As the final pages of 2023 turn, I find myself wrapped in the embrace of winter layers, reflecting on a year that unfolded not just in days and months but in carefully curated seasons. This journey through the seasons, documented in the chapters of my capsule wardrobe experiment, has been meaningful for me.
So, with a cup of something warm in hand and the winter wind whispering outside, let’s take a leisurely stroll through the last seasonal wardrobe chronicles and reflections of 2023. Here’s to a year in style, and the exciting promise of what the wardrobe horizons of 2024 might unfold.
A Reflection on Fall
Before we dive into the piles (and piles) of cozy knits I’ve set aside for my winter wardrobe, let’s stroll through the last leaves of fall and review how my autumn capsule wardrobe worked for me.
Did I Have Enough Clothes?
In a word, yes! As with past seasons, having the base wardrobe plus my seasonal additions afforded me plenty of options for fall.
I will, however, concede that I fell off the wardrobe planning wagon. The consequence? A bit more déjà vu in my daily outfits, moments of overwhelm, and an uptick in those days when loungewear usurped the role of ‘real’ clothes. My fall capsule was brimming with beloved pieces, and perhaps, I got a tad overconfident. I fell into the trap of assuming that my curated collection was so foolproof that I didn’t need to take the time plan my outfits, a practice that had served me well in seasons prior.
Toward the end of fall, I found my way back to strategic outfit planning, thanks to the trusty companion that is my StyleBook app. It served as a gentle reminder of the crucial role that thoughtful planning plays in my personal capsule wardrobe puzzle. After all, a well-curated wardrobe deserves the spotlight, and each piece deserves its moment to shine, whether it’s the first or fifth time I’ve worn it.
The Wardrobe Wishlist
In the toolkit of intentional wardrobe building, the wishlist emerges as a secret weapon in avoiding impulse buying. My wishlist included:
- Tan or Cream Relaxed Button Cardigan
- Moss/Olive Green Sweater
- Cropped Tan Knit Tank (Purchased in summer)
- Mid-Wash Straight Leg Jeans
- Copper Silk Midi Skirt
- Black Chelsea Boots (Purchased in spring)
At the tail end of summer, I grabbed the exact cardigan on my wishlist in cream because it was a piece I’d felt I could have used in spring and summer, and with prime cardigan weather approaching I decided to go for it. Then a generous friend of mine gave me the remainder of an Abercrombie store credit she wasn’t using (shout out to Katie!!) which lead to me snagging a copper silk midi skirt and dark green sweater.
Immediately, the cardigan and skirt found their place in my fall rotation. The green sweater, however, patiently waits in the wings, its heavier weight reserved for the winter stage—a strategic move, considering its prime role in my envisioned winter holiday outfits.
Which leaves me with the mid-wash straight leg jeans as the only item left on my ongoing wardrobe ‘wish list.’ Rest assured, I’ve added some jeans that fit the bill to my Christmas registry. (P.S. For the Type-A in you, consider a free registry website for your birthday and holiday wishlist. My family might have chuckled initially, but now they’re converts, appreciating the ease it brings to gift-giving!)
Building the Foundation: The Base 30-Piece Capsule Wardrobe
If you missed the chronicles of my spring capsule post, I’d highly recommend checking it out. Mainly because I breakdown how I got to this 30-Piece Base + 20-ish-Piece Seasonal Additions capsule strategy. But, if your curiosity is solely fixated on the winter wardrobe, envision these pieces as the timeless essentials that transcend the seasons.
MY BASE WARDROBE INCLUDES:
- Tan Trench Coat
- Copper-Brown Duster Cardigan
- Cropped Black Leather Jacket
- Denim Jacket
- Black Silk Cami
- White Silk Cami
- Black/Olive Button Tank (this is a reversible piece)
- Cream Textured Tank
- Black T-Shirt
- White T-Shirt
- Black & White Stripped Long Sleeve T-shirt
- White Botton Up
- Chambray Button Up
- Black Hoodie Sweatshirt
- Black Cotton Mockneck Sweater
- Grey Lightweight Sweater
- Brown Ribbed Lightweight Sweater
- Black Slip Midi Dress
- Black Button Midi Dress
- Black Leatherette Mini Skirt
- Black Trousers
- Kahaki Trousers
- Denim Jeans
- Black Jeans
- White Jeans
- Black Chelsea Booties
- Tan Leather Booties
- Tan Sneakers
- White Sneakers
- Tan Suede Loafers
I will note here that I’ve decided to change up my 30-piece base capsule for 2024. Some pieces have revealed themselves as unsung heroes, worn far more frequently than I initially thought. The beauty of the capsule wardrobe lies in its adaptability, and with the turn of the calendar, I’ll be refining this foundational ensemble to better reflect my evolving style and lifestyle needs. Stay tuned for the unveiling of the revamped base capsule in the chapters of the new year.
Winter 2023 Capsule Wardrobe
As the chilly breeze heralds the arrival of winter, it’s time to layer up, infuse a dash of festive flair, and cocoon myself in fabrics that echo the season’s call to rest. Beyond the practical warmth of heavier jackets and cozy sweaters, I’ve curated a collection that dances between functionality and celebration.
Silk whispers of holiday gatherings, suede adds a touch of luxury, wool promises snug evenings by the fire, and velvet brings an elegant note to winter soirées. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the fabrics and styles that will add to my 30-piece base, creating a harmonious ensemble for the winter season.
Psst… I’ve put an asterisk (*) next to all the items that were also in my fall wardrobe.
- Wool City Coat
- Black Down Jacket
- Cream Cardigan*
- Burgundy Velvet Tank
- Grey & White Checkered Dolman Shirt
- Rust Corduroy Button Up*
- Olive Button Up*
- Blue & White Checkered Flannel
- Cream Mockneck Sweater*
- Grey Waffle Sweater (Detachable Mock Neck)
- Grey Leather Patch Sweater
- Tan Mockneck Sweater*
- Green Mockneck Sweater
- Rust Maxi Dress*
- Olive & Checkered Dress (reversible)*
- Navy Wrap Dress
- Olive Trousers
- Tan Skirt*
- Rust Midi Skirt*
- White Booties*
- Black Suede Slingbacks*
Looking Ahead: My Guide to Building Your Own Capsule Wardrobe
As the days keep getting shorter (come on, mid-winter, my seasonal affective disorder begs you to hurry up!), I find solace in bundling up with my beloved winter essentials. I’ve almost obtained all of my wishlist items for the year and feel like I’ve learned so much from this year long experiment in capsule wardrobes.
As I wrap-up my experiment, I’m thrilled to unveil a delightful encore for 2024—an exclusive Capsule Wardrobe Planner. In this bonus post, I’ll share my experience garnered from a year-long capsule wardrobe trial. But that’s not all! I’ll be sharing a Canva template, a digital canvas for you to craft your very own capsule wardrobe.
Thank you for traversing this wardrobe landscape with me throughout the seasons. Here’s to a cozy winter, a reflective year, and the exciting anticipation of what 2024 holds in store for our closets. Stay warm and stylish, my friends!