Summery Sums, or a Summary

With a few more weeks of summer to go, I feel ready to reflect on the season's successes and fails, so I can prepare for my warm fall capsule, which I plan to haul out in probably the second or third week of September. 

I haven't taken photos of every outfit this summer, or showed all outfits -- but as usual, many were repeats or near repeats. You have seen most "first tries" and some experiments as well. Below are a few that I don't think I showed at other times. 

What's obvious right away is that our weather was different than usual. In what other July would I be wearing a wool sweater? (Pic 3. I actually popped a blazer on top of that!)

So some of what I loved and some of what I loved less about getting dressed this year may be related to our peculiar and unusual weather this season. I need to keep that in mind for next year, when the season is unlikely to be so chilly.

I began this summer capsule around the first of June. So by capsule's end, it will have been just over 3 months. 

The Stats: 

Number of items: 55 (not counting shoes). Counting (non-gear) shoes actually worn — 60

(5 dresses; 3 skirts; 3 pants; 5 jeans; 9 shorts; 4 jackets; 5 LS shirts; 10 sleeveless tops; 6 tees; 5 sweaters.)

New items this season: 25 purchased, 2 drawn from daughter’s donate bag and kept, for a total of 27!!! 

Unworn items: 1 (the dress in Pic. 8. May still find one occasion to wear it.) 

Items worn only 2-3 times: 6  (2 of these are special occasion only items; another is the dress in #1. Opportunities for wearing severely limited by weather, and also by the fact that my strapless bra conked out and I have yet to get a new one.) 

All other items in very regular rotation. Worn between 5-25 times over approximately 90 days. Or in the case of the Bernias, worn about 50 times in 60 days or so....

Items worn more than expected: Summer knits and jeans. It is normally too hot for knits and jeans in summer here, but not this year! 

Number of trips taken during period of capsule: 8
Packing mostly stress free. Clothing travelled well. This is extremely important to me, given my lifestyle. 


Boredom level with outfits: almost 0 

Happiness factor for outfits: very high on the whole -- highest ever on average. 


Okay. If you have followed me so far, thank you. 

And now for some reflections. 

I felt great about my clothes and my wardrobe this season.I had so much fun shopping in June! :) And overall, when I looked into my closet, I felt the happiest I have ever felt with what I saw there. Getting dressed was fun and easy, I was never bored, I ran into very few laundry bottlenecks, and I never had that: "I hate my clothes" or "What can I wear?????" feeling. 

But..um...seriously....let's take a step back here. 

HALF MY CLOSET WAS BRAND NEW!!


Is this what it takes to make me happy? 

An average of 10 new items a month????  (and this doesn’t even count accessories, gear, undies, etc.) Quite apart from the financial burden, is this not a bit crazy? 

In my own defence, I really have been in closet "building" mode and it is possible I would not need to purchase so many items in another year. I had to retire at least 10 tops this season due to wear and tear and the fact that they were no longer current cuts. 

But yeah, there is the rub --- I seem to demand "current" if not "trendy" from my clothes, and that is going to necessitate a bit of churn no matter what. 

I do not think it is a coincidence that the unworn dress in #8 is 3 years old. I loved it at the time, but it no longer feels perfectly fresh, even though it is in great condition and is, I think, quite flattering. And Mr. Suz loves it on me. 

On a more positive and less self-critical note, I feel really good about this approximate number of items for a 3 month capsule. It seems to work really well for me, and I'm going to keep it as my benchmark moving into my fall capsule. Of course there will be plenty of overlap with denim and some shirts into the next capsule, and I will build my variety with footwear, other tops, jackets, etc. as the weather cools. 

Thank you for reading this far and I welcome your observations and thoughts. 


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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.

59 Comments

  • Neel replied 8 years ago

    That's a fantastic set of outfits! If you can pull out these beauties from your closet then yes you HAVE to hug your dear closet :). Although I do understand the fun (and the pressure on finances there by!) of having an almost new wardrobe :D. Most of the items you bought this season, I suspect will remain on trend even the next year round. So, I am sure you will be able to maximize the potential of your current wardrobe. You could always add a few trendier pieces when the time comes.

