Spring/Summer Capsule Wardrobe 2016: 4 months in and what’s to come?

In this post I will share with you how my spring/summer capsule wardrobe has worked for me and what my plans are for fall and winter.

Hi everyone! It feels good to be back. This has been a long break. If you are part of the A Hearty Matter Community (join here!) you have received a few updates in the meantime and know more about the back story. Of course I will share more on here in the future as well. But for now, let’s talk fashion! More specifically, let’s talk capsule wardrobe. I cannot believe I am 4 months into my spring and summer capsule wardrobe already. Time has flown by and in a month I will switch over to my travel capsule. In this post I will share with you how my spring/summer capsule wardrobe has worked for me and what my plans are for fall and winter.

My capsule wardrobe setup

Before we dive right in, here’s a little recap on the setup I follow with my capsule wardrobes. Ever since I started my capsule wardrobe journey I have made my own rules. My rules are inspired by Courtney Carver’s Project 333 rules, but I chose to adapt them to my lifestyle and needs. In a nutshell my rules are (check out my spring/summer capsule reveal for more information):

Time span. I create my capsule for 6 months instead of the typical 3 months, so my spring and summer capsule wardrobe lasts from April to September.

Swapping. While I love the idea of not shopping during the capsule, I find it stressful having to find all the right pieces for a capsule before it starts, especially since my capsule runs for 6 months. I prefer to take my time when I add pieces to my wardrobe, so I allow for adding pieces to my wardrobe or rotating them out.

Item count. I don’t shoot for a magic number, but I do want my wardrobe to stay below 40 items. My spring/ summer wardrobe contained 30 pieces at the start.

In this post I will share with you how my spring/summer capsule wardrobe has worked for me and what my plans are for fall and winter. | aheartymatter.com

Expectations about my spring & summer capsule

I was curious to see how my spring/ summer capsule would go for several reasons. I had loved my fall/winter capsule and I felt that it was a very successful one, mainly because I had embraced uniform dressing (start uniform dressing yourself here!). I was also curious to see how my uniform would translate into warmer weather. I included a total of 6 button ups, but I was unsure whether that would work out the way I planned. Would my uniform of jeans and button up translate into hotter weather? Honestly, I was also curious how I would do with summer clothes. I love to get dressed for fall, I love to work with layers. However, hot summer means no layers. In the past I’ve felt uncomfortable in summer outfits that consisted of only a dress…because I felt like the majority of the outfit was still missing. I was curious to see whether my summer capsule wardrobe would leave me more satisfied with summer fashion than my previous overflowing closet.

How did it go?

Overall, my capsule went really well so far. There were a few bumps in the road in the beginning, with very unseasonal snow in April that required me to temporarily bust out my Chelsea boots and down jacket again. But overall I feel like my capsule worked well for me. I am satisfied with what I wear on a daily basis and I still enjoy that I don’t have too many options in my closet. However, when you look at my capsule more objectively, there have been quite a few changes.

Changes in my capsule wardrobe

During the last 4 months I made quite a few changes to my capsule wardrobe. These are the changes compared to the original capsule:

Out: 1 blue button up shirt (stained), the khaki skirt, and both summer dresses I originally included in the capsule.

In: 4 white button up shirts, silver Birks,one navy sleeveless shirt dress, one navy maxi dress

In this post I will share with you how my spring/summer capsule wardrobe has worked for me and what my plans are for fall and winter. | aheartymatter.com

There have definitely been a few changes as you can see. So what’s going on there? The button ups are essential for my uniform and I was able to make them work during the summer. In fact, I kept wearing my uniform a lot more than I anticipated – my Instagram, where I typically share my daily outfits, has been full of my button ups. The khaki skirt just wasn’t a great fit anymore. I bought it last year, a few months postpartum, and I have since lost a few more kilo. The skirt just looked too bulky on me now. I thought I could make it work, but I had to realize that it gives me a silhouette I don’t fancy on me. The dress-situation can be summed up with: no longer my style. The khaki dress is an old favorite, I bought it over 5 years ago and I used to love to wear it. But this year, despite my expectations, I just couldn’t get it to work. It just never felt like me. Instead I added two navy dresses that I absolutely love to wear. If you’re into the numbers, my capsule now contains 33 pieces.

Less is more…except when it’s not.

I wholeheartedly agree with the saying that less is more. I love wearing a uniform and I do believe that reducing the number of items in your closet is the way for more satisfaction and ease. In fact, I think it’s the only way to go if you want to achieve that effortless look we all crave.

In this post I will share with you how my spring/summer capsule wardrobe has worked for me and what my plans are for fall and winter. Learn more how I made my uniform work in my spring and summer capsule. | aheartymatter.com

But I’ve come to the conclusion that there is a but attached to this: For practicality reasons, it may be better to have more. Let me explain. I wear button up shirts. Like a lot – again, if you follow my instagram, that sentence probably made you laugh out loud. I added one white shirt to my capsule early on, but I realized after 3 months that this was not enough. I don’t like to do a load of shirt laundry every weekend, I just don’t. So I took a note from my husband’s book who owns a whopping 30 shirts – and added 3 more button ups to my wardrobe. For fall and winter, I am actually considering adding a few more, but I’m still in the process of brainstorming (join me over at Pinterest).

