Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spring 2014 Capsule Wardrobe

Today, March 20, 2014, is the first day of spring. After a long cold snowy winter, I am so ready for spring. I'll take a light blazer and scarf topping a tee with blue jeans and ballet flats over multiple layers of bulky clothing any day. I've been looking forward to sharing what I'll be wearing this season.

Last spring, while working two jobs, I possessed a 32-item wardrobe. This year, without one of those jobs, but with big birthday celebrations (my 30th!) and hopefully job interviews in Philadelphia, my capsule wardrobe is down to just 22 items. However, my closet feels absolutely stuffed when compared to my 18-core item winter wardrobe. On laundry day each week, my closet was sparse! That's not a bad thing though as I strive to only own what I love and use. To achieve this goal, I declutter regularly. Anyway, many of the items I left out from last spring's collection I anticipate wearing during this summer.

Michelle's Capsule Wardrobe:

1. new white short sleeve shirt from Ann Taylor

2. white 3/4 sleeve shirt from New York & Company

3. new white long sleeve Essential Shirt from The Limited

4. printed pink short sleeve wrap top from Ann Taylor Factory Store (ATFS)

5. white short sleeve shirt with lavender vertical stripes from Ann Taylor

I love to pair lavender with charcoal gray.

6. black lace cross-over sleeveless top from ATFS

7. black tailored top with sheer short sleeves and attached scarf from White House Black Market

8. new black long sleeve Essential Shirt from The Limited

Just arrived!

9. dark gray pants from ATFS

10. black slim ankle pants from New York & Company

11. black pants in short length by Alfani from Macy's (with flats)

12. black pants in regular length Cassidy Fit by The Limited (with heels)

13. dark blue Curvy bootcut jeans from ATFS

14. dark blue Levi's bootcut 515 jeans from Kohl's* 

15. dark blue Levi's bootcut jeans in short length with buttoned flaps over back pockets from JCPenney**

16. white capris with vertical line texture by Bandolino Blu from Macy's

17. dark blue knee-length jean skirt by Liz Claiborne from JCPenney

18. black and white floral printed and horizontal striped full skirt from The Limited

My spring skirt in its full glory.

19. black pencil skirt by Banana Republic from a thrift shop called Second Time Around (Philadelphia)

20. new dark gray pencil skirt from H&M

21. black flirty skirt from The Limited

22. black wrap dress from Ann Taylor

* to be replaced by dark blue Levi's Demi Curve jean capris when it is warmer

** to be replaced by dark blue Levi's 515 jean capris with the bottoms folded up once from Macy's when it is warmer

I realize that I don't own a lot of color in my capsule wardrobe. Hey, I like black and white. Plus, neutrals work well in both a capsule wardrobe and to pack lightly for my week-long springtime birthday trip to Paris. For both, it's important that everything goes together. 

It is my hope that these neutral basics help me achieve a classic sophisticated look. What's more timeless than a white button-down and a LBD? Such items are often called "wardrobe essentials." Furthermore, it feels right to have a closet full of classic basics during the very season that I enter a new decade. 

This season, a touch of my passionate nature comes out more in my accessories, extras, nail polish, all of which play an important role. "Color, texture, pattern and shine all create visual interest" as Stacy and Clinton (of TLC's What Not To Wear) would say. These outfit completers could do that work. More lace and luxurious fabrics in my camisoles enhance an undertone of ladylike elegance. Perhaps I'll go with more color and embellishment in my core items during summertime...


- 14 camisoles (I prefer camisoles to tank tops. I wear one underneath a layer often.)

