43 Shades of Grey: My Capsule Wardrobe

The 43 Piece Breakdown:

Black boots, Brown boots, Fuzzy Snow Boots, Short brown boots, Black heels, Black flats

Five dresses – two heavier weight, two light weight and one medium
One patterned skirt
One long skirt

Two drapey sweaters
Two cardigan sweaters
Four long sleeved dresses

Four sweaters
Six patterned shirts/tunics
Three T-shirts(grey one not shown)
One long sleeved blue shirt
One chambray tunic

One long grey vest
Black leggings, Grey leggings
Black pants, Grey pants
Red corduroys, Orange-red pants

Oh my goodness I’m writing about clothes… seriously who am I?  As you can tell I’m not the most fashionable person ever.  Luckily I’ve got my awesome Sister in Law to balance out my lack of fashion-ability and occasionally who I’ll try to copy (hi A!).  But I wanted to give this a shot for a number of reasons.  For awhile I’ve wanted to have a smaller, but higher quality of wardrobe and I’ve needed a cohesive way to figure out to do this and I have a bad tendency to wear things that are not in the best shape and that aren’t flattering for the sake of frugality, which leads to “frumpy mom-itis”.  I don’t know anyone who enjoys “frumpy mom-itis”.

So here you go, after a two or three run throughs of my closet and a big trip to a donation center.

Not included:  Outerwear, sleepwear, undershirts/tanks for layering, tights, grungy cleaning clothes that I don’ wear outside the house, accessories, jewelry and one black dress that I pull out for our annual Christmas concert at church.  Coats are not included because they’re not a fashion statement here – they’re a tool to survive the winter.  My coats usually err on the side of utilitarian more than fashion.

How: To start with I actually made a board on Pinterest with looks I am into.  Then I separated everything that was fall/winter and spring/summer from my closet.  The off season went into another closet from another capsule making in about six months.  Anything that had a hole where a hole was not supposed to be, to pill-y or just worn out got the immediate chuck and then things that just didn’t work with anything else.  The last step was anything that I knew I’d only wear when everything else was dirty, but wasn’t for a special occasion.  If I had to get down to no other options before I’d choose it it wasn’t worth keeping – let someone else enjoy it.  There are a few items that I like, but didn’t want to include that will be stored until next year.  If I don’t included it then it will go away.

I allowed myself a little wiggle room because of that pesky job I go to during the week.  We have a choice between “business casual” and scrubs, so I choose business casual.  I’m not sure being at home would cut down my closet too much to be honest, but a few items wouldn’t be there at least.

I’m actually surprised at how much I had in my closet.  I pride myself on having a small closet, but when I sat down to count I was shocked.

It was a great exercise.  I got rid of a big stack of things I just didn’t love, weren’t versatile or just really needing to go and I still feel like I have a big closet.  Above all it reminded me that being frugal and “minimal” was no reason to look sloppy or gross.  There was a lot that was still hanging around before the final purge in the “I like it, but I don’t wear it much” category and it was helpful to remember that there are folks out there who could use this stuff while it’s taking up space in my closet so it went in to the “donate” pile with a happy conscience.  I’m looking forward to doing it again for spring/summer next year.

Hopefully my spring/summer wardrobe consists of a little less grey.

****** EDIT********
Had a couple people ask about how things look and body shape + these styles.
Fashion blogger I am not so I shot a few pics in my bedroom at night.  To answer a question below – I’m not skinny, but I’m petite.  I don’t really have much of a waist any more and it’s kind of squishy in that area.  So I prefer looser fabrics that might make me look a little bigger, but make me feel a whole lot more comfortable.  I’ve got long legs for a 5’3″ gal, but incredibly short in the torso (bottom of my ribs to top of my hip bone is about 3 inches) and small in the bust.  The “smallest” part of my “waist” is right under my bust so if I belt things they sit high.  I like things that give the illusion of more length in that area and hide the lumpy parts and I prefer most shirts/sweaters to cover my backside.
Just a blurry picture of me in regular old grey shirt and jeans.  No waist, lumpy middle like all the rest =) And proud of that lump middle.
What I wore to work from the capsule
Classic Clothes for me – tunic type shirt and skinny pants or leggings

And now for something completely different.
If you have a moment or some spare change consider sending it the way of my dear friend Elise.  She and her husband are doing an amazing fundraiser in memory of a blessed baby they lost earlier this year towards the Gianna Center, a pro-life, NAPRO technology using women’s center.
As of last night they’re $885 away from there amazing goal.
Go here to read more about this great fundraiser.
Thank you!

7 thoughts on “43 Shades of Grey: My Capsule Wardrobe

  1. Wow, this is great – so inspiring! I really need to update my wardrobe, but I hate shopping. Most of what I wear now is t-shirt and exercise pants. Do you mind if I ask what your body shape is? I love most of these pieces, but I wonder if my pear-shaped body could pull it off. Thanks!


  2. I'm not sure what you'd call my shape – I'm petite, but not thin. I don't really have a waist (the smallest part of my torso is right under my bust), but I'm not drastically bigger on the bottom. So maybe after all the pregnancies I'm just more a rectangle?

    I've found over the last few years that longer shirts that aren't tight make me feel good about my appearance. I'd rather wear something looser (I basically live in tunics) and not have to fuss over every little roll and muffin top. I do the loose tunic and fitted/skinny pant combo a lot and think it's a flattering look on a lot of shapes.

    Maybe I'll suck up my pride this weekend and take a few pictures so you can see for yourself =)


  3. Thank you! I think you look wonderful in all your outfits – it inspired me to wear my black leggings with my floral “peasant dress” (as my husband calls it) to church this morning.


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