With a 9-5, fashion blog, and newly established jewelry business, I’m often asked how I manage. The truth is…I just make it work, even if that means sacrificing my house (it seriously looks like a cyclone went through it), sleep deprivation, and a neglected husband. These things are terrible, I know, but I want to be completely honest. I’m hoping to correct these bad habits over time and at the top of my list right now is to spend more time with my husband. So important!
This series is part of the 10X10 Spring Challenge. For more information on what it is and how it works, click here.
Have you ever bought something that you weren’t sure about only for it to end up being your favorite closet staple? That’s what happened with this sweater vest. I got it last year from Club Monaco at an end of the season sale. I remember being worried that I wouldn’t wear it, but wanted an alternative to my beige one. Surprise-surprise, I’ve literally worn it weekly for the entire season! Talk about return on investment, right?
My Best Closet Staple
The best thing about this vest is it goes with everything! I’ve worn it with jeans, dresses, and every top in my closet. It’s my weekly go-to, so of course I included it in my capsule. For this look, I chose to layer this vest over my trusty snow leopard sweater, another great staple! The merino wool is so warm and smooth, plus I love the print. I could totally see the top of this outfit being paired with a faux leather skirt and tall boots. So chic!
Now that the winter sales are winding down, I highly encourage you to invest in a sweater vest for next fall. I’m on the hunt for my spring alternative now, but this one from Nordstrom will be awesome for next year. For the warmer months, I’m leaning more towards this utilitarian style. Military outerwear never really goes out of style whether it’s a jacket or vest, so I’m adding it to my wish-list this year.
That’s why Lee’s 10 x 10 challenge is amazing! It really allows you to identify the gaps you might have in your closet and separate your needs from your wants. I don’t necessarily need a vest, but do know that it allows me to maximize my closet and get more bang for my buck. In my eyes, the vest is a necessary closet staple that I will indeed pick up this spring.
I almost forgot to mention the jeans! These are the same cut and style as the ones seen here, except a different wash and no button fly. The fit is the same, but the material is definitely tighter and not as comfortable as the lighter color. You might not find them as comfortable if you are curvier in your midsection. I might even recommend sizing up. I still love the jeans, but won’t be wearing them as regularly.
What are your favorite closet staples? Please share in the comments.
Shop the Look:
*c/o: courtesy of or gifted.
I am so excited to kick off this series! I have been wanting to do a capsule wardrobe ever since I discovered Caroline Rector’s Un-fancy! I’m sad that she no longer keeps her blog up, but you can still follow her on Instagram.
If you missed my introductory post to this challenge, you can check it out here. I promise, you won’t be disappointed and you might even want to create your own capsule wardrobe! Now let’s get started with the basics.
What is a capsule wardrobe?
A capsule wardrobe is a small wardrobe made up of versatile pieces (30-40 pieces) that you love. The catch – you can only swap out your items every season (three months). Caroline’s capsule included 37 pieces for three months.
What is the 10×10 challenge?
Take 10 pieces and create 10 different outfits in 10 days. It is the mini version of a traditional capsule wardrobe that was created by Lee Vosburgh.
Spring Wardrobe Challenge – My Take
Instead of going the traditional route, I thought it would be fun to do the 10×10. As luck would have it, the next challenge is starting Friday, March 30th, but I’m starting now! Instead of doing 10 days in a row, I will be sharing one look per week for the next two months using only 10 pieces (shoes not included). I will also tag my outfits with #stylebee10x10, #Spring10x10, #10x10Friends and do a full blog post on each look.
- Top layer
- Shoes (you can choose whether to include in your count)
Accessories don’t count, so load up on as much as you want!
Who should try a capsule wardrobe?
Why should I try a capsule wardrobe?
Planning a vacation, feel stagnant in your wardrobe choices, want to save money, need to declutter your life? All of the above? A capsule wardrobe can help you with all of these.