 1-4. new "new white" Sonoma Life + Style Everyday Cami's from Kohl's (I do replace pieces when they are past their prime and when budget allows. Especially all the white I adore.)
 5. white from LOFT Outlet (This smaller and shorter white one without a shelf bra needs a replacement!)
 6. ivory silky and lacy from White House Black Market (WHBM)
 7. dark pink Sonoma Life + Style from Kohl's
 8. slightly darker pink from LOFT Outlet
 9. deep red from LOFT Outlet
 10. black silky and lacy from WHBM
 11. black with white polka dots and black lace trim on cross-over neckline, back and bottom from WHBM
 12. black from LOFT Outlet
 13. black with lace trim from ATFS
 14. black Sonoma Life + Style from Kohl's

- 12 tees:
 1. white scoop neck tee from ATFS
 2. white v-neck 3/4 sleeve t-shirt from H&M
 3. new "fresh white" cross-over 3/4 sleeve t-shirt from Target
 4. new black and white horizontal stripe long sleeve slubbed cotton tee from LOFT
 5. reddish "plum" cross-over 3/4 sleeve t-shirt by Merona from Target
 6. navy boat-neck 3/4 sleeve t-shirt with white horizontal stripes from H&M
 7. "royal teal" cross-over 3/4 sleeve t-shirt by Merona from Target
 8. dark gray boat-neck 3/4 sleeve t-shirt with white horizontal stripes from H&M
 9. dark gray tee with floral pattern on mesh front top and short sleeves from H&M


 10. black v-neck short sleeve tee by Mossimo from Target  
 11. black scoop neck tee from ATFS

 12. black cross-over 3/4 sleeve t-shirt by Merona from Target

- 3 3/4 sleeve crew-neck cardigans 
 1. black by Cherokee from Target
 2. ivory from New York & Company
 3. dark yet vibrant azalea pink from LOFT Outlet

- many pieces of outerwear (2 suit jackets (one black from The Limited and one charcoal gray from ATFS), jackets/blazers, trenches (including a khaki trench from Banana Republic Factory Store))

- 14 scarves (many solid ones in a rich color, 2 are polka dotted, 2 feature silver stitching and sequins)

- lots of shoes and sandals (including 2 pairs of black leather ballet flats with a patent cap toe--Applause from Naturalizer and the other from Nine West, a pair of flats with leopard print from Banana Republic Factory Store, 2 pairs of red peep-toe pumps,...)

- lots of jewelry (28 pairs of earrings including a new pair of large round CZ studs from The Limited, a watch from Anne Klein, and various other pieces)

- 2 pairs of sunglasses

 1. brown from Target

My signature sunglasses.

 2. big and black from Target

- 3 belts 

 1. black skinny bow belt for smallest part of waist from WHBM
 2. black wide braid for smallest part of waist from The Limited
 3. everyday black/brown reversible to go through a pair of pants' belt loops from Target

- black patterned tights

- many handbags (including a wine-colored everyday patent leather handbag by Coach from eBay, black signature print fabric handbag by Coach from Coach Outlet, several clutches for evening (including a new black leather clutch by Hobo The Original from Amazon), and many totes that I actually use for shopping)

- Nail polish (Several OPI Nail Lacquers and the sheer Mademoiselle by Essie which is my go-to for my fingernails right now)

- Chanel No. 5 Eau Premiere fragrance

Since I adore shopping, I would love to engage in this activity on the occasion of my springtime birthday, especially purchasing very pretty lingerie in Paris. These "hot pink" shoesanother sheer nail polish and this black lace top have recently piqued my interest when I came across them online, so I'll have to check them out in person! Nonetheless, I will keep my capsule wardrobe and its extras in mind, so I promise to not overdo it. 

Stay tuned for another wardrobe-related post showing what I plan to pack for Paris!


  1. Great post! Love to read what other people have in their closet.
    I like black and white as the basic core wardrobe too but with some pieces in grey and use my colourful scarves as accent pieces.

    1. Thank you!

      I know you like black and white, Hostess, as I loved your recent post all about it. I look forward to wearing that new white shirt and the duplicate in black because they look fabulous. I adore playing up certain color combinations with scarves and jewelry, like lavender and gray. I really do like rich color but those core items I listed simply seem right for me this season.

  2. You always look so well put together! Love this peek into your spring wardrobe. The snow has me not at all prepared!

    1. Thank you! :)

      Hopefully we'll have spring weather in our state for the rest of the season starting tomorrow. I've been so ready for spring that I've mainly stuck with this wardrobe since it posted and simply layered! I did wear a black sweater on Tuesday when it snowed all day though. You know me, I need some balcony time! :)

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