Tuesday, March 18, 2014

one suitcase: spring capsule wardrobe


Post 8/8 -
Between my job & my love of seeing new places around the world I spend a fair amount of time living out of a suitcase. From all the experience I have gained from hauling myself & my stuff all over the place I have learned just how valuable packing smart & packing light is to your sanity. And I think I have gotten pretty good at selecting just my few favorite pieces of clothing to bring and stretching their use though multiple outfits for multiple activities as I travel.

This philosophy of looking at a limited number of clothing items and seeing beyond the obvious combinations can be applied to a normal wardrobe. I have learned through trial and error that by picking a few favorite & versatile pieces of clothing I can mix and match the items into a surprising number of outfit options. You just have to do a little planning up front. Hopefully the posts this week will show you my method and help you find the potential of the clothes you already have in your closet!

In case you missed - it the previous posts in the series can be found here:
Here is a checklist graphic that could be helpful for either shopping or traveling:

And finally, here's how I put together my spring capsule wardrobe-

The method:
  1. Basics - First I pick some basics pieces to lay the foundation for the capsule wardrobe. I try to pick my favorite go-to clothes. Clothes I know I wear over and over. The ones that go with almost everything. For me, this usually involves laying out favorite pair of jeans and favorite white blouse.

    The basics in this capsule wardrobe I have chosen are a chambray shirt, jean jacket, grey cardigan, navy sleeveless blouse, white-t, skinny jeans and a simple white dress.


Interest - Second, I add a few interesting pieces to compliment the subtle basics. I look for pops of color or fun patterns or even texture that will make the basic pieces more exciting. I try to grab items that will compliment each other or at least be somewhat in the same color scheme. For this capsule I tried to stick to whites, yellows & minty greens in what I felt were fun spring prints.

For this set of interest pieces I picked a cognac jacket, mint cardigan, mustard yellow pencil skirt, printed pant, striped skirt, striped shirt, printed maxi dress and floral blouse.


Accessories & Shoes - Finally, I add some accessories to complete the outfits. Jewelry, belts and scarves can dramatically alter how an outfit looks. Unfortunately, shoes is the area I still struggle with. I always want to bring just one more pair. But I've learned to limit myself to only either blacks or browns (depending on my clothes) and then nude/beige shoes go with everything.

For this capsule wardrobe I chose four necklaces, one gold bracelet, scarf and two belts.  For shoes I added two pairs of pumps, a bright pair of flats and leopard sandals.

Hope you enjoyed it!! 
***** 

You can check out my other One Suitcase features:
  • Business Casual clothes here  
  • Summer Vacation clothes here 
  • Winter Vacation clothes here
  • Spring Business Casual clothes here
  • Mini Getaway clothes here
  • Neutral Colored Business Casual here
  • Europe Vacation clothes here 
  • Paris Vacation clothes here

34 comments:

  1. Does this really all fit in a carry-on? I can never get more than one or two pairs of shoes in a carry on with me!

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    Replies
    1. Yep. It all fits. Plus makeup, underwear & such. Typically when I travel I wear the bulkiest pair of shoes & heaviest coat/sweater so that I have more room in the suitcase.

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  2. I love these posts and those outfits are by far my favourite in this series.

    Agi:)

    vodkainfusedlemonade.com

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  3. Another great 'one suitcase' series. Your capsules can also be used by someone who has a limited budget. It shows them how to utilize a few pieces in different ways. You are such a master at this.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! Definitely great suggestion to use as part of a normal wardrobe time/money saver too!

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  4. For several years now I pack one carry on and my husband one carry on. This eliminates checking luggage. I love travelling this way. I love utilizing few pieces into many outfits. When we cruised two weeks or longer I had to check one large suitcase due to so many clothing changes.But I still utilized this method.My luggage was light in comparison to others who boarded!Looking forward to using your ideas when we travel again

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    1. Thanks! Sounds like you have a great packing method!

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  5. I really enjoy your blog a lot... It is a great source of inspiration for someone like me who works in IT industry and looking for ideas on building my wardrobe for client visits. I am from India and we wear traditional dresses to work but I always come here for ideas on what to buy to build my formal-wear wardrobe...Thank you.

