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How to Build a Winter Capsule Wardrobe

November 28, 2018


Erin Schrader

Winter Capsule Wardrobe

It’s that time again — we’re approaching a new season which means it’s time to bust out a new seasonal capsule wardrobe! If you’ve been following along over the past year, you’ve probably seen another capsule or two on the blog [peep ’em all here] and if you’re new here, you may be thinking “what the WHAT? a winter capsule wardrobe? girlfriend, speak English please.” I get it, I’ve been there – a clueless girl about what in the world a capsule wardrobe is. Before I fill you in on exactly what a capsule wardrobe means, let me get a few things out in the open.

For starters, capsule wardrobe blog posts mean A LOT of outfit pictures. You’ll see below 54 [yes, count ’em 54] outfits that we created from a simple 20 pieces. Keep in mind that we are working with a winter capsule which means one thing = freezing. If I look a little bit like a pale red faced drowned rat with questionable hair, that’s why. Cold temperatures and one million outfit changes aren’t my friend shockingly enough. Now that we got that out of the way, let’s get back to what this whole capsule wardrobe thing really is.

What is a capsule wardrobe?

If you aren’t familiar with what a capsule wardrobe is, I’ll quickly explain – a capsule wardrobe is where you take several pieces (15-20) that all work together within your wardrobe to interchange and get creative with. The point behind a capsule wardrobe is to minimize the number of items you have on hand while maximizing the number of ways you can wear each piece. From a creativity standpoint, it’s awesome – a capsule wardrobe will force you to be more intentional about making sure all items work together in multiple ways, which really will make you feel like you have a closet full of options with just a few pieces! This not only creates a lot less headache and time in the morning when deciding what to wear but also saves you money as well. I think we can agree that we like saving on all of the above.

How to build a winter capsule

For our winter capsule wardrobe, we went with a color scheme of camel [a HOT color for fall this year], deep teal, black and white. All colors that are within most everybody’s wheel house. For this capsule, we included one basic long sleeve tee, one button-up top, a layering cami, two sweaters, one satin top, one blazer, one open cardigan, one jacket, one skirt, one pair of jeans, one pair of joggers, one hat, two handbags, one pair of earrings and four pairs of shoes. With just these 20 items we were able to come up with 50+ different looks for both work and play. Curious what pieces we chose for our capsule? Here you have em’!

Meet the pieces in this winter capsule:

