Minimal Wardrobe Project: Summer 2015

summer cap

I have really been enjoying this exercise! It’s a snap to get ready in the morning, a breeze to pack for a trip, and pretty good on the pocketbook. I started this spring with my Minimal Wardrobe Project, and I am excited to keep it up for the summer, with a few revisions.

As before, if you see anything above that you may be interested in researching further, you can probably find it somewhere on my Pinterest boards.

The whole thing worked pretty well this spring, but there are a few changes I’d like to make this go around. First off: shoes. I have decided that they are accessories to me (I don’t include accessories in my final 40). Taking shoes out of the final 40 gives me a few more items in the wardrobe while still feeling minimal. This makes me happy and that’s the point of this whole thing, right?

So the big thing this time is the numbers, rather than the specifics I think. Many items will stay the same, while I can shop through my stored items, replace some things that are getting worn out, and buy a few things to round out the collection. (I have a collection!) So in the graphic above, you’ll see some question marks. Those questions could end up evolving a bit throughout the summer. The main thing for me right now is being strict about the final number.

So without further ado, here’s the final 40:

– 10 (or 8) layering pieces (5 blazers, 5 cardigans. I may take 1 of each of these out to add a couple more dresses. I love dresses for the summer, so it may be worth it.)
– 6 bottoms (includes skirts, pants, and maybe a jumpsuit. I KNOW!)
– 6 (or 8) dresses (this one must be carefully considered.)
– 15 tops (this is where a lot of the shoe inventory went to, as I know now that I need lots of top options.)
– 3 outerwear (I live in Chicago, people. It still can get cold in the summer, and this needs to last through September!)

There you have it! Let’s do this thing! (again)

Summer capsule

Main Accessories

  • D’orsay flats*
  • Straw Hat*
  • White Converse*
  • Coral-Colored Scarf

5 Blazers

  • white
  • black
  • red
  • beige
  • gray?


5 Cardigans

  • yellow
  • black basic
  • black with pleather accent
  • cream/white
  • ?*


6 bottoms

  • Old Nave Sweetheart Jeans
  • Old Nave Rock Star Jeans
  • Black Waxed Jeans*
  • Black legging Jeans*
  • Striped Skirt
  • Cami Jumpsuit*


6 dresses

  • Floral Maxi
  • Black Sleeveless A-line
  • Chambray Dress
  • Hot Pink Strappy dress
  • Black and white patterned dress
  • ?


15 tops

  • 5 tanks
  • 1 message-y shirt
  • 2 nice short-sleeved white t’s*
  • 1 nice black t*
  • 3 patterned, short sleeve shirts
  • 3 dressy tops


3 outerwear

  • Denim Jacket
  • Pleather Biker Jacket
  • Rain Coat

*to buy

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Minimalist Capsule Wardrobe #1: SPRING 2015

First and foremost: I am not and will never be a ‘style blogger’. I am uncomfortable with posting daily photos of myself, so you won’t be getting that from me either. That doesn’t mean that I don’t follow a few with great delight and interest. A couple of the ones I really love include Kendi Everyday and Unfancy. (They both seem like such nice ladies!)

It was Unfancy that introduced me to the idea of a ‘capsule wardrobe’ of which I found super intriguing. In researching, it seems this idea has been around for a while and finessed by various bloggers that I came across. The basic idea is to take a number and make your wardrobe consist of only that many items, but to be sure to really love each and every item. I decided to take it on my own spin for this spring, and see how if fits for me.

I have seen the others some up with different numbers – but I like Unfancy’s loose rules of ‘do what feels right’. In putting things together, I decided I would adopt the loose rules, and to take on the number 40 (that’s my magic number this year). That number excludes accessories, workout wear, underthings, and pj’s.  It comprises shoes, work wear, casual wear, and fancy-time wear.

