I’ve got SUCH a special treat for you today, friends! My dear, sweet friend Jordan – whom I’ve known since high school – is sharing here on the blog today! Jordan and I became close friends in college and she was my matron of honor at my wedding! I admire her for her gentle spirit, her desire to serve the Lord in all she does, and most recently, her beautiful mother heart! When she and I get together, we can spend hours laughing, sharing stories, and talking about life! Jordan and her husband welcomed their first baby girl in September. Jordan has also written about creating a baby registry, establishing routines and hope for midnight mamas, and fighting anxiety with God’s truth. Today you’ll get to hear her thoughtful perspective and advice regarding capsule wardrobes!
The Contented Capsule: Capsule Wardrobes for the Rest of Us
I jumped onto the capsule wardrobe train around two years ago. I had an exploding closet and “nothing to wear!” It was a major problem. My trouble came in that I was trying to copy some beautiful, very trendy women and their style, and I found myself more discontent than when I started, ironically longing for a larger closet when I set out to make it smaller.
Finally, after capsuling and “re-capsuling” several times, I figured out a few important concepts I needed to keep in mind to create a capsule that worked for my life.
A Content Heart is Key
I was never going to succeed at creating a smaller, more succinct wardrobe if I didn’t deal with the woman in the mirror first (she’s always making everything so difficult!). The root of my wardrobe woes is never the actual articles of clothing, it is always my heart.
This has been a difficult one for me. I’m still praying, repenting, and seeking to be thankful for what God has given me, not for what I wish I had.
Ma Wilder from “Little House on the Prairie” has become my muse (she and Joanna Gaines, but that’s another story). Think about it: the woman owned, what, four dresses? And she was just fine. More is not better. More is just more. This season’s “must have” is next season’s “garage sale fodder.” There’s so much wisdom in contentedness.
Consider Your Style & Your Lifestyle
The fashion-forward trendy “capsulers” have a good thing going. I love their taste! Unfortunately, it just doesn’t match my lifestyle or budget. Your capsule needs to match where you are in life, what your daily activities are, and your taste. My goal is to make it easy to get dressed in the morning, not to stay up on the latest styles. Don’t get me wrong! I love to look cute, but wearing heels or anything with a “dry clean only” tag just doesn’t work when you’re chasing around tiny humans. Edgy, fashion forward items aren’t going to make you feel ready-to-go if your taste is more “sweet, feminine casual.”
Stick to a Color Scheme (But Don’t Beat Yourself Up About It)
It’s WAY easier to create a capsule if you have a basic color scheme to work with. I recommend picking 2 complementary bases (I picked navy and white … and black because I break my own rules, and COME ON black goes with pretty much everything), 1 accent neutral (something that will go with everything), and 1 or 2 “pop” colors per season (warm & cold seasons). I should note that I choose colors by “family.” So, if navy blue is in, so is a lighter blue. They still seem to mix and match together well!
Make Your Basics “Politely” Pop
Because I wanted to dramatically decrease the items in my closet, I found that I couldn’t have a lot of “fluff,” even if it’s something I “should” have. Each item needed to be a workhorse. One of my favorite ways to get more miles out of a basic is to look for items that offer “shy” details that set them apart. A few sweet buttons down the back, or a pleat between the shoulders (like my favorite BRASS tees) goes a long way to make a basic white t-shirt or tank a love-to-wear item.
Adopt a One-for-One Policy
I’m addicted to sales. It’s so easy for me to see something cute and versatile and rush to the register with it. Suddenly, my closet is full of “versatile items”… that I hardly ever wear. An easy way to curb this tendency is to insist that, for every item you add to your closet, one item must be donated (if it’s still in good shape) or up-cycled (if it’s not).
Be Compassionate to Your Spouse
It’s easy to get gung-ho and purge your closet without thinking about an unexpected someone: your spouse! On one of my last “donation hunts,” I tossed a long-sleeve tee that didn’t really mix and match well, and a flowery skirt, among other things. Alex came home from work, saw the donation bags, and came into the room with the cutest sad face, clutching the skirt and the tee.