  1. Gibson x Living in Yellow Diana Cozy Knit Wrap Top [size down if in between, I wear in XS] This faux wrap cozy fleece top is a closet staple all winter long. I love this piece for its versatility! It can easily be dressed up for work or pairs perfectly with your your favorite lounge pants for a night in at home. Bonus: it’s nursing friendly!
  2. Gibson Notch Collar Cotton Blend Blazer [size down if in between, I wear in XS] My favorite blazer ever invented. This piece is so classic yet so comfortable.
  3. Gibson x Living in Yellow Betty Lace Trim Camisole [true to size, I wear in small] The only layering cami you will never need in my personal opinion. The material is so nice and thick which gives it some warmth for the winter months and the pretty lace detail is the cherry on top!
  4. CeCe Satin Charm Blouse [true to size, I wear in XS] Adding in a touch of satin in our winter capsule wardrobe was a must. In this beautiful emerald color it is top that you can wear to work to the bar.
  5. Ribbed Turtleneck Sweater [true to size, I wear in XS] There is nothing that I love more than a turtleneck sweater right now. They do the job of keeping you warm while looking chic and cozy. For more camel turtleneck options click here!
  6. Gibson x Living in Yellow Alice Stripe Jersey Top [size down, I wear in XS] The perfect layering tee, this striped top is a closet must-have! Whether you are wearing it alone, under your favorite vest or cardigan or to bed at night, this jersey tee is the perfect addition to any capsule wardrobe.
  7. Madewell Kent Cardigan Sweater in Coziest Yarn [size down, I wear in XS] Of course we couldn’t get through a winter capsule wardrobe without having an open cardigan. I love the teal color that this comes in and it’s the perfect oversized length. One hard part of cardigans is that they can look a little on the grandma side. This one is pretty grandma free so we’re calling it a win.
  8. LOFT Leopard Print Blouse [true to size] While the exact top I wore in this capsule wardrobe is now out of stock, this is a perfect alternative to meet your animal print needs. Animal print is incredibly more versatile than you may believe [I consider it a neutral these days] but adds a pop of fun with any look!
  9. Jen7 Velvet Miniskirt [true to size] Yes, we included a miniskirt in our winter capsule wardrobe. Before you think we are crazy, hear me out. This velvet miniskirt is the perfect length [not too short], can be worn with tall boots or tights for all winter long. The velvet material is so trendy right now and it is so fun for work, parties or whatever the winter brings your way.
  10. J.Crew City coat [true to size] While this isn’t the exact coat that I am wearing in today’s post [mine is currently sold out and was quite oversized if you can’t tell from the photos] this camel coat is one of my all-time favorites. I own it and it is the perfect winter option for your wardrobe.
  11. Liverpool Jeans Company Piper Hugger Lift Sculpt Ankle Skinny Jeans [true to size] In any capsule wardrobe, you need a pair of denim that won’t stretch out, is the perfect shade and super comfortable because you will be wearing them often. This pair meets all of those requirements!
  12. Gibson x Living in Yellow Skye Cozy Jogger Pants [size down if in between, I wear in XS] While the ponte joggers that we shot in this post are now out of stock [stay tuned, they will be restocked in January] these are a cozy alternative. It’s amazing to me how easily you can dress up or down joggers these days.
  13. ED Ellen DeGeneres Crowley Quilted Sneaker [true to size] I am starting to love Ellen’s shoes even more than I love Ellen herself. These tennis shoes are so comfortable and can carry you from point a to b all the way to z.
  14. Danilynn Tall Heeled Boot [true to size] These are my favorite boots of the season. They truly offer the perfect shaft [don’t make me say that again]. Whether you wear them tall or slouchy, these are so cute over jeans, with skirts, etc. A must!
  15. Sam Edelman Hazel Pointy Toe Pump [true to size] If you’ve followed for any length of time, you’ve seen me rock these heels time and time again. They are the most comfortable heels I’ve found and have the perfect point. It doesn’t hurt that they come in 1,000 colors. We went with black suede for this wardrobe.
  16. Steve Madden Feather-L Genuine Calf Hair Loafer Flat [true to size] Yes, more leopard. You can’t have enough as far as I am concerned. These flats are quite comfortable and can be dressed up or down.
  17. Halogen(R) Refined Wide Brim Wool Floppy Hat My favorite hat had to make it in this mix. I own this baby in all of the colors because it’s so good. Keep your head warm this winter with this sophisticated piece.
  18. Dalia Hoop Did somebody say leopard? We did and we want it in your ears, pronto. These hoops are super lightweight and add a touch of fun to any outfit!
  19. Sole Society Nuddo Faux Leather Tote The perfect tote. It’s big enough to fit all of your needs while not being overwhelming.
  20. Rebecca Minkoff Love Small Leopard-Print Crossbody Bag I could try to love another crossbody bag more but I’d fail. You can’t go wrong with this beauty and explodes all of our animal print loving hearts.

Outfits in this winter capsule wardrobe:

  1. Gibson x Living in Yellow Alice Stripe Jersey Top [size down, I wear in XS]

2. Gibson x Living in Yellow Betty Lace Trim Camisole [true to size, I wear in small] 

3. Ribbed Turtleneck Sweater [true to size, I wear in XS] For more camel turtleneck options click here!

4. Madewell Kent Cardigan Sweater in Coziest Yarn [size down, I wear in XS]

5. Gibson x Living in Yellow Diana Cozy Knit Wrap Top [size down if in between, I wear in XS]

6. Similar: LOFT Leopard Print Blouse [true to size]

7. CeCe Satin Charm Blouse [true to size, I wear in XS]

8. Gibson Notch Collar Cotton Blend Blazer [size down if in between, I wear in XS]

9. Similar: J.Crew City coat [true to size]

Phew. And that’s a wrap folks. As you can see by taking those minimal amount of pieces you can have outfits GALORE for literally every occasion. I’m curious – have you ever tried to do a capsule wardrobe? Any tips you’d share for creating one or sticking to it?

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