Fall Shopping-Adjusting for the New (Week 40)

August 10, 2014

New items for fall/winter wardrobe.

New items for my fall/winter capsule wardrobe.

So far I’ve,

  • Pre-planned for my fall/winter capsule wardrobe (part one, part two, and part three)
  • Added items from the boutique
  • Created a shopping list
  • Bought new stuff!

Now I have to adjust my fall/winter capsule wardrobe to accommodate my new pieces.  Despite my best attempts to avoid errors while shopping for fall this year (unlike in the past) and to pre-plan my fall/winter wardrobe, I’ve still discovered 2 mistakes that I’ve made:

  1. I never tried on my fall/winter wardrobe items.  When I reviewed and adjusted my wardrobe, I merely added in or donated items based on the condition of the garment and my current style preferences.  I did not actually try things on and have come across quite a few pieces that do not fit, are uncomfortable, or were purchased damaged and I never even knew!
  2. I did not pre-plan what I was replacing. I think it’s fine to have a wishlist or wildcard item on a shopping list.  But if I’m trying to keep my working wardrobe at the same size, I cannot purchase items without considering what item will be removed from the working wardrobe so that the new item can stay.

Now it’s time to “face the music” and figure out what goes so that I can keep the new items.

At the top of this post is what I purchased from the sale, which was compared against my shopping list in my last post.  Since I’m trying to keep the number of items in my wardrobe the same, I need to remove a corresponding item from my fall/winter working wardrobe to make room for the new item.



Items to be purged from the fall/winter capsule wardrobe.

It is very helpful to review why an item is purged, so that (hopefully) the same mistakes are not repeated.  5 out of the 8 items that are being purged, were JUST ADDED from the boutique to my fall/winter wardrobe before I went shopping.  How did they already end up in the purge pile? Let’s review.

And while I’m reviewing, I always think it is interesting to consider if the item was worth it’s original price tag and cost per wear (or use) helps me decide, so I’m including that too.

  1. Denim shirt: Added from the boutique.  The shirt has been a workhorse in prior years and is very close to developing holes on the collar, cuff, and label on the back of the shirt.  Since it’s so close to wearing out, I figured it would be good to replace this shirt with an ‘on sale’ version.  I’m planning to sport it once or twice more but it’s on it’s last legs.  Ready to purge very soon.  Purchased for $69.90 and the current cost per wear is $4.63.
  2. Red Jumper/Sweater: Added from the boutique. Purchased on impulse last year.  I never tried this piece on, merely added it to the boutique when it was purchased.  It has an unflattering shape on me and is made of a really itchy material.  Purchased for $18.26 and never worn.  Donated.
  3. Black Turtleneck:  Added from the boutique. Purchased on impulse last year.  Similar to above, I never tried this piece on, merely added it to the boutique when it was purchased.  Well that was a big mistake, because the turtleneck has a huge hole in it. It’s also a smidge tight.  Purchased for $18.15 and never worn.  Purged.
  4. Dark Wash Skinny Jeans: Purchased at the beginning of the season last year.  They ended up being a workhorse and the waist has become quite stretched out.  It’s so badly stretched out I won’t even donate them.  Purchased for $55.65 and the current cost per wear is $1.24.  Purged.
  5. Red Blazer: Added from the boutique. Purchased on impulse last year.  I really liked the color but never paid attention to the fit.  It’s too tight in the shoulders/chest for me.  Purchased for $57.00 and never worn. Donated.
  6. Empty Spot: An example of over purchasing during my shopping, I could not decide on a bottom to donate for the brown jeans.  Yet I really like them so I’m going to keep them and see if another bottom naturally falls unworn over the season.
  7. Grey Knit: Added from the boutique. Purchased on impulse last year.  (Do we see a trend yet?)  I never tried this piece on, merely added it to the boutique when it was purchased.  It is made of a really itchy material.  Purchased for $27.92 and never worn.  Donated.
  8. White Knit: Purchased and worn often last year.  It has a stain on it that I never noticed.  Anyone else notice that sometimes clothes that look clean develop stains after sitting unworn for a while?  Purchased for $7.00 and the current cost per wear is 70 cents!  Purged.
  9. Medium Wash Skinny Jeans: Purchased two years ago when I first wanted to try out the skinny jean style. They have become a workhorse and no longer ‘bounce back’ well after washing. (Lucky Brand jeans are notorious for stretching out with wear then shrinking in the wash).  Or maybe I’ve just put on too much weight.  Purchased for $99.00 and the current cost per wear is 94 cents!  Donated.

My fall/winter capsule wardrobe for 2014.

Overall I’m really liking how my fall/winter wardrobe looks for the upcoming season.  It’s full of lighter colors compared to last years and overall looks more cohesive, which were two goals of mine.  I still think it is unbalanced, I do not think have enough items for cool fall days, but I’m going to see how things work before I add in some fall friendly items from the boutique (I started The DH Closet Challenge in Nov and missed most of fall).

