A Olive Capsule Wardrobe

Traveling around southern California this fall and the southeast U.S. this winter has really made me hone what I carry. While I was always a huge fan of the capsule wardrobe concept on the boat, I had a locker full of clothes, a drawer full of little things, and a whole shelf with books and jewelry. This many not sound like a lot, but trust me, when it came time to load it all into a single suitcase that met the weight restrictions for a cross-country flight, it was too much.

Inspired by an image (right) I pinned four different times to different boards on Pinterest, I wanted to put together a wardrobe that was olive, cream, leather, gold leaf, floaty, and perfect for fall and winter while still allowing for desert travel. Most of these pieces were things I already owned, though I did acquire a few new pieces in the process.

  • Olive Green Maxi Skirt – this one was new and I found a number of nice heavy cotton ones on Amazon and Etsy.
  • Olive Green Cotton Pants – rather thank going with “slacks,” I found a great pair of cotton hiking pants from Prana that are a serious new favorite.
  • Olive Green Jean Leggins – I’m a huge fan of Hue leggins and wear through about a pair a quarter. They had some really cute moto-look leggins in cotton.
  • Olive Green Yoga Pants – this was fun because the pants I ordered from Amazon, while super-comfy, are like six inches too long for me. I had to get these and the pants from Prana hemmed, something I rarely need to do.
  • Long-sleeved Cream T-shirt – This one I already had, a comfortable cotton with a lace top.
  • Cream Batwing Top – I found a cotton one on Amazon. I love the look of these draped sleeves and the very forgiving way it covers your arms and your waist.
  • Long-sleeved Cream Button-down – Wardrobe staple, I have a number of different nice, collared button-down shirts. Worn with the slacks and heels, it’s appropriate for the few days I needed to go into work, although I found I wore the maxi skirt with heels more frequently for work days.
  • Long-sleeved Cream Sweater – Ideally, I think this look needs a chunky sweater, but I already had a nice cotton-silk blend one that I like, and it’s worked fine for most of the combinations I’ve wanted to do.
  • Cream Lace T-shirt – To complete the look in the inspiration photo, I needed to add a cream, lace t-shirt. I found one on Amazon that’s cotton, but I don’t love it because the fit isn’t great. It certainly completes the look, though.
  • Olive Green Military Jacket – Because, you know, winter happens. I found a heavy cotton jacket on Forever 21 and it’s been great. It’s big enough that it allows me to layer under it, but still has a somewhat defined waist. Since I have a long torso, the length is great.
  • This might be the only picture of me I have this fall (other than one from New Years even when I’m wearing a red dress because this wardrobe doesn’t cover black-tie optional attire). When you have a child, no one takes your picture anymore. I need to start taking more selfies?

    2 Chunky Scarves – I love scarves and have a huge collection, so I simply picked two that coordinated with the colors of this, a cotton blue and brown one and a wool brown one.

  • Brown Espadrilles – I love my pair of brown, flat espadrilles I got a few summers ago. They’re comfortable and look reasonably nice while still being casual.
  • Brown Sandals – Again, another pair I already had from Ancient Greek Sandals fit right in with this look. They’re brown and strappy and were great for the extended summer we were having in LA (right up until it got cold).
  • Brown Tennis Shoes – A mountain find early in the fall, my brown slip-on tennis shoes I’ve worn hiking all over. I’m not sure they’ll last another season though, which makes me sad, since I prefer my clothes, especially shoes, to last a long time.
  • Brown Heels – Another pair I’ve had for a while, these are chunky heels with a brown leather top that looks like a laser-cut ankle boot. Superbly comfortable and, unlike the tennis shoes, likely to last me many seasons more.
  • Straw Fedora – I already had this and ended up wearing it a few times. I love the idea of fedoras, but rarely the final look on me. Maybe I just haven’t found the right one.
  • Swimsuit – I have a brown, tan, and red one from Seea that went out to California with me, although we didn’t end up doing and swimming. I only ever need a swimsuit when I don’t pack it….
  • Leaf jewelry – this was fun, we found a few pieces of leaf jewelry nosing around California, so I’ve been mixing those pieces with some other gold pieces I was handed down from mom’s friends and some woven and leather bracelets I picked up at a yoga retreat in early fall.
  • The little things – Most of the undergarments I’ve bought post baby are white and so go well underneath the lighter-colored tops. Meanwhile, I had to buy a bunch of cute socks because washing machines keep eating them. I also packed a few white tank tops to go under some the tops, both for layers and for opacity’s sake, as well as just to wear on warmer days.
  • Brown Leather Suitcase – I bought this suitcase back in college at a discount fast-fashion store (so, a long time ago) and it’s held up to so many trips and is still the perfect size bag to throw over my shoulder or on top of another suitcase.

So yes, the entire wardrobe fits into the leather suitcase. (Just my stuff, mind. Skye has her own suitcase.) Obviously, I packed a few more cream-colored tops, enough that I could go about a week between washing clothes.