Winter Capsule

This post has been so long in coming. I am so sorry! Spring is already on it’s way, and I am only now posting my Winter Capsule.

I know I have already been (unintentionally!) absent for awhile now, but I am planning for this to be my last post, at least until life resettles. I was excited to start my blog to share some fun things I was learning and help others simplify their lives, even in little ways, and I was able to share a few of those in earlier posts! Over the past few months, however, my toddler and one year old have shifted to completely different schedules; they interact more, take less (or no!) naps, and need more one-on-one focused attention. I know many moms with littles that still manage to make time for blogs, or work from home in other ways, which I think is absolutely wonderful. But blogging isn’t my income, or even my passion, so for now I am choosing to back off completely until life looks a little different. Thank you all so much for the comments and time you spent reading my blog!


On to my capsule!

Originally, my first reason for delaying this post is that I was really struggling to fill out my capsule. I was hoping to add one more warm sweater to the mix, but I was very indecisive. Over Black Friday weekend I ordered several options from 3 companies (LOFT, American Eagle and JCrew Factory) looking for a winner, but I just didn’t *love* anything. I do this sometimes. I get this ideal in my head and can never actually fulfill it. Normally I give up, and just make do without “the one”, but Stitch Fix was offering a holiday promo for a free fix (with no styling fee). Since shipping both directions is always free with Stitch Fix, I decided to give it one last try, since I wouldn’t be out anything if I chose to send the shipment back. But actually, I found a winner– A marbled gray sweater with fun elbow patches, and long enough in the back to wear with leggings! I wear it at least once a week, if not more.

My second reason for delaying is because I really struggled with my Fall Capsule, and I wasn’t sure I was ready to try putting together a new one. I am really not 100% sure why I had such a hard time ironing out my wardrobe, but I had to tweak it several times before I even posted it, and I still ended up with a couple extra pieces in there, and 1 or 2 that got booted.

I think my primary issue was the weather. I’m not even sure a “Fall” wardrobe is even practical here in Northern Idaho. We had a true fall season for all of 3 weeks, and I did not plan for enough layering options. I was extremely warm for the first month and a half (lows in the 40s, highs in the 80s), and then had to incorporate some cold weather items well before the three month capsule period had even ended! During our 3 glorious weeks of Autumn, I loved my clothing. But next time, I may have to plan on more layering options rather than 3/4 sleeve sweaters!

Secondly, I ended up having to directly replace a few items that I thought were perfect originally. My two pairs of ponte pants from Maurices kept developing small holes along the seams, and although the store kept returning/exchanging them for me without any issues, I did give up after my 3rd black pair. I ended up with ponte pants from Macy’s Celebrity Pink line. Great quality? Probably not so much. But at that point, I was pretty short on bottoms, so I went ahead and purchased them. They may not last forever, but I love them, and they were on sale for $22 each! I haven’t regretted it yet, and they’re a staple in my winter capsule, too!

Then, at the same time my pontes started developing holes, my cords started sagging like crazy after just a few hours of wear. I had purchased them a couple of years back while I was still holding onto a bit of extra weight after my daughter’s birth, and although they seemed to fit well when I was assembling my capsule, they became unwearable after about 2 hours. I was down to only 2 pairs of pants total at this point. So I ended up replacing my cords as well. If I had known I would be able to replace my pontes, I might’ve skipped the cords, but I found a great replacement for those almost immediately, so I jumped on it.

The only other item that I added (I think) was a top from LOFT. I was really hoping for a boat-necked striped top when I assembled my capsule, but they were sold out in my size pretty much everywhere. My husband loved the striped tee from H&M, so I settled with that. But then I came across the perfect top one day and had to add it! So there was one extra item. Later on in the season, when I had decided I needed another cardigan for my winter capsule, I snagged a striped Banana Republic cardigan from Goodwill. I did wear it a few times before November was over, but you’ll see it below in my winter capsule. Finally, using some birthday cash, I also replaced my 3 year old faux leather Payless riding boots with some leather ones I found at a local consignment store.

So I certainly didn’t make it three months without buying anything new. And that bummed me out. But all-in-all, having a capsule has significantly helped save me from impulse purchases. When I go shopping, I now go looking for a very particular item (even if it’s at a thrift or consignment store). If I don’t see it, I don’t buy anything else. And I have almost always stuck to that. Also, I did personally hold myself to a “one item in, one item out” rule. So I kept my wardrobe the same size (I actually think it is smaller than it started out as), and almost exclusively replaced items rather than adding completely new ones.

Despite my frustrations with my last capsule, I do have two or three favorite things I discovered this past season.

1. My capsule made packing for vacations so so much easier. Before I started this project, I would procrastinate packing like crazy. I don’t know how many hours my poor husband spent sitting with me, the night before we were supposed to leave, helplessly watching me agonize over what to pack as I unintentionally disregarded his suggestions when he tried to give input. Now I can pack everything, including shoes, in about 5 minutes, and spend the rest of the time getting other things done.

