Building My Fall Capsule Wardrobe (& the Pieces I've Worn for 3 Months!)

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What is a Capsule Wardrobe?

I’ve toyed around with the idea of a capsule wardrobe for quite some time. Though I was intrigued by the streamlined approach to getting dressed and minimizing clutter, I was mostly stressed and overwhelmed at the thought of being pigeon-holed into wearing only a few pieces for months at a time. But from what I kept reading from others, it’s supposed to do quite the opposite! Capsule wardrobes are “supposed” to free you up and allow you to enjoy the versatility of mixing a range of pieces together to create easy outfits and eliminate the stress of getting dressed. It’s supposed to save you money and time. It’s supposed to help you become more disciplined with spending. So they say.

Step 1: Assess Your Closet.

I decided to give it a try and put together a capsule for this fall! I’ve actually been observing this for the past few seasons - the range of clothes I wear, how often I wear certain pieces, and what I tend to gravitate toward. Taking stock of what I tend to reach for over and over again really helped me hone in on what kind of capsule I was looking to create - something really casual and comfortable, without consisting of a ton of sweatpants. I don’t need dressy corporate clothing since I’m not working a 9-5, but I do need pieces that feet nice enough to wear to a meeting or a class to meet with people, while still being comfortable enough to hang with my kids! Also, it’s really important to think in terms of weather - my Georgia fall is much different than my friends’ in Alaska!

Step 2: Toss & Shop (sparingly).

Believe it or not, I actually purchased very little for this fall capsule. In late August I went through my closet and pulled out my gold standards - the cardigans I wear over and over again, the jeans that fit me best, the types of tops that I reach for over and over again. And then I observed the gaps in my wardrobe and filled in the blanks here and there. Very carefully.

I also took this opportunity to toss or donate clothes I hadn’t worn in a year. I’ve learned that the more I throw things away in my home (old toys, old clothes, you name it), the easier it gets to continue tossing things. We don’t need all this stuff! Items that are nice enough for a second life get donated to our local Better Way Ministry or sold on my Instagram Shop.

Step 3: Make Up Your Own Rules.

There are a lot of schools of thought when it comes to a capsule - it took me some time to grasp how this would work for me. For example, some people find 25 pieces they wear constantly, while some people work with nearly 60 pieces. Some people include workout clothes and dressy clothes in the mix - and some don’t. Some include shoes and accessories, some don’t count those items as part of the capsule. When I finally realized it was totally up to me, I started to relax a little bit. I make the rules! I will say that this blog post, Elsie’s capsule, Anna’s capsule, Savannah’s capsule helped tremendously, and I’ve also heard really amazing things about this book and the Cladwell app.

I personally decided not to include shoes, work out clothes or dressy clothes in my capsule. I wear workout clothes multiple times a week for when I exercise, but I try not to wear my gym clothes all day because I don’t feel my absolute best in them when I wear them all day every day. And my normal routine doesn’t really include dresses or skirts because, let’s keep things real, I’m a boy mama.

Step 4: Execute the Capsule!

The Georgia fall weather usually includes a lot of lingering humidity and days that are rife with heat. So this capsule could almost be labeled “pre-fall” because its truly a transition out of the southern summer and into slightly more manageable temperatures. But for now, here goes! My fall capsule wardrobe! These are the pieces I’ve worn over and over for the past several months!

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Bottoms:
1. Madewell high-waisted skinny jeans
2. Nordstrom black skinny jeans (I ended up replacing with these Madewell jeans)
3. TJ Maxx jogger pants
4. Spanx faux leather leggings


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Tops:
1. Fabr’ik v-neck tee in black
2. Fabr’ik v-neck tee in nude
3. Free People embroidered long sleeve
4. Fabr’ik v-neck tee in raspberry
5. RAW moon phases tank
6. LOFT chambray off-the-shoulder top
7. Banana Republic flannel long-sleeve (old, similar here)
8. Madewell v-neck tee in green spruce
9. Madewell ruffle shoulder tee in black/white stripe
10 Madewell flannel button-up
11. LOFT blue shell top
12. Magickal Babe Brigade t-shirt
13. LOFT casual long sleeve
14. Anthropologie buttondown


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Sweater/Cardigan/Layer:
1. ASOS maxi sweater cardigan (old, similar here)
2. Fabr’ik chambray long-sleeve
3. Pom oversized sweater
4. Leather Jacket (old, similar here)
5. Old Navy jean jacket (similar here)
6. LOFT black/white kimono
7. TJ Maxx pink velvet kimono


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Note: I didn’t include accessories in my capsule, but I have definitely gravitated towards a small collection of shoes, bralettes and neck scarves this season. I will share about these in a separate post because I think they have been the part of my fall capsule that made getting dressed fun!