And here are the current numbers.  I am on week 40 of The DH Closet Challenge and have 55 items for my fall/winter capsule wardrobe:

  • 7 bottoms (jeans and trousers; swapped two jeans for two jeans, but also added a brown pair of jeans, increased by one)
  • 0 hoodies (one was purged and one was demoted to gear)
  • 13 toppers (this includes: pullover sweaters, blazers and cardigans; swapped blazer for blazer, swapped 4 pullovers for 4 pullovers, swapped one sweatercoat for jacket moved to outerwear, added one cardigan to replace purged hoodie; increased by one)
  • 6 knits (used for layering; swapped 5 for 5, added one to replace demoted hoodie; then purged 2 for 2 LS T’s, decreased by one)
  • 4 gear items (2 toppers [fleece, hoodie], 1 layering knit [turtleneck] and 1 bottom [jean]; no change in number but one hoodie was demoted to gear and a corresponding hoodie was donated)
  • 1 shirt (for layering; no change but a backup is in the boutique to replace the old one early in the season)
  • 5 LS T’s (for layering; swapped 3 for 3, then added 2 more which replaced two knits, increased by two)
  • 4 tanks (for layering; no change)
  • 6 thermal layers (no change)
  • 5 scarves (no change in number but swapped one for one)
  • 4 workout items (2 tops and 2 bottoms; not shown in closet photo; no change)

Is your wardrobe ready for the upcoming season?


  1. After purchasing a number of items to ‘fill gaps’ in my capsule wardrobe and finding they did not work as hoped I have changed my approach. I now look at how many different outfits I’m likely to need for each type of activity for each season. I put outfits together from what I have and list/photograph them. From this I can identify gaps and when shopping know exactly when and how the item I am looking for will be worn. When I get a new purchase home I immediately try it on an various combinations to see what combinations actually work, and double check the fit, color, finish etc. I make a note of the last date it can be returned and if I haven’t worn it when the date gets close review whether it really is suitable to keep, and return if not. I find I am less likely to buy something on impulse if I know I have an alternative outfit that I could wear. There have been mistakes, but fewer, and I feel happier and more confident in what I am wearing, plus it is getting easier to see what I don’t need and more towards a more focused, appropriate and functional wardrobe. I’d be interested to know whether you have tried this outfit approach.

    1. That is an excellent idea! I definitely am going to try this out. I don’t have capsules, though I have started planning and shopping with lists, etc, but I think that trying out outfits before keeping anything is the perfect exercise for me to ensure I will get the most out of an item and to identify items that will help me get more versatility out of my outfits.

      1. MKC22, I have found that making sure new items will work well with existing pieces has me purchases less orphans AND doing less shopping. Before, if I purchased an out of the norm piece, it would mean I had to purchase everything for it (coordinating top or bottom, and then a topper, and a pair of shoes, and maybe an accessory) and before I knew it, my one new purchase turned into 4 or 5 pieces to make the item work. Not minimal at all!

    2. A great approach Lynn! I have used this approach to create my smallest capsules in my wardrobe (my workout wear and my business wear capsules) and it has worked very well. I’ll have to do a post on my business wear capsule sometime soon. I have found that trying to figure out actual outfits instead of categories of items that I need works well. For my main ‘everyday’ wardrobe I’ve only recently started to focus more on the core colors in my wardrobe and keep those colors in mind when I shop. This way I have items that can be remixed easily and have more outfits from less pieces. Trying out new purchases at home and making sure they remix well is a smart move and something that I only recently started to do. I’m trying to make this a new habit and a natural next step on evaluating a potential new purchase before just ripping off the tags when the items gets home.

  2. I know exactly what you mean Lisa- I’ve made those same mistakes, particularly when organizing my wardrobe or purging. I’d immediately put items I really liked into the keep pile- regardless of how long it’d been (if ever) that I had worn it. This year I got a nasty shock when I tried to wear those items (I had reduced my wardrobe to the point where in some cases, I really ‘needed’ those items) and discovered they did not fit or were unflattering, etc. Liking an item is the first step- liking it on my BODY is step 2- and liking it in an outfit is the final step! I’ve gotten better but need to remind myself to actually try items on rather than going with my first impulse decision. When I sorted my sweaters, I ended up keeping the two items I was going to donate and donating the two I was sure I was going to keep- only because I put them on and realized how wrong I had been!

    1. A great point. Any potential new item for a wardrobe really does need a multi-step evaluation. Liking it in the store is not enough. Neither is liking it on one’s body. It also has to remix with existing pieces. Miss any one of these steps and you can easily end up with a wardrobe orphan or a reason to do a lot more shopping to make something work.

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