My fall/winter capsule wardrobe and uniform

I finally did it! I got my guts together and went out there to buy the items for my fall/winter wardrobe. Let me tell you, I have never been so busy planning a wardrobe before. But it paid off in so may ways. Wanna know how? Here it comes:

1) I found my "uniform". When you go out into blogland and read about capsule wardrobes, this term comes up a lot. What does it mean? Well, it is about you finding a concept that applies to how you dress. For example, you may like to wear a more androgynous style, lots of pants and sleek shirts, very minimal and contemporary. Than this basic principle of trousers plus shirt becomes the foundations of your wardrobe planning. You want to buy pieces that complement each other to allow for as many combinations as possible. A uniform means to identify a concept that enables you to grab clothes early in the morning with your eyes still closed and your brain just warming up to the day ahead, put them on without thinking and still look put together.
Want to know my uniform? Not really surprising, I have been wearing it for years already without noticing. It is a combination of a cardigan and a shirt with either a skirt or pants. Sometimes I would substitute the shirt and buttons for a dress, but the cardigan and me have a long and strong love affair.
So when I hit the shops the other day, I kept this principle in mind and stocked up on both cardigans (some of my current ones need to be replaced) and shirts (oh, how I dread buying those. Fashion industry is not a friend of the larger-chested woman).

2) I knew the color scheme I was going for. Those past couple of weeks were spend in front of the computer, shuffling around color palettes and getting into the concept of warm spring type color schemes. I thought about combinations that would work, what colors my basics should be and how to incorporate brighter hues. For someone coming from a black-on-black dressing scheme, color was a new idea and since I had not tried most of the new colors I was thinking about incorporating, I needed a plan how to use them without feeling like a clown. In the end, I came up with dark brown (to replace my current black ) and grey as basic colors which would be lightened up by sprinkles of teal and marigold. If I was feeling content with these two accent colors, I could then expand their contribution to my wardrobe. If not, they were easy to replace with something else because there was not much of them to begin with.

3) I knew what I wanted. Now that I had a clear idea of the items I needed and the colors I wanted to use, shopping became easy. No, really. All this planning and thinking may have cost a lot of time, but once in the stores, hunting down garments was easy. By limiting yourself to four colors, you can just skip all those garments that did not fit the bill. In the end, this makes you faster. No need to look at the black items, they were not on the scheme, so on to the browns and greys... and did I spot a marigold cardigan over there?

4) I knew how to combine. When I came back from shopping, I went ahead and thought about the combinations that my new items would make. And the options are truly endless. Incorporating what I already have, it got even better. I planned out 18 outfits at the end of this post to give you some examples, but really, I could come up with so many more.

Enough with the waffling now, here is what my new fall/winter wardrobe looks like. I have to say though that it still contains a bit of black and a random dark red blouse. Items I bought fairly recently and that I want to "wear up". This was part of my plan from the beginning. You can read my post on this topic here. Still, when these items have to be replaced, it will surely be within the new color scheme.

Here is what my wardrobe looks like now. The skirts are new, as is the dress. I also bought the grey T-shirt, the blue T-shirt and the teal long-armed shirt. The brown and marigold cardigan are new as are the brown ankle boots. I went shopping in Germany and bought the clothes here and the shoes here. Now let's see what combinations are possible with this capsule.

Am I happy with the outcome? Oh yes! Is this the last time I have gone shopping this year? No. While the items I own now offer a lot of options, I still would like to get a few things. A second dress is definitely on the list, as are one or two sweaters. But buying tops is, you know, dreadful and I could not find A.SINGLE.SWEATER that fitted me properly... grrrrrr. I am also on the hunt for a pair of dark brown boots, but given the price that a good pair would cost, this will be an investment for upcoming sales.