The story of my first capsule for real life

So I finally challenged myself to create a capsule that was for the way I really live my life. I've done them before for week-end trips, week-long trips, but never for just day-to-day life. I am so excited about this capsule because once the weather turns I won't spend an hour in front of my closet wondering what to wear every morning. 

Creating a capsule is not the easiest thing in the world to do. So why do it? This is what I wrote on Shannon's post and I don't believe there is a better way to sum up the way I feel about it, "Creating a capsule is akin to having the space and time to set your closet up like your favorite store with everything in its place and a place for everything. You can just grab what you like and go". It's SO satisfying!

I wish I could tell you that the creative process itself is satisfying. NOT! The entire process took 6 hours and at times messy and frustrating. My inspiration was a pair of mauve khakis that I love but rarely wear because the color is hard for me to work with. Ultimately I did not use them in this capsule but they did set tone for the tops I picked, which did not change through out the process. 

My first mistake was choosing all solid tops. Although the tops were different styles the colors were the same tones as the bottoms -- no pop. This meant I had to work hard accessorizing to make the outfit pop to my satisfaction (I love contrast). So back to the drawing board I went looking for higher-contrast printed tops. I really wanted outfits that didn't rely heavily on accessories because the best capsules seemed to be able to stand on the integrity of how the pieces were mixed and matched. Excessive accessorizing seemed like cheating. 

Other than the solid top mishap I had no trouble following Angie's guidelines to create at least 30 different outfits. 

I feel so silly saying this but I am so proud that I was able to put together a capsule that is polished enough to go to work (which I am sure will be coming soon!), sassy enough for date night, and casual enough for Saturday errands. I managed to use pieces that I loved but were not being worn enough. It fulfills my goal from January of integrating my "work" wardobe and my "off-duty" wardrobe into a cohesive style that represents my evolving aesthetic in every area of my life. I really believe everyone should do this for themselves at least once. 

I've posted a few of my favorites. I had to leave my head and face out of it because my hair and face were a complete mess from my efforts. Plus you really only want to see the outfits ;-) 

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Firecracker (Sharan) replied 10 years ago

    Okay, this is inspiring. Wow, you did a great job! I love all your outfits, Day Vies. And they are all so distinct; you don't look like you're just mixing and matching a few pieces here. The effect is of a rather full wardrobe worn well. I love the color palette on you. What's really great is that you achieved your major style goals while coming up with the capsule.
    I may need to start eating my words and try to work on a non-travel capsule.
    LOL about the hair and face. I look a fright, too, when I'm popping things over my head repeatedly. My hair just goes bonkers.

  • deb replied 10 years ago

    What a wonderful job you did! When I get back from vacation I am going to work on capsulizing my closet.

  • Caro in Oz replied 10 years ago

    Great job! They would be even better with your gorgeous face in the photos :)

  • soobee replied 10 years ago

    Thanks so much for posting all those lovely pics :)  I agree with Firecracker, the effect is a full wardrobe, well done!

  • Pawprints replied 10 years ago


    You make basics and classics look glamorous. I love your style. Your choices of color and line. The variety along with the cohesiveness. It looks like you achieved your goals and soared over them.

    I can't say why, but the results make it look like this was easy (we know it wasn't--such stamina you had!)

    So inspiring. Please come do this for me.

    Also loved your words of wisdom and insight on closets and wardrobes.

    I'll be coming back to study your pictures again, and re-read your guidance.

  • replied 10 years ago

    Super job! They all look like you, and you are right, they can cover just about any event.

  • Mona replied 10 years ago

    This is a great colour pallett for fall/winter wardrobe. You were able to come up with 30 outfits. Woo Hoo! Integrating your work wardrobe with off duty wardrobe is not easy but you have done this wonderfully.

  • shaz replied 10 years ago

    wow, lovely outfits, you look fantastic 

  • Suz replied 10 years ago

    Wow! Congratulations. I am so impressed with what you have done here. Not to mention inspired. I'm also really glad you mentioned the time investment to get this together. It really does take some trial and error. Even if you are pretty good at getting specific outfits ready each morning, creating a capsule that works as a whole and shows the cohesiveness of your wardrobe is a much bigger task. I really love this. And you look fab! It's a lovely transitional capsule because of the mix of lights and darks and gentle neutrals (always with the all-important pop!) 

  • Jaime replied 10 years ago

    Fantastic and only missing your smile!

