This is my third year showing my Spring Capsule Wardrobe.
You’ll find links and prices of what I bought at the end of the post.
I use my Capsule Wardrobe recipe to put together a set of clothes that will take me from April to June.
Here in France that means from very cold weather through to (hopefully) some beautiful warm sunny days.
In your region Spring may be very different.
This Capsule is just to inspire you to sort out your own clothes into a seasonal capsule. It helps you always look well styled, plus you never waste time wondering what on earth to pack or even to wear.
What is a seasonal capsule wardrobe?
My capsule wardrobe recipe suggests selecting about three bottoms, nine tops, two or more pairs of shoes, a few accessories and one or two bags. This will be what you wear for the season. Every item will go with every other item. You will have lots and lots of outfits to suit your lifestyle.
That doesn’t sound like a lot for three months, especially as the weather can change so often. But over the years I’ve found it’s just about right for me.
That’s because I’m well into my seventies, retired, mainly living in the countryside, eating occasionally with friends or at small town restaurants, visiting museums and galleries sometimes and (always) careful about money.
If I’d been making a capsule twenty years ago, I’d probably have chosen more items because my days were more varied then, and frankly, I had more cash! I’d have been dressing for work, family, weekend outings, upmarket restaurants and city breaks.
So, if you’re starting a capsule wardrobe, bear in mind all the various activities you need clothes for.
How we look when we’re well over 50
A word of warning: If you’re new to these try-ons I do, then you may initially be a bit taken aback by what you see.
I want this blog to be authentic. And I want to see more real women of my age – 72 – in the media. I get really down when everything I want to buy is modelled by a woman 7 inches or more taller, three stone lighter and 50 years younger.
So, yes, I do look heavy. That’s because like so many women of my age I’m finding it almost impossible to shift the extra pounds I’ve accumulated across my middle and hips. In these photos I’m 146 pounds, mainly wearing UK size 14/US size 10. I’m short and square at just 62 inches tall.
I blame it on the rationing we had in Britain when I was born shortly (pun intended!) after the second world war. (Or could it be the chocolate?)
Colors for a capsule wardrobe
Color co-ordination has to be at the heart of a capsule wardrobe. If you just buy all the colors you like, you’ll find you need many more clothes. Your closet will get jam-packed and your purse will get depleted.
For Spring 2022 I’ve decided on navy as my anchor or base color. It’s easier to wear than black, grey or brown and it is perennially fashionable. I’m a classic casual style type. Navy works well for us classic gals.
As my second color I’ve chosen pink. A pale pink that adds femininity after a winter of heavy jeans and big woolen sweaters, and a hot pink that adds a splash of energy to the look. Bright colors are in fashion this year with bold pink, yellow and green being the front runners.
But like all trends, especially at our age (this blog is for women well over 50), a little goes a long way. Yes, I could have bought lots more items in the hot pink that is so much fun this season. But by next year it would look tired and over-done. So a touch here and there of pink is all I need.
My recipe suggests an optional third color. I’ve got touches of a paler denim blue and various accessories in tan. So I’ll leave things at that.
Silhouettes for Spring 2022
As I have a thick waist and large hips I like to dress so that my top looks bigger. That means one of the new boyfriend shirts is ideal. But also a structured jacket which draws attention to the broad shoulder line helps.
Sleeves this year are mainly rolled up or pushed up. Good news for me as that bigs up my top even more. And a little bare skin even on the forearm helps lengthen my silhouette.
My Spring 2022 Capsule Wardrobe at 72
So here’s the list of what is in my capsule right now. Yes, this is what I really wear. Nothing is sponsored!
I explain if an item is new or if I’ve had it for a while. Because a capsule is all about recycling items from previous years by putting them together in new color or silhouette combinations. Then adding in a few new items to add interest and bring the look bang up to date.
The three bottoms I chose for Spring 2022
- Navy linen tapered pants
- Mid-wash straight-cut jeans
- Navy wash Mom jeans
My linen pants are in this year’s new shape – wide but slightly tapered. They’ve got a comfortable elasticated waistband at the back which I need this year as I’ve increased my waist size.
To give a relaxed and looser look there are pleats at the front.
They come with a fabric tie belt but I prefer no belt if I’m wearing a top without tucking in. I’ve used a leather belt otherwise. Frankly, I’m just too tubby to knot a fabric tie at the front this year!
I’ve had the regular straight-cut denim jeans a few years now. They’re a good weight for Spring and they just crease over the ankle which is becoming popular again.