    And that dress in #8 deserves a place in your closet :)

  • Gracie replied 8 years ago

    Great and inspiring musings, Suz. I'm amazed at how often you wore some items, 5-25 wears in 90 days! (I think I'm good at 3-6 wears in the same period of time). And the Bernias, wow, they're glued to your pretty feet :)  I like all the outfits you posted. The dress in 8 is a head-turner, very flattering and a fantastic color and pattern size on you. Your describing it as "it no longer feels perfectly fresh" resonated with me. I think our eyes tire of seeing ourselves in the "same old-same old" and we crave change to make us feel we're evolving, that we are not stagnant, that we are keeping ourselves interesting and surprising. We probably need to be reminded that people do not remember many of our outfits and they will look fresh, flattering and fashionable to them no matter what.

  • Deb replied 8 years ago

    You are fortunate to be able to recreate your wardrobe this summer.
    I really like the way you are dressed in 1,6,7 & 8. 6 & 7 are particularly beautiful. 3 & 5 are nice casual looks. My observation of 4 Is that the jeans look good but I would prefer the striped shirt on rather than draped, as it would work better with your accessories. With the light purple shirt there are too many colours in this outfit....black, white, brown, blue, red, light purple..... by withdrawing one or two of these colours you would refine this look.

  • Sara L. replied 8 years ago

    These are great outfits and I enjoy reading about your reflections on your wardrobe.  It will be interesting to see if you are as happy with your closet next summer, assuming that many of these pieces still work and you won't have quite as much new stuff.

  • viva replied 8 years ago

    Suz, it will probably not surprise you that I can relate to a lot of what you have written here -- especially the need/desire for newness, if not trendiness. I don't keep track of wears (too much analysis for me) but I do track my purchases closely, and I bought 17 items in the same period. On the one hand that does feel like a lot -- and it is a lot -- but on the other, most were on sale, and all were much more thoughtful wardrobe-building pieces than I have made in the past (except, perhaps, the floral harem pants ... although I am still wearing those!). I have come to understand that I will always want and need some level of churn in my wardrobe. (It's also probably why I have the career that I do -- I'm onto something new every few weeks!)

    I remain envious that you were so stylish all summer long. About half of my purchases were vacation-related, the other half were made with an eye to fall layering. I really need to get back in the fashion swing.

  • ma replied 8 years ago

    Gorgeous summer wardrobe! You've built a wonderful closet with a perfect mix of classic and trend. I'm a total newbie and this is what I aspire to in my own closet.

  • jackiec replied 8 years ago

    Fantastic summary, Suz! I always love & appreciate reading these. Well done on your summer capsule - and mostly because of your high happiness factor! I am smiling as I read all this because I feel like we, on the west coast, stole all the hot summer weather this year. I was pulling out stuff I only wear on vacation because it's been so hot. You've had the opposite. Your summer capsule could easily morph into a fall capsule. I'd wear all of those outfits straight through September here.

    Love the camo BFs with the boatneck black top. I am SO copying that! I never even thought of that! I love all other outfits as well, and really like that B&W tote paired with things. Looks fresh. And don't get rid of the dress in #8 - might not feel fresh to you but looks so fresh to us! It's a classic cut and the colours are fab on you. The first dress is nice too. I like to have a few dressy things for those "just-in-case" times when you need something nice but can't figure out what. Perfect.

    Thanks again for sharing. 

  • Jaime replied 8 years ago

    Well first of all your outfits look fantastic and it is no wonder you are pleased with your summer wardrobe. You do bring up a great question about wardrobe churn - as a big churner myself I wonder if new for the sake of new has too much charm for me. For example now I am embracing the browns and burgundies that I had put aside (you know where I got those ideas) and gone cuckoo for culottes.This is completely unnecessary in any sense of simply getting dressed for my life and only makes sense when dressing is seen as a creative outlet and hobby. Then the question becomes how much do you want to spend on your hobby as opposed to your basic dressing budget. Anyway, your post is great food for thought.

  • Mo replied 8 years ago

    I hear you on the how much new we crave to make our hearts sing.  It's a quandary for sure.  Part of me thinks that having more total clothes allows for less repetition, and therefore less weariness with items at the end of a season.  I agree that a building phase is not a sustainable rate for future shopping, at least not in my world lol.  Maybe Paris Hilton can keep up with that pace ;)  
    Glad you had high happiness with your outfits.  That's what counts in the end, no matter what numbers there are!

  • Angie replied 8 years ago

    *applause*

    Your killer style radiates with your persona in these photos. I am wowed, beautiful lady. 

