You know how in movies and TV shows, there’s always a city girl going to a gallery opening?
Well, I’ve never been to a gallery opening in my life.
But if I was ever to go to one, this is the outfit I think I’d wear. Unless jeans aren’t allowed. I don’t know the gallery opening rules. But it looks modern + relaxed + sharp all at the same time, so I’m thinking it’s gold.
And now, a less than graceful transition: Winter wardrobe update!
Here’s how this thing usually goes down.
I fill out my wardrobe planner first, do a lot of online browsing to see what’s out there, and then I do my first round of shopping. I buy a few things, get them home, and try them on with pieces I already own to see how everything works together. Then I usually sit with these pieces for about a week, to make sure they really work.
While I’m sitting with them, I ask myself questions. Right now I’m asking two main Q’s:
Does this match my style, or was I just in a New York City wear-all-black kind of mood when I bought it?
Did I buy sweaters because that’s what I need, or just because I was cold when I bought it?
This “sitting with” time is always a valuable part of my process. Right now, it’s where I am. I may take a few pieces back. I may refine my vision a bit. That’s okay. It’s part of the process.
And this process of simplifying actually isn’t simple. It takes lots of work + lots of thought + lots of foresight.
“Simplicity is complexity resolved.” -Constantin Brancusi
“Simple can be harder than complex. You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end.” -Steve Jobs
Yes, for me, it’s so worth it. Because the time I spend on the process of simplifying is small compared to the time I spend enjoying that simplicity.
I just think back to how I used to seriously struggle with shopping, spending hours a week just shopping — spending money + time I didn’t have for anything that might lift my mood for a few minutes. It caused so much unneeded stress.
Yes. For me, the process is worth it.
Bag: Madewell (similar)
This would be a cute/cool date outfit too! I like mixing fun heels with distress jeans. I’m in the same place with my fall capsule…waiting for items to arrive/trying on/deciding what to return. Good luck with the process! Can’t wait to see your next capsule! Your outfits and ideas are always inspirational!
Oops winter** capsule!
Put together a capsule wardrobe that encompasses all seasons. And i dont just shop for a few new pieces each season just to update/complete the wardrobe for that season. I feel like that is the exact opposite of “simplifying”…shopping just because its “time” to shop…
Hi Kathleen! I totally get where you’re coming from and what you’re saying. For me, this process is a balance between living with less + enjoying my hobby of styling outfits. So, this is the balance that works for me + makes my heart sing. Minimalism looks different from person to person, and I like hearing about your all-seasons-in-one approach. Get it girl! :) xo Caroline
And i meant that first sentence to start with “I”, lol
That’s how my process works as well! It takes me a couple of weeks to zero in on exactly what I’m going for. I find that it gets confusing when you’re shopping and I can struggle to stay focused on my personal style. I can plan all I want, but when I hit the stores, there’s still a fair amount of impulse purchasing going on. Sleeping on those purchases is the only way I make my (bad?) shopping habits and a capsule wardrobe work.
Me too, Madi! Glad I’m not alone. :) xo Caroline
I really really like the shape of this blazer. I wish an Aritzia would come here! I also love the look of your jeans. I drug my kids through a crowded mall just to try them on when I was in Atlanta last week. Sadly, the fit wasn’t just right for me. ;)
I’ve been doing the same with with my capsule purchases. Keeping tags on and trying things with what I have, walking away then revisiting to see if it was a mood purchase. In the fall I ended up swapping a lot of items!