  • Mary Beth (formerly LBD) replied 10 years ago

    Yet another very motivating post full of really cute outfits!  Davies, you look like a million bucks!  I really do mean to try this exercise this week, when I have a block of time I can give to it, because I can see how it makes one think creatively :)

  • Ingunn replied 10 years ago

    So beautiful! I'm just enthralled with the color scheme, the coherence and also the diversity of your capsule. This is so inspiring! Just by adding the various jackets, you control what level of dressiness you're after. I think this capsule will bring you well into October before you feel like switching it, if that's a wish. I am very pleased that you mention the time and effort you had to commit to this. It is, after all, a rather time consuming affair, but it pays off many times in the other end - like you so successfully have showed us now. I will come back and study your images more closely.

  • krishnidoux replied 10 years ago

    Agree, VERY inspiring. I am learning a lot from your experience. Thank you for sharing. 
    PS I love your capsule. It looks exactly like you say: casual, but put together for any unforeseen occasion during the day. Great job!

  • Joy replied 10 years ago

    Day, this is so inspiring! I'm hoping to do this to use pieces that don't get enough wear too. It's also showing how few clothes we actually need if the pieces are chosen carefully. You results are spectacular! Thank you for this post.

  • Transcona Shannon replied 10 years ago

    Brilliant!!! All of you Capsule Queens have convinced me this is a very worthwhile undertaking. I love the neutral color palette you've chosen DV and the wide range of scenarios these outfits can cover.

  • replied 10 years ago

    DV, I completely love your sense of style and I love capsules, so I see this as a major win. :) Great color palette, too, and well worth the effort!

  • donnat replied 10 years ago

    I am so impressed! Great capsule, and it would work for everything. I am going to have to go to the bedroom and drag it all out.

  • texstyle replied 10 years ago

    Very impressive Day Vies, you really outdid yourself here and came up with an amazing capsule with so much flexibility. I love your choice of pretty patterned tops especially. I also appreciate you mentioning the time commitment. The other day I spent just 30 mins. trying to put one together and felt frustrated and tired before even trying anything on! I'm not very patient when it comes to this sort of organization. I'm going to try again though as I am determined to create at least one or two capsules so I can have that "ready to get dressed at a moments notice" kind of feeling.

  • Angie replied 10 years ago

    (I also miss your beautiful smile).

    It doesn't look like you struggled at all, DV. I see a stunning set of outfits that satisfy your high style standards across various settings. I'm impressed. Well done.

    It's amazing how patterns add punch, don't they? I feel the same way, although I was a lot more careful about adding more patterns to my wardrobe this year because I have so many. And lots of patterned footwear and belts.

    Remember that this is one mix and match capsule, and that you have many others in your wardrobe. Add onto this one, no need to match everything up with everything, fill in the gaps, wear your favourite combinations and Bob's your Uncle.

    And start another capsule. This exercise forces you to think about how the items in your wardrobe relate to each other. And which types of outfits you like to wear most.

    20 out of 10 gorgeous lady.

  • Day Vies replied 10 years ago

    Firecracker -- I was afraid that the subtle differences wouldn't show through the pictures. Most of the colors are neutrals and even the colors are neutrals but I am glad you were able to see the differences. You certainly picked up well on the fact that with the exception of my watercolor tee nothing in this capsule is new. All of these pieces are well-worn and loved. When I finished I actually felt a little guilty because I realized that I could get by with a lot fewer clothes than I have (but that's not going to happen). I understand now that because I put in the time we don't need as many clothes as we have.

    Deb - absolutely. This is my recruiting thread. Come over to the dark side and create a capsule ... (we have cookies!!!)

    Caro -- I'll put my face in when I actually start wearing these outfits and posting. We still have at least another 3 weeks of summer. We're currently in the midst of a hot a humid heatwave.

    Soobee- I am really surprised about that effect. It "looks" like an entire wardrobe. I'd tell you that oh yeah I know how to recreate that in any capsule -- uh, not true. I wasn't really aiming for that effect but I am really pleased that it appears that way, especially since I get bored easily. I don't think that will be happening.

    Pawprints -- I love classics so this is absolutely a shameless plug for the timelessness of classics. I'll be honest with you I am not sure I can recreate the cohesion of this capsule. Even as the creator I believe I'm going to have to continue studying what I did here and other capsules to under why this worked.

    Suz -- I have always railed against neutrals but this exercise taught me I may not need as much pop (all the time) as I thought. It also showed me what I thought I already knew about neutrals -- they're SO versatile. Sometimes I think it takes doing and learning on an emotional/experiential level to truly understand a concept even if on the surface we believe it's true.

    La Belle - this is a test and an exercise of the limits of your creativity. It is very much like one of those reality TV designer challenges -- a complete marathon of your creative will and desire to finish.

