Monday, June 23, 2014

Summer 2014 Capsule Wardrobe

I realize that Monday is the start of the work week for most, but it's still the weekend for me. I thought I would share what I get to wear this season during my first weekend of summer.

Today's outfit: 
black sleeveless cross-over top, Target
black camisole, Kohl's
jean skirt, Liz Claiborne, JCPenney
metallic sandals, CL by Laundry, Rack Room Shoes
cubic zirconia round studs, The Limited
pedicure in Haute in the Heat, Essie

This is my Summer 2014 Capsule Wardrobe:

1. new white v-neck Embroidered Peplum Cami with spaghetti straps from LOFT

2. white wrap top with circle lined edges from Banana Republic Factory Store

3. white short sleeve shirt from Ann Taylor

4.charcoal/white vertical striped short sleeve shirt from The Limited

5. pink/black printed wrap top with pleats from ATFS

6. lavender/white vertical striped short sleeve shirt from Ann Taylor

7. cobalt blue scalloped mesh sleeveless top from ATFS

8. blue sleeveless shirt with ruffled neckline from ATFS

9. green/ivory printed short sleeve top from LOFT

10. black sleeveless top with lace all over upper portion with cross-over neckline from ATFS

11. black scalloped mesh sleeveless top from ATFS

12. black sheer short sleeve top with buttons and extra fabric at waist by east5th from JCPenney

13. new Black Lace Top from H&M

Lovely lace detail.

14. black short sleeve tailored top with sheer scarf and sleeves from White House Black Market

15. black/white printed cotton sundress with straps and bow detail from JCPenney

16. black sheath dress with pleated neckline by Mossimo from Target

17. black wrap dress from Ann Taylor

18. black pants by Alfani from Macy's

19. black ankle pants from New York & Company

20. dark gray pants from ATFS (recently resurrected by my tailor!)

21. black textured line capris from The Limited

22. white textured line capris by Bandolino Blu from Macy's

23. blue jean capris by Levi's from JCPenney

24. blue jean capris with end folded up by Levi's from Macy's

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

26. black/white printed pleated knee-length skirt by INC from Macy's

27. white eyelet A-line knee-length skirt from ATFS

28. blue/ivory printed pencil skirt from ATFS

29. black flirty skirt from The Limited

30. new dark blue jean Riviera Shorts with 4 Inch Inseam from LOFT

[ATFS=Ann Taylor Factory Store]

That's 14 tops, 3 dresses, 5 skirts and 8 other bottoms for a total of 30 core items.

Yes, #30 is a pair of shorts. I can't even remember when I last owned a pair of shorts... It's been years and years. As I grow older, I feel increasingly comfortable in my skin. I feel like this is the year, my 30th, to finally start showing off my legs! I listed them as a core item, instead of a beach/pool/boardwalk/sunbathing item, in hopes that I will wear them beyond those particular times.

My summer capsule wardrobe along with some extras such as camis and tees fits in 
half of one of my two bedroom closets. 
The hangers have space in between.
The dresses and pants are all the way on the right.

There are extras I plan to wear.


 1. new White short sleeve Essential Scoop Neck Tee from LOFT

 2. new white/black horizontal striped short sleeve scoop neck tee by Divided from H&M

 3. new African Violet short sleeve Essential Scoop Neck Tee from LOFT

 4. new Waterloo Blue short sleeve Favorite V-Neck Tee by Merona from Target

 5. new black double layer cross-over sleeveless top by Cherokee from Target

 6. new Black short sleeve Favorite V-Neck Tee by Merona from Target

 7. new Black short sleeve Essential Scoop Neck Tee from LOFT

 8. black short sleeve scoop neck tee from ATFS

In addition to my beloved black and white, I like that the deep blue tee is a jewel tone, like sapphire. I've always favored rich, saturated tones. It's nice to reflect my own style this season rather than do a traditional summery hue such as a bright, neon or sunwashed tone. Inspired by Pantone's color of the year, Radiant Orchid, I added a tee in the shade.

Tops: White, Color, Black.

-Pool/Beach/Boardwalk/Sunbathing Wear:

 1. black bikini from Ocean City, Maryland boardwalk store

 2. black/white dotted one-piece swimsuit from Ann Taylor

 3. bluish green one-piece swimsuit

 4. blue wave sarong

 5. pink ombre sarong from souvenir stand in Piazzale Michelangelo in Florence

 6. black cotton empire waist spaghetti strap dress from LOFT as a cover-up

 7. black tube top from H&M

 8. black halter top from Express

 9. Black/White polka-dotted Letty Flip Flops from Target

I may require a black floppy hat! I seriously don't own a beach towel. (I suppose I go to the beach or pool with someone who can lend me one.)