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Takeaways:

  1. I loved making up the rules for this capsule! Once I finally felt free enough to make changes - even in the midst of the 3 months - I felt so much freer and more empowered. I liked being able to swap a pair of jeans for a better pair of jeans, and not feeling like I was “breaking” the rules because I make my own rules here.

    2. The next time I do this, I want to add a few dresses and skirts. I didn’t feel like I was “missing” them during these past 3 months (gosh I need more reasons to get spruced up), but I would like to add them in because I like feminine pieces!

    3. I think there is only a need for 2 capsule wardrobes per year. I think there is a fall capsule and a spring capsule, and the changes for winter and summer are a bit more gradual and subtle. So as I think ahead for winter, I will probably keep the base of this capsule almost the same and just add in some more layers, sweaters and maybe a dress or two.

    4. I will continue keeping workout clothes and super dressy clothes (for a fancier occasion) separate. And I give myself permission to get something new if its for a specific reason! But for the most part, the purpose of having a capsule is to reduce unnecessary shopping and I definitely feel like that has been my experience.

I really enjoyed this experiment and I think I will get better and better at honing in on pieces that really work for my life and my style. What do you think? Could you ever do a capsule wardrobe? I would love to hear your thoughts!


Easter Dress Roundup!

It's been a while since I did a style round up, and I had so much fun putting this one together! Easter is such an amazing holiday, and I admit I still get giddy about Easter dresses like a 5-year-old girl. I blame my mother - she let us wear the frilliest dresses to church for Easter when I was growing up and all that twirling can really go to a girl's head.

Also, I included a few rompers and pant suits because gosh, there are so many good ones these days. If I had a million dollars I would love to wear the Mara Hoffman romper this year, but I will actually probably just wear a dress in my closet. I have so many that have gone unworn for a while (omg my postpartum body is so crazy - what size even am I??) Also, if Kate Middleton can re-wear her dresses, then I think it's mighty princess-y to wear one of my old frocks. Plus, that leaves room in the budget for SHOES.

What are you wearing this Easter?! I'd love to hear what colors and styles you're gravitating toward this season! xx

Milk Friendly - the Tunic Tee.


Outfit Details:
Free People We The Free Charleston Tee, Target Mossimo Supply Racerback Tank, Free People Bralette (similar here and here), Free People Roll Crop Jeans, Puma Classic Suede Sneakers, Mama and Little Nicole Necklace in Sweet Mint (use code KRISTEN for 10% off!)


I am so excited about this series. Styling, nursing-friendly clothes are seriously under-represented in women's fashion. As a mom of a 7-month little boy, I am constantly rifling through my closet and trying to find things that I can wear out and about while still looking relatively cute and put-together. Most of my tops are off-limits - they're too silky (hi, let's show all the drool shall we?), too high-neck (how to access the boobies?), too low-cut (too much cleavage with these milk monsters), too tight (because I am not back to my pre-pregnancy weight) - so seriously, what's a girl to wear??

It's complicated.

I wish I could say that I can make all my current clothing work for nursing, but that's just not the case. I've had to shop. I nursed my first son Everett for 16 months, and that entire time I was always on the hunt for clothes that worked for that season of life. Now that I'm back on this milk train with Daxton, I have more of a grid for what to shop for and how to make nursing-friendly clothes relatively stylish. Because lets be honest, most of what is on the market for pregnant and lactating mamas is just frumpy. But not all! There are ways to piece together a cute and practical outfit. Over the course of this month, I'm going to share a series of looks that work for nursing mamas. And today I'm starting with one of my most-worn essentials - the tunic tee!

I love wearing tops like this one because it's basically like wearing a gigantic tee shirt - only prettier and softer. It's easy to layer this kind of look with a nursing tank underneath (I have this tank in about 10 colors) or even just a simple bralette like this. I love a lot of the Free People tees because they have some unique cuts up the side (making it a little easier to nurse), and you can either pull the top down or pull your shirt up - these tunics make it easier to do either. But I will say that most of my Free People tops are kind of delicate (even the cotton-blends), so I wash them on gentle and cold cycles. Just FYI :)

During the month of August, I will be sharing 6 different essentials for nursing mamas! I'm really excited to share because I've spent a lot of time hunting for the types of clothes that seem to work best - other than just straight up nursing tops.

Featured Piece:

We The Free Charleston Tee  - Free People (on sale now!)

We The Free Charleston Tee - Free People (on sale now!)

Tell me, what is your biggest struggle with nursing clothing? Do you feel like there are things that "hold you back" from being your most comfortable self when it comes to what you wear during this stage of motherhood? I'd love to hear from you mamas!

That Momiform.

