Capsule Wardrobe: Travel Edition

Hey everyone! It’s been forever since I’ve written—so long that WordPress looks completely different, yikes. My job as a writer at Bob’s Red Mill has been fantastic, but writing all day means I’m less inclined to write at night. However, I always love talking about capsule wardrobes, so when I made a packing list for our annual trip to Ipswich, Massachussetts, I couldn’t resist posting it!

I have to say that since I’ve returned to work full time, my wardrobe has exploded a little in my efforts to look professional. The “unofficial” dress code is jeans only on Fridays, so the first thing I did was order some non-jeans pants and look through the hand-me-downs my lovely mother has gifted me with through the years. But that meant I needed to change my mindset for this vacation: less workwear, more casual stuff!

I’m a big fan of the 10-Item Wardrobe concept from Jennifer L. Scott’s Daily Connoisseur and the capsule wardrobes created by Leanne Blackmon at Classy Yet Trendy, so I went into this with a clear goal: I wanted to pack a minimal number of pieces that would (mostly) go together and could be either casual or slightly dressy. I ended up with 14 pieces, including shoes and outerwear:

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J. Crew Factory Studio Tee in Heather Graphite. This is a sturdy yet lightweight layer that goes with pretty much anything!

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J. Crew Factory Artist T-Shirt in White. This shirt is a little thin, but I layer a nude camisole underneath.

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J. Crew Slim Perfect Long-Sleeve Tee in Navy and Ivory. If you’ve ever read my previous “fashion” posts, you know I love my striped shirts. This is a new favorite—really flattering and pretty.

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Gibson Cozy Twist Front Pullover in Heather Grey. Everyone and their mom (and my Mom!) has this shirt, and I love it. It feels like pajamas yet the twist gives it some oomph.

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J. Crew Factory 8″ Anywhere Skinny Jean in Astoria Wash. These jeans are great—not too spendy, and all-purpose.

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Paige Transcend – Hoxton High Waist Ankle Ultra Skinny Jeans in Hartmann. A birthday gift from my Mom, these are a little dressier and more forgiving with the stretch! Almost jeggings.

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I brought some great stretch black pants that are styled like trousers from Cabi (a hand-me-down from my Mom), but they’re discontinued! These Halogen Ponte Skinny Pants are similar!

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I admit, I love my basics, but I’ve felt like my wardrobe has gotten a little too blah lately! Enter this cute Lilah dress from Reformation. I really enjoy the comic book panels (anyone know where they’re from?). I was expecting this to be a stretch dress, but it’s actually a vicose/rayon crepe which drapes nicely.

 

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My husband bought me this J. Crew Factory Denim Jacket for Mother’s Day a couple of years ago. Mine is a slightly lighter, more beat-up finish, but this one is similar!

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This Leith Ribbed Shawl Cocoon Sweater is my very favorite layering cardigan, light and so soft, and it’s available at Nordstrom Rack for a very reasonable price!

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Um, did I mention my job at Bob’s Red Mill is totally rad? One perk: every member of the marketing department gets an Original Westerley sweater from Pendleton! Look familiar? That’s right, it’s the Dude’s sweater from The Big Lebowski. It’s a wonderful, thick wool sweater that is incredibly warm, which is perfect for Massachusetts (it’s topping out around 40 degrees here).

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Another present from my very fashionable mother are these ‘Valli’ Waterproof Booties from Blondo in Sand Suede. I’ve had them for over a year and they’re still in great shape—plus, they’re waterproof! I did also seal them with two layers of suede protector.

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I tend to wear a lot of basics in neutral colors, so I love to add something like these Calf-Hair Penny Loafers in Leopard from J. Crew Factory. They’re comfy and stylish!

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And finally . . . just one more thing! I realized it’s been years since I’ve purchased a new coat, so I realized a longtime dream and got this classic trench coat: the Midi Trench Coat from 1901 (a Nordstrom store brand I really like). It’s water resistant and—big plus!—makes me feel like Columbo. It’s fairly lightweight, but with the Pendleton sweater underneath it’s great for cold weather.

I’m midway through our vacation right now and I couldn’t be happier with this capsule wardrobe—it’s warm, flexible, and I feel quite stylish and put-together. I’m saving the dress for Scott and my annual date night, downtown Ipswich is quite the happening place, ha.

So what do you think? What are your must-have travel pieces? Post below!

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Capsule Wardrobe–I Got a Job!

So I hinted at this in my last post, but I’ve had a very drastic life change: after three and a half years at home with my daughter, Sarah, I’ve joined Bob’s Red Mill as a writer/researcher/proofreader. Which means I basically get to read (and write) about food all day long, in the employ of a stellar company that treats its employees very well. So yay!

This brought up two things: one, I needed to find full-time daycare for Sarah. It was a pretty emotional process. I really loved being home with her. But. At three and a half, it was becoming increasingly clear that Sarah needed more structure–as did I! We enrolled her in a place near my work, and although she gets frustrated at having to go “every day,” she’s been having a blast playing with other kids her own age every day.

So that’s a whole complex kettle of fish I won’t go into detail about here. But the second thing was, it turns out our corporate dress code is business casual, with jeans on Fridays. Which means jeans only on Fridays. And I love my jeans. I live in my jeans! I . . . did not own enough non-jeans pants to get me through a whole work week!