The goal of this project for many folks is to keep from making a ton of impulse purchases and shop only a little every three months. Although I am all for saving money, it’s not really the main thing that appeals to me about this project. What appeals to me is that this seems a great way to streamline your look and really nail down your style. I feel like I am getting it back a little, but that for the last 5-10 years (maybe when I became a mom?) my style seemed unpinnable. I wonder if this will help?

I can’t wait to clean the closet this weekend, start donating all thing things on the ‘do not LOVE’ list, and packing up and storing the rest. So without further blah blah blah, here is my much thought about first minimal capsule wardrobe for the Spring of 2015!

spring cap

You can find links to purchase most of these things here. I tried really hard to use most of what I already own and love. You can see a few things with red stars that I still want to buy, but haven’t had the chance/budget quite yet. Here’s the breakout:

New hair: Not a part of the final number, but I thought it might be time to kick some style into my ‘do to match my spring look!

Main accessories: Even though they are also not a part of the final number, I want to have an idea of what will be the main ‘go to’s’ for this capsule.

7 Cardigans and Blazers: Not only are layers a necessity in the questionable Chicago spring weather – but I have figured out recently, that’s just what I am comfortable wearing! (Why did it take me so long to consciously realize that?) I hope that 7 will be a good number for this. We shall see.

5 Bottoms: I’m not gonna lie – this seems like a very small amount of go to bottoms, and I worry it won’t be enough. Again, we shall see.

5 Dresses: I’m hoping that having 5 dresses in the rotation will help with the low amount of bottoms. Also, this is where the more ‘fancy-time’ looks will come in. I am still looking for the perfect, nice LBD to round this out.

12 Tops: This is a pretty high number, but where a lot of the color and contrast will hopefully come in.

2 Outerwear: I almost added a moto-jacket to this, as I have been kind of wanting one, but that number ’40’, she’s coming! Also, that’s just not in the budget just yet.

9 Shoes: I almost want to treat shoes as an accessary, but NO – I will not. I think that this covers all my shoe needs and will be fun to have the limits. The question I am grappling with is that some of these are starting to show a lot of wear, and I have some possible replacements picked out. Should I allow for purchases during this time frame? Not sure.

And that’s it! Let’s do this thing!

Spring 2013 Uniform

Who wants to know what I will be living in once the weather turns more temperate this spring? You? and You?? Ok – here it is:

spring 2013

1. I need a new carry everything tote so badly. This Salo Tote is out of my price range, but goes so well – I included it here anyway. (Antropologie)

2. These Ray-Bans are classic and I can’t believe I don’t already own them. It’s about time. (Nordstrom)

3. Flowered dresses. Normally not my style, but for some reason, I can’t stop thinking about wearing them the entire spring season! (Old Navy)

4. Bright green anything looks so amazing to me right now. These Mirrored Gem Drop Earrings are so sweet.  (Anthropologie)

5. Like I said, can’t get enough bright green right now. Call it my color crush of today. Essie’s Navigate Her will do quite nicely.

6. These just might have to be my birthday gift to myself this year. Won’t. Leave. My. Feet. (Nordstrom)

Fall 2012 Uniform

I am getting really excited about some cooler temps and have been bumping into a few blogsters talking about their ‘fall uniform’. (This lot includes one of my new current faves: AB Chao.) I thought I would join in the fun and give a little roundup of the items that I want to live in once the Chicago temp needle starts dipping.

1. I went on a little search this summer for items that I consider to be wardrobe essentials. One of the items that I landed on was a black trench coat. I got this one: Women’s Trench Coat from SeV. It’s really nice. The pockets are way overboard and it runs a bit large, but I like it. I haven’t been able to wear it much yet, but I am dying to. I will wear that thing until the temps hit below the 0’s is my guess. Good thing it’s roomy and can fit some thick layers underneath!

