Hello friends! Today, I am excited to report back on my
I started a little before the first of September and planned to wear the pieces I chose for a full season, or until the end of November. I could tell after just a few days that this would be a worthwhile and positive experience for me. The two big goals I started out with were A. to take a complete break from shopping for three months and B. to feel better about what I wore by having easy go-to outfits.
Today, I’m here to summarize my victories, challenges and what I learned for next season (yes, it was worthwhile enough to me that I plan on doing a winter capsule next!).
-For the most part, I did completely stop shopping for three months. This felt amazing!! I did buy a couple things (two dresses for my baby showers and two winter coats), but being able to recall all my purchases in this span of time is new to me and a big improvement. In the past, I would browse my favorite clothing stores many times a week, usually with a glass of wine and a TV show at night. It was a great way to unwind, but over time I felt I was collecting a lot of clothes I wasn’t wearing or only wearing a few times, and my closet was always too full. Ultimately, I wanted to teach myself to shop less and smarter.
Getting into the routine of not shopping was a process for me. There were countless times I clicked through a sale email or a link on a fashion blog only to realize I did not need whatever item I had just added to my cart. It took time for me to form a new habit, but in time I felt that I formed a new healthy habit. This was my biggest victory! I definitely saved money and (even more importantly) reduced the amount of waste in my closet.
-I found some go-to outfits and re-wore them a LOT. This was great and made my daily routine easier. I didn’t get sick of my mix and match pieces (tops, skirts, jeans) and for the most part I felt I had more than enough outfits even when traveling.
-I felt very comfortable dressing in a more simple style and more neutral color scheme most days. And for a few special occasions like when we threw a baby shower for friends, I reached into my vintage dress stash.
-While I was happy with my mix and match pieces, I did feel I had to repeat my dresses too much. I honestly probably wore that navy blue off shoulder dress 20 or 30 times, haha! And the same thing with the brown Free People dress … I wore it a ton. And although I really like both dresses, it did get a little boring at times.
Next season I will at least double my dresses because I realize now that I wear them a LOT.
-There was only one piece I didn’t wear, this cropped sweater (see below the photo with text on it – I pulled that from an old IG story). It just wasn’t a cute fit on me; I think I rushed a little bit too fast when choosing outfits for my
-In my day to day life, I didn’t mind rewearing the same clothes often, and it was actually really convenient. But for special occasions (Friendsgiving, our book release party, our ABM holiday party and maybe just some random date nights), I missed having new outfits to wear. I think adding more dresses next time may help, or maybe just making my own rule that it’s OK to buy a couple dresses for special occasions during the season. I think that, for me, there is a pretty big difference between buying a new dress for a shower or a wedding versus buying a bunch of cute clothes on ASOS one night just for the hell of it.
Things I will adjust next time:
-For the winter season, I have a list of what I need and it’s much less than what I needed for fall. I am pretty much just swapping out a few things for warmer shoes, more sweaters and more dresses. But I am using all the same jeans, most of the jackets and some of the other pieces for autumn. I feel like winter (and probably summer too) is more of a refresher than a whole new wardrobe.
-Add more dresses. I need to tailor this experience to my real life and personal style, and I think this will help a lot. I do wear jeans often, but when I go out on a date, to meet friends or really anything besides everyday errands, I feel more comfortable in dresses.
Summary of my experience:
The highlight for me is that instead of spending so much time shopping for myself (as a default) I was able to get more done, including prepping for Nova, finishing my bnb house (that took a lot of sourcing and shopping too) and doing my holiday shopping early this year since we aren’t going to be with my family for Christmas. I felt free of some bad habits that I had been wanting to shake for a while. I felt proud of myself for completing the challenge.
I will definitely do another capsule for winter. I just started pinning stuff on a private pin board and plan to do all my shopping (and returning) before we leave for China! Winter is by far my least favorite season for fashion, but being able to choose cheesy matching outfits with Nova is making it fun this year.
All the photos below are from my phone and they are all “real life” outfits that I wore during these past few months. Most are low quality (a lot of them are self timer pics), but I wanted to share a look at how this challenge really worked for me in everyday life, not just styled outfit photos.
1. I wore
1. Stayed with my tried and true go-to style here. I like easy outfits and beanies to hide hair that needs to be washed or dyed. 2. I bought a couple
1. I ended up returning my Anthroplogie coat, so when I saw
1. Another Big Bud jumper … I’ll probably wear this in our Christmas card photos. We’ll see. 2. Loved this gingham top (
1. One day I wore my corduroy dress with an old Simpsons T-shirt (from my workout clothes drawer) and I thought it was kind of cute. 2. Another photo of that white jumper. This is from that same day, but it wore it a bunch of other days too, I promise. 3. A brunch date with Ashley and Jacqui. This is the only time I wore knee highs that I can remember this fall … need to remember to do that more (but now it’s getting cold so maybe layered with other tights?). 4. That Free People dress again in New Orleans. It’s a great travel dress. I’ll definitely take something like this to China since it’s going to be warm in some of the cities we are going to.
And last, just an example of how I wore these two dresses over, and over … and over. I love them both a bunch, but this taught me what I need to add more of next season!
Thank you for following along. If you’ve been considering a capsule experiment yourself I highly recommend trying it! My winter capsule will (technically) begin December 1, so join me if it’s something you want to do!!!!
Let me know if you have any questions in the comments. I’ll be back soon to share my winter capsule! xx – Elsie