Capsule #3 / Outfit 50
It was 101 degrees in Austin yesterday.
And I was out in the sweltering heat buying … sweaters + scarves.
Salespeople kept giving me questioning looks and … after the fourth person started comparing + contrasting the weather outside with my purchases, I’m not going to lie, I started questioning if this was all just a little bit crazy.
I’m still questioning that as I look into my closet of long sleeves and think, “There’s no way the weather is going to cool down enough in just two-ish weeks.”
So here’s my plan.
I’m going to have alternates in my wardrobe. Three to be exact. For example, I’ll start the season with a pair of cutoff shorts — then swap them mid-season for a coat. And I’ll start with a tee shirt — then swap to a sweater. And finally, I’ll start with a pair of sandals — and then swap to boots.
What do you think about this idea? Would you try it? Improve on it?
By the way, I’m actually almost done with my fall wardrobe! YAY! And it’a about time — we’re going to start shooting fall outfits next weekend!
And … another fall preview comes tomorrow!
Bottoms: American Eagle
Bag: Marc Jacobs (or similar for less!)
Necklace: Anthro (similar)
Bahaha I bet you got all sorts of crazy looks.
Dallas is the same way. I usually don’t swap my sandals for boots until November.During the transition period, I’m in booties and chunky sandals. I seem to love a lot of your shoe options so super stoked for you to show those!
When do you post your entire fall wardrobe? I dunno why I was expecting it at the start of September.
I love the idea of swapping out a few pieces. I think it is natural and what we did before the capsule closet concept. What I appreciate most about your ideas is that they are flexible and you encourage people to make it work for them.
I’m working on my first capsule closet now. I’m going for 36 (my favorite number) pieces – not including shoes. I think this is a good place for me to start my Fall capsule. It is an exciting and renewing journey and I’m so glad a friend sent me the link to your blog about a month ago.
Continue to inspire,
I’m so ridiculously excited for another sneak peek! I really like your alternatives plan for October/some of November. Florida is the same way, so I was also second guessing myself while purchasing a couple sweaters, haha! I think I’m going to stick to layering since the majority of my pieces for fall are breathable because it never really cools down in Florida.
I just purchased a vegan leather skirt (the perfect piece to edge up some of my purchases!), and I’m so eager to see how you style yours. Woo-hoo!
Btw everyone, there are a ton of sales going on at some of the stores I’m shopping at for my fall wardrobe (Old Navy, American Eagle/Aerie, Forever21, Gap…). if there wasn’t a sale, I saw that the majority of the stores gave you a coupon for signing up for their newsletter. Uh, awesome! :) I’ve been checking online as well before heading into the store to see what kind of sales their having.
There’s a sales-people rule about only buying hot-weather clothes on hot days, and cold-weather clothes on cold days?!… Hmmm… Out of all the things in the world to worry about, that’s pretty much one that needs to go at the bottom of the list. I’m glad you live your life your way, that you construct your outfits & your wardrobe your way, and that you present each outfit to the world confidently without worrying whether others like what you choose to wear together or not. That is the most important thing of all the wonderful things I have learned from your blog. Keep on keepin’ on: you live a wonderful, stylish life in every way, thank you for that.
Michelle g says
I started my fall capsule on sept 1st and had already planned a few swaps mid-season, so I think it’s a great idea!!
I swapped out my summer clothes for fall last weekend, but left a few “transition” pieces hanging that I’ll put away in a few weeks. Actually sooner probably since we’re having unseasonably cool weather here in the Midwest.
I was planning on doing this whole “alternate” thing as well and totally thought it was cheating. I’m so happy to hear that you are going to do it as well!
By the way– I know you shoot your outfits all at once and then post them throughout the season, but I’m wondering, how often do you actually wear each outfit? Would you ever do an end-of-season recap breaking down your favorite or least favorite outfits? I found that this summer I really just rotated the same four or five outfits over and over and never really wore some of the other things I had planned. I’m wondering if that’s a normal part of figuring out my style as I go?
Kimi, twenty-something simple says
I would love to see this as well! It would be cool to get a peek at your StyleBook calendar (do you mark which outfit you wear on each day?). I think this would also help/console the people who don’t really like that you shoot your outfits all at once instead of on the days you actually wear them.
this is a great idea!!! i was/am wondering the same thing. i would love to know what you actually gravitated towards each day. i’m like katy – going to for the same things all the time!
