October Capsule Recap – ABBY ALLEY

October Capsule Recap

October Capsule Recap

Today is the last day of October and I want to share some thoughts on capsules as I look back on what I learned this month. I thought 31 pieces would be limiting, but I ended up only wearing 25 of the 31 pieces I chose. This tells me two things. First, pieces that work for me and that I love wearing, I'm happy to wear on repeat. Second, I was surprised by some of the pieces I didn't wear, which tells me I need to revisit some of them. I'll explain more below. If you've been following along all month, I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

What I wore the most:

Mara Hoffman jeans

Vincent James duster

B Sides black jeans

Ryan Roche black cashmere sweater

This doesn't surprise me one bit. Jeans are probably my favorite thing to wear and I don't think I've ever worn a more comfortable pair than my Mara Hoffman denim. The Vincent James duster is definitely an investment, but as you can see, it is so wearable. It can be dressed up or down and has been my main outerwear this month. As you've probably noticed, I love wearing black - so black jeans and a black sweater make a lot of sense for me! This black cashmere sweater is really fabulous. I love that it's fitted - most sweaters right now are oversized, which is great, but in order to play with proportion, it's important to have both options. 


What I didn't wear at all:

White button down

Beige button down

White low v-neck

Gray turtleneck

Black trousers

White button down shirt dress

In theory, these pieces were good choices. They are neutral, classic pieces that should work well with the other pieces in the capsule. These six pieces fell into two categories: "not the right season" and "didn't feel good."

Didn't Feel Good:

I tried to wear the black trousers a couple of times, but each time I ended up going with the Vincent James black pants that have a similar silhouette and just feel better.

I usually love wearing white button down shirts. I think I need to invest in one that I love the fit because right now the two I have just don't feel right. One is too short and the other is too boxy. 

Not The Right Season:

The white low v-neck top. I love this top. I just don't love it for this season. It's slightly see through and just feels more summery. So maybe I need to get it in black for the fall or find something that has a similar neckline in a black or brown or something that feels more fall.  

The same story goes for my beige button down. It feels more spring/summer to me. It could have been good under a sweater, but not the sweaters I chose for the capsule. So it just didn't work.

And my gray turtleneck I love - I just think I wasn't ready to wear turtlenecks yet. We had a really lovely October and I like to save some things for the long winters we have here in Chicago so I don't get tired of my cold weather clothes.

My white shirt dress is one of those pieces that I just adore, but isn't something for everyday. The weather didn't cooperate when I thought I might wear it, so it just didn't happen. I'm going to keep playing with it though and see if I can't find a way to wear it in the cold weather!


Although I like the concept of a capsule wardrobe, I think the best way for me to think about my own personal style and building a closet it to think of it as an intentional wardrobe. I have started to think of clothes in three categories:

Foundational Pieces: These probably make up 70% of my closet. It's pieces that are fundamental to every outfit I build. I probably wear at least one of these pieces every single day. They are pieces I know I feel good in, I look good in, and are classic staples. Great examples of these are the four pieces I wore the most this month. Often these will be neutrals, but they don't have to be. For example, this sweater dress or this sweater. 

In & Out: These are pieces that come in and out of the trend cycle either broadly or personally and make up about 15-20% of my closet. For me these are pieces that have a lot of pattern or bright colors. It's not necessarily that they are "out" or "in," but I go in and out of loving certain colors or patterns. I have this great tomato red silk top that I probably wear only a handful of times a year, but because it's in a classic fit, I keep it around. 

Emotional Pieces: These probably make up 10-15% of my closet. Emotional pieces are things that evoke that "I had to have it" feeling. A great example of this for me is my yellow dress (below). I don't wear it a lot, but it just makes me happy.

I think we get ourselves into trouble when we buy too much in the "In and Out" and "Emotional" categories. We look at our closet full of beautiful clothes, but yet have nothing to wear. If we don't have that "Foundational" category in a good place or it's only 30-40% of our closet we get lost in our own closets. The biggest piece of advice I have is to invest in the foundational pieces you'll wear for years and build your wardrobe around. As I look at the pieces I call foundational, they have three things in common. They are classic or timeless, have an ease or comfort to them, and they feel relevant or modern. Your descriptors might be different than mine, but these are the common threads I am finding for my own personal style. It's always evolving but these adjectives feel like me!

I'd love to know your thoughts on capsule wardrobes! Leave me a comment or question!



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1 comment

  • I loved reading your thoughts on the capsule! I’m always working towards making my closet more intentional and it’s for sure a work in progress. You make great points….I think before buying more pieces I need to assess what I already have a bit more .


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