Capsule Wardrobe / Style

Em’s Winter Capsule : 40 Pieces!



Maybe we ought to actually call this the Winter/Spring capsule wardrobe since it’s already March!

Either way, I managed to narrow my closet down to 40 pieces! Which is why I’m doing victory dances in a lot of these photos. Well that and the fact that Kat always has the best playlists.

If you’re new to the capsule wardrobe, you can catch up on my first experience with it last fall. Basically, I narrowed my closet down to 40 items that I will actually wear. This does not include shoes,  my special work wear (what I wear to photograph a wedding), sweatpants or loungewear, or special occasion wear (my sequined dresses and tops).

As you can see from the preview above, I don’t stray too far from black, white, grey, cream, and denim… and that’s OK. It’s more important to wear what makes me feel good than to wear what looks good on Instagram.

My favorite part of the process is finding what I am excited to wear this season, and giving some styles a break. I like putting a few things away for the summer or fall knowing that when I open those boxes it’s going to be like Christmas morning all over again.

This season I carried over quite a few things from Fall, because in California we have mild seasons, and when you find the perfect silk tank, you keep that baby around all year.

Here is the breakdown of my Winter/Spring capsule wardrobe :

15 Bottoms

1 mini skirt – So simple and easy. Throw it on over tights with a sweater, or pair it with a tee for an easy and comfy outfit. I love how it can also be dressed up or down!

4 trouser pants

  • herringbone wide (similar) – great with a simple white tee, or dress them up with a black silk tank and navy blazer.
  • white linen – artist pants! I love how they pair with a tunic or my henley for a lazy day.
  • black harem (similar) – a perennial favorite for both work and play.
  • green cargo (similar but mine have daisies embroidered on them!!) – I’m envisioning them with a henley and leather jacket and when it warms up with a silk tank and slides.

10 pairs of jeans – flares, boyfriend, skinny, skinny boyfriend, hi-waisted skinny, vintage 501s (mine are thrifted), wide-leg (as seen here), wide-leg culottes and two pairs of perfect bootcut jeans from Madewell from about 4 years ago… these are my “mom days” jeans.

Note: If you’re putting together your first capsule you probably only need 3-4 pairs of jeans: boyfriend jeans, skinny jeans, and one “nice” pair – maybe flares or hi-waist black skinnies.

20 Tops 

2 silk tanks – racerback + camisole – They just go with everything. Both in black since that’s just how I roll.

2 plain jersey tees – These are my true staple pieces.  Once I realized I liked a deep V and found ones in the right fabric my wardrobe fell into place.

1 tunic – Easily my most worn shirt! It works well with skinny jeans, boyfriend jeans or over my linen pants.

1 button up (similar) – I like this one with a front tuck and blue jeans. Simple and easy!

1 graphic tee – This is my “I want something that says I’m a cool mom” shirt.  It also has to be easily washable so when I’m hanging with my toddler I don’t freak out if she makes a mess.

2 blouses

  • silk peplum – as seen here. If there’s one thing my capsule wardrobe experiment has taught me is that I don’t like tight tops. My midsection likes to breathe.
  • linen – I’m envisioning this one with my high-waisted jeans or cargos and a cardigan with some flats.

3 long sleeve tops

  •  striped – I love this top for easy outfits with jeans. I’m not big on color but the subtle red stripes work well for me!
  •  henley – this goes with everything. I have the oatmeal color and I like it with my black skinny jeans as well as my light washed boyfriend jeans. Bonus: it transitions to nights in with sweatpants.
  • chambray – Perfect layering piece for California winters, which can really vary in how cold or warm it can be on any given day.

4 sweaters

  •  turtleneck – This piece was clutch when I was in NY for Fashion Week and it felt like -22 degrees. Out of necessity I even layered it over my black mini dress and was surprised at how chic (and warm) I felt.  I’m also loving it with my skinny jeans and boots.
  •  cardigan – This will be carried over until the end of time. A delicious chunky knit and a slouchy fit.
  •  cable knit – This is my inspiration photo. Although maybe I’ll pair it with my mini skirt.
  •  lightweight – My every season, every occasion sweater. You’ve seen it a million times already.

4 coats

5 One Pieces 

1 off the shoulder mini dress (as seen here) – I’m still not sure it’s long enough to wear without pants but I have plans to try it out with my black mini skirt and a little front tuck.

1 peplum LBD – I love this dress! It reminds me of Kat’s Kate Spade top which I have always coveted.

1 sweater dress – The equivalent of wearing a deliciously soft cashmere blanket. I love the drapingt! You’ll notice quite a few pieces from Hatch Collection on this list… I discovered this brand when I was pregnant with Charlie and this dress and this shirt  stayed in rotation long after she was born, so I still find myself shopping there and finding new things I love!

1 denim jumpsuit (vintage but I found the same one on Etsy!) – This is the denim jumpsuit to end all denim jumpsuits. One part train conductor, one part sassy 70s flare, and two parts pure amazing. I’m glad I found the same one on Etsy to share, because the closest equivalent was $980. I guess I’m doing something right.

1 black jumpsuit – I love things that are wide and drapey, and I love jumpsuits. Do you think I could pull this off while photographing a wedding? I’ll report back soon with those results.

So there you have it! I’m excited to break it down for you with a handful of outfits in the weeks to come.

Are you up for the capsule wardrobe challenge? I’d love to hear from others who have tried it!



Photos by Katherine Harris / HMU by Facetime Beauty



For more from Last Season’s Capsule : Check out :

The Fall Capsule Experiment / 42 Pieces for Fall / Outfit 1 / Outfit 2 / Outfit 3 / Outfit 4 / Outfit 5 / Lessons Learned

2 comments on “Em’s Winter Capsule : 40 Pieces!”

  1. So great, as usual! Where is your favorite place to buy your jersey t’s? I need some good staple t’s in my wardrobe and have a hard time finding ones that don’t shrink or look terrible after a few washes.

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