Hooray, spring is here! Which can only mean one thing — spring capsule wardrobe time!
Pssst … here’s a refresher course on capsule wardrobes, just in case you want to brush up.
In this post, we’ll be chatting about my process of putting it all together + my budget + what I ended up with + finally, where you can shop for each piece.
Disclaimer: Honesty is awesome, so I chat numbers and dollars in this post. I trust you’ll honor my honesty. Just so we’re clear, everything written here is based on my personal experiences + opinions. Not everything I say here will work for you, but I have faith that you’ll take the information presented and apply some of it to your own wardrobe in a new and creative way.
I had a bit of a rocky start this time around — mostly because I didn’t want to accept that it was time to change my approach. After one particularly stressful day, it hit me: I would never want this to be your experience. If you were agonizing over fitting your wardrobe into a set of (invented) rules, I’d say scrap it and let’s find a new approach.
So I let myself off the hook. You can read about it all right here.
I’ve got to say, it feels nice. :)
Once I decided to loosen my approach and replace the “rules” with open-ended practices, things became fun again. Joyful!
Considering I only purchased a few pieces, shopping took approximately five seconds.
I had a few must-haves on my list: a longer pair of shorts, some high-waist jeans, a jean jacket, and a pair of flat Chelsea boots.
Can we pretend we’re girlfriends for a second while I tell you this cool story? You have to promise to squeal, jump up and down, and say things like, “NO! No way! You didn’t! Girl, that’s crazy!”
I was searching for some flat chelsea boots at Nordstrom Rack, when something caught my eye on the top rack. It was a lone pair of Frye chelsea boots — I would later find out it was the only pair left in all the Nordstrom Rack stores on the planet. I about freaked out when I saw that they were my size and — oh yes, it gets better — they were on sale for $90! I know! I still can’t get over it. I’ve never even allowed myself to glance at a Frye boot because they are pricey. But now I have a pair of my own … and I got them for a steal. Eeeeee!
Okay, thanks for the girlfriends moment. I knew I could count on you.
Since I made the mistake of going too one-style in my winter capsule, I made sure to cover my bases for spring. I’ve got neutral boho pieces, edgy cool pieces, and straight up classic pieces. Mixed together, I’m excited about the possibilities.
I’ve changed so much since starting to live with capsule wardrobes. The biggest change? No more emotional purchases. No more hitting the stores to relieve stress.
Even though my purchases are now in big lump sums — this spring my budget was $550 — I love that it’s carefully budgeted money + carefully planned purchases. Since I’m shopping just once every 3 months, it comes out to about $180 a month.
I can tell you from experience: when I would shop emotionally, I was spending a whole lot more than that each month. But it was harder to notice because it was only $40 here, $60 there, and so on. It was scary just how fast my justifiable little purchases added up over the month. Now, I don’t have to worry about that.
I bought seven new pieces and decided to invest a little more than usual in each one this time around. With a solid wardrobe foundation underneath me, I’m excited to be at a place where I can buy less + buy well. The pieces I bought are top notch quality, and I love knowing they’ll wear well + be around for a while.
We’re all different, so my budget may be too much or too little for you, but I hope it’s a little helpful to peek inside mine.
THE END RESULT
I ended up with a total of 34 pieces in my spring wardrobe including 10 tops, 5 jackets / vests, 1 dress, 8 bottoms, and 10 pairs of shoes.
7 pieces were purchased new. 14 pieces were rolled over from my winter wardrobe. 13 pieces were pulled from storage — which is just two under-the-bed boxes, in case you’re wondering.
Seriously. BEYOND excited to share the outfits I’ve been putting together!
white tee / white tank (similar for less) / classic button up (similar) / knit vest (similar)
crop tee / paris graphic tee (this year’s version) / grey tank / sweatshirt (similar here and here)
midi dress (similar) / track shorts (this year’s version) / dark grey denim (similar) / cape cardigan
joggers (similar) / relaxed blazer / vegan moto jacket / indigo jeans
wrap skirt (similar and similar in a different color) / high rise jeans / boyfriend shirt / chambray shirt (similar)
jean jacket / denim shorts / distressed jeans / mint tunic
slip ons (similar) / open toe booties (this year’s version) / chelsea boots (similar and similar for less) / d’orsay flats (this year’s version)
booties (similar and awesome) / birkenstocks / converse (similar) / lace up sandals (similar and similar)
slip on sandals (similar) / vans high tops (similar)
Oh and hey — I’m 29, as of today. Woohoo! I’m off to party in a very chill 29 year old kind of way. So starting now, I’m taking a nice little break from blogging.
In the meantime, you can keep up with me on Instagram or catch my interview (and a few of my spring outfits!) on The Everygirl.
I’ll be back next Wednesday, March 25th. See you then!
What are your favorite pieces? Do you have any similar pieces?
I like your spring pieces and can’t wait to see how you put it all together. Happy Birthday! Enjoy!
OMG that is a great deal on Frye boots!! I’ve been wanting a pair of their riding boots forever but they’re soo expensive. Anyways, I already love your spring capsule & can’t wait to see the outfits that you make!
By the way, what would you say your favorite capsule has been so far?
Sara @ Cake Over Steak says
Aaaahh I love it! I CAN’T WAIT to see what you put together with all of this. Happy bday and enjoy some time off from the blog. :-)
What a wonderful capsule wardrobe! I’ve loved your previous collections, but this is my favourite. I’ve been trying this approach too. I don’t count footwear or bags and stick to around 30 pieces of clothing. Thanks for the inspiration, Caroline.
I love love love this spring capsule! Blue is my favorite color and ever since I saw the movie Jupiter Ascending with that awesome blue and white checkered flannel shirt that Mila Kunis wears I’ve wanted one.
Caroline I also really admire and appreciate that you’ve kept a bunch of pieces from the fall and winter capsules. It’ll be easier on my budget since I was just starting capsuling this past fall and I’m looking forward to spending less on clothes this year!!
Thanks for another awesome post and your self-insights and guidance for noobs like me.
