How Not to Make a Capsule Wardrobe

capsule

Like a lot of other people on the internet, I’ve taken an interest in the somewhat minimalist, make-the-most-out-of-your-closet lifehack known as the capsule wardrobe. Popularized by Caroline at un-fancy.com, a capsule wardrobe is

a mini wardrobe made up of really versatile pieces that you totally LOVE to wear…a 37 piece wardrobe that includes tops, bottoms, dresses, outerwear, and shoes. (via)

Caroline offers a few tips, some of which I chose to ignore:

  1. 37 pieces. Mine was 34 pieces, which included 10 shirts (1 of which I never actually wore), 4 collared button downs (1 of which I, again, never actually wore), 2 pairs of leggings, 4 pairs of pants, 3 skirts (1 of which I wore once), 4 dresses, and 3 cardigans/blazers (all of which I barely wore), and 4 pairs of shoes.
  2. Three months (or one season). I actually made my season September – November, since temperatures would be consistent in Phoenix.
  3. No shopping. Obviously I still continued to get fixes to allow me to build and help me incorporate more variety over the three months.
  4. Buy for next season in the last two weeks of the current season. Also important: shop your closet, put together your inspiration boards, and complete your wardrobe planner beforehand.
  5. Less is more. This is kind of where I totally screwed up.

Now, here’s what my wardrobe looked like in my closet: just one section to look at every morning.

IMG_5505

 

Now, some of you may have noticed in these images that basically every seasonal autumnal color is represented in at least one item. I thought this would be a great idea, but it was terrible. My wardrobe lacked a true sense of cohesion, and it limited my combinations significantly (nope, I don’t have the confidence to rock a rust top with berry pants). For winter, I’ve narrowed down my color palette significantly.

I also thought a lot about layering, which was somewhat dumb because it was still in the hundreds when I first started doing this. Even now, it’s usually in the sixties or seventies when I leave work. Layering and “cooler weather options”? Not that important in Phoenix. Make sure your wardrobe works for your climate and style, not just what other capsule wardrobes look like.

I’ll post a second installment next week with my winter wardrobe and how I applied lessons from fall!

Anyone else have capsule wardrobe tips? Leave a note in the comments!

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Stitch Fix | November 2014

Stitch Fix is a subscription box clothing service for women. You can set up a recurring subscription or schedule the service as-needed. You are receive five items selected by a stylist. You can specify a lot of style preferences in your general style survey and give feedback with each order. You have three days to try on your items. Decide what you want, check out online, and send the remaining items back in the envelope included with your shipment. There is a $20 “styling fee” for each box. However, the $20 fee is deducted from your purchase. In addition, there is a 25% discount if you keep all five items.

This month, I didn’t send a note to my stylist with preferences – just to see what I would get! This would be my last autumn capsule wardrobe fix, so what did I end up getting?

November 2014 Stitch Fix

Ishani Emerald Stone Charm Necklace, $38

Ishani Emerald Stone Charm Necklace

Feedback for my stylist: I liked the idea of this necklace, but the length didn’t quite work on me. Since I have a few other green stone statement necklaces, I decided to pass on this one.

Verdict: Returned.

Esten Button-Up Sleeveless Blouse, $54

Esten Button-Up Sleeveless Blouse

Feedback for my stylist: Another Stitch Fix favorite that just doesn’t work on my frame! This was way too baggy and made me look wide. Maybe a different color would have been more flattering for me.

Verdict: Returned.

Carson Houndstooth Print Blouse, $64

Carson Houndstooth Print Blouse

Feedback for my stylist: Love, love, love this top! It fits well and flatters my figure. Paired with the jeans, this is a perfect outfit for me!  I love the houndstooth print.

Verdict: Kept [Note: Reserved this one for the winter wardrobe, since the dark green is more in line with those colors).

Dean Ankle Zip Skinny Jean, $78

Dean Ankle Zip Skinny Jean

Feedback for my stylist:  I was prepared to return these jeans since I have a pair of jeggings from Stitch Fix that do the trick, but these were so nice and comfy. I loved the zipper details, too!

Verdict: Kept.

Jocelyn Geo Knit Drape Front Cardigan, $88

Jocelyn Geo Knit Drape Front Cardigan

Feedback for my stylist:This was a little too heavy and the print really overwhelmed me. I would’ve liked it a lot more if the print had only been inside.

Verdict: Returned.

