the papercraft lab

Fall 2016 Capsule Wardobe (sort of)


I wrote my last blog post 9 months ago. I had to decide last month whether or not to renew my site and I couldn't bring myself to shut it down. I like writing even if no one comments and it's all about YouTube these days. I'm old, I guess. I'd rather read a post than watch a video.

Anyway, instead of trying to catch up on 9 months, I'll just jump in. For the last couple of weeks, my hobby project has been to sort out my fall "capsule" wardrobe. I can't *really* call it a capsule, because it has just over 50 pieces, and that's not exactly minimalist.  BUT, each piece is carefully chosen and most items mix and match.  

Using my Bullet Journal to plan my wardrobe - I used colored pencils to give me an overview of my clothing colors. There have been a lot of scratch-outs and shifting items to Winter since I took this photo!

Most importantly, I plan for (and shop) for the next season ahead of time, and have done a darn good job of not buying random things in between since I started this process in 2014. I can honestly say I no longer shop for clothes when I'm bored, or need a "pick me up", etc. I shop when I "need" clothing. Let's be honest here - I don't ever NEED clothing, but I do like to update my wardrobe with a few new things each season.

This year, I have done such a good job of keeping only what "sparks joy" (thanks Marie Kondo!) that I am kind of overwhelmed by everything I chose for the next 6 months.  So instead of doing a 6 month "FWinter" wardrobe, I'm trying my friend Adrianne's suggestion of keeping some items in storage and pulling them out in December.  There are a few lighter pieces that will get put away for the winter as well.

So here's what I've got:

I noticed in photos this summer that my trusty bootcut JAG jeans from 2013 were looking a little tired. I have literally worn them multiple times a week since I bought them, except in the few summer weeks when it's just too hot.  They've faded (but not in a cool way) and lost their stretch. So I needed new jeans.

For a long time I've believed there are some things I should just not wear at my size (and maybe my age, too). Skinny jeans were firmly on that list. But I realized that wearing a lot of baggy stuff makes me feel kinda...shlumpy. And reading this great piece on Into Mind got me thinking that maybe I could try it since I like the cleaner, trimmer look and had already talked myself into leggings a few years ago (another no-no in my mind).

So this Fall's wardrobe has TWO new pairs of new skinny jeans plus the straighter leg pair of jeans I bought last year. I love them, and they go great with the flowier, longer tops I already have.

In March, I accepted a new job at Microsoft that requires me to be in the office (sniffle) which means I need a wider range of presentable out-of-the-house clothes than when I worked from home. Since it's such a casual workplace (yay tech companies!) I can *choose* to dress up if I feel like it. I love having that choice, unlike when I worked in consulting and had to dress up in "business casual +" every single day. I rebelled by wearing sweatpants *a lot* to my first gig at Microsoft back in 2002.

After 2 years of being intentional about my clothing, I'm starting to get a pretty good handle on which brands I like and fit me well, and which tend to last over time. With fewer clothes, I'm wearing each thing more often. Everything I own except one or two fancy dresses is machine washable. A few things I bought in 2014 just didn't stand the test of time.  I'm pretty much done buying anything new from the "Style & Co." line at Macy's because they just don't last. 

I am really happy to see that options for sizes 14 and up have gotten a LOT better in just a few short years. I guess the fashion industry is catching up to reality, finally. I also decided I'm dressing the body I have now, not the one I wish I had, or the one I had 15 years ago (size 8! sigh.) Yes, I would like to lose 40 lbs, but I would also like to look good in the meantime. 

For the past 2 years I waited until October to pull out the new Fall wardrobe because it was still warm in Seattle. Unfortunately that's not the case this year, so on the bright side, I get to wear my new stuff right after Labor Day weekend! It feels like Back to School shopping, which, incidentally, I still need to do for my girls. That's my next Project.

I know I've disappeared for a while, but if you're out there, I'd love to know if you are doing anything wardrobe-related to prepare for the upcoming season!

See related posts at The Papercraft Lab