Gretchen | Gretchruns says
Love this! I’m really excited to see your outfits, because I have a lot of similar pieces in my closet. This capsule is a lot closer to my style than your winter one, so I can’t wait to see it come together!
And YAY on the Chelsea boots! Love love love finding a good deal, and that’s a GREAT one! A good early birthday present for you :) Happy Birthday!
First and foremost! Happy Birthday! I’m super excited to see how your capsule works out. It’s couldn’t be more different than my spring capsule and I love it even more for that reason. I just wish the weather would warm up so I could include some sandals and shorts in mine! Enjoy your break!
x bonnie @ http://www.cocktailsandquinoa.com
I LOVE how you showcased many different styles in this capsule. It’s a fact that we don’t always feel like wearing the same style every day. I go through stages where I’m wanting to be really edgy and others when I’m wanting pure simplicity and elegance. This is a great capsule. Thanks for the hard work of sharing! :)
I really love the spring capsule! I think it has just enough color to keep things interesting! I can’t wait to see what you do. But I have a random question … do you photograph all of your outfits at once at the beginning of the season or do you photograph as you go? I seem to remember reading something that led me to believe that you photograph them all at once. I’m just curious.
Happy birthday, Caroline! I turned 29 last week and am loving this last year of my 20s so far. I hope it’s a great one for you!
I have a similar “girlfriend shoe story”… about a pair of Dries Van Noten brown leather flats I found at a Winners (Canada’s Marshalls) almost a decade ago. Lone pair, in my size, marked down to $80 from what I am sure would have been ~$500+ retail. I still wear them and smile at my great find to this day.
Kelsey M says
I started following you recently so this is the first “official season reveal” I’ve seen from you and I really appreciate your honesty about the process, the costs etc! Thank you!
I love this Spring capsule! It looks fresh, light and pretty! I like the balance you have because the outfit options seem endless! Can’t wait to see your pairings! I bought some light and “airy” tees just like you and think they are a great alternative to tank tops in the Springtime! Happy Birthday and enjoy your week off!
Love the spring capsule & your description on how you put it together. My fav pick is the Frye Chelsea Boot for spring…. and the deal you got on it! I’m going to jump over to The Everygirl to check out some of your outfits. Happy b-day, Caroline! Glad you are taking some time off to enjoy it.
Happy B-day. Love this. Any advice for our South African weather? We have extremely hot summers and wet and cold winters.its autumn right now but still 30degrees during the day. So I cannot decide if I should put two capsules in my wardrobe, like summer and autumn. What advice whould you give? How do I make this work in our weather conditions?
Here is a less expensive option for the Frye boots – Miz Mooz Lissie. I have these and I love them. Very comfortable right out of the box. http://www.zappos.com/miz-mooz-lissie-black-1
Love your spring wardrobe, Caroline! Cannot wait to see how you wear everything!
I’m also looking forward to see what outfits you put together! I love the blue tones, and I’ve recently purchased the Steve Madden booties (at half price!) after seeing them on your blog and falling in love with them :) I can’t wait to break them out of their box as soon as the weather warms up!
Great spring capsule! This is the kick in the pants I needed to finalize mine. Happy Birthday and Happy Spring!
I was so excited to finally see your spring capsule. I’ve been waiting weeks now and the fact that I have a midterm later tonight on MY BIRTHDAY makes this post a real pick me up. I hope you have a great day today because I will be moving my festivities to the weekend ;D
So Happy Birthday, birthday twin!
I though you said you needed more color in your spring capsule…?
Since when is blue not a color? Sheesh.
Blue is often considered a neutral. Caroline really emphasized the color aspect of this capsule, so it’s surprising that the only non-neutral is the mint tunic.
I don’t think the blue of the wrap skirt and the boyfriend shirt are neutral.
I’m sorry for my tone. I was all defensive about Caroline’s capsule because I do think it’s great. I didn’t know that blue was a neutral, at all. I still have a lot to learn. I do know that I’m not a big accessory type of girl so I’m going to have to use some bright pieces here and there to celebrate spring. Near me there is a really large and well run thrift store that organizes their clothes by color, yay!
What’s so great is that everyone here has different styles, but still loves Caroline and takes inspiration from her. :) For example, I am very much a color person (my fall capsule was burgundy, green, pumpkin, and cream and my spring capsule is navy, bright coral, and purple, for example), and my style is more clean lines and office appropriate, but Caroline’s method and thoughts are illuminating. I also may or may not have bought two or three things she owns..
As far as accessories go, I don’t wear many either. I keep talking about scarves and stuff, but realistically, I’m always going to be the girl who doesn’t realize she’s forgotten to put on any jewelry until she’s out of the house. I pretty much have a gold ‘outfit’ of jewelry and a silver ‘outfit’ of jewelry. That’s why I try to put my color and texture into my clothing itself. Different strokes! :)
I, too, was surprised to not see other pops of colors in the spring wardrobe but real quick about colors/neutrals: Everyone has their own idea of ‘neutral colors’ – in fact I’ve read that ‘pink’ is a neutral in India for men and women [wow! that could be wrong, but what a game-changer/mind expanding notion!]…that said, for Caroline, blue is not a neutral, no matter the shade :) Personally I wear mostly jeans of black/grey and blue…but if it’s not a jean and it’s blue, it’s not a neutral for me it’s a color…We all have our personal color schemes that work for us!
Yes, it is a nice wardrobe, and i’m sure it works perfectly for her, but… where is he color? It’s springtime! Flowers blooming!! And all you wear is white and blue? Mmmm…a little sad for me.
Nice blog though :-)
I hear you Virginia! I was all excited because blue is my favorite color but looking at it again it’s still a bit limited color-wise. I guess it’s up to us to tailor the looks to our individual styles. I’ve got some hot pink boots for spring! Happy almost spring to everyone – only 3 more days?
“I guess it’s up to us to tailor the looks to our individual styles”…
This kind of makes me wonder how many people see the blog and really mimic Caroline’s style. Holy smokes! I wonder how many Caroline lookalikes there are out there!
