Now that we are well into February, I wanted to take a look back at the January Winter Capsule Wardrobe Challenge and share some of my final thoughts!  If you have no idea what I am talking about then read this post.   As predicted, January was a tough month.  Mostly because it was COLD!  (REALLY cold.)  I had similar feelings about the challenge, there were days it was really fun and then there were days it was tough!  (REALLY tough!).  I guess I called it a Challenge with good reason.  Before I share my final thoughts lets revisit where we started.

Initial Winter Capsule Wardrobe My 9 to 5 Shoes Winter Capsule Wardrobe

My original goal was to keep the Capsule to 10 pieces.  That was a lofty goal … a little too lofty perhaps!  I actually started the challenge with eleven pieces (5 tops, 4 bottoms, 1 dress and 1 suit).  Below is a little more information on each of the pieces.  For all of these pieces you can visit the original post for more picks.  

  1. Striped Silk Blouse – I love this blouse for the versatility.  Mine is an older philosophy blouse but this Everlane one is a good substitute.
  2. Windowpane Sweater – This recent addition to my closet has become one of my winter favorites.  On the coldest of days I add a black turtleneck underneath for even more warmth. 
  3. Red Blazer – For adding a punch of color to any outfit.  I’m using my Notched Blazer from LOFT but red is not currently one of the color choices.  They have this double breasted version currently in red and I also like this currant colored Tweed one as well. I also linked a few more below.  
  4. Black Turtleneck Sweater – Sweater turtlenecks are a little thicker and can stand on their own or pair with jackets which is why I love them (mine is from Kohls).  
  5. Red V-Neck Sweater – My J.Crew staple has a cute little bow (this year’s version is ruffled but does not come in red). 
  6. Hugo Boss Suit – Suits are a necessity in my world and my black is the most versatile.  
  7. Betabrand Yoga Pants – Another new purchase that I’m not sure how I ever lived without.  These things are amazing.  I have a full review scheduled for later this week but if you can’t wait … use this link to save $15 off your first purchase ($75 or more). #winning.
  8. Bright Pencil Skirt – Another punch of color to brighten up the winter blahs and another staple from J.Crew that is not currently available in this color.   
  9. Pleated Faux Leather Midi – A pleated skirt is a wardrobe workhorse.  Having a leather version is simply fun and a little different.  Mine is from the Nordstrom Anniversary sale two years ago but J.Crew has an exact replica.  
  10. High Rise Denim – Because I would not have survived the challenge without some denim for the weekend … and travel days … and casual Fridays (or four).  Picking one was tough but I’m loving this style!
  11. Black Dress – I originally included a Topshop dress in the challenge but I never wore it.   

Bright Blazers (Red & Blue)

Winter Capsule Wardrobe Additions My 9 to 5 Shoes Winter Capsule Wardrobe

As I noted above, my original goal of 10 pieces was lofty.  I didn’t make it very long before I had to add pieces to the capsule.  I tried to keep the additions to a minimum but I eventually added a total of ten pieces (four of them being turtlenecks to counter the extreme cold).  #ColdestMonthEver 

  1. Ivory Turtleneck – Amazon is a great source for inexpensive wardrobe staples especially turtlenecks available in a rainbow of colors.  
  2. Kut from the Cloth Black Cords – I’ve had these beauties for years!  I love them because they are thick and warm yet still look stylish.  They also have a baby boot cut version.   
  3. Blue Blazer – Mine is once again older but I created a whole widget of colorful red and blue blazers for your shopping pleasure (see above)!  
  4. Striped Turtleneck from Joie – So soft and easy to pair under a blazer for layering or by itself (now on major sale but limited sizes).  
  5. Black Turtleneck – My favorite layering turtlenecks are either these majestic ones or these less than $20 ones from Amazon (I have multiples of both and tons of colors in the Amazon one).
  6. Knit Blazer – I not only used my Red Loft Blazer but also a Red Knit Blazer (from Anthro but now sold out).  The one I linked comes in several colors or there is also this one.   
  7. DVF Silk Blouse – One silk blouse was just not enough for the amount of formal dressing I do.  My DVF one is older but check the shopping widget below for a ton of black and white silk blouses perfect for formal dressing.   
  8. Red Turtleneck – Mine is from the Something Navy collection at Nordstrom and current sold out … but this one or this one or this one are all very similar.  
  9. Paige Denim – One pair of jeans just wasn’t enough to get me through the month!  Enter my wardrobe staples from Paige as a second pair.  
  10. Ivory ShellThis ultimately replaced the dress as I wore it in a similar manner as I would a dress.  Layer with turtlenecks or silk blouses or leave by itself in warmer weather.

