Welcome inside my closet! All the outfits I post here on Unfancy are made up of these pieces. Cool, huh? My goal is to show you how much you can do with a small wardrobe. This post will be a quick-ish run down of what’s in my capsule wardrobe + strategies I used while shopping + what pieces I get the most out of.
My style for spring is a mix between organic (soft fabrics, neutral colors, flowing shapes) and cool (black leather, edgy accents, dark colors). I like to pick two opposite styles and then play in the middle. That way, I don’t get bored with my limited pieces. I can style a super edgy outfit, a super organic outfit, or hang out somewhere in between.
TOPS // 15 pieces // Splurge level: minimal
This was me a year ago: “Spend good money on a basic white tee? Scoff.” See, I used to subscribe to this idea that if I was going to buy a top, it had better have serious pizazz. So I was left with a closet full of pizazz-y tops that I actually didn’t like to wear because I couldn’t style them with other layers–they were too loud on their own. But look at all the things you can use to add life to a basic white tee: bottoms, layers, shoes, accessories, bag, lip color, hair style…LOTS of ways to play!
So my 15 tops are pretty much a yawn, huh? Neutral colors, not a lot of pattern. The only pieces over $50 are the two chambrays (which I’ve owned for years anyway) and the red peplum top (which was a gift). But that’s okay–bring on the layers and stuff!
BOTTOMS, DRESSES, JACKETS // 12 pieces // Splurge level: medium
This is the section where I splurged a little more. Why? Because great bottoms can elevate a simple top. Most of my going-out looks are made up of a simple top with a statement bottom, like this outfit.
When I went shopping, I’d ask myself, “Would I reach for this over my boyfriend jeans?” I seriously could live the rest of my life in those jeans, so if I wouldn’t reach for it over those staples then I knew I’d never wear it–back on the rack it went. If you’re on the fence about a purchase, just ask yourself, “Would I reach for this over my [insert favorite item here]?” This little trick goes a long way in preventing shopping regrets.
My MVP is my black leather jacket. It took me forever to spend the money and just buy it already, but I’d dare to call it my favorite, most versatile, most valuable piece in my entire capsule wardrobe.
SHOES // 9 pieces // Splurge level: maximum
My shoes were the most important part of my capsule wardrobe, so there was a lot of splurging going on here (think around $100). If you think about it, shoes really dictate the direction of an outfit. You can wear a cute dress, but if you pair it with flats it’s casual. If you style it with heels, it’s suddenly fancy. Shoes are a wardrobe super power. Use ’em.
When I started pulling everything together, I knew I wanted 9 pairs: 3 heels, 3 flats, 3 sandals. I love working in 3’s because I can have a casual option, a dressy option, a colorful option. Meh, you’ll notice I deviated a little bit from that, but that’s a good strategy to use if you’re at a loss.
One last thought…
I actually just realized that I only have 36 pieces in my capsule wardrobe. I’m one piece short of my own 37 rule. Goodness, I can’t even follow my own rules here. :)
And on that note, as you’re building your capsule wardrobe, remember the purpose is to feel lighter, happier. Not to stress about a specific number. If your lifestyle calls for a different number, I’d love to hear how you’re making it work for you.
P.S. Yesterday, I opened up Instagram to any questions you might have about my capsule wardrobe, and whoa! I was blown away by the responses! Since I couldn’t answer them all here, I decided it’s time to add a Q&A kind of post to the regular line up of outfit posts. Something to look forward to!