This is the day that the lady at Sams Club didn't take my picture for the membership card. She was all, "You don't look like you're ready to have your picture taken, you can get it taken next time." Oops. Little did she know, 60 seconds before I walked in the door, we took these photos for the blog. I wanted to talk momiforms with you guys - you know, the real clothes us real mamas wear when we're momming. I thought walking into a big box store makeup free and double-timing the stroller and buggy depicted mom reality well...? Don't worry, we didn't switch our membership from the reigning king, Costco. Long live Costco, you guys. It doesn't discriminate against my scruffy vibe :)

While I value and appreciate the art of delicious fabric and custom tailoring, the truth is that I barely ever wear those cute clothes that hang in my closet. Most of the time, I am a bit unwashed and throwing on the cleanest clothes on the top of my stack of laundry. Lately, this consists of these nursing tanks, these oversized tees and these loose-fitting chino shorts (currently 25% off!) Sandals or sneakers, depending on the need for the day. I have a super big baby, so I like to wear sneakers to keep myself supported for the long haul of the day :)

Below are a few links that are perfect for everyday wear that give me an alternative to the other mom uniform I'm often sporting - yoga pants and a tank top. Thank God athleisure is a thing, can I get an amen?

Have any favorite basics that you are constantly rotating through in your closet? I would love to know if you have any comfy ideas I should be adding to my routine!

March Delights List

March List...

March List... by oykristen // 1. Free People Clipperton Fedora // 2. Kirklands Peach Peony Bush // 3. Kate Spade New York Giverny Floral Scarf // 4. Anthropologie Monogram Quagga Sweater // 5. Oh, Joy! for Target Garden Party Essentials // 6. Traditional Medicinals Organic Chamomile with Lavender Tea // 7. Etsy Gold-Wire Heartbeat Necklace // 8. Dolce Vita Caitlynn Booties // 9. Maybelline Baby Lips Balm in Oh, Orange! // 10. Marc Jacobs DTM Bolts Leather Bracelet //  

My Marchin List.

Oh, March. You haven't quite ushered in the spring (not by a long shot), but you've brought something quietly different with your patchy presence. You've invited the birds back to my window in the early morning, you've managed to convince the toughened snow to relax a bit, you've made me actually believe there is a change coming. Bless you. Instead of wishing and hoping for April and May, I really want to enjoy this transitional month. In New York, the weather will probably remain in the twenties for most of the month, but there are the slightest telltale signs all around... January and February are definitely gone. And March brings a certain sweet air that can only be appreciated after about 15 torrential snowstorms in a row. March, I welcome you with an armful of gratitude.

// 1. Free People Clipperton Fedora

- Ah, yes please. This floppy fedora is such a fun way to hide bedhead and totally melts into any season's wardrobe. 

// 2. Kirklands Peach Peony Bush

- My dear peonies! I carried this adorable blossom down the aisle at my wedding, so I have a super soft spot in my heart for this joyful flower. They are truly the peppiest, softest flower... you just want to wash your face with them.

// 3. Kate Spade New York Giverny Floral Scarf

- The obsession with Kate continues. This scarf makes me want to go back to France NOW. Cuz we never made it out to Giverny. But apparently, this is what those florals would look like. You know, on a scarf.

// 4. Anthropologie Monogram Quagga Sweater

- Okay, this is just happy. Although we WANT to believe spring is right around the corner, it's still too chilly to be pulling out the tanks and shorts. This sweater is a whimsical way to welcome the incoming season without shedding too many clothes.

// 5. Oh, Joy! for Target Garden Party Essentials

- If you are like me, you are counting down the days until this party line hits Target on March 16. Oh yes! I wish I had a fun party to plan sometime in the near future, because I would be buying up a storm! Oh Joy! is one of my favorite bloggers, and now she's done and taken over Target, too. This line is going to sell out so fast!

// 6. Traditional Medicinals Organic Chamomile with Lavender Tea

- I've said it once and I'll say it again: this is the best tea. On the planet. The layer of lavender adds just the right amount of honeyed-sweetness that keeps you coming back for one, two, ten more sips. Up here in the north, it's still tea time!

/ 7. Etsy Gold-Wire Heartbeat Necklace

- Oh my word, I died when I saw this sweet necklace. I WANT. It's a gorgeous and dainty illustration of an EKG heartbeat. After hearing my little one's heartbeat, I have a whole new joy for the miracle of such a small, soft sound. 

// 8. Dolce Vita Caitlynn Booties

- Sassy, sassy. And just right for spring. Can't pull out the sandals yet, but this bootie will transition nicely into the warmer months.

// 9. Maybelline Baby Lips Balm in Oh, Orange!

- My new fave balm. I especially love the pop of non-traditional color. And the non-Sephora price.

// 10. Marc Jacobs DTM Bolts Leather Bracelet

- Seriously, Marc Jacobs? You know how to get it just right. This cuff is the perfect mix of fun and edgy. And super easy to mix with any arm jewelry you want.

What are you March musts? How are you prepping for the spring weather?