OH YEAH my Capsule Wardrobe

10 Months + Life Update

Remember when I was chatting about my capsule wardrobe a few weeks back?


Well, I made pretty good progress on it and then my baby bump grew big time AND the seasons shifted so I decided to wait a bit and START OVER for a true fall capsule wardrobe.

First of all, creating the wardrobe while pregnant is harder than you may think. That and I’m finding myself more and more prone to wearing black stretch pants every day so . . . this actually couldn’t have come at a better time.

So, my update for you is this: I’m working on it. I’m planning on sharing weekly updates of what I’m wearing, once my wardrobe is complete.

I’m waiting for a few things to come in the mail, and then I think I can make a pretty good sized wardrobe. I may need to bend the rules a bit, like I said before, depending on how my belly grows, but rules are meant to be broken, am I right? I actually don’t follow that philosophy-I like rules and I rarely break them.

I did get a chance to chat with Caroline, the one who introduced me to this great idea, so read through our little interview below!


Kate: Are there certain items that you think everywoman should include in her capsule?

Caroline: A great pair of dark rinse jeans. A leather jacket (real or vegan, whichever you prefer). A pair of ankle boots. A chambray shirt. Yep. I’d recommend those 4 things to my mom + a college freshman + everyone in between.

Kate: Do you think it’s important to lean towards one end of the color palette when creating the capsule? For example, either all neutrals, all warm colors, or all cool colors?

Caroline: While I prefer neutrals, I believe you can build a successful capsule with colors all over the map – if you’re a girl who loves living in color, that is. But, even if you’re drawn to neutrals like me, it’s always a smart idea to throw in a wild card color for those days when you need a shake-up. I’ve never held too tightly to my color palette. I plan it out carefully, but sometimes I just don’t find things in those colors when I shop.

For example, I tried to incorporate orchid + blush into my summer capsule, but I didn’t love any of the orchid + blush pieces I found. So I decided to let it go — I made that palette, I could change it. Instead, I surprised myself and threw in a bit of neon yellow at the last minute. And you know what? It was perfect.

And remember, while color is an easy way to add interest to outfits, you can also use shine + pattern + texture.

Kate: What are your favorite items to accessorize with?

Caroline: Hair + shoes. I’m not much of a jewelry girl (I usually just wear one piece at a time) but give me a charming fishtail braid and a marvelous pair of ankle boots (like these – swoon!) and I feel all dolled up.

And, bonus! Learning a new hairstyle is free.

I used to hear the word accessorize and jump right to “a bejeweled statement necklace!” and “a scarf saturated with color!” Now, I think accessorizing can be much more subtle – after all, an outfit is the sum of the clothes, the hair, the makeup, the bag, the jewelry, and the shoes. There’s a lot going on there, so if each element is kept subtle yet interesting, you’ve got an effortless + chic look on your hands!

Kate: What has been the biggest challenge in staying within the capsule for 3 months?

Caroline: Honestly? The most challenging thing was coming face to face with ugly issues inside of myself. The first time I tried a capsule wardrobe + not shopping for 3 months, I was astonished at how quickly the shine wore off and I was desperate to go shopping. Like … it was thenextday.

It was HARD.

It brought to light a bunch of issues that I was hiding behind a nice façade of shopping. Things like shopping because I wanted a jolt of happiness + shopping because I felt unattractive + shopping because it was something I could control. But … by slowly facing those issues … I found freedom + contentment. (I wrote about this in detail here.)

And now, there’s nothing challenging about it. I’m free.

And some extra tips from Caroline as well:

What are my three top tips for making a capsule wardrobe work?

Use a planner as you’re building your capsule wardrobe. I have one available for free on Unfancy, but you can always create your own too.

Remember that it’s not meant to be a miserable experience. Rewrite the rules a little to fit your own lifestyle + make it your own. If you need two capsule wardrobes (one for work and one for the weekends), go for it. If you need to add a few more pieces, do it.

Commit, but only for 3 months. If I’m ever starting something a little scary (new workout routine, waking up earlier, moving to a new place), I’ll take the pressure off myself by playing a little mind game with myself. I call it: “I’ll give it 3 months.” Because putting a time limit on something scary makes it seem a little more sane – even fun. So commit with passion and give it 3 months. And then if you didn’t like it, you can move on + never do it again. Besides, what’s 3 months? Nothing. Or … maybe everything.

I love that Caroline said her favorite accessories are hair and shoes. I love considering hair an accessory because it totally is. A ponytail can make an entirely different look than a braid, or even wearing your hair down.

My sister is visiting next week so I’m planning on utilizing her to really focus on completing the wardrobe!


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Christen says · 10.16.14

Can’t wait to see what you come up with! Up here in upstate NY, the transition to fall is just so quick into winter. Really hard to enjoy light layers before we’re all in down jackets for 4 months!

Angela says · 10.16.14

Looking forward to seeing what you come up with. My best friend is due around the same time as you are so I will be sure to share with her as well. I basically lived in maternity jeans and comfy, stretchy tops during my pregnancy (aka boring). BTW – I have made your ginger cookies three times now, they are sooooo good! Thanks for the recipe.