I’m definitely planning on doing a most worn + least worn post next week. :)
Also, it’s totally normal to reach for the same things over and over again. I do it all the time because I dress according to my more casual lifestyle. But when I have other occasions pop up, I’m always glad I have outfits for those in my capsule wardrobe too, so I’m not running around at the last minute shopping for an appropriate outfit.
Your hair is gorgeous! I love your looks every day but think you look especially lovely today ;) And I do like the idea of switching things out. That makes a lot of sense because if the weather in Texas is anything like the weather in SC, there isn’t a switch that’s flipped and it just stays cool. Nope, we have a few random 90 degree days mixed in with the wonderful 70 degree days around here.
Love this idea!
…question…. I live in Houston so the weather here is very similar. I’m having a hard time distinguishing the difference between a fall and a winter wardrobe. Before I found your blog I always viewed it as fall/winter clothes and spring/summer clothes. How can I decide what I need for fall and how it transitions into winter?
Yay, another Texan! I clump it all into one season as well. I basically just have a ton of ‘fall’ clothes and when winter hits, I add a coat over it. I feel like the main difference between the two (for Texans) is shoes (knee boots) and a big ol’ coat. Since we have all of 5 days where we get snow, I don’t really invest in ‘winter’ specific clothing. Maybe have a thicker scarf, mittens,and hat handy? But those are accessories and don’t count in your capsule wardrobe :) GOOD LUCK!
Similar to Tania, I’m planning for one “season” between Oct-Mar. I live in Seattle and it’ll be chilly, grey and dreary that whole time. We might get one snowfall, maybe. I’m giving myself the option to swap out a few pieces in January (no new shopping, only from storage) if I’m sick of something in particular.
I am beyond jealous! It went from hot and humid to fall jackets literally overnight here in Toronto. I think I’ll just have to swing it for now because my summer wardrobe is officially DONE! I’m letting a few tops linger around but that’s about it. Eagerly awaiting your fall reveal!! Just tell those shoppers that you’re headed out of town lol
Steph M says
Yes! I’m just down the 401 in Woodstock and was shocked by the weather change from the hottest day ever last week to freezing my butt off today! I’ve had to do some scrambling too. I feel like I’m going to be flexible about this–I don’t even have my whole fall wardrobe yet and have a bit of shopping to do in the next few weeks, so I’ve pulled a few fall items out early. I’m just hoping we get an Indian Summer so I can wear my shorts and tees another day or two. :)
I think this is a great idea. I should still be in summer but, September 12th, it was 42 this morning. COLD! I am in a sweater and tights…and I am not going to lie, I broke out the Uggs to wear to the gym this morning. Did I mention that I am freezing? I think what I like best about your approach is the flexibility.
I think having alternates is a great idea, Caroline! and maybe continue that line of thinking with accessories, i.e.– summer hat swapped out for warm scarf, etc.
I’m currently digitizing what I own to import into Stylebook. Thanks for that recommendation and your suggestion to work with existing store/brand photos. I really like the app. :-) I’ve started wearing things that were at the back of my closet to see how they feel and whether I want to keep them. I’m going to try to not buy anything until I’ve completed this process, but it is hard, especially when seeing some of your fall picks, especially those Madewell Vans. ;-)
I lived in Austin for five years–just left in May. Every September I’d get so psyched to buy fall clothes, and I’d do it even when it was 100 outside because I was always impatient. Of course, I usually couldn’t wear any of them until at least the middle of October. But when that first chilly snap came through, I was always prepared! (And it’s always a snap in Austin. People who’ve never been think it’s warm there all the time. And it’s warm a lot of the time, but the weather can definitely be bipolar during the cool season.)
Now I live in Connecticut, where it’s already starting to feel like fall. I’m sure I won’t be a fan of the cold, snowy winters, but it IS really nice to be able to wear my maroon merino sweater on a cool, sunny day like today =).
100 here in NorCal yesterday and today too. Hard to think about boots and sweaters when I am dealing with boob sweat…yeah I went there.