    Suz, you really couldn't have asked for a better way to feel about your Summer season and style. You reached Style Zen. That's what we all want. You are frugal and careful by nature. You have spent YEARS not spending on yourself at all. You needed this fresher start to the new season. And FWIW, I bought a LOT of Summer and Spring too - because 2014 has been brilliant for my style, as it has been for yours. (Thankfully I've had the weather to go along with it for a change because our Seattle Summer is stunning). 

    I do want to remind you though, that you are heading into a long Fall and Winter in Canada. And curbing your shopping habits for this period is not the answer. You will need to feel even MORE refreshed for the next leg on your calendar. So you - and me - have to make extra savvy purchasing decisions. 

    Keep the blue dress for Mr. Suz. xo

  • JAileen replied 8 years ago

    Suz, I love your style. When my style grows up it wants to be just like your style!

  • Jules replied 8 years ago

    Suz, most of what I wore this summer was new as well. And yes, a lot of jeans! It was partly due to weight gain, but also because of the weather. And I'm concerned that even if next summer is hotter and I am slimmer, the unworn dresses, etc, will be that much more dated and unappealing. 

    The big lesson for me is that I don't want to invest a lot in my purely summer wardrobe. The cropped linen pants I bought instead of shorts, because I thought I desperately needed hot weather clothing, have been barely worn - that's ok, because they were cheap. Meanwhile I have summer dresses in my closet that are 4 years old and look brand new - they just don't get worn out in our short summers, and I get "stuck" with them for long term. Even in hot summers, only my weekend house/park/cottage wear - tees and shorts - seems to show wear. So I personally won't be buying a lot of expensive exclusively summer pieces, especially dresses, going forward. I am better off with nice tops that I can also mix in to my spring and fall wardrobes. At the same time, I've realized that my favourite tee du jour, and any knitwear, probably WILL wear out - I used to mourn these every year, and try to replace with identical items. Now I just plan to buy the thing of the moment, enjoy it and move on.

    Basically, I plan to buy sparingly, and fairly low-end, but in very current looks, for future summers.

    One thing I will say, is that it was a good year for transitional footwear ;)

  • kellygirl replied 8 years ago

    You have a fabulous summer wardrobe! Loved reading through your experiences and observances. The craving for "new" and "trendy" resonated with me as well. 

  • Lisa replied 8 years ago

    It sounds like your summer wardrobe needed a big refresher and you just gave it that this season.  You should be able to purchase less overall for this portion of your wardrobe next year.  And indeed our cooler summer's have heavily affected my summer wardrobe this year.  I barely sported dresses or shorts.  In fact I only wore these items when on holiday!  Now my white jeans and white jacket were real workhorses, because they are light colors but warm in cool weather and a/c of course.  But I don't plan to pickup more light colored layering items next year, because it's too soon to predict what type of summer it will be.

  • rute replied 8 years ago

    amazing work, I confess I don't even want to do the math on my closet ;)

  • Alassë replied 8 years ago

    I enjoyed reading your post, Suz, and resonate with many of your thoughts on wardrobe churn, lacking freshness, and having the best summer yet re: capsule amount. Neat alliteration, too. :)

  • Tanya replied 8 years ago

    What a great post Suz, I really enjoyed reading it.  Lots of wonderful outfits in there as well.
    Lots of things you mentioned  really resonate with me as well, especially the need for new and fresh.  I have also done lots of shopping this season, too much really, and lot of it for emotional reason. I have never been happier with my wardrobe as well, but can not afford to keep buying at the same rate.
    I guess it will be interesting to see how the falls season unfolds :)

  • Carole replied 8 years ago

    Your summer style looks so polished, put together and I can see why you were so happy with your wardrobe this season. Well done!

  • texstyle replied 8 years ago

    So many great outfits - love to see how happy you are with your closet. And you should be happy too, you've accomplished so much in your fashion journey. I love every outfit you've shown here (not to mention all the others I've seen).  Your summer style gives me inspiration for my fall style which usually will last well into December down here.

    I still crave new as well - but I've been doing pretty good at keeping it to a few new things in a month, which is what I feel most comfortable doing.

  • Suz replied 8 years ago

    Thank you all for your thoughtful and encouraging replies. I am taking it all on board! 

    I do think this summer was unusual in a lot of ways (weather, higher needs than usual due to wear and tear on older items, and greater availability of good stuff). 

    But I also think Angie's right. I'm coming up to my LOOOOOOOONG winter season, and less shopping will not be the answer to that one. 

