Sara’s Classy Capsule Lifestyle

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.

unnamed (4)  unnamed (5)

Sara writes:

This is not a fad for me…this is a serious lifestyle change that I fully embraced over a year ago. I am currently in my fifth capsule and am still loving the process.

unnamed (1)unnamed (2)unnamed

Having less has given me so much more: more time to spend with my dog in the morning instead of contemplating what to wear, more money to spend on experiences rather than items, more mental free space to focus on projects and ideas that really matter to me, and more soundness in what my personal style and preferences are.

I’ve learned so much about myself and my tastes through this practice, and I don’t think the learning process will ever stop. You slowly notice a theme or certain patterns developing in your closet. My personal uniform is made up mostly of black, grey, or white, of sandals, and of maxi skirts or dresses.

unnamed (3)

The idea of a capsule wardrobe started in my closet but has leaked into all facets of my life. I have narrowed down my make-up, my cleaning supplies, my books, and my photo albums. The KonMari Method, found in Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up really says it all: if it does not spark joy, get rid of it. You will be glad you did.

Side note: Stylebook is WELL worth the few dollars to purchase the app. Putting together different looks and combinations within a capsule is incredibly easy with their user-friendly interface.

Stylbook.png

Thanks for sharing these fabulous photos with us, Sara! I LOVE your work look ensembles.

Follow Sara on Instagram at @micro_human. And if you found this post helpful or inspiring, leave her some love in the comments below!

Alicia’s Less-is-More Closet Approach

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.

Alicia writes:

Though I have not followed the capsule wardrobe idea to a T (no pun intended), the choice to live with less and make intentional shopping decisions has been life-changing as far as my closet is concerned. I love shopping for clothes. It’s like therapy for me. Actually, it practically bordered on obsession until recently.

IMG_7780

I remember reading several blog posts about the simplicity of the capsule wardrobe. I looked at my closet, stuffed with all seasons and all styles, and decided it was time for a change. It took me several days weeks to purge, organize, and delegate what goes to which store. Off-season clothes went in a plastic bin under my bed (this is a superb option for me as it’s easy to switch out seasons when the next one comes around!)

I don’t do well “sticking to the book” so to speak, but my shopping habits have decreased from several times a week to once every 1-2 weeks and only as needed. I haven’t “arrived” yet, but for the first time in my life I feel overall content with the apparel in my closet. As an added benefit, I have made approximately $80 in the past month on my purging efforts, thanks to Plato’s Closet and a nearby consignment store. Score!

IMG_7793
A few of my favorite fall/winter items: thrifted black boots, and Oxford hoes (Rue 21 clearance a year ago)
IMG_7832 (2)
Current favorite outfit: plaid + scarves (pictured here, both from Target) …so comfortable and perfect for school, work, church, and coffee with a friend. Basically, perfect for almost anything.

I love hearing about the positive changes you’ve been able to make to your shopping habits, Alicia! Thanks for sharing!

Check out Alicia’s blog, Musings of a Twenty-Something to get to know her more, and if you found this post helpful or inspiring, leave her some love in the comments below!

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!

pMAUR1-21400735v275
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!

Stitch Fix #3 | My Review

IMG_1132

I’m working on my winter capsule right now (yay!) and decided to order another Stitch Fix to help with some of the missing pieces. To be honest, I wasn’t as excited with this one as the first two, and here’s why.

In my excitement a few weeks ago, I went into my style profile and changed my status to “pregnant” and entered my due date, which is July 8 of next year. I should have thought to let my stylist know that I didn’t actually want any maternity clothing yet (I don’t expect to have enough of a bump by the end of February that I won’t still be able to wear regular clothing). But I didn’t say anything, and they sent me two maternity pieces. Not the end of the world, but a little disappointing. I’ll be sure to specify next time.

Here’s what came in my third box:

IMG_1129
Klarisa Open Drape Cardigan, $88

 

IMG_1128
Copolla Elbow Patch Maternity Knit Top, $54

 

IMG_1126
Corinna Striped Dolman Top, $48

 

IMG_1127
Colibri Solid Tab Sleeve Blouse, $48

 

IMG_1130
Mira Maternity Skinny Jean, $78

My thoughts on these pieces:

