wardrobe essentials

  grey tee | white tank | striped tee | slouchy sweater | white button-down

chambray | black jeans | white jeans | dark jeans

knit dress | ankle boots | wrap cardigan | leopard flats

ever since getting serious about simplifying, I’ve been thinking about what I consider “essentials”. for more serious things, essential = vital. for more trivial things, like my wardrobe, essential = basic. I used to think that “basic” sounded so lackluster, the opposite of special. but when I think about how they’re the most hardworking, most well-loved pieces of my closet upon which everything else is built, it brings to mind perhaps a more accurate definition of essential: indispensable.

these are the pieces that feel the most “me”, the pieces that require no thought at all but still make me feel put together. and so, if I had to cull my capsule wardrobe down to only the pieces that were indispensable, these are what would make the cut.

what are your wardrobe essentials?

the capsule wardrobe | fall 2015


tops || j.crew red/grey/blue/beige/black oversized merino pocket sweater (similar; similar) | old navy red & blue flannel shirts (similar; similar) | athleta white l/s tee | loft white & grey vintage wash tees | banana republic black pocket tee (similar; similar)

bottoms || loft black skinnies | loft dark blue jeggings | gap grey skinnies (similar) | loft black ponte pants | loft grey knit pencil skirt (similar) | banana republic knit honeycomb skirt (similar) | ann taylor black a-line knit skirt (similar) | ann taylor navy flared knit skirt (similar) | j.crew factory plaid mini skirt (similar)

dresses || j.crew striped sweater dress | j.crew side-zip tee dress (similar) | j.crew rugby stripe tee dress (similar)

layers || banana republic leather trimmed cardigan | gap navy fair isle cardigan (similar) | lou & grey open cardigan (similar) | j.crew factory quilted vest | old navy utility jacket (similar) | j.crew factory topcoat (similar; similar) | gap hooded parka (similar; similar)

shoes || unisa black & brown riding boots | impo suede knee-high boots | sam edelman ankle boots | j.crew suede ankle boots (similar) | j.crew suede loafers (similar) | j.crew suede d’orsay flats

apologies for this post going up a day late. I was recovering from an awful cold and then ran across some technical trouble. but, here it is, ready to go on the first official day of fall ;). 37 items distributed across tops, bottoms, dresses, layers, & shoes. if you’ve finished compiling your capsule wardrobe, leave a comment & a link below…I’d love to check them out!

just a quick note: I returned this scarf, this sweater, & this dress from this post. after taking a final inventory of what I had, I decided they didn’t fill a void in my closet, so I returned them. also, after breaking these flats in, I’ve put them away until the spring.

fall wardrobe additions

fall wardrobe additionsI’ve found while putting my fall wardrobe together that this time around, the process is much, much easier. I think a part of that comes down to experience, but I think it’s also because I have a much better sense of how I want to dress in the cooler weather. again, that comes with practice because it’s really fall/winter/cool spring here almost 9 months of the year, so the bulk of my wardrobe in general is for cool weather. over the years & before I ever did this capsule wardrobe experiment, I’ve learned by trial & error what works & what doesn’t.

I’ve picked up 11 things over the past few weeks, and save for a special thing or two, I think I’m all set for the season ahead.

one | these jeans are the perfect shade of deep, dark blue in a boot-friendly legging style that’s super flattering & comfortable.

two | these flats were my splurge for the season. the merlot color is so beautiful. I love that it’s in a statement color but in a practical silhouette. thanks to boston’s no sales tax policy on clothing & shoes and a timely promo code, I was able to lessen the sting on my wallet just a little. every little bit counts, right?

three | these black skinnies are replacing a much-loved pair that have faded beyond redemption.

four | while I have plenty of big, oversized, cozy sweaters, I have very few slim ones that would work well with a skirt. this one has cute buttons down part of the back, is lightweight, & is the most lovely burnt orange color. note: this ran a whole size small on me, and other reviews said something similar, so if you’re interested, you might want to size up!

five | this scarf has my entire fall color palette on it. I have a sizeable scarf collection but nothing that’s similar to this one.

