Transformation Tuesday: Building a Capsule Wardrobe for Fall

Fall has arrived which means I need to swap out my tank tops and sundresses for navy knits, booties, and cozy layers!

Ever since I started Project 333 to create a seasonal wardrobe, I can grab items from my closet without having to determine what "matches" or worry if I have something dressy enough to wear for an event. Having fewer options takes away so much of the guesswork of how to dress plus I'm always wearing things that fit me well, are in good condition, and are pieces that I love!

So, back to my fall capsule ... I'm so excited to bust out my shoes and start wearing socks again, but realized that three pairs need some TLC. I'm taking them to my favorite shoe repair shop downtown on errands tomorrow to get them re-soled and give them new life to carry me through this season.

 
 

 

This fall, I whittled my wardrobe down to about 44 items (I mentioned in a previous post how I don't feel the need to get down to the suggested 33 anymore) and I'm so excited for layers! I was also able to let go of a few items - a Stitch Fix top that needs a long camisole underneath to wear with leggings ... but I didn't want to buy something new in order to feel comfortable in this piece) so off to Goodwill it goes! I also noticed two tops and a pair of jeans that I didn't wear or had a grease stain (boo!) but that I wanted to keep. I decided to launder these and pack into the emergency go bag that I'm putting together (more on this later).

I'm pretty pleased with the final closet of options. This also gave me a chance to do a quick Swiffer in my closet to catch up all the dust bunnies and cleared a few small items out that needed a better home.

I think the one thing I'm missing for fall/winter is a nicer lined coat. Something that's good for rain or (the threat of) snow, that's warm, but still has clean lines/chic. I haven't bought any new clothes since my trip to Hong Kong back in January (aside from some shoes on a recent jaunt down to Portland). If you have suggestions for great coats, I'd love to hear them!

Transformation Tuesday #55: Spring + Summer Capsules

Wow, it's been awhile since my last Transformation Tuesday post ... two months to be exact! I guess I needed a break. I've had a busy year and am still figuring out keeping myself organized when it comes to scheduling my own self-care, personal organizing projects, creating a content calendar, etc etc. That list seems to never end!

I enjoy sharing the process every season when I update my capsule wardrobe. My little organizing mind loves to keep track of how much I have, identify patterns in usage and what my aesthetic is leaning toward that season, and "breaking the rules" a little bit. I talked about this a little bit in January's capsule-building post. I feel way more comfortable picking the items that work for me vs. sticking to exactly 33 items.

So here's how it went these last two seasons:

April 2017 / Spring Capsule

I somehow managed to not take many pictures! Eek. I did clear out my closet like usual and it was a good reminder to swiffer the floor in there. I also invited my friend Maria over the following day because I needed my own spruce assistant to talk me through a couple items. I was on the fence on a few tops and cotton dresses that I couldn't seem to let go of. I would end up wearing them once in awhile and didn't know exactly why I wasn't ready to donate them. 

Maria asked me about when I liked to wear them and we discovered that they ended up being "work" clothes for basement/grungy days. They were all cotton, stretchy, comfortable yet cute. I was ok with getting them dusty and they were comfortable for the demands of crouching, kneeling, and all the bustling around of working on a basement. She suggested I create a mini capsule of just my work clothes. This was genius! I hadn't thought of this before and now I have about seven items in my work capsule, that I only wear for basement/garage days.

 
 

July 2017 / Summer Capsule

I actually found some time on July 1st to spend some time going through my clothes and it felt so good! In less than 45 minutes, I pulled everything out of the closet, dumped it on my bed, and started my review. I feel like I really love where my wardrobe is at. I usually treat myself in July to a birthday Stitch Fix box but I think I'm gonna skip it this year, mostly because I don't want to make more decisions about what to swap in new items for! 

This time around, I made a list of where I started and found it was easy to go in this order:

  • Outerwear
  • Pants / shorts
  • Sweaters / cardigans
  • Long-sleeves / 3/4 sleeves
  • Tees
  • Dresses
  • Tanks
  • Shoes
 
 

I'm pretty pleased with the 42 items I picked out. I'm very excited to break out the flowy tank/sleeveless tops and lots of cotton dresses!

