Summer can continue forever

After a month of a small wardrobe, I feel like I never want summer to end - I like my wardrobe so much.

Here's what's currently in the active wardrobe:

7 bottoms:

  • dark denim pedal pushers
  • white jean shorts
  • white cropped bf jeans
  • gray bf jeans (replaced missing bf cropped blue jeans)
  • black city shorts
  • black/white striped knit tube skirt
  • light jean shorts (would like to replace these)

11 tops:

  • mid-blue chambray
  • navy short-sleeved button-up (replaced drapey navy that was fiddly) (pic #3)
  • white mesh-sleeved sweater
  • raspberry mesh sweater (pic #1)
  • plum mixed-media top
  • BethAnn tee (pic#2)
  • navy/white gingham shirt
  • black/tan ikat print top
  • white sleeveless top (is starting to pill - will probably get purged)
  • blue gray-green print top (polyester and not super comfy, will probably get purged)
  • white lace knit shell (so far unworn)

2 dresses: 

  • black Eileen Fisher
  • Cobalt and black striped

3 toppers:

  • black leather Spiegel jacket
  • white pleather jacket
  • denim vest (so far unworn)

3 shoes:

  • black birkenstocks
  • cognac born sandals
  • cognac loafers (so far unworn)

2 belts: black and cognac

And, if they ever show up again, one more pants (boyfriend jeans), and one more topper (silver/gray sparkly cardigan)

In the past month, I've worn six of the tops only once, and one no times at all. 
I'm wearing the chambray and the white mesh sleeved sweater all the time, and the BethAnn tee and plum mixed-media top also quite frequently.  (The navy button-up in #3 is a recent replacement for the drapey navy tee - I think it'll get worn more than just this once, we'll see).

I must admit that I feel like this is almost too much - four patterned tops is probably too many.  And I have an urge to duplicate the chambray shirt and the white mesh-sleeves sweater.  I'll do so if I get the opportunity.

I'm in a bit of an analysis frenzy, I fear.  Kudos to you if you're reading it all :)

And comments, questions, observations, and wisdom (especially as I start to think about planning for fall) are all more than welcome!

ETA: WIW pics - the raspberry sweater and black/white tube skirt, the BethAnn tee and some jeans that I was trialing (they probably won't stay - they muffintop me), and white jeans with the navy short-sleeved button-up that is a potential replacement for the drapey navy tee.  It's comfy, does it look okay, or even good?

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Suz replied 9 years ago

    Your small wardrobe is working beautifully for you. I really like #1 and #2 especially. The Beth Ann tee has been a wardrobe winner for you for sure and I love you in the raspberry colour. 

    How long do you think you would be happy with this number of items? I think for me, a capsule like this is good for about 6 weeks, and then I need to start rotating some of the items to stave off boredom. This also approximates the length of time it takes for a relatively large weather switch in my climate. That is, every six to eight weeks, the weather changes so substantially that I really need to change sleeve lengths, toppers, which pants I'm wearing, etc. 

    My plan going forward is to make capsules of about 40 items for each 6 week period from what I have in my closet. And rotate. It's not dissimilar from what I did last year, but I'm going to be a bit more conscious about it. This is for WARM fall/ that is for COOLER fall. etc. 

  • Joy replied 9 years ago

    All three outfit are winners for me. You have thought and worked hard on this capsule wardrobe and it is laying off. I do what Suz does and change things out about every 6 weeks for weather changes and holiday wear mostly, but hot summer is my longest span and sometimes lasts from May to October.
    Congratulations on a great workable summer wardrobe.

  • amiable replied 9 years ago

    Thanks Suz - 

    At the moment I'm not at all bored - but I think I've only been in this 4.5 to 5 weeks.  And like you, our weather changes quite frequently - even here in August, it's been unseasonably cool, and is really feeling like fall already.  I expect to be adding in some warmer clothing in the next week or two.

    But I really do like the size of my wardrobe right now - though it almost feels too big, and I think I may move a few things out.  

    Many of these items can transition into fall with me, if I choose to let them - I can wear short sleeve and sleeveless with trousers or jeans and a topper, and I can wear my shorts and skirts with warmer tops.  I don't know if I'll want to bring up several new things, or keep remixing these - I guess I'll find out :)

  • amiable replied 9 years ago

    And cross-posted with Joy - I was down in your state (I think) last weekend, and was surprised at what a difference four hours drive south made.  It's much cooler here than it was in Kansas last weekend (where it still seemed very summery).

