Capsule #3 / Outfit 52
This outfit = comfy.
Perfect for running errands.
Birkenstocks make me think of fall for some reason, so I’ve been wearing these like crazy lately.
While I’ve been putting my fall wardrobe together, I’ve been reminded of how lost I was last fall. Lost in a lot of ways. But … for now let’s just talk how I felt lost in terms of my style.
It was last fall that I realized I had an unhealthy relationship to shopping — and I needed a change. I challenged myself to live with clothes I already had and go three months without shopping. I’ll never forget how hard that was for me. How hard it was to face my own silly but serious problem.
Sad? Yep. I’ll own that.
But doing it changed my life.
Not sad anymore.
Coming into this fall season, I’m feeling overwhelming gratitude for the change + growth I’ve experienced this year.
I like starting a new season with gratitude. And I think gratitude is the best when it’s shared.
So let’s share some good things together — tell me, what are you grateful for?
Top: Urban Outfitters
Bottoms: Madewell (similar)
Bag: Marc Jacobs
Leanne Caroline says
Honestly, I’m grateful for this post, I’m grateful for your words “I’ll own that”. Until very recently, I used to think you just had to ‘get rid off’, dump and block negative bits of your past. I’m now learning that – whatever it is – it’s about working through it, having it be a part of your history, owning it, and thus accepting and then being able to move on. Such a lovely reminder from you re: shopping and materialism above. Many, many thanks xo
I’m grateful that I’ve learned the words “simple” and “enough” in regards to my wardrobe so that I don’t continue over-shopping. I’m most grateful for my wonderful husband who is my best friend in the world and loves me just the way I am!!!
I could never leave the house like this!
How rude! If you don’t have something nice to say don’t say anything at all. Would you want someone to comment what you just wrote on a pic of you in an outfit? Start treating others how you want to be treated. It takes courage to do what this blog is doing. Shame on you for bringing in negativity.
Kate, I’m hoping you meant “I don’t have the confidence to leave the house dressed this casual chic.” If that’s the case, I am in the same party. I love her stuff but I am working on the confidence part. If you meant it in a rude way, then… that’s a dick move.
I am thankful to know that there are other women that share my struggle! I always feel embarrassed about having such a “silly” problem in my unhealthy relationship with shopping – but it is serious and it does need to change! Im thankful that this blog has inspired me to take steps towards change not only in this area of my but in everything! And I’m thankful that I’ve discovered a fun way of making these “hard” changes.
Jackie (York Avenue) says
Honestly, I think a lot of us can relate to your “silly” problem, and I really appreciate you talking about it here! I’ve recently discovered your blog and find it so inspiring to come to a place that is about minimalism instead of shop shop shop. It’s something that I struggle with, and reading your blog is a daily reminder to keep me motivated. Thank you!
I am so grateful that a friend introduced me to your blog — I’m learning about my own unhealthy relationship to shopping and am excited yet totally terrified of what will happen over the next few months in my capsule wardrobe. I’m overjoyed with my wardrobe so far (starting 10/1), but worried about the urges to just “buy something” — that’s where I get in trouble… but it will be a learning process that I’m eager to explore. I’m so glad you gave a little snippet of where you started, it gives me hope that this time next year, I’ll be in a similar place to where you are now.
I’m grateful I found your blog and decided to try the capsule wardrobe challenge. I’m currently unemployed, and not shopping + having a wardrobe of clothes I love already is doing wonders for my budget.
Erin L. says
I agree with this post and the comments so so much! My shopping addiction is a struggle to control, but coming across this blog a couple months ago really inspired me to narrow down my style inspirations to avoid buying something “just because it’s on sale.” Thank you for being honest and open about this – your readers appreciate it!
I have to agree with most of the comments above. I too have a “silly” problem. Incredible how bad I felt about myself for having it and having no real enjoyment from my clothes or look. Your blog came at the very right time for me, within weeks my perspective and attidude has changed about clothes and stuff in general. I feel like I can breathe again. Sounds dramatic but sometimes these things just are!
