Friday, 3 April 2015

I'm baaaaaaack....with a Spring 2015 Capsule Wardrobe!

Hello loves! Long time no talk! I don't know about you, but I feel like 2015 is flyyyyyyyyyying by so quickly!

Let's just jump right into things, shall we? Now that the weather has taken a turn for the prettier, it's time to retire my sweaters and tights for a springier collection! Here's what I'm thinking for Spring 2015:

Spring 2015 Capsule

When my boyfriend and I were packing up to move to Portland, we did a huuuuuuuge purge of all the 'stuff' we didn't really need or use anymore, plus we got rid of anything we still loved but that was too worn out to justify moving (like raggedy hiking clothes, worn-out work flats, etc). So I'm in the market to revive my wardrobe!

Ideally, in order to achieve a wardrobe similar to the dream capsule version shown above, I'd need to purchase the following:


Spring 2015 Capsule Purchases

It will be a surprise to no long-term readers that I've already made a few purchases, all of which are black or white (cantstopwontstop with my love of neutrals!) I already have the white buttonup, white striped dress, black flats, and black wedges on their way to me.

But if I were to purchase the entire wishlist, it would take $1094 out of my bank account, which is more than I'm willing to, like, a lot. So I'll be on the hunt for alternative options to create the looks I want without blowing my entire tax return (I do have a car loan to pay off, after all ;)

Here are a few tips for prioritizing your shopping dollars:

1. Decide which options you'll wear the most and invest accordingly.
  • For example, I perused my Work and Play style boards on Pinterest, and many of the outfits feature white jeans, so a good pair of well-fitting white denim is near the top of my list. 

2. Determine which items need to withstand the most wear, and buy the best quality for your budget.
  • Since having hip surgery (twice..), I can't wear high heels or cheap, thin flats, so I'm more willing to spend money on cushy sandals, flats, and wedges.
3. Figure out the look you're going for and pick a statement piece that fits that look in the most versatile way.
  • I've been loving the pretty floral items debuting in shops and on Instagram ("Florals for spring? Groundbreaking." #namethatmovie), so I'm determined to add a little colorful pattern to my wardrobe. I love the floral dress shown above, but there are limited ways I can wear it (basically +/- a jacket or blazer), so the floral skirt or blazer are probably better options for me.
4. On a related note, buy pieces that can be worn multiple ways.
  • For example, the buttonup chambray dress can be worn alone, with a jacket/blazer, over a buttonup, or unbuttoned it could act as a long vest.
5. Wait for sales (duh).
  • This tip is pretty obvious, but if you know that a store has frequent sales (or coupons if you sign up for their emails)....wait for those sales. For example, the white skirt and white jeans shown total $150 full-price, but they're from the Loft which frequently has 20-40% off sales, saving me up to $60. Likewise, if an item is sold at multiple stores (like the BB Dakota chambray dress above), do a quick Google search to find the best price for the item.
6. Decide if a cheaper alternative is worth it.
  • Sometimes, rule #2 doesn't apply--items don't need to withstand lots of wear and tear, so a cheaper alternative to your ideal option may be ok. For example, I really like the black vest shown, but it's a fairly trendy item right now so I could find a cheaper alternative at Forever 21.
7. Shop thrift stores for basics.
  • If I was looking for a pair of jeans or black pants, the first place I'd stop would be a thrift store because name-brand versions of these items can easily be found at a heavy discount.
7. If you finally find the holy grail item that's been on your shopping list it!
  • For example, I've been on the hunt for over a year for a soft, slouchy white buttonup, so when I found one for $60 (a little more than I was trying to spend), I decided to just go for it!

What are your favorite tips for getting the best bang for your buck?

Monday, 16 February 2015

New apartment intro tour!

Vinny and I have officially been in our new apartment for a month, so I thought it was about time to show you how things are shaking out so far decor-wise. We have a fairly long to-do list (which translates to a fairly long shopping list), but we are taking our time and tackling the list one by one. 

Today I took some shots of our bathroom, living room, dining area, and kitchen. The only areas not really shown today are the entryway and the bedroom, but those areas are still in need of a little crap-ton of TLC ;)


There's a nice amount of storage in here, and opposite of the toilet/sink area above are the full tub/shower and the washer/dryer. 

I was able to use a couple of my favorite prints from Girl and Parrot on Etsy (here and here)

My Jonathan Adler mohawk match strike makes me smile every time :)

Like in my last home, I used these Claire Elsaesser prints over the toilet. 

