Piece x Piece: How to Build Your Winter Capsule Wardrobe
This post is part of a series called Piece x Piece, where I experiment with creating a capsule wardrobe by remixing the clothes that I already own. I’ll be sharing my findings over on Instagram with the hashtag #PiecexPieceCapsule, along with a few recap posts here on the blog.
I’m excited to share that I’ve finally narrowed down my winter capsule to 25 pieces. I know that it’s February and that Spring is right around the corner, but remember that this is a series devoted to building on what I already have. So even though the spring capsule is closer than if I had started in December, ideally I’ll be able to use a handful of these pieces when April rolls around.
Plus, I think all too often we put off these little projects, waiting for the “right” time, when sometimes we just need to put plans in motion and learn as we go. So let’s get started, shall we?
I’ve been living in the clothes on one side of my closet for some time now, so it wasn’t hard to figure out which pieces are my “go-to” when getting ready in the morning.
But, if you aren’t as sure, here’s a little experiment that I suggest:
For two weeks, get dressed as you normally would, but pay close attention to what you wear each day. One easy way to do this is to turn the hangers in your closet to face the reverse direction after wearing a piece. Another easy way is to take note of your outfit it in the notes app in your phone or as an all-day event on your calendar. Or you could just snap a picture of what you wear each day.
Use whatever system works best for you — the goal is simply to keep track of what you are wearing, so that we can distill what they have in common at the end of the two week period.
Now, ask yourself:
Is there a similar color palette showing through? —
For example, I find that I love any combination of black and ivory, with a hint of texture for added interest.
Is there an item that you find yourself reaching for day after day? —
I LIVE in my Simone Highrise jeans by Industry Standard. They’re comfortable with just the right amount of stretch without becoming too baggy at the knees.
Which activities did you get dressed for each day? —
For instance, when I lived in NYC, much of my wardrobe had to transition from day to night relatively easily because it wasn’t realistic to commute an hour back to Brooklyn to change before going out with friends for happy hour back in Manhattan.
What would your “uniform” be? —
What’s that one outfit that you could wear day after day without growing tired of it? For me it would be black jeans, a sleeveless ivory blouse, and some cognac booties. Simple as that. (And I actually do wear that quite a bit!)
Now comes the fun part. I pulled the items out of my closet that I was absolutely not willing to give up, and put them on nice wooden hangers. (There’s something about wooden hangers that just makes your clothes feel well cared for and expensive.)
Next, I started to brainstorm what was missing. Are there any key outfits you’re looking to create that are in need of a certain piece? Do you have all the shoes that you could potentially want to wear this season? If I had a piece that I saw was missing, I would first ask myself if there was an item that I owned that would do. If not, it went on the “to purchase” list.
That being said, here’s what my winter capsule wardrobe looks like:
Silk Cami / Sleeveless Blouse (or this one) / Favorite Tees (Budget or Splurge) / Blush Scoop-Neck Tee
Black Eyelet Tee (vaguely similar here) / Ivory Eyelet Tee / Lightweight Sweater (or conscious brands here and here) / Grey Boatneck Sweater (Budget or Splurge)
Navy Sweater / Light-Colored Cardigan (Here or Here) / Chunky Cardigan (Borrowed from the guys) / Black Cardigan
Chambray Top / Turtleneck Sweater (Here or Here) / Embroidered Sweatshirt / Black Skirt
Indigo Jeans / Black Jeans / Skinny Cargo Pant (or These) / Sweatpants (Here, Here, and Here)
Cognac Boots / Leather Slip-Ons / Black Booties / Black Sneakers (Bonus: I run in these too!)
Note: Since many of the items in my closet are old, that exact style may no longer be available. I’ve done my best to show similar items and linked them accordingly. I’ll be sure to note in any photographs the brand that I’m wearing and the closest possible matches.
Next post I’ll be sharing with you which of these items I didn’t own, and the 3-5 I chose to purchase to refresh my current wardrobe.
Don’t forget to show me yours by tagging #PiecexPieceCapsule on Instagram so I can see how it’s going!