While still on the low end of many capsule wardrobes, twenty was a much more realistic number for the number of pieces.  For anyone that dresses formal for work you really need at least two suits and three silk blouses.

Black & White Blouses

Final Thoughts

Capsule Wardrobes can be a valuable tool!

If you are just finding your clothing personality or starting to build (or rebuild) your work wardrobe a Capsule Wardrobe is a great way to start.  Consider it as a base for your wardrobe that you can use as a springboard.  Having a good base of essentials is a must for any wardrobe.  What defines those essentials is really dependent on how you dress for most of your days but I think the twenty pieces posted here is a good start for someone working in an environment were you need to dress professionally daily. 

You don’t need these EXACT pieces but ensuring that you have a suit, a couple blazers, some silk blouses and other tops to mix with a few pants and skirt means you will be able to find an outfit to wear to work every day.  Ensuring that you have good staples is key to also being able to have some fun with your wardrobe.    

Okay, now to tell you how I really feel. 

Capsule Wardrobes aren’t for everyone.

Capsule Wardrobes aren’t for me.

Surely you aren’t surprised by this statement. I will still make Capsules for travel, but I won’t be downgrading my entire closet any time soon.   Don’t get me wrong – I like the concept but I simply need more variety than a Capsule Wardrobe offers.  I thought I could get variety from shoes and accessories but that wasn’t the case. By about the third week I found it rather boring. I didn’t want to wear any of the pieces again (or really see them for that matter).  I guess variety is my spice of life!! 

So the challenge as an experiment was a great success.  I think I demonstrated that it is possible to produce a wide variety of outfits from a small number of pieces but I won’t be continuing my capsule wardrobe … and I can promise you won’t be seeing my Black Hugo suit or my Red LOFT blazer anytime soon.  #TemporarilyDone  Much of the Capsule Wardrobe is now in the bag to go to the dry cleaners … and we all know how good I am at making that happen.  #SeeTheminMarch

Weekly Roundups

While I did weekly roundups for each of the looks I thought you might like having it all in one post as well.  For the full details and complete photos, see each of the individual weekly roundup posts (Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4 & 5).   I also included a Gallery of all thirty days at the end of this post.

Week 1

Windowpane Sweater | Leather midi skirt (similar from J.Crew) | Hugo Boss Suit | J.Crew Sweater (similar ruffled version or similar from Ann Taylor) | Blanket Scarf (or similar camel colored one from Ann Taylor | Black turtleneck | Cobalt skirt (more choices from J.Crew for similar pops of color) | Black turtleneck sweater (mine is from Kohls) | Red Blazer from LOFT (current version) | cool dangle earrings |  Paige Denim    

See the full Week 3 roundup here  

Week 2

Majestic turtleneck | Leather Midi Skirt (similar from J.Crew) | Hugo Boss Suit Jacket   | Hugo Boss Suit | Striped silk blouse (similar from everlane) | More stripes and more red | Denim (similar High RiseJ.Crew Sweater (similar ruffled version or similar from Ann Taylor) | Cobalt skirt (more choices from J.Crew for similar pops of color)   

See the full Week 2 roundup here

Week 3

Black turtleneck | Blanket Scarf (or similar camel colored one from Ann Taylor | Kut from the Cloth Black Cords | Hugo Boss Suit and Black turtleneck sweater (mine is from Kohls) | DVF Silk Blouse | Cobalt skirt (more choices from J.Crew for similar pops of color) | Ivory Turtleneck | Betabrand Pants | Leopard Belt | Cheetah scarf for fun!   

See the full Week 3 roundup here.

Week 4 & 5 My 9 to 5 Shoes Winter Capsule Wardrobe

Leather midi skirt (similar from J.Crew) | Black turtleneck | Black turtleneck sweater (mine is from Kohls) | BetaBrand Pants | Bright Blue Blazer (similar) | Paige Denim | Striped turtleneck  | Striped silk blouse (similar from everlane) | LOFT Blazer (they just added this red option to their inventory) | Hugo Boss Suit | Red Turtleneck | | Hugo Boss Suit Jacket | DVF Blouse |  High Rise Denim from Madewell | Red Turtleneck | Cobalt Skirt | Theory Shell | Jenny Bird Necklace | Windowpane Sweater | BetaBrand Pants

See the full Week 4 & 5 roundup here.

30 Days of Outfits

While I won’t be doing a Winter Capsule Wardrobe Challenge in February.  I do have something exciting in store for March (probably about the time all my Capsule pieces come back from the cleaners).  I’m using my looks from the Capsule Challenge to help create four weeks worth of outfits that you can use as a guide.  It’s guaranteed to help you get dressed for work without struggle every morning for a month.  #WaitForIt #SomethingToLookForwardTo  Until the guide is done though, you can see the full roundup of outfits below!

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