This led to a hurried online shopping spree at J Crew Factory (big shock, I know) to hastily put together a work wardrobe, right after I finally put together my Winter 10-Item Wardrobe! Fortunately, some pieces I already bought to wear around the house meshed well with my new workwear–check it out below!

While I generally follow Jennifer L Scott’s 10-item wardrobe guidelines, I also borrowed heavily from Leanne Blackmon’s Workwear Capsule Wardrobe ebook!

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Cotton Caryn Cardigan in Navy

Lexie Pant in Navy

Lexie Pant in Navy. I also got these in Graphite (a dark gray), which is no longer available.

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Sidewalk Skirt in Navy (sense a theme?)

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Perfect Fit Chambray Shirt

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Stretch Button-Down Shirt in White

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J Crew New Perfect Fit T-Shirt in White

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Studio T-Shirt in Heather Graphite

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Open Drapey Fleece Cardigan in Heather Charcoal

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Car-Coat Cardigan in Burgundy Black

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Paige Skinny Jeans–a present from my Mom and Dad. Friday gear!

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Edie Leather Loafers in Navy

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These are close to the Calf’s Hair Ballet Flats I had previously purchased!

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And finally, another birthday present from my Mom–Blondo waterproof boots in Mushroom!

Now this aren’t my only work clothes–I also have a couple pairs of corduroys, and of course, my favorite striped shirt. This feels very basic and easy to put together–I’m tempted to add some accessories, but really, I don’t feel like dropping a ton more money. Maybe when I hit six months at the job!

Whew! So what do you think? Do you have any favorite workwear stuff on tap?

Winter 10-Item Wardrobe: Prep!

Wow, this is super late for many reasons (details later), but I wanted to get started on my Winter 10-item Wardrobe by reviewing last years’ picks. Which will survive? What do I currently have in my closet awaiting their closeups? Stay tuned, true believers!

I’ve long been a fan of capsule wardrobes, thanks to Jennifer L. Scott‘s Madame Chic books: you pick about 10 “core items” like pants, dresses, sweaters, and round them out with extras like t-shirts, jackets, shoes, etc. I’ve also been enjoying Leanne Blackmon’s Classy Yet Trendy blog: she generally has way more than 10 items (although she includes things like shoes, bags, etc.), but her style (pants) more closely matches mine.

So let’s get started by checking out last year’s picks!

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Plaid blouse by Rail.

I bought this last year and I still love it, although it’s starting to pill a little. This will likely be its last hurrah.

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J. Crew Factory chambray shirt.

Ugh, after at least six years, I had to let this go—the underarms were, well, the pits. Unfortunately J Crew Factory no longer carries this shirt. I am bummed!

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Citizens of Humanity “Sculpt – Rocket” high rise skinny jeans in Waverly.

These pants were a disappointment. I bought them last year, and they’re already out due to holes in the knees and crotch. I know it’s partly my fault because I wore them almost every day, but come on! I never put these things in the dryer, I barely washed them! I will try to remedy this situation this time around by buying more pants. Yes, I am revolutionary.

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Citizens of Humanity “Rocket – Sculpt” high rise skinny jeans in black.

These are a maybe. The knees faded, and these are already past their prime. Luckily I wore them less than the pants above!

10 item wardrobe Kenneth Cole black leggings

Kenneth Cole black leggings.

Ha ha ha ha! I don’t wear leggings. I never wore these. They were at least eight years old, so I don’t regret throwing them into the rotation. I will keep them as backup workout (HA) pants.

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Spider-Man sweatshirt, Forever 21.

I love this sweatshirt! But because of other factors, this will be relegated to the weekend rotation.

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Fisherman’s sweater, vintage.

Oh, I so wanted to love this 50-pound sweater. I got it off Etsy for a really good price, and it’s the real deal: a gorgeous wool sweater. It also was too warm and heavy and bulky for me, and it quickly developed a lot of moth holes. Bygones.

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H&M black cardigan with lace detail.

Ehh, I’m glad I got this off ThredUp for $11, because I didn’t love it. Too thin, too tight, too cheap. Have fun at Goodwill.

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Blue “chambray” dress, Twill.

I really like this, but it wrinkles while I wear it. Not in my regular rotation anymore.

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Topshop Star Plissé wrap dress.

Um, why did I think a disco dress was going to be an everyday wardrobe staple?!? I barely wear dresses in the winter, certainly not one I have to keep an eye on to make sure I’m covered. I’m keeping this for special occasions and will wear it approximately three times a year until I die. You’re welcome.

On to the extras!

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Madewell t-shirts, white and gray.

These developed the tiny lower abdomen holes of mystery. Later!

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Splendid ringer t-shirt.

Too wrinkly, didn’t wear well. Next!

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J. Crew Factory long-sleeved striped boatneck t-shirts.

Oh my goodness. It finally happened. J. Crew stopped freakin’ making these! Fortunately I replaced the navy-striped one last year, but . . . I’m going to need to track down another source. Why did you betray me J. Crew Factory?

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Star Wars and Murder, She Wrote t-shirts.

These were awesome, but thanks to me wearing the heck out of them, they’re now relegated to weekend/workout gear.

So . . . I had one survivor from my core items and two from my extras?!? That is a crappy record. Hopefully this year’s 10-item wardrobe will fare better! Hopefully that post will be up by the end of the week!

So what do you think? Who has a capsule wardrobe to share? Do you have a striped shirt hookup you can tell me about? Post below!