    Here's one positive note, though. I have already shopped the NAS so my early fall capsule has some refresher items built in. Plus I bought a few end-of-spring season things at J. Crew that are going to become part of my fall wardrobe. In other words, I don't have a lot of shopping to do for the fall. 

    I do know that I want to add a fun topper -- probably in a pattern or maybe a bright colour. (Zara, anyone???) 

    Winter is a different matter -- but one of the nice things about winter is that it's possible to upgrade or add to the knits capsule, especially, during mid-season sales just after Christmas. For some people, winter may be almost over then. For us, it is just beginning in earnest, with three to four months left! So any purchases made then get lots and lots of wear. 

    Thanks again for reading my reflections, and I'm glad I am not alone in wanting a lot of currency. I guess it will be a process to work out just how much churn feels acceptable to me, and how to go about making those decisions. 

  • columbine(erin) replied 8 years ago

    Ah I really love that blue dress. (Enough that I found a blue and white dress for my own capsule.) I hope you can a way to wear it happily. Anyway, I hear you on concerns about half your closet being new. I was seriously wardrobe building this year too. However, you said it was an unusual summer. Maybe you'll be wearing the same items but differently, with different weather patterns in the coming year, and with some strategic updates say to footwear (new walking sandals) to keep from getting burned out on your wonderful wardrobe.

  • Parsley replied 8 years ago

    I can see why you've been happy with your summer capsule, Suz- it's great!
    You have a range of versatile outfits that you feel good in, and that work for your needs. 
    Personally, I wouldn't worry too much about having bought some new things. I think it's OK for fashion to be a priority for you, and to spend accordingly as long as it's within your budget. And I think it's OK to sometimes just get tired of your older stuff and want a change. I've found that I have some items that I wore to death last year, and that are still in style and look good on me but I'm not reaching for them in my closet. I've figured out that I like novelty, and within reason I don't think there's any shame in that. When I love something I don't mind wearing it all the time, but then eventually I tire of it and move on. Oh, well.
    I suspect that you might want a slightly bigger winter capsule, just since your winter is long and you may crave more variety after awhile, but then you can always add a couple of refresher pieces mid-season, too.

  • Laura (rhubarbgirl) replied 8 years ago

    Ah, the desire for constant newness, how I know it well! I was thinking about this last night after the thread about shoes came up, and Mo mentioned that her new goal was to buy one new pair a season. Sounded great until I realized that if I own 36 pairs of shoes, that means that my shoes would need to last on average nine years before they got replaced. Somehow the phrase 'highly unlikely' doesn't quite capture it - on both a wear/practical level and a trend/emotional one!

    I don't know what the conclusion to draw from this is - I do think that sometimes the stars align and the fashion available is just perfect for your style and a nearly complete refresh is in order. As long as your budget allows and you're not putting yourself in financial jeopardy I think it's just one of those things that happens.

  • Suz replied 8 years ago

    Yes, Laura and Marcy -- I think you're both right, that sometimes it's really okay to enjoy the riches in the shops. After all, maybe next year I won't like anything available! Or won't have time to shop. You never know. 

    Marcy, I'll definitely want a bigger winter capsule. But my idea is to break my capsules up into 2 or 3 month "sections" based on the sub-season. So...from mid September until the end of October will be one -- what I call "warm fall." It isn't really all that warm, but it's not winter boot weather or winter coat weather. It's more "trench over a jacket" weather. 

    Then there will be an "early winter" capsule for two months that includes the holidays. (November/ December). This is the time of year when I can still usually wear booties, and my wool coats come out. 

    Then a "deep winter" capsule (Jan/ Feb). Snow boot time, skinnies tucked into tall boots time, heavy sweater time, puffer coat time. 

    Then "cold spring" (March/ April) Slushy, mucky, and still need the puffer coat but can sometimes wear the wool coat instead. Still need boots. 

    Then "spring" (May, early June). 

    Then back to summer. 

    Heheh, you see the crazy logic here. It's all an attempt to trick myself into believing that summer is really my LONGEST season.  :) 

  • Suja replied 8 years ago

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on your summer wardrobe!  I love hearing about what works and doesn't work for others.  I, personally, seem to go through major wardrobe shifts every year due to pregnancies, weight loss, weight gain or more recently, a new job.  So I have bought a lot in each of the last few years because my style journey changed so much.  I do wonder if refreshing my wardrobe with a few new pieces each season is a mirage on the horizon :)  In your case, you are so thoughtful and practical so I think you are more likely to settle into a seasonal refresh pattern once you figure out the ideal wardrobe size for you.

