrobe: The Process

Year-Round Capsule Wardrobe | Life in the Making(s)

On Tuesday, I shared my journey of how I started with a capsule wardrobe, and why I decided that a year-round capsule wardrobe would work best for me. Today I’m going to share how I actually created my year-round capsule wardrobe, and tomorrow I’ll show you the pieces that make up my wardrobe in a video.

So here are the steps I took to create my wardrobe. I didn’t number this list, because I kind of jumped around between these different areas, going back and forth multiple times. They are all important, but they do run together and can help refine each other. It’s a bit overwhelming at first, and it’s kind of a messy process, but it will start to come together!

Let Go of the “Rules”

There are so many lists out there of the essential items that every woman “needs” in her wardrobe. Those lists don’t take into consideration your lifestyle or your personal style. You don’t necessarily need a white button-down shirt (though most of those lists say you do!). I had one, and never wore it, so I got rid of it and I don’t need one in my capsule wardrobe.

Let go of the idea of having a “well-rounded” wardrobe. That really just means that you’ll have a lot of pieces that you’ll never wear, because they don’t fit your lifestyle, or you don’t like the color, etc. I’ve bought things in the past just because I didn’t have anything else like them. Well, there was probably a reason I didn’t. Don’t feel like you need to own a shirt in every color of the rainbow if you only ever reach for black. And don’t be afraid of duplicates, if you really love them and wear them all of the time. I have two of the exact same basic scoop-neck black t-shirts, and a lot of weeks, I do wear both of them.

The point is, style is a very individual thing. No one else’s “rules” are going to completely work for you, so let go of them and do your own thing. Maybe the things I mentioned have also tripped you up, or maybe there are other “rules” you’ve been following that it’s time to let go of. If you have any other examples of this, leave them in the comments so we can all learn from each other!

Define Your Style

What is your current style? What colors, patterns and silhouettes do you love to wear? What makes you feel most confident and comfortable? Also consider your lifestyle: how much of your wardrobe needs to be casual, formal, or business attire? What is the weather like in your area throughout the year?

Study your Pinterest fashion board to see what you’re drawn to, if you have one (or set one up if you don’t!). Pinterest or Google Image searches are great for inspiration, and also to help with defining your style.

Follow Christa’s fashion board on Pinterest.

My style is simple, casual, and classic. I prefer solid colors and simple patterns. I like soft fabrics and layering pieces. My color palette is mostly neutral, with a few pops of blues and dark red. My typical silhouette is a longer, looser-fitting top with skinny jeans. I need warm clothes for cold, snowy weather, cooler clothes for the hot summer, and light layers for in-between.

Set Your Limits

Is there a set number of pieces you want to limit yourself to? I personally don’t have a total number to stick to, but I do try to think about how often I do laundry, and if I have enough weather-appropriate clothes to get me through if it’s really hot the whole time, or really cold the whole time, etc.

Year-Round Capsule Wardrobe | Life in the Making(s)

Define your color palette. Since you want everything to coordinate in a capsule wardrobe to give you endless options for outfits, it is helpful to have a color strategy. A lot of capsule wardrobes are mostly neutral (including mine), but you could certainly put together a very colorful capsule wardrobe with some planning.

Explore Your Closet

Sort through your clothes to see what fits in with the vision you’ve created for your wardrobe, and what doesn’t. What do you love; what do you reach for all the time? Why? What have you never worn, and why not? This is where you can really start to pull your wardrobe together, and it can also help with defining your style. Try things on. Try different combinations to see what works.

Separate out the things that you want in your capsule wardrobe. Go through what’s left, and take this opportunity to sell or donate things you’re ready to let go of, and put everything else into storage.

Fill in the Gaps

Go shopping. If you’re still working on defining your style, try on lots of different things to see what you like, and take note of the styles, colors, and silhouettes that work for you (and what doesn’t). After you’ve started building your capsule wardrobe from what you already have in your closet, identify the things you’re missing. I find that it’s most helpful to identify the function of what I need (i.e. a lightweight, long-sleeve layering top, or casual sneakers) rather than being super specific about the color and silhouette, because that makes them easier to shop for, and leaves a little more room for falling in love with things at the store (as long as they fit into your overall color palette and style, of course).

Having a capsule wardrobe does mean being more mindful when you shop. I find that having a defined color palette makes it easier to automatically limit what I can consider purchasing. For a long time, I have always asked myself, “Do I love this?” before purchasing anything new, and that helps, as well. If I’m not sure, I don’t buy it. When I get home, I like to try on what I bought with the other pieces in my wardrobe to make sure that it really works, and to come up with some different outfits before I take the tags off. If it doesn’t work with what I already have, then I return it.

I hope this is helpful for any of you considering a year-round capsule wardrobe. Or even a seasonal capsule wardrobe—a lot of these same guidelines could still apply. I think the biggest thing is just being really brutally honest with yourself about what you like and what you need, and letting go of things that fit who you used to be, or who you wanted to be, but not who you really are today. Those are the things that weigh you down; the things that you feel guilty for buying. If they help you realize who you aren’t, and if you can let that go, then they served their purpose, and you can be free to embrace (and dress like) who you really are.


Year-Round Capsule Wardrobe: Introduction

Year-Round Capsule Wardrobe | Life in the Making(s)I’ve been working on this idea of a year-round capsule wardrobe for a few months now, and while it’s still a work-in-progress (and probably always will be), I decided it was time to share. This is going to be a bit of a series this week: today I’m going to tell you about my journey to get to this point, on Thursday I’ll share the process of how I actually created my year-round capsule wardrobe, and then on Friday, I’ll post a video of the pieces that make up my wardrobe. So make sure to check back for those!

