With the start of a fresh new year, I wanted to do a big wardrobe evaluation! As part of my retail recess, one of the things I wanted to focus on instead of shopping was putting together a visual list of my Entire Wardrobe. Because I use a 30-40 piece “Capsule Wardrobe” each season, I keep the rest of my off-season clothing in storage. More specifically, in this rad cedar trunk my dad built for me above.
Creating my list actually ended up being a lot less daunting than it sounds, especially once I broke it up into categories. It did a few really valuable things for me:
- It showed me exactly how much clothing I already have and want to keep. I have over 80 pieces that are either serving me well or that I’m not ready to give up on yet.
- It made it easy to determine the things I should get rid of, which was another goal of my retail recess. I’ll link to my eBay sell links in the breakdown below when I get everything listed.
- It made it easy to evaluate any gaps I in my closet. I’m hoping to remain conscious of actual needs moreso than wants in my future shopping.
Here is my current Entire Wardrobe, along with an honest evaluation of maintenance needs, what’s working well, and what I’m dumping. I’ll link to my actual item whenever possible, and an “ethical” similar item when it’s not available.
wool coat – H&M, old (similar) // military parka – H&M (men’s), old (similar) // black blazer – Gap, old (similar) // moto jacket – Deadwood // rain jacket – RAINS // jean jacket – Levi’s Waterless, old (other wash) // check blazer – Steven Alan, secondhand (similar) // sherpa jacket – Currentt/Elliott, secondhand (similar)
I included some blazers but not sweaters as “outerwear” just for the purpose of this breakdown. I truly love and get good wear out of almost all of these jackets and I’m not ready to give up on the couple that I don’t, because they still feel classic to me. Gorgeous coats are always really tempting to me when I shop, but this group will serve me well in my everyday life–rarely do I really need to bundle up.
LETTING GO OF: A hooded sweatshirt/jacket that’s cozy but redundant in my closet; I’m also trying to convince my husband to let me sell a vintage fur bomber–we bought it together for a film so it has some sentimental value, but it’s too small for me to actually wear.
GAPS: I’m always wondering if I should get a puffer to prepare for potentially cold conditions, but I think I’ll wait until I have an actual trip on the horizon where it would be totally necessary.
STAPLE (NEUTRAL) TOPS
black cardigan – Zady, old (similar) // short sleeve sweatshirt – Everlane, old (similar) // black + white plaid flannel – Madewell, old (similar) // gray sweatshirt – Everlane // 3-in-1 sweater – Vetta // gray sweater – Everlane (men’s), old (similar) // striped long sleeve tee – Everlane // white button-up – Everlane // white tee(s) – Everlane, Otherwild, Yes Way Rosé // white muscle tank – Everlane // white short sleeve button-up – Madewell, old (similar) // high neck blouse – H&M Conscious, old (similar) // drapey blouse – H&M Conscious, old (similar) // striped tee – Madewell, old (similar) // patterned button-up – Madewell, old (similar) // chunky turtleneck – Zady // cropped cashmere sweater – Everlane, old (similar) // blue button-up – Steven Alan, secondhand (similar) // chambray shirt – H&M Conscious, old (similar) // navy gingham – Gap, old (similar) // navy tee – Everlane, old (similar) //silk camisole – Grana // navy tank – J.Crew, old (similar) // sheer polka dot top – Urban Outfitters, old (similar)
The biggest and most basic part of my wardrobe! I live in white tops and love other neutrals, and I’ve curated quite a nice set of shirts over the years (mostly from Everlane). My favorite things to wear are breezy button-ups and soft tees, and I’m one of those people who is always cold in the office, so I need some cozy sweaters year-round. I also have both short-sleeve and long-sleeve tops that can skew more formal when going out. I get a lot of mileage out of almost everything here.
NOT PICTURED: all of the white tees I have and love; some yoga crop tops that I occasionally wear IRL.
GAPS: This isn’t a dire need by any stretch, but the older I get, the more comfortable I get with polished looks, so it would be nice to have some silk blouses in neutral colors. I also have been eyeing this gorgeous sweater for a long time, and am still debating the need…
ACCENT COLOR TOPS
red striped tee – Alternative Apparel, old (similar) // blush silk top – Everlane, old (similar) // blue silk top – Everlane, old (other colors) // mauve sweatshirt – Everlane, old (similar) // forest green tee – Everlane, old (similar) // green sweatshirt – Everlane, old (similar)
This is a weird grouping of tops. I’m not in love with any of these shirts, but I’m hanging on to them just because I know myself and will want to incorporate some color into my wardrobe every once in a while. Color is also where I often go wrong when I shop, and more often than not, I’m getting rid of my colored items after a season or two.
LETTING GO OF: My pink Madewell sweater, which just doesn’t seem to play great with the rest of my clothing; my Alternative Apparel baseball tee.
GAPS: None that I can see right now.
camel wide leg pants – Esby Apparel // clyde pants – Elizabeth Suzann, secondhand (similar) // white jeans – Levi’s, old (similar) // velvet leggings – Gap, old (similar) // black joggers – Need Supply Co., old (similar) // ponte pants – Brass // black jeans – Levi’s Waterless // black shorts – H&M Conscious, old (similar) // denim shorts – Madewell, old (similar) // wedgie jeans – Levi’s WaterLess // wide leg jeans – J.Crew, secondhand (similar) // boyfriend jeans – Gap, old (similar) // work pants – Urban Renewal, old (similar)
I’m pretty happy with all my pants, and have found over the years that I’m really into statement pants. That said, I think keeping them neutral is my best bet. High-waisted is my best look, because it makes me seem a little taller. I’ve fallen in love with the Levi’s wedgie jean fit, so I now have those in three colors, and I also love a wide leg pant. I’m lukewarm on my boyfriend jeans and my denim shorts, which don’t look great on me, so I might end up selling those, but I wasn’t ready to give up on them yet when I made this list.
