Even though the weather is still back and forth, it’s time to get my spring wardrobe ready!
Coming into this season, I feel really good about what I already have. I want to get the most out of each piece, instead of wondering why I’m not wearing a particular piece.
So here’s what I’m doing:
I’m visiting the tailor.
When something goes unworn in my closet, it’s usually because it simply needs to go to the tailor. It’s the simplest fix, but for some reason I never get around to it. So I’ve started making my tailor runs at the beginning of each season, when I’ve got the motivation to do it. That way, it’s done and my clothes are ready to go.
This time around, I’m getting my flare jeans hemmed, so I can wear them with shorter heels. I’m also getting a slip hemmed.
I’m doing laundry.
As clothes come out of the storage box, they immediately go into the laundry (or get steamed) so they are fresh and ready to wear when I need them.
I’m assessing what I already have.
I’m filling out my capsule planner, of course.
And I’m trying the hanger challenge for the first time!
Not sure what I’m talking about? The hanger challenge is where you turn all the hangers in your closet so the hooks are pointing towards you (AKA the wrong way). Then, when you wear something, you put it back with the hook the normal way. Within a few weeks, you’ll see what you’re reaching for the most / least.
I’ve only been doing it for about a week and it’s already eye-opening!
Finally, I’m putting cold weather clothes back into storage.
As the warm weather clothes come out, the cold weather clothes are going into storage. So I’m preparing them for their best storage by combing my sweaters for pills, spraying them with moth-repellant sweater spray, and making any small repairs (sewing a button back on, fixing a small hole, etc.). That way, when they come out of storage, they are ready to go!
How about you? Is your spring wardrobe coming out? I’d love to hear what you’re doing to prepare!
• • •
Liked today’s outfit? You can shop it and support Unfancy at the same time by using these affiliate links:
01 | Tee by Everlane (made responsibly)
02 | Rust tee (old) | same color in a v-neck
03 | Jeans (old by Rag+Bone) | same jean in a different wash (made in USA) | similar | similar (under $30)
04 | Clogs by Bryr in Sable (made responsibly in USA) | similar (under $80) | similar
05 | Bag by Live FashionABLE (made responsibly) | similar
06 | Delicate circle necklace (old) | similar
Not quite ready for spring yet here in Chicago. Sure it will be 62 today, but we may get some snow tomorrow and Thursday. I’ll probably do my transition to Spring toward the end of March.
mE TOO! I’m IN mn. i JUST ORDERED THE SWEATER SPRAY IN ANTICIPATION THOUGH. i LOVE THE RUST TEE AS WELL. I’m TRYING TO INCORPORATE MORE NEUTRALS AND BASICS INTO MY WARDROBE. sORRY FOR THE caPS, FOR SOME REASON i CAN ONLY TYPE IN CAPS IN THE BOX. pROB USER ERROR :)
About the hanger challenge, how about leaving the hangers as they are and if you wear something turn the hanger the other way. It would be a lot less work.
Miss Field says
My thoughts exactly. Also, what I like to do is when clothes get laundered I put them at the back of my closet (or the end) so that things I haven’t worn recently are right in front and I’m more likely to think about them.
I tried doing that with mine. I found it more irritating in the long run to have all my favorite, most-often-worn items on backwards hangers (it’s an awkward feel). So even though it’s more more work initially to turn everything backwards, it’s definitely easier later on.
I would love to see a more extensive post about the tailor! I’ve never used abd don’t know where to start! How did you find yours? What kind of things have you had tailored? How does it compare to the price of new? What can’t they fix?
I’ll definitely add that to my list of post ideas. Thanks for the suggestion! :)
Another :) How do you store your bags/purses? I’ve started buying real leather ones, and especially the raw leather fashionable ones I am always not sure how to properly store!
Hey Lyn, I actually just keep them on my garment rack. Since they are in rotation all year long, they don’t really need to be in storage. I would imagine a dust (or muslin) bag would be great for protecting them if they’re not being used, though. :)
That would be a cool post. I love my tailor, but I feel like I stumbled on her by accident. Actually, I think it was many years ago that I asked the sales lady in Banana Republic who she used and got the name. (This tailor is right across the street from our mall.)
