Friday ReBlog: Un-Fancy Is Back; or, Capsule Diet vs. Lifestyle

Caroline Rector has returned from hiatus and her capsule wardrobe blog, Un-Fancy, is back.  In her returning post, she shares where she’s been and how she decided to fire up the blog again, this time with a more relaxed, integrated approach to her wardrobe. Same principles, less structure.

As she puts it: “I’d say I’m off the ‘capsule diet.’ Now it’s just part of my lifestyle — like a healthy habit.”

Capsules are fun to assemble and to show off; for me, there’s something appealing about having just the right pieces and knowing I have a tidy, coherent whole.  Like you could tie it all up with a bow and, well, whip up a great blog post about it.

Capsule wardrobe posts generate some of the highest click-rates out there in the style blogging world.  I think that’s because a lot of us like the visual aspect—it’s clean, it’s lovely, it’s not overwhelming in an age of digital avalanche—and we like getting inspiration for how we could make it work in our own lives.  (Daydreaming about spending zilch time to pick out consistently great outfits…and just picturing how your closet will be able to breathe, to quote Duchesse.  Sigh!)

On the flip side, though, spending the time to craft a capsule and create a video about it and then making all of it public puts pressure on the capsule to be JUST RIGHT.  Can I really just scrap this skirt when everyone’s seen it’s part of my capsule and the fabric and color go so well with everything else?

(The answer is YES but it can be hard to remember that when you’re curating something, in part, for other people’s consumption!)

To be honest, I do like the limitations that a capsule-like wardrobe imposes—looking at my lovely, cohesive capsule reminds me that I have enough and have no need or desire to shop to fill holes in a poorly-planned wardrobe.

 

That’s why I like Caroline’s analogy of diet vs. lifestyle—instead of sticking to a strict regimen to achieve a specific goal—say, Capsule Wardrobe Winter 2015-2016—I can take the habits and principles of capsule wardrobe-ing and apply them daily.

Don’t love it?  Don’t buy it.

Love it but it won’t go with most of the rest of your closet?  Don’t buy it.

We’ll see if this relaxed attitude works this spring—whether I was following the rules long enough for the habits to have cemented themselves in my daily life.  :)

Don’t worry, I’ll still photograph my main sartorial squeezes for you so you can see how I’m putting things together.  Maybe I’ll even do another video!  It’ll just be more like a “core” than a “capsule”—the center around which everything gathers rather than a finite box with hard limits.

 

What works better for you—distinct capsules or continuous lifestyle habits?  And do you want to see spring clothes even if they’re not a traditionally concrete capsule?

Scroll down to comment!

 

 

Friday ReBlog: The Spirituality of Capsule Wardrobes

If you know me in real life, you know I have a fascination with mom bloggers from more conservative strains of religion. I’ve always been interested in how people live their faith out in daily life, and for better or worse, conservative voices tend to be more public about their spiritual lives. (Something to do with evangelism, methinks.)

Mormons, Orthodox Jews, devout Catholics of a conservative bent…if they’re well written I love their blogs, even when I disagree (sometimes strongly) with their theology.

For one, I get to read spiritual takes on things like capsule wardrobes—ain’t nobody with a secular style blog going to write about paring down their pants collection as an exercise in religious devotion.  (Okay I guess *I* could do that.  Since I’m a pastor and all.  Note to self.)

After last week’s epiphany that I need to let a mentality of abundance, not scarcity, rule my closet, I came across a 2014 post by Kendra of Catholic All Year on her fall capsule wardrobe (should be timely for you Southern Hemisphere residents!).  The colors and photos are gorgeous, and after acknowledging first world problems and that “we live under the yoke of luxury,” she nails it in the last big paragraph. (I’d paste it here but I don’t know what her policy is re: cuttin’ and pastin’.)

 

Have a thriftalicious weekend, Thrifters!

Scroll down to let me know if you would like to see a progressive Christian take on thrifting or if you’re just here for the clothes.  And bad puns.

 

 

Radical Wardrobe Love

Ya might be sick of my wardrobe capsule shenanigans by now (original here; updates here, here, and here).