Either way, I love love love this blog. Caroline not only has awesome capsule tips, but I love her fantastic tips on keeping life simple and her fun personal anecdotes!
Happy happy 29th Caroline :)
“I guess it’s up to us to tailor the looks to our individual styles. I’ve got some hot pink boots for spring” I think this means instead of buying a blue boyfriend shirt she will buy a lace floral shirt for example. And buying pink boots has nothing to do with this particular wardrobe. But since people follow this blog to receive orientation on how to build an wardrobe is normal I guess that they tailor the looks to their individual styles. If they are looking for guidance, for example “hum, to pair of shorts is a good idea in a capsule wardrobe!” and “tailor” this idea around their personal taste there is nothing wrong with that.
I totally agree! She hinted at lots of color after her winter wardrobe proved to be so one-note, but this wardrobe is pretty much white and navy (which is my base neutral) with a mint top thrown in. Too bad. The pieces are cute and functional though, which is what she’s going for. I guess the wardrobe shakeup she was referring to will be in the style of outfits.
I agree. Blue is my neutral (even more than black/white/gray). I definitely think brighter when I think of adding color. I was surprised too because I thought the spring capsule would be more colorful. However, I guess the point is to create a capsule of very wearable items. Maybe accessories will brighten it up.
Rita Tocta says
I thought exactly the same as Emma, not as a critic but because a recent post made me think that this Spring wardrobe would be an aventure playing with more colors. Even for those who don’t think blue is a neutral (like me) is a very plain (in terms of colors) wardrobe. I agree that Caroline is very inspiring and this is a very cool capsule wardrobe. It was just a surprise, just that!
Caroline said that her color for Spring would be shades of blue. Her color for Fall was reds and wines, and there were only four items in that color family, so this is exactly what I expected.
Yay! This is my favorite day! I looove seeing what everyone has chosen for their capsule! I’ve shared mine this season for the first time too! I’m definitely loving this more relaxed mindset as that’s what seems to work best for me. Thanks for sharing Caroline and happy birthday!!
dear caroline, thx for sharing your thoughts on capsule building and being so honest about mistakes. I’m a grad student trying to streamline my life as much as possible. oh! and I’m definitely celebrating those superawesome boots with you bc I just got the frye jamie f/ 6pm(dot)com after about a year of playing the google price comparison game, and even on sale mine were about 2x as much as yours!
emily | shell chic'd says
Can’t wait to see you rock that midi wrap skirt! Loving all the fresh white too :)
I was wondering if at some point you could address a certain topic on your blog: weight fluctuation and capsule wardrobes. This may not be a problem for you, but I wonder if anyone else would be interested in this topic? I find it difficult to live a capsule wardrobe lifestyle when my clothes fit differently every once in a while.
That would be good advice. I’m not Caroline, but my immediate thought is to do something similar to her ‘capsule-within-a-capsule’ method. You could build a 5-6 item mini-capsule of a different size, and when your weight fluxes away from normal (whichever way it goes), you could replace a few items with your other-size items until you get back up or down to your base. Bonus points if you choose tops like tunics that can work for any size you are–loose and flowy or belted to change the size and look. Plus, long tops like tunics can go with things like leggings that are more adjustable to size than jeans!
What have your strategies been? Maybe you could submit a guest post to her! :)
I’m in on this! I’m in the process of starting my first real capsule wardrobe and this is one of the things I’m not yet sure how to deal with. I’m currently thinking along the lines of more fluid silhouettes that will be slightly oversized when I’m at my lower weight and will hopefully be like semi-fitted (but not tight) at my higher weight. I’m not yet sure if that is the way to go, though.
for dresses and skirts purchase ones that are ‘cut on the bias’ – not only are they incredibly flowing and flattering and skim your body, they look great on you even as you fluctuate a few pounds here and there and no one will be the wiser! look for silks and linens as they have polish and feel amazing.
Happy Birthday! I was so excited to see what you had chosen for your spring capsule today! Your article in Everygirl was on point as well. I loved the sneek peek! I started following your blog this winter and I feel so much better now that I have purged my closet and changed my thinking about my whole wardrobe and my style. It’s made all the difference! I love that it’s not just about fashion for you, but it’s about finding joy and really coming to who you are inside as well. Thanks for sharing a piece of your life with us! Enjoy your time off from your blog! :)
It’s neat to see how different people have such different styles! I love seeing the mix of fancy/casual you put into your wardrobe. I would love to get a pair of those converse!
Happy Birthday! March birthdays are the best ;) (mine’s the 26th). I love the look of your pieces for this capsule, can’t wait to see the outfits you put together.
Delaney Gibson Peek says
Ha, love that you got real birks! I had some faux Steve Madden ones, but they ended up being so squeaky! You could hear me coming a mile away. Lesson learned, sometimes you need the real thing. I ended up finding the black w/ black buckle, birko-flor WITH the soft footbed. After a massive online and offline search, I finally found that combo from a shop in Oregon.
Thanks for your post about letting go of things that don’t work. The “old me” would have kept my squeaky shoes out of principle. It was nice to be able to release them without guilt. Can’t wait to see what you come up with for Spring!
Where did you find yours? I’m looking for the black on black!
Happy birthday! I hope you have a wonderful day. ^_^ And thanks for sharing your capsule, I cant wait to see what you do with it — and your Frye boot story has me jealous as all get out!
Love your spring capsule! I still haven’t started mine because it still gets down to the 30s sometime here at night… Can’t wait for spring to actually get here. And happy happy birthday!! Hope you have a great time :)
Girrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrl I am loving what you pulled together for spring!
Thank you for sharing all that you do, it has helped me be more inspired with the clothes I have and release the guilt for getting rid of things that do not bring me joy. I’ve even found ways to repurpose some of those non-joy-filled items. My closet is less cluttered which helps me focus in the mornings on what to wear and creative new ways to dress this body.
I just picked up a pair of preowned chelsea boots on eBay and was wondering if they were really gonna work for spring so I feel a lot better seeing you have included a pair in your spring capsule. Hoping to see you put an outfit together with them soon.