Finally it started to look like spring here in Hungary too! I already put my warmest sweaters and cardigans away and cleaned my warmest winter jacket. I also boxed my more elegant shirts because I won’t need them any time soon as I’ll be on maternity leave. I assessed my sweaters and loungewear section and selected the pieces I haven’t worn and won’t wear. Also tossed some old shoes that I should have tossed years ago. Now I have more space for maternity wear and comfy pieces for after the baby is born. :)
Tanya E says
Not much above freezing here in the UK, but I’ve got a few bits out that I can layer and mix and match with my winter clothes; some long shirts that layer with thermals under and long cardigan over, a jersey dress that I can put a jumper over.
I always clean stuff before I put it away and when I get it out, but I don’t ever put clothes back in the wardrobe once I’ve worn them as I thought it increased the chance of moths if clothes aren’t really clean. I do fold them onto a chair if they’ve been worn but don’t need washing/cleaning.
A really good idea to get things mended, you’ve just reminded me to get some boots reheeled before spring!
I know I should be agreeing with Carol, but I am SO ready for spring. I’ll probably be at least a bit realistic and do it largely by wearing lighter colours and changing coats.
What I’m really excited about this year is that my wardrobe culling has finally reached the point where 95% of my wardrobe fits in my closet!! There are two bars and a plastic drawer unit: the top one is off-season and the rest is in-season. Altogether it’s about 90 items, not including accessories, coats, shoes, workout, swim, occasion, or lingerie.
What I’m wondering now is whether having my clothes always visible takes away from the excitement of a new season… Maybe it’s better to store them anyway? What’s your opinion on that, Caroline?
I’m down to 80 items and that’s including shoes, but not including outer wear, workout wear, sleep wear and underwear. Right now, I have off-season stuff in the guest bedroom, but we’re moving this year and I’ll have a huge walk-in closet. I’m going to get everything in that closet plus one dresser. The weather is so weird here, I really want to see everything that I have.
Hey Katharine, while I personally like to store things away and “shop my storage” as the new season approaches, I’m a firm believer in doing what works for you. Maybe try it for a season and see if you feel that old excitement as you pull the items out? Otherwise, if you have crazy weather (yup, we do too!) sometimes it sounds easier to just have everything available to you, as Carol mentioned. No harm in testing it out though. :)
Monique N Duray says
The backwards hanger trick is so simple and effective. When I change seasons, everything goes the wrong way, and it’s amazing how soon you discover what needs to go (or be revised or revisited some how). I even use it in my children’s closets!
Sheila Joy says
This is a great checklist to go by! It’s not quite spring where I live yet (Pennsylvania) but the odd warm temperatures we’ve been experiencing might prove otherwise.
Emily Phillips says
I always have a goal of getting my leather boots polished at the end of the season before I store them, and I never get around to it! Is that something you do yearly? Or is it unnecessary until it really looks like they need some TLC?
I polish my own leather shoes always before storing and sometimes in between wears when they look like they need freshening up. It makes ’em look good as new, which I love, and my leather shoes, though from the high street, last me for years, usually until the sole really wears out. So I don’t know if it’s necessary but it does make for a quick and cheap fix when you want to look chique and it certainly does no harm!
we used to clean and polish our shoes every Sunday night before school and even now the sight of freshly polished shoes makes me feel ready to go. It also helps keep them weather proof.
I will only buy leather shoes but mostly high street and they last really well with care.
Hey Emily, I never polish mine (or at least I haven’t needed to yet!) But I’ve always kind of preferred the worn-in look anyway. :)
Andreea U. says
I am not ready to go all spring, the items I am holding now are fine and working also for 60 degrees, but I will be moving at the end of the month so I will be storing clothes and preparing them and then pull up the spring ones so great advises there!
Also the hanger thing is very smart and easy to do, I think i will take all your advises at the end of the month when I will settle up in the new apartment, it will be a great start!
A moving is so motivational! Now I realise how much clutter-free I can do after this and how much steps I can take for a better organized closet.
Oh and your capsule is great!
Thanks for these inspiration steps!
Brittany | Words like honeycomb says
We have a high of 85 today here in GA haha so this Spring inspo is perfect timing for me :) thanks! My closet needs a major overhaul since I know I wear maybe a quarter of it -_- so I think I might actually try the hanger challenge this year…enough is enough! :)
That t-shirt looks like one I have from J. Crew! I have heard about the hanger thing before, I think Oprah (?) says she did that?