Overall

November 2014 Stitch Fix

What a great fix! Everything was cute and I really enjoyed playing around with different looks in my closet. Houndstooth was a nice surprise for a top, and the fit/cut of both pieces I kept was really flattering. I hope I get more pieces like this for winter.

Disclosure: I am not sponsored by or compensated by Stitch Fix, but I do get a referral credit if you sign up using the links above.

Any other Stitch Fix fans out there? What pieces did you get this month?

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Stitch Fix | October 2014

Stitch Fix is a subscription box clothing service for women. You can set up a recurring subscription or schedule the service as-needed. You are receive five items selected by a stylist. You can specify a lot of style preferences in your general style survey and give feedback with each order. You have three days to try on your items. Decide what you want, check out online, and send the remaining items back in the envelope included with your shipment. There is a $20 “styling fee” for each box. However, the $20 fee is deducted from your purchase. In addition, there is a 25% discount if you keep all five items.

I’m changing up my monthly Stitch Fix post! Here’s the note I sent to my stylist:

Looking for layering pieces that fit into my fall wardrobe theme of “comfortable academic” (alternately described by coworkers as “feminine athletic” or “relaxed preppy”). I’d like items that are youthful but can transition from office wear to weekend relaxation. I’d love to get an accessory in this fix, preferably the Bennie Heathered Stripe Knit Infinity Scarf from Octavia. I also thought the Jimmy Ankle Length Skinny Jeans by Just Black would be a good addition. Color preferences for items are autumnal (mustard, rust, olive green, burgundy, camel) and standard black, white, and gray. Thank you!

What did I end up getting?

Oct 2014 Stitch Fix

Tina Checkered Infinity Scarf, $34

Tina Checkered Infinity Scarf

Feedback for my stylist: Super cute and perfect for fall! It’s really cozy and fun.

Verdict: Kept.

Queensland Dolman Jersey Top, $48

Queensland Dolman Jersey Top

Feedback for my stylist: The fit wasn’t quite right for me – tight in some places, loose in others, and really clingy material.

Verdict: Returned.

Nasima Lace Panel 3/4 Sleeve Blouse, $54

Nasima Lace Panel 3/4 Sleeve Blouse

Feedback for my stylist: This seemed too vintage for the look I’m pulling together.

Verdict: Returned

Lisette Dot Print Blouse, $68

Lisette Dot Print Blouse

Feedback for my stylist: This had a really square shape and looked too big on me. I also have a lot of burgundy tops and this was too similar.

Verdict: Returned.

Jacob High Rise Skinny Jean, $78

Jacob High Rise Skinny Jean

Feedback for my stylist: I have a lot of black pants/leggings and I was really hoping for some standard blue denim.

Verdict: Returned.

Overall

October 2014 Stitch Fix

Let’s deconstruct my request, shall we?

Looking for layering pieces that fit into my fall wardrobe theme of “comfortable academic” (alternately described by coworkers as “feminine athletic” or “relaxed preppy”). I’d like items that are youthful but can transition from office wear to weekend relaxation. All of the pieces were a good blend of casual and work-appropriate.

I’d love to get an accessory in this fix, preferably the Bennie Heathered Stripe Knit Infinity Scarf from Octavia. I also thought the Jimmy Ankle Length Skinny Jeans by Just Black would be a good addition. I didn’t get either of these items, but the scarf was a good alternative. The jeans, not so much.

Color preferences for items are autumnal (mustard, rust, olive green, burgundy, camel) and standard black, white, and gray. Yep, received.

Overall, an okay fix in terms of style and colors (with the exception of that lace number; yikes). If anything, the issue was how each piece fit.

Disclosure: I am not sponsored by or compensated by Stitch Fix, but I do get a referral credit if you sign up using the links above.

Any other Stitch Fix fans out there? What pieces did you get this month?

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Stitch Fix | September Fix

Stitch Fix is a subscription box clothing service for women. You can set up a recurring subscription or schedule the service as-needed. You are receive five items selected by a stylist. You can specify a lot of style preferences in your general style survey and give feedback with each order. You have three days to try on your items. Decide what you want, check out online, and send the remaining items back in the envelope included with your shipment. There is a $20 “styling fee” for each box. However, the $20 fee is deducted from your purchase. In addition, there is a 25% discount if you keep all five items.