    If you do not mind sharing, I would like to know what software you use to come up with these checklist diagrams as I would like to keep a virtual checklist of my wardrobe as well for future reference and the way you do it really appeals to the neat organized person within me.

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    1. I use Polyvore to make the outfit collages and Numbers (basically excel for Mac) to make the checklists with screenshots from Polyvore. Hope this helps!

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    2. Thanks much for the site & for sharing.. I appreciate your creativity & organization!

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  6. Thank you for this. I was just overhauling my spring wardrobe and was so overwhelmed. This was great for a good shopping guide, as I don't want to spend too much too soon! But, all your other "one suitcase" posts really make me think- I totally can pare down my closet so it's not overflowing, with useful, utility items! Thank you!



    Clare
    Understated Classics

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    Replies
    1. Yay! Glad you found the posts useful! I hope your closet overhaul went well!

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  7. Thanks for this awesome post! I'm planning my honeymoon packing list and now I'm inspired. :)

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    1. Yay! I hope you have a fantastic honeymoon!!

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  8. MK, what can you tell me about the fit of those Old Navy pants? I am considering purchasing them (needing a printed pant in my life!) but a lot of the reviews say they are skin tight. They look great on you and not too tight at all - did you size up? order your regular size? Thanks in advance! :)

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    1. They are really tight and small but stretchy. The fit seemed very much like the Rockstar jeans I bought there. I had to go up two sizes to even make them fit reasonably. I'd try them on if you can before buying them...

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  9. If I may, what handbag(s) would you pack to complement this capsule?

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    1. Maybe a crossbody bag like this one: http://bit.ly/QEKedf and some kind of wallet/wristlet that would fit inside the crossbody but could double as a clutch: http://bit.ly/1iLakWw

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  10. I love this post! Will you be doing a Summer capsule as well?

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    1. Thanks so much! I'd love to do both a summer suitcase as well as a work starter wardrobe post. As soon as my silly 'real' job slows down - I want to give some time to the blog! Fingers crossed I find some time over a upcoming weekend!

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  11. I use your capsules as the basis for my wardrobes for the season. I use this one for my spring/summer wardrobe for work and weekends. I'm wondering if you'll update the capsules at any stage? I'd love a winter/fall capsule wardrobe for work and weekends - something like a mixture of these two: http://www.outfitposts.com/2013/02/one-suitcase-winter-vacation-capsule.html#.UlNVSTIayK0 and http://www.outfitposts.com/2012/11/one-suitcase-business-casual-capsule_6313.html?m=1#.Uk9N6ZkazCQ

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    1. I'd love to find some time to do more of these. I think they're really fun. I am just slammed with work lately. Soon as I can find a weekend - I'm going to try to do summer capsule and work starter wardrobe capsules. Hopefully closer to fall I can do an updated cooler weather one! Fingers crossed I find some time!

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  12. Wow, I just found this through pinterest and I must say that I love your style. I'm working towards sewing capsule wardrobes for each season, and this is great inspiration. I love how you have an even mix of neutrals and interest pieces - I think that is why this is so successful. So many other capsule wardrobes seem to focus on tons of neutrals, but then all the outfits look the same. Again, I love what you are doing and I will have to find more time to browse through :)

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    1. Thanks so much! Glad you found it useful!! :)

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  13. WOW WOW WOW you're blog is incredible!! I so totally need posts like this ha! I'm most definitely in a rut with my current wardrobe (aka I feel like I wear the same thing every day) but I'm getting so much inspiration from your posts! Thank you so much!!
    -Erin

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  14. I absolutely love and enjoy your website!! I am going on my first cruise for 7 days in July and I would LOVE if you did a 7 day wardrobe to help me :) Thanks

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    1. A cruise packing list is definitely on my to-do list! I have a few 'one suitcase' posts that I'm really wanting to do but I just need to find some time... so it might not be for a while (pinterest has some great stuff though) but it's definitely on my list.

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  15. This post is amazing! I love the idea of mix and match clothes and accessories. You have amazing stuff! Thanks for sharing!!

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  16. I love these outfits ,thanks for the post.

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