Caroline, I really enjoy everything about your blog. I know you (and Aaron) must spend a lot of time on it. I can’t even keep up with FB. It has really helped me not only with simplifying my wardrobe but other areas of my life. Thank you! ;)
Hi Laura! Bummer to hear about the jeans — sometimes Madewell’s regular length (which is actually ankle length) looks a little weird on me. If that’s an issue for you, you might want to try their long length that you can get online. And your kind words mean so much — thank you! :) xo Caroline
K. Nicole says
I really love this. My style is very simpatico with yours, except my workplace is “corporate casual” and we can only wear jeans on Fridays (bummer). But learning from your blog, I’ve created a capsule that is true to me and stays within my work guidelines. Luckily, a lot of that was done by whittling my own wardrobe down and only buying a few things (inspired by your Fall Capsule). I’m about to add a bit to my Fall to transition to Winter, so I can’t wait to see your Winter Capsule.
We can only wear jeans on Fridays at my workplace as well, and it’s not that I want to wear jeans everyday, but sometimes I feel like wearing them on days other than Friday and it’s kind of depressing to have to wear something else.
K. Nicole says
Totally. I think it’s unfair because I don’t see clients, but if I have a meeting/presenation, obviously I’m not going to wear jeans.
I’ve actually been on a serious job hunt to work at home, but without a drastic dip in my current salary. :)
I love the very subtle distressing of your jeans. That’s the look I try to go for when I wear jeans like this. I can’t stand the rips-all-over look. Another beautiful outfit!
For your winter capsule, I would love to see photos of you out and about, working from home, etc. in your outfits. I think seeing these outfits “working” would be really fun for your blog. I’d also love to see real time photos of your outfits – you wearing them the day of. Logistically, this may not work for you for your blog, but it would be a great addition to your content if we were to see what outfits you’re wearing every couple of days on your Instagram feed. I think this would make the capsule more real for us.
Just some friendly suggestions. :)
I love this idea too! Great suggestion, Nicolle!
And this is a total thumbs up look for a gallery opening. I’ve been to plenty of them and you’ll see all sorts of outfits. It’s like going to a concert, but for artists.
I love hearing more of your process of deciding on how you create your capsule. And it’s really helpful to hear that simplifying can actually be a long, difficult and complex process. I guess I was thinking it would be really cut and dry and easy. Just get rid of stuff and voila, simple life. It’s been hard and because it hasn’t been easy, I’ve been thinking I’m doing it “wrong”. This process is really making me want to go inward and explore what’s going on inside and what’s bugging me and why I sometimes feel like I’m rebelling when I’m craving some shopping. It sort of feels like I’m giving up sugar. My mind craves it for some reason and I’m trying to resist and it isn’t always easy.
I think a lot of changes are coming Unfancy’s way — and these are awesome suggestions to add to that change list. :) Always love your input, Nicolle! xo Caroline
I love this idea too!
I ADORE this idea as well!
Lynn Herrick says
What’s the verdict on the blazer? I have been looking and have not purchased one yet. Would you say this is a good buy? Does it work for someone who is only 5’2″? Thanks!
To start I love your style in both clothes and the way you and your husband approach life. I am currently trying to scale back and minimalize life for my household. We live in Alaska and are relocating temporarily to Austin in two weeks. We will be driving down so everything we need to live will need to fit into the bed of a pickup truck. We are staying with a family that has house set up so that helps with the household items. A family of five comes with a lot of stuff though! HA. I figure this is a great time to try out the capsule wardrobe and a jumpstart to minimalism! I know you are in Austin and the weather has been weird so I was wondering when your winter capsule will be up or if you have any tips for me. I have always lived in AK so I am not sure what to expect in TX Jan- May. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Hi Danielle! I’ll be posting my winter capsule wardrobe either next week or the week of Christmas. When I plan my wardrobes, I always check this site for the average temperatures and weather conditions, so I know what to expect. :) xo Caroline
I am on a VERY small clothes budget right now, so I’m going to try to build my wardrobe mostly from carryover from Autumn and from things that I sorted into my “I-might-wear-this-in-the-winter” box when I pulled EVERYTHING out of my closet. I do have a couple of flowy tops and a pair of cute yet practical boots that I think I’ll get from ThredUp, but I’m very proud of how intentional this whole capsule wardrobe exercise has made me.