I’m changing up my monthly Stitch Fix post! Here’s the note I sent to my stylist:

Looking to continue building my fall capsule wardrobe with autumnal colors – rust, olive green, burgundy, camel – and standard black, white, and gray. Describing my style as “comfortable academic,” it’s a mix of structure and loose forms, like leggings and collared shirts, flowy cardigans and fitted dresses. Looking for some longer shirts/tunics. Also looking for accessories to pair.

What did I end up getting?

Stitch Fix Sept 2014 manuscripts & marginalia

Kressida Houndstooth Print Infinity Scarf, $28

Feedback for my stylist: A great asset to my accessories, I like houndstooth but often find it with heavy materials. This will be great for many outfits, and breaks up the chevron I have going.

Verdict: Kept.

Laina 3/4 Sleeve Striped Tie-Waist Dress, $74

Laina 3/4 Sleeve Striped Tie-Waist Dress

Feedback for my stylist: I had to sleep on this one, but I have a sleeveless gray and white striped dress that’s too similar, and I would prefer a lower price point. Maybe a different pattern but similar fit in a future fix?

Verdict: Returned.

Jerome Crochet Trim Silk Blouse, $74

Jerome Crochet Trim Silk Blouse

Feedback for my stylist: Color was great, as was the fit – but I disliked the neckline and the cap sleeves.

Verdict: Returned

Tivoli Asymmetrical Zip Up Draped Jacket, $88

Tivoli Asymmetrical Zip Up Draped Jacket

Feedback for my stylist: Too heavy for Phoenix in the fall, this is a fun structured piece that didn’t work with my closet. I bet it’ll be huge in cooler climates this fall, though!

Verdict: Returned.

Lindley Front Pocket Banded Hem Top, $98

Lindley Front Pocket Banded Hem Top

Feedback for my stylist: So this is the most expensive item but it’s also the most comfortable and on-point for my fall wardrobe. I almost bought a similar shirt; I’m so glad I didn’t! This is soft and I love the fit/style!

Verdict: Kept.

Overall

September Stitch Fix

Let’s deconstruct my request, shall we?

Looking to continue building my fall capsule wardrobe with autumnal colors – rust, olive green, burgundy, camel – and standard black, white, and gray. The colors were perfect. I should have also mentioned mustard in my note, but totally forgot until I got the notification my fix had been shipped. Either way, no disappointments here.

Describing my style as “comfortable academic,” it’s a mix of structure and loose forms, like leggings and collared shirts, flowy cardigans and fitted dresses. I received a mix of forms and styles, and I was pleased to see the variety even though I only kept two items (almost three!).

Looking for some longer shirts/tunics. Also looking for accessories to pair. The burgundy shirt was on the longer side, as was the dress (um, understandably), but I didn’t get a tunic-style top. I’m okay with that, since the green shirt is pretty much the opposite of what I asked for and I love it. Oh, and infinity scarves are the best, so no complaints there.

I’m pleased with my fix. I’ve never been so specific in my fix request, and it was interesting to see how it changed the experience. I will definitely go this route in the future. Thanks, Stitch Fix!


Disclosure: I am not sponsored by or compensated by Stitch Fix, but I do get a referral credit if you sign up using the links above.

Any other Stitch Fix fans out there? What pieces did you get this month?

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Stitch Fix | In Review, 2013-2014

After subscribing to Stitch Fix for a year (plus), I decided to do a kind of “in review” post where I evaluate my kept items. You can read all my  posts here

I cleaned out my closet last month in an attempt to put together a capsule wardrobe for fall. I was somewhat surprised by how few Stitch Fix items I kept in my fall rotation, and I decided to review my purchasing habits over the past year. I thought it would help me make better decisions when buying clothes, and it would help me pinpoint specific styles I keep purchasing, wearing, and loving.

Here is my super scientific review process:

  •  Calculated based on all fixes received to date, which is July 2013 – September 2014 (15 fixes total)
  • Tallied based on items received (5/box), items kept, and item type
  • A subjective analysis of which items I like more and/or serve as a fashion staple

And (drum roll!) here are my surprising results!

Received: 75 items

Kept: 33 items (44%)

Of those items I kept:

  • 17 shirts
  • 4 cardigans
  • 4 dresses
  • 3 scarves
  • 2 pairs of pants/leggings
  • 1 vest
  • 1 skirt
  • 1 necklace

I could’ve stopped there, but I decided to pick out my favorites and see what the numbers looked like:

  • 7 shirts
  • 3 cardigans
  • 0 dresses
  • 2 scarves
  • 2 pairs of pants/leggings
  • 1 vest
  • 0 skirts
  • 0 necklaces

So, 15 of those 33 items are clothes I’m still excited about. That’s 45% of what I kept, and 20% of what I received.

