My 2018 Winter Capsule Wardrobe

My 2018 Winter Capsule Wardrobe - The Calm Collective

Good morning and happy Wednesday! Hope you’re all having a lovely week. This past week was a bit of a struggle, getting through another anniversary since my dad passed. It’s always such a heavy week, and I just want to say I’m so grateful to all of you who reached out, sent sweet messages, and just held some seriously loving space for me. It doesn’t go unnoticed and I’m forever thankful.

So, while I know we’re towards the end of December, crazy enough, I haven’t really had to fully transition out of my fall clothing just yet. Chicago has been dare I say it — warm? all month long. Only a couple of snow falls, but nothing really stuck. The lowest I think we’ve gotten is in the 30s. But with the sun out, that doesn’t even feel accurate.

Needless to say, it’s starting to drop little by little, so my Winter Capsule is now officially planned and in rotation. I’m so excited to share it with all of you, as it’s a ritual I love doing each season. I end up lighting some candles in my bedroom, either making a really delicious coffee drink or if it’s in the evening, pouring myself some vino, and throwing on a movie (usually something nostalgic like “Sleepless in Seattle”) and I get to planning.  I bought a few new things this season which is always exciting, and I’m sharing them below. I’m also doing something different where I’m showing you guys how I pieced a few of my favorite outfits together, just in case you wanted some extra inspiration!

BUT FIRST THING’S FIRST: WHAT IS A CAPSULE WARDROBE?

I’m sure by now so many of you have heard the term Capsule Wardrobe. I know I’ve heard it hundreds of times and would always respond with the same old statement, “there’s no way I could do that.” I also said that about being vegan, and then there I was, almost 5 years in (but no longer, just to be clear!) While I’ve definitely improved with my ability to no longer impulse buy, rather, buy the things that I actually need and will find real value in long term, I still struggle with feeling overwhelmed by my options. So enough was enough, and I finally decided that there was no harm done to just give it a try. I have to say, putting together my first capsule wardrobe back in 2017 was actually so much fun and therapeutic. I was able to sift through the items that I already owned, knew I loved, and buy select pieces that I knew were missing. (read: sneakers that don’t have black Adidas stripes) I ended up with 30 pieces – only 30! and felt like a new woman by the time I organized and arranged everything just so. Now the key piece here is that I paid mind to not be like anyone else. There are so many bloggers out there with an array of styles, and it’s hard to not compare and wonder if we, too, should be wearing y and z. But the thing is, that’s just wasted money. At the end of the day, you’re still you. You will always come back to that (thank goodness), so it’s imperative that we listen to our inner voices when determining what it is we want for our seasonal wardrobe.

If you’re like me when I first started out and feel a little hesitant with the trend of the capsule wardrobe, I hear you loud and clear. But honestly? I can’t recommend it enough. Peace of mind and lack of choices is actually a really beautiful thing that we too often overlook. We’re so used to the overwhelm, a slew of options, the lugging of multiple suitcases and sore backs from carrying them around the airport. We’ve become accustom to being “okay” with what’s in our closet rather than “in love” with any of it. I for one am so, so tired of feeling this way – and the amazing part? We’re in full, total control of it all. We just have to give ourselves the permission to make a change.

SO WHAT DO YOU THINK? WILL YOU START YOUR OWN CAPSULE WARDROBE?

Mind you, it doesn’t have to be 30 pieces or any set number for that matter. But I challenge you to give it purpose and structure. Each item should be able to flow with another. In this case, less really is more.

So lets jump in to the pieces that I’ve chosen to wear throughout the winter season (which will most likely go throughout early March – knowing Chicago)

 

Bottoms


LEATHER LEGGINGS FROM H&M / SIMILAR AND FIT LIKE A GLOVE.

I love that I can style these to be dressed up or dressed down with any of the other pieces from my capsule. They’re thick enough to keep me warm, but still allow my legs to breathe.