- Prove that you don’t have to spend money to look stylish
- Show different ways to rework your wardrobe and change things up
- Help you identify gaps in your wardrobe
- Inspire you to try a capsule or declutter your life by pairing down your wardrobe
I have always been envious of those who wear the half-tuck. I’ve tried countless times to make it work but it always looked like a hot mess! I tell friends that they need to show me, and they look amused. If it’s so easy then why does J.Crew have a tutorial on it?! Here are three fail-proof tips, now tested by yours truly:
- Wear high-waist jeans: I understand that some people aren’t keen on a high-waist jean, but I’m here to tell you, never say never! In the past, I’ve tried the half-tuck with a low rise jean and it just didn’t work for me. Once I found these beauties, I had a change of heart. They are super flattering, even in the midsection. Rejoice!!! A high-waist jean takes the guesswork out of the half-tuck in my opinion. Just grab the front of your shirt, tuck in the front and voila! You look beyond fabulous.
- Look for a short hem: The more material you have to tuck in the more problematic. Plus, who wants to be bothered with a long hem? It will just add extra bulk to the front and sides.
- Keep the top thin: These camisoles are thin (available in four colors) and come in a good length, making them super easy for mastering the half-tuck.
Shop the Post:
Sweater: Madewell (similar) | Camisole: J.Crew | Necklace: Lace & Pearls Jewelry | Denim: J.Crew | Booties: Paul Green (similar) | Purse: Marc by Marc Jacobs (similar) | Lipstick: Urban Decay 1993 c/o
*c/o: courtesy of or gifted.
More From This Series:
- Unintentional Capsule Wardrobe + Spring Wardrobe Challenge 10×10
- Spring Wardrobe Challenge Outfit #2 – Taking Fashion Risk
- Spring Wardrobe Challenge Outfit #3 – My Best Closet Staple
- Spring Wardrobe Challenge Outfit #4 – The Knit Dress and Why You Need One
- Spring Wardrobe Challenge Outfit #5- 6 Things I’ve Learned From My Capsule Wardrobe
- Spring Wardrobe Challenge Outfit #6 – Transitional Outfit For Spring
- Spring Wardrobe Challenge Outfit #7 – Be the Change You Want to See
- Spring Wardrobe Challenge Outfit #8 – The Lightweight Sweater
- Spring Wardrobe Challenge Outfit #9 – 5 Reasons to Start Your Own Capsule Wardrobe
Since gaining over twenty pounds, the majority of my clothes no longer fit, but instead of holding onto everything, I went ahead and put most of my closet on consignment and gave the rest away. I understand that getting rid of things can be scary, but I’ve always been very focused on keeping my closet in order, so I knew it was the right decision for me. Plus, if I lose the weight, I know that I’ll want something new and that makes me less worried about feeling remorseful.
Unintentional Capsule Wardrobe
Getting your closet together is no small feat! It actually took me several months. The clothes that I put on consignment had to be dry cleaned and properly packed, then the items that weren’t in good shape were donated. Accessories and shoes went to ThredUp or Poshmark, which I’m still in the process of finishing up.
After everything was cleared out, I barely had anything left! This is when I thought about creating a capsule wardrobe: minimal, neutral, and basic. I like the look on some, but it’s not necessarily my style, although I’ve always wondered if I could create a capsule wardrobe for myself that was more on the feminine side. Once I was committed to the idea, I revisited my favorite capsule blogger, Caroline Rector of Unfancy, and saw that her and Lee Vosburgh had just finished the 10×10 challenge.
What is 10×10 Challenge?
Take 10 pieces and create 10 different outfits in 10 days.
What is a Capsule Wardrobe?
A small wardrobe made up of versatile pieces (30-40 pieces) that you love. The catch – you can only swap out your items every season (three months). Caroline’s capsule included 37 pieces for three months.
Instead of going the traditional route, I thought it would be fun to do the 10×10. As luck would have it, the next challenge is starting Friday, March 30th, so look forward to joining me on my journey! Instead of doing 10 days in a row, I will be sharing one look per week for the next two months using only 10 pieces (shoes not included). I will also tag my outfits with #stylebee10x10, #Spring10x10, #10x10Friends and do a full blog post on each look.
