I've followed Project 333 for a few years now, and I've also found a lot of help in the 4x4 capsule wardrobe system of The Vivienne Files. Not being much of a rule follower, I have adapted both of these to fit my everyday life.
I ask the readers of my emails to submit questions and topics that they would like me to cover, and one of the responses was this: "Would you share snapshots of your own closet and wardrobe (if this is not too personal and invasive!) and sample outfits?". So this article is an answer to this request. I'm going to show you how I transition my wardrobe from season to season.
Capsule wardrobe fall 2020
The basics of my capsule wardrobe
October 2020 and a new chance to bring out the beloved merino wool sweaters, warm tights and short skirts.
I roughly follow the 4x4 system when thinking out what clothes to bring back into the rotation, starting with the basic 4: Two tops and two tops in dark neutrals, and two tops and two bottoms in lighter neutrals.
And as usual I break the rules before I have even started, because I hardly ever use light neutrals for my bottoms.
In my defence, I am picking three tops in ligther neutrals. And I have two skirts and one pair of black jeans as my basic bottoms, leaving room to buy a grey skirt that I have been coveting for some time now.
I prefer natural fibres such as merino wool, linen and cotton.
As you can see, there are several ways to style this up and down, mostly down since I prefer a very casual style for my practical, work-from-home business, and by adding jewelry and scarves to these outfits they are suited to my lifestyle and personal preferences, although I'll admit that if you think I'm only wearing this, the wardrobe looks a little boring.
But remember, these are only the basic items! Scroll down to see what happens when I bring in my mileage items.
The mileage items
Mileage items are clothes that combine the two basic colours or neutrals that you use for your basic core wardrobe. In my case, I go for black, white and grey.
My mileage items are: a skirt in black and white, and a merino wool sweater in black, grey and very light grey.
Now comes the fun part. I will be wearing some bright pink and bright yellow with my neutrals this fall.
The expansion items
Expansion items are items that brighten up your wardrobe and brings in colour. You can call them statement items. I seldom want to make a statement, but I like to wear my colours. Hang tight, the capsule wardrobe is about to get some colour:
This bright yellow cardigan is one of my favourite pieces of clothing.
And I think it complements the neutral items in my wardrobe so nicely.
Bright pink is my other expansion colour.
I also have a cardigan in a deeper purple/fuchsia pink, which I will also wear, for variation and warmth.
The beauty of knowing your Season is that once you start putting together a wardrobe in your palette, you know that all the items in your wardrobe go together.
For example, I could choose to wear my yellow cardigan on top of the pink top, for extra impact.
Not something I would do every day, but it is entirely possible and would look quite normal on me, not over the top. Would you wear those two colours together, if you were a Bright Winter?
Struggling with a boring wardrobe?
Not happy with purchases you make?
Perhaps it's time to rethink your relationship with your wardrobe.
Capsule wardrobe spring 2020
I start by emptying my closet and dumping all the clothes on my bed.
Then I also find the clothes in my spring/summer box and put them on the bed also.
And then, I get out a bucket of soapy water and clean the hangers and the walls and my shoe rack. It's all wood (this is Scandinavia after all) and smells fresh afterwards, ready for the spring clothes selection.
According to the 4x4 capsule wardrobe system, I should choose one dark and one light neutral colour for my basic clothes. I use mostly black and light grey for these staple items.
I use short skirts mainly in winter when I can combine them with opaque tights. In spring/summer I use mainly trousers.
So, three black pairs (I'm wearing the third) and one pair light grey.
Sleeveless linen top, black
Long sleeved silk blouse, black
Merino wool sweater, light grey
Merino wool sweater, black
Yes, two merino wool sweaters. This is Norway. I never pack away my woolens.
I will replace one of the wool sweaters with a long sleeved linen top in light grey later this season.
The mileage 4
These are the items that expand the combination possibilities.
Short sleeved linen top, yellow
Skirt with floral pattern, black/grey/yellow
Two sleeveless dresses, linen, both of them black. Yes, two.
I like linen. I like dresses. I like black.
Oh yes and a white cotton shirt, not pictured because I'm wearing it.
The expansion 4
Three cardigans, all in thin merino wool. I love cardigans and use them all year. One black, one grey and one red.
One cotton sweater, long sleeved, bright coral.
And this is what it looks like on hangers in my wardrobe.
I also have one pair of sneakers, a pair of pumps, a pair of red ballerina flats, rain boots and (not pictured here) a pair of black loafers.
Oh yes and that's my pair of 20 year old Teva sandals bottom left. They really do last for a long time, don't they? I may or may not invest in new sandals this year. I also have a pair of black Birkenstock sandals (not pictured).
1 vintage lucite necklace, bright pink
4 silver necklaces
3 belts. I am trying to get better at accessorising, so I have invested in three belts. If I don't wear them enough during the next year, I'll probably donate them to the local thrift shop.
I also have lots of hats, scarves and mittens, not pictured here.
In addition to what hangs in my closet, I have some outerwear.
4 knitted sweaters
2 raincoats, one grey and one red
1 fake leather biker jacket, dark grey
1 super cool zebra stripe statement coat (Finnish brand Aino) with bright purple lining, which I absolutely love. I don't wear it all that often, but it makes me feel fabulous when I do.
This is my very real capsule wardrobe for spring 2020.
I haven't counted the items, and I don't really care if it's more than 33 items. It fits me, my style and my lifestyle and that's what matters.