    Ingunn -- You are SO prolific in your ability to create capsules that I am truly pleased that you are inspired because you inspired me. I think you're right about the timing mid-October is probably when I'll feel like I need to either add sweaters to this capsule or create one for early winter. The tan jacket is flannel so it will carry me through to spring. I may start working on a depths of winter capsule now while I'm still on a summer color palette. I just remember being so over dark clothes by the end of February and there was 2 solid months more of winter.

    Krishnidoux - I've read and re-read others' posts of their capsule creation process. It's different for everyone because it is a sort of personal journey  through your wardrobe. I think the more information the forum has about the process of creating a capsule the process won't be so alienating when you've never done it before. You'll know what to expect and won't get discouraged before you've finished.

    Joy -- still feeling a little guilty about all the pieces I have because this exercise  taught me that I don't need as much as I thought.

    Shannon -- you'll probably notice some of the same phrases in this post as my response to your capsule creation post. That is where I started writing this post last night. Your post got me thinking that people really need to understand the process, that it's not pretty or linear and that you can hit the wall and not want to finish.
    I surprised myself with this capsule because I thought I would miss the color contrasts I usually put in my outfits. Not really -- and then that's what accessories are for.

    Donnat - you won't regret it, but don't start with dragging out your entire closet! You won't feel like putting everything back. I picked my pieces first and didn't  take anything off the hanger until I was satisfied with the combinations and ready to try it all on (to check the fit and proportions).

    Texstyle - I really wanted everyone to know that this is a commitment with a capital "C". I'm visual so just writing out a list of possible combinations was not going to work. The clothes have to be laid out and seen within the context of one another. 

    Angie -- I was wondering how to start another capsule or build on this one. Thank you!  I was afraid on some level that adding something new would "mess up" the capsule. I am so glad this project got a 20 out of 10 -- YAY!

  • Cindy replied 10 years ago

    Well done! Very inspiring!

  • replied 10 years ago

    love it!! that's it. this long weekend I am going to escape for a few hours snd do a casual capsule. I'm convinced lol

  • Sara L. replied 10 years ago

    You look great in all these outfits!  I love looking at everyone's capsules but I'm so lazy and it sounds like such work that I'm not sure I'll ever get around to it.  I want to create a casual and comfy capsule for when I'm on maternity leave (6 weeks off, then back to work part-time for 6 weeks, then back full time) because I'm scared that if I don't I'll spend the whole time wearing old sweats and t-shirts.

  • Lisa replied 10 years ago

    You have a great capsule here!  I would wear any of these for both work and weekends (my job is casual).  I just adore when an outfit can be double duty, it makes me feel like I really got my money's worth from the item.  These capsule posts are a LOT of work, but very, very helpful.  I only worked on the ensemble one so far, here.  I realized new outfits combinations (yay) and some wardrobe holes (oh my).  I plan to work on a few more when I have some time.  And I think dressing will be a breeze on those rush mornings now.  So will packing!

  • cheryl replied 10 years ago

    You did an amazing job. Each and every outfit is fantastic. I loved reading about your process and seeing pics of your lovely creations.

  • Marley replied 10 years ago

    Oh Wow!  Thank you so much for sharing the outfits that you came up with - and thank you especially for sharing your process with us!  I am so inspired and determined that I am going to do this exercise in the next couple of days.  I think that it will be a great tool to use to purge my wardrobe!

  • rachylou replied 10 years ago

    Wow. So tightly edited and so sharp looking. I don't know that I could have that sort of discipline ever, although your words are incredibly inspiring and give me pause... imagine having everything readily accessible, ready to go!

  • Eliza replied 10 years ago

    Gorgeous, DayVies. This is inspirational. I will drink your fashion Koolaid!
    You look fab and your capsule sings.

  • Beth Ann replied 10 years ago

    Yeah!  DV!  You did a stunning job of capsule creation! 1, 5, and 14 are my favorites.  This would make a great travel capsule, with the addition of a pair of comfy walking shoes.  I'll be interested to know if subsequent capsules come together more quickly.  It seems like this is a "muscle" we have to exercise.

  • Day Vies replied 10 years ago

    Beth Ann -- I think you're right. This is like math use it or lose it! 

    It has been easier (in my mind) to use 1 bottom as a starting point, add 6 tops and another bottom. This is where the thinking ends ;-) Baby steps. With outfit creation I will forever stop at fit and proportion. While a top or bottom may fit well in isolation the silhouette they create together may not always work for me. So I am sure until I have a mental catalog of silhouettes I'll be setting aside time to see how top x works with bottom y unless its a dress :-) 

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