  • The burgundy cardigan is beautiful. It’s one of my favorite colors and would have gone well with the things in my closet right now. I was actually planning to keep it, until I saw the price tag. It’s one of those sweaters that’s a little hard to judge on how well it will hold up, and I just wasn’t willing to risk it for that much money.
  • The maternity top with the elbow patches is super cute. But I’m having a July baby! Not the right season at all. I’ll admit I felt a little frustrated that they didn’t think through that one. It would be super cute for fall and even early winter, like right now, but I’m only 7 weeks along…I won’t be showing for a while yet, so it would be a little weird to wear the t-shirts with the ruching at the side seams now already!
  • The striped dolman top is the one thing I kept from this Fix. It’s flattering + comfortable, and is quite different from anything else I own but will go great with some of my winter pieces. And thanks to some credit I still have leftover from referrals, I only paid $20 for it. 🙂
  • The green blouse is super similar to one I bought at Old Navy last year this time and ended up not wearing very much. It’s just not really my style I guess, and see those wrinkles?–that confirms it even more. Chiffon just is not my favorite fabric. It’s a really pretty color, and like my stylist mentioned, would have been a great transitional piece into the second and maybe even third trimesters AND have been great for nursing, but it just didn’t feel “me” enough.
  • As for the maternity jeans? My first thought was, I’m not sure I’ll even wear maternity jeans! It’s mostly too hot for jeans in June and July around here, and when I do want some, I hope to be able to make do with what I have, with the help of a Bellaband or something similar. If this pair would have been really great I might have considered keeping them, but they seemed to be on the cheaper side and weren’t a very flattering fit on my legs.

I loved the “how to wear it” cards they sent me with this box once again, and aside from the part where they seemed to have overlooked this baby’s due date, I was happy with Fix #3 overall. I know for next time how to better describe my needs in the note to my stylist, and I may even order another one right away for the next few weeks as I’m finishing up my Winter Capsule. And I have heard really good things about their maternity selections (such as, they’re cuter than what you can find in stores), so I am looking forward to seeing what they have to offer me in that department next spring. 🙂

You can see my other Fixes and read more about how this service works here and here. Want to try Stitch Fix for yourself? (It really is every bit as fun as it looks!) Use my referral link to sign up!

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

IMG_8202
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!

Capsule Wardrobe Debut | Fall 2015

Some real talk: This season of capsule wardrobe stressed me out. I made the switch from Summer to Fall on September 1st, and only yesterday made the last few cuts. However, the prolonged lack of clarity forced me to think about my wardrobe more intentionally than ever before, and I’m coming out on the other side feeling more confident than ever with my choices for this season. The month of September and the little hiatus I took from blogging for a few weeks served me well in that I took time to think carefully about the value I place on not only my possessions but on my time and my people, as well. As I continue to eliminate the unnecessary, my awareness of God, myself, and the things I’m chasing become less muddled.

As an aside, I’m going to follow one of the Un-fancy rules for capsule wardrobe this season that I haven’t ever bothered with before: the no-shopping rule. I’ve never felt that that one was as relevant for me, since, as you know if you’ve been around here long, shopping is NOT one of my favorite pastimes. However, I’m going to try confining my shopping for winter (which won’t be nearly as big of a project as it was for fall, since most of these pieces will carry over) to the last two weeks of November. I’m hoping that limiting myself to such a specific time slot will support the clarity that dragging out the decision process tends to complicate.

I’m so excited about these pieces. Since I’ve already been wearing most of them for nearly a month and a half, I know that quite a few of these are going to become old friends for hopefully a good many years. It may have taken me longer to put this collection together, but I’ve definitely come a long way in terms of understanding both practicality and style. And so here she is, Fall Capsule Wardrobe 2015, in all her completed glory!

Fall 15 Capsule Composite PNG

// Special thanks to my sweet cousin, Alyssa, for shooting these images //

  1. Scoop-Neck Striped Tee from Stitch Fix (learn more here)
  2. Terry-Fleece Loose Tee from Old Navy
  3. Plaid Pocket Tee from Old Navy
  4. Classic Crew Sweatshirt from American Eagle Outfitters (similar here)
  5. Fine-Knit Drape Cardigan from H&M
  6. Knit Sweater from H&M (similar here)
  7. Black Jegging from American Eagle Outfitters
  8. Grey Slim-Fit Denim from H&M
  9. Hi-Rise Jegging from American Eagle Outfitters
  10. Skinny Low Jeans from H&M
  11. Olive Sateen X Jegging from American Eagle Outfitters
  12. Mid-Rise Pleated Soft Pants from Old Navy
  13. V-Neck Pocket Tee from Target (the best basic tee, and only $12!)
  14. Hi-Lo Patterned Top from Old Navy (also featured here)
  15. Gray Chambray Button-down from Old Navy
  16. Embroidered Chambray Top from Old Navy
  17. Denim Vest from Old Navy
  18. Chambray Shirt from Gap
  19. Soft Popover from LOFT
  20. Shawl Cardigan from Aero
  21. Thick Collared Cardigan from Gap (wearing out, must find something similar!)
  22. Black Quilted Jacket from H&M (very similar)
  23. Pullover Fringe Poncho from PacSun
  24. Black Ultra-Soft Pullover from Target
  25. Maroon Thrifted Maxi Skirt (read more here)
  26. Olive Gathered-Waist Maxi Skirt from The Main Street Exchange
  27. Dark Grey Maxi Skirt from The Main Street Exchange
  28. Button-Down Midi Skirt from Urban Outfitters
  29. Tiny Floral Print Short Skirt from H&M
  30. Striped Maxi Dress from Gap
  31. Eyelet Shift Dress from Old Navy
  32. Utility Jacket from Gap
  33. Acosa Bootie from Mix No. 6
  34. Suede Wedge Bootie from Maurices
  35. Grey Quilted Jersey Keds
  36. Suede Pointed-Toe Flats from Old Navy (similar here)