VELVET SPANX LEGGINGS FROM NORDSTROM

My friend Jess was wearing these during our travel to and from Portugal, and I was obsessed with them. So much so, I bought a pair for myself immediately upon getting home. They’re 100% worth the price tag, and I have them in a heavy rotation of 1-2 times a week! (The way they shape your body is amazing)

WHITE RAW EDGE JEANS BY MADEWELL FROM NORDSTROM

Finally. A pair of white jeans that look flattering (not easy to come by, it turns out). I wore these yesterday actually paired with this top, and it’s definitely going to be one of my go-to outfits this season. I’m also not someone who follows the “no white after Labor Day rule” – clearly.

JAMIE HIGHRISE SKINNY JEANS BY TOPSHOP FROM NORDSTROM

I never thought I’d be into buying flare jeans after the early 2000’s, but alas, here I am, loving every minute and buying them in black and in white as well. (PS: the white are on MAJOR sale right now)

 

Tops


SHEER MOCK TURTLENECK LONG SLEEVED TOP BY LEITH FROM NORDSTROM 

One of my favorite things in my closet right now is this top. I honestly just wear it with a plain black sports bra underneath so it’s not “too risky” ;) It polishes off any look, whether I’m wearing it with tailored pants, jeans, or a skirt.

EYELASH KNIT PULLOVER BY LEITH FROM NORDSTROM

I’m not a huge fan of turtleneck sweaters, but this one is SO soft that I hardly forget I’m wearing anything at all. I love pairing it with white jeans and white booties to give it that fresh winter look.

This is how I wear it:

My 2018 Winter Capsule Wardrobe - The Calm Collective

WRAP SWEATER BY LEITH FROM NORDSTROM 

Yet another thing by Leith. My favorite. This wrap sweater is a must have for your spring/fall/winter capsule, and is probably one of my favorite things hanging in my closet. Did I also mention that it’s soft? You’re shocked, I know. (I also have it in the tan heather)

COZY MOCK NECK SWEATER BY LEITH FROM NORDSTROM 

The perfect fall sweater. There’s really not much else to say about this. I’ve worn it with wide leg jeans for a casual relaxed look, but my favorite way to wear it is with leather leggings. (I have it in oatmeal & charcoal gray)

BLACK BODYSUIT by LEITH FROM NORDSTROM

This stays in my closet all year round, and I’ll always be a fan of a good bodysuit. It’s the perfect staple to wear underneath a leather jacket or a cardigan. I also love this one that has fancier sleeves so you can dress the look up a bit.

SOFT STRIPED SWEATER by TOPSHOP from NORDSTROM

A neutral sweater that’s perfect with denim, black or white jeans. You can also dress this up by wearing booties (like these), or dress them down with a simple sneaker (like these)

This is how I wear it:

My 2018 Winter Capsule Wardrobe - The Calm Collective

ROCK N ROLL FLUFFY SWEATER BY TOPSHOP FROM NORDSTROM

When I saw this sweater I knew I had to have it. It’s a bit more on the funky side – and definitely not something that’s in my usual rotation, but I grab for it all the time. It’s so soft (shocker), and I love the play on pattern. Plus it’s got that burnt orange that I love so much ;)

UTILITY SHIRT BY TOPSHOP FROM NORDSTROM

This shirt is heavy in rotation, and I usually pair with wth just a simple pair of jeans and a bootie (like these)

This is how I wear it:

My 2018 Winter Capsule Wardrobe - The Calm Collective

Dresses


OVERSIZED SHIRT DRESS BY TOPSHOP FROM NORDSTROM

Dresses are one of my favorite things to wear year round, but it can be hard to find ones that you can get away with wearing in freezing temps. I was SO excited when I found this paisley dress – and love pairing it with some over the knee boots for that cozy winter look.

RIB KNIT MIDI DRESS BY TOPSHOP FROM NORDSTROM

One of my favorite things hanging in my closet (I have it black as well) as it’s such a versatile dress. You can wear it with sneakers, over the knee boots or sock booties (my favorite option), and it truly feels like you’re wearing nothing – that’s how comfortable this dress is.

