2017 Spring capsule wardrobe – updated

Hello folks,

So the six item year long challenge is finally over (phew!) and I can wear a decent selection of clothes again. This last week I have added some more in, and now have a complete capsule to see me through to the end of spring (mid-late June, depending on the weather).

I have been experimenting with capsule wardrobes for a couple of years or more now, and I find that the most successful organisational principle for me is a combination of two different capsule wardrobe systems, Courtney Carver’s “Project 333” and Jennifer L. Scott’s “10-item wardrobe” which she promotes in her Madame Chic series of books and her Youtube channel, The Daily Connoisseur. In case you are unfamiliar with these approaches, this is how they work:

  • Project 333 involves selecting 33 items of clothing including accessories and wearing them for one season, i.e. 3 months.
  • The 10 item wardrobe system suggests 10 “core” pieces that make up the basis of your look, plus uncounted but limited “extras” which make your 10 pieces work as outfits. In this approach, tee shirts are counted as extras – the core items include things like dresses, skirts, trousers and blouses.

I find that combining the two systems works best for me. Putting a 33-item cap on the collection means I have a limit I can’t exceed, which I find a helpful discipline. Within the 33, having a ten item core to the collection gives it the structure I need to make the wardrobe workable. Obviously when I was doing the six item wardrobe challenge I didn’t follow this, but thankfully now that is over I can go back to this much more workable system.

Where I differ from Jennifer L. Scott is in the number of seasons I follow: she has only two seasons, spring/summer and autumn/winter. She lives in Southern California though, where it is hot most of the year; I live in Scotland where the weather is much chillier and I find that I need additional, distinct collections for the two transitional periods of spring and autumn. Also, I have a lower boredom threshold with my wardrobe than she appears to have, so I am glad to be able to ring the changes every few months.

Of course, each season won’t be a completely different set of items. Some items will carry over multiple seasons, and others will be specific to one or two seasons only, depending on the weather and mood of the season.

Now I have my full spring capsule wardrobe, I’m excited to share it with you. I had a lot of fun putting it together, especially as I chose an image I liked as a starting point for choosing colour. I feel that this makes the wardrobe a cohesive collection, and it means I have so much pleasure opening the closet every morning and seeing such a complementary array of colours.

I’m also keen to share my wardrobe because there seems to be a trend and school of thought that suggests “minimalist” wardrobes need to be very monochrome, involving lots of black, white and grey and very little colour. As a colour lover I find these wardrobes very dull, and personally I just ignore all that and go with a palette I love. If I have a basic colour it is blue, either navy or French navy. Everything else is pretty colourful (within a certain spring-inspired palette), and goes with the basic blue.

So let’s get on with showing the collection! I have 8 “core” items instead of 10:

  • 5x dresses, including my pinafore or apron dress 
  • 1x high waist, straight legged jeans
  • 2x button down shirts

I would have had a ninth item, my denim skirt, but I can’t get into it at all at present so it is still languishing in storage 😦

Details: Boden polkadot shirt dress thrifted over EBay; Nomads butterfly dress bought new this season in their sale; green Boden fit and flare dress thrifted new over EBay and dyed a slightly different shade of green; Laura Ashley jersey dolman dress with fern print, thrifted new over EBay; Toast pinafore dress, bought new in late 2015 or early 2016, can’t remember exactly. Jeans bought new this year from M&Co: I held out on jeans a long time in the hope that I would be able to fit into the ones I have stored away, but I just can’t get those on and in the end had to buy a new pair. Shirts: Chambray shirt bought new from M&Co this season; Liberty by James Meade thrifted over EBay.

And the rest are the “extras”, making up 31 items in total:

  • 5x long-sleeved tees
  • 2x tank tops (I haven’t had occasion to wear these yet as it has been too cold, but hopefully soon!)
  • 2x baggy woolly jumpers for warmth
  • 4x coats/jackets (I need a variety of outerwear in this changeable climate)
  • 6x pairs of shoes, plain and fancy
  • 2x bags, a rucksack and a handbag
  • 2x scarves

My top 5 items this season are the Liberty shirt, the velvet coat (which is A.P.C. and which I was lucky enough to find unused on EBay for 1/3 the original price), the berry sandals, the brogues and the casual blue linen jacket. I just get so much pleasure from wearing them!

If you are interested in capsule wardrobes, and especially feminine ones, I can’t recommend you go over to Jennifer L. Scott’s Youtube channel enough. She has a huge playlist of videos on the subject, and that’s usually where I head when I need a bit of inspiration. I find her style has some aspects in common with mine as well, which always helps – although she looks a lot lovelier in her outfits than I do at present in mine! Here is the link to her blog: https://dailyconnoisseur.blogspot.co.uk.

And here is a link to Courtney Carver’s website:  Project 333. It is probably the most popular of capsule wardrobe systems out there at the moment.

And here’s one of the images again that I took inspiration from this year (culled from Pinterest but I can’t find the original source – if it is your image please let me know). Isn’t it beautiful?

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Are you doing a capsule wardrobe this spring? If so let me know in the comments and tell me what you think of mine! I’d love to hear from you.

Thanks for reading x

11 Responses

  1. Lynne

    I have always tried to maintain a capsule wardrobe as I am minimalist by nature ever since I was a child but found that the recommended items always resulted in quite a masculine collection, with its suggestions of a classic trench, blazer, white shirt, classic sweater etc. It’s nice to see how you and Jennifer have built a more feminine wardrobe but still using minimalist principles.

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  2. Susan

    Boden fit and flare dress thrifted new over EBay and dyed a slightly different shade of green – how did you dye it? Did you do it or did you take it somewhere? I am interested because I too have a dress that I love in every way BUT the color.

    Like

  3. Linn

    Such a lovely collection you have put together for this season. It’s nice to see another wardrobe with lots of dresses.
    I am very impressed by your previous 6-item wardrobe. I’m in Sweden and weather here changes a lot aswell. I did 10 items for last summer and was fine with it. Come fall I found myself in need of aditional pieces for layering.

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      1. Linn

        Long merino slips sounds great. Unfortunately I have never seen those around here. My options this year were wool cardigans and bamboo or wool blend tights.

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  4. Annie

    I’m so happy I found your blog! I’ve been thinking of doing the exact same combination of methods, for the exact same reasons (I live in the Midwest U.S. which is a very different climate from yours but also has distinct seasons). I also wear a lot of Vivobarefoot shoes, among other barefoot brands. With summer truly here you may have inspired me to take on this project!

    Like

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