…yikes.

Honestly, I didn’t expect the numbers to be that bad. Some of it was based on circumstance – three dresses I loved months ago, but aren’t really “me” anymore. But still, that’s not a huge change. I recognized a lot of what I kept but no longer like as items I requested because other bloggers received them. My favorite items were mostly things the stylists picked for me. With my latest fix, I was very specific and didn’t focus as much on curating specific items. I will continue using Stitch Fix, but I’m going to continue modifying my strategy:

  • Develop a seasonal capsule wardrobe, including a Pinterest board, with specific feedback about colors, styles, and what does/doesn’t work
  • Do not pin specific items unless they meet the wardrobe requirements
  • Give very detailed information about your wardrobe in the style profile, and outline specific details/needs in the note for each fix
  • No impulse purchasing! Don’t make a decision about keeping an item for at least 24 hours
  • “Shop your closet” by seeing what kinds of outfit options you already have or can expand upon

Anyone else done this kind of review of their subscription box habits? Leave a note in the comments!

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Stitch Fix | August Fix

Stitch Fix is a subscription box clothing service for women. You can set up a recurring subscription or schedule the service as-needed. You are receive five items selected by a stylist. You can specify a lot of style preferences in your general style survey and give feedback with each order. You have three days to try on your items. Decide what you want, check out online, and send the remaining items back in the envelope included with your shipment. There is a $20 “styling fee” for each box. However, the $20 fee is deducted from your purchase. In addition, there is a 25% discount if you keep all five items.

I’m changing up my monthly Stitch Fix post! Here’s the note I sent to my stylist:

I would love to get some “basics” – I’m in desperate need of a solid color A-line skirt – preferably black or dark gray, though I wouldn’t be opposed to color! I have a lot of royal blue and am not looking for anything in the royal blue range. I’m also interested in getting more leggings that I can pair with longer tunics/button-ups. Even though it’s so hot, I’m dreaming of layers!

Based on that criteria, here are the items I received:

PORTER BASIC LEGGING, $38

PORTER BASIC LEGGING

Feedback for my stylist: Love. Love. Love. What a difference a great staple makes! I can’t wait to wear these all autumn/winter. They fit like a glove and look great on me. Send me one in every freaking color!

Verdict: Kept.

TUCKER MIXED PAISLEY PRINT SPLIT-BACK TANK, $48

TUCKER MIXED PAISLEY PRINT SPLIT-BACK TANK

Feedback for my stylist: I wanted to love this; it would pair nicely with a ton of stuff in my closet.The print was a little loud, but the fit was off – too tight at my bust, and the tails at the back just didn’t work.

(Seriously. I am petite and my chest is proportional to my frame; if this is tight on me, some of y’all have to be busting at the seams with this tank.)

Verdict: Returned.

VENTURA CHEVRON PRINT KEYHOLE DETAIL TANK, $48

VENTURA CHEVRON PRINT KEYHOLE DETAIL TANK

Feedback for my stylist: This tank blew me away. I was surprised at how amazing it looked. It was so flattering and slimming. I plan on attempting a capsule wardrobe this autumn; this will be in it!

Verdict: Kept.

KACI MULTI ABSTRACT PRINT SWING SKIRT, $58

KACI MULTI ABSTRACT PRINT SWING SKIRT

Feedback for my stylist: I so wanted to like this, but the print wasn’t what I was looking for. I do think this will be HUGE with other bloggers. I just know I will never wear it. Le sigh.

(In my stylist’s note, she told me they didn’t have a lot of solid A-lines in stock. Unfortunate, but I think I would like this even less as a solid. I do think there are a bunch of bloggers who will love this skirt. I feel like I’m choosing not to be part of the in crowd, because this will be a great summer to fall transition piece, and I straight up didn’t choose it. Sad face.).

Verdict: Returned.

LANDERS LATTICE CROCHET DETAIL TANK, $78

LANDERS LATTICE CROCHET DETAIL TANK

Feedback for my stylist: This piece was so sheer and wrinkled so easily. With those factors and the price, I knew I wouldn’t be keeping this one.

Verdict: Returned.

OVERALL

IMG_4339

Let’s deconstruct my request, shall we?

