My Spring Capsule Wardrobe Experiment


After two very-long weeks of midterms and the general college overwhelm, I’m back with the next part in my mini-series on my capsule wardrobe. Hi ya, friends! I hope you’ve been so well. Let’s jump in, this is the fun stuff!

When it comes to structuring my capsule wardrobe, I prefer Jennifer Scott’s method—the 10-item wardrobe. In a nutshell, you have ten (or so) core pieces and a few extras. Core pieces are your dresses, pants, skirts, blouses—the more focal items of the wardrobe, perhaps higher quality too. Extras consist of tee-shirts, outerwear and accessories that round out and work with the core pieces. I’ve added another category on to this: incidentals. This is where I file my work uniform, running shoes, and other things that I need in my wardrobe for certain tasks but don’t consider part of my core collection.

Today, we’re focusing on core items. To parse this concept into something a bit easier to chew, let me divide it into what I believe are the three fundamental characteristics.

Core items are versatile, they fit your life & style, and they make you feel beautiful.

In a smaller wardrobe it makes sense that all of your items, extras included, ought to be mix-able for lots of variation. Most of the articles I’ve read on capsule wardrobes tend toward very classic, simple items in neutral colors because they are easier to mix. I don’t really believe in simple clothes and almost everything I own is printed, brightly colored, or attached to some sort of ruffle. I think versatility really depends on your willingness, or unwillingness, to mix prints and layer various items. Do you lean toward solid, neutral colored items? Wonderful, they’ll mix beautifully and no, your wardrobe is not boring! On the other hand, if you’re obsessed with prints and you really like bright colors, then wonderful! Challenge yourself and see which combinations surprise you. 

The question of whether or not your items fit your style is really covered in the process of cleaning out your wardrobe. For more on that, you can click here. To boil it down, why would you keep things in your 10 (or so) core collection if you don’t actually enjoy them? Sounds like nonsense to me! Additionally, do your core items work with the things you encounter everyday? This includes the weather, your career or school, the ways you choose to spend your free time. 

Finally, do your core items make you feel confident? This is one of those trial-and-error sort of things; you learn as you go. Learning which shapes and colors flatter your body is yet another important aspect of developing your style and self-confidence. I’ve discovered that I feel most confident in dresses and long flowy skirts and I incorporate them into my wardrobe year round. Red, white and blue (and their various shades) are my favorite colors to wear and my wardrobe often reflects this. Red and blue suit my dark hair and fair skin best, while earthy tones like olive-green and rusty-pink make me look a bit sallow and sad. Experiment here, it’s fun—you’ll likely find that the colors that suit you best become your favorites. Try on your clothes and see if they bring out the color of your eyes or make your skin look like it’s glowing. If you’re stuck, a quick Google search for colors that suit your skin tone will yield countless charts for you to look at and take into consideration. It’s a science.

Now that we've discussed the general outline for curating the core items of a capsule wardrobe, let's talk through my spring core pieces!

Above, the riviera print dress from Boden. I've had this one for 4+ years and it's still in wonderful condition. It's lightweight enough to work through the miserably hot summer here in Texas, and it's pretty. 

My favorite rosette skirt, such fun and so comfortable. I wear it with tee shirts and flats, and always get so many compliments. Jeans are fairly straightforward, I like high-waisted skinnies for everyday wear. And my blue and white pinstripe button-up, it's probably on it's last leg but I love the colors and I'll often layer that under my black dress (below). 

flowery dress is one of my favorites for summer. Sometimes I layer it under my rosette skirt for a fun combo. It's bloomin' awesome! Ok, lame joke. Moving on.

Navy and white polkadot shift dress, easy to throw on and cute with flats or tennis shoes. I love this white peplum, that is all. A classic, midi, black dress. It has a fun texture (hard to see in that picture, sorry), and is very bouncy--again with the twirling in public. The red-ish, orange-ish midi dress is one I've debated saving until later in the summer when it's a bit warmer. I love it, but may consider switching it out for one of my heavier dresses (like the navy and white polkadot) come July or August. Though I generally stick with two seasons for my capsule wardrobe--spring/summer and fall/winter--occasionally I will switch out a piece or two if the weather has changed. 

It's a bit difficult to tell, but the above skirt is actually a navy, midi skirt with sequin stars on it. It's so fun! As with the other midi skirt, I usually wear this with a simple tee shirt and flats. My shorter, flower print skirt is from a boutique in New York City that I visited--it makes me feel très French, which is obviously my goal in life. And finally, this navy, flower print tank. I'll wear it with jeans, or with skirts. It's fun and floaty and I like it very much.

I feel as though my descriptions are a bit silly (I just like it!), but here's what I'm wearing from now until the fall. This is my favorite of the capsules, and I'm so excited to kick of spring this Monday (YAY!). 

What are your thoughts on the capsule wardrobe? Have you tried it out? I'd love to hear from you.

All the best,

Mary Grace

P.S. I'll be talking more about the "extra" and "incidental" categories as well as dressing to suit your body type in the next few articles. Is there anything you'd like to talk about? Let me know in the comments.