Happy Birthday!!! Love this capsule! I am noticing that it is all neutrals though. I thought you mentioned that you needed at least some color. I would be interested to see how you would incorporate some colors into a spring capsule.
I love your spring wardrobe, and happy birthday!
Happy birthday Caroline. :) I follow along with your blog every morning, but this is my first post. I have a couple of questions;
1. Why do you prefer to shop for your entire season’s wardrobe at one time? It seems like it would make better financial sense to build the wardrobe slowly over the course of the season (many stores have sales about 1/3 of the way into the season).
2. Would you consider writing a post about the items you choose to remove from your wardrobe, and why you are removing them? I think it’d be an interesting comparison to see what you’ve purchased and whether it held up over time, for whatever reason. :)
Loving the choices for your spring wardrobe!
SO awesome about the Frye boots!! Score!! :) And SO excited to see all the outfits you come up with this spring!! I would LOVE to see any new accessories that you picked up for the spring!! You always find the best scarves and jewelry pieces to complete your looks!! :) And last but not least, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Will surely miss obsessively checking your blog daily for a new post and can’t wait for March 25th! :D
Happy birthday! :) My favorite pieces would have the be the midi dress, track shorts and leather jacket. But this whole set is great for spring!
Happy birthday!! Loving this mix. I’ve been eyeing several minty colored tops, love that sweater! Those high rise skinnies are on my wish list too. And I always love Vans slip-ons on everybody else, but never like them on myself. I guess I’m more of a Chucks girl. ;)
Loving this capsule, Caroline! And congrats on the Frye boots! I only wear Frye boots, and preach on them whenever I have the chance. They are expensive, but considering I wear them nonstop October-March, and haven’t had to replace them in 3 years, I find they more than pay for themselves. Now it’s time to send them in for their yearly maintenance.
I hope you have a lovely birthday!
Now I know why our fashion styles are so similar! We share the same birthday! So Happy Birthday :) Off to create my first Capsule Wardrobe. ~Cheers~
I am sooooo thrilled to see your spring capsule. I live in S. CA and due to our crazy hot weather I have been cheating on my winter wardrobe for several weeks. Kinda defeats the purpose of a capsule, so, now I am READY to jump right into spring and back into a capsule. I need to tweak the timing of the capsules because we do not have 4 seasons and can go abruptly from winter to summer!
Thanks for your honesty regarding your struggle with the rules, but I found they were a great place to start and now I can look more at what works for me and my situation. I still love, love, love your ideas. I am twice your age, but the outline/ideas can work for anyone! This is my 2nd capsule and I am finding it wonderful and freeing and the start of addressing my obsession with shopping :/.
Thanks so much and HAPPY BIRTHDAY.
WOWEEEE so happy you got that deal on those cute boots!!!
Happy birthday! :)
Wishing you the happiest of birthdays! xo
Also – I love, love, LOVE your spring capsule :)
Steph M says
Happy birthday! Enjoy your week off!
I think you’re going to get a lot of variety out of this capsule! And I have to say, I bought chelsea boots for my fall wardrobe and I’m not sure a day went by that I didn’t wear them. Probably those really really snowy days. And I was totally a tall-boot person!
I’m still having trouble narrowing down my wardrobe. I have a lot of lovely things to use since last spring I was just postpartum and nothing from my old wardrobe fit. So it’s been sad culling that collection. I’m trying to keep bright, happy colours as a priority!
Happy Birthday Caroline! Can’t wait to see how you recombine all these lovely pieces! I’m excited to take a square look at my storage to figure out my spring (my winter and fall kind of blended together) – and get some color going! But for sure your black booties that you pointed me towards will be a baseline, thanks! Oh! and thanks for the post about the stylebook app! That has proved to be one hard-working little app – and so helpful on days you’re just. not. feeling. your clothes. You can look in there and remember what’s worked in the past.
Andrea Hartman says
Happy Birthday Caroline!
Your spring capsule looks great! I bought those exact Frye chelseas in the fall (they are like super dark brown, right?) but I ended up returning them and going with the Perrie boot in black from Madewell. I think I had my heart really set on black. I will be curious to see how you like them. I’m sure you will make them look so cute!
Happy birthday and congratulations on your Frye find! I’m still struggling through the spring wardrobe planning, but I love it all the same. It also still feels like bitter winter, here, so I’m praying for spring! Can’t wait to see your outfits!
Emily C says
Have a wonderful birthday!! Welcome to 29!
Your spring wardrobe is beautiful – it’s a good kick-in-the-pants reminder for me to cycle out my winter clothes and pull out spring! We’re still so cold up here in Maine (it’s currently 26 and WINDY) but I know it’ll be warm soon!
Kimi, twenty-something simple says
Will you be wearing these goodies this weekend? :) (Really bummed about the weather forecast. BOO!) Anyway, I’m excited to see what you put together from these pieces. It might be my favorite capsule yet! Also, you bought a bunch of items I have on my Madewell wish list, like those shorts, haha! I’m happy you shared the link to The Everygirl article so I could see a sneak peak at the outfits.
I absolutely love seeing pieces in this wardrobe that are from previous capsules. It’s very motivating for me to buy quality pieces that I can keep using for a few seasons. Love it!
Happy Birthday! Enjoy your time off.
Happy Birthday! I love seeing your capsule picks, and also want to thank you for being such a breath of fresh air on the internet. Your insights, transparency, and outlook on life are thought-provoking and inspirational. I appreciate all of the wisdom and resources you share. Enjoy your break!
I was looking forward to the spring capsule reveal and now I learn it’s your birthday! Happy birthday! I can’t wait for the spring outfits!
Kristin Perks says
Love this!! You did an awesome job putting it together and your honesty is so refreshing! Love the mint sweater. Happy Birthday!
Happy Birthday! Enjoy your little break and come back soon—we’ll miss you!
