One subject that I always seem to be reading about is the “Capsule Wardrobe”. This wardrobe is built around a few essential, classic and timeless items. Google this term and you will find hundreds of articles and variations of this collection of clothing.
My wardrobe is full of classic and timeless pieces. But I can’t pare down. I just can’t!
It didn’t hit home for me until one of our Atypical60 friends, Angelin2014 (you know her ladies—she gives great replies to the blog posts and is a great friend of Atypical60), wrote about this subject in her blog, Age Is Just A Number. (click on the name of the link to read!)
Reading her two posts about the capsule wardrobe got me to thinking. Should I pare down to a capsule wardrobe? Hmmmmmmm.
Well, SHOULD I????
And for me, the answer is that I probably should pare down to this minimalist wardrobe, but I don’t want to. I love the clothing that I have. Many of the items, I’ve had for years. I try to do a seasonal weeding and place summer clothing in plastic bins during the winter and vice versa for the summer. But the way the heat index is still at an all-time high, it looks like my summer clothing will be sticking around for a while.
But as much as the thought of a capsule wardrobe is enticing, I like to think of myself as a person with Capsule Brands. It’s true. I’m loyal like a dog.
It’s true. I’m loyal like Chippy. He’s into my clothes too. When I was taking a photo of my tee shirts, he tried to eat one of them.
These are the brands that I can trust. They are the brand items that I will have for years. I just about rely on these brands because of the quality, the construction, the feel, the fit and they never fail me. I’m a minimalist when it comes to brands. I have few.
Let’s have a look at the brands and what I love about them.
J. Crew. Ain’t gonna lie. I love J. Crew and J. Crew Factory. In my opinion, both are interchangeable. Sometimes I can find better quality at Factory while most times, J. Crew is the place to shop. Ordering clothing online is no issue either because the shipping is quick. The online customer service is freakin’ stellar!!
May I present the latest addition to my J. Crew blazer collection? The Double-breasted Dover. It is such a rich, intense dark navy that it can look black. The lining is beautiful. Striped and almost looks like a club tie. I love the collar popped (Hey. I was in my 20’s during the Eighties. OK?) A bit longer in length and less fitted than the Schoolboy, it will look stunning both on job interviews and for casual wear. It’s a winna!!!
The Schoolboy blazers—God knows I have more than enough of them, are my winter staple. If I want to make a pair of jeans look polished, the Schoolboy is worn with them. And—even though J. Crew discontinued (the story of my life) the Schoolboy, another version that is just as good, if not better is available at J. Crew Factory.
Two blazers in this photo are NOT schoolboys. One is the chambray with the ruffles. The other is the wool camel Regent blazer. All others are either from J. Crew or J. Crew Factory. And there’s more!
The plaid schoolboy I purchased last year at J. Crew Factory.
Other Jackets—the Lady Jackets are a dressier option, but boy—Crew’s blazers and jackets have always been top quality for me.
What a difference a new phone makes–huh? This black Lady Jacket from J. Crew is another favorite-I’ll have to get a better photo with my new phone at some point!
Rather than pare down, I build up.
99.9 percent of my sweaters are from either J. Crew or J. Crew Factory. It’s to the point that I’m just not comfortable in any other brand. Call me crazy—but I know what I like when it comes to sweaters and I feel J. Crew knows me.
Same with skirts. I am in love with the Number 2 pencil skirt. Timeless and always looks good.
Three Number 2 Pencil skirts. Both sweaters are also from J. Crew. That yellow skirt is one of my favorites. Wool. Beautiful fit. I love it!
Now—that’s not to say that everything from J. Crew is perfect for me. I have an issue with Crew’s jeans. For some weird reason, the brand’s jeans just do not fit me well. The rise is either too low or, if higher, just looks odd on me.
No big deal because after years and years of searching for the perfect fitting jeans, I found them last year at Nordstrom Rack. AG Jeans. Yes. They are on the pricey side but at Nordstrom Rack, the brand can be found for a fraction of the price. I’ve also discovered 1822 Denim Jeans which I purchased at Marshalls but are also available at Nordstrom Rack.
I was introduced to AG Jeans last year at Nordstrom Rack and I now have five pairs. I LOVE this brand!
The fit. The different washes. The cut. These are perfect for a curvier shape and AG’s jeans hold their shape after a long day of wear!
AG Jeans. J. Crew Breton striped shirt. J. Crew Schoolboy blazer. I’ll get to the shoes later on in the post! I’m pretty much a Capsule Brander!
It so wonderful when you find that brand of jeans that fit so well!
Here’s another Capsule Brand look. AG Jeans. J. Crew shirt. Repetto ballet flats and Rondini sandals. I don’t stray too far from my favorites!
Can I just say that I’m also very loyal to Old Navy for their tee shirts? The Old Navy Fitted Tee is one of my very prized basic possessions. Might I add that I have a penchant for the white crew neck fitted tee? I am telling you that this tee is everything and a bag of chips! I’ve written about this tee many times. In fact, I was so upset when ON discontinued this shirt I wrote to them and now it’s back—even if it is only back online!
I kid you not. This is just a small number of the fitted white tees from Old Navy. I hoard them. Notice the ones that still have the tags on them. The need to be ironed. And when these tees get old and stained and wonky looking, I rip them and use them as dust cloths. Multi-taskers these shirts be! See Chippy’s paws at the top of the photo. He was ready to snack on some cotton!
