capsule wardrobe (progress) for spring

Hello again!

Laundry is done, and the sun came out today, so here we go. Pictures!

These are the things I have in my wardrobe right now, plus a few things added in from storage which I’m considering either getting rid of or working into my wardrobe.

I laid things out in groups, hoping to visualize the relationships between the different parts of my closet. Sorry, not everything can be clearly shown, but that’s probably a good thing because there’s an awful lot of dog hair on my dark clothes!

Here (below) are my basics. All of these tops go with my (thrifted) denim skirt, jeans, and black knit skirt. I wear the denim skirt more often than the black skirt or the jeans. You’ll notice I have a LOT of stripey tops. I’ve decided I quite like them. 2 are long sleeved and will be phased out as it gets warmer, 1 is half sleeved (thrifted), 3 are short sleeved (2 are navy – I may not keep both). There are stacks of basic solid color tees – the lighter colors are not very attractive on me, but they are good “basics.” (All of the plain tees are feeling a bit tired). There is a stack of fitted tanks which I usually layer with other items. I have a couple of “fancy” tops which are more interesting and dressy than tshirts. I would like more dressy tops, but I have a lot of trouble finding anything made from natural fibers in the styles/fit that I prefer. I also debate how many printed/patterned tops I need if I’m trying to include patterned skirts in my wardrobe.


Below are 2 of my long (thrifted) skirts which I enjoy wearing. They are soft and flowing and though quite impractical at times (do NOT try to climb the tower at York Minster in a maxi skirt!) they are delightful feminine pieces that I really enjoy. The aqua one even has bells on the waist tie which jingle as I walk. I can wear my neutral (mostly less than flattering) tees with either skirt. I have a couple of aqua pieces that work with the aqua skirt. I have a new-to-me lilac tank that goes wonderfully with the purple skirt – actually that’s what I’m wearing right now! I was thrilled to match the purple tone so well, especially working from memory, and the new tank fits great and only cost $2 from our newest thrift shop! The other purple top is less ideal, and the pink one is not at all ideal – I have been planning to dye it lilac. btw, these skirts can work as strapless dresses with a cardigan and a belt added. I have a pink version of the aqua skirt too, but even fewer of my tops go with pink.


Next, my dresses and cardigans. At least, the ones I have in the closet right now. I have a lot more dresses and a couple more half sleeved cardigans in storage. I wear both of these black and white dresses over a black knit dress (which doesn’t really work well as a stand alone piece any more). The longer of the two (thrifted, refashioned) needs to be worn over an underdress. The shorter “Kate” dress works alone, over a tee or tank, or over the underdress. (I have 2 more of these dresses, made by my friend, in different color-ways, which may come out for spring). The maxi dress is one of my favorites (although I wish it was actually cotton). The cardigans go with each of the dresses, and most of my basic outfits from the top picture too. I also have 2 long sleeved cotton cardigans, one black, one aqua, which are very useful with all of these pieces. My navy half sleeved cardigan goes with some of my outfits. If I include what’s in storage, I have a dress and colorful cardigan combo for almost every occasion.


I’ve been wondering what goes with my military vest. I bought it last year, partly under the influence of a cute style blog. I like it, and I feel like it gives me a little more style. But the color doesn’t really fit into my bright, jewel toned, wardrobe. Here are some things that I can comfortably wear with it. The printed tunic (thrifted) in the middle is also on my questionable list because the fit is less than flattering and it doesn’t really fit in with my other pieces. Do 2 wrongs make a right though? :) I also realize that olive green is a neutral and that I could wear it with other colors. I think I might have tried it with the maxi dress in the previous picture, which is at least very muted tones. I tend to pair it with charcoal and grey, and maybe those new navy striped tops would look cool too. I can wear it with all 3 of my “Kate” dresses.