    You look great!  Continue to rock on and have fun.

  • catgirl replied 8 years ago

    Look at your amazing analysis! And outfits of course. This issue Is a concern - being both picky and fickle means a LOT of churning. That is what I am trying to stop in my own closet as I swing between "fewer/better" and "more/cheaper". How can we find stable ground?

    Also there is no question that you and I have enough to survive the winter. The issue is whether we can survive it happily...

  • Elly replied 8 years ago

    Super exciting Suz-- it seems like you've found a really good number. I would expect it to go up slightly in fall and even more in winter as you layer more. However, I could be wrong because sometimes combos of layerable items keep things feeling fresh and can actually require fewer garments for the same feeling . . . but can cause laundry bottlenecks depending on your needs. 
    There are a lot of great, very YOU looks here. 1, 3, and 4 are my very favorite. The dress in 8 is fine, but  not my favorite. 

  • Elizabeth P replied 8 years ago

    LOL Suz.  I wasn't going to comment on this thread right now, because I don't have time to do it justice, but your comment about summer being the longest season just about cost me my keyboard (as I almost spit my tea all over it) so I just had to chime in.  I LOVE your musings.  So thank you.  I intend to do a similar analysis sometime soon, and your reflections have helped get my thinking cap going - which is just coming out of cottage mode - which does NOT involve the word "style" :).  I also resonated a lot with what Jules said, and think a lot of her reality is also mine.  Which needs to get reflected in my summer purchasing moving forward. 

    As you know, we're neck and neck over summer purchases, a race I am happy (and need) to bow out of  :)

  • gardenchick replied 8 years ago

    Wow...you look fab in every photo..and each is a different look!

    I agree with JAilleen that I'm hoping to get to that point some day...when I grow up?

    Such a great question about how much one needs to buy in order to feel "refreshed" seasonally. I often tend to feel that I'm buying too much, but in fact most of my new items have gotten a ton of wear.

  • Sal replied 8 years ago

    Thanks for sharing. Everything lined up for you this season and you had fun and looked great.

    It is fun when that happens! I really like the blue dress in 8- it is a classic style and will get worn again in a warmer summer.

  • Angie replied 8 years ago

    Suz, you DO have a fabulous head start to Fall from the NAS. Me too. xo

  • replied 8 years ago

    Suz -- I love posts like this.  You are so thoughtful and analytical that I know I will thoroughly enjoy your analysis (and learn a lot about myself in the process).  Due to a time constraint, I will have to come back to this later.  

  • replied 8 years ago

    If I send you my credit card information , will you please just take over?  I am exhausted by trying to find clothes I like.  You and I have a similar work lifestyle and climate concerns - so you know what to do !  You can even charge me commission :)

    In all seriousness, your thoroughness is to be admired. I am not quite up to your level of detail and energy for all of this, but I hope to be one day because it's so apparent that's what it takes to build a good wardrobe. I have been shopping and looking a lot in the past two weeks, and have found almost nothing that inspires me.  Where are all the fall clothes???  

  • Gigi replied 8 years ago

    Great pics, and I enjoyed reading about your wardrobe and the numbers. 

    Although you bought a lot of new things, you still had a lot of stuff from the previous year, including shoes (I see the Okalas!), and shoes are usually some of the most expensive purchases. And you wore the heck out of your new Bernias, which is proof of a good purchase. 

    Yes, half your wardrobe was new, but it sounds like you clearly had to replace quite a bit of stuff. (It always seems like everything wears out at the same time, doesn't it?) I think that a newer wardrobe does have a part to play in why you were so excited about your summer outfits, but I don't think that's the *only* reason. After all, we've all bought new stuff only to wear it a couple of times and then see it languish in the closet. But it sounds like you wore everything you bought, which means you have been spending your money on the right things. I'd rather spend $1,000 on clothes I love than $500 on clothes that make me feel only so-so.

    I think that you will still enjoy these items next year. And you might be surprised about the dress. It is older, yes, but when next year rolls around and you find that you haven't worn it for quite a while, it may look fresh again. I have found that some of the items that I wore to death before YLF that I couldn't stand to wear once I got new clothes are starting to look fresher to me after a year of letting them sit. I think we just experienced overload from wearing the same items from our teeny-tiny closets over and over. After the items in question have a rest, maybe they will be more than ready to come back into the game.

