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Fall & Winter Sustainable Capsule Wardrobe

Nov 18, 2019

My word for 2019 is intention. With each decision I make both personally and professionally, I have sought to be more intentional—never chasing after perfection but choosing to think through how the little decisions add up and impact in big ways.

I have slowly cleaned up my makeup bag, skincare routine and cleaning supplies and clothing was next on my list! I detailed the best and worst fabrics in fashion in this post, which you all LOVED! <— Seriously, my top viewed blog post!

As I get older and have more responsibilities, and a sweet little curly haired tot at my feet, the concept of ‘less is more’ grows more and more appealing. With our international move approaching and the change of seasons, I thought now would be the perfect time to create a capsule wardrobe!

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I am by no means a fashion expert, or going to turn into a fashion blogger, but if you want to learn from a modern woman just wanting to do her best to live with more intention, you are in the right spot!

To create my capsule wardrobe I am using a mix of what I already have as well as adding in a few quality, timeless pieces I know I will wear and love year after year. Truly, the most sustainable choice you can make is to use what you have, *wink.*

Here’s what I found to be helpful to me in creating a capsule wardrobe:

  • Realize there’s no rules, no right or wrong. What feels best for you and your lifestyle in this current season?
  • When you purchase new things, purchase quality items that will last and you will love for years to come—investment pieces! 
  • Take your time, I didn’t rush this process but am deeply happy with the items that fill my wardrobe.
  • Keep it fun by adding in one statement blouse or dress and pops up color or design with your accessories like earrings, scarfs, headbands, hats.

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We make so many choices everyday and decision fatigue can really decrease your mental and physical energy, or just leave you overwhelmed. Creating a capsule wardrobe frees up time and space for me to do the more important things in life!

Sustainable choices—The most sustainable choice you can make it to already use what you have, and then, when you do need something new, choose a more sustainable wardrobe option. See how simple that is?

This blog post was so fun to create and photograph from what I am dressing in this season! Honestly I have been loving the cozy outfits I put together and am so excited to share with you all today! I can say it’s been a big stress relief to minimize my wardrobe and I always look forward to getting ready each day.

For more inspo on why I am choosing sustainable, natural fashion, check out my post on the “Best Natural and Sustainable Clothing Fabrics to Look For & Which to Avoid.” 

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Shirts

I really needed new shirts, so I chose a few organic cotton t-shirts and thermals. My favorites are this organic cotton boxy crew (so soft and perfect to make your casual look a bit more elevated) and this organic hoodie (I chose Terracotta for a pop of color). 

I also love the Remi Thermal, this recycled cotton henley from Everlane and this organic henley from Pact for a more casual look. Kotn is another brand I have been loving for staples—they are ethically made and a B corporation brand! I love the Square Neck Longsleeve for layering and the Puff Sleeve Sweatshirt for a bit more warmth.

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Wrap Sweater / Alpaca Crew / Wide Leg Crop Jeans

Sweaters

Every year I invest in one quality sweater (they are truly investment pieces), so I keep my sweater collection a bit more minimal but ones I love wearing daily! Sadly many sweaters are made of synthetic materials and acrylic which releases micro plastics into the environment and can also be made with endocrine disrupting materials.

My favorite sweaters are from Cuyana (truly their quality is unmatched) and I LOVE their Recycled Cashmere Wrap Sweater, my investment piece this season. Last year I purchased the Open Cashmere Cardigan, it’s a bit more lightweight but still very warm and I wear this almost daily still. My favorite grey sweater (pictured) is from Cuyana 3 years ago and I wore it practically every day of my pregnancy, they don’t make it anymore but I love this similar Reversible Knitted Coat.

I also LOVE Everlane sweaters and their transparency and great pricing. I have the Oversized Alpaca Crew and Cashmere Crew. They also just came out with a Recycled Cashmere Stroopwaffle Crew which I am dying to try but just don’t need at the moment.

Tradlands is another sustainable company with fabulous sweaters, you all mentioned on Instagram you love them too, and their Shelter Cardigan would be a great capsule piece.

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Checkered Flannel / Wide Leg Crop Pants / Grey Sweater (similar)

Flannel & Blouses

I love oversized flannel shirts for winter—Madewell has the best selection in my opinion, and I have been wearing this Boyfriend Checkered Flannel for a few years now. For blouses, I would add in this Washable (and ethical) Silk Shirt, this white one white dot jacquard shirt and a floral blouse from Sezane, one of my favorite feminine and sustainable brands!

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Delphina Dress

Dresses

I chose to add in some color with my dress choice, and the floral dress in the photos from Sezane is so comfortable, made with organic materials and does not disappoint! Since my sweater colors are neutral, I can easily pair it for some added warmth. I also have my eye on this slightly fancier dress with a beautiful ruffle hem for the holidays, you could also dress down with booties too!

I just got this simple black dress from Kotn and LOVE how comfortable it is (and not skin tight)—I can dress it up with any of my sweaters or scarves.

This cashmere turtleneck dress is my favorite and great for daily use and warmth! I also love the cashmere v-neck option paired with a scarf. 

Jackets

Patagonia is always my favorite brand for jackets, their quality is incredible and they are one of the first companies to be more ethical, transparent and sustainable, so I love supporting them! I have their basic down jacket, and have for years, but really depends on where you live and your coldness factor! I also live in this fuzzy fleece jacket when I am around the house, currently cozied up in it writing this!

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White Crop Jeans

Jeans

Let’s just say after pregnancy I needed some new pants! I fell in love with these white crop jeans from DL1961 (hands down most comfortable jeans I’ve ever owned) and their traditional style of skinny jeans—DL1961 uses low impact dyes, thus less chemicals for you and the environment, oh and they make the most adorable kid’s jeans! I have always been a fan of Madewell jeans as they just fit my body type perfectly, so I have a few old pairs I will be rotating in the mix. They have a great recycle/trade in program too!

For other eco-friendly, sustainable jeans I would check out Reformation, Everlane and Boyish Denim.

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Wide Leg Crop Pants

Crop Pants

Ok my friend Jess Keys mentioned these wide leg crop pants last year and I finally bought them this fall and they are hands down the best pants ever! Very flattering, durable and so comfortable. I have been wearing them almost daily and am already wanting another color next year! They are a little on the thicker side (perfect for this time of year) but also have a lightweight option.

Scarf

These are investment pieces in my mind and I purchased 2 a few years ago and still wear them daily in the winter—Alpaca scarf and Ribbed Scarf. For a capsule wardrobe, I would choose one that is neutral and look for another to add a pop of color!

Beanies

I love to stay cozy with a beanie, and let’s be real because I don’t always have time to do my hair. This recycled cashmere beanie is my pick for the season. You might also check out James Street Co for both adults and children—ethically sourced too— and Coyuchi just came out with an organic beanie! Skida also has a great line of locally made and ethical cashmere beanies.

Leather Booties

I am for sure a shoe minimalist because I am very particular about both the look and comfort factor. I have now had 2 pairs of these leather booties and every time I wear them you all always ask where they are from! I love that they have a very flat heal, because I am already so tall. Nisolo’s Chelsea booties have always been a favorite too and I love this ethical brand. For a waterproof rain bootie, Alice + Whittles makes fair trade rubber booties and they are so cute.

There you have it—the sustainable and ethical guide (for the most part) to creating a capsule wardrobe! Tell me your favorite sustainable brand below! 👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼

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Photos by kylie martin

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