Follow me into my wardrobe
My winter capsule
Winter is fast approaching, and with that my stress levels are rising. We just moved into a new house and the place is COLD! So now I am left wondering if the clothes we do have will be enough.
For the kids it should be fine – they are generally not home a lot, with being in school and all, plus I just bought them a few fleecy sweatpants to sleep in. I am the problem. Since I work mostly from home, I will have to live in this freezer, and although I go for long stretches without seeing anyone, there are times when I have clients over, do video calls or even have to leave the house. And then I cannot take my pile of blankies with me. So my wardrobe needs a bit of TLC, and a hard look to make sure that I am ready for winter.
I changed over to a capsule wardrobe a few years ago (read about it here) and have honestly never looked back. Except to laugh at how seriously I took it when I started the transition. I had so many hard and fast rules, with little to no flexibility. Over the years I have relaxed a lot, throwing out the “so many items” rule, merging my seasonal capsules, then splitting them again, then halving them, then making them bigger. After a lot of trial and error, I have found a system that works for me.
In the past, I used a core capsule and a basic capsule. The one was composed of items that didn’t date that easily, and that formed the backbone of my capsule. The other was seasonal items that came and went. But it became so confusing, and even more when I started working from home more and more. Was activewear now a basic or a core? And loungewear?
So I ditched that system and embraced the new one – style blocks. This is so much easier. You basically build your capsule using individual blocks of clothing. Each style block consists of 7 pieces: 1 layer, 3 tops, 2 bottoms and 1 pair of shoes. You simply choose these items to work and fit with all of the other items in the block. Then when you add another block to build your capsule, you make sure that block 2 fits in with block 1, so they will have the same look and feel, base colour, neutral palette and accent colours. And so you keep on added blocks until you have built a capsule that is functional, and that speaks of your style.
Because you work in smaller segments it becomes easier to have seasonal capsules. You might only have to exchange two or three blocks to go from one season to the next instead of having to scrap the whole capsule for that specific season. Also, if a piece needs replacing you only need to think of 6 other items – which will then automatically take into consideration the rest of the blocks.
You can then decide how many blocks you would like in your capsule. You can have as little as 2, and as many as 10 (or more!). You can have blocks for work, for recreation, for exercise, for formal wear, for whatever you want, and you can mix-and-match them or keep them separate.
My winter capsule is composed out of 5 style blocks, plus an extra jacket, a pair of black calf-length boots and grey platform stilettos. That is a total of 38 pieces. I might add another pair of boots (thinking knee-high) and if it is really very cold, a coat. But for now, I am happy with what I have.
(in full disclosure, I have more items that I have packed away. These didn’t make the cut because they do not fully fit with the look that I am going for, but I like wearing them, look good in them and they are still in a good condition. So, for now, I have packed them away. Will see how I feel next winter, and if I didn’t miss them this winter then they can enrich someone else’s life)
For my winter capsule for 2020 I have chosen:
Base colour – black
Neutral colours – grey and cream
Accent colours – berry hues, green and splashes of orange
Textures and patterns – soft knits, coarse linen, flowers and stripes
(for more on the above, download my capsule wardrobe ebook here)
The items in each style block, followed by the outfits I can make using only the items in that style block:
The accessories I choose to go with my 5 style blocks, and my complete winter capsule (I added one pair of high heels to take me from day to night, or home to work):
Do you have a capsule wardrobe?