What are you excited to wear in this summer's capsule wardrobe? 

 

Transformation Tuesday #45: Unpacking the Bedroom Closet

I had the privilege of working with my dear friend who recently moved to Ballard and needed to strategize how to set up her closet. She and her husband, the talent behind these fun videos, moved to the neighborhood so they both could be closer to work and save time off their commute.

Not only was I thrilled to have more pals nearby, but this meant I got to help them out with getting their closet the way they want it. That's the fun part about moving - you're starting over in a new space and can set things up that make sense and make life easier.

Crystal had already done a significant clothing purge before moving. We didn't get a chance to connect before they had to leave their old place what with work and travel, but I made it over there a couple days after they got into their new place.

We sorted by category and set aside a Uhaul box for all donation items. We ended up filling two boxes with clothes and shoes! I was impressed by her quick decision-making ability, by this time she had really built up that muscle and was just ready to get her closet in order.

We spent time talking through what types of items worked well for her corporate job and the numerous PR events she attends versus what she wants to wear when lounging around at home.  By the end of the afternoon, we had the left side of the closet with work only items, with a pants/skirt hanger used to help visually divide between that and the next mini wardrobe. She had quite a few items that are great year-round and can be worn at work or when she's out and about working on her side projects or hanging at home on the weekend. The far right of the closet housed tops and dresses that aren't part of her corporate wardrobe.

It was fun to see it come together and we'll have more pictures once she picks out a bed frame with built-in storage. Stay tuned for the final "after" pictures!

 

Transformation Tuesday #40: First Capsule of 2017!

I suppose this is more of an internal transformation with how I approach building my wardrobe and not as much a dramatic space/stuff transformation, oh well, so be it!

I started creating capsule wardrobes a year ago in an effort to remove some of the decision-making in my life. I followed the guidelines of Project 333 to a "T." Over time, I have found that following the rules in the beginning helps me establish routine (which brings some stability in an otherwise hectic schedule) and that discipline actually sparks creativity for me.

When I built my fall closet, I decided to break the "rules" because I had gotten the hang of this process and wanted to incorporate a few more pieces beyond the suggested 33. I also put my valet stand by Hungrack to good use. I didn't want to dump all my clothes on the bed since most of everything is hanging up in my closet (see: I like being efficient - why remove it from the hanger when it's going right back up?). I was able to use the rack to review all my coats, dresses, and flowy tops/cardigans easily. I could pick through pretty quickly, place items back in the closet and whittled my wardrobe down to 42 items. 

A year ago, I started with this process, with special (unplanned) cat cameos:

 

Now, I can easily grab most of what I'll use to build the capsule using the Hungrack!

 
 

Are you trying out a capsule closet this year? If so, what guidelines have you found to be the most helpful?

 

Transformation Tuesday: #28: Capsule Closet Clean-Out

I met McKenna Moe of The Modern Mosaic earlier this summer and we were chatting about capsule wardrobes. She has a fabulous wardrobe with limited space in her Queen Anne apartment. Obviously I had to find a way to help her organize it by editing and pulling out key items for summer so she could find things more easily when dressing for work or heading out to an event or happy hour. 

She was open to the idea of a capsule wardrobe so that she could get a better picture of what she wanted to wear for the current season (it's kinda tough fighting against heavy wool coats when you're just trying to grab a light cotton romper!). I love the challenge of working in small spaces and spent an afternoon with McKenna editing and organizing.

I think it was one of the hottest days in Seattle and thankfully, we had a fan going in the room while the talented Nick Southcote from Parallax Video filmed our little organizing adventure.

 
 

A time lapse of the afternoon was the perfect way to capture how quickly a space can transform.  We followed the five easy steps to guide the clean-out and purging process but didn't adhere to any specific rules for building her summer wardrobe. McKenna focused on light, breezy pieces that she could wear to work or out-and-about.

I had so much fun doing this and was impressed with McKenna's quick decision-making skills as she sorted out quickly what to keep and what was going to stay. If you want to see more of McKenna's incredible fashion or what she's up to, head over to her blog or follow her on Instagram!