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?

Pretty well, with a few asterisks. (Seems like the plural should be asteriski, no?)

I haven’t instagrammed all my outfits, mostly because I sometimes forget to bring my phone to work. (In a society obsessed with connectivity and posting every outfit, meal, and observation to social media, I consider this to be not mere absentmindedness, but rather a counter-cultural act of rebellion. Ahem.)

Although I didn’t picture every outfit, true to my goal I haven’t repeated any outfits other than the sweater dress/leggings pairings I knew would be favorites. And this part of the experiment accomplished what I hoped it would: presented with multiple new seasonally-appropriate combinations, I no longer felt the nagging urge to go thrifting just for novelty’s sake.

What the capsule wardrobe has also revealed are the pieces I don’t love. If you’ve limited yourself to under 40 items of clothing and, without repeating any outfits, you haven’t even touched a couple of them, you know that those pieces were a better fit in theory than in real life.

Case in point? Skirts.

I have nothing against skirts and have, in fact, worn them with great regularity at various times in my life. But as much as these skirts created (theoretical) versatility for my capsule, and as much as I LOVE the fabric and color of my blue tweed skirt, and as long as I’ve kept the camel skirt (since college) thinking it was such a great neutral and I *should* love it…I just never found myself reaching for them.

They cut me off in the middle (physically and visually), and having to tuck cold-weather tops into thick, cold-weather skirt fabric over leggings just felt like wearing middle-pinching tights under jeans.  Or something.

And I didn’t really dig the matronly, 1950s secretary vibe they were giving off.  Nothing against secretaries (since my day job is basically glorified secretary).  I just felt like I was supposed to be bringing in a tea tray with a pair of cat-eye glasses hanging around my neck.

In any case, when I looked at my skirt-clad self in the mirror, I thought “You successfully put together an outfit” instead of “DING DING DING!  THIS FEELS LIKE ME.”

You know what I mean?

IMG_3046 IMG_3051
I’m so sad about saying goodbye to this beaut.  I may leave it hanging up in my closet for awhile just to keep enjoying the fabric/colors… (really not done justice in this photo, unfortunately).

This realization is going to give me permission to get rid of another skirt I *should* in theory love and wear but in reality never do.  Buh-bye, salmon-colored pencil skirt.  You’ve looked great hanging in my closet:



Blue pencilly skirt, you’re on probation; I’ll see how often I reach for you this spring/summer.

Last but not least, a pep talk to the lone beloved skirt still firmly on my roster (because I imagine if I were it, watching all my teammates being cut one by one, I would be shaking in my seams): Don’t worry, taupe pencil skirt from H&M, I still love you. 

  A photo posted by LeahLW (@thriftshopchic) on

It’s got a little more give, a lot more playfulness, and some chic-sexy I just can’t refuse. You’ll definitely have to wait ’til spring/summer, though, because I ain’t squashing that vibe with leggings and yeti sweaters.


How do you feel about skirts? And do you feel differently about warm- vs. cold-weather skirts? I know some folks rock the skirts-n-tights look…maybe calf-high boots are necessary to pull it off?  Scroll down to share your insights!

And tune in later this week for Asterisks #2 and #3… I bet you’re on the edge of your seat in anticipation. :)



6 thoughts on “Winter Capsule Wardrobe Update, Part 1: Skirts

  1. I went back and watched your video of your winter capsule. I noticed you mostly tucked in your shirts with your skirts, but not tucked in with your pants. Have you thought about wearing your tops out with your skirts? I love skirts in the winter with tights and boots. I always wear my tops out with both pants and skirts, given I’m short-waited.

    1. Kathleen,
      Good point! I’ve tried a few turtlenecks worn out over the skirts, but they end up looking baggy since those tops don’t nip in at the waist to give the silhouette I’d like. (They do work for my lower-waisted pants, though!)

      I have two button-down shirts (not included in the capsule) that do nip in at the waist—I’d been thinking about donating them since it’s not a silhouette I love over pants, but maybe I’ll try wearing one over the blue tweed skirt to give it a different look.

      What cut of shirt do you pair with pants?

      Thanks for taking the time to rewatch the video and make the suggestion! Much appreciated!

  2. Hiya,
    The thing that looks noticeably different between the skirt that you love (taupe H&M) and of the other skirts is that the skirt you love is high waisted, so it stops your silhouette from being visually cut in half.
    If you are “sew-inclined”you could look for high waisted skirt patterns, and sew your own success, or print the pic of your winning skirt to remind you to look for high waisted styles going forward.
    Either way, best of luck! :)

    1. Jess,
      Great detective work! Funnily enough, normally I don’t love high-waisted pieces, but this on has enough give to make it work. (It’s also close-fitting enough that I am happy wearing shirts untucked over the top of it, which gives a whole ‘nother look.) I wonder if winter-weight skirts in this cut would be constricting because wool/tweed doesn’t have as much give? I think I need to find a high-waisted thick jersey or other knit and give that a try! Thanks muchly for the suggestion.

      Alas that I were the sewing type—or maybe not since I’m pretty sure I’d spend a lot more money on thrifted clothes that need alteration! :)

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