This is how I wear it:

My 2018 Winter Capsule Wardrobe - The Calm Collective

 

PLAIN SATIN SLIP DRESS BY TOPSHOP FROM NORDSTROM

I honestly feel like every woman should have a slip dress hanging in their closet. Mainly because they’re so comfortable, and also because there are so many different ways that you an wear it. Personally, I love adding this sheer mock neck turtleneck underneath, but have also worn a velvet bodysuit (like this one) to give it some texture.

Shoes


SUEDE CHESTNUT OVER THE KNEE BOOT FROM TILLYS / SIMILAR

You have to have a good OTK boot, and so far these are the best ones I’ve owned. I can wear these for hours on end without feeling the need to take them off, and the best part is that they don’t pinch behind my knee. So that’s a win in my book. I love the color, too.

REEBOK SNEAKERS FROM NORDSTROM • I TRADE OFF BETWEEN THOSE AND THESE IN WHITE

A favorite of mine are these vintage style Reeboks. I had to laugh when I found out they were coming back in style, but now that I have them, I love them and find an excuse to wear them as much as possible. (sidetone: they’re super cute with leather leggings and a longer sweater)

BLACK WEDGE KNEE HIGH BOOT FROM NORDSTROM

It took me a bit to get used to having a wedge on a tall boot, but now that I found these, I love them. I really only wear them with leggings, but they dress up the look instantly. I’m also really loving my flat over the knee boots as well, and often times end up wearing these with leggings and an oversized sweatshirt.

WHITE BOOTIES by KRISTIN CAVALLARI FROM NORDSTROM

It took me a while to find a pair that I loved, but it was worth the wait. I wear these weekly, and a fun little tip for keeping them clean is to take a magic eraser to the boot wherever you see a scuff! I love them, and prefer to wear them when I’m wearing all white.

BLACK EMBELLISHED BRAIN BOOTIE BY SAM EDELMAN FROM NORDSTROM

I’m not sure there’s a whole lot I need to say here about these boots… they’re perfect. You’ll see. (I’m also in love with these which have a more femme heel and are great for dressing up a look)

Coats


LEOPARD FAUX FUR VINTAGE COAT FROM AMAZON

Never did I ever think that I would own a leopard coat, but I bought this on a whim and now I reach for this one almost always. It’s SO comfortable, a little form fitting (so you don’t look frumpy) and the best part is that it can make even a gym outfit look cute.

LONG OPEN FRONT COAT (SIMILAR) FROM NORDSTROM

A simple staple and a coat that can easily transition from winter to spring (and even in the fall). The one I have is very similar to this (but is sold out), and is a tad oversized which is how I like it.

NEUTRAL DOWN COAT (SIMILAR) FROM NORDSTROM

For my entire life, I’ve always had a black down jacket. This year, I wanted to try something different and go for something more neutral. I came across my down jacket which is almost this exact some color.. maybe a little lighter (like this one), and I couldn’t be happier. I’m in this weird phase where I’m really favoring winter whites and neutrals over the dark and moody blacks and navy blues.

Accessories


LARGE VEGAN LEATHER TOTE BAG FROM AMAZON

I had been keeping my eye out for an oversized tote bag to bring with me when I’m running errands (and it works perfect as a travel carry on purse, too!) and when I saw this one on Amazon and also realized it was vegan (with a super decent price tag), I was all in. The quality is actually really great for how little it costs, and you can fit SO much stuff inside.

MIXED METAL GEOMETRIC EARRINGS FROM NORDSTROM

How cool are these? And they’re so lightweight.

6MM 14K GOLD BAND FROM ETSY

I bought this ring for myself a while ago as a gift to myself, just because. It’s not cheap, but that’s kind of the point. I wanted to invest in something nice for myself and every day I put it on, I feel a whole lot of self love.

