AW14 Capsule Wardrobe: Reveal

So here we are, finally! My 35 piece post-natal (breastfeeding orientated) capsule wardrobe.

I realise we are already in October, but I have been wearing this wardrobe as I built it, since the beginning of September and I plan for it to see me through until Dec 1st. I’ve decided that I will then ‘refresh’ it by swapping out a couple of lighter pieces for more winter appropriate items and then I hope I might make it through until the end of January.

(Why? – Because I want to live lighter, save money, and wait to buy more clothes until my shape has settled down post baby and maybe, I don’t need access to my boobs every 2 hours!)

My 35 pieces comprise:

  • 18 tops. (7 tee’s/lightweight tops, 3 dressier tops, 7 jumpers and 1 coatigan/wrap outer layer.)
  • 9 trousers/skirts, dresses and jackets. (2 jeans, 2 joggers, 1 skirt, 2 dresses, 2 jackets.)
  • 8 pairs of shoes/boots. (2 trainers, 2 flats, 3 boots and 1 pair of heels.)

Oui Oui tee // Sweatshirt zip detail top // Zip top

Grey oversize tee // Blurred leopard top // Grey v-neck sloppy tee

Maroon stripe knit // Red shell // Oversize wine tee

Navy funnel neck knit // ‘Love’ stripe light knit (old) // Angel Sequin Knit (old)

Bright blue tunic shirt // Grey Knit (old) // Chambray (maternity) shirt (similar)

Sequin long sleeved top // Pink Cashmere zip knit // Aztec wrap (old)

I went heavy on the tops for ease of changing them post baby sick related incidents. Only 5 of these are tops I already owned as so many of my old wardrobe wasn’t suitable for what I need right now. The majority are cheap and cheerful however, from Forever 21, H&M, Zara and Warehouse. The more expensive brands were purchased with vouchers and discounts and are items I know will last beyond my current needs. There are no massive revelations here for breastfeeding as I’m pretty down with the vest under a top manouver now, but most are looser to enable easy lifting or I don’t mind stretching the bottom of them in the case of this old Moschino top. I really don’t like cardigans so stuck with looser sweaters I can lift, as per my usual style.

Skinny Jeans (similar) // Boyfriend Jeans // Print joggers

Khaki Joggers // Nursing dress // Ruched jersey skirt

Leather Jacket (similar) // Henley dress // Military jacket

Only 2 dresses here as I struggled to find dresses I would wear and were my style, that also worked for breastfeeding. My bottom half has been my problem area as I have found it hard to find Items that are flattering, comfortable and practical for the mum-tum/post c-section scar tenderness and crawling about on the floor with a baby. And only 2 jackets as I’m banking on not needing my heavy parka until December.

Leopard slip ons // Pony spot flats // Nike Air Max 1

Ankle buckle heeled boots (similar) // Brogues (similar) // Leopard heels

Over the knee boots (similar) // Knee boots (similar)

I could have included way more here but I was ruthless. You’ll notice there is only 1 pair of ankle boots but I knew I would seldom wear a heel, so these combine the two. The reason these boots look battered is because they are – they are super comfortable, warm and work with lots of items, so they easily earn a place. The top row are all new. Fancy trainers for some sneaker style, leopard pony skates as another trend-led flat and I just fell in love with the black and white pony spot points – to elevate casual outfits that little bit. I only allowed myself 1 pair of true heels as I supect I’ll rarely need them. Those boots bottom left? They’re over the knee boots. That’s right, over the knee. I had them and they’re bang on trend this season so I opted to include them as they make an average outfit super-sexy in 2 seconds flat whilst being flat and truly comfortable.

So what do you think readers? There’s no claim to being some kind of fashionista here, but I hope you’ll enjoy seeing how I wear these for everyday, easy style. I’ll try to do a regular update including a selection of recently worn outfits. Oh and the budget? I was doing really well until I splurged on the Cashmere knit, but I’m justifying that because it’s probably something I would have ended up buying for the December onwards wardrobe and it made no sense to buy it later when there is a 25% discount now. (Until tonight!) So the total came to £650, (£150 over budget) but I don’t feel bad about this as I’m selling old pieces on eBay to cover some of the excess and clear out my wardrobe.

