Call it poor planning or a general indifference to overly prescriptive projects, but when it comes to capsule wardrobes, I do my best work when looking backward. What did I wear most this summer? What felt best? What ended up not feeling so good this time around? Are there lessons that I can apply to getting dressed this fall?
I’m the first to acknowledge that it’s hard to anticipate what my most-loved items might be at the beginning of a new season. But a bit of reflection after the fact can be telling (and useful) and I’m starting to learn to listen to myself. Like with my breakfasts, where I have a tendency to eat the very same thing for weeks on end until I tire of it, I often wear the same few items over and over again for a good long spell. Forget having a capsule wardrobe, for me it’s more like having a capsule outfit—just the one—that I wear until the weather shifts or my mood changes.
Last fall, while I was pregnant, I wore the same sweater several times a week for months. I rotated the two pairs of fitting pants in my closet and on many days, you could see me wandering around with my favorite popcorns in tow, the bottom of my belly covered up by one of two tanks. This summer, I wore this black jumpsuit and a white dress that James bought for me from these folks on repeat, with quite a bit of filling in from a favorite dress from these guys that I bought in the summer after Faye was born when emotions were high and breastfeeding access necessary. If someone had handed me three outfits at the beginning of the summer and decreed, “You shall wear these three things and nothing else,” I would have protested. But in looking back over the past few months, I realize that’s effectively just what I did.
Sure, there were moments when I wore other things. I slipped into my silk jumpsuit for a smattering of date nights and a few work meetings. My culottes went strong there for quite a while, paired with some simple tanks. On days when it was cool enough, I wore this gift, an Edwardian-looking number. But even with these additions included, I stuck to a very limited wardrobe, not out of a sense of obligation, but a sense of comfort. In fact, so comfortable had I gotten with this state of sameness that when we went to Oregon at the end of August, I wore my black jumpsuit on the plane and packed just a few t-shirts, a sweatshirt, and pajamas to complement it. One week, one jumpsuit is about as much suitcase planning as I could muster. (Proof here and here and here).
Heading into a new season, as always, I’m trying to keep in mind what worked in this last one. Because I relish making quick work of getting dressed, I imagine that I’ll try to stick with my jumpsuit as long as possible, though cooler days will complicate matters a bit. I’ll surely add jeans into the rotation and revisit my sweater love affair. Cold weather means more layers which can sometimes spell discomfort for me, so I’ll pay extra attention to what I like to put on my body and what gets returned to the hanger on frantic mornings. What about you guys? Lessons from summertime favorites? Comfort in sameness or comfort in change?