But if you’re not…

Since it was my first capsule wardrobe, it’s not surprising it took some tweaking to get it right (see those 3 updates above!).  When all was said and done I decided to just keep what I thrill to put on. Which was sort of the point in the first place.

At least I got there in the end!

So here is the aforementioned experiment in radical wardrobe love in which I get rid of every winter item I don’t THRILL to put on. Continue reading “Radical Wardrobe Love”

Winter Capsule Wardrobe Update, Part 3: Tops

Part the Third—and final! (Part 1 and Part 2.)

Winter capsule wardrobe -update

Today: Tops/Blazers.

I did not buy any new shirts, per se.

But I did buy a new sweater.  And replaced an old blazer with one I like better.  (See: thrift upgrade.)

The Harvé Benard blazer from my winter capsule wardrobe video?  It looked chic but also kind of stiff…too corporate with most of my less-serious stuff.  For example:

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

What are those sassy top & skirt doing with that starched blazer??       So I found something with more give, more softness—oh, and the ability to move my shoulders with complete freedom instead of feeling like Tommy Boy: IMG_3101 It’s wool, it’s knit, and I need to remove a few pills.  Perfect!   It just looks more comfortable, more friendly, no? IMG_3092 Definitely more me.   I figured this out by thinking about what I love about my other go-to blazer, the one for which I actually reach on a regular basis: 

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on


Soft, has give, feels good on.

Glad that upgrade has been thrifted.  Sorry, Harvé Benard.  It wasn’t you….okay, well, it was.  Maybe next time.

 

I haven’t been as jazzed about the blue/grey/coral/white sweater as I thought I would.  I sort of make myself put it on like you eat All Bran—because it’s good for you.  The pattern is fun and they are good colors but it doesn’t feel very dynamic with non-jean work pants.

Here, me and sweater in happier days:

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

 

Really I’m just not in love with any of my sweaters except my grey leopard print.

So I nabbed this one whilst heading to the cash register at the Goodwill with a few houseware-related purchases:

IMG_3106

Wearing the pants I just ambivalized in yesterday’s post

 

Not in love with this sweater either but slightly more excited to wear it.

 

What I’m learning here is that I SHOULD NOT BUY SOMETHING UNLESS I LOVE IT.

Because eventually mediocre attraction to a piece of clothing will out, and you’ll find yourself thrust right back into the cycle of “I need something BETTER in my closet”—the very merry-go-round from which I was trying to disembark in the first place.

DO NOT BUY UNLESS YOU LOVE sounds so simple, and really is the whole point of a capsule wardrobe.  So you’d think I would’ve avoided this problem in the beginning by following my own capsule-building rules.

But I think I was worried about having enough—enough tops/pants, enough combinations, enough variety.  Surely two skirts will exponentially multiply the versatility of my capsule wardrobe??

 

Living with an attitude of scarcity over abundance never leads to happiness in other areas of my life; rationalizing and catering to all my fears about “enough” leaves me dissatisfied in a way that loving (smaller amounts of) what I have doesn’t.

So maybe in the next week or two I will try an experiment in radical wardrobe love and get rid of every winter item I don’t THRILL to put on.  I’ll just embrace the feeling of sartorial (hopefully not actual) nakedness and, I bet, discover I can live just fine with only things I love.

 

What about you?  Do you have tips for/stories about stepping off the cliff and only owning what you LOVE?  Scroll down to comment!

 

 

 

Winter Capsule Wardrobe Update, Part 2: Pants

Just what you’ve always wanted, a multi-part capsule wardrobe update!

Winter capsule wardrobe -update

Today: Pants.

So the goal for my winter capsule wardrobe project was to come up with a finite number of mix-and-match pieces I love, designed to get me through the season without shopping more or spending mornings in front of my closet groaning that I had nothing to wear.

Emphasis on the “pieces I love”: not just in theory, but in reality.  Like reach-for-this-and-put-it-on-my-body-with-EXCITEMENT reality.

My winter pants have been somewhat lacking in that department.

