Thursday, October 22, 2015

Fall 2015 Capsule Wardrobe

As a kid, my favorite book series was Sleepover Friends, which was about four girls who had sleepovers every Friday. One of the main characters was Stephanie, who exclusively wore black, white and red. The colors in a capsule wardrobe should be limited so that each piece goes with nearly everything else, but I wouldn't go quite as far as Stephanie did. I need a few extra neutrals including charcoal and chocolate, plus a pinch of other pop colors like pink and purple. As usual, the core items and extras of my wardrobe this season are basically black and white with pops of warm color.

black and white with red trim
This is my new apron from etsy shop Aquamorcouture.
This is only my second apron, but I wear them often.

Retailers tend to feature burgundy every autumn. Over the past several months, I'm so pleased that my favorite clothing store Ann Taylor featured a few versions of this color, including a rich red called Dark Ruby (love!), followed by the darker earthy Chianti, and currently debuting a true burgundy called Classic Plum. I love that one of my pop colors this autumn is reminiscent of the wine (grape) harvest! Perfetto. 

I basically follow the rules for such a wardrobe set by Jennifer L. Scott. More information can be found on her blog The Daily Connoisseur as well as in her books Lessons from Madame Chic and At Home with Madame Chic. Definitely check out her fashion show and subsequent talk-through.

Jennifer's wardrobe consists of something like ten core items. Having 11 in her fall/winter wardrobe this year, she maintains that ten is meant to be more of an idea than a rule. You should be mindful about what you wear and only include what makes you feel fabulous. Ten doesn't work well for me and my lifestyle; I need a bit more. My current laundry schedule is only once a week. Plus, the dress code at my full-time job is business casual. At home, I am usually more casual. Since I am very 'work to live,' I have a life and wish to dress with some thought on social occasions. Even though the combinations add variety, it's still nice to have options hanging in my closet.

I have seen my number of core items in my wardrobe decline over the time I've blogged such posts, to anywhere from 15 to 21 pieces each season this year. Ideally, I would love to be crazy about just 15 beautiful articles of clothing of high quality. That number is certainly attainable in the winter when I cut down on skirts and dresses, opting for pants instead. Like I said, I will strive to feature 15 every season in the future, but, still, I'm not going to stress over the number. Calling it my "capsule wardrobe" seems more fitting than a "ten-item" one. Among my extras, I also hope to further narrow it down from thirteen tees this fall to ten this winter.

Like Jennifer, I also scored my new stuff on sale. I find the item(s) I want and then stalk the store online and/or my email inbox until the item is discounted. Only then, will I add it to my virtual shopping cart or possibly pick it up in-store. This is crucial for my budget. As a result, I have been patiently creating this wardrobe for months. I suppose many other people think like the two of us because once on sale, I ordered this one top a couple of times (online and phone) and then received an email stating it was actually out of stock and they couldn't fulfill my order each time. Fortunately, the third time's the charm! I just received it today. Luckily, it's entirely lovely. Definitely worth the wait! I will probably wear it once a week during the fall, winter, and spring. Anyway, this particular situation happened to delay this post even longer. Finally, may I present my closet this fall...

My Closet
Core Items and Some of thee Extras 

Michelle's 17-Item Fall 2015 Capsule Wardrobe

1. white long sleeve Perfect Shirt from Ann Taylor

2. pink, red and black short sleeve wrap top from Ann Taylor Factory Store

3. new black 3/4 sleeve Tie-Neck Top from Talbots

4. dark brown cross-over 3/4 sleeve sweater from LOFT

5. new black long sleeve Sheer Pleated Blouse from LOFT

6. black Wrap Jersey Top from Boden

7. new v neck All-Season Stretch Sleeveless Sheath Dress from Ann Taylor

8. new black Seamed Pencil Skirt from Ann Taylor

9. dark gray pencil skirt from H&M

10. black paneled skirt from The Limited

11. brown wool A-line skirt with embroidered dark brown line design from LOFT

12. dark blue boot cut Modern Fit jeans in petite from Ann Taylor

13. blue 515 Bootcut jeans with studs on back pockets by Levi's from eBay

14. dark blue 515 Bootcut jeans in regular by Levi's from JCPenney

15. black ankle pants by Mossimo from Target

16. new dark gray Modern Fit pants in petite by Worthington from JCPenney

17. black Classic Fit pants by Merona from Target


1-4. new Sonoma life + style Everyday Camisole in New White from Kohl's
5. white Clean Cami from LOFT
6. dark pink Sonoma life + style Everyday Camisole from Kohl's
7. dark pink from LOFT
8. new dark pink/wine Sonoma life + style Everyday Camisole from Kohl's
9. red from LOFT
10. new black Clean Cami from LOFT
11. new black Sonoma life + style Everyday Camisole from Kohl's
12. black silky lacy from White House Black Market
13. black with white polka dots and lace trim by White House Black Market

1. white Essential Short Sleeve Scoop from Boden
2. black and white striped boat neck long sleeve from Sweden Collection by Chance Co.
3. new ivory and black striped boat neck Long Sleeve Breton from Boden

4. new white and midnight navy (dark night) long sleeve Modern stripe boatneck tee from Gap

5. new dark ruby Cotton Boatneck Tee with elbow sleeves from Ann Taylor

6. new rust (berry maroon) long sleeve Ultimate V T-Shirt by Merona from Target

7. purple 3/4 Sleeve Double Layer Crossover Tee by Merona (or Cherokee) from Target
8. grey and white striped boat neck 3/4 sleeve from H&M
9. grey v neck by L.O.G.G. from H&M
10. black v neck short sleeve by Merona from Target
11. new soft black boat neck 3/4 sleeve Bateau Tee from LOFT