ThredUp: http://www.thredup.com/r/LOARJH :)
I don’t know about super-fancy gallery openings, but for college shows and stuff (which are really fun, by the way–you should go), you can wear something just like this and you’d look great. I like your simplicity quotes and the smartness of your sweater question, and the waiting period. Very wise. I always hope I’ll be really wise when I am old someday. I think you are already on your way to wisdom. ;)
I have the hardest time sitting on items. I get excited and want to rip off the tags and wear them to death. Then a week later when they are beyond being able to be returned. ..I realize they don’t work.
Hillary @ Journal de Jalune says
I love those quotes – it is so true, simplicity is harder than complex, perhaps we sjould just say simple IS complex ;)
Love that clutch too!
Hillary @ Journal de Jalune says
I love this outfit and have been trying to find a shirt and jeans that are similar. I have a similar blazer and similar shoes (although I still can’t really walk in them, haha).
I have blocked off some time in my upcoming holidays to go through my wardrobe and give away anything that is just sitting and taking up space and start to think in a more capsule-type way. I also use shopping to lift my mood and it just contributes to financial stress! I am such a minimalist in the rest of my life/apartment so I’m excited to do this with my wardrobe. Thanks for the constant inspiration!! x
I think you would totally fit in at a gallery opening! ;) I am really looking forward to seeing your winter capsule! I have spent the last few months cleaning and decluttering my closet (and all aspects of my life). You really have encouraged me to be mindful of the things I inteoduce into my life and by doing so for the right reasons. I can already see a positive influence on my bank account! :) also- I managed to pick up that Madewell top before it sold out and I absolutely LOVE it! Thank you for all the inspiration and recommendations, Caroline!
OK, I am copying this outfit ASAP! This is great.
I love your process. I have also simplified my wardrobe, and it is work, but I am so much happier as well. I also have a question: Will you create a post at the end of your fall wardrobe series that shows ALL of the outfits you wore during the fall? (Have you done this with previous seasons?) I would love to see a post with all the outfits you wore for 3 months side by side!
I’m actually planning on doing this for the first time with my fall wardrobe! Should be up next week. :) xo Caroline
korin susanne says
Wish I had the discipline to really go through my wardrobe and pick out pieces like you do!
Outfit looks great by the way.
I love this look, and I totally agree with you commentary on simplicity. It isn’t as easy as it comes off, but so worth it. Your conclusions are very similar to the ones I’ve come to, and I love the wise and true quotes you’ve chosen here.
You are helping a lot of people improve so many aspects of their lives, girl! So awesome.
Thank you, dear Gina! :) xo Caroline
Jeans, heels and a blazer is the perfect uniform. I always think this would be a great office look too – to avoid being frumpy.
Sorcha x Bright Field Notes
I always find your outfits to be so inspirational! Love the combo of very casual with more formal elements, you’ve done it so well!
Rebecca | morerebe.com
Justine Johnson says
Love this outfit! So cute! Great simple & clean look
Leanne Caroline says
Love this look. Amazing how statement shoes can really dress up an outfit. I think you’ve mastered “casual elegance”.
It was nice to read the quote of Constantin Brancusi, my fellow Romanian, on your blog. :)
This made write my first comment here :). It doesn’t necessarily refer to this post but I’ve been thinking about it for a while.
I super like your loose grey and white T-shirts and I’ve tried to make them my core pieces too just that I haven’t found the best fabric for them yet. What fabric do you usually choose to ensure they look good for a longer while considering that T-shirts have to be washed quite frequently.
Looking forward to your winter capsule :)
How do you get your hair to curl like that?! I’m obsessed. Love this look. You are stunning!
I was looking through your blog for some capsule-wardrobe inspiration (which you provided plenty of!) and came across this post. Although I am weeks late in commenting on this post, I just wanted to let you know how much I love your outfit here and am definitely adding it to my compilation of inspirational photos! Take care xoxo