  • cheryl replied 8 years ago

    You have a gorgeous wardrobe full of beautiful pieces. You look wonderful in all of them and my favorites are #3, 5 and 6. You know I love casual, lol. I am the same way as you. I like to frequently add new items to refresh my wardrobe. I think that is why I am a quantity over quality person. I don't need classic pieces that last years and years. I need inexpensive fun or trendy items that I can love and then not feel bad to add more inexpensive fun and trendy items that I love. :)

  • Suz replied 8 years ago

    Kiwi and Gigi, I think you are probably right about the dress. It won't hurt to hang onto it for another season. Also, it feels like a "sundress" to me -- and we didn't get a whole lot of days when I might wear that type of thing. I mean, I do wear it in the evening (out for dinners, etc.) but typically I liked to wear it on really sunny evenings when we'd be eating on a patio or something like that, you know? So, its day may come again next year. 

    I have to confess I cheated with the Okalas. I did buy them last year, but in the WINTER (on sale) -- as a "prospective" purchase for the coming spring! I'm really glad I did that. They've been a really nice addition. 

    And you are so wise to suggest -- better to spend a bit more on items we love rather than less on items we don't really care for. And especially with tops, they DO all wear out at once! My summer tops have a short life, since I don't have air con. 

    Lisa, you flatter me way too much. I know how great you always look! But I completely hear you on the stores -- fall stuff is not in yet, really. Online it is a bit better, but not a lot, yet. 

    Sterling, Angie -- thank you both. 

  • Caro in Oz replied 8 years ago

    Money well spent I say.You are looking so good Suz - I've been wowed by your WIWs.

    As you wrote, you are still building your wardrobe. If you subtract your purchases for replacement items from your figures they are pretty good imo. As Angie says it was a good season for you so you would be silly not to buy.
    Next summer will be really interesting :)

  • Windchime replied 8 years ago

    Fun headline, Suz, and great fun to read your analysis of your summer capsule. No wonder you were so happy with your summer wardrobe; you have looked amazing in one outfit after another! And I LOVE the way you plan your capsules so summer is your longest season! Very optimistic of you to call March "early spring." :)
    I, too, have concluded that I'm better off with half a dozen or so shorter-season capsules than with just four.
    I'll look forward to watching how you transition to fall.

  • replied 8 years ago

    Me again - and further to one of your later comments in this thread re: mini capsules for our horridly long winter season - that is a fantastic idea, and so so what we need to do. I'm with you - I like to refresh with Dec/Jan sale stuff I can still wear for a few more months. But it's the Sept-Oct and Mar-April ones that still matter and need attention to!  We should form a School of Canadian Women's Wardrobe Studies.  Undergrad and Graduate programs available.  

    I need to get into my fall.winter stuff and see what's there - but I can't make myself get into the cedar closet and look - too soon.  But not really.

  • catgirl replied 8 years ago

    YOU CRACK ME UP.

    I think of seasons as follows.

    September - May: WINTER
    June - August: CONFUSING

    Maybe I need to take your approach and break down capsules for every couple of months so even if it's all the same kind of stuff it doesn't feel that way.

    Love this thread!

  • Mo replied 8 years ago

    Ha ha ha.  The seasons are so different to us all.  I have 3.  Tahoe.  Florida.  In between.  :)

  • Suz replied 8 years ago

    Yeah, Lisa, we should definitely have a School of Canadian Wardrobe Studies!! It can be based in Canada, but really it is "northern" to include our Alaskan and Norwegian friends...even our Scottish ones, probably. :) 

    And Una, yeah!! In Alaska, June - August would definitely be confusing! 

    I'm honestly breaking it down the way I'm planning to simply to prevent boredom. You know....sort of like the way you might hide some toys from your toddler and then bring them out as a "surprise" after a few weeks. 

    There's a play called "I am my own mother." 

    Well, I am my own toddler.   :)

    Mo, Tahoe, Florida, and everything else makes sense for you!! Completely!! This is what I mean about dressing for our real lives. You have mastered it for the Florida climate in years of late. You've had no choice! 

