Tuesday, January 14, 2014

the great capsule wardrobe adventure


Have you ever heard of a capsule wardrobe? It's where you invest in your basic pieces and build from there. It's also sometimes known as a french wardrobe. I liken it to packing light, only yer not actually traveling. Ever since I can remember reading magazines and being an avid purveyor of fashion, I have aspired to owning a perfect wardrobe...of sorts. I blame all those fashion articles on eight easy pieces where you have a handful of items that all miraculously go together so you can combine them into a zillion different outfits and be all snazzy and such. I aspire t have a minimalist wardrobe, I really do but the problem is, nothing I own really and truly fits properly...and I seem to be a magpie and get all wanty with fashion and this needs to stop. I am embarrassed to write that I just did a second closet purge since we moved into the homestead which means that somehow I acquired an entire closet's worth of new items between August and January. Thank goodness for thrift shopping but still, that is ridiculous. Enough is enough, it is time for a change and so, after a visit or two or three to my pinterest board  (is it okay to admit how much I love my own board?) I have decided to try to actually become fashionable once again and that means I need to wear items other than jeans and my old focals t-shirt.

So, right before I got sick, I cleaned out the closet and had a pile of thrifted items I really liked but the colors were meh. So, channeling my old friend Margie, I did not cut them but I did dye them all black which warranted exactly what I was looking for...various shades of grey. Three of the items ended up a purplish bergundy and most all of them looked really nifty together. That was it, no time like the present, a mini capsule wardrobe was born (that collage up there took me forever to put together). I'm going to try going two weeks, only wearing the above items but mixing them up with various shoes and scarves. So far I've had five days which should have been eight only I got sick. Not pictured up there are two pairs of leggings, one grey with darker grey polka dots and one black and white stripes. We're experiencing freaky summer temps here but I'm really committed to this. In fact, after this, I will pull together another mini wardrobe and wear that for two weeks and so on and so on. I really have too many things in the closet that do not get worn. It's silly really.

Another reason why I am doing this and posting it thus being super vulnerable to fashion criticism is that whenever I look up capsule wardrobes online so far, every post I look at is of someone who is fabulously young, thin and gorgeous which is awesome for them. I however am not exactly fabulously young,  thin or gorgeous. I figure someone needs to represent the middle-aged frumpster so why not let it be me? And, to put myself out there even more I'll let you in on a secret. I'm just shy of 5' 6" and weigh about 190 pounds. I wear a size 12 to 16 depending on the item fabric, and manufacturer and am always, always startled at how wide I appear in photos, I don't feel wide. Sigh.

To break it down for you here is some background info on the items in case you are interested:
1. Khaki colored Banana Republic T; thrifted for about 75 cents
2. Taupe Linen sweater wrap; thrifted $1.50
3. Mossimo 2-tone grey sweatshirt; thrifted $2
4. Taupe Cardigan; thrifted $1.50
5. Linen skirt from Talbot's dyed by me; thrifted $3.99
6. Checked smock dyed by me; thrifted $3
7. Black and khaki Croft & Barrow smock; Kohl's $22
8. Black puffed sleeve T; JC Penney $7
9. Mossimo Black and brown printed cowl neck top; Target $12
10. Bergundy dyed by me Joe Fresh top; JC Penney $10
11. Jeans by Lee (elastic waist band, sssh!); Kohl's $25
12. Dyed grey linen trousers St. John's Bay; thrifted $2

Sit back, take a gander, ask questions, say hello and enjoy this adventure with me...please? Let me know what ya think.

20 comments:

  1. Bravo! You have inspired me to look at my wardrobe and try to narrow it down to things that go together. I'm a thrifter too, short and...um...not so young...and curvy. So hats off to you for awesomeness! I love your mix.

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    1. Aw, thank you! I'm a bit nervous to share but I yam what I yam! Also...not so young and a bit on the curvy side. Twins?

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  2. I've had capsule wardrobe fantasies ever since the early 1980s when there was a shop in the Century City mall that basically sold them - 10 or so mix and match pieces, at prices that then I could only dream of ever affording... I applaud your thrifted version and am looking forward to seeing where your adventure leads!

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    1. I remember that! In the early 90s I wished that Grranimals would make a comeback for grown-ups.

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  3. Brilliant. So impressive and inspirational. Though not promising anything…finding clothes that fit my odd shape a challenge and I am such a bad shopper. And yes, definitely OK to love your own pintrest board.