I’d love to hear your thoughts? Anything you like here? How is your wardrobe looking for Autumn?


PS wondering why I’m doing this?

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18 thoughts on “AW14 Capsule Wardrobe: Reveal

  1. I love this! And I am truly intruiged as to how this works out for you and to see how the outfits come together. With an impeding move I am hoping to finalise my wardrobe when I move it in to its new home. Plus the lack of funds due to moving means I am making my wardrobe almost entirely of what I already own.
    My issue is I am not sure I have the eye for fashion to allow me to create such a concise wardrobe and that what I would like for my wardrobe is not necessarily what I need and what suits my life.

    • …what I would like for my wardrobe is not necessarily what I need and what suits my life.

      I had to be really realistic when I put this capsule together. If I had to imagine my dream wardrobe, it would comprise a pretty fancy collection of smart yet urban cool pieces. Think leather pencil skirts and leggings, silk blouses, statement jewels… Of course those things neither flatter me right now, nor are they practical. Having just a few pieces meant I really had to think about what I would get my wear out of and removed the luxury of having items in there that would really only be worn once or twice if at all.

      Re the ‘eye for fashion’ I guess you mean making everything work together – stick to a colour palette with neutrals (mine was grey/navy/cream) and a couple of colour highlights (mine were rich reds, bright cobalt blue and that pop of pink for grey days.)

      As I said in my last post, I also realised not long into making my capsule that I had mostly block colours, so I went looking for a bit of texture, pattern and stripes to mix it up a bit. Hope that helps! x

  2. It’s great to see the final set. I love that blue blouse & pony heels!

    You’ve inspired me to make a start with my wardrobe this weekend!

  3. Love seeing your capsule altogether, looking forward to seeing the outfits. I am trying to do something similar – trying to find clothes that flatter, work for sitting / playing on the floor at baby groups as well as making me feel like me – struggling to find skirts/dresses for this. I’ve been trying to be ruthless and chuck out clothes that don’t flatter or have got too big now as that can make me feel so frumpy. I’m between sizes too which doesn’t help.
    The area I’m really struggling with is clothes for going out – it doesn’t happen that often now but last sat had a date night with my husband and struggled to find something – so will be keeping my eyes peeled for your outfit posts for inspiration, especially near Christmas x

  4. Great selection Rebecca. I have been working on a capsule wardrobe since you linked to the unfancy website and have been really looking forward to seeing yours. I’ve loved putting my pieces together & it has worked really well in dragging me out of post baby fashion wilderness. I ended up not actually needing to spend that much money on new items either but my baby is much older than Bea (16 months) and I’ve just about got back to my ideal size so could use a lot of what was already in my wardrobe. My difficulty has been getting down to less pieces, I’ve ended up with 33 not including shoes! Must be more ruthless! It’s been very fun & strangely freeing so thanks for introducing me to the world of capsule wardrobes, wish I’d done it months ago instead of slumming around feeling frumpy

    • Hi Lindsey! I actually thought I would need more, but as I’ve said move, I didn’t include ‘loungewear’ which included layering tops/vests.
      I have however as of yesterday and the weather changing noted a glaring omission. After the driest September I totally neglected to include wellies or a waterproof coat. That would take me to 37 items, which is pretty good.

      Shoes was hard – be brutal!