  • Aida replied 8 years ago

    Interesting observations Suz! The one about newness is most illuminating, and I wholly resonate with it. When the collections feature was added, I made a SS14 collection that housed all my purchases for spring/summer... and when I counted them I found it's a very sheepish 40 (plus a few more things that I couldn't collect). WAY more than I'd thought or planned!! To be fair I had an entire capsule to create (the active-casual) and I also had to replace several things due to weight loss, but still. It's a very large number. I don't think I need quite so heavy a turnover next season, and I don't expect that you would either. Especially since the purchases you made that I can think of are all trendy or on trend, with fluid fits, so they're not going to date any time soon. Fingers crossed for both of us ;)

    Along those lines, it's also possible that with the fit changes you just needed to update more of your wardrobe to make it all feel current enough.

    Also interesting to hear about the changes from what you expected due to your summer being cooler than normal. I had the exact opposite! So a few of the "summer" pieces I bought, that would work well with our normally mild summers, were rarely worn while my preexisting shorts and tanks got a LOT more wear than usual. These types of things are hard to anticipate though, and it sounds like you've now got both warm and cool summer items under control so whatever is thrown your way next year, you'll have a foundation in place.

    I look forward to reading about your fall and, later, winter purchases and summary.

    (PS: you look smashing in these outfits!)

  • Karie replied 8 years ago

    Even though you purchased a lot of clothes, you are wearing them, and you are happy with them - that's a major goal achievement. In my past shopping life, I would "settle" for lesser quality, not such a great fit, etc. - like you, I am getting away from that. I say you had a brilliant summer!

  • Elizabeth P replied 8 years ago

    School of Canadian Wardrobe Studies... YES!!! With an advanced degree in East Coast, where you can expect three seasons in one day, and your forecasts frequently look like this... (Aka "we don't have a freaking clue")

  • Suz replied 8 years ago

    Hahahahah!!!! Yup....Elizabeth, we will have a CHAIR in that one. ;) 

    The holder of the chair of course requires a full wardrobe for each eventuality. 

  • Elizabeth P replied 8 years ago

    Cough cough.

  • replied 8 years ago

    Hey - I have been known to sport a hoodie, shorts, tank top , and a rain jacket, oh and rubber boots all on the same day !  In Manitoba we like to say " if you don't like the weather, just wait 5 minutes" .  !!

  • Gaylene replied 8 years ago

    Great analysis, Suz! And gorgeous outfits.

    I think Shevia makes a good point about dressing as a hobby as opposed to a necessity. Maybe thinking of some of your purchases as a hobby instead of a need is a way of reconciling your desire for newness?

  • Suz replied 8 years ago

    Gaylene, you and Shevia are wise. It actually does help to look at it that way. After all, I spend so much for books, for cooking materials, for fitness gear and/or gym membership per year -- why not also a percentage for fashion that goes beyond mere "need." 

    I will chew on that a bit and think about what percentage might be reasonable. Good point. Thank you both. 

  • replied 8 years ago

    You have done an AMAZING job of getting a handle on wardrobe planning.  I bow down to you.  

  • Alassë replied 8 years ago

    FWIW, Suz, I have split my clothing budget into "needs" and "wants" for a while. It's another way to categorize, and it seems to account for fashion-as-hobby nicely. You still have to set amounts, which is another can o' worms, but it's a start.

  • Sveta replied 8 years ago

    Suz, as always your "musing" posts are very illuminating and resonating with me. I don't have to tell you that I love your outfits and every time I see them it is a highlighyt of my day.

    But girl, I am going to hold you to these words in the months to come:  "In other words, I don't have a lot of shopping to do for the fall. "
    Somehow I don't believe this - expect some hand slapping in the near future!

    :-)

    Seriously though I can so resonate on a big portion of the wardrobe being new (hey, I was your partner in crime for June binge, remember?)

    However is it newness or currentness of the items I really crave? On one hand I seem to reach for new for the season items more than for the older ones. Even ones I loved last summer I don't wear nearly as much this season (blush khakis? yellow blazer?) On the other hand one of the most used items in my wardrobe is Gap denim biker from the last year.  I love the combination of a soft color with the sharp boxy style. It feels plenty current to me and I am hard pressed to find any outfit it does not work well with.

    I found that I really need to refresh my wardrobe for each season. What I am not sure is how big this "refresher" should be - 5%? 20% 50% (I hope not!) - to keep me happy.

    Also unlike you I don't think I can say that I feel my happiest this season  - but this may be a side effect of a size change and the fact that a lot of my things do not fit perfectly as before. I am never happy when the fit is not 100% right!