2. SHOES that go with almost everything! I had 7 pairs of shoes in this capsule (not including my workout/running shoes), and that was more than enough for me. I didn’t wear my flats a whole lot, and could’ve made do with just one pair of heels. A year ago or so, I remember reading something about the average woman owning about 20 pairs of shoes. I went into my closet and counted. I don’t remember the number, but it was well over 20. I purged that night, but still had more than I really needed or wore. So 7 pairs for 3 months was perfect. I obviously have more than 7, because I have some sandals, etc, for Spring/Summer. But less than 2o now, I’m pretty sure 🙂

3. Everything coordinates. My 2.5 year old daughter absolutely loves helping me pick out my outfit for the day. I don’t let her do it too often because she has a tendency to bossiness as is, but when I do let her, I almost never have to veto her choices. Almost everything can be mixed and matched– not every single piece, but enough of the options work together that it makes my daughter’s (and my!) job much easier. I now get dressed in about 2 minutes most days and have even done it in the dark on several occasions when I get up before my husband. I love it!

So enough on my Fall Capsule! Please comment with any questions and I will try to answer before I take a hiatus 🙂

For this next capsule, we almost stayed within budget (we did if you include some of the purchases under birthday/Christmas money). But I’m hoping that in future years, we will have a surplus in the budget during these rollover seasons! I had to buy my 2 warm coats new this year (and hopefully I won’t need to do that again for a long time!), and if I hadn’t had to replace my cords, we would have the extra cash from that as well! All-in-all, I was pretty happy with the turnout!

Here is what I have for the winter months (Dec-Feb)! I’m pretty excited about it! A significant percentage of the items are rollovers from the last capsule (marked with a *), but there are a handful of new items thrown in there (which I’ve bolded). If an item is highlighted in burgundy, it means it is one of my favorite/wear all the time pieces.

**note, since originally writing this post a month or so back, I have found a couple items at thrift stores for “Spring” that filled some holes from last year, and I’m already wearing them like crazy: light wash jeans, a denim jacket (which I have somehow never owned), and a navy lace top. Not a great seasonal capsule victory, but I am in love with the three pieces, they are very versatile, and I know I will wear them to death. So I guess that’s a plus! I am also learning that in the winter, I almost NEVER wear a couple of the lightweight “sweaters” I included. All that to say, just don’t take me or my posts too seriously, ha! I love the concept of a capsule wardrobe, and it has been so helpful for my time and organization. But I am definitely still learning a lot about what works best for me, our budget, and my sanity (and the same thing may not work for you)!

XO Julie

**All Stitch Fix links are my referral link. I get $25 credit if you sign up for an account and order a shipment through my invite! 
***All ThredUP links are also my invite link. But if you sign up and order through my link, we BOTH get $20 off an order! So if you’re interested in either service, I’d love you to use my affiliate links 🙂 Thanks so much!

LOFtwalnutsweatercONlooseweavesweatercHMChambraycGAPslouchtopc    From Left to Right: Walnut sweater (LOFT), White Open Sweater (Old Navy, thrifted)*, Chambray (H&M)*, Slouchy Tee (Gap)*

BRFactoryhoodiec   Pixleyblousec  HMstripetopc  GreyGAPsweaterc
From Left to Right: Cowl Neck Sweatshirt (Banana Republic Factory, Thrifted), Floral Blouse (Stitch Fix), Striped Top (H&M)*, Dark Gray Sweater(Gap Factory-thrifted)*

LOFTstripedTcIMG_108141HawthornNavyCardigantargetcardigancF  From Left to Right: Boatneck Tee (Loft-thrifted)*, Elbow Patch Sweater (Stitch Fix), Open Cardigan (Stitch Fix)*, Gray Cardigan  (Target)  

brcardicburgundycardiBananaRepublic PinkSweatercGapNavySweaterc
From Left to Right: Striped Cardigan  (Banana Republic Factory–thrifted), Burgundy Cardigan  (St John’s Bay/JC Penny)*, Pink Cardigan (Banana Republic- thrifted)*, Chunky Sweater (Gap via ThredUP)*

MauricesPlaidc LOFTsilversweaterc MauricesPeachSweaterc LOFTrusttopc
From Left to Right: Plaid Button Up (Maurices)*, Lightweight Sweater (LOFT via ThredUP)*, Rose Sweater (Maurices- thrifted)*, Burgundy Sweater (LOFT via ThredUP)*

Patterned Blouse  (Old Navy-thrifted)*, Burgundy Cords (loft)*, Skinny Jeans (loft)*,            Bootcut Jeans (Stitch Fix)

blackpontesburgundyskinniesc  kathyfitandflarec   PinkDressc
From left to right: Black Pontes  (Celebrity Pink)*, Burgundy Pontes (Celebrity Pink)*, Striped Dress (Stitch Fix via B/S/T board), Pink Dress (thrifted)*
NavyHMDress IMG_5601 (1)SFskirtc
From Left to Right: Navy Dress (H&M)*, Navy Skirt (Gap)*, Gray Textured Skirt (Stitch Fix)

puffy coatc     wool coatc   DSC_1061
From left to right:  Down Puffy Coat (Ralph Lauren via Ross), Wool Coat (Land’s End). Black Heels (Nine West)*

DSC_1050 DSC_1042 DSC_1040
From left to right: Nude Heels (thrifted via local store)*, Black booties (fergalicious)*, Cognac booties (Tesori – thrifted via EBay)*                                        

IMG_1123  IMG_1124
From left to right: Riding Boots  (thrifted from a local store)*, Duck Boots (SPORTO)


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