I would love to get some “basics” – I’m in desperate need of a solid color A-line skirt – preferably black or dark gray, though I wouldn’t be opposed to color! My note indicated the A-line solid skirts weren’t available, so I get that. It’s sad I couldn’t get my skirt fix, but I got an amazing pair of leggings and a stellar chevron tank. Chevron is my fashion kryptonite.

I have a lot of royal blue and am not looking for anything in the royal blue range. I feel like this piece was ignored – it didn’t matter, because there were other issues that affected those pieces. I wouldn’t have selected them regardless…but still!

I’m also interested in getting more leggings that I can pair with longer tunics/button-ups. Even though it’s so hot, I’m dreaming of layers! Met! I got a wonderful pair of leggings that will be critical to my autumn wardrobe.

I was pleased with my fix. Although there were some definite “no” pieces, I adored the ones I kept. I’m interested in getting more “basics” and less bold/statement clothes in the future, and I’m going to modify my profile so it reflects that. Overall, a fun fix. Thanks so much, Stitch Fix!


Disclosure: I am not sponsored by or compensated by Stitch Fix, but I do get a referral credit if you sign up using the links above.

Any other Stitch Fix fans out there? What pieces did you get this month?

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Stitch Fix | July Fix

Stitch Fix is a subscription box clothing service for women. You can set up a recurring subscription or schedule the service as-needed. You are receive five items selected by a stylist. You can specify a lot of style preferences in your general style survey and give feedback with each order. You have three days to try on your items. Decide what you want, check out online, and send the remaining items back in the envelope included with your shipment. There is a $20 “styling fee” for each box. However, the $20 fee is deducted from your purchase. In addition, there is a 25% discount if you keep all five items.

It’s been over a month since my last fix, and I’m really pumped to get this one. My routine preview (sign in to Stitch Fix, look at the item titles in my order, Google the names) left me with high hopes. Below, I’ve posted each item, its cost through Stitch Fix, the “preview impression,” and the “arrival” item impression.

JULY STITCH FIX

JUNO SMALL FOLDED CLUTCH, $48

I am not into clutches. I have a couple standbys from my college days, but honestly. Stop trying to make clutches happ – oh my gosh, look at how cute it is!

giphy

I loved everything about this except the color! I have a couple of black clutches already, and several black purses. It would have been great to get a bolder color! Status: Returned.

PRIYA IKAT PRINT KNIT-BACK TANK, $54

I don’t know. The initial search makes me feel “meh,” but one post mentions it looks better in person…(1, 2)

PRIYA IKAT PRINT KNIT-BACK TANK

I wasn’t sure about this shirt at first, but I really liked the colors and it fit well. It’s versatile to wear on Casual Friday and on days when I have meetings with deans and VPs. Status: Kept.

SHAUN V-NECK CHEVRON PRINT BLOUSE, $64

This blogger totally pulls it off and it looks adorable, but I think it would be a hot mess on me.

SHAUN V-NECK CHEVRON PRINT BLOUSE

Surprise! It looks super cute. I can’t wait to pair this with my black jeggings from an earlier fix. It’s very comfortable and will work for the hot summer months here (which won’t end until, like, October). Status: Kept.

JOSHUA COLORED ANKLE JEAN, $64

So many bloggers have gotten this item I can’t even handle it. I’ve never searched for an item and seen so much color variety!

I have a pair of pants in the same color and almost the same fit. This would have been a keeper if I didn’t already have it! Status: Returned.

SUTTON MIXED CHEVRON PRINT DRESS, $68

If you like chevron dresses, Stitch Fix will take over your closet. We’ve reached a critical mass wherein the number of potential dresses exceeds my desire to comb through Google. So, it will be some kind of chevron dress…

sherlock_holmes_finds_a_clue

SUTTON MIXED CHEVRON PRINT DRESS

Would’ve loved to see a little more fit around the waist. A belt could’ve solved that, but the bolder pattern at the bottom of the dress really messed with my proportions and made me look super wide. Status: Returned.

IMG_4077

Overall, this was a good fix. Unfortunately, some of the colors were a little too familiar since I had those pieces (or close to it) already in my closet. However, the shirts I kept will be great pieces that work with my sense of style!

Disclosure: I am not sponsored by or compensated by Stitch Fix, but I do get a referral credit if you sign up using the links above.

Any other Stitch Fix fans out there? What pieces did you get this month?

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