Bathroom To-Do List:

  • Get a shower curtain
  • Get a little stool for next to the tub, all stocked up with bath salts and oils :)

Living Area:

Since it's a small living area, we furnished it really simply, although we'd like to add a comfy chair and a larger coffee table eventually. Photobomb credits: My puppy, Charli :)

Opposite the sofa we have our TV and a couple Ikea Vittsjo bookshelves. 

I've been having fun styling the shelves with our favorite books, prints, and plants.

Living Room To-Do List:

  • Replace lamp shades on end table lamps
  • Add 2 other pieces of artwork to the wall between the TV and sofa (I have the art, I just need to pick up 2 more Ikea frames)
  • Potentially add a wood bench with pillows under the artwork
  • Add a wood console under the TV
  • Get a larger coffee table
  • Swap out the pillows (I'm waiting on some new feather inserts I ordered)
  • Add a cozy wool rug under the sofa
  • Repot the plants on the shelves
  • Add hanging plants to the right-hand corner of the sofa
  • Potentially add an easy chair


Our kitchen is just one long workspace, which took some getting used to. At the right-hand side of the photo you can see the table in our little dining nook.

My brother made those striped wood cutting boards! #talented

The hardest-working area of our kitchen, the coffee bar ;)

Kitchen To-Do List:
  • Add a long runner or 2 2x3 rugs in front of the sink and stove
  • Get a more colorful tea towel to hang on the stove handle
  • Style the shelf over the sink better, potentially adding a clock

Dining Area:

Not much to see here--and apologies for the dark shot, blogger wouldn't let me upload the lightened-up version :-/ Our 'dining table' is actually a campaign desk from World Market, but it fits perfectly in the space.

Dining Area To-Do List: 
  • Add placements (on order)
  • Buy new dining chairs
  • Potentially trim the drapes in something more colorful, or add a pelmet?

Overall I like where things are headed, but looking at these photos makes me more aware of how grey everything is. It would be nice to add in a little more color or texture to liven things up a bit, although I'd like the overall vibe to be fairly calm and cozy. 

What do you think? Any suggestions? Oh, and because I couldn't not post are a couple bonus shots of my fur-baby :)

Isn't she the cutest?!

Sunday, 15 February 2015

February-March-April 2015 Capsule Wardrobe

Ok, ok, I'm a little late posting this capsule, which I started at the beginning of February. But that's because I've been fiddling with it these first couple of weeks.

*Gasp* But isn't that against the rules of a capsule?? Aren't you supposed to pick your capsule items at the beginning and wear only those pieces??

Yes, that's the general idea. But I started February with a few different items, and once I started trying to get dressed with the new capsule, I found myself staring into my closet, at a loss for what to wear each morning. And that totally defeats the purpose of a capsule wardrobe, so I spent an extra couple of weeks tweaking things until the capsule became functional and inspirational again. Here's what I've ended up with:

Feb-March-April 2015 Capsule Wardrobe

Key: Bold = Capsule Basics; Italics = New Pieces; Regular font = Filler Pieces

Neutral Tops:
1-3: Black, white, and striped tanks
4. Chambray buttonup
5. Black long-sleeve striped tee
6. Black plaid buttonup
7. Grey v-neck tee
8. Graphic tee (Minnesota)

Colorful Tops:
1. Silk buttonup
2. Long-sleeve crossover top
3. Silky tee
4. Silky long-sleeve
5. Crop sweater

1.Black blazer
2. Jean jacket
3. Cream moto jacket
4. Color blazer
5. Black waterfall cardigan
6. Long sweater cardigan

1. Black trousers
2. Black skirt
3. Skinny jeans
4. Grey pencil skirt
5. Striped skirt
6. Black maxi skirt
7. Grey trousers
8. Colored cords
9. Black cropped ankle pants

1. Maroon dress
2. B&W Target dress
3. Fuchsia shift dress

1. Black boots
2. Black flats
3. B&W printed flats
4. White Converse
5. Black moto boots
6. Black wedge booties

To come up with the final 37 items for this capsule, I played around with numbers a bit. Originally a had a few more sweaters and tops and 6 bottoms, but I quickly learned that this left my closet unbalanced--I felt like I didn't have enough bottoms to wear to work. So I swapped out the tops that I gravitated away from and added in a few more pants. I also found that I prefer neutral bottoms but I like to split my tops pretty equally between neutrals and colorful options. In an ideal world, all of my colorful items would coordinate with each other, but since this is a real closet and not a made-up Pinterest one, I'm limited by the colors I've already purchased.

What are some of the tricks you've learned to make your capsule more functional?

