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My Full Fall and Winter Capsule Wardrobe Revealed!
Welcome back to the blog! I recently chatted on our Instagram and Facebook stories about building my sustainable and ethical capsule wardrobe from scratch and I am so thrilled to finally share it with you all! I began my journey to a capsule wardrobe about two years ago when our family made the decision to live as mindfully and sustainably as possible.
What is a capsule wardrobe? Simply put, it is a closet that actually works for you. Each piece in your closet will match with many other pieces in your closet to create a seemingly endless amount of outfit options! Typically, a capsule wardrobe will go by seasons (so four capsule wardrobes in total) and each season will have about 25 pieces to mix and match.
If you are at all confused, not to worry, it will all make sense when I reveal to you how I built it from scratch and the items I chose!
I had a few rules to abide by before beginning my capsule wardrobe search…
- Each item purchased had to meet my 30 wear in 90 days rule. I had to know, without a doubt, that each piece could be worn at least 30 times in 90 days to add to my closet.
- Comfort over trend.
- Each item purchased had to pair with at least 5 other items in my closet before purchasing.
- Each item purchased had to be sustainable, fair trade, and ethically made. If second hand, I would try my absolute best to find the most natural fibers from trusted companies.
- Absolutely zero impulse buying.
Sustainable & Ethical Capsule Wardrobe: How I built my list!
Before starting my capsule wardrobe, I did a heck of a lot of research and built a list that I still have to this day! It took me two full years to build a Sustainable & Ethical Capsule Wardrobe for Fall and Winter and I am so proud of what I have created.
There are a ton of capsule wardrobe examples on the internet to get you started but I found that they only confused me. Instead, I spent about 3 weeks simply observing my life. I jotted down what I wore each day and found that I spent 90% of my time in athletic/comfy clothes (mom life/blogger life) and the other 10% in those trendy clothes that I spent all that dang money on for no good reason.
I am so guilty of purchasing “sex and the city” fashionable clothes when in reality I am more of a cat lady who likes comfort and tea. LOL.
Huge Tip: Be HONEST about your lifestyle.
While there is absolutely nothing wrong with living in athletic/comfy clothing, I did want to add more polished clothing to my wardrobe that I could wear without hassle. I love feeling “put together” but I did not want to have to spend any time doing so haha! And let me tell you, building a capsule wardrobe absolutely sets you up for the “put together” look every single day without even trying. It’s magical.
Each time that I open my closet, I can grab just about anything and they look amazing together. Talk about a breakthrough!
Sustainable & Ethical Capsule Wardrobe:
While writing this blog post, I decided to pull everything out of my closet and put the second-hand items on the right and the purchased new items on the left. I would say…it’s about 60/40. I was able to find some amazing second-hand items from wonderful companies to complete my sustainable and ethical capsule wardrobe and I advise you to do the same.
What I purchased second hand!
- Super Warm Winter Jacket: Save the Duck Puffer for 40 euros
- Transitional Jacket: Second hand from Chicago for 12 dollars
- Transitional Fleece: Patagonia for 35 euros
- Rain Boots: Hunter Wellington Boots in Black for 30 euros
- Rain Jacket: Et Vous Rain Jacket in Dark Grey for 30 euros
- Black Jeans: Nudie Jeans for 40 euros
- Blue Jeans: Levi’s Jeans for 35 euros
- Cardigan: I did not have to purchase, it was Martin’s old cardigan from highschool haha.
- Leg Warmers: Snagged second hand for 2 bucks in our little town
- Layering sweater: Snagged second hand again for 2 bucks in our town
- Lounge long sleeve t-shirt: Purchased in a second-hand shop in Chicago for 4 dollars “Save the trees”. So cute.
How I went about second-hand shopping
While I adore second-hand shopping, I do find that it traps me sometimes. Everything is a steal and sometimes we go a bit crazy. For this reason, I tried my best to stick with the list (always have a list!!) and use the search function for online second-hand shops. We live in Italy so I used the VestiareCollective app for my second-hand needs and I always searched within Italy. It worked like a charm. If I had second thoughts about anything I would instantly say no. Second thoughts and clothes are never a good sign.
Sustainable & Ethical Capsule Wardrobe:
New Items in my Capsule Wardrobe
- Wills Vegan Boots
- Wilding Shoes Barefoot Shoes *heads up, not all of the options are vegan so be sure to read the labels!