You take really good care of your clothing!
-Kirsten // http://www.porkandcookies.com // Latest post : February purchases
So excited to see your spring capsule-ish wardrobe, Caroline! :)
I live in the midwest too, and this is a tough time to dress for to say the least (last week we had temperatures in the 70s and in the 20s). I was feeling really tempted to buy a bunch of pretty new spring items that are popping up online, so I decided to pull out my spring/summer clothes as a way to stifle the spending. I choose to practice contentment during the process of packing and un-packing which really helps me be happy with less. I usually realize that I already own a pretty cool version of the thing I’m craving (i.e. light-colored statement sneakers!). To help with the weather transition, I left in a few cold-weather boots and sweaters that will mix well with my lighter items. So far it’s working really well and I haven’t bought anything new!
I haven’t started pulling out my spring pieces yet, but I have evaluated what’s in storage and begun planning for any new additions. Throughout the fall and winter months, I’ve only added (I tend to plan at the beginning of the season and then make purchases as things go on sale/I find exactly what I’m looking for) a couple turtleneck tees and a suede jacket – so I’m excited to get a few new pieces in the rotation. Spring is definitely a transition month here in Iowa; there are no shorts or sandals here until May or June. Instead, it usually means incorporating a lighter color palette and light weight sweaters with pants and flats, so weaving new spring items into my current winter capsule is easy (vs. packing up one capsule and pulling out another). Looking forward to seeing what’s in your spring capsule this year!
Curious – what containers do you use for seasonal storage? I’d love to see how you organize your out-of-season clothes!
Andreea U. says
This would be a great idea for the next video ;)
Tanya E says
This last year I have used vacuum bags to store most out of season stuff, as they pack down so easily and take up very little space. The only issue I had was the first bag I did some moths got into a jumper dress, but I hadn’t sealed it properly. Everything else has been fine and really easy to access.
Sarah Peters says
This is unusual for me, but right now I’m itching to get into some spring clothes. I channeled my energy into preparing my wardrobe yesterday by going through many of the same steps: capsule planning, prioritizing what alterations and repairs need to be done, switching out cold-weather items, and getting honest about what I haven’t been wearing and why.
In this tricky transition time (where it will still feel like winter in the Pacific Northwest for a few more weeks), one new consideration helped me decide what makes it into the spring wardrobe, what goes into storage, and what I will bring into rotation for summer: fabric weight.
For example, I was deliberating over which of my shirt-dresses belong in my spring capsule. Once I thought of the spread of temperatures we’re likely to face over the next three months in Oregon (40F – 65F), something clicked in my head about fabric weight and the decision practically made itself. Heavy wool dress goes into storage, mid-weight dresses carry over into the spring wardrobe, and the chiffon versions stay in the closet until June. Done. I realized there’s plenty of time in the summer for those silk dresses to shine and get plenty of wear. Even though they are my favorites, I felt no guilt in leaving them in storage.
It might seem old-fashioned to consider what fabrics are most seasonally appropriate in our modern, climate-controlled lives, but there’s a subtle satisfaction in feeling smartly dressed for the weather. This is an important detail in my daily life since I don’t own a car. I spend all of my commute time walking, biking, or taking the bus, which exposes me to the weather. Wearing a slip, a mid-weight dress, and a trench coat in March while waiting 20 minutes outside for a bus feels smarter to me than piling a sweater, scarf, and parka over a light-weight dress in a frantic attempt to stay warm.
Taking fabric weight into account helped me decide between multiple options across all my wardrobe categories and made the rest of the capsule selection process much easier.
I hope you’ll be showing us your capsule-ish collection of items soon! I’ve missed your wardrobe-overview posts and excited to doing a three-month spring capsule along with this community!
Nice! Fabric is an important criterion for me as well, as I hate wasting electricity (heating or airco) just for the sake of being able to wear the same outfit indoors year-round. The art of seasonal dressing (from a practical instead of a fashion perspective) seems to be going extinct judging my some of my coworkers, all while our earth’s resources are diminishing rapidly :(.
