Planning + Prepping for My Capsule Wardrobe


Like I mentioned earlier this week, I discovered Caroline’s Capsule Wardrobe concept on her blog,, and felt inspired to pare down my closet to my favorites and clean out some clutter.

I printed out her planner tool, and did a couple of the worksheets to get my ideas straight.

My intention, if this goes as planned, is to create a capsule wardrobe for this pregnancy. I have a decent amount of maternity clothes left over from last year that I can wear in the same seasons this year, but I’m finding some holes that need to be filled.

I worked behind the chair during the majority of my pregnancy last year, so a great deal of my clothes are a bit dressier. I need a few more casual, comfortable options given my lifestyle this time around.

This may sound incredibly dumb, but one of the things I noticed first about Caroline’s latest Capsule Wardrobe is how simple and monotone it is.Β And I loved it.

And frankly, I was impressed that she could pull it off. I wonder if people tell her she needs to wear color? I don’t think she needs to, but I wonder if she get’s that a lot.

You know, Olivia Pope basically only wears neutralsΒ too so if she does it, I feel like that’s the direction I want to go.

I will attest to the fact that color adds life to one’s face more than, say, a grey shirt does, but I’m going to forget that I should probably wear more color and solely pick items that I know I’ll wear over and over.

SO. Enough about that already, but I had to share my revelation.



shirt (these are great if you are expecting), earrings, bag is Kate Spade (no longer available, the sale expired!!), denim, flats

One of the parts of her wardrobe challenge is quitting shopping once the capsule is complete. That line may be a bit blurred since this is happening during pregnancy, and I may need to buy pieces as my belly grows. I also don’t think I’ll have 37 pieces, but I’m curious to see how that pans out as well.


watercolor source

I spent a bit of time sorting through my wardrobe already, phasing out clothes that won’t fit until next year (hopefully), and keeping my favorite maternity items in the drawers.

Once I get everything organized, I’ll share what I’m starting with, what I hope to fill it with, and then share some outfits along the way!

It’s been a bit of a long week, and an emotional one as well, so I’ve enjoyed having a “project” to work on and share here on the blog. Thanks for the encouraging comments from my post earlier on in the week, a lot of you had great ideas!

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Comments (53)

  1. Hannah says
    Posted August 15, 2014

    Oh man! I wish you did this last time! I’m seven months along with what feels like nothing to wear. Sigh

    • Kathryn B says
      Posted August 15, 2014

      Audrey over at has lots of great maternity-wear ideas and she’s just about at 9 months, so i’m sure you can find lots of ideas on her blog as well as on here! πŸ™‚

  2. Becster says
    Posted August 15, 2014

    Oh wow finding a maternity wardrobe was the worst thing for me! I’m not a “clothes” person so I just wanted simple stuff for work and simple stuff for home. Do you think I could find something comfy? Noooooo! Hope you have better luck than I did!

    (And congratulations on the pregnancy – hope all is well with you!)

  3. Ami says
    Posted August 15, 2014

    I love neutrals and my wardrobe is mostly neutral, white, cream, black, grey, and some navy. I add a pop of color with a scarf or a necklace. I wear a little more color in the summer but t-shirts are relatively inexpensive and don’t last more than one season.

  4. Sabrina says
    Posted August 15, 2014

    What a good idea! I really need to do this as a I transition into my new job. From uniform to business casual!

  5. Jen says
    Posted August 15, 2014

    You are a brave woman to do this during pregnancy! I’m almost 19 weeks and already I’m finding some maternity items aren’t fitting well. But I love the neutral palette and honestly, color near your face? You just need bright lipstick and we already know you’ve mastered that trick. Looking forward to seeing your outfits. Do you read the Oh Joy blog? She has been posting the cutest dress the bump videos. Her budget is bigger than mine, but I love seeing stylish moms and what they wear. I hope you have some budget friendly items in your capsule!

  6. Posted August 15, 2014

    I’d love to see what your final capsule collection entails! Please make a YT video, as I think I’ll make one, too! Jamie

  7. Lauren says
    Posted August 15, 2014

    Audrey @ Putting Me Together had a great capsule maternity post as well – love how basic & easy her style is!

  8. Posted August 15, 2014

    This is great! I love the outfit – it’s great as is, but what makes it so versatile is that you could easily add some color in a scarf, belt, accessories and make it a totally different look. Perfect!

  9. Posted August 15, 2014

    I LOVE this idea!! I need to do this so bad! Thanks for the inspiration!

  10. Liz says
    Posted August 15, 2014

    Kate, I’m old enough to be your mom but I still love your blog. Some of your fabulous tips I can use and I even enjoy reading those I can’t (hairy styles, maternity!). Your videos are just so darn cute! Enjoy this special time with your pregnancy and babies…it’s the best! What a blessing! I loved your nod today to Olivia Pope!!!

  11. Liz says
    Posted August 15, 2014

    …that was supposed to be hair styles not “hairy”… Oops. πŸ™‚

  12. Posted August 15, 2014

    I feel like that’s a mantra for life: “WHAT WOULD OLIVIA POPE DO?”

    I think that’s going to be mine.