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    1. Oh Katie! I would recommend a thrift adventure just for fun. Set a cash limit and search for three pieces (or more) that will go together and see what happens. I usually end up with a pile of items that match. Good luck!

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  4. I am highly impressed that you can find thrift store clothing. I am very short legged and wear a size 14/16 usually, but can never find ANYTHING in thrift stores that would fit. Most of my pants come from Talbots b/c their petite woman, size 14, fits almost perfectly in all things. I can order online, and should the item not fit, I can return it to the store in town. Of course, that means no 75 cent items!

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    1. I'm always afraid to shop online as nothing fits "right". I do have a talent for thrifting...I need to stop though...;)

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  5. I can relate. I am old (47) and close to your size. I do a lot of thrifting because it is difficult to find my style (loose, basic, somewhat retro) in the stores. I love everything here! I do over-dying a lot because I love the more complex, muted tones, but for some reason it never occurred to me to do black. You have inspired me!

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    1. Sooo not old! What colors do you use for your over-dyeing? I think the majority of my clothes are thrifted...I may have a thing about thrifting. I'm on hiatus as I do not need anything but golly do I love to thrift!

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  6. Ooh, the pieces came out lovely! I need to go shopping with a purpose - I tend to buy things at thrift, sale or discount stores and then I have all these lovely tops and no bottoms to go with or vice versa. I'm especially poor in the bottoms department lately, I have the worst time finding pants that fit properly! Seriously jealous of your linen pants!

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    1. Sounds exactly like me...all these pieces that don't go together or get shoved into the back of the closet. I think I did a happy dance and a yelp when I found the linen pants. I may have frightened shoppers. ;)

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  7. Sounds great and very inspirational! I'll follow along :)

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    1. Thank you Ilaria! I hope you do and that you feel inspired to create a capsule wardrobe from your closet!

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  8. Thanks for doing this! You are describing me. Over 40, Almost 5'6", 190 lbs (depending on pre or post holiday weigh in), mostly size 16. I can't do a 12! In fact am more size 16-18 in bottoms and can wear up to 1x in some tops. Depressing. My closet is stuffed as well and I have been telling myself it is time to purge. I am going to catch up on days I have missed and look forward to more clothing/wardrobe posts!

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    1. Hi KCMama! I hoe you do a purge! It's really liberating especially when you find the pieces you really like wearing. When you like it and feel good it reflects in your posture, smile, etc and no matter your size your smile will dazzle! I got a lot of good compliments from co-workers and family. Am taking a break but am going to do another one. Taking a picture everyday id a bit exhausting so I may do all the pics at once. I don't know. Good luck!

      p.s. we sound like body twins. I have a few tops that are 1X, one pair of jeans in a 16 and I'm pretty sure the 12 was a factory reject. Also? Talbot's clothes tend to fit large so maybe some vanity shopping might be a good pick-me-up? ;)

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  9. I was just bemoaning the fact that I have no money for clothes and everything I have is VERY old (I'm lot more middle aged than you) and/or fits funny, but you've inspired me to go through my clothes this weekend and try to make myself one a capsule wardrobe from what I have. I don't know if I'll be brave enough to blog it. I don't think too many people are interested in seeing an old short fat lady wearing her old clothes:) Thanks for the inspiration!

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    1. Aah Lynnie, I hope you do! If you are really brave, try everything on and donate EVERYTHING that fits wonky. Keep what doesn't and pair things that make you smile. If you really like what you are wearing you will beam!

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  10. Hi there,
    I just found your blog from I don't know where. I really do have things to do today!
    Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that you are my new hero, and I don't have many. It makes me so happy to see someone with your body type, and fun aesthetic to have the courage to put yourself out there like this. I'm in my 50s now, with the changing body, and am shorter than you, but I love your clothes. I wish thrifting around here wielded the results you've had, but I sew, and am making more of my clothes these days. Anyway I just wanted to say I'll be checking out more of your blog and Thanks
    ss

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  11. Anonymous6:24 PM

    I love this!! I am a preschool teacher's aide, not fabulously young thin or gorgeous either! Thank you for representing us! I am experimenting with a capsule wardrobe as well and it makes getting dressed so much easier! Yours is so much more interesting than mine and inspires me to add some pizazz! Keep up the great adventure!!

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