I also wore white and chambray today – white jeans and a chambray shirt…gasp and it’s after Labor Day too. I am so wanting to get a capsule for fall ready, but just not motivated with this weather. Maybe in a week or so…
Thank you again for sharing your thoughts and outfits. can’t wait to see the next capsule installment. :-)
I like IntoMind’s concept of the few weeks between seasons using a blend of your two capsule’s. Some of the lingering summer pieces that fit with fall color schemes and mixing in some of the new fall pieces. For me that looks like my summer shirts with jeans and flats instead of shorts and sandals. Though I am having some “cooler” weather… not quite Fall… not quite 100 either.
Yes! I loved that from Into Mind. It makes so much sense – the seasons don’t switch overnight; why should our wardrobes?
Love how you worded this Tricia! Chewing on this thought tonight. xo Caroline
So smart! I’m loving that you shared this, Christina. xo Caroline
I like this idea too, though somehow it feels like “cheating” when I try to do it, because I’m SO anxious to wear my new fall stuff. But maybe doing it deliberately, with a few specific items, will make it feel less so…
I’ve been reading your blog for several weeks now and just wanted to tell you, yours is the first blog I’ve been excited to read every morning! I’m loving your fall updates and it’s really helping to “teach” me with my own wardrobe. I’m totally hooked! :)
I think that makes complete sense. Having a capsule wardrobe is supposed to be all about simplifying your life and have less/what you need, right? So dressing for the weather seems (to me, at least) to be a much more practical and simple way of approaching your capsules! I have five items that are early fall to be replaced with five other items late fall. I live just north of you in OK and we’ve had 100+ and mid 70s both in the last week, so versatility is a must!
Just FYI, those are five hangovers from summer, not entirely new items. Didn’t want that to look like I was using the weather as an excuse to buy/have even MORE stuff. :)
It’s in the mid 90s here in SoCal too. I recall wearing shorts and a tank in November last year! BUT the temp always drops at night – so building in flexibility is key. I think you’re on the right track with your plan!
Wondering same thing about transitions and if the solution is to keep the summer wardrobe but switch Fall pieces in. So out go the gauzy shirts and in come some long sleeves, out go the shortest shorts but in come some pegged jeans. Does this make sense or would this require my summer and autumn capsules to be too similar in style/color? Or should they relate (like in decorating how the living room needs to blend in with view of the kitchen for example as in it is all my style vs my house style)? I realize every one needs to find their own solution but I look forward to seeing how this plays out. In Pittsburgh summer is maybe 3 months and winter is 6 months with a touch of Fall and Spring so they really deserve only a touch of wardrobe. Hmmm, maybe my plan is to have 37 or so summer items and just swap in one at a time until I am full winter. That might work better for me. Although am I then too tempted to just have the ancillary wardrobe in the basement and that would be cheating??
Tutorial on the braid please, so cute!
I had the same problem, and came up with the same solution. Because I came back to work after maternity leave at the beginning of September, I decided to make my capsule wardrobe last the rest of the year. But right now I have sandals, wedges, shorts and tank tops making up about 1/3 of my wardrobe. I’ll swap out for sweaters, coats, and boots once the end of October hits. The rest will work equally as well–jeans, t-shirts, Converse, booties, etc.
I think you should be able to swap whenever you want, as many pieces as you want! As long as you are not doing new shopping or adding more pieces to the capsule wardrobe number – weather changes, pieces don’t work as well as we thought they would, and i don’t think swapping is against the spirit of what you’re trying to do at all! Just my .02. By the way, just found your blog a week ago and am totally addicted. (I read through all your archives already.) I had a baby a year ago and have really struggled with my wardrobe since them. Although I am probably less than 5 lb. from my pre-preg weight, my body is completely different. (Smaller behind + bigger chest = completely different shape that I am still figuring out how to dress!) Most of my old clothes just look terrible. And my lifestyle changed as well since I transitioned from teaching to caring for my daughter full time + working from home very part time. Since most of my old wardrobe is gone I am forced for financial reasons into more of a “capsule” type closet and have been so inspired by your tips + remixing + casual but still put together looks. It’s the inspiration I’ve been longing for + unable to find till now. Thanks so much for sharing your journey with others!
I think you should go for the alternate idea. I’m doing a similar sort of swapping between my fall/winter capsule wardrobe. In my fall wardrobe, I have some shorts and some longsleeves and different ways to layer. I don’t know when my winter capsule wardrobe will start; that will depend on the weather, but basically I’ll just swap out some of the warmer weather clothes for more winter clothes.