-Other Extras:

-2 pairs of sunglasses (brown and black)

-camisoles (including a new plain white one without a built-in bra from LOFT)

-14 bras (Recently decluttered. New black lacy number from Paris and new T-shirt Demi Bra in Nude Marl from Victoria's Secret which I love) and other undergarments


-jackets and trenches if needed

-shoes and sandals

-jewelry (All recently decluttered. Down to my 22 favorite pairs of earrings. Many bracelets and bangles. 11 necklaces including a new statement necklace that I hunted down: Enamel Bow and Crystal Short Necklace from Ann Taylor.)

I have already worn this with a plain white or black scoop neck tee multiple times.

-handbags, beach and picnic totes, and 4 clutches (Recently decluttered.)


My Conclusions:

I noted all new items. Most of what I wear is multiple seasons old. I try my best to care for my clothing so that it lasts a long time looking fabulous. I'm unable to purchase much any season due to budget, so as a result, new items are simply sprinkled in. I felt like the items I added are particularly summery, to properly celebrate the season. T-shirts are replaced most often due to them wearing out plus the fact that they're inexpensive. For example, each new tee among this seasonal wardrobe costs between $5.50 and $6. I do not simply add new items. Whenever one item comes into my home (be it in my capsule wardrobe in my closet or with clothing that didn't make the cut in a drawer), I make sure one item goes out. Although small, I even declutter accessories. Employing a capsule wardrobe and embracing the main idea of owning what you absolutely love limits shopping thus curtailing unnecessary spending and accumulating.

I feel like my style is slowly evolving. First, I feel comfortable enough with my body to show some more skin, with purchases of shorts and items with only spaghetti straps. Another way my style is changing is that I'm more open-minded. I now don't completely ignore details like embroidery, peplum, ruffles and pleating, where I had in the past because they create at least a bit of volume where it is not needed and/or felt trendy over classic. Even though I still love classic pieces that tend to be more plain, I give these details a chance. With that white summery top from LOFT, this is actually my first time possessing a peplum piece. (Its reviews state that it is sheer, and it is, but I plan to wear a little white cami underneath. Make it work, people.) By being more open-minded, I end up with some variety in such a small wardrobe. (...and a more interesting post for you, readers!) Life is too short not to wear beautiful things or even quintessentially summery items, just because you don't feel your body is absolutely perfect in them. Lastly, by installing so many dresses and skirts on the list over the last several seasons, I hope to embrace my femininity as well as be cool. I also love sheer features as well as a bit of lace in a top. During the summer, those flirtatious items always make the list! As I become more me as a person, it seems that my style may reflect that.


  1. I find these wardrobe posts so are honing your style when you edit your closet.
    I have been editing for the past couple of years and took all the extras to a consignment shop. It surprises me how one can live with less and getting dressed is so much easier.

    1. I love employing a capsule wardrobe. It is very informative, especially when you write it down and analyze it. I limit the number so I only wear what looks great, but I am also able to assess the holes I have in my closet. I remember walking down the boardwalk last summer feeling more urban then beachy. Hence, the additional of a lovely little white top and my first pair of shorts in awhile. You're also so right that it's the easier way to go. I hope to live with even less and come down to ten items or so one season. Maybe one day when I have my own washer and dryer!

  2. Did you always have a minimalist wardrobe or was it a process to get there? I love the idea of a capsule wardrobe but am not even close at this point.


    1. I'll never have that great story where I donated four garbage bags stuffed full of clothes. My story is such a slowly evolving case study. I had a huge overstuffed closet as a kid, but have decluttered one item at a time since college out-of-state started. I'm also pretty poor, so I'm unable to acquire so much! I own a bit more clothing than what's in my capsule one, but it's stored away.

      I must have been inspired to blog about it from Jennifer L. Scott and her book "Lessons from Madame Chic" which you should read if you haven't already. She does a ten-item wardrobe!

      So be patient with yourself, but try to make a decision on every single item. Ask yourself if you would buy it right then in the store. If the answer is no, you may seriously consider getting rid of it, even if it was a gift or expensive. I have also read a lot on this topic, in the form of books and blogs. Maybe something they say may inspire you.

      Good luck!

    2. Thanks, I'll need it.

      I have read Lessons from Madame Chic. I think I'm just struggling with getting rid of so many things, even though I never wear them. I like the idea of one item at a time. If I get rid of one per day, in less than a year I should be at a more comfortable level.


  3. Replies
    1. I do love my capsule wardrobe and consider it worth my effort. I wish you the best of luck with that! :)

  4. Your neat and tidy wardrobe is beautiful!