Many thanks Caroline,
Must not be too “silly” of a problem if so many of us share in it. Thank you giving us a starting place to re-imagine how we shop, wear our clothes and how we feel about our own personal style. My husband and his two new drawers thank you too.
I am grateful for the chance to dress as David Bowie this weekend for a costume party where it is mandatory to do so. And now I have my Halloween costume too. ;-) I also broke down and purchased those Madewell Vans in gray wool, so I am grateful for their imminent arrival. And I am, of course, grateful for discovering your spot on the web. You look as adorable as usual.
Oh, can I come to your David Bowie party too :)
I love your minimalist approach! I love that you make everyday clothes look stylish. Thank you for your blog. Continue sharing these great ideas! You’re an inspiration and I’m looking to reduce the shopping habit so that I don’t instill it in my own girls :)
Besides the usual things (family, friends, health), I too am grateful that I found your blog. My “problem” is sort of the opposite – after having 2 kids and gaining a bunch of weight as a result, my body doesn’t really feel like “me”. So I stopped caring and stopped shopping beyond picking up random crappy stuff at Target or Old Navy because I had literally run out of clothes that fit. As a SAHM I could “get away with” just wearing sweats or yoga pants all the time.
But that’s not me. The old me used to like wearing cute outfits and took pride in her appearance. Thanks to your blog, which makes fashion manageable, I took the plunge for fall and actually bought new stuff that fits me now. Maybe I’ll lose weight (I sure hope so!) but I know that this fall (finally!) I’ll have nice things I love to wear, even if I am not at my perfect size. Thanks so much for the inspiration.
I culled my summer wardrobe as well about 4 weeks ago and started making an effort to dress nicer with what I had, wear makeup, etc. And hubby noticed, which is very nice :) So thanks for that!
I am thankful for being able to actually walk in my closet now. I’m thankful for the freedom I feel when I see my decluttered home. And like most of us, I’m thankful for finding your blog. So many minimalist blogs feature clothes I would never wear but you, your style I LOVE.
Caroline, be grateful for all the lives you have truly changed with this blog!
Karli Jo says
I am grateful for my patient and supportive husband. We have had a rough first year of marriage, but God has brought us through it! I am also grateful for your honesty and that I randomly happened upon your blog as it has helped challenge me to live more simply when it comes to my clothes.
Gratitude is my word. I so believe in its power and calming effect on my life. I’ve been keeping a Gratitude Journal for years and I believe it is a life changer. (Learned about it from Oprah.) I could go on and on..
I’m grateful I found your blog- it has been such an inspiration.
I’m grateful to be just about finish with my first Fall capsule wardrobe.
I’m grateful for the support of my husband (& friends) in this fashion transition.
It seems that everyone seems to have this problem, but you’re the first one to call yourself out on it. Honestly, your blog greatly helped my own shopping habits. I never browse the mall so I never thought of myself as having a shopping habit. It turns out, I do my damage online. I’m a bored shopper. I always make myself feel better because I end up returning a lot of items, but I keep those that I’m wavering between because I see potential. Your blog helped me be ruthless and to stop buying things for a ‘special occassion’. Now I buy functional things and force myself to be creative during special occassions.
I love thoughtful posts like these :) Keep em coming!
I am so thankful for your wisdom and guidance. I found your blog through Elise Joy a couple months ago and am so beyond happy I did. You’re warm, funny, and have this amazing style that I think we all gather inspiration from. Thank you!
I’m grateful for my family, for my absolutely fantastic son, my wonderful husband, my good health and suportive friends!
I’m also grateful I found your blog. :)
I raise my hand when it comes to the “silly problem”. I became aware of it last year and began a process of looking inside and finding ways to shop less and get rid of things inside my closet and home. Now I feel that I’m more aware about my buyings and also more content with my home. I’m also begining to be more content with my style, but must admit that I’m still struggeling. But I’m grateful for the inspiration that I get from your blog – and from the comments of other readers as well! :-) Thank you!
I’m new here, and this is JUST the thing I need as I prepare to do my fall shopping later this week! How you’ve distilled all this info is amazing, and I’m very grateful!
