Spring And Summer Capsule Wardrobe Prep (Part 2)

(This is part two of a three-part series.  For part one, click here.)

February 20, 2017


I’m almost ready to start getting some of these!

In my last post I began prepping my spring and summer capsule wardrobes.  Now that I’ve organized what I already own for these two capsule wardrobes, it’s time for me to think about what I am going to go out and buy.

Part Two-Write my shopping list.

Before I can shop, first I have to create a list.  I prepared my shopping list with these 3 steps:

  1. Define the goals for my style this season.  Before I can start writing anything down, first I have to decide what I want my personal style to say for the upcoming season.  At the end of last year I had realized that I enjoyed the versatility of a wardrobe built around the core colors of black and white because these two basic colors made pairing really easy.  Unfortunately in the process, I ended up with a heavy black wardrobe and ended up wearing black all the time—whoops!  During my closet edit I removed most, but not all, of the black items so that I could start shifting my wardrobe to a lighter look.  And that’s what became my descriptors for my style this season: light and soft.  I want to use the black things I kept as accent colors instead of the star color of the look. Piggy backing on the idea of light and soft, when I layer for a/c settings I want to use pullovers and cardigans paired with blouses underneath, instead of the more rigid look of blazers layered with collared shirts.
  2. Decide on the number of new stuff to buy.  What do I want to add based on the number of empty spaces in my closet?  I have 11 empty hangers left in my closet from my closet edit, so that served as a starting point for my initial list.  This doesn’t mean I have to add only 11 new things, but it’s a good place to begin.
  3. Plan around outfits NOT items.  It’s easy for me to read trend articles for the upcoming season or simply just sit and brainstorm and quickly jot down a list of items, but that’s how I’ll end up with a closet full of exactly that—items—not outfits.  If you’ve ever pulled something out of your closet and wondered how you were going to wear it, then you know exactly what I’m talking about.  That’s why this step is the most important one for me to do.  I reviewed my list and asked myself one question—Will the new addition complete an outfit or not?  This review resulted in me changing over half of my shopping list!

Here’s my final list for updating my spring and summer capsule wardrobe:

  • Black straight leg jeans.  The first area I focused on was my bottoms.  The first wardrobe hole I noticed was another pair of jeans.  It’s ironic that my first item is in the color I’m trying to shift away from, but a pair of black straight leg jeans are a workhorse piece for me because they can easily be dressed up for client meetings with a blazer and pumps as well as dressed down with any knit top and casual footwear on the non-client working days.
  • Bootcut blue jeans.  My wardrobe functioned just fine with only 4 pairs last year, but my cowboy boots didn’t get much use in the cold months due to snow and salt.  Dry spring days and any hot summer day would be the perfect time to wear my boots, if I can find a pair of jeans that fit.  In recent years many bootcut styles have been too slim to fit cowboy boots underneath without them showing through the folds of the material.
  • Knit tops in 3/4 sleeve x2.  The spring weather in my area is often really chilly, which makes a 3/4 sleeve knit ideal to add a little warmth.  I’m especially interested in lighter colors for these 2 tops to help shift my wardrobe to a softer look.
  • Shirt or blouse for cowboy boots x2.  Continuing on my wish to sport my cowboy boots more, last year I kep reaching for tops that I didn’t have.  As before, I’m going to look for tops that are a lighter color and pair well with brown and chestnut (the colors of my cowboy boots) versus black.
  • Business capsule outfit (3 piece outfit-blazer, blouse, trousers or cardigan, blouse, trousers).  I’ve learned to check in on this capsule every season and while the focus of this series is the spring and summer capsule wardrobes, I’m also going to be looking for another business capsule wardrobe outfit.  This outfit must pair with black shoes, as my entire business capsule wardrobe is built around black and I do not want to start adding in new colored shoes to this capsule.
  • Business capsule blouse.  In addition to the new outfit above, I’d like to add a blouse that pairs well with my existing black trouser suit.
  • Short Sleeve Collared Shirt.  For my gear capsule, I already own a long sleeve collared shirt.  A short sleeve version would be ideal for horseback riding on summer days, as I noticed the long sleeve version is far easier to tuck than t-shirts.
  • Open item.  Planning with a list is a useful tool to help me stay focused when I shop, but leaving a spot on my list for something I didn’t plan for allows me to buy something unexpected.  After all, I can’t predict what the store is going to carry and I might see something new that I really like.  The only requirement here is, the item must pair with something I own, and NOT be an entirely new outfit.

Now that my list is complete, it’s time for me to go shopping, yay!  In my next post I’ll review what I bought and how I am planning to wear some of the new things I’ve added to my Spring and Summer Capsule Wardrobes.

What’s on your shopping list for spring and summer this year?

Interested in reading more about Spring Capsule Wardrobes?  Check-out these previous posts:


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