  • bj1111 replied 9 years ago

    I love your use of muffintop as a verb. Congrats on hitting your stride. Sometimes, having too much choice is such a burden.

  • E replied 9 years ago

    I love the first & second outfits! And how happy you are with your current wardrobe. :)

    I'm not sure about the top in #3, to be honest. I prefer how you look in the drapier tops of 1 & 2. #3 is looking kind of like an oversized polo shirt to me, but I also have a poison eye for polo shirts, so it could be that. Or maybe something with the sleeve length/width? or the combination with the khakis & dark belt? That being said, I think dark items sometimes don't show true in photographs, so if it looks different in the mirror, no worries. :)

  • Jaime replied 9 years ago

    #1 and #2 look great. Not sure about the top in #3. Interested to see how the small wardrobe experiment went.

  • amiable replied 9 years ago

    Thank you E and Shevia - I'm not entirely sure about #3 either.  I love the way the drapey tee it's trying to replace looks, and I prefer the way this one feels, because it's not fiddly and fussy.  I think I need to either fix the one it's replacing, or find something in the middle though, because I'm just not convinced that I like the way this one looks.

  • Alana in Canada replied 9 years ago

    I am not fond of #3. The collar makes it look too much like a golf shirt. I hink you are more relaxed than that? Too preppy, maybe?
    Love the reaspberry on you--so delicious--and so great with the black and white.
    I am so glad this experiment has worked out well for you!

  • E replied 9 years ago

    What about a woven blouse (vs button down) in some type of drapey fabric? Although I realise that you're at the mercy of the thrifting gods. ;)

  • amiable replied 9 years ago

    Yes Eva - You're right.  And I'm going thrifting next week - that will go on my list.  Thanks!

  • Beth Ann replied 9 years ago

    Buahahaaha!  I'm laughing because my own "Beth Ann tee" has sprouted a quarter sized hole right between my breasts!  Geesh!  Can you imagine?  And just before my Great Western Adventure.  It was to be a part of my capsule.  Sigh.

    Well --- you look amazing, which is reason enough to want summer to continue.  You also homeschool -- which is an even better reason (lesson plans await).  I love every item and find your styling spot on.  I love you in slouchy looks with a decent amount of structure and a slightly androgynous look.  I also think you wear androgynous silhouettes in feminine colors really well -- it makes a good juxtaposition for you.

    No worries!  You'll carry what you've learned into fall! 

  • texstyle replied 9 years ago

    I agree with the feedback so far. #1 and #2 look good. Maybe if you unbuttoned one more button on that shirt in #3 it would be better with the deeper v, but I think if it were a long sleeved shirt with the sleeves scrunched it would be best. But I'm not a fan of most short sleeved button downs -  I think they do tend to have more of a polo shirt feel and for my style that wasn't working.

  • Transcona Shannon replied 9 years ago

    I have no real advice when it comes to wardrobe capsules and size since I'm working through these issues myself. I am thrilled that a smaller summer wardrobe is working brilliantly for you though Amy.

    As for these three outfits, these are great examples of perfect outfits for you.

  • Tanya replied 9 years ago

    I think you are doing a wonderful job with your capsule challenge, I would never have the courage to attempt such a project.
    First two outfits are amazing. Live the raspberry on you, as well as that pretty tee in the second one. Like many previous commenters, the top in #3 is bugging me. I would replace it with a simple black loose tee.

  • jackiec replied 9 years ago

    Loving the analysis. Well done!

    That raspberry colour looks wonderful on you! Great outfit! I like all outfits - you have the slouchy look nailed - and I LOVE that.

    I like the third pic but it doesn't seem too summery if that's what you are after (ie to replace a Tshirt). Maybe the collar makes it look heavier - but I do like that look myself.

    Thanks for sharing :)

  • amiable replied 9 years ago

    Oh No BethAnn!  I would be sad to lose that tee too - though I suspect that it won't be in great shape anymore come next summer.
    And we've actually already started school, so I'm not avoiding that in my loving summer weather :)  (We're taking next week off though - so I suppose we've really just light-weight started)

  • frannieb replied 9 years ago

    Thanks for sharing
    I love outfits 1 and 2 - Not sure what it is about 3 but is doesn't work as well as the other two. I would try some of the advice from the ladies mentioned above. Maybe it isn't summery enough, it feels heavy. Also with a small wardrobe it feels limited - if you wore it with denim or even Khaki it would be to heavy for summer, so it might only work with white pants and that is limiting when you are trying to establish a small wardrobe.

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