You will love those Frye boots and I was squealing inside for you when I read how you got them! I splurged (and I mean it was a huge splurge for me because I shop thrift stores and Target) and bought myself the Frye Philip Harness boots last October. Love them! And I know I’ll wear them for years. I love your spring wardrobe and can’t wait to see your outfits. Oh, and Happy Birthday!
Looking good! I love the banana republic ruche skirt for the similar pick of the wrap skirt. I bought it several months ago. It’s great for curves! It does peel, so just be careful.
Dying to see your spring outfits. Happy Birthday & enjoy!
I love the idea of a capsule wardrobe…..but I think I am just scared of pulling the trigger. I am thinking of trying it for a month and seeing how it feels. I have a lot of clothes, lots of which I like and have had for a few years. I’m not buying much new, so that is easy on the wallet. But the idea of streamlining my closet sounds very appealing.
Anyone have any tips?
Have you read The Joy of Less, by Francine Jay (aka Miss Minimalist), or Lessons from Madame Chic? Those resources, plus Caroline’s inspiration, are how I streamlined mine. (Plus I had the handy trigger of an upcoming 1000-mile move. ;) )
I have not, but I will put it on my reading list. Thanks so much!!
Hi Kayla, Here’s one way to streamline your clothes I read about and tried: wear everything you own for a whole day [not all at once!! hee hee]. no cheating – put it on and keep it on for a full 8-12 hours.
If you find that you love the shirt/pants/skirt/dress/shoes but not on you, you’ll know for sure by having given it a true shot. Put it in a donate or consignment bag. If it doesn’t fit, same thing. If it needs to be fixed, be honest: are you going to get it fixed? pulls strangely? buttons gaping at chest? Can you walk/sit/stand/run/reach for that thing on the high shelf in it? Are you preoccupied by your clothing while you are wearing it? [ie: do you have to keep rearranging it, pulling it down/up/around/tied/buttoned/zipped?] Get rid of it. Does it make you feel weird? Like a ho? Like a goody-two-shoes? Like you’re a character in a play? Is it just “not REALLY me?” If so, after a full day you’ll never want to go through that again – Get rid of it.
And all the opposites hold true: Do you feel great in it? Get compliments? Are you comfortable/confident/at ease in it? KEEP IT!
Aaah :) Good luck! Go forth and conquer the closet!
That is such a good idea, Stephanie!!!!!! I’ve been slowly (everything is slow at my house, I have a baby) working on getting rid of stuff I don’t love, and have been trying to wear everything and determine if I want to keep it or not. But I love this idea of forcing yourself to wear it all day. I have clothes and stuff stashed in various closets throughout the house, and I’m just hoping to streamline it to my portion of our designated master closet. It’s gunna be a while though. Thanks for the encouragement!!!
I’m loving your posts! I stumbled upon your blog at such a perfect season in my life (at a peak of spending too much money on clothes and always feeling like I had nothing to wear). The capsule wardrobe really resonated with me and I knew I had to try it. I got rid of all the clothes that don’t fit me (1/2 my wardrobe) and all the clothes that don’t feel ‘me’ (pretty much the other 1/2 of my wardrobe)… And then I planned an entirely new wardrobe. I’m happy to say I have my 40 pieces and I’m feeling so good about them! Thanks for your help. I can’t wait to see the outfits you’re going to create with these beautiful pieces.
Happy Birthday, Caroline! This is my third capsule and I’m almost done shopping. I’ve purchased two t-shirts, two-sweaters, a cardigan, a jacket and I’m still looking for a skirt. I’m looking forward to seeing your Spring outfits, although Winter isn’t quite over here in Chicago.
I’m currently in the process of really pushing through for the first time in dealing with a capsule wardrobe. I did a purge with the Project 333 25 steps to minimalism. I discovered, I HATE HIGH HEELS. So now, I won’t buy them. Booties with thick heels only. :) So glad to have discovered this process.
Happy birthday Caroline! Thank you for inspiring me to build a better wardrobe by making sure that the pieces that I buy have multipurpose use. It’s autumn season here in Sydney, Australia so I am now looking at your fall capsule.
I found your blog a few weeks ago and I’m trying to pare down my closet as a result. Its hard! I don’t have a “look” or a colour I like that much or a love of neutrals… everything I have is bright and ruffled and floral and a bit crazy. But today I managed to get it down to 80 items not including shoes! Its not much, but its a start! Given that I need two wardrobes, office and casual… that’s not too bad right? I’m also cheating terribly and counting a stack of tank tops as “1 item” but really… they’re like undershirts! Right? Right? I’m a work in progress.
I don’t count things like camisoles that I can’t wear without something else. So a tank top I’d wear as a shirt = 1 item, and a gauzy shirt + camisole also = 1 item.
You’re off to a good start! Remember that neutrals are what make your colorful ruffly fun things pop and look special and expensive. :D I, too, love color, so I’ve compromised and made navy my base neutral. It goes with almost everything, but it’s still a color. Win!
Happy Birthday Caroline! 29 has been good to me so far (30 is right around the corner for me) – enjoy it and the time off! I am really excited to see the new wardrobe in action. Love the Frye boot story and the Madewell plaid shirt!
Happy Birthday! I was really excited to read your interview on The Everygirl, it was great. Love your spring capsule, and I appreciate your candor about the entire process. I think it’s remarkable that you’ve been able to eliminate emotional spending – I’m slowly getting there myself. I’ll also be rocking a mint tunic, slip- on sneakers,and a leather moto in my casual capsule. Considered adding Birkenstocks but it prob won’t be warm enough … I find a lot of inspiration in your posts, thanks for sharing.
Happy birthday, Caroline! It happens to be my birthday as well and the revealing of your spring capsule wardrobe today was a nice birthday treat for this Colorado-girl-turned-30! P.S. I pretty much just had a giddy teen freak out moment when I realized we have the same birthday! It’s like…finding out you and your favorite celebrity have the same birthday. Yep, you’re that cool (even cooler) in my book! ;)
Happy Birthday! Love the collection. Inspired by you and the idea of a capsule wardrobe, I’m tackling my closet this weekend with the intention of capsulizing it. Wish me luck!
