Disclaimer: the photo above is not me. I may not love her outfit, but you’ve got to admit – she is OWNING it.
I’ve been struggling to write this post for weeks. I mean, we’re more than halfway through winter already — Hi Mr. Groundhog! — shouldn’t I have this post done already? Shouldn’t I have my winter wardrobe finalized? Short of going on a shopping spree (which is exactly what I’m trying NOT to do with these limited seasonal wardrobes) I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that my winter clothes and I are just not getting along.
Putting together a winter capsule wardrobe was much more difficult than I expected. I’ve been doing this capsule wardrobe thing since summer, but the winter wardrobe has been the hardest by far. I’m not sure if it’s the wide range of temperatures we’ve experienced in the last two months (from 70 – 0 degrees!), just the fact that I don’t like being cold, or feeling perfectionistic about trying to find the perfect wardrobe that will all mix-and-match together, but it’s been a 6 weeks in the making and I’m still not happy with it.
Clothes selection process: My theme for the winter wardrobe was “warm and cozy,” and I chose black and white as my main colors, with accents of purple and green. (This has more to do with what was already in my wardrobe than any intentional choice on my part, or trying to be in style.) I work in a business casual office three days a week, work at home two days a week, and have very casual weekend days, dressing up for church about the same as I do for work. My wardrobe needs to be about 50-50 professional and casual clothes, and I try to look for pieces that can crossover for both categories.
This is a lot harder than it sounds like. I have a few tops that fall into that green “just right” category, but not many. I’m still in a stage of life where my casual clothes are likely to be used as a snot rag or be worn during a preschooler wrestling match or crawling around on the ground.
I’m sure I’m forgetting a few things, but here are the staples of my capsule wardrobe, from most worn to least worn items. (I was tempted to seriously geek out and make a spreadsheet for this, but instead I settled for various symbols to indicate my uses and issues with this wardrobe.)
- Black dress pants ! @ +
- Gray dress pants ! @ +
- Dark-wash skinny jeans ! ~ +
- White button-down shirt ! @
- Black jeans ! ~
- Gray half-zip cabled sweater ! @ ~ +
- Snowflake printed fleece jacket ! ~
- Purple turtleneck sweater ! @ ~
- Bright blue running shoes ! ~
- White beaded long-sleeve T-shirt ! @ ~ +
- Ratty old Mizzou Law long-sleeved t-shirt ! ~ +
- Tall flat black boots ! @ ~ +
- Brown short boots ! @
- Dark-wash boot-cut jeans ! % ~
- Black turtleneck * @
- Chambray button-down shirt % @ ~
- Purple button-down shirt @ +
- Another pair of black dress pants % @ +
- Black tuxedo suit jacket in a soft material @
- Light gray wool dress % @
- Gray tweed skirt with big bow @
- Teal polka-dotted cardigan % @
- Green and white striped long-sleeved T-shirt ~
- Long cream printed sweatshirt * ~
- Black short boots @
- Teal quilted flats % * @
- Tan dress pants ? % @ +
- Crazy patterned leggings * ? ~
- Gray oversized knitted vest % ? @ ~
- Black pencil skirt ? @
- Brown velvety jacket ? @ ~ +
- Little black dress ?? @
- Thick black leggings ?? ~
- Black short-sleeved T-shirt ?? ~ +
- Black cardigan * ?? @
* New purchase + More than 3 years old ? Hardly worn ?? Not worn at all
! Worn a lot % Don’t like how it fits @ Work ~ Casual
I think it’s really interesting that most of the items I wore the most had already been in my wardrobe for 3 years or more. Even though I am not that happy with my winter capsule wardrobe, I know I learned from it.
- No skirts or dresses in winter. It’s just too cold.
- No more leggings until I get some longer shirts!
- I have too many things in my wardrobe that just don’t fit me well anymore. (Having two kids will do that to you!) Future clothes shopping needs to be focused on replacing things I know I like instead of chasing the latest fad. (I think I wore those patterned leggings two times? Maybe once?)
- Overlapping work and play clothes doesn’t work very well for me, I just end up with stuff that’s too casual for work and too dressy for home.
- I miss wearing bright colors. I know it’s partially a seasonal thing, but a neutral palette is just boring to me.
- I shouldn’t buy things just because I think they’ll be good “staples.” I wear cardigans quite a bit for work, but I wear that polka-dotted teal one 10 times more than the plain black one.
The groundhog says 6 more weeks of winter, so I’m going to suck it up and live with these clothes that annoy me for a little while longer. But I am SOOOOO excited for spring!
I have to ask – does anyone out there actually like winter? Are you sick of all your winter clothes like me?