Having a successful capsule wardrobe starts with awareness. It's pretty improbable that any of us will create the perfect capsule wardrobe, no matter how long we've been making them, because it's impossible to foresee what life's going to throw our way.
I took my own advice this season and paid close attention to what I was reaching for day in and day out. I didn't make a list, I just kept track of my thought process while getting ready in the morning. And I started noticing patterns.
"That feels too simple."
"I want a little more contrast."
"My feet will be killing me by the end of the day."
This is what I mean when I say paying attention lets us see the gaps in our closets! Although I typically don't shop during a season, some of these patterns were ones that come up every year. I knew if I didn't take action this year I'd have the same feelings next summer or next season.
So I went shopping. I mostly bought items that were meeting certain needs based on my lifestyle. I did end up purchasing two things sort of impulsively. I'll explain later.
Here's what I picked up.
In the thick of the multiple heat waves that hit Sacramento, I realized I needed shorts. The three shorts in my capsule were on exclusive rotation which meant they were getting dirty quicker.
I'm not a wear once and wash kind of girl. I chalk it up to spending most of my life living in apartments and dorms where doing laundry was an event that required leaving the house vs. something that was done every day. Still, my light wash and beige-y shorts weren't looking their best which let me know there was a gap in my closet.
I also noticed that I wasn't wearing one of my shirts because it felt plain. I think there's a difference between simple and plain, even if it's just perspective. Plain feels uninspired, while simple feels intentionally unfussy. Because I tend to style my outfits very simply, I realized visual interest is important. I'll always be a stripes girl, but I wanted something a little different. This cactus embroidered shirt was exactly the kind of fun yet subtle pattern I was looking for. Plus, it features my favorite color, so that's a win too!
Working retail means being on your feet all day, it's just the nature of the beast. I found myself agonizing over what shoes to wear to work because the only ones that gave me the kind of support I needed were my Teva sandals. As much as I love them, they're a very casual sandal, and sometimes a girl just feels like wearing an edgy sneaker/has no time to touch up her pedicure. I'd decided to include some Vans sneakers in this summer's capsule wardrobe but hadn't quite decided on the color. I ended up going with the classic black Old Skools because I knew they'd be less maintenance than an all white leather sneaker.
Guys, I have to gush about these overalls. I've been thinking of buying overalls for over a year and finally decided this would be the year I rock them. I sucked it up and bought these online and oh.my.gosh I love them. They're a little long for my short legs but I expected that. What I didn't expect was to love the way they looked all rolled up! Because I'm short, they fit a little looser in the leg than they look online but I have to admit, I kinda like it. You can expect to see me in these constantly when the weather is consistently under 80.
The last thing I bought were these button through jeans. I was at work and a customer brought a pair up to the register and I nearly lost my mind when I saw they had been marked down. I lost my mind because I'd been eyeing these jeans for months. I thought they were sold out and that I'd lost my chance to own them, but it turned out I hadn't! I quickly scanned, found my size and bought the heck out of these jeans. I could try to tell you I needed them, but the truth is, I don't. I have so many jeans. BUT these bring me so much joy, they fit like a dream, and it turns out that the button through detail really adds some pizzazz to my mostly simple outfits.
I think I'm going to start including a mid-season edit in my capsule process. I don't necessarily want to make a habit out of buying new things mid-season, but at the very least I'd like to start taking a pause to prune my wardrobe.
What about you? Do you edit your wardrobe mid-season?