Saturday, 31 January 2015

Capsule Wardrobe: The Building Blocks

Now that I've completed several fairly capsule wardrobes, I thought I'd take a look back at each one to figure out what has worked well and what hasn't. Upon my review, I noticed that each of my capsules has contained 11 of the same pieces, which in and of themselves create a mini-capsule of wardrobe basics. From here on out, it's safe to assume that each of my capsules will build upon these 11 pieces:

Capsule Wardrobe Basics

Nearly 100% of my outfits from any given capsule will incorporate at least one of these items. Since I try to build a 37-piece capsule, that means I have 26 pieces to play with on top of these!

Since I recently moved to a new climate, I didn't create a capsule for January because I wanted to figure out what works and what doesn't in Portland. I'm working on putting together a February-March-April capsule, so stay tuned for that!

Friday, 30 January 2015

Portland Fashion: Textural Black and White

One of my favorite things about moving to a new place is how everything is fresh and new. Every street has a restaurant or bar you haven't tried or an activity you haven't done. Each city tends to have its own fashion sense, too, and I think it's easier to pick out what makes each city's style unique when you've newly arrived from another city with its own style.

Portland ladies have it goin' on, I must say. There's a lot of black and a lot of boots and booties, which are right up my alley. Clothing tends to be minimalistic but with interesting cuts or layers to make it chic and stylish.

Yesterday I saw a girl at the bus stop and her outfit was just so good, I wrote it down on my phone and decided to make a post of it! She had on a big denim jacket, boxy black and white tweed tank, a black lace skirt, booties, tights, and an infinity scarf. Here's my take on her style:

Portland Style: Textures

Even though the entire outfit is black, white, and jean, it was so eye-catching because of all the different textures (lace, tweed, leather, denim). The girl I saw looked like she was heading to school, but I think variations on this style's theme could be made appropriate for work or going out, too:

Portland Fashion: Black, white, denim, textured

Have a great weekend everyone!

Saturday, 24 January 2015

"Starting Over" Capsule Wardrobe

Hey guys! Hope your new year has started off with a bang! I've been a busy bee since I last posted, as I'm sure you have been too. Since we last talked, I quit my job, got hip surgery, moved to Portland, and started a new job!

As part of the moving process, my boyfriend and I packed up all of our belongings in a shipping container and just prayed that they would make it to our intended destination. Fortunately, all of our things arrived intact, but it did make me think about how I'd rebuild my closet if I had to start completely from scratch.

I recently discovered the store Aritzia (which has a a storefront in Portland! Guess I know where my next paycheck is going.... ;) and I'm in love with virtually everything they stock. So for today's post I decided to build a "starting over" capsule wardrobe entirely made up of items from Aritzia, with shoes from DSW:

"Starting Over" Capsule Wardrobe

Starting Over: Aritzia and DSW

Item List: 
  1. Chambray shirt
  2. Striped tank
  3. White tee
  4. Long-sleeved blouse
  5. Cozy cardigan
  6. Dark denim
  7. Slim-fit black trousers
  8. Striped skirt
  9. Black skirt
  10. Pencil skirt
  11. Colored pants
  12. Little black dress
  13. Long-sleeved dress
  14. Sleeveless dress
  15. Black jacket
  16. Denim jacket
  17. Black heels
  18. Patterned sandals
  19. Sneakers
  20. Black flats

Here are a bunch of outfits you could create from this capsule: 

Starting Over: Outfits

Starting Over Outfits Part 2

This isn't even close to all of the options I thought up for this closet, which made me wonder what made this particular capsule so versatile. I think it breaks down to this:

  1. Equal distribution of black, white, color, denim, and stripes across various types of clothing (for example, I have a denim option as a top, jacket, and jeans; likewise, I have a black jacket, dress, skirt, and pants).
  2. Items that are in and of themselves pretty basic, but layering makes them more interesting.
  3. Items can all be dressed up or down, depending on need. 
  4. Common colors (denim, black, white, and jewel tones) make everything mixable.

What would your dream closet look like if you got to start all over? 

Monday, 22 December 2014

Quick Design: Sartorial Bad-assery

Maybe it's because I've just had hip surgery and am cooped up inside on cold gloomy wintery days, but lately I've been digging badass fashion. The problem? Most kickass outfits feature sky-high heels, which don't exactly match well with a bum hip. So I've pulled together a few looks with low- or no-height heels. Let the bad-assery commence.

Quick Design: Sartorial Bad-assery

I particularly want everything in the third outfit (that short-sleeve jacket would totally MAKE any outfit, no?) and the boots from the top outfit--they're rain boots with faux-fur lining!

What's getting you through these gloomy wintery days? The thought of Christmas is cheering me up :)