Pretty much 100% of my closet is casual, weekend wear.
Half-ish of that is “cool” clothes. Ankle booties. Slouchy sweaters. Supermom jeans.
The other half-ish is sportier clothes. Sneakers. Ball caps. Fleece jackets.
There’s a split, even within my casual style.
And it got me to thinking: So many of you have asked about creating a capsule when your life calls for two different styles, like office wear and weekend wear. But I never felt like I could address that question because I work from home and my closet is almost entirely casual.
Until I noticed this split.
In the past, I’ve tended to consider my “cool” clothes my capsule, and leave the sporty clothes out entirely, but why? Both are equally important in my life.
It’s easy to get caught up on creating an all this or all that wardrobe — especially in capsule land. But our wardrobes, our capsules even, can reflect the variety of our lives — they’re meant to.
So I’m widening my definition. I’m excited to show you both sides and get into a discussion about thoughtfully including two (or more) different styles in your wardrobe.
And on that note, I’ve been reorganizing my closet and getting it ready for it’s own post! I can’t wait to share it with you!
So, if you have any questions about how I organize my closet, or frustrations you have when it comes to organizing your closet, let me know in the comments.
And … have a happy weekend!
• • •
Liked today’s outfit? You can shop it and support Unfancy at the same time by using these affiliate links:
01 | Long sleeve tee by Halogen (comfiest base layer ever)
02 | Fleece Jacket by Patagonia (made responsibly)
03 | Black jeans (old) | similar (made responsibly)
04 | Trainers by Veja (made responsibly) Fit note: They run true to size. I’m a size 7 in most shoes and the 38 fit perfectly.
Krystal Nelson says
I like this outfit, but don’t feel I could pull it off! I just have too many curves to pull off an athletic style!
My closet frustrations mostly stem from storing cold-weather accessories. I’m currently renting, which means I can’t add any kind of “built-ins” into my closet. Try as I might to keep my tights, scarves, and gloves organized into bins, they always end up in a jumble. Tips on how to best store these items that are long and tend to unfold?
Sara Mac says
I run into this, too. Although my main problem is “out of sight, out of mind.” I have to keep my scarves/hats/gloves where I can see them or I don’t remember that I own them. (It rarely drops below forty here on the Texas coast, so accessories are sometimes just a hassle and not a necessity.)
The last couple years I’ve just used a cute canvas bin that I toss them all into. It does mean I have to dig a bit to see what’s in there (or find the missing glove), and it doesn’t do much for easily wrinkled scarves or crushable hats. But it also means I have a cute way to keep my things out in the open where I’m more likely to spot them on the way out the door.
Then in the summer I keep all my swim/outdoor stuff (suits, goggles, hats, coverups) in the same basket; and once again, it gives me the advantage of keeping everything in view and in reach.
Love this idea!
Disagree, Krystal! I’m pretty curvy—short torsoed, lots of hip/butt—and I LOVE a more preppy/athletic style. Maybe not to work, in that I don’t really feel like my office (as casual as it is) is the right place to wear workout leggings, but if you can find the right fit it’s a great look. Outdoor Voices style leggings (e.g. not neon workout colors, but heathered or matte or softer tones), a zip-up, or a bodysuit, or even something as simple as a racerback tanktop with jeans and sneakers, works wonders. At work today I’m wearing high waisted jeans, a scoop-back short sleeve, and red sneakers, so it feels right in between sporty and casual-jeans-and-a-tee. Give it a shot! :)
I’m very curvy too and I frequently dress just like this, except that I don’t wear skinny jeans. I wear jeans that emphasize my waist, not my thighs.
Command adhesive hooks might work for you. You can get creative about where you put them, and they are easily removable. You can also loop scarves over a hanger if you have the hanging space
I like to roll my tights into a ball and put a rubber band/hair tie around them to keep them from unraveling in my sock drawer.
Great idea Kaylee. My tights drawer is an absolute disaster.
Jan Marie says
I have a wine crate that I’ve put empty shoe boxes in. Then I fold like Marie Kondo my tights and put them in there face up so I can see all the colors. :)
This outfit was like looking at myself. :) Before I discovered this blog, jeans with a long-sleeved tee and a fleece jacket were all I wore on the weekend at this time of year. Most of my tees are 100% cotton, but coincidentally I just purchased a modal tee like this one in burgundy for the fall season. But since following you, Caroline, I’ve been wearing some of my nicer sweaters and cardigans on the weekend that I used to save for work. I’m looking forward to your closet post! P.S. I didn’t get this post in an e-mail yet. I hope it’s just a delay.