ADELLA BRALETTE FROM FREE PEOPLE • I ALSO HAVE IT IN THIS COLOR AND THIS COLOR

I wear these pretty much every day. My friend Lindsay turned me on to them, and now I’m obsessed. For larger chested girls, it’s hard to find a bralette you can actually get away with wearing, but Free People finally got it right.

RESIN & METAL EARRINGS BY LEITH FROM NORDSTROM

I love these statement earrings that are also super light weight. I bought them for myself after I booked a big shoot (they’re not expensive!) but they still give me some pride every time I wear them because it was yet again, a gift to myself for working super hard.

WIDE BRIM WOOL HAT IN GRAY FROM AMAZON

I’ve turned into a hat lady. Who knew? I never thought that would be me, but now I wear this probably a couple of times a week.

BROWN AND BLACK LEATHER CIRCLE BAG FROM ASOS

This is now my every day bag and doubles as my computer bag. You can fit so much into this purse, and you’ll get at least a compliment a day. The quality is so good it’s kind of hard to believe that it isn’t more expensive.

AGJC MINIMALIST GOLD “HOOP” EARRINGS • I WEAR THESE JUST ABOUT EVERY SINGLE DAY

My every day earrings unless I’m opting for a statement piece. They’re so lightweight I really forget that I’m wearing them most of the time. (I even wear them in the shower and they hold up perfectly)

GOLD MEDALLIAN PENDANT NECKLACE FROM FREE PEOPLE (SIMILAR) 

So I bought a Archangel Michael pendent necklace when I was in LA this past summer as a birthday gift to myself, and while this isn’t the same one, it’s almost identical. I never take it off. It’s my favorite. (I’m getting really good. at this whole self-love thing)

FUAX LEATHER BACKPACK BY MATT & NAT FROM NORDSTROM

My forever favorite backpack. I bring this whenever I travel or go away for a weekend. It’s vegan, which is awesome,  and again – you’ll get at least one person asking you where you got it.

GOLD DOUBLE ROPE RING BY BYLIA JEWELS FROM ETSY

Another every day wear (it’s been over a year since I’ve taken this off!) I love this ring so much. You can find more like it in this post here where I talk about my favorite minimalist jewelry.


My 2018 Winter Capsule Wardrobe - The Calm Collective

Lastly, I won’t lie to you and say that building a capsule wardrobe is easy breezy. There’s some light work required, and many internal conversations you’ve got to have with yourself.  I’ve made a little cheat sheet to help guide you, so feel free to Pin it or print it out – I hope it’s helpful! I’ve also created a FREE capsule wardrobe worksheet that you can fill out to keep track of your final edits. The best part? You can print out multiple copies to use each season.

Be sure to visit over at Instagram where I’ll be sharing real updates on how it’s going, as well as photos from my outfits from time to time. Happy capsuling! x

6 Tips for Creating Your Capsule Wardrobe

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2 Comments

  1. Jody
    December 20, 2018 / 11:12 AM

    Love this capsule! I just recently came across your blog & lovely website and I am so happy that I did! Your minimalist/ European aesthetic is what I aim for but haven’t been able to pull together yet. I just ordered the wrap sweater and am going to try on some leather leggings this weekend. I’m in downstate Illinois and we are just starting to see cooler weather in the forecast, so I am excited to get everything in place. One last thing: I lost my dad to cancer 7 years ago. He was living with me when he passed away. I am so sorry. My dad died youngish and I learned to not put off the things I want to do, (travel, etc,,) until I “retire.” Nope. Live now. XO Jody

  2. Cassandra
    Author
    January 2, 2019 / 3:45 PM

    I love all of this so much, Jody. Thank you for taking the time to write it! Finding your personal style can feel daunting at first, but it makes shopping and planning out your wardrobe so much more gratifying once you know what you’re drawn to. I’m always here to help should you need some guidance! And as far as your dad – it makes my heart heavy knowing that someone else is a part of this awful club. How lucky were we to have such amazing fathers? x

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