Happy birthday to you! :)
sooooo excited for your boots! awesome find! and the wardrobe looks great. your blog posts even sound happy for spring. adorable!
Caroline, your style, I like it a lot. Specifically I like how structured the clothing is. Only, with it being Spring tomorrow I found myself missing Spring’s influence on your wardrobe. So I reimagined your wardrobe and this is what I came up with… Everything white in your wardrobe as I imagined floral (various colors), everything gray I imagined as a jewel toned or pastel plaid and everything black I imagined as having a Moroccan influence. And then that made me smile!
And that’s what I like about this project of yours. No matter who you are you can take your 37 (or what ever number you jive with) and make it work for you.
Any way, Happy Spring! And thanks for being such an inspiration to so many ladies over the years :)
Rita Tocta says
That’s so inspiring! I love the changes you’ve made…they really make someone smile!
The mint jumper, love. But the rest is just too boring a colour scheme for me. Not inspiring for my personal taste
Happy Birthday, Caroline! May this be a peaceful & joyous year for you and your fam.
I loved this post, and your spring capsule. Can’t wait to see the outfits!
Happy belated birthday, Caroline!
I’ve been working 7 days a week and overnights during snowstorms plowing snow in my neck of the woods, so I only just caught up on all the posts since the beginning of January. I liked your guest bloggers’ takes on their capsules for their lives. I feel like I’ve been in transition like Jacq, so it’s comforting to see success beyond struggle.
I’m looking forward to your spring wardrobe combinations!
Victoria B says
Happy Belated Birthday! I can’t wait to see you put this all together. I loved your Spring 2014 Capsule Wardrobe the most of all four so far. If you ever get rid of any of your older clothes, you should consider doing a sale on Instagram or something. I would love that red peplum top you had last year. ;)
In other news, I just have to share this Vegan Leather Jacket I saw on American Eagle’s website. It’s on sale for $89.99 and gets good reviews and looks really nice. http://www.ae.com/web/browse/product.jsp?productId=1383_1912_073&catId=cat410135#BVRRWidgetID
Found your site through the Everygirl and have absolutely fallen in love with your ethos! I recently chopped down my closet in a way that I felt (at the time) was pretty significant, but you’ve inspired me to keep going. I’ve already noticed myself wearing “better,” more creative outfits and I can’t wait to dive deeper!
Are there any blogs or websites you recommend for those pursuing a minimalist wardrobe in Corporate America? I’m in finance and will probably follow your two-capsule advice. I’d love to connect with any bloggers or commenters being un-fancy in their offices!
Stephanie @ Whole Health Dork says
Can’t wait to see how you pull all of this together! I could see myself wearing a very similar collection (with some added warm tones on top) and have been working out my spring wardrobe in my head, very purposefully.
A question I have for you is this–how do you feel about end of season sales? I find some of the items I’ve been eyeing all season long, but unwilling to buy due to price, go on sale and I don’t know whether I should snatch them up to wear for the remainder of the season and to look forward to next season. Thoughts? I know you said it isn’t about hard and fast rules this year, so I didn’t know if your thinking around it had changed.
Winter Wardrobe Wrap-Up: Caroline, I think it was at the end of fall that you did a great show of ALL the outfits you’d worn throughout the season using your capsule [I believe your friend did that beautiful layout] – are you going to do that again? It was so cool to see them all at once!
PS: Congrats on the Frye’s – totallllly jealous and happy for you :) [consider me doing the ‘happy dance’ for you!]
Just wanted to stop in and say hi and thank you for inspiring my own capsule wardrobe lifestyle changes! I’m already a few weeks into my Spring (and third) capsule, and my only regret so far is that I have too many solids and not enough prints or fun pieces, so it feels a little boring for my lifestyle. Luckily that’s what jewelry and scarves are for!
I also had the chance to write about my capsule experience for the magazine I work for (Eidé Magazine in Atlanta) and I was so excited to get to share some love for my new lifestyle!
Caroline ~ thank you so much for continuing to share your experience. You are such an inspiration to so many people.
I have noticed a few comments that don’t seem to be supportive…my hope is that you can continue to be true to yourself. Please don’t feel as if you have to defend any of your choices. We are all on different journeys. I am very grateful that you are willing to share yours.
Loving your capsule. I’m so glad you gave yourself many pairs of shoes to play with! I’m definitely a shoe person ;) xx Can’t wait to see the pairings!
I just love how positive Caroline is and how positive all of these comments are! I think it’s beautiful that she fosters such an encouraging environment. <3
Thank you sharing!! I love how you assemble your capsule wardrobe. I personally have more color, navy is my main color instead of black, but I like to see what ‘type’ of pieces you include. Instead of a gray tee, I have a more graphic one with blue and other colors. So, it’s easy for me to translate to my own style. Happy Birthday and congrats on the Frye Boots!
I agree with Johnlyn, Caroline. My wardrobe doesn’t look anything like yours, but you have helped me so much in creating a structure for planning and shopping for my wardrobe. I am truly grateful. And I hope you had a happy birthday.
THANK YOU!!! I’ve been searching for something to get me started to begin the purging of my closet.
I cannot wait to get started because I need to let go of a lot. I’ve noticed how I stick to just about 10 items and I basically just wear black, denim, army green & cognac. You have a new follower!!!
Hi Caroline! You hair looks so cute and beautiful, can you tell me how you styled it? And you have balayage? I cut it recently just like you, but my hair is totally black and I want something different, which is your advice for me? I love your blog xo.
LOVE the vegan moto jacket. I also <3 vegans and <3 minimalists. Win win win.
Great spring capsule! I love that you kept many items from other capsules. I also love this color vs neutrals convo happening in the comments. Color is so subjective! Looking at you capsule, I see a lot of soft blues and greens, so beautiful and fresh!
