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A New Twist on the Capsule Wardrobe

nautical-inspired casual spring look

navy blazer and stripe top

casual spring outfit

didn’t realise until I looked back at the photos of this outfit that, other than the shoes and bag, I’m wearing head-to-toe H&M here. 

I’m pretty sure I’m probably breaking some kind of fashion “rule” with that admission, but… meh. It’ll just be one of those terrible secrets I’ll have to carry with me for the rest of my life, I suppose. I’ll live.

I actually wear quite a lot of H&M – mostly, I have to admit, because their website has an “invoice in parcel” option, which means that rather than paying for your order upfront, and then having to request a refund for anything you end up returning, you only pay for whatever you decide to keep. It’s not like racking up debt, because you do have to pay the amount in full every month, but I find it really handy, because it allows me to order things in two different sizes, say, safe in the knowledge that I’ll only have to pay for the one I decide to keep. (This is particularly handy with H&M, because they’re one of the few stores I can think of where I never know what size I’m going to be, so I probably wouldn’t order online from them at all if I had to pay upfront for everything!)

I also wear a lot of H&M because they do a lot of good basics, and as you all know, basics are my jam right now. This particular outfit follows the blazer/jeans/stripes uniform I’ve been beating to death this spring, and two of the items come from my spring capsule wardrobe – well, sort of. I DID have a stripe t-shirt in the capsule… but it wasn’t this stripe t-shirt. And while I DID have a blazer in the capsule, it was a white one, not a navy one. And this, I’ve found, is the main reason a TRUE capsule wardrobe just doesn’t work for me: I basically need multiples of each item.

For instance, there’s a grey sweater in my capsule, but I actually have a few grey sweaters, and although they’re all the same colour, they’re different shapes, and different fabrics, so some of them look better with jeans, and others with skirts – and so on and so forth. Similarly, although the blazer in my capsule is white, I also have this blue one, and a black one, all of which I’ve worn over the last few weeks. So, rather than “grey sweater” I’d need “grey sweaterS”, and rather than “white blazer”, I’d just need “blazer”. I think that’s probably how I’ll approach the next capsule I do – so, rather than it being a collection of specific items, it becomes a set of outfit formulas, really, with “blazer” standing for ANY blazer, “jeans” for ANY jeans, etc etc.

Well, any excuse to buy more trench coats, right?

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 H&M jeans , t-shirt and blazer; Zara flats’ Phillip Lim bag*
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  • Sagan
    May 16, 2016

    Ha! That’s funny — I feel the same way. I have multiple gray dresses and black tank tops but each one is different! I wear them all for different reasons and at different occasions.

    Also, if we can find stores that feel like they made their clothes specifically for us, I’m ALL OVER just getting an entire wardrobe from them. These days I adore Suzy for that — their clothes fit me just right. Absolutely nothing wrong with wearing outfits almost from head to toe from the same store 🙂

    • Amber
      May 16, 2016

      I actually think the head-to-toe thing is pretty ideal for anyone doing a capsule wardrobe, or starting from scratch for some reason – most of the time brands make collections which are all designed to mix and match with each other easily, so it takes all of the thought out of it!

  • Adam Green
    May 16, 2016

    The complete look is awesome! The white is always a contrast and is quiet comfortable during the summer. They absorb all the heat and keeps you cool too.

  • Mana
    May 16, 2016

    Ii do the head to toe h&m thing a lot. They have a lot of super trendy pieces but also a ton of timeless pieces. And they’re super affordable.

  • Steph
    May 16, 2016

    I’m loving this approach! See, I love the idea of a capsule wardrobe, but I’m just too fickle. I almost have one in theory – I have certain key styles that I pretty much rotate – but as soon as I know something suits me I feel the need to buy it in every colour combination and print going, because then I don’t feel like I’m wearing the same thing everyday! It’s like a disease! That’s how I ended up with 7 billion tea dresses and currently 8 Lindy Bop Audrey dresses!

  • Jessica Lee
    June 11, 2016

    Can’t we just call this capsule wardrobe ‘Capsule Style’? No? Ha-ha.
    Last month I vacationed for a while in Bali & decided to pack ‘capsule wardrobe’. And the only problem was I had too much navy. Navy tanks, navy cullots, navy blouses and the list goes on. I ended up packing all shades of blue that almost look all the same *sigh*

  • nic
    November 28, 2016

    hey 🙂
    great article!
    love the photos