- Bhava Studio 2-in-1 Boots
- Patagonia Base Layer Tops
- Patagonia Base Layer Bottoms
- JanNJune Layering Sweater
- Organic Basics Turtleneck (code wonderobc7 for discount!)
- JanNJune Scarf
- JanNJune TurtleNeck
- Buff Hat
- Sweatpants by Bhumi Australia (I would also suggest Indigo Luna Goddess Pants from Australia!)
- Encircled Dressy Leggings
- Kindom Long Layering Dress
- Nomad’s Clothing UK Short Layering Dress
- Organic Basics Workout Leggings (code wonderobc7 for discount!)
- Organic Basics Sports Bras (code wonderobc7 for discount!)
- People Tree Bodysuit Longsleeve Tees in Black and White
- Organic Basics Basic Tees (code wonderobc7 for discount!)
- Silver and Gold Trousers
- Silver and Gold Dressy Top
Each and every one of these items has been a gem in my closet and they fit beautifully into my capsule wardrobe. However, if I was to do this all over again, I would have actually gone even MORE basic in my choices. For instance, for my layering dresses, I would now choose to purchase a simple black (people tree and janNjune have amazing options) and maybe grey options vs print options. This would open up my options even more.
Something else that I would keep in mind is the washing and care needed. For instance, one of my trousers is dry clean only which is absolutely not cool for most folks. Definitely keep this in mind.
Sustainable & Ethical Capsule Wardrobe: My Advice to Others
While I am so happy with what I have created, I do have some pretty good advice for my followers. Over the last two years, I have come to know many sustainable and ethical companies and have found a few that….gosh….well I just wish I knew about them when I was finishing up my own closet!
For instance, there is a company that I have just been drooling over. They are called Vetta Capsule and they create the capsules for you. They have about 5-6 different capsules that suit all different personalities. The one that I love is the refined capsule. What is so amazing about this brand is that their pieces are made to transform into more than one style. For instance, their dresses can transform into a separate skirt and top to mix and match even more. Genius. So, if I could go back in time I would have absolutely purchased the refine capsule and saved myself a lot of time and money.
Encircled, the company where I got my dressy leggings from, is also amazing for capsule wardrobes. They even offer “kits” to help you build your own! I am definitely eyeing the “unblazer” for when my kids get older and I can actually…maybe…one day….have a real adult meeting?? haha!
Another great tip is to rent if you have an event and want a fresh look. Rent vs buy. I promise…it’s so much better than having a dress in your closet that just collects dust! You can rent a new dress/outfit each time you have a fun event and then simply send it back to let the dress live out its fabulous life.
Questions You May Have
So, are these ALL the clothes that I own for Fall and Winter?
Nope! I also have a few extra tops that I use 365 days a year (so these would fit in all 4 capsule wardrobes). The extra items are those that I have had the longest (way before babies or sustainable living) that are just living out their lives and that I will keep until I cut up and use for wipes or something haha.
I believe I have about 5 extra tees, a second-hand wrap sweater, a long red sweater that I love to use for layering, a very old huge ratty sweater that I just adore, and 2 big wraps from Hawaii.
Do I ever use my Spring/Summer capsule during Fall/Winter?
Yes! I do not have any skirts in my Fall/Winter wardrobe so I sneak out my Spring Linen skirts a lot if the weather is warm enough. I also like to pull my linen pants or tops out now and then when the weather is warm. My Spring and Summer capsule is primarily linen and it truly is a wonderful fabric.
Do I ever get bored?
Absolutely not. Honestly…not once. I feel good every single time I get dressed! If you do ever get bored, I would absolutely get started on accessorizing and such. You can do so much with belts, jewelry, hats, etc.
Is this truly cost-effective?
If done correctly, absolutely. The items are meant to last many many years. When you choose high quality, you get that! I love to choose companies that will repair/mend the items as well. Companies like Nudie Jeans do this! Once your capsule is complete, you can STOP SPENDING MONEY on clothes for years and years!!!
Do I recommend any more brands?
Absolutely! We have our list of trusted brands here for you!
That’s all for today, Mamas! I hope this blog post helped and please feel free to leave a comment about your own journey or to ask any questions! Heads up, we did use a few affiliate links and will receive a small commission if you purchase through them. As always, we truly stand behind the products we link. Thanks for stopping by!
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My favorite ethical and sustainable brands for spring!