    I am away on business now but when I am back I am  going to reflect on MY summer style and learnings from it as well - thanks for the inspiration!

  • Runcarla replied 8 years ago

    Great musing Suz. I'm needing a refresh, and have a short, but important list of 'needs'. Now does not seem to be the best time for B&M fall fashion. The stores are all posting 70% off sales and clearing out summer stock. The mannequins in the windows are wearing white jeans and plastic bags!

    Oh! And sign me up for the BFA* program with the CSWS, please. Honours Budget Fashion. Thesis topic: 'No Retail Stone Unturned: Shopping Mark's Work Wearhouse and Canadian Tire."

    *Bachelor of Fashion Arts

  • rachylou replied 8 years ago

    I love your seasons, Una. Spot on!

    I think about this all the time: I like to pick up something every month. I just like to. I'd rather a new sweater than a movie. But I always feel that's not really the way it's supposed to be. You're supposed to buy some clothes once a year, mostly replacements, and be done.

  • Dee replied 8 years ago

    Your summer wardrobe looks fantastic, as always! But it was your musings on your preference for your new or "current" items really resonated with me. I also find myself reaching for my newer items, which was not fine exactly, but not a huge problem when I had a closet full of cheaper/fast fashion items. Now that I've started buying higher quality pieces, I need to either be more careful of a high turnover rate or commit to having a much smaller wardrobe and accept it as a natural part of that. Hmm. Definitely food for thought!

  • SW replied 8 years ago

    It's awesome that you've come to a point where you love all your outfits. I too struggle with the need to purchase something new in order to feel current. I do agree with some of the previous commenters that a lot of this comes from how trendy pieces are, so I've tried to move away from buying anything that is TOO on-trend.

  • lyn67 replied 8 years ago

    Loved to read your great analysis, Suz! All these outfits are gorgeous, and very very you! You must have reached your style zen, indeed-and it's so liberating to not struggle when packing for a trip, but this means work. Lot of work, and money:-(.

    Actually I had some of your  same revelations. Our summer was a  unusually cold and rainy, too, so somehow it made some sense that I also  purchased a lot. Including  mesh sweaters/cardis, other  fluid knits and 3(!)BF chinos-as I did not have any other springy pants  than my white BFjeans. But I also felt, like Angie, the spring/ summer colections  was uber great this year-so I purchased some great mixmedia summer tops, and sandals, too. 

    Who thought we will wear sweaters in summer, and so many pants outfits I did and still do-we almost didn't have summer weather at all. It was all spring:-(. So, my beloved hot weather  capsule(mostly dresses) from last years was staying almost unworn in my closet, meanwhile the new items have been worn a lot. And, this terrified me, too! At the beginning of the season, I thought I am much prepared to go with what I have, but it prooved to be the very contrary. As dear Sveta already said in her recent thread, I was so dissapointed to find out my well worked on  wardrobe still has big gaps to fill in. Exactly when I just wanted to consider it done!

    And now, I see so many fall clothes that are screaming my name:-)...It just never ends???:-((

  • CocoLion replied 8 years ago

    Thanks for this informative report Suz.  It has helped me figure out my own wardrobe count.  In my last capsule test thread I asked for numbers suggestions -- and I was actually thinking 60 per season would make me happy.  That's 240 total however there is overlap between seasons of 25-50% so the total would be around 180 for me, including footwear and "uniform" needs.

    I don't think I will be creating a strict capsule for September, as I had planned.  First of all I have trouble with anything strict.  Like SYC for example?!  It's started to feel tedious.  But I'm glad I did it.  I realized I need very few smart casual clothes, but that I could be purchasing more for my "uniform" and not just wearing the cheapest, dingiest things (greyed white button downs, I'm looking at YOU).  And, I think I have come up with a wardrobe count of 180 or at least under 200.  That was one of my main goals.  I know that's a high number for many, but although I have a fairly mild climate, I do have distinct seasons with more extremes than when I lived in Coastal California.  The extremes -- hot summer requiring very lightweight clothing -- and a chilly but not exactly cold winter requiring warm sweaters, and some foul weather gear -- will be packed away each season.  I like that they feel fresh when I pull them out each year.

    I do love to shop and keep a refreshed wardrobe, but as long as I spend within my means AND practice one-in, one-out, I am going to be at peace with my largish wardrobe.

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