Piece x Piece: The Spring Capsule Wardrobe You Already Own
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.
We’re officially mid-way through April, but up until about a week ago, I was looking out my studio window to a blanket of white as a few snowflakes continued to nestle into the mountainside. "Spring? What Spring?" they asked.
I’ve been holding off on making the wardrobe shift from Winter to Spring until, well, it FELT more like Spring around these parts. (As a reminder, I live in the mountains just outside Denver, Colorado.) But the birds chirping and the 70 degree days we’ve been having tell me that it’s finally time.
But first let’s recap: for me, a capsule wardrobe is not an exercise in deprivation. It’s simply about limiting the decisions I need to make each morning and being more mindful about the items I’m investing in.
Meaning, if I come upon a situation where I’m feeling too limited, and I want to break the rules, I break them. I pull that item out of storage and I wear that thing. I’m not perfect. You’re not perfect. And it’s a whole hell of a lot easier to consider this as an experiment rather than hard and fast rules. Ya with me?
That being said, I learned a lot from the winter capsule which has changed the way that I’m approaching this one:
Sharing Outfit Posts —
I had every intention of photographing outfits for the Winter capsule, but honestly, a few weeks of a lingering cold and general yucky-ness put a damper on that plan. This season I want to give you more of a peek behind the curtain as to what I’m wearing as the season progresses.
I’ll be sharing a few of those here on the blog, and more regularly on Instagram. Be sure to follow along to stay in the loop.
Geared Toward Creatives —
I’m NOT saying a capsule wardrobe can’t work if you work a business casual 9-5, but you’re definitely going to have to use your best judgment to switch out the pieces you feel are appropriate for that setting.
While I work from home most days, dressing as though I care about my clothes (which I do) on the day-to-day makes me FEEL better overall. I find it hard to stay productive and motivated sitting in yoga pants all day. There’s also enough variety here that if I need to step out for a client meeting, I can still look like the pulled together creative-type that I am.
Some New Additions —
I know you’re sitting there going, wait a minute, she has more pieces this time around. And you’re right, I do! We’re looking at 38 pieces this season.
A few of you reached out with questions about pieces NOT included in the capsule (to recap: that was accessories, outerwear, activewear, sleepwear, and cocktail attire), so I’ve included an outerwear and activewear category this time around. You’re still on your own for the other categories because I think what’s included in these really depends on the person and the lifestyle.
But I added these extra categories this time around to show you that you can pare those down too. I know it feels like a stretch at first, but it will also force you to see what you have in new ways. There’s magic in the constraint. I promise.
Replacing Items —
I’ve gone back and forth on how I feel about this. Initially, my intent was to include any worn out items in the 3-5 that I allowed myself to purchase each season. However, this season rolled around and I realized how much needed to be replaced.
My chambray shirt has a tear down the armpit (no idea what I was doing that made that happen). My casual sneakers have paint and sawdust on them from home projects (those have been retired). And my sandals from last season just flat out smell bad.
My intent with 3-5 new pieces was that it was enough flexibility to freshen up my wardrobe for the season, but this season it left me feeling as though there would be no room for anything new. So I adapted that plan.
I decided that if I was replacing a piece that was essentially the very same item (for example, I know Target makes these same sandals every season) I would let it slide.
Why? Well because that fact that I’m buying the same piece over again means that I’m getting closer to knowing what I like, knowing what works in my wardrobe, and carefully considering the investment. So I think it’s an all around win.
Just be sure you pitch those worn-out items so you don’t become a stage 1 hoarder.
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.
So without further ado, let’s take a look at the pieces for Spring, shall we?
You’ll see some carry-over here from the winter capsule, namely the sleeveless blouse, v-neck tees, scoop-neck tees, fancy/graphic tees, lightweight sweater, and chambray shirts. My point is that the items that you buy new from season-to-season can transition to the next. You’ll just be mixing them in different ways with the items you didn’t have last season.
This is the exact same as those in the winter capsule. Why? Well I’m really picky about the fit of my pants and I tend to fall in love with them. If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it.
Anyone else excited to actually show some leg this season? A few of you reached out asking about dresses in last season’s capsule. The truth is that the weather in Colorado is just too damn cold in the winter for me to want to put a dress on. But I’ve added a few this season because I love the ease and comfort of dresses when the weather allows.
Now this is a fairly optimistic category in regards to Colorado weather. Believe it or not there are still 30 degree mornings occasionally, when I have to pull out my parka. But on the whole, I love these pieces for the way they can transform a look.
This category was born because I truly do reach for the same items to workout in over and over again. This got me thinking that perhaps I didn’t need that same tank top in yet another color or to continue adding to my collection of workout gear at all.
Now, if you’re a super smelly human being, training olympian, or you just workout more than most, you may want to bump up the number of items you have in the workout category. But as an every-other-day runner, weekend hiker, and occasional pilates goer, this is enough for me.
Note: depending on the weather by you and the type of activities you participate in you may need to adjust here. Feel free to switch out shorts for capris or the long-sleeve for an additional tee.
I’ve added a few more to this category because as I mentioned spring in Colorado can really be a wild card. Note that I also added hiking boots for those spring hikes that I’m looking forward to.
And there we have it. Don’t forget to show me yours by tagging #PiecexPieceCapsule on Instagram so I can see how it’s going!