Does this mean the end of my capsule wardrobes?

While I have changed my capsule quite a bit, in my head I am still following a capsule wardrobe…and I will continue to do so. Capsule wardrobes are a way to limit your closet, and I think they are a very useful tool. I also think a capsule is great for learning more about your style and for maintaining a lean closet. If you’re being strict, I never followed a capsule in the sense that most people invoke: I didn’t have 33 (or 37) pieces and I didn’t have only those for 3 months and I did shop in the meantime. Personally, that never appealed to me. What does appeal to me is that my 6 month capsule wardrobe gives me a frame. While I am enamored with the recent transitions out of the capsule system by my blogging friends, especially Paige and Andrea, I know that for me the capsule wardrobe is still incredibly valuable – with my own rules.

My capsule wardrobe gives me a frame and a to do list built-in. I know that I have to think about what I want to wear for 6 months, and I need to think about my wish list, what I want to add, what I need to add, etc. The capsule wardrobe concept appeals to me because it allows me to make decisions once, and then I don’t have to decide anymore… or rather only from the limited array of clothes. To me that’s freedom. In my experience that limitation is incredibly liberating.

The freedom of having a capsule wardrobe

I think stopping the capsule wardrobe would burden me with more decisions, exactly those decisions that I wanted to get rid off in the first place. Can I buy one more skirt for summer? Oh this knit is on sale, I’m surely going to wear it in the fall. Does this count? With a capsule wardrobe, even with my arguably more lenient rules, I have a filter for these decisions.

I like to think of a capsule wardrobe as an organic construct. It gives you restrictions, it sets boundaries and allows you to simply your decisions. | aheartymatter.com

I like to think of a capsule wardrobe as an organic construct. It gives you restrictions, it sets boundaries and allows you to simply your decisions. But it my opinion, it’s still a tool that is supposed to help us and for being helpful it needs to allow for change. This is why I always left an option for item swapping and adding new pieces. Not for mindless shopping and diluting the clarity of my wardrobe, but for a limited number of purchases that add value and better reflect my needs or my personality.

I wholeheartedly believe that the capsule wardrobe is a powerful tool. You make decisions once and ahead of time (by defining and creating your capsule). Personally, I am easily overwhelmed by too many options. Analysis paralysis has struck me more than once. The capsule wardrobe gives me a frame that does exactly what I want: it reduces the number of decisions I have to make. I feel so much more energized when I leave the house in the morning, because I didn’t spend several minutes in front of the closet trying to figure out what I want to wear. Decision exhaustion is real. Save your strength for those decisions that matter to your life, your kids, your job, your health (yes, taking the healthy option when the cakes are in plain sight requires will power) – don’t waste it on your clothes.

Are you following a capsule wardrobe? How’s it going?

Are you considering trying a capsule wardrobe? What appeals most to you about it?

Kate

Kate is a capsule wardrobe and uniform dressing enthusiast who encourages busy women to embrace a smaller wardrobe and a more intentional lifestyle.
Kate continues to work on simplifying her life – freeing up time and energy on those things in life that are most important to her.

9 Comments

  1. Kate,
    I love your adaptation of the capsule ‘rules’. The longer 6 month time period and greater flexibility really appeals to me. I have pulled most of my capsules together, but will still keep my extreme winter or summer items packed up, so I think I will be similar to your 6 month windows. Right now I have about 55 total items and I’m already noticing I have an urge to remove some because it feels like too much after my smaller capsules.

    Thanks for the inspiration!
    Xo,
    Paige

    • Thanks so much, Paige!
      Isn’t crazy how used you get to having fewer pieces in your wardrobe?!? I used to own so much more clothes – a lot more than 30 or 50 items. Now I can’t imagine going back to my overflowing closet.
      Excited to see how your “capsule” evolves!
      xxx

    • Thanks Regine! I can only recommend it. If you have any questions during the process, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

  2. Thank you so much for this!! I am just starting my capsule wardrobe and being in the UK I am thinking much more of a autumn/winter wardrobe and a spring/summer wardrobe. My initial wardrobe consists of around 40 pieces and I’m going to see how I go with that first and then review in a couple of months time.

    • Yey, Laura! Your plan sounds great. I think the more unpredictable the weather, the better you do with a longer capsule wardrobe. Keep me posted on how everything goes with your capsule!

  3. Hi!

    I discovered your blog today and wanna say: thank you for setting your own rules! I’m considering making a capsule wardrobe but I wasn’t sure about the “3 month time” because weather changes so fast in Belgium.. Right now, thanks to you, I think about making a capsule for fall/winter. Maybe I’ll begin on October, 1st. Know that this won’t be easy as I now have like 50-60 pieces in my wardrobe ^^

    • Thanks for your feedback! I just want to empower you to do the same. Let me know how it goes! 50-60 isn’t bad. I’m sure that after a month you’ll have a better understand of what works for you and what doesn’t.

  4. This is a great Kate . I have been so some of these places and I have had a blast just about every time. Another place I would recommend is the Emerald Coast in Nicaragua. I went to Guacalito de la Isla there and I went surfing, hiking, biking, and took archery lessons. It’s a fantastic place to visit.

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