12. black v neck long sleeve by L.O.G.G. from H&M
13. black scoop neck long sleeve from Express

1. black crew neck in Italian Cashmere that is a bit cropped from J.Crew
2. black crew neck (with large buttons I don't like) from Target
3. dark yet bright pink crew neck from LOFT

Jackets, Blazers and Trenches
1. new black 7th Avenue Design Studio Signature Fit One Button Jacket with ribbon detail and white polka dotted sleeve lining from New York & Company
2. black one button blazer with black and white striped sleeve lining by Stylus from JCPenney
3. tan belted 3/4 sleeve safari jacket from The Limited
4. dark gray two button suit jacket from Ann Taylor Factory Store
5. black two button suit jacket from The Limited
6. dark brown corduroy two button blazer from Espirit
7. khaki belted single breasted trench from Banana Republic Factory Store
8. black single breasted trench from H&M

1. terra cotta silk/cashmere blend by Tie Rack London
2. dark pink
3. red from The Limited
4. dark red with subtle large dots from Target
5. purple
6. ivory
7. black and white geometric printed polyester from The Limited
8. black with white polka dots from LOFT Outlet

1. black/brown reversible from Target
2. black skinny bow from White House Black Market
3. black wide braid from The Limited

Special Occasion Wear (#3-8 are all knee-length)
1. burgundy sweater with black lace top in petite from Ann Taylor
2. black tailored top with sheer scarf and sleeves from White House Black Market

3. black sleeveless dress with origami folds from White House Black Market
4. black sleeveless dress with radiating folds from neckline by Mossimo from Target
5. black long sleeve faux wrap dress with pin by American Living from JCPenney
6. black lace boat neck dress with long sheer lace sleeves from The Limited
7. black short sleeve wrap dress from Ann Taylor
8. black lace on cream skirt with some sequins from Ann Taylor

Chanel No. 5 Eau Premiere

Many pieces including an Anne Klein watch and a pair of cubic zirconia studs that I wear nearly every day. Having just decluttered my collection of earrings, I now only have 14 pairs. (Narrowed down by their storage space, I keep each one in its own compartment in the top tray of my jewelry armoire.) I also wear my long silver necklace with studded bows from Ann Taylor with many of my boat neck tees. My new piece is a Pavé Bangle Bracelet that I picked up this summer from The Limited.

Heeled boots and ballet flats are among my small collection of shoes.

Black faux leather tote from Aldo. Also, cotton totes for shopping and overnights elsewhere as well as clutches for evening.

New Red Nail Polishes
Amore at the Grand Canal from the Venice Collection for Fall/Winter 2015 by OPI
Red Hot Rio from Brazil Collection for Spring/Summer 2014 by OPI

I've been talking about considering my style classic with a touch of femininity for years now. Little by little, the contents of my closet continue to evolve in that direction, especially in regards to silhouette this season. For example, I'm increasingly comfortable in a blouse that is not as form-fitting as usual. I remember choosing that sheer pleated black blouse worn over a black camisole for not one, but two family dinners. On the other hand, a pencil skirt shows off more of my curves than I'm used to.

Even though I am publishing my capsule wardrobe post, holes remain in my small shoe collection due to budget. I don't own flat boots nor a classic nude pump. Of those two, I am trying to look for dressy black boots with a low heel, perhaps to order with my next paycheck. Last winter was far too cold for ballet flats paired with trouser socks at work (where I often walk outside to different buildings) and walking to the store, but I did it anyway. Knee-high boots would be ideal, but they are expensive and I'm trying to save money. Plus, my selection would be limited because I would need a wide-calf pair. Even though I hate the look of ankle boots (or "booties"), they could definitely be mostly covered up by black pants or bootcut jeans. No one would know they weren't knee-high unless I hiked up my pant legs. I think this option at a fraction of the price of knee-highs would work, especially beyond fall, for the coldest days of the year.

Do you employ a capsule wardrobe?


  1. Thanks much for sharing this post, I know it must be a ton of work! I am quite a bit older than you but I follow both you and Jennifer and enjoy trying to refine my style and whittle down my own wardrobe to only clothing that I love. Hope you have fun wearing the new additions to your wardrobe :-) thanks again!

    1. You're very welcome. They are a lot of work. It's also a lot of strategy to accomplish since I only do laundry once a week and the light is only decent in my bedroom during the morning hours. I really do try. I still want to improve upon these popular posts though. I've been without a camera since my Paris trip during the April before last, and hope to get one. I take my blog photos on my phone now. Maybe I'll start seriously dating a gentleman who would snap a photo of my outfit while out and about every once in awhile so I can show combinations of all those elements above.

      I love the new additions. That LBD in my core items is amazing. The pencil skirt is one of the best cuts I've ever tried in one. Like I said, that blouse is a go-to for evenings out. Even the color of that dark ruby tee among my extras is beautiful. I also enjoy wearing the old items. That brown skirt and sweater are ancient, maybe almost a decade old now... I just wore them to a baby shower brunch on Saturday and received a compliment. The boots that I paired them with are also old but way past their prime... Hopefully I will replace them before I publish a fall capsule wardrobe next year...

      I wish you the best of luck with cultivating your style and setting your wardrobe.

  2. I love these pieces and can totally picture you in them! I'm working on doing the capsule wardrobe by next spring. This winter I'm just focusing on not freezing to death!

    1. Merci, Madame! I look forward to seeing your capsule wardrobe! You know, I've been liking a huge scarf wrapped around the neck but also nearly the shoulders in outfits lately. I should try up a longer or more voluminous one in store... Maybe that is a chic yet warm option for the winter!