// If you’re new here, or need a refresher on the capsule wardrobe concept, go here. //

How many of you have created a capsule wardrobe of some sort for Fall? If you have, I’d love to hear about it!

Capsule Wardrobe Preview | Fall 2015

How is it the end of September already?! I’m feeling slightly depressed that there are basically two months left of Autumn… (Christmas starts the day after Thanksgiving around here, so to me, Fall is over at that point. Also, we may or may not be tagging our tree tonight!)

Anyhow, Month One of  F a l l   C a p s u l e   W a r d r o b e   2 0 1 5  got away from me and though I’ve been loving my fall pieces and doing lots of good experimenting and discovering, I don’t quite have it finalized enough to post just yet.

Some of the items I thought I was going to re-wear from last year ended up getting the boot because they either didn’t go with enough of my favorites or didn’t fit my current style or life. There are a couple things I’m still looking for (like a simple pair of light gray skinny jeans…who knew something so basic could be so elusive?!) and I may have added a thing or two to my shopping list just this week. The current count stands at 32 (and as always, the goal is 37 or less).

The last few things I’ve bought online all ended up going back to the store, so my online-shopping confidence is slightly shaken and I think I might need to brave some brick-and-mortar again. Maybe we’ll have time for a bit of that later this afternoon when Caleb and I head out for a scheduled-weeks-ago date night.

At any rate, to tide you over for the next week or so (hopefully not much longer than that), here are a few of my top favorites so far.

IMG_0114
Olive Sateen X Jegging from American Eagle Outfitters | The softest pants I’ve ever owned, with a super flattering fit. I love the buttons and the extra seams that add charm + interest. And this color goes with literally  e v e r y t h i n g  in my closet!
IMG_0109
Plaid Pocket Tee from Old Navy | The perfect fall t-shirt–loose, soft, & classy. I always end up disappointed with how poorly the things I buy from Old Navy hold up, but I loved this shirt so much the moment I saw it + it was cheap enough that if it only lasts for one season, that’s okay.
IMG_0110
T H R I F T E D (yay!) mystery-brand, mystery-size (thank goodness for the drawstring) skirt from the used + new clothing boutique I work at one day a week. This cost me four dollars and I feel like it’s something that could have cost $200 from Free People. So fun!

Anyone else score any great finds for your fall wardrobe lately? Tell us about it!

Stitch Fix #2 | My Review

IMG_8503

My second Stitch Fix arrived this week and was no less exciting than the first! As promised, here’s a little Show & Tell on the items included in Round Two for me.

IMG_8545
RD Style Akiva Cowl Neck Pullover, $68
IMG_8547
Skies are Blue Lusy Embroidered Detail Knit Top, $54
IMG_8549
Mavi Freida Skinny Jean, $98
IMG_8551
RD Style Bailey Open Cardigan, $68
IMG_8552
RD Style Iana Twisted Seam Sweater

Here’s my synopsis of this fix:

  • The cowl neck pullover is a great loose fit, but the weave on this sweater didn’t seem like it would hold up well at all, and I tend to avoid that kind of sweater. Sending it back.
  • The embroidered detail top is super cute. I don’t usually wear that sleeve length, but it looks great with a cardigan, and I love the detail at the neck so much that I don’t think I’ll be able to give this one up. At the moment it’s a probable keeper.
  • The jeans felt so great when I put them on, but the fit at the ankles wasn’t quite up to par for me, plus I basically have all the jeans for my fall capsule wardrobe finalized at this point. I hope I don’t regret sending these back…they really were comfy.
  • The open cardigan is super cozy. I’m considering keeping that one as well.
  • I love the color and weave of the Iana sweater, but it’s not a flattering fit on me at all, so that made the decision easy on that one: going back.

I’m really loving this online stylist deal. The $20/box styling fee credits to your purchases, so as long as there’s at least one thing that comes in your box that you love enough to keep, the service is totally FREE! And thanks to those of you who signed up through my referral link, I earned enough credit to get 1-2 of my items this time completely free.

Bonus: Every Fix comes with these fun little outfit cards in case you need help figuring out how to style the pieces.

IMG_8553

What would you keep/send back? I’d love to hear your opinions before I make my final decision today!