I am about four weeks into wearing my Winter Part 2 capsule. Yes… I have two winter capsules each year. Basically I don’t get more than six weeks of autumn before Winter Part 1 sets in, and then after the holidays I’m ready for a change. Winter generally lasts from November thru April where I live. So I break it up with two capsule wardrobes.
Whereas Winter Part 1 was all about the holidays and feeling festive, Winter Part 2 is about warmth and coziness – comfort to keep me going until spring finally comes (hygge anyone?)! As with any capsule wardrobe, versatility is paramount. Everything has to match everything else (or very close). I have already swapped a few things out to make it work better (be prepared to be flexible). Here’s the final list I’m sticking with:
Winter Part 2 Capsule Items
(Core pieces are in bold)
- Burgundy Long Sleeve T-shirt (Gap)
- Black Turtleneck (Gap, from ThredUp)
- Teal Turtleneck Sweater (Gap (old) similar here)
- Striped Long Sleeve T-shirt (Gap Factory)
- Chambray Shirt (Custom eShakti)
- Red Flannel Shirt (Duluth Trading)
- Navy/Red Flannel Shirt (Duluth Trading)
- Black and White Flannel Shirt (Gap)
- Gray Tunic Sweatshirt (Old Thrifted)
- Ivory Cable Knit Sweater (Old Navy)
- Black Blazer (Loft, old)
- Long Gray Cardigan (Chicos, old)
- Black Pocket Leggings (Target)
- Black Jeans (Maurices, old)
- Blue Jeans (Originally Gap, now replaced with Everlane)
- Tweed Skirt (Thrifted)
- Black Dress (Thrifted)
- Black Skirt (JCPenney)
- Brown Short Boots (Clarks, thrifted!!!)
- Black Short Boots (Unisa, DSW)
- Brown Tall Boots (Boutique)
- Black kitten heel pumps (DSW)
- Red Scarf (gifted, from Paris!)
- White Scarf (Landsend, old)
- Gold Plaid Scarf (boutique shop)
- Gold Minimalist Jewelry (Earrings – Kendra Scott, Necklace – Old Navy)
- Silver Minimalist Jewelry (Earrings – Amazon, Necklace – gifted from Mary Kay)
- Statement Earrings (Walmart)
- Statement Jewelry Set (Paparrazi)
- Accent Ring Set (Kendra Scott)
- Teal Puffer Coat (Landsend)
When I ran the numbers… I came up with 139+ outfits with just the 16 core pieces. So there are even more possibilities when you factor in the black dress or skirt, shoes, and accessories.
How I picked my items:
The first thing I looked at was “what’s warm?”. It’s soooo cold here. And I’m always cold. So I knew I wanted lots of opportunities for layering: thick sweaters, warm pants, flannel and wool were also influential. I work in a pretty casual work environment, so I can dress up my jeans by wearing boots, nice jewelry and professional-looking hair and makeup. I did include a tweed skirt for days when I just feel like dressing up a little bit more. It’s relatively warm, especially with fleece lined tights underneath, and it pairs nicely with my flannel shirts.
I considered the shoes very carefully. In the past I’ve tried to wear point toe flats or dress shoes of some kind in the winter. But they always end up at the back of the closet because it’s too cold to actually wear them! Boots it is! Both of my brown boots are high quality investment pieces. The tall ones are made of good leather and have sturdy lug soles that grip the snow well. I invested in these about 5 years ago at a swanky shoe store ($$$) and I make sure to take really good care of them! My short brown boots are Clarks that I found at a thrift store in like-new condition for $25! I was so excited. You have no idea. They have a thick, 3 inch heel on them, but have lug soles, and are ridiculously comfortable. Plus, they are leather AND insulated! Seriously, my favorite. I want to find another pair ASAP. My black Unisa boots are starting to wear out. I’ve had to repair them already. I think this will be their last winter. I bought them at DSW two years ago. They are a mid-range priced faux leather. They have lasted very well, considering. I’d love to replace them with a higher quality leather boot like my other two pairs. But that is a consideration for next winter! (I’m crossing my fingers that they survive till then!)
I invested in only a few new pieces for this capsule. The first was a new chambray shirt. I ordered it custom made from eShakti, and I love it! I maybe could have requested the sleeves a little bit longer, but I usually layer it or roll the sleeves up anyway. The shirt fits me like a glove and the quality is amazing. I highly recommend eShakti for affordable custom clothing!
I also ordered a new black turtleneck. Originally, I had a black long sleeve tee in the capsule, but I kept seeing turtlenecks alllllll over Instagram and I really wanted something warmer. So I ordered this one second hand from ThredUp! I was so happy to find one that is a Tall size so it’s long enough for my arms! The turtleneck is originally from the Gap and is 60% cotton and 40% modal. This is a great fiber blend that makes for a high quality shirt. I’m confident that I will wear it for a good couple of years!
Finally, it was a very sad day last week when I found a 4 inch irreparable tear in the inner thigh of my favorite skinny jeans. I was so disappointed! I only bought these jeans six months ago from Gap, but I have worn them probably 4 days every week since I got them. That’s one thing about capsule wardrobes… you have to buy higher quality items, because you will wear items out so much faster than you used to! And Gap, like most brands at its price point, is really hit and miss on quality. So, long story short, I found myself ordering new jeans right away. I considered just buying the same ones again from Gap, but then I thought about how I’ve been wanting to buy more ethically, and I’ve always wanted to try Everlane’s denim! So I ordered a pair of their high waisted skinny jeans in a Tall size. I AM IN LOVE. These jeans fit true to size, feel very durable and have a classic silhouette.
And… just after I wrote the first draft of this post I found holes in my favorite black pocket leggings!!! Agh. But I’ve had them for years… I literally can’t remember when I bought them. I replaced them pretty happily with a new pair from Target. I have yet to find any “ethical” leggings that I really like. I did look for secondhand, but couldn’t find any with pockets! (A big key to being a minimalist is being very picky with your wardrobe. I never used to be picky, but the fewer items you own, the more picky you are going to want to be!)
So far, so good with Winter Part 2! I’m happy that I prioritized warmth and coziness with this capsule. To keep myself from getting bored, I did record all the possible outfit combinations I could think of (139+) and I printed it out to keep it in my closet. Then every day when I get dressed, I cross an outfit off the list so I don’t wear any outfit twice. It really keeps things interesting! I’ve even found some combinations that I didn’t initially think of, like wearing my striped t-shirt under my flannels (stripes and plaid?! gasp).
Looking forward to spring…