Holly Humphrey says
That is what I am doing. I posted my Spring capsule on the Project 333 community board on Pinterest and my plan (in reverse direction for Southern Hemisphere) is to swap the long pants and coats for shorts and capris.
I have alternates for my wardrobe this fall! Some days have been quite hot, and others have been pretty much freezing so I still have some shorts and skirts on rotation, but as the temps drop they just get put into my storage drawers. I also currently have short and long sleeve versions of my t-shirts, and the short ones will also get phased out soon.
Hi Caroline! I’m new to reading your blog and really enjoy your posts. I like how you remix clothing and it inspires me to do the same.
I’m trying to do the fall capsule wardrobe too but i’m stumped. I live in humid Houston and I still can’t get my sweaters out yet. :( But, I have used my scarves at work because its air conditioned. I’m going to live in my summer clothes a bit longer because this weather is unpredictable.
I do agree with others that you should swap pieces or add more layers whenever the temperature changes.
Oh, fall – schmall! What is fall anyway? Last weekend we ran around in shorts at 79 degrees. Tuesday to Thursday we shovelled a foot of snow off the driveway at 35 degrees. (I’ve converted these to Fahrenheit for you.) Needless to say I had pulled out my winter coat, snow boots and mitts. Next week we’ll be back up to 75. This weather schizophrenia can last until the end of October so my “fall capsule” consists of pretty much every piece of clothing I own :) So if you need to throw in a few “alternates” you go girl!
I’ve been following & much enjoying your blog since June. I really like the way you’ve organized & condensed your clothing items and get so many outfits from just 37. I definitely think this is easier to do with just a handful of neutral colours, so I’m really looking forward to seeing how this plays out with more accent colours – especially since, for your fall capsule, you’ve chosen some of my favourites! Thank you for your generosity in sharing your great ideas with us!
I am laughing! Do you live in Calgary? I do and that is what I have been doing along with cleaning my yard from the debris of my 35 year old tree being split into two pieces by the weight of the snow. I pulled my Uggs out the other day, my Hunter boots with the furry lining today, sweaters, my puffy coat, scarf … and yeah it’s supposed to be 20C on Monday!! So back to my quasi-summer wardrobe …kind of. There is nothing wrong with borrowing from other season capsules, and actually in Calgary it’s a way of life. The trick is to not purchase new…just pull out of storage and really only look at the “real” capsule for each season and tweak that. Otherwise borrow from storage until the weird weather passes. It’s all good…and remember, life is too short to wear boring clothes!
I have all my “capsules” in one closet, and just move the current capsule closest to the door. In transition seasons–spring & fall–I move out the unwearables from the last season & move in the few pieces that will work now from the next season. So, I actually have only two capsule wardrobes, summer & winter, and spring & fall are pieces from summer & winter that work for the transition.
Like a previous poster I live just outside Houston. Today is the first day of weather which needed anything other than shorts. We’ve only been here a year but like others we had very variable weather in October and November last year. I’m a relatively new reader to your blog and moving towards a capsule but I will definitely be using the weather as my guide, with likely both my summer and fall clothes out for a few months yet. One tip I do have for anyone paring down their wardrobe is that I have had quite a lot of success selling clothes on eBay.
So shop assistants were judging you for buying things they presumably had in stock? What morons, that can’t be a sound business practice. If they don’t think you ought to buy something, they ought not sell it.
I think subbing in items totally sounds in keeping with the spirit of your capsule wardrobe! As others have mentioned, this is supposed to make life easier, not uncomfortable :)
My fall (September 1st – Nov. 30th) capsule *should* cover the range of temperatures we will get here in south-eastern Ontario (it’s already in the 40s this week), but if proper winter arrives really early I may swap in some extra sweaters. Also, as I am 5 1/2 months pregnant and no idea how big I’m going to get, if I outgrow enough of my clothes, I may have to replace some.
Looking forward to seeing your complete fall capsule!
I have totally been building my fall capsule into to swapping-out items, too! I’ve found that the hot-fall items get to stay and then switch out for the cool-fall items once the weather decides to change. It actually makes my wardrobe look larger than it is because I keep all fall items there, but I’m really not wearing the cool-fall items yet but still sticking to my fall vibe/colors/etc.
Keep up the great posts!
P.S. You gave me some WONDERFUL tips to visiting Austin – thank you so so much! We had the BEST time but yes…SO HOT!