Transparency and Encouragement– the Capsule Wardrobe Bottomline



I told you from the start– I broke a Capsule Wardrobe “Rule” right away when I decided to do two-month capsules instead of three. Why? Well, because that worked better. And there are no real rules, anyway!


Several of you appreciated how I adapted this idea to make it work for my climate and lifestyle.


A few of you lamented not having the cash to invest in quality pieces to go the distance, long considered a requirement for a good capsule wardrobe.


Many proponents of this type of wardrobe recommend investing in higher quality brands. I’ll read recommendations like, “I really love these tees from ____ for just $29– invest in a handful of colors! These basics will prove worth the money!”


Suggestions for tailoring are also common. “Don’t be afraid to spend a few dollars having pieces shortened or adjusted to fit you optimally. This can make a huge difference in how you feel about your garments!”


Many experts recommend using sites like Thred Up or Twice to seek out gently used premium brands for a fraction of the cost.


And here’s the thing:


Those suggestions? Perfectly fine. There’s not really anything wrong with that logic. There’s nothing wrong with letting Stitch Fix find your stuff for you, either.


There’s no one right way to do things.


And that’s why I want to tell you a few things:


  • I love my capsule wardrobe. These articles are comfortable, easy-care, and make me feel great.
  • I bought ONE new item for my capsule wardrobe. One. I spent about twenty bucks on a new pair of high-waisted jeans. (Worth it.)
  • Everything else– every single thing– was already owned.
  • There are a LOT of Walmart garments in there, people. A LOT. And you know what? They still look good on me.


Let me give you a little rundown here…



Early Fall Capsule Wardrobe



  1. black & teal chevron-printed sleeveless maxi dress– Walmart, Spring 2014 ($12)
  2. navy floral short-sleeved dress– Lands End (clearanced to $19)
  3. black t-shirt dress– Target, Christmas gift from three years ago
  4. navy convertible hi-lo skirt/sleeveless dress– birthday gift from my best friend from four years ago
  5. grey maxi skirt– Old Navy ($12, purchased off-season)
  6. black maxi skirt– Walmart, Spring 2014 (<$10)
  7. black midi skirt– Walmart, Spring 2015 ($8)
  8. navy and white striped midi skirt– Walmart, Spring 2015 ($8)
  9. black capris– Walmart, Spring 2014 ($9)
  10. black pants– NY & Co., 2004 <– not a typo– they’re really that old
  11. black leggings– Target, Christmas gift three years ago
  12. jeans– purchased for capsule, Old Navy
  13. grey long-sleeved knit top with beaded detail– Old Navy, 5 years ago
  14. pale pink lightweight sweater with lace detail– Walmart, Spring 2015 (clearanced for $2)
  15. purple dressy short-sleeved top– Kohl’s, birthday gift from six years ago
  16. black & white dressy short-sleeved top– TJMaxx, birthday gift from five years ago
  17. navy cap-sleeved blouse– Kohl’s, birthday gift from six years ago
  18. navy sequined tank– Victoria’s Secret, four years ago
  19. black lace-trimmed tank– Walmart (<$5)
  20. white lace-trimmed tank– Walmart (<$5)
  21. aqua tank– Walmart ($3)
  22. teal tank– Walmart ($3)
  23. teal & purple floral lightweight cardigan– Lands End, Christmas gift, 2014
  24. white jacket– LL Bean (hand-me-down)
  25. black dressy cardigan– Kohl’s, birthday gift, two years ago
  26. denim jacket– birthday gift, three years ago


Seriously. That’s where these things came from. There’s nothing remarkably “high end” on that list, though some of the brands are definitely higher quality than others. In the cases of the better brands, the items were on deep sales or discounts, so they still weren’t huge investment pieces.


To make a long story short– these are garments that I love and that fit me well. I feel good in them. I also won’t be devastated if one of them is damaged in the course of parenting or teaching little people. And that’s important, too.


I don’t mean to bore you with these details. It could be that you never cared about where my clothes came from or how much they cost…


But that’s kind of the point, right?      It doesn’t matter. 


If you happen to love a higher end brand and you want to take the time searching it out in a consignment store or second-hand site? More power to you.


If you love the thrill of thrifting or tag sale-ing? Go for it!


But please know that you can also absolutely be happy and feel good about yourself without spending a bundle on your clothes. Please know that you can probably cull out a fun little capsule wardrobe of your own without having to pick up a bunch of new pieces.


Mostly, remember that a capsule wardrobe is supposed to TAKE AWAY rather than ADD stress. :)



Sometime next week I plan to write about the shoes and accessories piece of this whole thing– it’s kind of an important factor, in my opinion! Go get ready for more honestly from JL. 

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