Challenge Goal: At the end of this challenge I want to save money, ignite creativity, feel content, and make more intentional purchases.
My Small Wardrobe Theory
As long as you look good, do you need to have a lot of clothes? Say you have three lipsticks that look great on you. Between the three of them, you’ve got a look for every day, a statement color that wows, and a classic red to throw in the mix. Do you really need 15 lippies? The shelf life will expire before you can even wear them all!
Just like clothes, you primarily wear your favorites and the others are neglected or you grow tired of them. Wouldn’t you prefer to have a closet full of your favorites that get equal wear? No more spending money on unnecessary items or countless mornings trying to figure out what to wear.
The pieces: click the images to shop. Some of these items aren’t my exact pieces, but I did my best to choose similar items.
Have you attempted your own capsule wardrobe? What was your experience like? If you’re hesitant to start one, what are the reasons? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
If you’re subscribed to my monthly newsletter, you might have participated in my reader’s survey where one of the questions asked was about what you like to play up or minimize on your body. The response was almost unanimous! Most readers said stomach, and while I covered this topic briefly before, I wanted to expand upon the topic in a blog post.
I have always been self-conscious of my midsection. Even at my thinnest, I had a belly, so I’ve mastered the talent of minimizing it with clothing.
- Clingy or thin materials. Just don’t do it. If you prefer to wear something fitted, choose a thicker, more structured fabric.
- Pleated skirts. The largest part of my body other than my chest is my midsection. For this reason, I tend to avoid wearing skirts altogether. I can’t stand to have the pressure around my waist. If you like skirts, pick up one that is smooth in material, since pleats can add volume around your middle.
- Low rise pants or jeans. You don’t want them sitting under your tummy or cut across it. It’s really uncomfortable and not very flattering.
- Good posture. My photographer always tells me to stand up straight and to think tall! It sounds funny, but it’s true. Take a picture of yourself slouching and then one with great posture and you’ll look like you dropped 10 pounds. I’m serious, try it!
- Watch your proportions. Wearing oversized anything can make or break you. This is why I like to opt for a petite tunic versus a regular one. Another trick is to size down if you can or wear a belt around your waist to create a feminine silhouette.
- I absolutely love these tummy control workout pants that I found at Nordstrom Rack. Seriously life changing! Working out is tough enough, why put yourself through more stress when you don’t have to? These pants make you feel slim and pulled in, plus when you’re twisting and moving you don’t have to worry about exposing your belly.
- Ruched tops and dresses do wonders for your midsection. I love the Zella workout tees for this very reason. I have them in a handful of colors and even wear them as a nightshirt. Another great workout tee is this one from the Gap.
- Vest, jackets and long cardigans are your friend. Think of these as your security blanket. Not only do they provide a lean side profile, but they also add a touch of chicness to your look. Add these pieces to tops, blouses, dresses, and even skirts.
- Have a variety of chiffon, silk, and even polyester in your closet. Be sure that the fabric is not too billowy otherwise it will just make you appear larger. Tops and dresses that have some form of draping at the front will also look great.
- Dresses also help minimize the midsection. Of course, not all dresses are created equal, so try on different styles to see what works best on your frame. Take note of the silhouette and then look for variations of it. If you’re not sure, take a selfie and then assess your options.
- High-waisted denim, pants, or skirts can really help flatter the tummy and elongate your frame. Plus they’re more comfortable than low rise styles.
What tips do you have for minimizing the midsection? Please share in the comments.
Jacket: Nordstrom (similar) | Top: Who What Wear (similar) | Necklace: Ann Taylor (also cute) | Earrings: J.Crew (cute and affordable) |Denim: Banana Republic (similar) | Purse: Marc by Marc Jacobs (old) | Shoes: Jessica Simpson (another cute option) | Lipstick: Maybelline c/o
📷’s by Luba Kochubey Portraits