2. I tend to wear a scarf at least 8 months out of the year, but have been feeling the need for something a little different. I have been totally inspired by the ropes that some of the designers on this 10th season of Project Runway have been wearing. This lovely $18 Etsy find will do nicely! Slate Gray Maxi Length Jersey Rope Scarf

3. Another forehead slapping essential that my wardrobe was lacking: t-shirts! So affordable, versatile, and most essential! Here’s a $10 online special for some white tees to stock up on: Merona® Women’s Ultimate Long Sleeve Vee Tee

4. Ok- here’s where things get tricky. I want to go on the hunt for the perfect taupe/grey ankle boots. Like these sort of – but USED! It’s my fall’s most fun and vapid ambition. Paula by Franco Sarto (Cool taupe); $109 (on sale)

5. Anna (of doorsixteen.com, but we’re on a first name basis in my head) is always inspiring me. (Read: I think she’s the coolest and I want to imitate her constantly. Yes- I’m a little ashamed, but the truth is the truth.) She recently tweeted about the best-fitting skinny jeans she’s ever owned. Now I want them. 1969 curvy skinny jeans

6. Here’s another used item I will be on the hunt down for all season: a tweed blazer. This search may just call for some consignment shops. Can’t wait!!! Donegal Tweed Blazer, Herringbone



A Goop Inspired Travel Outfit…

A Goop Inspired Travel Outfit...

Quiksilver shirt
$30 – quiksilver.com

AllSaints blazer
$207 – allsaints.com

Skinny jeans
$70 – gap.com

Birkenstock shock absorbing shoes
$80 – zappos.com

Pieces long scarve
€15 – bestseller.com

Wardrobe Essentials (each under $50)

Wardrobe Essentials (each under $50)

Firetrap tshirt dress
£17 – firetrap.com

Warehouse maxi dress
$45 – warehouse.co.uk

Cotton dress
$40 – topshop.com

Dorothy Perkins pink wrap dress
$28 – dorothyperkins.com

Calypso St Barth cotton tunic
$40 – calypsostbarth.com

Low top
$40 – witchery.com.au

Firetrap wrap cardigan
£18 – firetrap.com

J Crew swim top
$50 – jcrew.com

Knit shirt
40 AUD – jeanswest.com.au

J Crew v neck tee
$20 – jcrew.com

J Crew cotton t shirt
$30 – jcrew.com

BKE Boutique metallic tank
$33 – buckle.com

J Crew slim fit shirt
$25 – jcrew.com

Uniqlo silk top
£20 – uniqlo.com

Uniqlo boho top
£20 – uniqlo.com

J Crew cotton t shirt
$20 – jcrew.com

J Crew cotton tank top
$20 – jcrew.com

Mango long sleeve top
£23 – mango.com

Uniqlo full zipper hoody
£20 – uniqlo.com

Uniqlo dolman top
£15 – uniqlo.com

Blank Denim flared pants
$48 – piperlime.gap.com

Quiksilver slim fit jeans
$35 – quiksilver.com

Gap pants
$60 – gap.com

Gap pants
$50 – gap.com

American Eagle outfitter
$40 – ae.com

Jane Norman denim pencil skirt
£25 – janenorman.co.uk

Knee length pencil skirt
£32 – marksandspencer.com

Mango linen skirt
£30 – mango.com

Agent Ninetynine knit legging
$30 – generalpants.com.au

Uniqlo jeans
£30 – uniqlo.com

Dorothy Perkins black pencil skirt
$28 – dorothyperkins.com

Long skirt
$25 – gojane.com

Cutie tunic dress
£25 – houseoffraser.co.uk

Denim jeans
$25 – kohls.com

Pencil skirt
£14 – direct.asda.com

Summer Farmer’s Market

Summer's Farmer's Market

Sleeveless top
$50 – topshop.com

Levi Strauss & Co slim jeans
$50 – levi.com

Platform shoes
$38 – modcloth.com

J Crew j crew bag
$9.50 – jcrew.com

Borders Frontiers travel bag
$21 – asos.com