Great way to do it Sarah. Thanks for sharing! :)
Ditto in Germany! It’s just above freezing temperature here, but I’m soooo ready for spring. Some of my clothes are year-round clothes, so I can survive the first few weeks of warmer weather without getting my summer clothes out. I like the idea of year-round clothes. Some German bloggers started the idea #SeasonsAreSoYesterday, which is worth looking up. I do have a storage box for summer / winter: I usually get it out around Easter: I wash my winter sweaters and jackets, my scarves and hats and mittens and put them in storage. Last year I got some summer items in the sales that are waiting to be worn, so I don’t really need to shop.
sarah mozelle says
so i am wondering about that cuff – rolled at a jaunty angle. whenever i attempt something like that, i feel like i am putting too much effort into styling myself and that faux messy is just silly. of course, our lives are vastly different as i am mom of 2 kids and 50 years old. but still. it reminds me of cleaning my cottage when in college (i’m tidy) and my best buddy came over to help me prepare for a party and noticed some flower petals scattered below a vase and he commented that i did that on purpose for affect… busted! your thoughts?
Hey Sarah, I suppose it can seem kind of silly to look messy on purpose, but I personally like the relaxed vibe it gives off. Don’t be afraid to try new things, but if they ultimately make you uncomfortable, I wouldn’t force it either! :)
March in Ohio is always super frustrating because I’m 100% ready for it to be spring (even after the mild winter we’ve had) but it’ll fluctuate between spring-ish and winter-ish temperatures all month.
Instead of a seasonal switch, I’ve learned to do a gradual roll-out instaed. So this week I’ll probably start cleaning/storing some heavy winter clothes (things I wear when it’s < 20 degrees), bringing out a couple of layerable spring things, but keep a lot of transitional clothing until it's more consistently warm.
My sweaters keep getting nibbled on by moths so I'm also looking for new ways to store them this year. I think I'm going to freeze them for a bit, then handwash and dry, then store in a plastic tub with cedar blocks. If anyone has other tips for avoiding moth holes, I'm all ears! I had to toss a few merino sweaters this year because the holes were too much to repair, ugh.
Anna W says
Kentucky weather has been so bi-polar! I’m not quite ready to put my winter things back in storage, but I have definitely been reaching into my drawer for tees, and last Friday I went sock-less for the first time all year (this is a huge deal for my sock-loving cold feet).
I’m definitely starting to think about what is in my closet that hasn’t been worn this season, and deciding whether it needs to go to storage or the giveaway bin. Also trying to think about the gaps in my summer wardrobe…last year I had thoroughly destroyed a pair of cheap peep toe skimmers that I had worn all summer long for 3 summers in a row, so I’d love to replace them with a comfy quality pair. :)
So glad I found this site when I did! I’ve had the “less is more” mentality for a couple years now, but have been going about it TOTALLY the wrong way! Every time the weather got hot I looked at all my thick long sleeve sweaters and either added them to a yard sale or donated them. Then cold weather came and I was forced to buy new cold weather clothes. Same with cold weather and giving away my tees, tanks, and shorts. Yikes. Never again. Putting these puppies in storage and using this year to shop mindfully and minimally. I don’t know what I was thinking!! Capsules are the way to go.
Hi Caroline! Love your suggestions for the transition to Spring. What size are your Rag and Bone jeans featured here? Happy almost Spring!
Hey Carrie, they are my usual, size 24 :)
Super. Thanks! I have always bought Paige and AG so I’m new to Rag and Bone jeans. Sounds like they fit pretty true to size. Going to try these out! Appreciate your feedback!
Great tips! I can’t wait to start switching my closet into spring style!
As part of my seasonal clean-out / assessment, any unworn but high quality items get posted on ebay and Poshmark. That usually gives me a little bit more in my budget for the coming season and helps me stay close to the “one in one out” rule of thumb.
Aria Di Bari says
What a perfect casual outfit, love those shoes!
The hanger challenge sounds like such a good idea – definitely going to try it out
Samantha Lee says
That hanger challenge is such a good idea! I often re-wear clothes a few time before washing, so I do put them at the end of my closet, but I tend to just keep wearing them instead of reaching for something new.
It sounds like I’m the only one who is resenting spring right now. I’m so annoyed that summer lasted practically into November, and now February is basically spring. I haven’t had winter yet!! Summer in Alabama is hard, and I’m dreading it.