  5. Yay, I’ve been waiting for this post! You’ve actually inspired me to pull together a capsule wardrobe of my own – I’m just waiting for the deliveries to arrive now, exciting! In terms of what suits my “lifestyle”, I’ve been brutally honest with myself and included some nice loungewear-type stuff. Good quality leggings, including a fun printed pair, snuggly soft cardigans and a load of long strappy vests for easy BF access. Right now, at least half of my week is spent at home, doing nothing more adventurous than walking the dog or running errands for which I can easily throw over a trench and pair of boots. Being totally comfortable and able to hop into bed at a moment’s notice if a nap opportunity presents itself, while still looking in the mirror and seeing a coordinated “outfit” (albeit a very, very casual one), will hopefully make a world of difference in terms of how I see myself at the moment. And I’m banking on the capsule approach cutting down the washing pile too – if there are only a handful of options then I simply won’t be able to let it pile up as I work my way to the very bottom of the barrel of my wardrobe.

    Super long comment, sorry! What I really should have said was simply: love this and can’t wait to see what you do with it.

    • It took me ages to do this – there were a lot of deliveries!! But maternity leave is a perfect time for waiting in for them, trying on and a quick walk to the PO to send back unsuitables!

      I haven’t included ‘loungewear’ (I typically lounge in my PJ’s – as I’m doing right now!) but I’m just as comfy in these jeans and joggers. I did read on un-fancy though that Caroline wears ‘loungewear’ around the house, to reduce wear on the actual items, which makes sense. Looking forward to seeing your leggings (I didn’t include those either but do have a pair.) 😉

  6. Well I don’t have any babies to factor in right now, unless you count needing suitable run-around clothes for spending time with my rather energetic stepdaughters! 🙂 BUT, I was still looking forward to this! I love seeing what people choose for their capsule. It’s a great selection and you’ve inspired me to get cracking with mine too. At the moment it’s in my head, not in my wardrobe! I love that grey zip knit from Forever21 but couldn’t seem to find it online? Any clues would be appreciated! The blurred leopard top from Zara is also on my wishlist.

    Looking forward to seeing the outfits! x

  7. So inspirational! I’m trying to do this and really consider what I need in my wardrobe rather than wasting money on a new top for a night out just for the sake of having something new.
    I’m about to become a SAHM to a 2 year old boy so my clothes need to be practical for getting muddy in the park, running everywhere, and going down the big slide in soft play.
    Currently I have loads of clothes, split out over 3 separate wardrobes which seems a bit ridiculous. I would like to get everything in one room at least! I may have to invest in some more KOMPLEMENT to get my wardrobe working better!

    • Yep, my wardrobe was split over 2 wardrobes and more then one chest of drawers. Clearing out made me realise just how excessive it was – I have about 8 pairs of jeans (including colours, wide leg, skinny, straight leg, patterned, boyfriend etc…) number that fit me? 1. Says it all really!

  8. Love this – but tell me, what did you do with the rest of your clothes? Do you get rid of everything else, or put it in storage? I’ve been trying to reduce my clothes – I did a wardrobe challenge in September to try and wear something different every day to see what I actually liked in my wardrobe (failed miserably of course) but I just can’t bring myself to get rid of it, as “I might want it one day”…

    maybe I’ll try a capsule wardrobe and put everything else in a box in the cellar?


    • This wasn’t much of a departure from the norm for me Rachel as I already swap my winter/summer wardrobes as I have never lived in a house with a bedroom big enough for more then a single double wardrobe for my stuff. This is just a much more edited version of what I normally do.

      I had a very big clear out and divided what was left into:
      Save for after postnatal period (i.e. when I fit stuff again!)
      eBay – I have never sold things on eBay before but have managed to sell almost £100 worth of items in the last 2 weeks and will definitely do it again!

      Then I moved the capsule wardrobe into my bedroom wardrobe and everything else was folded/stored for next season/when I am a smaller size.

      • PS. The eBay sale was mostly of stuff I have kept as ‘I might want it one day’ – things that were never going to fit again. That I loved but every time I put on didn’t flatter me but I couldn’t part with, etc. I was pretty brutal about clearing out this time. My worst reason for keeping things that I don’t like/suit/fit is that they aren’t ‘worn out’ and so eBay was perfect for that. x

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