    • Kate says
      Posted August 15, 2014

      do or WEAR? lol!

  13. Posted August 15, 2014

    I’m now doing the exact same with my POST-maternity wardrobe. I’m trying to plan ahead so that I have cute stuff to wear after the baby comes that doesn’t make me look fat/feel gross.

    My husband said: “you have clothes!” HAHAHAHAHA, yes honey. After the baby comes, your body MAGICALLY snaps back to pre-baby weight in a few days. Also, the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy visit you in the hospital.” Smh.

    I’m planning ahead so I don’t have a meltdown when nothing fits.

  14. Leila says
    Posted August 15, 2014

    I’m actually loving the idea because I’m going to study abroad for a year come this September. I mean, your idea for a capsule wardrobe for pregnancy (based on Caroline’s idea for life) made me think this is what I should do with my packing for this year. I’d like to think this can encourage you through this rough phase, that your blog and your ideas can inspire people going through different situations.

  15. Sharyn Busick says
    Posted August 15, 2014

    I hopped over to check out the capsule idea after reading about it here. It is a pretty neat concept, and I can see where it would simplify life a bit. I found her wardrobe to be too bland – just not enough color for me! But surely this concept could be put into action with any color palette if it all worked together. Thanks for introducing her blog!

  16. Christina says
    Posted August 15, 2014

    I have no idea what a capsule wardrobe is… But I’m very excited to explore Caroline’s blog and watch you take on this project. Also…GREY ALL THE WAY!!!!

    • Christina says
      Posted August 15, 2014

      So I read up on a capsule wardrobe and think this is an amazing idea! Are you going to share all of your pieces once your finished?

  17. elizabeth says
    Posted August 15, 2014

    I love that you included non maternity links too – thanks for doing that!! πŸ™‚

  18. Lora Lee Frazier says
    Posted August 15, 2014

    I cleaned out my closet yesterday, trying to narrow it down. Since my time is split between having to dress for work (a bit more dressy) and then around the town/ date night, I’m allowing myself more pieces (or at least that’s what I’m telling myself). I found a lot of seasonal stuff in my closet, or at least that’s what I’m calling it for now. I really found I had a lot of shirts, especially, that I just didn’t want to part with, in the ‘love’ category.Plus, I like the neutral colors but I also like some shirts with a little color and pattern, keeping the neutrals on the bottom. Too, the shoes was/ is really hard, again going with the work/ date night ratio. Ugh! Maybe I will try it again next week or do that thing where you turn the hangers backwards when you wear items to see if you are wearing the same shirts, etc.. over and over.

    • JNJxn says
      Posted August 15, 2014

      That is so funny! I’m in the same boat. Totally cleaned out my closet last night and tried to narrow it down. I got rid of a TON of stuff that I was holding on to thinking I’d wear it…and then I got honest since I hadn’t worn it/them in over a year. I probably could get rid of more, but I must not be ready. πŸ™‚ Decluttering surely felt good though–even if I do have way more than 37 items in my “new” closet, and I guess it’s a start!

  19. Kaitlyn says
    Posted August 15, 2014

    That is the truth about Olivia Pope! Sometimes I wish I lived in a colder climate so I could wear all of those great winter pieces she pulls off!

  20. Michelle says
    Posted August 15, 2014

    Not pregnant here (although I still have a belly from my 9 year old, does that count?!) but I just printed out the planner from her site. I have been in a clothing rut lately too since I transitioned to working from home. I’m often still in my workout clothing at 3pm because I finished the workout and ran to a conference call. But I need to shake something up, and my closet is in dire need of revision. So, this weekend (and any time I can squeeze into today) will kick off my capsule (although I think I will get my fall capsule ready since we are almost at that point).

    Thanks for continuing to inspire me!

  21. Michelle says
    Posted August 15, 2014

    I forgot to ask – does anyone else turn their hangers around so the hooks are facing out instead of in? I do it once a year and a year later, any hangers still facing out (the wrong way) I review and decide if it is a special occasion item, or if I just really won’t wear it and it needs to be removed from my closet.

    I have a box right now of clothing that was left unturned in my last hanger flip. Since my closet is big enough, I may turn my “maybes” and review them at the next capsule.

    • Kate says
      Posted August 15, 2014

      That’s a great idea about the hangers!

  22. Julie says
    Posted August 15, 2014

    So excited to see how you navigate this process! You’ve definitely inspired me to consider doing the same thing (or at the very least, purge my closet a little!)

  23. Calee says
    Posted August 15, 2014

    Kate, I’m so glad you found this capsule wardrobe idea and that you’re sharing it with us! I’ve been looking into it and all I can say is THANK YOU! This is perfect. I’m so excited to see your maternity capsule. I hope you’re doing great!

  24. Posted August 15, 2014

    Very excited to see what you choose! My friend was telling me last night that she wanted to do a wardrobe capsule and then this morning I see your post about one! I think it may be a hint that I need to downsize my closet πŸ˜€

  25. Gibson says
    Posted August 15, 2014

    I loved her idea of contentment and being happy with what you have and I have TOTALLY been struggling with a closet full of clothes and feeling like I have nothing to wear so I have my worksheet started and my Pinterest board overflowing with ideas.