My spring wardrobe looks a lot like my winter one: tee shirts and sweaters with a flannel or two. I’ll just wear the sweaters less and less frequently, and bring out the linen shirts to gradually take the place flannel as it warms up. Winter coats will need to be cleaned and put away, though.
Bah! This makes me sad. I love cozy nights by the fire, and the way I can see the far hills when the trees don’t have leaves…
Oh how jealous I am that everyone is gearing up for spring already! It is seriously my least favorite season in the Inland Northwest. It’s cold and wet and often windy, and as the ground thaws it’s squishy and muddy and…ugh. I just want to break out shorts and sundresses and light layers and it feels like that’s never consistently feasible until June. *sigh*
I was poking around your old capsules from the Capsule Experiment page and I noticed the photo for the Fall 2014 capsule is redirecting to the Special Occasions post instead. Just wanted to give you a heads up so you can change the link!
Hi Kaylee, thanks for the heads up! I’ll take a look at that. :)
Caroline—great reminder about tailoring clothes. I have some pants that are just 3/4 inch too long for both flats, boots, etc. Thanks for the push!
Can’t wait for spring fashion!
After every season, I tuck notes into the pieces returning to storage marking the last time they were used. That way when I do a yearly assessment I can see what items never got a turn. Then I either choose to add them into the rotation or pass them along as donations. I haven’t tried yet, but I’d also like to start making notes on what outfits I enjoyed using the piece for and/or if it was seasonally appropriate for its last appearance in a capsule. I’m new to Texas, so I’m still adjusting to the new weather patterns!
I don’t pack my clothes away I just have everything always out but our weather is stupid and sometimes you need to be dressed for all the seasons in one day! It’s supposed to be Autumn here now. But I don’t see our Summer weather ending very soon! So hot!
Definitely getting ready for spring here in Austin. Blue bonnets already in full bloom! Even though spring can feel like summer, I usually have a light jacket/sweater in tow for cold offices, shops, restaurants, etc. Ah, Texas.
Alyssa J Freitas says
I’m at the tail end of a hanger challenge where once I wore a piece I haven’t allowed myself to wear it again (for tops at least haha). It’s forced me to wear what I wouldn’t usually and I’ve loved it! Thinking about continuing once I’ve worn everything just because I liked it so much. Good luck with yours!
I put away my winter capsule. I hadn’t planned a capsule, but when Trump got elected, I pulled out all my black clothing and put anything else away. “I wear black on the outside because black is how I feel on the inside,” as Morrisey says.
It did make it very easy, and nobody realized I was wearing the literal same outfit with the same accessories two or three times a week because it was black. After about 3 months, I felt it was time for some other clothes. Last week I pulled out some clothes I felt like wearing and put away ones I was tired of, although I didn’t do formal capsule planning. I like the less effort of having a smaller selection to pull from everyday and being able to have my favorite stuff out and available, but I don’t want the rigidity to feel limited or only “allowed” to wear certain items. I take out the everyday options and put them on an Ikea rack so I can see them and access them easily, and leave the rest hanging in the closet. If there is something I feel like I need to complete an outfit (like an out of rotation sweater or skirt), I just pull it out of the closet.
Today it’s 77 on the first day of March where I live…so it was time for spring stuff about a week ago. March – this year it’s in like a lamb and out like a lamb.
I do think that choosing the spring clothing depends a lot of the location you are in. For example, in London, even if you want this outfit, you do still need to have at least an umbrella there. Just in case.
In the same time, if you are in Greece or Italy, you can try to have a thinner shirt with those jeans, because there is always hot. Well, not this winter, when it snowed in Rome, first time in more than a decade, but still :)
Nicole LaRock says
I’m celebrating that today is March 1st here in the Northeast, but it’s not quite warm enough to stow away my sweaters yet. I can’t wait for that day though! I’m itching to bring out Spring clothes.
Patricia Kay says
Being proactive/prepared is key here! I am excited! I am finally getting it!
CAPSULE takes planning but it is worth every minute because it brings freeeedom!
Excited to see your capsule!!!
I am retired, but I will always love creativity in my closet and dressing.
I have had to learn what/how to dress in this new season. No longer heels and professional dress. Your posts are opening my eyes! Grateful!