A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

Don’t let my expression fool you; it’s more about the full-length mirror than the pants. Continue reading “Winter Capsule Wardrobe Update, Part 2: Pants”

Winter Capsule Wardrobe Update, Part 1: Skirts

Winter capsule wardrobe -updateIt’s time for an update on my winter capsule wardrobe project. You may recall that in December (when it finally got cold here in the South) I set up a capsule wardrobe: a finite number of mix-and-match pieces I love, designed to get me through the season without shopping more or spending mornings in front of my closet groaning that I had nothing to wear.

So how am I doing in my quest to get more out of the clothing I already own?

Continue reading “Winter Capsule Wardrobe Update, Part 1: Skirts”

My Winter Capsule Wardrobe

Winter capsule wardrobe

I love reading about/looking at other people’s capsule wardrobes; they give you insight into the way someone’s mind works while also giving your own wardrobe-building and style-sculpting synapses a good workout.

Plus there’s the satisfaction of contemplating a life with enough—no need (at least for the moment) to try to find “more,” to chase after the illusory high of a new purchase. Lately I’ve caught myself thinking I just need one extra top, or that perfect sweater, or just the right trousers (see: chasing after pants I didn’t need during my emergency travel wardrobe excursion) to complete my winter wardrobe. Because I was returning to the same ensembles over and over again without taking the time to work out new pairings, it felt like my closet was lacking in variety.  But forcing yourself to use only the clothing you currently own to create outfits often helps you see that you already have everything you need.

So I thought I’d share what I just realized last week was becoming a proper capsule wardrobe, and, in the process, put some creativity-inducing limits on my sartorial repertoire. Continue reading “My Winter Capsule Wardrobe”

On Thrifting Maternity Clothes

 

My advice:

Do it.

Pregnancy is the perfect time to thrift clothes because you’ll only need them for a finite time and you don’t want to lay out a fortune for a new wardrobe—you got a baby coming, after all!

Except for a couple of gifts and one pair of jeans on clearance, all my maternity clothes were second hand—passed on or lent out from other mamas, thrifted, or consigned—and I did just fine.

In fact, my maternity wardrobe was pretty ideal: cute, coordinated, and stylish without being overwhelming (because, see above, I didn’t buy a ton!).  Essentially it was a maternity capsule wardrobe, and as such, it was also a great chance to try out a different color scheme from my usual—instead of muted reds, navies, and neutrals, I got to play with springy greens, heathered purples and some fun plaids and corduroys.

Read on for ideas on how to thrift yourself some maternity clothes. Continue reading “On Thrifting Maternity Clothes”

How to Build a Kid’s Capsule Wardrobe

 It’s Style Rehab week here on Thriftshop Chic.  Take a look back at how you can use fashion as a fun tool to help you feel your awesomest and to see my fall wardrobe adjustments.

 

Have you ever found yourself drowning in the clothing of the small people with whom you live?  Today, we’re going to tackle a style rehab that will keep you and your kids SANE and stylin’!

kid's capsule wardrobe

Continue reading “How to Build a Kid’s Capsule Wardrobe”

Fall Closet Rehab

It’s Style Rehab week here on Thriftshop Chic.  Take a look here at how fashion can help you feel your awesomest and here for how to improve your wardrobe stylistic sense; tomorrow we’ll build a kid’s wardrobe capsule!

Sometimes, you like most of the clothes in your wardrobe, but something is just off.  Outfits you think should come together nicely just look…weird.  Frumpy.  Trying too hard.

You ever been there?

Lucky for you, this problem does not demand a full-on sartorial engine replacement, but rather a simple style tuneup to get things running right again.  (I can’t help myself with these metaphors. Sorry.)

Two good times to do a wardrobe tuneup: at the beginning of a season and/or at its end.  For summer, I did it at the end of the season because I’d gotten into a good groove and knew what I had loved and what had sat, unloved, at the back of my closet. (See my summer wardrobe rehab here and here.)

For fall, I’m cleaning out a few weeks into cooler weather.  I had a little trouble getting started on the right foot; outfits I wore to work felt not quite right, not quite me—and I couldn’t really tell why.  After a summer of LOVING all the clothes I wore, it was really obvious that I wasn’t on the happy style train with my autumnal garb, so I decided to jump in early to figure out what wasn’t clicking and fix the problem.

closet rehab autumn Continue reading “Fall Closet Rehab”