So these are the things that don’t go with many other things. The greens I’ve covered. The grey skirt is really comfy, but I have to wear it with a plain top. It’s also kind of thin – when the dog sits on my lap I wish it was a much heavier cotton (it’s poly, if I’m not mistaken). The two aqua tops are part of my “fancy tops” mission from last year. They’re polyester. The lace one is a bit more fitted than I think I really wanted and I need to wear another top under it, of course. I haven’t really worn it yet. The printed top is nice, with a draped neck, but it’s also a bit poly, a bit too fitted, and it’s the exact same print as that maxi dress, just in different colors. It’s OK. I don’t know if that’s good enough.


Back to basics, below – my cardigans, sweaters, and sweatshirts. I have 3 cashmere sweaters – black (with much dog hair), blue and kermit (from Goodwill). A hot pink 3/4 sleeve sweatshirt and a charcoal one exactly the same. The former much better than the latter. The long cardigan is an odd color, but it works with my green polka dot top and all my neutrals and black, and some of my dresses. It’s not the prettiest thing, but it’s quite useful. The grey cardigan has been one of my favorite new-to-me (Goodwill) pieces this winter. It works with all my basics, it’s adds some warmth, it can go under a jacket or coat (which the long cardi and many other fancy sweaters I’ve tried can’t) and looks really good with my denim skirt.


(Cameras have such a hard time with my bright pink pieces! They’re not even that intensely colored, I promise.)

Lastly, here are my jackets and coats. Yes, I have more than one raspberry pink coat! One is canvas, the other PVC. I have 2 purple rain jackets too, perhaps a little redundant, but they have different strengths and weaknesses. The denim jacket is very useful this time of year, and I have once or twice gone double-denim and worn it with my denim skirt, but I prefer not to. I wouldn’t mind having a cotton/canvas/military style jacket if I could find one that wasn’t black (dog hair issues) or olive green. I wear my North Face fleece for warmth and convenience, not style. The lightweight black trench works very well over a dress. btw, 1 of the jackets and all 3 of these coats were thrift finds from Value Village!


So there were go. That’s pretty much everything in my wardrobe. I left out a white cotton underskirt and my capri leggings. I also have quite a bit of stuff in storage that could potentially be worked into a spring wardrobe, although I don’t think I need any of it or particularly desire to wear any of it right now. Ask me again when it gets really warm!

You’ll have noticed that this is not a 33 piece wardrobe. I’m not quite ready to finalize and count my wardrobe yet.

Looking at how I’ve described things here, I’m obviously less than in love with some of my patterned tops. I hope to find a couple of nice replacement cotton blouses (I have a vague idea in my head, but all I see in the stores is polyester and froufrou). I also don’t love my light colored tshirts, however basic and classic they might be. I don’t think they look particularly nice on me. I don’t know if that’s because of the tops I have chosen, or if it’s really just an issue of the light colors not flattering my skin tone. I guess I might need to try some different styles.

Those olive green things might be a welcome change from all that pink and purple, or they might just be unnecessary. I spent all of ~$20 on the two pieces, so it’s no great loss if I decide to pass them on to someone else. I’ve worn the tunic for at least 4 years, so whatever I paid for it at Value Village, I think I got my money’s worth. And when I found the vest, it was meant to be a shirt term fashion whim. It’s a little too small, but I got it to try something current and new. No harm done.

Did you notice I only have 1 pair of pants? I don’t care much for waistbands, or pants in general. I sometimes wonder if I should look harder for another pair of pants, something that’s not jeans, or not denim, or something. But most of the time I accept that I just don’t love pants and that my jeans will do.

I’m pretty pleased with most of what I have and I know that it’s plenty. Quite a few things were second hand finds, which makes me feel better about experimenting and sometimes having to pass things along if they don’t work. Few things make me happier than finding great stuff second hand. Like that white and purple skirt, which I get a ton of compliments on). And then finding a great top to match it, also second hand, and as it turns out, nicer than anything I seem to be able to find in regular stores, just makes it feel like I’m on the right track.

Now I just need to narrow all of this down. I don’t need 20 tops! This is where I have to decide what I love the most, and what outfits/combinations I enjoy the most. Some of the outliers might have to get put aside.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

Thanks for reading! I hope it’s interesting to read my thinking this through…


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