TO DO: Take my camel wide leg pants to the tailor to hem them an inch shorter.
LETTING GO OF: my faux leather leggings–I may regret this and want to replace them eventually, but if I did, I think I might want to upgrade to a more structured or thicker pair; my plaid pixie pants, which are cool but I just am not wearing them much; my DSTLD high-rise skinny jeans, which are just not my vibe anymore.
GAPS: Last summer I really felt a need for some soft, casual shorts to throw on around the apartment, where temps can be super high. I’m debating whether to invest in something like these or to keep it more affordable. There are two threads of thought here. One: I really don’t enjoy wearing shorts–especially in public, so if I’m only going to wear them around the house, why spend a lot? Two: It might be worth trying to find a pair that I actually feel good in, and would be comfortable wearing in public so that I don’t suffer in pants when it’s hot. Happy to hear your thoughts and any recs for comfy shorts that are flattering on short legs with a chunkier thigh!
I would also like to eventually add some high-quality corduroy pants, another wide leg pant, and maybe(?) some kick flare denim to the bunch. I’ve been sitting on the latter for a bit, to test the trend with time.
I used to be really into jumpsuits and overalls, so I’m actually surprised my onesie collection has gotten this lean. I’m finding my linen jumpsuit ideal in the warmer months and my overalls a little more edgy for colder months. The romper is a must-have for hot, lounge-y weekends. The bodysuit is new to me, bought during Grana’s no-markup sale, but it’s a trend I’ve been wanting to try for a long time, and it feels classic enough that I’m hoping to find many ways to wear it.
TO DO: Take my Reifhaus jumpsuit to the tailor. I want to let out the hem so they’re longer, and get some fraying around the neckline fixed.
LETTING GO OF: I recently gave my beloved sparkly jumpsuit (more of a formal piece) to my sister, because it fits her better. Happy to keep it in the family when I’m wavering on things like that. Also getting rid of a casual swing dress that I got a lot of good wear out of, but don’t have much occasion for.
white high tops – Converse, old (similar) // white sneakers – Veja // brown Docs – vintage (similar) // oxblood Docs – Doc Martens For Life // chelsea boots – Loeffler Randall, old (similar) // mauve loafers – Emerson Fry, old (similar) // Arizonas – Birkenstock // Yaras – Birkenstock // low heel slides – Marais USA, old (other colors) // silver kitten heels – Emerson Fry, old (similar) // low heel sandals – Born, old (similar) // flat slides – Nisolo
I feel pretty good about this collection of shoes, but it is funny to see how redundant it is. I like what I like: Converse high tops, Vans slip-ons, Doc Martens combat boots, Birkenstock sandals, and low heels. Comfort is key for me, especially with shoes, and I’ve gotten a lot better at picking shoes to invest in. My world is very casual, so I live in sneakers and sandals most days, and I’m really attracted to anything that is easy to slip on. I added the Nisolo slides to my closet before my Retail Recess began, and I still feel pretty good about that purchase, knowing that come spring I want a slightly dressier sandal that’s still flat.
TO DO: I need to get my brown Docs re-soled. I bought them vintage and put a lot of miles on them myself, so they’re literally falling apart, but I don’t want to let go of them yet.
LETTING GO OF: my Rachel Comey mules, which I just didn’t wear enough to justify keeping them; my L.A.M.B. pointed toe booties, which are just a bit too high for my everyday comfort; some older low top Converse sneakers that I just don’t like anymore; and some patent (faux) leather loafers that are too big on me. I also am retiring my tan loafers after the winter, because they are really worn out.
GAPS: I’d like to get a pair of dressier booties to replace the L.A.M.B. ones I’m getting rid of. (Also, my chelsea boots’ days are numbered because the elastic has snapped in the ankle, so I’m anticipating needing something to fill that hole eventually.) I’m eyeing Everlane’s cool witchy Boss Boot, but still debating what color would be most versatile. Black seems like a no-brainer, but maybe a lighter shade would take them into spring?
I’ve also been eyeing the Everlane Day Heel for a while now, as well as vintage Ferragamo loafers/pumps, but I think I still need some time to determine whether either or which would serve my closet well.
This is basically the paired back “formal” capsule of my dreams: a cool suit, a feminine wrap dress, a sporty LBD, and a luxe slip dress. I’m sure that my tastes are still subject to change over the coming years, but right now it feels like this is all I would need to take me to parties and weddings and anything on the dressier side I get invited to. The reality is that my formalwear needs are pretty minimal, although the fancy, shiny stuff is always a particular temptation of mine when shopping. I stuck to dark shades, so these pieces will work in winter as well as summer. I’m hoping to get more comfortable with repeating these outfits to multiple events, and I have plenty of options for mix-and-matching with my everyday capsule (like pairing my silk pants with my silk cami for a jumpsuit look or mixing in blazers). I also feel pretty good dressing the LBD down for everyday.
LETTING GO OF: A faux leather midi skirt that I never felt was flattering on me, so I never wore it; my floral kimono, which sort of went with everything but just doesn’t feel like my style anymore; a gray maxi with a pretty back that’s a little long on me; and a vintage velvet suit I took a chance on a while back but never fit right.