2021 Fall Capsule Wardrobe

I’ve been using a capsule wardrobe for a while. I’m a creature of habit, wearing some version of the same “uniform” 99% of the time. As a knitter, I am happy for cooler weather so I can incorporate my knits into my capsule!

Normally, this would be the season I start wearing some booties, but when I broke my ankle last November, I acquired some hardware that makes it uncomfortable to wear anything over my ankle bones, soooo I’m skipping booties this season. Plus, heels are not really an option for a few months. I honestly don’t know how athletes just go back in after surgery when going down one step still scares me a little. Might have something to do with the fact that I’m not an athlete. And I’m almost fifty.

I discovered Project 333 a couple of years ago and the idea of it appealed to me. As I found myself wanting to pare down my life and home more and more, I decided to document my seasonal capsules in a more formal way, and here we are.

In a nutshell, Project 333 is the idea that you wear 33 items of clothes, shoes, and accessories for 3 months.

Now, I am a knitter. I have shawls and scarves and hats that I am not counting as my accessories because I love them all and they love me back. Same with jewelry. I used to make jewelry years ago and from all the earrings and necklaces I made I have kept a precious few that I wear regularly, they are smaller and can be worn with almost anything, so I am not choosing from them.

But I have selected 33 pieces of clothing, shoes, and a bag that will be what I wear this autumn.

Most of the items I have here are pieces I already had. My clothes are 99% from Target or Old Navy, or made by me, in the case of some of the sweaters. My one splurge in my wardrobe is my Marcie bag by Chloe. I lusted after this bag for about ten years, and almost two years ago, Steve got it for me as a present. I love this bag. I have no plans of getting any other expensive bags. It goes with everything and is big enough to carry all my stuff and of course, the stuff my husband and kids hand me when we’re out.

Now, much to the dismay of style bloggers, capsule bloggers, French influencers, and mostly, my late mother, I don’t do woven shirts. Any silk or polyester fabric in most button down blouses makes me incredibly warm, and cotton button downs don’t fit my boobs 99% of the time. I much prefer knits like t-shirts and knit tops, which feel more comfortable to me. And white? Not in my lifestyle. So the ubiquitous white button down that you “absolutely must have in your closet” has never made an appearance in mine.

Bottom-wise, I have one pair of jeans and they’re not even skinny.

They’re by Lee, I either wear these or the infamous Gloria Vanderbilt Amanda, which is legendary for a reason, and it’s because it fits us with hips and junk in the trunk.

Other than that, these are the rest of the bottoms I will be wearing for fall.

There is a tan pair that I am debating on. I like the color and it fits well, but it has this very textured slubbed fabric and while it doesn’t irritate my skin, I’m always aware of it when I’m wearing it. It’s on the pictures of the full rack.

For shoes, I got these sneakers and they are not only cute with the animal print but they’re also super comfortable. I love my Rothys, I have them in Navy as well. The cross-strap black shoes are so comfortable and perfect to show off my knit socks.

Should any slightly dressier occasion arise, I have two dresses that have served me well for a couple of years. I can dress them up very easily and they’re super comfortable.

For outerwear I have several options that provide different levels of warmth, including two of my own handknit cardigans. I tend to run warm, so a t-shirt plus a cardi and a scarf or shawl are enough for me, unless we get a cold snap or something.

So, to round up the numbers:

15 tops + 4 bottoms + 2 dresses + 6 outerwear + 1 bag + 3 pairs of shoes (I’m including the white t under the plaid shirt) = 31 items.

I have a couple of items I can add if need be, such a heavier coat or snow boots if it were to snow in November, which is a possibility, to get to the 33 items of the challenge.

I won’t be posting daily outfits but I will be posting outfits I wear during the three months of autumn. I am also keeping the dates fluid – fall starts on September 22 but if there are consistently cooler days before that, then I will start the challenge earlier. Winter is harsh here in Wisconsin, so there are definitely going to be a few different pieces in that challenge, and my long-term goal is to steadily donate or gift items that don’t make it into these challenges.

My wardrobe is made up of such basic pieces (except for my handknits, which are, of course, exceptional ha ha) that I don’t feel like I need to share any links to a specific piece, but if you, dearest reader, have questions about anything, please let me know. The statement necklace was a gift so I don’t know where it’s from.

I am excited to start this challenge and seeing which items become most worn and loved!

The Shameful Shame, part 2

I like to plan long before I actually tackle a project. I make lists, visual boards, measure twice, draw sketches, etc. The sketches won’t be posted because my drawing talent ends at stick figures, but I can share a little collage that is my inspiration for my closet refresh.

The top picture is this fascinating piece of jewelry storage I found at The Container Store – it looks vintage and modern at the same time and I just loved the look of it. I have ordered two, and my goal is to pare down my jewelry so that everything fits into these two pieces comfortably. I could probably have aimed to pare down to enough for one, but I don’t want to regret my decisions, so I am giving myself enough space (literally) to keep what I want.

The bottom left picture is what currently is my top choice in wallpaper. I found it on Etsy and I think it’s beautiful. I do have some concerns about the black background because a) I don’t want the whole closet covered in wallpaper and I think it might be odd to have one wall dark and the others white, but b) if I do all the walls in the wallpaper it will be this dark space and I don’t want that, either.

Bottom right is my all time favorite painting. It is called The Birth of Venus by Alexandre Cabanel. I fell in love with it the first time I went to the Musee d’Orsay, and when we went back to Paris in 2014, much to my chagrin, the painting was on loan to a museum in Japan. The color palette calls back to the pale pinks and pale blues in the wallpaper and I love the idea of having it in the closet. I think I know where it will go, but I am not 100% on that yet.

In the meantime, I am working through clearing out my closet in the evenings. Our weekends are usually busy so I don’t have a full day to dedicate to it but it gives me time to consider what remains and what goes with calm. Like I said, I don’t want any regrets, so taking my time is best.

Here is an in-progress shot of my work.

Not much, I know, but deciding where things should go, and then putting them away, is a process unto itself. I love these maps but they will need to go live somewhere else. Since I have no idea where, I need to roll them up and store them safely until I figure that out. Those pink and beige bins will probably go in my yarn storage.

I have so much shit in this closet. And my youngest’s birthday is at the end of July so items are starting to come in and I am fighting the urge to throw them all in here.

Next, shoes and clothing. This should be fun.