For those of us living in the cold, snowy, wet and mucky midwest, do you recommend including parkas and dress coats, raincoats, wellies, etc. in the 37 pieces? What about sweaters? The 2 jackets seems…well, I wear “jackets” (cardigans, blazers, jackets) almost every day in the fall, winter and part of the spring! I know you recommend improvising, but if it were you, how would you handle this? I want to look put together from head to toe, even when I’m scraping the ice off my windshield!
I understand about having to approach the capsule a little different because of temperature or lifestyle differences. I just completed my first capsule(Thanks Caroline!) and I approached it from a “# of outfits needed” framework. I asked myself how many times would I mind repeating the same outfit in a 3-month period. I decided a 3 week rotation would work for me. I then looked at how many times a week I like to wear dresses/skirts/pants.
I worked from their and created a capsule that includes roughly 6 dresses, 6 pants, and 3 pair of jeans outfits (we can wear jeans on Fridays). So I have a Fall capsule with about 15 weekday outfits and 6 weekend outfits. I start wearing them on September 29th! Excited to see how this works for me and the things I will learn along the way.
Hope that helps. :)
PS – Caroline, I love this community you’ve started with your awesome blog! So supportive and insightful!
I live in a snowy climate too (Mountain West, so probably not quite as slushy/muddy as you get) and I’ve found that multifunctional pieces work well for keeping my wardrobe small. For instance, I have a pair of tall leather Keen boots that are insulated/water-proof/have grippy soles AND are cute enough to wear with a skirt. I’m planning on transitioning them in once it snows, if only because I don’t want to tire of them from wearing them all Fall and Winter and Spring. Instead, I’ll mostly wear cute flats and trade those for the boots once there’s ice in the ground.
I’m also planning on buying a couple layering shirts to wear under tops (vs adding a cardigan to layer over the tops = double the options). And I don’t think undershirts count in the capsule wardrobe. Like these:
Fall will be my first capsule, so I’m definitely not an expert. These are just a couple of things I’m planning to do that will hopefully work out. And if not, it’ll be a learning experience and I hopefully won’t freeze to death. :)
Steph M says
I’m always fascinated by how our relationship to our clothing reveals so much about what’s going on in our souls.
I’m grateful that I found this blog at a time in my life when I need to learn these lessons, and from reading all these comments, it sounds like I’m not alone. I’m pretty grateful for that.
I too was a habitual clothes shopper. I couldn’t say no to a cute shirt here or a pretty dress there. I had two full closets full of so many things I didn’t need. So I got rid of 3/4 of it with the help of my future husband and started the 33 challenge back last spring. It’s been so much better for my life, including my relationship. He was scared we’d never have enough money to travel abroad if I kept spending my disposable income on stuff. So life changing, and I’m happier for it. And now we are honeymoon in Spain and Portugal:)
I am grateful for many things; family, friends, my fitness level/health, my career. I’d have to say though, that your blog has changed my life too and I’m grateful to you! I’ve never found my own style, but am beginning to do so now. It’s a huge relief to know that I don’t have to wear frumpy clothes because I’m 46. I can create fun outfits and mix things up. I struggled with shopping, wearing the same 5 outfits every week, getting tired of them and dumping them at Goodwill. Now I sell my used clothes online, and am making better choices when I do shop. Thanks so much, Caroline!
The way you style your Birks is amazing. I’ve been on the fence all summer about them. Guess I will grab a few on clearance once Fall rolls in.
Grateful that I have learned to live with less. It is amazing how much lighter life feels…even the heavy stuff, when surrounded by less stuff. I am thankful to have found your blog while researching for a post of my own. I enjoy your take on the capsule wardrobe. Thanks for putting it out there so honestly.
Love the capsule idea! I have wanted to stop shopping for a few months many times, and have never done it. I always wear items for a season or two and move on. It is too costly and I don’t want my girls to fall into my same pattern as they grow. Your style is so simple and chic, thanks for putting your ideas out there for us.