Are flats comfy all day? I have found the answer to be no…but I do walk with a hard heel strike and I have high-arches…but there is a solution: SUPER FEET 1/2 INSERTS! OMG they make allll the difference!
they have a great little heel ‘cup’ and a nice arch support and that’s it – it leaves the ball of your feet and toes free and they are small enough to fit into just about EVERY shoe :) Maybe that info with help :) You can get them online – REI used to carry them, but they stopped – they just have the full-length inserts. [yes, inserts are not just for the elderly – ha!]
You and my daughter share a birthday, with only 27 years between you! This capsule looks fun! I can’t wait for something crazy to happen and you inject some bright pink into your wardrobe. Maybe?? ;)
Karen Decker says
Caroline, what a beautifully curated wardrobe! Like many others, I’m inspired (and heartened by the number of comments and dialogue)! I’m also glad you’re taking a break to rest and re-charge.
I really like the d’Orsay flats from Madewell but I am hesitant. In my experience, flats look more comfortable then they feel. I have pretty regular feet (not super wide, narrow etc). I do take public transportation to work and have to walk long city blocks. So…to Caroline and anyone else, are they comfy??
1) Happy Birthday!
2) OMG you found FRYES AT SUCH AN AMAZING VALUE!!!
3) I’ve really loved the capsule concept and I’m trying to implement it for myself. The whole buying quality over quantity has made me love certain pieces. Thank you :)
Your spring capsule looks amazing!!! I have a question – do you use the one in, one out rule when buying new things for your capsule wardrobes? If not, do you just put it in storage?
Alysa (InspiredRD) says
Love this! I have been working on putting my first capsule together, and honestly the RULES have been holding me back. I need to have the ability to change anything that’s not working. So phew!
Also, I scored some brand new in-the-box Frye sandals on Tradesy for $40. I had credit from selling some stuff, so they were FREE! :::happydance:::
How do you decide which items to leave off from last spring and which new ones you need to purchase? I have a hard time pinpointing the holes in my wardrobe and how to fill them. I could shop as I go but that kind of defeats the purpose…
Also I live in Alabama so we have about 4 days of spring. I think this capsule is going to need to work for hot weather really quickly and stretch through summer.
Cute! Perfect for spring!
Your blog has changed my life and my bank account. I’d been wanting to move to a house with bigger closets until I stumbled upon your blog a few months back. You made me realize that I don’t need more space just better planning. For years I’d been shopping uncontrollably hoping to come up with a uniform that worked for me with very little success. I’d spend thousands of dollars each month and still have ‘nothing’ to wear. Following your method has helped me look better and feel much more positive about my spending habits. Thank you so much for what you do and keep on blogging.
Any alternatives for birkenstocks???…just unsure if I can pull that off.
check out the different styles of Birks – there are a lot of really cute ones, some with more and thinner straps [the “Florida” – 3 thinner straps looks a little less ‘chunky’] and some that have toe ‘thongs’ [ha – that sounds so funny!], aka the “Gizah” which is a really great and pretty style – and depending on the color you get [ie: the oiled tan leather version goes with EVERYTHING cuz it’s so neutral] they can go with so much….Alternative: Chacos or Tevas are great if you don’t want that ‘earthy’ look but want to be able to walk all over the city and then into water for a wade/canoe/river hike, etc….I totally destroyed my feet on a 10 mile hike in motorcycle boots in the grand canyon [i know, duh!!], went to Marshalls or TJMaxx the next day and found a cute pair of White Mountain flip flops that has an amazingly soothing footbed and the straps were so pretty with beads and sequins [might sound tacky, but they were really cute] and were my footsies’ saving grace for days and days after that – and they went with EVERYTHING….last summer I found a pair of J-41 sandals with little black leather straps and wore them almost everyday – so comfy to wear on hikes, in town, etc…
Happy Birthday Caroline!
Love your capsule- you inspired me to start this project and after slowly preparing for it through fall and winter I’m ready to jump in this spring- this weekend is for cleaning the wardrobe and leaving there only spring pieces, I couldn’t be more excited :)
My capsule also consists of lots of white and grey, some black pieces and different shades of denim, once I get leopard print shoes I’m done :)
Happy Bday Caroline. I’m com from Belgium, sorry for my english.
Can we see Jacqueline and Jaana’s capsule wardrobe too ? Like yours ?
I like this post. Your blog is so cool for me. It help me so much.
I choose to put more colours in my sping capsule wardrobe because winter was to much black for me. Thanks
Happy happy Caroline, happy Birthday!
I hope you enjoyed your blog-free days. I think it’s incredible how much time you put in here to share your thoughts and inspire people from all over the globe. Thank you so much!
I’m really looking forward to what outfits you’ll create with your capsule. I, personally, think that a capsule comes only to life in the way someone puts the items together to create an outfit. For example: Although I don’t like crop tops at all, I liked the outfit you shared on theeverygirl.com a lot.
For the color-“issue”: I was expecting more color, too. But when I saw your new capsule it hit me that you did just the right thing not to panic after your neutral winter capsule and put in more color than you would probably actually wear.
Also looking forward to see more pictures of your new haircut :)
Love from Germany, Aylin
Is anyone else not quite ready for Spring? We’re expecting 1-3 inches of snow in Chicago tomorrow and I’m still awaiting delivery of one remaining item for my Spring capsule: a sapphire blue skirt (definitely not neutral). I won’t be able to even think about switching over until next weekend. Looking forward to it though and to seeing Caroline’s spring outfits.
I felt like that last year. What I realized this year though is that I just need to put lighter colors in my capsule.
So I have a sweater that is gray in my winter capsule and a sweater that is white in my spring capsule. It’s the same exact sweater, just different colors.
For some reason I am really sensitive to colors in different seasons. I don’t like the white at all in the winter, but don’t like the gray sweater in the spring. I don’t find 100% cotton sweaters I like very often so that’s why it’s the same exact sweater.
I also put in a few more layering options ie. a short sleeved tee with a cardigan that I can take off when it warms up) versus a heavier sweater that would be too warm on a warmer day. My capsule change is mostly in color and I take out pieces like the heavier flannel shirt and put in a lighter button up shirt instead.
i looove this.
i truly can’t wait to start my own capsule wardrobe!
your choices are great!