Word to the wise—for a truly fitted look, order a size down. I size down from a Medium to a Small and the fit is so beautiful under a blazer or cardigan sweater. This tee is currently selling for $8.00 on the Old Navy site but watch for sales when you can get the shirt for five bucks. You’re welcome!
Old Navy’s Tee Shirt dresses are another item I have plenty of. And their jersey swing dresses– I’m telling you when Old Navy has a winner—they hit gold!
My most-worn dress this summer. I’m still wearing it. Ten bucks at Old Navy. I went back and bought four more!
Shoes are another item that I’m brand loyal with certain styles. You are all well-aware of my love for Rondini for sandals. Even if I don’t make it to St. Tropez, I can order this brand online because I have the measurements for the custom-made fit. Honestly, these sandals are the best value for the money.
Check out how well these mold to my feet. I stand with my weight toward the inside of my legs you can tell from the sandals. OMG. I love my Rondini sandals so much. My Capsule brand for sandals. My ONLY brand for sandals.
The cost? Comparable with name-brand sandals you can find at higher-end department stores. But the difference is that the sandals are custom fit and made. All leather and they wear beautifully. The sandals mold to your feet and they wear better with age. It’s become a tradition for me to treat my feet to a pair each summer.
Repetto is another brand I’m loyal to because the ballet flats fit my narrow feet beautifully. I have three pairs of Repetto’s and am in the market for a new pair, preferably in navy. These shoes wear well and I only purchase them if I happen to be in Paris during the winter or summer sales because the discount is deep!
Repetto is another favorite brand! Perfect for my narrow feet, they make my foot look pretty!
Loafers anyone? The only brand of loafer I will put on my feet is Bass Weejuns. Don’t even try to get me into another brand because I won’t do it. I’ve been wearing Weejuns since my days at St. Patrick Grammar School. That’s a lotta years. I love my Weejuns!
My beloved Weejuns. I still lean toward the old, worn, pair to the left!!!! It would be a sin if I wore any other brand loafer!
I’m not brand loyal, nor is any one heel within the confines of my Capsule brands. I think it’s because the right heel is so hard to find.
I stick to what works—even with heels!
I did have a brand of heel that I was somewhat loyal to. It’s because the heels had the perfect pointy toe. The perfect height of the heel. And beautiful toe cleavage. The brand…Ivanka Trump. Hey. I know, I know. I have no idea if her shoes are still sold because everyone knows how I feel about her daddy. If her shoes are still sold, I would never purchase another pair. But, I spent good money on the shoes that I do have, so I’ll just wear them until they fall apart—much like…. um.umm. I’m gonna be good.
There are two brands of bag that I’m encapsulating. Longchamp and Nat & Nin. I’m especially fond of the leather Longchamp bags because, like Nat & Nin, the bags are soft and pliable. I love me a buttery soft bag. If you are in Paris, you can make a stop at Sophie Sacs on Rue du Rennes where Nat & Nin bags are sold at a discounted price, or you can visit the Nat & Nin boutique on Boulevard Beaumarchais.
Leather Longchamp bags. All but one were purchased at deep discount. The red one was a birthday gift from Bonaparte!
Left side: Longchamp’s Le Pliage. This brown bag is so worn and so old but I can’t stop using it. I love the color and when we are away, it doubles as a beach bag. Multitasker! To the right is the Planetes tote also by Longchamp. This bag is filthy! I love the orange and I use it mostly in the fall and spring. I’ve lent this out to friends and co-workers because everyone just loves that color!
I haven’t used this travel bag yet, but I got it at CDG this past summer on sale. I can’t wait to use it. It’ll hold a house for cryin’ out loud!
Remember this deal I got? The cream-colored Longchamp weekender at CDG for 43 euros? I’ve gotten more than my money’s worth with use!
See how well my Repettos go with the Longchamp bag? Now you have an idea of how brand loyal I am!
My nat & nin bags. Yes. I have three of the same kind in different colors. These bags are like butta. And they are unstructured which is what I like!
One of our friends and readers, Lidia, was in Paris and sent me an email about Groom Paris bags. I swooned. I. Literally. Swooned. There are some strong feelings stirring inside me because I know that if I get my hands on one of these bags, they will be a part of my Capsule Brands. I had a dream about their website last night. Who does that??????? I do.
This. Bag. I. Covet. And I did not know this brand is sold in five stores in the USA. In Florida, San Francisco, DC, and Oregon. Oregon??????
So, I may be a few miles short of a capsule wardrobe, but these are my capsule brands. And note—I am not sponsored by any of these brands. There is no click and bait. These are brands that I love and trust and I also buy EVERYTHING on sale!
Brand love. J. Crew Factory blazer. J. Crew Tippi Sweater. Gap (not AG) jeans and Bass Weejuns. There’s not much going out of my comfort zone here!
Old Navy Tee. J. Crew Scarf and Loft Jeans (This photo was taken before I discovered AG Jeans)!
J. Crew has sales all the time and so does Old Navy. You can usually get a good deal on some of the Longchamp leather bags during Nordstrom Anniversary Sale—but my favorite leather Longchamp bag was purchased at Nordstrom Rack. You gotta search! In addition, I’ve gotten great deals on Longchamp travel bags at CDG airport in Paris. Same with Repetto.
Rondini never goes on sale—but it’s fine because the price for the custom fit is everything—and Rondini’s staff is incredibly knowledgeable, helpful and nice!
How’s your brand loyalty? Do you have Capsule Brands? Do tell!
I can’t stop thinking about the song “Brandy” since I’m writing about brands. Remember this trinket of greatness? Looking Glass and Brandy!