Krista’s Perfect Chambray Find

This post is part of a Show & Tell series of posts featuring TROG readers and the capsule wardrobe-inspired changes they’ve made to their wardrobes and lives. Read all the posts in this series here.

Krista is the oldest of my three sisters, and being my main girl as such, had to put up with all my crazy excitement about capsule wardrobe back in Fall of ’14 when I first started the project. Fortunately, it didn’t take too long before I convinced her to give it a try for herself, and of course I dived right in helping her go through her stuff, take pictures for Stylebook, and shop for the missing pieces. She didn’t mind my older sister bossiness for once, and we had a blast!

She writes:

I think the biggest thing that I have found vital to compiling my capsule wardrobe is remembering that cheaper is not always better. I grew up shopping in thrift stores and Goodwill; the only times we shopped for brand-new items was with a coupon or during a great sale, and even then we mainly only shopped the clearance racks. While this concept sounds fine, usually (in my case at least) this means buying poorer quality as well.

When I first started implementing the idea of capsule wardrobe into my lifestyle last fall, I purchased a pullover sweater that I found really cheap and loved. However, when I pulled it out this fall to add it to my wardrobe, I realized quickly that it really just looked far too worn out. In hindsight, I should have searched for one that was similar but made with higher quality materials before spending the money to buy one that only lasted me one season.

This season I was on an extensive search for “the perfect chambray shirt.” I found one at Old Navy that I thought I could fall in love with someday, but of course, that is just plain down the WRONG attitude. So I decided to put this “it’s ok to spend more on better quality/something that you absolutely love” theory to the test. I found my lovely chambray at Maurices, and since being thrifty is still engraved in my body, soul, and mind, I was even able to get $10 off!

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Image via Maurices.com

This shirt has been a game changer for my wardrobe.  I’m sure that by now I don’t have to convince you to go buy one for yourself; its versatility is downright noble. I’m eager to see how well this shirt wears. I’ve probably washed it 5­-8 times since I bought it in the beginning of October, and it always comes out just as soft and comfy as when I bought it. One downside for me is that it does tend to wrinkle fairly easily, but I feel like that’s a small price to pay for how well it fits me and how comfy it is. I’m so excited to find other exciting bits of this capsule wardrobe adventure!

Thanks for sharing your [very wise] insight on the budget-mentality side of the capsule concept, Krista!

You can keep up with Krista on Instagram here. And if you found this post helpful or inspiring, leave her some love in the comments below!

Shannon’s Carefully-Curated Capsule

Since all the entries received for the Wardrobe Show & Tell were so awesome, I decided to feature each of them separately instead of combining multiple stories together into one long post. I plan to post every day for the next couple weeks (with a few of my own posts mixed in) in order to get these out to you as quickly as possible, so stay tuned! You are going to love this series. 🙂

The first reader submission I have to share with you is Shannon’s, whose entry was randomly selected as the winner of the Gap gift card I offered as an incentive for participating in the challenge. Perhaps we’ll have to follow up with her later to find out whether she was able to score a great deal on a fun new capsule addition!

Shannon writes:

I first learned about capsule wardrobes from Melanie on Instagram, I think. I had messed around with the “30 pieces for 30 days” that was flying around the blogosphere, but it never really clicked with me like capsule wardrobe did.

I LOVE shopping, but I am also very practical and a very specific shopper. I don’t normally shop to see “what’s out there.” I go in with a mission to see if they have what I’m looking for, and if not, I’m back out.

My capsule wardrobe works like this:

  • I only do 2 seasons, really — winter and summer.
  • At the beginning of the season, I choose 3-4 items that I am looking for. These items are the things I am willing to pay $$$ for if I have to. If I can’t find exactly what I want, I just wait. No settling for something just because I think I need it now.
  • I fill in the capsule with cheaper things if I need them (accessories, long-sleeved tees, items I like and need under $30, etc.).
  • I keep it to around 40 items, give or take.
  • I clean out anything that I don’t want/need, and, if it’s in good shape, send it to thredUP.

This year my list looked like this:

  • Black booties (carried over from last year — couldn’t find a pair comfy enough so I did without)
  • Black sneakers
  • A good quality black legging
  • Cargo vest

shoes

I love both of these shoes. The booties were from Target and more comfy than much more expensive pairs I had tried on last year. The Saucony sneakers are probably my favorite piece this year. They are so comfy and while they are a sneaker, the retro look and the black color make them seem sporty, but still casual. I wear them with leggings and skinny jeans all the time. They give off an “active” vibe I think which I’m realizing is kinda my jam. 🙂

The leggings I got at Nordstom Rack and  were much cheaper than I anticipated. I love the moto style of them and they are super comfy.

vest

​This cargo vest was actually a jacket from Target with a knit hood and sleeves. I had looked so many places and was not finding a vest I liked. This one fit so well and after checking it out in the store I was pretty sure I could remove the hood and sleeves. It was so easy! I just took a seam ripper and removed the parts I didn’t want and hemmed the armholes on my sewing machine. It literally took 30 minutes and I wear it all the time. The scarf was one of those cheap accessories from Old Navy (didn’t have them online anymore) and the suede skirt from Target once again. 🙂

