Love, Lydia - Notes from a geeky, plus sized artist.: Capsule Wardrobe Woes

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Capsule Wardrobe Woes

Hi friends,

This week has been a busy one for me.  And maybe it's just the season, but it seems like I've got more on my plate and mostly that's great.  I'm finding myself able to deal with more stress and getting better organized too.  I finally found a planner to carry with me that I really love too!  I heard of it though Scruffy-Little Nerdherder's Blog and I can't wait to get it in the mail from Ruskerville's Etsy shop!  This is the planner I went with:

I love it because not only is it awesomely Harry Potter themed, with quotes and lovely details put into it, (and Ravenclaw!!) but it also consists of just monthly calendar pages and notes (he makes other kinds with days too).  I find that looking at a whole month is much easier for me than trying to do things day by day.  Which might sound a little funny, but I think it's because I'm detail oriented enough that it makes me crazy to try planning every second of my day.  Plus all the times I've tried to plan out my days I feel discouraged because they never go as planned anyway and I feel doomed to fail before I even start if it feels too busy.

Capsule Wardrobe Woes

Anyway, I wanted to start off this post with something more positive because I can't help but feel like I'm going to be more negative than I'd like as I assess the failings for my fall capsule wardrobe.   (Which you can take a peek at here!)  Maybe it will turn out to be in your advantage that things haven't worked as well.  So, the biggest problem I've had is with my tops.  I feel like I don't have enough variety or perhaps enough flexibility with them.  I think going forward than means I need to have a couple more basic pieces, which is something I managed to do much better in my summer capsule wardrobe.  Here's a quick comparison:

                                              Tops                 Layering                   Bottoms
Summer                                14                      3                               11
Fall                                        16                      3                               10

As you can see things look pretty good if we're going by the numbers.  But let's break this down some more and see if we can make sense of it.  Of the 16 tops 3 can only be worn in colder weather.  So that puts me at 13 tops the can be worn and layered.  I've found that this layering piece from Forever21 really only works with 4 of my tops, and it's not very useful.

So it will be one of my first pieces to go up on Poshmark! (an app/site for buying and selling new and gently used clothing)  I'll be replacing it with this Old Navy Perfect Henley:

My other problem, which doesn't feel so bad, but is still in need of change is that I added these corduroy Toms to my capsule wardrobe without first checking to see if they fit properly.  *facepalm*  They don't fit me, they're a half size too small and will be finding a new home via Poshmark!

So I'm left without a sneaker or other warm shoe other than boots.  And boots aren't for as much as I now love my boots I don't want to wear them out too fast.  I think I'll be replacing the Toms with some Converse Chuck Taylors in purple as my first Purchase on Poshmark.

I'm hoping the one new top will make all the difference, but I think in some ways my problem is simply the wild weather here in North Carolina.  I may reconsider this later, but right now I feel like I could-

  1. Have smaller summer and winter capsules, and larger fall and spring ones, rather than the typical capsule.
  2. Try my changeovers at a different time, so that summer might be July-September, fall October-December, winter January-March, and spring April-June.
  3. Have two main capsules and two mini transitional ones.  Summer would be in use April-September, and winter October-March.  The mini wardrobes would be laying pieces and pants in fall, and tanks and shorts in spring.
For now I'll still be planning my winter capsule wardrobe to start in December, and I may do a whole year before trying to change my methods.  My problem may be that I have too many unique pieces less suitable for laying.  If so spending a whole year on this project will help me cull them at least.  I'm really not sure what I'll end up doing, but writing down my options allows you all to give feedback if you have any ideas.  So please feel free to send any tips my way!



  1. I feel like capsules require a certain amount of neutral/ basic pieces or for you to go with a theme which would allow you to mix the limited amount of pieces better. So maybe decide what look you want (like military or soutwest-inspired) or a color story (black and white or grays or something more interesting lol) then find pieces to fit that. I imagine it would cut down on the pieces that are too unique And will force you to edit. It would also encourage you to reimagine what fits into your theme.

    1. Thanks! I absolutely agree with you, and I did go with a great set of colors that I've been happy with mostly. I think my problem has been the details on the items. Most items have features like lace, or interesting cuts that make them a little harder to pair than a more simple item would be. In the case of the top above I had thought it would go along with several more things than it did. But the shades of berry in the cardigan just didn't go well with certain printed items I assumed were close enough in color, or the sleeve length was too short for it to be worn with short sleeved tops.

      I think it shows that I might need to work on test pairing pieces for lengths and exact colors a bit more, and drop pieces that don't work with at least half my wardrobe.

  2. First off I love that planned you chose. I think making a capsule is kinda tricky. From what I've seen people who do tend to have a lot of basic, sorta plain is pieces to mix and match and then just spice them up with scarves and other accessories. I'm sure you'll work it out, trial and error.

    1. Thanks, that's pretty much how I feel about it too! It's a good experiment in making things cohesive.

  3. I NEED that planner! I'm a total Harry Potter nerd, and while I keep planning journals, I could really do with an actual planner with calendars and such.

    I admire you for tackling a capsule wardrobe. I enjoy planning them for trips, but I find them restrictive for the everyday and I get resentful when I feel like the other pieces in my closet are "off limits." Like you, I think I'd realize I'm lacking in the basics department. I have to say that I've stocked up on a few basics this past year, and they've really maximized the number of outfits I can put together. I think my best purchases have been a black maxi skirt, white midi skirt, black and white striped tee, and denim jacket. None of the pieces seem that special on their own, but they coordinate with everything! If you're considering layering pieces, I know that solid waterfall cardigans are some of the most worn items in my closet, and I even belt them over printed dresses.

    Best of luck on your planning. At least you have a super fun planner to hash out your to-dos!

    <3 Liz

    1. The Ravenclaw planner is well worth it, I'm already filling it up! What house do you think you'd choose? :-)

      It's funny the first capsule I did for summer didn't seem restrictive at all, but fall has been so different. I do love that it made me clean things out though. I have so much stuff to put up on Poshmark, but what's left is good stuff. I think I have a lot of long sleeve and sleeveless basics, but not very much short sleeves. I'm thinking a couple solid colored and neutral tees may help me. I've thought about getting a denim jacket, but haven't found one I'm in love with yet. I have a couple more basic cardis set aside for winter too, but may have to break one out early. I think for me I don't wear skirts as much, but I have my eye on getting a versatile knee length tulle skirt! Thanks so much for the tips!