Let me be honest by saying I’m not a fashion blogger, and I’m not a capsule wardrobe expert. Also, I’m not trying to show off my wardrobe. I just think you might learn something for your own wardrobe when I show my learning process. Maybe a lightbulb will turn on for you while your read this post, and you’ll figure something out. At least I hope it does.
I love the idea of capsule wardrobes and reading about others’ capsule wardrobes. I’m really working towards a minimalist wardrobe. I think the hardest thing is that I might not love all the items or the style in someone else’s capsule wardrobe. I read all this advice, but the majority of it doesn’t work for me. I think that’s why creating a mindful wardrobe has been such a slow process for me. (It’s been almost 18 mos since I started.) I not only have to figure out what I’ll wear all the time, I have to try to keep it to a small amount of items.
The majority of these items are thrifted, altered, gifted, handmade, or planned to be sewn. This does not include my workout clothes, some summer clothes, pajamas, or underwear. I’m not at a place in my life where I’m purchasing a lot of clothing. (We have other financial goals that we’re focusing on at the moment.) I think some areas have too many items and some areas don’t have enough items, but that’s how I’m learning to perfect my wardrobe. There are affiliate links within this post which will be marked by a “*” next to the link.
After the process of taking pictures of my wardrobe, I totally recommend that you take pictures of the items in your wardrobe. This is how taking pictures of your clothes can help you:
- You see everything you have all at once.
- If you don’t want to take a picture of it, you most likely don’t want to wear it. There were a couple of sweatshirts that I didn’t want to take pictures of and I realized it was because they doesn’t fit in my color scheme and they are too worn out.
- If it’s not nice enough to take pictures of, get rid of it.
- Once you have pictures you can do wardrobe sudoku really easily.
- It reminds you of things you might have because you look through everything.
- You can see your colors easily and your print to solid ratio. (I definitely need more solids. That’s my constant battle.)
Button Down Shirts
1. Floral Cheyenne – Cheyenne Tunic Pattern*
2. Thrifted and Altered Gingham Popover –
3. Dotted Chambray Button Down (The pattern I used isn’t great for beginners, so I don’t recommend it.)
4. Ikat Button Down (The pattern I used isn’t great for beginners, so I don’t recommend it.)
Two Planned Cheyenne Tunics*
1. Striped Rayon Challis – this fabric is from fabric.com, and it is SO drapey. I can’t wait to make a shirt from it. This colorway is gone but a different striped rayon challis* colorway is still available. If you are sewing stripes this is how to match stripes.
2. White Linen Spandex – I got this from Hancock Fabrics right before it closed, but here is a similar white stretch linen*. It’s on the thicker side (no transparency!), so I’m thinking of making it a fitted Cheyenne. I know I want a white button up shirt in my wardrobe; but it seems boring, and I actually don’t think I’d wear it that often unless it had some interesting details. So I’m planning to mash-up three patterns to make this: the body and fit of this woven tee, the half button placket of the Cheyenne tunic*, with a higher neckline and collar of the Cheyenne shirt*. Here’s how to sew a collar and how to make a collar lie flat.
Tee Shirts – I definitely have too many tee shirts, but some are getting too worn out. They’ll be rotated out soon. I almost exclusively use the Union St. Tee pattern* in different sizes for different looks with either cotton spandex jersey* or bamboo rayon spandex jersey*.
1. Grays, mint, turquoise
2. Peach, white, pink (thrifted)
3. White graphic tee using graphic tee fabric and a gray graphic tee made and gifted from my sister
4. Striped tees, purchased and handmade
5. Floral tees
Woven Tees – click through to read about fabric and pattern and pattern alterations
1. Printed Rayon Challis Woven Tee
2. Navy Lace Woven Tee – this woven tee is actually in progress. This navy fabric is more of a woven than a knit, it’s more like an eyelet than a lace because it has a stiffer hand. It doesn’t have a pretty edge to use like most laces and eyelets that you can purchase. I purchased this navy lace from a manufacturer at a discount but here is a similar navy eyelet*.
1. Striped Tunic – I thrifted this tunic. The sleeves are not quite long enough for me, so I want to figure out how to make them longer. eventually. Also, the hem was a little tight so I opened the two front seams into two slits.
2. Pink sweatshirt – gifted
Cardigans and Sweaters
1. White, blue, and gray cardigans – I used the Grandpa Cardi pattern*. I love these cardigans, but I’ve realized I like the knitted sweater look best. I don’t know if I’ll be making cardigans in the future since it’s hard to recreate the knitted look with a sewing machine.
2. Navy aztec cardigan* – I bought this last year and wear it all the time.
3. Greige Sweater – thrifted
4. Navy Heart Print Sweater – gifted
5. Gray Star Print Sweater – thrifted
5. Mint Sweater – thrifted
1. Navy Trilobal DWR Nylon* – I’ve had this fabric forever, and I’m planning on making a waterproof anorak type coat with this fabric. I would like to use either the Lonetree Jacket pattern or the Kelly Anorak Jacket pattern. I haven’t decided which pattern, I want to see more people sew it up first. And I might not get around to it for another year anyway. I want to line it well so it’s warm and waterproof.
2. Ikat Microfiber faux suede – I’ve also had this fabric forever. I used it to recover a chair, but I have a bunch leftover. I can’t decide between a blazer (slightly uncomfortable since it doesn’t stretch) or a oversized moto jacket with shearling. What would you make?
I have had a leg surgery and foot surgery, so I don’t wear heals. I guess that makes my shoes a little boring, but I never have achy feet. I don’t love having a lot of shoes, so these are my 8 pairs that I’ll wear all winter.
1. Turquoise Slip-on Sneakers – These ones I have are on sale right now.
2. Keds Slip-On Boat Shoe* – I bought these years ago so I linked to a similar style.
3. Converse Shoreline Slip On Shoe* – I have the gray and white ones. This color might only be available at Famous Footwear.
4. Pajar Winter Boot in Cognac* – I got my Pajar boots for a deal on Sierra Trading Post this summer, I linked to a similar color.
1. Faux Suede Strappy Fashion Flats*
2. Self Lace up Ankle Boots*- Mine are actually vintage from Etsy, but I linked to some similar ones.
3. Floral Oxford Shoes* – I’ve had these for years, but I found the exact same shoe!
4. Tall Boots* – I got these last year, but I think I found the same ones.
Learn How to Sew Your Own Clothes
- If you want to learn how to sew your own clothing you need to start somewhere. These are the Things I Wish I Could Tell Myself Before I Started Sewing. They will help any beginner who wants to learn how to sew.
- Then you can read some Tips to Start Sewing Clothing.
- Once you start you’ll get better at using a sewing machine, but you’ll make clothing that you might not wear or love. I made every mistake and this is How to Sew Clothing You’ll Love. (Avoid my mistakes!)
- As you get better and better you’ll need to learn How to Choose Fabric for Sewing Clothes and the Best Fabrics for Sewing Clothing. I recommend fabrics that I love, but you’ll find the fabric you love the best.
- You can use paper patterns which are great to buy on sale or you can use PDF patterns which are great for instant gratification. There are lots of Different Ways to Assemble PDF Patterns so you need to find what works for you.
- Lastly, when you are sewing your own clothing and you are drawn to lots of different printed fabric, you need to learn How to Make a Versatile Handmade Wardrobe + Free Printable so that all the items in your wardrobe can coordinate with another item of clothing and be worn!