six | I’d been eyeing some blanket scarves from asos, but once I saw this one in-store at loft, I was sold. the colors are right where my mood is for fall. this scarf is really big, which I love.

seven | this striped sweater dress is going to be worn to death. I have a similar one from j.crew that I bought 3 years ago that is still in constant rotation. this one is perfect for fall as it’s thick enough for cooler temps but not so thick that you’d overheat.

eight | I wasn’t sure how this dress would look on me in person, but I really loved the color palette and how it reminded me of the 90s (aka, my childhood) but in a sophisticated, muted way. plus, I’m all about easy dressing, and a good dress is about as easy as it gets.

nine | this may be my new favorite flat – it’s insanely comfortable, fits my wide-ish feet well, relatively affordable, & comes in a million colors. now I know why they’ve gotten rave reviews. these were a lucky find  in boston at  t.j. maxx for half the retail price.

ten | I have plenty of black boots, but aside from this new pair, I only had another brown pair that was more cognac in color & in a riding boot style. I had been eyeing these for awhile and was saving up to buy them from nordstrom in another color, but while we were in boston, I ran across this pair at t.j. maxx and found that I liked the rich, dark chocolate a lot. bonus: they were $50 cheaper than retail + no sales tax.

eleven | a pair of ponté pants is a must in my closet. it has a lot of give, which is great for comfort, but also has enough structure to look more dressy than a pair of leggings. these have really nice detailing on the seams and felt really substantial on (no see-through issues!).

what have you added for fall?

p.s. I’ll be posting my complete fall capsule wardrobe on tuesday next week. :)

in the mood for fall

fallmoodI’m close to finishing my fall capsule wardrobe, and I wanted to share the mood I had on my mind when I was pulling pieces together.

fall is without a doubt my favorite season. I love the way the air smells, how the leaves burst into a riot of colors, and that everything seems pregnant with possibility. I wanted to capture that energy, that sense of vibrancy in my clothing, so I opted for some pieces infused with dark reds & deep oranges.

I also love coming in from a brisk walk to a cup of coffee, and the way holding the mug in your hands slowly warms your fingers. there’s something magical about a perfectly made cappuccino, that perfect blend of smoothness & bitterness. I’m really into rich shades of brown lately, from dark chocolate to a classic cognac.

since I start school in just over a month, comfort & ease were also a priority. I wanted clothes that were simple, pieces that would make me ready to face a day of work, school, & study at a moment’s notice. I know I’m going to be working hard, so I want my clothes to be as easy as breathing.

lastly, I feel this energy in my gut, this need to hustle, to sweat, to get things done. after feeling dormant for so long, it’s like I’m ready to come out & take no prisoners. it’s as if there’s a crescendo inside of me that makes me think of the El coming around the corner on ancient tracks that can barely keep up. look out world, here I come. so there’s a little bit of edge in my wardrobe, too, in the form of a healthy dose of blacks, dark blues, & greys.

hey, fall. I’m ready for you.

images via death to the stock photo

the capsule wardrobe | f/w update


trousers | sweater dress | jeans | ankle boots | l/s tee

I know, I know. how can I be talking about my fall/winter wardrobe update when I haven’t even talked about the summer version? a round-up of my summer capsule wardrobe should actually be up sometime this week (cross fingers), but I’m being real here in saying that I’m looking forward to some fall clothing, mostly because there really wasn’t a big difference between my spring capsule and my summer capsule (which I’m ok with it) and I pretty much wore dresses every day. between work and classes and everything else, I just kept reaching for dresses over & over because, like I said, they’re easy. I’ve realized the past 2 months that while I do care about fashion & style, the ease of dressing might be the #1 thing for me. so as I’m gearing towards preparing for the fall, I’m looking to fill gaps in my wardrobe with easy pieces. I’m going back to basics and picking up pieces that I know I’ll wear nonstop. to stand up to the constant wear, I’m eyeing good quality pieces with a budget of $300. between sales & birthday money, I think that that’s doable, even with more expensive pieces.

have you been thinking about fall?