I didn’t get it by email either.
I’m wearing a super similar outfit today except no fleece because it’s still not cold enough in Dallas! I work from home too so your posts have been especially inspiring to me lately. Thank you! :)
Hannah Ison says
LOVE this post. I’ve been following your blog on bloglovin’ for a few months and I love it! Thanks for sharing!
Thanks Hannah! Thanks for following along! :)
Hannah, I haven’t been able to find this blog on bloglovin. I would like to be able to when the e-mails don’t work. Can you tell me how?
Great post, love your sporty look here. I can totally relate to this too. Can’t wait to see the wardrobe post! Gemma x
Sporty athleisure wear seems to be all the rage!
About how many pieces are in your current wardrobe…. are you still doing 37?
how many pieces will migrate to your winter wardrobe?
I’m always stressing about next season, so I’ve learned to set next season out so its easy to see. I spend a lot less because if I start to worry about winter, I can open the closet and see the 37 pieces more or less put together. This curbs my urge to shop for next season. I leave the other two seasons in storage. (One tupperware bin per season) Stores tempt us with this too…theyare always a bit ahead of the season
Hey Holly, I don’t stick to a specific number anymore, but I think I have about 50 pieces in my wardrobe for now. I don’t know exactly how many items will migrate to my winter capsule, especially since it’s been so warm. It’s hard to think about winter. I’m excited to start working on it with the holidays coming up though! :)
Anna W says
I recently got married and moved into a small apartment with my husband. Small apartment means small closet as well. While this has been a really fun challenge to minimize stuff and maximize space, I’ve noticed one process I have that isn’t working for me. When I lived alone and had a closet to myself, I had a habit of placing clothes that had been worn but were not yet ready to launder on a shelf, so I would know they had one or two more wears to go before needing to be laundered. In my new closet, I don’t have this same shelf, and these clothes get tucked into random places or end up in a pile on top of my dresser.
Do you have a system for how you deal with clothes you’ve already worn but aren’t really dirty enough for laundry?
I second this question. :) The piles drive me crazy (my husband and I are both guilty of it), especially when it tends to lead to more ironing.
I am lucky enough to have a closet that is big enough to hold my clean clothes…then some extra space where I hang the clothes that have been worn and need some space to air out, but not dirty enough to launder. After hanging in that space, most times I can hang them back with the other clothes, or just wear therm again.
Have you thought about just turning the hanger around, for clothes that have been worn once? That would be an easy way to identify them, and then they can hang in with the rest of your clothes.
Anna W says
Stefany – I actually hadn’t. Apparently my brain is so trained to think that “clean clothes go on hangers, worn clothes do not” that it honestly never occurred to me that this would work. I’ll try it! Thanks for the suggestion!
When my clothes have been worn but are still ok to wear again, I turn them inside out and air them out. I hang tops flat across the front of my clothes for a day–I hook the hanger through the ‘elbow’ of another hanger. The next day I hang it back on the closet rod. I tuck pant waistbands inside my top dresser drawer and let them hang for a day. If I don’t wear them in the next few days, I fold them up and put them back in the drawer.
Love the jacket! I hope this question isn’t too personal, but could I ask what size you’re wearing? I always struggle with sizing outerwear so that it doesn’t look huge but also so I can fit a thicker layer underneath.
Brittany Cochran says
I was wondering the same thing! I am in the market for a new coat and this would be perfect! Just unsure of sizing…
Hey Christy and Brittany! I got an XS in this jacket. I would recommend taking your regular size if you want a fitted look. But size up if you want to layer underneath. :)
Love this! I’m a teacher & musician, so a lot of pieces in my capsule wardrobe work for more professional/performance looks, but I’ve found a way to include my more casual style as well! I think having a split makes mixing up your closet even more fun!
So excited to see you explore this more, especially because my sportier clothes can tend towards the frumpier side. Love the idea of styling those with intention as well, while keeping the sporty/casual/active aspect.
I’m in Houston, TX so it’s unbelievably hot and humid here. It’s necessary to keep shorts and flip flops out year round and I feel like a capsule wardrobe almost doesn’t work in places with such extreme temperatures. I really struggle with editing my work wardrobe since it is hard to layer pieces to mix and match because you just can’t wear a jacket or sweater for 8 months of the year. I’m wearing a sleeveless blouse at work today and it’s November.
