08 April 2015

9 Pieces, 9 Ways for Spring

Recently I have been thinking a lot about the concept of a capsule wardrobe. I have always been a more is more kinda person when it comes to my closet. I tend to dress based on how I am feeling, and this often requires a plethora of options to cover all of my many moods and feelings. However, over the winter and now as I am examining my closet in preparation of its springtime refresh, I am realizing my more is more mentality is starting to weigh me down. I just have so.much.stuff.ahh. And it's not like my closet is a mess, I am incredibly neat and OCD, so everything is in its place and all items are carefully tucked into drawers, shelves, and sorted by color and pattern on hangers. I am not stressing out about not having the space to fit everything, but more about the shear volume of space it takes up, regardless that I have the room to accommodate it. Does that make sense? 

Anyways, this time of year always makes me think about new beginnings and fresh starts. As I look around my closet, I can't help but want to purge. Slowly, I have been sifting through and removing shoes, belts, accessories, and, of course, clothing. If I haven't worn it in a year, if it doesn't fit, if I don't like how I feel wearing it, if I don't love it, it's gone (and probably being listed for sale in my instacloset). I want to reduce to the things that I love, that I wear, and that have lots of styling potential. Because let's face it, if I look at it and my response is "meh" then its just going to sit there untouched.

Spring cleaning and refreshing also means I will probably be adding a few new pieces to my closet as well. Keeping to my new less is more mentality, I will be much more particular when adding new pieces. To help guide my choices, I have started thinking about pieces in terms of a capsule. I have done no-shop and shop your closet remix challenges before, but the idea of narrowing my closet down and mixing only a confined number of things over time has been really intriguing to me lately. There are a lot of variations floating around on blogs and pinterest; such as the 30 pieces for 30 days or the 7 pieces for 7 days challenges. I wanted to take this idea and use it as a tool for expanding my closet so that I naturally develop a more capsule style closet without forcing a challenge.

Today I have put together a 9 pieces 9 ways graphic to help illustrate some of the pieces I have considered adding and how I could style them. I have also included 9 accessories that can be mixed and matched with the pieces as shown. Looking at the pieces, it is pretty easy to see that 9 ways of styling them is just the beginning. Sidenote: this is also a great strategy to employ when packing for a trip!

9 Pieces, 9 Ways

Shop the pieces:

Shop the accessories:

So let's talk about these pieces. First of all, all the items shown are from J.Crew and J.Crew Factory. I shop this retailer often because they always have a great mix of classic and trendy pieces, their pieces are great quality, and they usually have some sort of sale going online - like right now (PS - this post is in no way sponsored by them). Now, that mix of classic and trendy pieces I just mentioned is key for me when selecting new items to add to my closet. When I'm shopping for new clothing, I try to look for classic pieces in neutral colors and staple patterns, simple pieces in bright colors to add contrast to outfits, and a few trendy pieces that are versatile. These 9 items featured are a great example of this mix.

Classic pieces in neutral colors and staple patterns are the majority of my picks. These types of clothing are really wearable and provide the base for most outfits. In this set, I have chosen a denim jacket and shorts, a white and black striped tee, white skinny jeans, a navy and white stripe skirt, and a black and white stripe dress in a simple but classic cut. Most of the accessories I chose also follow this; the cognac bucket bag (trendy in style but classic in color and material), the black birkenstock sandals, cognac sandals, and over-sized sunnies. In all of these pieces, color, cut, and style are important in making the neutrals feel both classic and modern. Additionally, of these pieces "go" not just with other neutrals and patterns, but also just about every other color under the sun.

Next I will look for simple pieces in a bright color to add contrast and visual interest in my outfits. In this set I have selected a lightweight sweater in poppy, lace embellished shirt in aqua, a citron tote, and the multi-colored bangles. These items can all be added to otherwise neutral outfits to create or accent a focal point in the outfit. Look for colors that are not present or prominent in your closet to provide more mixing and matching options as you expand your wardrobe.

Lastly, when shopping, I will look for a few pieces that are currently on trend that may or may not be considered in a year or two from now. In this set, I selected a fun parrot patterned romper, bright tassel earrings, woven tote with pom poms, and pastel d'orsay flats. As fun and lovely as all of these things are, they are all very of the moment and there is no guarantee that I won't be replacing them next spring with a new trend. To save money, I keep trendy pieces to a minimum and stretch their dollar amount further by sticking more to accessories and less to clothing. To maximize a trend's versatility, I look for pieces that can also fall into one of the above categories, like the woven pom pom tote which is basically a neutral tan with a classic strip pattern on it, or the tassel earrings which are a bright but simple piece that can be added to an otherwise classic outfit for a fun pop. 

Looking at the graphic you can probably spot quite a few other combinations; throw the denim jack over just about anything pictured, the bags and shoes can all be swapped around, accessories can be added, the dress can be turned into a skirt by throwing on and knotting a shirt along the hem, etc. This is one of the reasons I think this strategy is so great for packing too. It minimizes how many things you need to bring while allowing a lot of versatility in your outfits.

I hope this has been a helpful way of thinking about what you buy seasonally and different ways different pieces can be paired together. Remember to take inventory of your closet for the current season before adding pieces to make sure you have your basics covered and don't be afraid to reach for a few new colors to add focus to your outfits this spring!

Thanks for stopping by and have a fabulous day!

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