I always wait for winter to be over—sometimes June in Northern Minnesota.
SO! In the waiting, I am going to NOW plan a summer capsule for the cabin AND one for spring at home so I can “be prepared” like you are showing us here.
Your Capsule Planner is helping me define the activities in my retired life & basically my lifestyle &pieces appropriate for each. What does not fit into a category/lifestyle any longer and does not “spark joy” is going to find a new home.
Your style is beautiful.
Here’s to “never stop learning & discovering who we are”!
Just downloaded the capsule planner! So helpful!!
I got my spring/ summer clothes out of storage but it will be a while til its warm enough to wear in the north of England I think. My Granny used to say ‘Ne’er cast a clout til May is out’ basically meaning keep warm til the May blossom flowers!
I’ve made a wish list – linen maxi skirt, white kicks and silk culottes top my desires at the mo.
Madeline Mudd says
Love those clogs so much! I’m pretty pumped for warm weather, too. :)
Hello Caroline – great outfit!
I’m endeavoring to take clothes into the tailor that could fit me better, but I have never seen a tailor and am not sure how to go about that. Just walk in to the nearest tailor? For some reason, I find this task daunting! If you have any pointers, please share!
I’m enjoying all your posts, but especially the ones about styling. I like how you tied the rust tee around your waist.
Nora Asbury says
I’m completely obsessed with this blog after discovering it a couple weeks ago— thank you! I love love it!!
Lucy Wyman says
I know I’m not the first to tell you this, but your blog has completely changed my closet (and my life!). I’m trying to work more light colors into my closet, and was wondering how you wear your white tee so that it’s not see-through! Do you wear a camisole under it, or just a nude bra? Are there particular white items you’ve found that are opaque enough to not need a base layer?
Love your work and the joy you bring my days! Thanks!
Due to an unexpected housing issue, I had most of my clothes in storage all winter. And surprise surprise, there were only a handful of times I was wishing I had a certain piece of clothing that I couldn’t substitute for something I had with me. I still haven’t had time to get my clothes our of storage and sort through them, but I am thinking I might try to go on a complete shopping fast for the spring. I’m definitely at a turning point in my style (and lifestyle in general), and I want to take some time to evaluate that without acquiring more stuff. Also, partially with the help of this blog, the ethics of fast fashion are starting to bother me more. However, as I am currently juggling two mortgages, there will be no “investment” clothing in my near future, and I’m trying to figure out how to manage that as well.
Hi! I’ve been following you for years…but I’ve never filled out the planner before. Just wanted to tell you that I did it last night and it was so fun! It’s really helped me realize what works and doesn’t for me…and I think it’ll also enable me to let go of the (too many) clothes I’ve been hanging onto that just don’t quite work for me. I haven’t been able to let them go yet, since they are in really good shape still. But I have finally realized that if they don’t fit my style and make me feel great they have to go. I’m going to have a clothes yard sale in the spring and clean it all out. (try to make a few dollars off them, since they are still so nice). And for the first time I think I’ll try a real capsule this spring! I’m going to go with 40 pieces (because I have ocd about even numbers! haha) and I need a few more shirts than you have included for. With two small kids, I often require a lot of outfit changes and basically I unfortunately wash my clothes after each wear. thanks!
I wish it were time to pull out warm clothing, but it was -8 here in Portland (Maine) this weekend. Any advice for climates that really have only two climates, winter and summer?
I really liked your blog design, so fashion and cool.
what is this template name so i can apply to mine loveisintheair10.blogspot.com.br
For the past week I’ve loved coming to your blog for capsule closet insipration. Your worksheets have been a huge help! As I’m preparing a spring wardrobe, I’ve been thinking about getting a pair of backless clogs like the ones you are wearing here ^. But, I am wondering how comfortable they truly are. Are they easy to walk in, and do they provide support? I plan splurge a bit for a pair as I love the clog trend; just trying to be sure they’re worth it!
Thanks for writing such a great blog and providing a wonderful resource for those of us who are simple-wardrobe beginners!
Renee | archivesstyle.com says
My spring capsule wardrobe will have to wait untill I’m done moving. But I’m very happy with the clothes I already own. Just a few bits and pieces and I’m good to go.