See, he really liked those two items. He thought they looked nice on me. So, guess what? I kept them. Call me a sucker, but he’s just too sweet and wonderful to turn down. So, ask your spouse if there is anything that they really love. It’s always nice to be considerate.
With all that said, here’s my handy stay-at-home mama capsule template.
Below, I also included my kiddo-capsule template!
Stay-at-Home Mama Capsule
- Bases: Navy, White, Black
- Accent: Gray
- Sunny Season Pop: Light Pinks/Greens
- Snowy Season Pop: Reds/Corals
- Metal: Gold
The Base: Items I Wear All Year
Tops (10 Items)
- 3 Light Base Basic Tees, Long or Short Sleeve
- 1 Dark Base Basic Tees, Long or Short Sleeve
- 2 Light Base Patterned Top
- 3 Dark Base Patterned Tops
- 1 Cardigan in Accent Color
Bottoms (7 Items)
- 1 Boyfriend Jean
- 1 Dark Wash Denim
- 1 Dark Base Pencil Skirt
- 2 Base A-Line Skirts
- 1 Dark Base Maxi
- 1 Base Jersey Dress
Shoes & Accessories (8)
- 1 Patterned Flat
- 1 Nude Flat
- 1 Base Canvas Shoe
- 1 Statement Necklace in Your Metal
- 1 Pearl Necklace
- 2 Belts that Complement Your Bases
- 1 Pop Belt (I chose to match my metal)
The Sunny Season: Worn April-September
- 1 Tank in Pop Color
- 1 Patterned Tank
- 1 Sleeveless Chambray (because, come on, chambray is so versatile)
- 3 Tanks in Base Color (I LOVE my BRASS basics tank)
- 1 Cute Top in Base Color
- 1 Light Patterned Top in Base Colors
- 1 Light Jacket in Accent or Pop Color
- 1 Denim Jacket
- 1 Patterned Dress in Base Color
- 2 Patterned Skirts in Pop Color (one is my “compassion on husband item”)
- 1 Solid Skirt in Pop Color
- 1 Patterned Maxi in Accent Color
Shoes & Accessories (4)
- 1 Pair Sandals that Work with Base Colors
- 1 Scarf in Base Color
- 2 Scarves in Pop or Pattern
The Snowy Season: Worn October-March
- 1 Solid Sweater in Pop Color
- 2 Long Sleeve Tops in Pop Color
- 2 Long-Sleeve in Accent color
- 1 Long-Sleeve Sweater in Base Color
- 1 Peplum in Base Color (because, come on, peplums)
- 1 Plaid Button-Up in Pop Color
- 1 Plaid Button-Up in Base Color
- 1 Patterned Long-Sleeve in Accent Color
- 1 Sweater Dress in Base or Accent
- 1 Midi Skirt in Base Color
- 1 Patterned Pencil Skirt in Base Color
Shoes & Accessories (6)
- 1 Pair Basic Black Flats
- 1 Pair Black Ankle Boots
- 1 Pair Brown Tall Boots
- 1 Belt in Pop Color
- 1 Scarf in Pop Color
- 1 Scarf in Accent Color
- 4-5 Casual Short Sleeves in Base or Pop Colors
- 3 Patterned Tops in Base Colors
- 2 Solid Long-Sleeve Tops in Base Colors (for layering)
- 3 Casual Dresses
- 2 Dressy Dresses
- 1 Sweatshirt in Accent Color
- 1 Cardigan in Accent Color
- 1 Coat in Base Color
- 3 Skirts in Base (or pants, for a boy)
- 1 Skirt in Pop (or pants, for a boy)
- 2 Pairs Denim in Different Washes
- 3 Leggings in Base Colors (for girls)
- 3 Leggings in Pop Colors (for girls)
- 1 Pair Athletic Play Shoes in Pop
- 1 Pair Boots or Sandals to Match Base (depending on season)
- 1 Pair Flats to Match Base Color
- 1 Pair Dress Shoes to Match Base Color
- 5 Headbands in Color Scheme (for girls)
Do you have a capsule wardrobe (or would you like to curate one)? How do you cultivate contentment in your wardrobe?