Thank you for explaining the capsule wardrobe. All seemed a little mystical before. I do feel like I’m cheating some since I’m preggers and starting to show and so don’t fit into a lot of my clothes. It’s going to be interesting even getting to *37 pieces*.
Wish me luck!
I’m impressed! Congrats for achieving this Caroline! And I wish you a very happy belated Birthday! ;)
*squeals & jumps* I looove Frye boots! WHAT A FIND! :) can’t wait to see your spring outfits!
You expressed regret regarding the lack of color in your last capsule wardrobe. Just wanted to add my two cents. In past capsules, you have included a dusty olive shirt and topper. I think that olive suits your personal coloring very well. It is one of those colors that is also considered a neutral. Another “colored neutral” that would look wonderful on you would be a warm burgundy. Keep having fun with your capsule wardrobe!
There is absolutely nothing wrong with your new spring capsule. It is versatile and will look lovely on you. I hope my first comment did not come across the wrong way. I only wanted to let you know how nice you look in dusty olive.
Hi Caroline. I really admire your vulnerability, creativity and courage. Opening yourself and your personal style up to the scrutiny of the internet can’t be easy, especially with so many people ready to dish out judgments on your choices. I am thankful for your blog and am beyond excited to build my own capsule wardrobe. Whether or not you sufficiently added color enough color to YOUR Spring wardrobe to satisfy the needs of some readers, you are truly helping a lot of people with your blog.
Prudence Yeo says
I used to shop emotionally too and spent much more than I should on clothing! It’s definitely a great idea to have a clear budget and to invest in classic pieces that are of better quality! Thanks for sharing and love your Spring capsule wardrobe picks!
Your capsule looks amazing! I previously tried doing a capsule challenge, but I shopped in my closet and I think I limited myself so much that towards the end, it was no fun. I’m so jelly of your Frye deal. The grey/white color scheme is so perfect for spring. Can’t wait to see how you mix and match!
I have a question? Do you buy everything at once? Im new at this and your blog so I was just wondering how you purchased everything!
nvm!! I saw it !!
I’m glad to see put some color (and a print!) into your wardrobe. I created my spring wardrobe this past weekend and thought it was a great experience- this is my 2nd capsule.
– 3 months in winter went by sooooo fast; I never felt I was missing out on my stored clothing
– since I work in an office and my weekends are chill, I used 60 total pieces in my spring capsule
– bc it’s so cold in NYC, I kept an additional 5 pieces from winter that I’ll transition out in mid April
– I don’t count shoes – shoes (to me) are accessories that I use to finish an outfit. I will edit out any obviously off season shoes, but otherwise keep the rest in rotation
Can’t wait to see the rest of spring!
i love this new capsule! i’m not much for blue myself aside from denim and chambray in my own wardrobe but i really like how it fits into yours.
not sure if you have answered this before, but – how do you make these cute charts with the photos of all your capsule pieces? i’ve been thinking about making one for myself to help me visualize my own capsule since i have really been struggling with putting it together.
Hi Caroline! New reader here. Found your blog in the last couple of days, can’t remember how. I am SO inspired and excited! Love your style and philosophy. Now in the process of putting together my first capsule wardrobe for this spring! I feel like this is exactly what I have been looking for. Thanks so much for your blog!
I love this idea, but I don’t live in a place with much seasonal change. It goes from hot to hotter. Do you have suggestions so that I can keep to 37 pieces but am not wearing the same 37 pieces for 12 months?
JennyLouWho: You’re very lucky! To be honest, I have a bit of a hard time with Caroline’s wardrobe inspiration because I live in a four-season place and consider her wardrobe to be very much geared toward a warm environment! Funny how perspective changes. Anyway, you’re lucky because you can always find the shapes and colors you love without having to make room for winter boots, heavy jackets, etc. in your wardrobe. As far as feeling stuck in a rut goes, Caroline purposefully stores some perfectly good items after each season because that way 1. They get a rest, so they don’t wear out as fast, and 2. When she picks them up again after a few months, they feel fresh and new again.
So enjoy this opportunity! Perhaps you pick a new color or two to liven up a new season’s wardrobe, and swap out about half your wardrobe. For example, in winter you favor navy and red. In spring, maybe swap the red for spring coral or peach or mint. I’m sure you’ll always have your denim shorts and black tank in every capsule–they’re classics for a reason–but switching it up with a bright pair of shorts in your seasonal color and adding a few colored tops to liven your consistent bottoms will make you feel renewed in each new season.
Thank you so much! That seems so obvious, but my brain wasn’t figuring that out. I love this idea. (And yes, year round warm weather is pretty great. 110 degrees in summer isn’t my favorite, but I’ll take it for the lovely winters!)
Thanks for sharing nice blog post.beautifully furnitures presented for Fitted Wardrobes.
I love this idea, but am so anxious to have a go….I have cleared my schedule for this weekend and am planning to face my cluttered wardrobe and try out the capsule wardrobe challenge! I am excited but not overly confident – I wear totally different outfits since I work in an office all week and mostly hang out with friends and go on date nights with hubby over the weekend. I’ll put my best efforts on this as I trust this will be such an inprovement to my lifestyle, no more over thinking on what to wear and over spending on unnecessary items…. Wish me luck :)
I see you have a lot of white items in your capsule. Seeing as you use a lot of natural products, I was wondering how you keep your clothes white. I assume that you don’t use bleach. I haven’t added a white piece to my closet in a while because I have the hardest time keeping them nice.
Anyone have direction on how to do this if you have more of a professional work wear need and causal personal style?
I have found (sorry, I have cap locks off, but it’s formatting in caps anyway) that this concept works best if you try to create as much overlap as possible between your office wardrobe and your weekend wardrobe. For example, I wear weekend t-shirts to the office under blazers and cardigans.
I really like the idea of your season capsules. Have you continued to do this? I can only view through Spring 2015 and I’d really love to see your Fall 2016 capsule. Any hints for me on where to find this?
I just wasn’t looking hard enough! Found them on your homepage.