Fall Capsule Wardrobe

I first stumbled on the idea of a capsule wardrobe on Pinterest. I kept seeing these beautifully curated wardrobes, specifically the ones created by Caroline from Unfancy. I explored her blog a bit, found her guidelines for creating a capsule wardrobe, and decided to try it out last fall. Her version includes 37 pieces for 3 months (including tops, bottoms, dresses, shoes, and outerwear, but not accessories, lounge/sleepwear, workout clothes, and undergarments). I don’t remember exactly how many pieces I ended up with (I think it was pretty close to 37), but I separated out my fall capsule wardrobe, and put everything else into the back of my closet and separate drawers in my dresser. I did switch out a few things over the next few months, but for the most part, it worked pretty well.

You’ve probably heard that statistic about most of us only wearing about 20% of our wardrobe, but it was pretty shocking to actually separate out that 20%, and still feel like I had a lot of clothes to choose from. It did make finding outfits easier, since there wasn’t so much to sort through every morning, and it allowed me to be more creative, trying out different combinations to make new outfits out of the same clothes. Since everything coordinated and fit into a set color palette, it was easy to just grab whatever I felt like, and know that it would work.

Changing Seasons

By the end of December, I was still pretty happy with the things I’d been wearing, but I was trying to figure out how to navigate the whole seasonal change thing. The way most capsule wardrobe systems work is to change out your clothing seasonally. That might work well in some climates, but here in Colorado, we can get 80-degree days in January, and snow in May, and there’s no such thing as a smooth seasonal transition. It’s not uncommon to experience 2, or even 3, different seasons of weather in any given week.

So, I wasn’t really sure what I was going to do about switching up my wardrobe, but since I had been enjoying the benefits of a capsule wardrobe, I decided to start getting rid of the excess in my closet. I moved back in with my parents at the end of January, so I spent most of that month seriously de-cluttering my whole apartment, including probably 60% of my clothes (I didn’t count, so that’s just an estimate).

A Year-Round Capsule Wardrobe

After I moved, and we had a few warmer weeks where I was reaching for things that weren’t in my (by this point fall/winter) capsule wardrobe, I decided it would be easier to just have one capsule wardrobe that could take me through the whole year. So I went through everything that was left in my closet, getting rid of the things I felt like I “should” keep but never wore; the things that I really wanted to like, but just didn’t for some reason; the things I was saving for “just in case” my lifestyle changed dramatically; and the things that I used to love and wear all the time, but that I was tired of, or just didn’t fit my style anymore. That cut my wardrobe down by probably another half. I did the same thing with all of the categories that I don’t consider to be a part of my capsule wardrobe (jewelry and accessories, undergarments, lounge/sleepwear, and workout clothes). I was able to clear out two of my five dresser drawers to use for other things, and my closet now has plenty of room to breathe.

I have still been tweaking here and there. I have done some shopping to fill in some gaps, and I have still been finding more things to get rid of. I’ve found that the more I get rid of, the easier it becomes to see why I’m holding on to certain things, and ultimately to let them go. I’m sure that this will be an ongoing process as my style evolves, as clothes wear out, or as I find more gaps that need to be filled. But overall, I’m happy with where my wardrobe is. It’s so awesome to look at my closet and know that I love everything inside, and also to have that feeling of spaciousness and room to breathe, now that I don’t have a ton of excess weighing me down.

Make sure to check back later this week for more details on how I decided on my criteria and put together my wardrobe, and to see what’s inside!


Dollar Tree Vinyl Wall Art Tutorial

Dollar Tree Vinyl Wall Art Tutorial  | Life in the Making(s)

I found these vinyl “Keep Calm and Carry On” wall stickers at Dollar Tree recently, and decided to stick them on some wrapping-paper-covered foam board instead of directly to the wall. This vinyl wall art is a little more decorative, and easier to move around, than just putting the stickers directly on the wall. They always have a bunch of different sticker options there, so you can customize this project a lot by choosing different stickers and different wrapping-paper designs.

Dollar Tree Vinyl Wall Art Tutorial  | Life in the Making(s)

Here’s what I used:

  • Vinyl Wall Stickers (Dollar Tree)
  • Foam Board (Dollar Tree)
  • Wrapping Paper (Old from Target Dollar Spot)
  • Ruler
  • Utility Knife
  • Tape
  • Not pictured: a pencil, scissors, and washi tape (optional)

Dollar Tree Vinyl Wall Art Tutorial  | Life in the Making(s)

Step One: Cut your foam board to your desired size. I used pencil marks to keep everything straight. Mine is 20″x14″, so I was able to use the 20″ side of the foam board and only make one cut.

Dollar Tree Vinyl Wall Art Tutorial  | Life in the Making(s)

Step Two: Cut a piece of wrapping paper a bit larger than than your foam board, so each edge can wrap over to the back. I folded the corners down against the foam board, as shown, and then wrapped them to the back, for a clean finish. Secure the wrapping paper with tape.

Dollar Tree Vinyl Wall Art Tutorial  | Life in the Making(s)

Dollar Tree Vinyl Wall Art Tutorial  | Life in the Making(s)

Step Three: Place the vinyl stickers on the front of your board. I used the ruler to help keep everything straight and centered.

Dollar Tree Vinyl Wall Art Tutorial  | Life in the Making(s)

Step Four (Optional): Decorate with washi tape. I added strips of a few different patterns around the edges to create a frame.

That’s it! I used poster tack to stick it to the wall, but these would also work great leaning on a piece of furniture if you have a spot for it.

Let me know if you make one, I’d love to see it!


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