Kaitlin says · 10.16.14

What black stretch pants are you wearing? I’m 13 weeks pregnant with #2 so I’m showing earlier. I live in Texas so I have a lot in between, weird, not summer not fall time & I’ve been looking for a pair of black stretch pants or leggings that I can use transitionally & that will also keep me warm when winter finally comes.

Caroline Rector says · 10.16.14

Kate! Thanks so much for this feature! You’re awesome. 🙂

And yes — rules are meant to be broken. Excited to see what you come up with! 🙂


Dianne says · 10.16.14

I just found your blog through a tutorial you did for Real Simple, and I’m hooked. I binged on watching most of your hair tutorials. How you style your hair is what I want to do with my own. But my hair is very, very thick, and I get exhausted drying and styling it. I’ve watched other videos on YouTube, but yours are the easiest to follow. Thanks for sharing your knowledge wit us!

Alli says · 10.16.14

My wanna-be minimalist heart loves this! I actually don’t like shopping very much, so this would be a perfect fit for me. And I have been trying to wrap my head around doing this for each of my kids for a while. It seems like such a simple way to make sure everyone has everything they need without tipping the scales to far on the side of over abundance. With two under 3 and one more on the way, I need things as simple as I can get them 🙂

Christina says · 10.16.14

Lovely post but I’m a little confused … I read through the whole interview thinking that she asked the questions and you answered, but at the end it says that Caroline was the one who considered hair/shoes the accessories … Maybe I need my morning coffee so I can think straight?

Kate says · 10.16.14

Since she created the idea, I asked her the questions! I just changed the wording a bit to clear up the confusion.

Sissi says · 10.16.14

Oh I remember those pregnant times! Kinda glad it is such a long time ago! 😉 I remember starting with the 6 month I had exactly only one maternity skirt and one pants to wear. I throw the pants away in the hospital on the day of the delivery hehe! I would rock mostly some men`s shirts from my husband as a top. I was too stingy to get me some real maternity clothes!

Jasmin says · 10.16.14

Great post! Enjoyed the interview part most. Well, it was my elder sister’s birthday last week and I wanted to gift her something special that could be used in her pregnancy. I purchased a Pregnancy Shift Midi Dress for her from here: http://www.trend-labs.com/i/B00NGMTTW4 and she was really glad for having this gorgeous gift 😉

Lissete says · 10.16.14

Yay I can’t wait! I loved your outfit posts when you were pregnant (Obviously the before ones were great too!), but I miss seeing how you dress yourself and get ideas for my less than colorful wardrobe as well! Holla neutral color lovers!

Cindy says · 10.16.14

I like the Unfancy blog, I don’t know that you could say she created the idea though. The capsule wardrobe has been around since the 70’s. If you’re interested in more information about creating a capsule wardrobe and color combinations check out the The Vivienne Files http://www.theviviennefiles.com/ and Project 333 http://theproject333.com/

jenna says · 10.16.14

I’m a fan of the capsule wardrobe concept, and I like Caroline’s blog, but to clarify things, she did not come up with the idea of the capsule wardrobe by any stretch of the imagination! That concept has been around since the 70s. I like Caroline’s particular spin on it, but she’s hardly the first person to embrace the capsule. A quick google search will show you plenty of capsule wardrobe history going back years and years.

Charlotte says · 10.16.14

Agreed! I was surprised by that comment as well.

I was following Caroline’s blog before it was mentioned on here. But I found Un-Fancy from another minimalist wardrobe blog that has been around much longer, called Into Mind (http://into-mind.com/) by Anuschka Rees. And obviously others have done them before Anuschka as well.

Into Mind offers a very detailed (and ambitious!) wardrobe workbook (https://into-mind.com/workbook/). I bought it but haven’t gotten around to doing any of it yet. I’m excited to find a free weekend this fall to focus on my wardrobe finally.

Kate says · 10.20.14

changed the language to make more sense 🙂

Lake says · 10.16.14

Kate, I’m dying to see your new hair color! Will it be soon?

Sarah says · 10.16.14

I’m surprised the amazing treasure trove that is http://into-mind.com hasn’t been mentioned in this context. She does these super detailed step-by-step tutorials on how to develop your personal style and build a matching wardrobe, and she’s really helped me a ton.

Allie says · 10.16.14

This is the first season that I’ve tried a capsule wardrobe, and I love it! Such a great interview with Caroline too. Can’t wait to see your pieces!

Claire says · 10.16.14

Yes! I have all 4 of the staple items she mentioned in my closet RIGHT NOW. I feel like a true fashionista 😉

Emily says · 10.16.14 Reply
brooke says · 10.17.14

Just wanted to give you encouragement. Capsule wardrobes are wonderful – even through a pregnancy.

Here’s mine from last year: http://graceandlight.typepad.com/crafting-life/2013/09/project-333-maternity-edition.html

I found that maxi skirts worked well through my transitioning sizes.

Svenja says · 10.17.14

Thank you for this interview! I found out about the “un-fancy” blog a few days ago and loved her idea of a capsule wardrobe. I love her daily posts of her outfits and it kinda inspired me to be more careful with what clothes I buy and if I’m actually going to wear them.

Amanda says · 10.17.14

I literally started my capsule wardrobe yesterday before I read this. We’re in sync lol!