This year I did well since my $$$ items were actually found very cheaply. I think the most expensive thing was $50. Next fall I’ll probably be buying jeans, since I didn’t buy a single pair this fall. Sure there are some pairs I wouldn’t mind having, but I’m okay with wearing what I have and splurging on some next year. 🙂

Rich (my husband) also does a capsule wardrobe. He has quite good style, if I do say so myself. 🙂 He also operates his capsule wardrobe similarly to me and always has been one for buying something good for $$$ rather than something cheap, but not what you love. He also is a stickler for fit and will use some of his capsule money to take his jackets to the tailor downtown and get the sleeves to the correct length and the sides taken in. You can’t see it very well on the picture, but the jacket he’s wearing is a really sharp wine/navy plaid from Uniqlo (can’t find it online anymore). It’s only a $100 jacket, but it fits him like a $300 jacket because he got it tailored. This season he was wanting the aforementioned jacket, a quilted vest from J. Crew, some plaid shirts from Gap and he’s still eyeing a pair of desert boots. I keep telling him he needs an office job so he can wear all his clothes. 😉

For both of us, clothing is a form of art and a way that we can express who we are, through color, texture and shape.

The planner in me loves everything about capsule wardrobes!

Shannon, I’m inspired by your discipline in sticking with your budget goals and discerning what is a need and what is a want. Thanks so much for sharing!

You can keep up with Shannon on Instagram here, and if you found this post helpful or inspiring, leave her some love in the comments below!

Winner of the Show & Tell Giveaway

Thank you so much to each and every one of you who sent me the stories and photos of your wardrobe makeovers. I’ve had so much fun reading all your emails, and can’t wait to feature each one of you in upcoming posts. My random number generator this morning spat out a #2, so that means the Gap gift card goes to the author of the second entry on my list: Shannon King. I’ve emailed the gift card your way, Shannon; here’s hoping it’ll help you score a great new capsule wardrobe find for some upcoming season!

Giveaway Winner

Check back soon for the first of the Show & Tell features! ❤

Capsule Wardrobe Show & Tell

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So, I’ve been hearing snatches here and there of ways you’ve been inspired recently to pare down your wardrobe/put together a capsule/otherwise be more intentional about how you shop and dress. Now I want to give you a chance to tell the rest of us about it!

I’m asking for  R E A D E R  S U B M I S S I O N S  including a paragraph with or without photos describing any changes you may have made to the way you think about or implement your wardrobe. If you’ve put together a capsule containing a specific number of pieces, whether that’s 37 or your own ideal figure, that’s awesome. I’d love to hear about it and even see a glimpse or so at it, if possible. Or, if you haven’t taken the capsule wardrobe plunge, but found yourself motivated to clean out your closet or reevaluate your style, that totally works too.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • before & after pictures of your closet
  • the number of pieces you started with and the number left after a purge
  • how capsule wardrobe has made your life better or easier
  • what inspired you to try a capsule wardrobe
  • the set of rules you’ve come up with to make capsule wardrobe work for you personally
  • what you’ve learned about your style
  • photos of just your favorite pieces or a snapshot of your whole closet
  • smart storage solutions for your clothing/accessories
  • a photo or photos of yourself wearing some of your favorite capsule combinations
  • a screenshot of your Stylebook closet

By the way, if you’re just getting started, you can catch up on all my capsule wardrobe posts here. For some other great resources, go here, here, here, here, and here.

I’m leaving this pretty open-ended:

  • what you show or tell us about can be from any season
  • it can be from a while ago or you something you haven’t even started yet
  • it doesn’t matter whether you first heard about capsule wardrobe or were inspired to clean out your closet by this blog or elsewhere
  • you can choose whether or not you want me to reveal your identity when publishing

The only rules are as follows:

  • Submissions must be sent to hello@therealizationofgood.com
  • All submissions must be received by Monday, November 16
  • You must own the rights to any images submitted (photos should be taken by you yourself, or a friend)

Your show & tells will be featured here on the blog sometime after November 16. I’m sure there will be so much we’ll all be able to learn from each other. So I urge every single one of you to send an email my way…if you’ve already completed a wardrobe project of some sort, then you’re ready to go, and if not, then you have 2.5 weeks to jump on the bandwagon and participate in this opportunity to share!

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! As a little incentive, I’m going to randomly choose one participant to gift a $25.00 gift card to GAP, which is probably my top favorite place to wardrobe shop currently. 🙂 Again, all you have to do to be entered to win is send me an email including text and/or photos about your wardrobe and any changes you’ve made recently.

The more submissions received, the more interesting the final post will be. I can’t wait to see and hear about what you all have been working on! Thanks in advance for being willing to participate in this little venture of mine. I can’t wait to hear from you!