In Discussions, In my closet, Style, Wardrobe Help, Women

I Tried a Capsule Wardrobe for 3 Months and Hated It

I tried a capsule wardrobe for a month not out of any desire to do it because I had a feeling it wouldn’t last but out of a need.

We were traveling to visit my parents for a month and to bring back our stuff we left there. We had to bring AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE so we would have space in the car.

I originally packed this, and most of it stayed except one t-shirt, and I removed a white dress:

What I actually brought

Sweater / Jackets

  • Wilfred Wolter Sweater in Scarab (Thrifted $7)
  • BlankNYC Vegan Leather Moto ($138)

These two were last minute additions because it was COLD when we left and I thought it would stay cold for a bit longer, maybe a week, and I wanted to have something to wear just in case.

Turns out, I was quite prescient because I wore these items constantly in the first few weeks.

Bottoms

  • H&M Jeans ($43)
  • J Brand Maria Ripped Jeans ($102)
  • Red midi skirt ($7 – thrifted)

Tops

  • Noa Noa white tank ($66)
  • All Saints black Stam tank ($50)
  • Emerson Fry Refined Ink Lines tank ($35)

Romper


  • Wilfred White Écoulement Romper ($159)

Dresses

  • DD77 White dress ($35)
  • Old Navy Banana Print dress ($15)
  • Cuyana Persimmon Drape-back Dress ($173)
  • Banana Republic Navy Linen dress ($45)

I REALLY want it to be summer which is why I brought rompers and so many dresses! I wanted to wear warmer weather stuff and that’s what I brought.

Belts

  • Striped blue, red and white belt
  • GAP Braided Brown belt
  • Burberry double belt
  • Rope anchor belt
  • Red vintage belt

Footwear

  • Frye Melanie Taupe Flats ($113)
  • Sofft Cognac Sandal ($109)
  • Birkenstock Rose Gold Metallic Arizona ($143)

Hats

  • Tilley Raffia Summer Fedora Hat ($125)
  • NYC Baseball Cap ($13)

Jewellery/Watches

  • Thin Gold Necklace
  • 3 cuffs
  • Bunch of rings
  • 2 watches

Sleepwear

  • J. Crew London Tee ($20)
  • Navy linen shorts ($0 – free)

WHAT I BOUGHT

While on this capsule wardrobe, I ended up buying all of these items because I WAS SO BORED, but also because they were such cheap / great deals for the most part.

Secondhand shopping is where it’s at.

  • J. Crew Collection Leather Top ($67) – Secondhand consignment

  • Ann Taylor Linen Blazer ($271) – Retail (the weather was too cool without this; and too hot for the other stuff like sweaters; this was the perfect topper for my tops)

And from Poshmark Canada (use referral SHERRYISH for a free $10 CAD)

  • Zara Vegan Leather Skirt ($15)

  • Theory White Double Tank ($15)
  • Rails Chambray tie Tank ($20)

  • Zara White Bow Top ($30)

So … what happened?

IT WAS VERY COOL

Turns out, I had to pick up the (super versatile, as it turns out) Ann Taylor linen blazer because it was too cold.

I had come expecting hot, humid summer days (and packed accordingly with 4 dresses), but it ended up being frozen for the next 2 weeks. I wore jeans daily, a top, and shivered underneath without a light layer of some sort.

I wore my sweater a few times, and my leather jacket, but found them too heavy and warm for the weather. It was that kind of odd, cool but not cold enough for a sweater sort of weather. All I was missing was a light cardigan, sweater or layer, not something thick and/or woven which was what I brought.


…AND I REALLY LIKE A VARIETY OF TOPS

As for the other pieces I picked up, it was because they were good deals, but mostly because I started to get SO BORED with my neutral tops – white, blue ink blot, black tank and black t-shirt. BORING.

I know I brought accessories but it turns out, I really like having variety in at least my tops. My bottoms fine – I can wear distressed or regular jeans day in and day out, as long as my tops and their toppers change.

I am also okay with the same shoes all day long – as long as they go with everything.

So, that’s how I ended up with two new tops at least.

COULD MAKE MANY OUTFITS BUT THEY WERE BORING NEUTRALS

The outfits were not a problem, and I mixed up the tops with the bottoms, and that was not the issue. My outfits were fine. They were all mostly neutral, and frankly, boring to me.

I also really like strong splashes of colour, which is something I do not get in a neutral wardrobe because I like mixing colours and prints, and wearing stuff like leather leggings which I did not bring *sigh*

CAPSULE WARDROBES ARE NOT FOR ME

I cannot stick to just a few pieces. It is not for me.

I may not wear ALL of my pieces every single month, but there are times where I think – I really feel like wearing that pretty orange floral Alice & Olivia dress today, and since it is cooler today, I shall wear it with leather leggings and booties — and to not have that option when I have my entire wardrobe available, seems ludicrous to me.

I get having to stick to a capsule wardrobe when you are traveling or like me, aiming to travel light so we can bring back a ton of stuff, but this is not great.


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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

I got out of $60,000 of debt in 18 months using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K (savings rate = 85%). I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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4 Comments

  1. K
    Kemi Soremekun

    I just want to say that I love your gold cuffs. They are beautiful.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Thank you! I am a collector. If you want similar ones, you need to check out Stella and Dot, and for cheap, on Poshmark (use code SHERRYISH for $15). It is where I got most of them.

      Reply
  2. K
    Kathleen Hemingway

    So I have been living with a capsule wardrobe (one for spring summer, one for fall-winter) the last 4 years. I do Jennifer Scott’s 10 item wardrobe. I think part of your issue with your capsule wardrobe is that the items were not as well thought out as you thought they were. If you enjoy wearing color then your capsule wardrobe should have a lot of color! Instead of a bunch of neutrals. A capsule really needs to reflect your personal style in each piece. And rather than taking multiple pieces that serve the same function you would broaden the variety so you mentioned that both of your outerwear or top layer were too heavy and you got the linen jacket which is super cute by the way! But if one of them had been lighter weight and the other one had been medium you wouldn’t have felt as hampered. You seem to have missed your leggings so possibly you should have exchanged one of the rompers or dresses for your leggings…

    Capsule wardrobes may not be for you! But yeah, they can be really nice when you don’t have the time to figure out what you’re going to wear. The only way capsule wardrobes work is to put a lot of thought and effort into the front end of preparing your wardrobe, and occasionally editing along the way. The idea isn’t to try and trick people into thinking you have a lot more clothes than you do. But to rewear things that you like even if somebody saw you in it yesterday and to be able to check the weather, get dressed, and feel fabulous because everything you’ve collected suits you to a T.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Oh I definitely did not think out this capsule wardrobe properly. I expected warm weather, and I got cold snap and then used it as an excuse to shop!

      I may… try… to.. give.. this.. a ..shot..again.. but I really don’t want to. And I feel like such a bad minimalist saying this, but I like switching up outfits and being different you know?

      Everything in my closet (slowly purging) DOES fit me to a T, so it is hard to let anything go, frankly, it all looks great.

      Reply

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