Also, one thing I’ve noticed is that if I wear an item I love to work a few times a month, I find myself not loving that item on the weekends. It becomes too familiar for me to get excited about it for a night out with my husband. Do you suggest saving special items like a few tops to wear only for date night? Thanks for your comments.
Just chiming in cause I know Caroline is in Texas also, and so am I. Caroline’s capsule style was the first thing that made me be able to figure out how to do a mix-and-match wardrobe in Texas. I miss the “third piece” (sweater, scarf, etc) also but I’ve found other ways to add some visual interest. A more interesting shoe (colors, etc), necklaces or jewelry, even lipstick! Also finding the right fabrics: stuff that doesn’t breathe is right out. You can do it! :D
Do you know how the Mott & Bow jeans fit? I know they’re not made responsibly, but I know how Madewell jeans fit and so they’re my go-to.
Hey Amanda, I tried on my usual size in Mott + Bow and they seemed every so slightly higher in the rise than my Madewell high rise jeans (even though they’re both technically a 10″ rise) but other than that, I found the fit to be really similar. Hope that helps! :)
I’m so excited for your closet organization post–I’ve thought about splitting up my two style in my closet but haven’t been sure how to tackle it. Can’t wait to get your thoughts!
Can you recommend nice wooden hangers or other hangers with rounded shoulders that keep the shape of shirts?
Hey Marian, I love IKEA wood hangers! Inexpensive but awesome. :)
Caroline, closet organization is always a favorite for me so I’m looking forward to your post! One of my frustrations is that I don’t really have the storage space to pack away or store off-season clothes, especially items that typically hang in my closet, like dresses, skirts, tops, etc. I also live in warm weather climate like yourself, and so the reality is that I need to have access to tanks and tees year-round, whether I want to or not! At the same time, I try to have different “fall/winter” clothes just to give myself some variety. I guess my question is do you struggle to organize your closet during fall/winter when you may need a sweater one day and something lighter the next? Any tips for making closet organization more manageable when you don’t have extra storage elsewhere and so literally everything you own is in there all the time? For some reason, this doesn’t bother me with my dresser but my closet drives me crazy.
I’ve never noticed the styles in my wardrobe but now that you mention I might have more than one style. And that jacket seems so comfy.
Emily mahi'Ai says
Haha! I read this and realize I do the exact same thing. Although with a lot of my sporty clothes, I simply don’t feel cute in them. I tend to look like a teenage boy in them. As the old ones get worn out, I plan to replace them with things I feel cuter in. The Patagonia better sweater is on my list to replace my old faded black North Face sweatshirt eventually.
I love this post, Caroline! I also work from home and I definitely have a whole bunch of carefully curated “cute clothes” that I love for feeling like a fashionable woman-of-the-world and then a whole bunch of comfy clothes (which is a mix of pants with christmas cats on them…and some more fashionable athleisure :)
Your outfit today just seemed like something that a “normal girl” would wear (and I’m definitely one of those normal girls) — looking forward to you opening up to this a bit more!
I love this! I am in the process of creating a capsule wardrobe for my “two lives”–one in a corporate office, the other on the weekends. I love the idea of building a capsule that blends them together, especially for the time of year we’re encroaching upon, while we have more time off work for the holidays and need attire for parties and family gatherings.
I am looking forward to your post on closet organization! My closet frustration is that mine’s small, and my apartment lacks closet space altogether so it’s also home to extra things that include suitcases, vacuums, and empty storage boxes. So, how can I begin to organize/showcase a capsule wardrobe in ways that feel clean and neat–even when my space doubles as a broom closet?
Thanks so much for your lovely posts!
I definitely have a variation on the split-wardrobe problem, and it has made it nearly impossible for me to successfully do a capsule wardrobe (so far), even though I love the idea.
I’m a graduate student, and I typically go to campus / teach in the mornings, then come home and write / mom in the afternoons. This means every day requires at least two outfits (sometimes 3 if I want to go out in the evenings or if I get peed on). Narrowing my wardrobe down to a small number of items means near constant laundry and trips to the dry-cleaner. I’ve been striving to at least narrow my wardrobe to high quality pieces that are similar / things I KNOW i’ll get a lot of wear out of. But having fewer than 50 pieces just doesn’t work for my lifestyle. I keep trying to do it and half way through the week I end up with nothing clean to wear and have to dig out something from the other side of my wardrobe.
Hey Clare, I totally get that! And I think you’re doing great. Don’t get too hung up on a number, just do what works for you. I think the main idea of the capsule is to be mindful of your purchases and try to get the most use out of your clothes. You got this! :)
Tanya E says
Perhaps you need 3 capsules: teaching, home, going out with some movement in between.