  26. Katie says
    Posted August 15, 2014

    I mostly dress in neutrals. I add a pop of color by wearing a colorful scarf around my neck, or choose a fun color for my shoes and handbag.

  27. Carrie says
    Posted August 15, 2014

    I love this idea and I’m LOVING your “basic outfit”. Where are those shoes from? LOVE!!

  28. Meagan says
    Posted August 15, 2014

    Great idea! I’m in the process of trying to clean out my closet and get rid of all the clutter and stuff I don’t wear.

  29. Emily says
    Posted August 15, 2014

    This is a great idea. I had a baby the end of May, and I really enjoyed having a limited number of maternity clothes. It made getting dressed so much easier and forced me to mix and match tops, bottoms, and accessories. Now that I’m not pregnant I find myself sticking to a limited amount of clothes and mixing and matching because it’s just easier. I hope you enjoy this experience!

  30. Kelly says
    Posted August 15, 2014

    Have you tried the Liz Lange maternity tanks from Target? They are amazing, and would be great under the Gap tee. I wear them even now! I tell everyone about them.

  31. Natalie says
    Posted August 15, 2014

    I discovered the capsule wardrobe idea about 6 months ago. I read about it somewhere, then googled it, and found a few bloggers whose styles were similar to mine. I took screen shots of the basics to build my capsule wardrobe and of outfit combos I liked. I did a major closet purge, started building up my base buying most things on sale from Gap, Nordstrom, and Old Navy. I bought all neutrals and use scarves, necklaces, handbags, and shoes for color. It has made it soooo much easier to get ready each day. It has also helped tremendously for traveling. I pack less and can mix and match my items. Capsule wardrobes are great!!

  32. Rachael says
    Posted August 15, 2014

    Kate, I’m so excited about these posts! I’m due in February with my first, but so far still fitting into my regular clothes. I have a very small clothing budget so I’m going to have to make the maternity pieces I buy really work hard for me. And I love neutrals too. Perfect timing!

  33. Megan says
    Posted August 15, 2014

    So excited about this! I’m due with my 1st in January and last month I reread all of your baby post from David to see. So excited about your new addition!

  34. Andrea Harbin says
    Posted August 15, 2014

    Whoa! Pregnancy?? I totally missed that!! Congratulations!

  35. Posted August 15, 2014

    If you can find the right shade of a neutral for a top, that matches your skintone & hair colour either a blue-based, pink-cased or yellow based cream, or else a biscuit/bone/beige, or light /mediupe, or ice grey, for example, it can actually make your face “glow”. It does take a bit of time & research, and often these subtle variations are only available in more expensive clothes ranges. But what a great investment piece, if it always makes you look & feel fabulous! (even without makeup!)

  36. Sarah M says
    Posted August 16, 2014

    I love this idea! Thanks for sharing.

  37. Allison says
    Posted August 16, 2014

    Hahahah love the Olivia Pope mention! I can’t wait till the next season comes out
    Allison from

  38. Amanda says
    Posted August 17, 2014

    I am so thankful you are sharing this idea! I spent hours yesterday on Caroline’s blog learning more about this concept and as soon as all my laundry is finished I’m doing this too! And although Caroline’s style is super cute, it’s not my style so I’ve spent this morning going through your 30×30 posts! I’m excited to fall in love with my clothes again and have a fun project to work on!

  39. Posted August 17, 2014

    Love this post! I really enjoy your blog and the way you post about your life as a mom!

    Have you heard of Project 333? I love the concept of selecting great long-lasting pieces for our wardrobes. I’ve been undergoing some serious downsizing in my closet as well, and have written about it on my blog too. Good luck!

  40. Posted August 17, 2014

    I absolutely LOVE this idea. Especially since I have a closet the size of broom closet! You’ve inspired be to declutter and pare down. Thanks!

  41. shannon says
    Posted August 18, 2014

    Old Navy’s slub knit maternity tees are THE BEST! I ordered a few early on in my pregnancy and ended up going back and getting almost all of them when they were on sale. I wore them almost every day and I was sad to pack them up after my son was born! Great choice… can’t wait to see how your maternity wardrobe works out.

  42. Heather says
    Posted August 19, 2014

    Thanks for doing this Kate! I’m currently 20 weeks along with my first baby and feel like a total oinky moo moo despite gaining no weight. None of my clothes fit right and I started to do some maternity shopping but got frustrated and basically stopped after buying a bunch of Old Navy slub tees (awesome!) and their maternity jeans. Maternity jeans were like a revelation. I never want to wear pants with buttons again!

    I’m definitely going to try the capsule wardrobe idea for this pregnancy. I have an office job but the dress code runs from extremely casual to three piece suits. I think I’m going to do a dressy casual style that I can dress up and down with accessories. I’m very interested in what you come up with.

  43. Posted August 21, 2014

    I really REALLY need to clear my wardrobe out… I try to do it every few months, but I just can’t seem to make myself get rid of much. I’m also really guilty of #4: I cannot resist a good deal, even if the item is a little outside my comfort zone.