Also, you can buy dry cleaning sachets (from amazon) that you put on low in the tumble dryer and are done in 20 mins.
As a college student, most of my wardrobe is weekend-casual like yours, Caroline, but I find it tough to maintain a small wardrobe when my “going out” clothes are really different from my day time clothes. That’s definitely where my split is! What I wear to go to parties is entirely different from what I wear the entire rest of the time. It continually stumps me!
Yes! Sporty style is my everyday style and as much as I love buying dresses/”cool clothes”, I find myself wearing my workout stuff way more often. Looking forward to some sporty/casual inspo :D
There’s definitely a split in my closet – one side hints at boho, the other is basic-y normal and sometimes it feels a bit meh. What I’ve been struggling with lately is exactly this style divide. I’m not ready to embrace just one style – every time I decide to go for something I take it back — I just don’t feel comfortable with the limits this decision imposes. I keep these styles together in my closet in hopes that I can combine them. Which I have to because if I had to wear just the basicy part of my wardrobe I’d be bored out of my mind and wouldn’t at all feel like myself.
I think the heart of the matter though is that I’m starting to think my personal style will never stop changing. And I don’t know how to deal with that in a more responsible and sustainable way.
Yes!! This is me all the way! So excited to see what you have to say about this and learn how I can tie it all together.
I would love to know how you hang (like sweaters) and organize your clothes. I also live in a hot climate and find that most items I own can be most of the year. So I’m wondering you intentionally put items away (what does that look like) and how you keep your closet fresh. Thanks! Also it would be fun to see some real life pictures of your closet.
Ashley F says
Yay! I teach Qoya (sort of a mix of yoga & dance) & so I’m in sporty casual clothes a lot! I’m always looking for new ways to combine all my fashion-selves!!
I have noticed I have a similar split in my closet and I have been avoiding the sporty style a bit since I think it’s “not me”, but if I actually like it then why not embrace it more?
Sorry, unrelated to this post but does anyone happen to know any Australian fashion bloggers with similar minimalist style? Un-Fancy is undoubtedly my favorite, it’s just a bummer that often getting hold of the items I like is difficult and it would be nice to follow more people.
I’m in Australia too but haven’t found any Australian minimalist fashion bloggers.
I did want to tell you though that everlane will ship internationally until December 1 and there are a couple of items that I thought looked amazing on Caroline (and that were on my list for the next capsule) that we now have access to!
I’d love to find something too! When I read some of these posts I’m always hoping to remember the tips in six months time
Kristen coppola says
This last month I got so frustrated at this rift in my closet that I spent a good number of hours creating my main capsule, then basically 3 mini capsules: business/interview, workout, and lounge/night clothes. I realized I kept wearing the same t-shirts for lounge and sleeping and all of my leggings for runs and barre were getting jumbled with my sweats and then when I had a meeting or professional day in law school, all of my business stuff was mixed with my out-of-season or special occasion stuff. I have enough anxiety before big meetings or even big, happy social events that trying to parse everything out was making me miserable. Oh, the number of times I almost begged my husband to just let me stay home! I’m only a couple of weeks in, but this new format seems to be working. My question is more geared toward the closet post you teased but – how do I keep it this way? Especially when new items are added in, like Christmas sweaters, etc.? Thanks for everything!
Hey Caroline, i think its great idea! I believe many women are struggling with this, including myself! When i think about my shopping habits, this is usually how i shop: clothes to the office & outside of the office, which then naturally creates mess in my closet;) im really looking forward to your ideas! I really enjoy your blog and it helped me a lot to be more practical shopper;)
Tanya E says
A few years ago I had a style consultation and came up with 2 distinct styles, the image consultant said that was normal. The terms she used were “natural dramatic” for me, so very natural, relaxed, athletic and casual mixed with more statement, slightly boho, vintagy or edgy elements. I think of myself as a maximalist minimalist. Minimalist style + some maximalist accessories.
On organising out of season clothes, this year I have used vacuum bags, labelled them eg. “autumn jumpers” and put several in a bottom drawers, so they pack away small but are accessible as the weather changes.
As a stay-at-home mom of 4 children 4 and under, this post is right up my alley! We moved to Alaska in February and had our first snow of this season mid-October so we are in full winter mode now. I love to see casual style that applies to my casual mom life (yay for yoga pants!) and I love this outfit! Thanks for sharing both sides of your wardrobe!
I totally agree with you. I sometimes have the same problem and then get really bored of my wardrobe!
Such a good topic: how to merge two or more uses/needs/styles into one closet. I live in rural Alabama. I don’t wear athletic clothes very much, but I need durable, hard-working clothes for our life in the woods. They can’t be too pricey, but they can’t be so cheap they fall apart after a season or two. (And, of course, they have to work in very hot, humid weather!)
I’m becoming more intent on merging everyday practicality with everyday style. It takes a little more work & self-knowledge to recognize what my particular life demands, where that intersects my personal style, and how best to use resources–rather than just copying a capsule wardrobe from pintrest. But it’s an interesting study!
I’m hoping that your upcoming posts will bring some more insight!
Caroline! I am so excited about this direction for your blog! I work for a non profit organization which has me living in Africa, but regularly visiting Europe (and also occasional trips to the U.S. to visit family/do fundraising). As a result, I have so many different styles in my wardrobe; but I still try to maintain a small, thoughtful, manageable wardrobe that can travel well. I regularly wonder if I can somehow mesh all these aspects of my life into one unified wardrobe, but it’s always eluded me. I wonder why I never thought about embracing all these aspects of my life even if it means a bit more “disjointed” but “me” wardrobe. Excited to see how you embrace the different aspects of your life and what that looks like for your real life closet. Thanks for your honesty!
Love this outfit and everything athleisure. You are so stinking cute too! Keep the great posts coming!
Hi Caroline – very surprised to find a fleece jacket in my favorite style blog. Well, I should have known, we dog people wear those things. I would never call that “style” though. Ok, from now on I will proudly call my fleece jacket style
love this ouftit so much !
I’ve kept a capsule wardrobe for over a year now (with your help–thanks!), and this post makes me realize that my gym clothes might have more potential than I give them credit for. I usually just wear gym clothes to the gym, then shower and change into my outfit for the day, but seeing this outfit makes me think that my gym clothes have more “style” potential in my wardrobe. I’m not really into wearing yoga pants as my all-day wear, but I might try some of my workout tops or jackets with jeans after seeing this post. Many of my gym clothes are needing replaced soon, so while I’m shopping I might try to find styles that can double duty as an all-day top with a skirt or jeans. It’s a lot of boxes to check, but I like the idea.
YES!! I’m excited to see future posts about your two distinct styles. I have two different styles – work (business casual) and weekend attire. When I stumbled upon your blog a little over a year ago, I decided to make two capsules one for each style!
I appreciate this post so much! I’ve been struggling with this a lot lately. I like to wear functional clothing like this when I’m running errands on the weekend. I tend to think that this side of my style isn’t “cool enough” and I beat myself up for not putting together a trendier outfit for the day. It’s only made worse when I see lots of other people go all out when they’re out and about. I also work from home so I’m often wearing outfits that don’t have much thought put into them, meaning I have limited opportunities to actually get dressed and I’m hard on myself for not trying harder when I do. I feel like I’ve lost my sense of style due to working from home, but I really like the idea of embracing this side of my style instead of just assuming I resort to it when I can’t come up with anything else. I like being comfortable and ankle booties aren’t always ideal for a surprise trip to the hardware store. :)
I think where I struggle most is how do I elevate these parts of my wardrobe more so I don’t feel drab? And is it okay to have two totally separate wardrobes that don’t really function together – going out me vs day me? Thank you for sharing this! I’m really looking forward to more posts like this one.
Rachel C Baird says
I’ve got 3 wardrobes. Work, casj, and weekend. Weekends consist of tights, hiking boots, and flowy tops and sweaters. Life of an active dog mom and fly fisherlady. Obviously wish I could ditch the work wear altogether but such is life :P
I love this post because this is exactly what has happened to me. My wardrobe used to be cute dresses and maybe a pair of shorts and t shirt to mix things up. But the more I have got into my fitness and started crossfit I have noticed that my fitness attire has become some of my day to day wardrobe. I have not worn trousers since 2009 but I now wear brightly coloured gym leggings with a cute v neck tee all this time thinking that its not really my wardrobe, until a friend commented on it. No I am keen to embrace it as my style. I can wear cute dresses and fitness fashion/active wear :) So excited to see how you do this.
If you don’t mind my asking, do you wear your usual size in Mott and Bow or do you need to size down? I’m ordering, and have read they run large!
Hey Harmony, I tried on my usual size and they fit very similar to Madewell (although ever so slightly higher in the rise). Hope that helps! :)
Anna Oates says
I love, love, love those sneakers! They are amazing!