Dark blue Mom jeans. These are a lighter weight cotton than most denims. They echo the navy theme and although I’ve had them several years I think they still look reasonably smart for casual wear. The high rise helps control the middle flab from rolling over.
The nine tops I chose for Spring 2022
- Navy cotton blazer
- Blue striped boyfriend shirt
- Cream silk shirt
- Pale pink short-sleeve tee
- Hot pink sleeveless vest (tank)
- Striped pink long-sleeved tee (similar)
- Striped navy and white Breton tee
- Pale pink cashmere cardigan
- Knitted cotton vest
- Plus… one cotton dress
Blazers are everywhere this season and they are a great wardrobe staple. The straight shoulder line looks smart on anyone with a rounded figure.
The single button closure is good for a short person. A double-breasted blazer can only really be worn by someone tall unless the jacket is very short.
You’ll find many jackets, even in petite, have very long sleeves this year. That’s because the trend is to push up the sleeves or roll them over once or twice and show an interesting lining fabric. It’s that eighties/nineties vibe again.
This blazer has a pretty striped lining to the sleeves, ideal for adding a crisp note of Spring.
The boyfriend shirt
I bought the boyfriend shirt earlier this year. They are very popular this year so I’ve done a post on boyfriend shirts and how to style them here.
It works well on its own hanging straight over jeans and disguising that waist a bit. But it also looks good over a tee or under the jacket, so it will be a useful item this season.
The silk shirt
I bought this two years ago and the try-on post I did then is still available here.
Cream is good for Spring and Fall whereas white looks best in high summer. I can dress the silk shirt up with a necklace and the jacket, or dress it down by letting it hang as a layer over the navy pants.
The tee shirts
I bought four new tee shirts in the sales last Fall. I’d already decided Spring would be pink and navy so I stocked up on those colors while prices were low.
The short-sleeve is pale pink which makes a good base layer on a cool day or a feminine top when the sun is warm. The sleeves are long enough to cover any poor tone at the top of the arm.
The hot pink vest makes a fun basic layer under other tops or the blazer. If I’m sunbathing in my garden I will wear it as is.
The sugar-pink stripey tee is my favorite. It’s cut square so it skims over my middle area. With its long sleeves it can be worn on its own over jeans or popped under a layer when the weather’s cool for a casual take on the classic jacket and tee look.
The slash-neck navy Breton style tee is a staple wardrobe item. The neckline helps draw the eye upwards by giving a broad line at the neck. I have a whole variety of these in various widths. They are an essential in any French woman’s chic wardrobe, whether she’s nineteen or nintey.
The warmer layers
When the weather changes so quickly it’s essential to wear layers. So my Fall and Spring wardrobes always include plenty.
This year I bought a shortish baby pink cashmere cardigan from Boden. It feels beautifully soft. Fine cashmere is warm and comforting yet never too heavy for a bright day.
I bought the cardigan as a crew neck so that I can wear it on its own as a top or half button it over any of my other tops.
As I was browsing on marksandspencer.com I noticed a sleeveless cardigan. With the popularity of shirts this year this looked perfect. It’s a great way to add warmth yet still show your patterned shirt sleeves.
Shortly after I’d ordered it I read an article saying that these sleeveless men’s-waistcoat-style knitteds are selling like crazy. Even the retailers are surprised by their popularity.
It’s a useful layer over jeans but can easily go under the jacket too. And the broad shoulder line is right up to date again.
My ‘one special item’ is a flouncy dress in pale denim blue. This look has been in style for a couple of years now and looks set to continue. So when I saw this simple but very pretty feminine dress in the local supermarket I snapped it up.
I’ve looked everywhere for a midi flouncy frock but nobody seems to do them in petite. So they come to my ankles and drown me. The alternative is to buy a mini. On a petite these usually come to the knee or just over, as in this dress. This length is a little shorter than I’d wish but will look better when my legs are tanned.
Shoes, bags and accessories for Spring 2022
- Navy and tan loafers (similar)
- Footbed strap sandals
- White sneakers
- Straw and fabric shoulder bag
- Leather cross-body camera bag
- Leather belt
- Gold chains
- Gold hoop earrings
- Turquoise pendant and drop earrings
- Navy patterned hair band (similar)
As I’ll be mooching around vide greniers and discovering new little towns throughout the west of France this Spring I invested in some comfy navy and tan loafers. They’re wide cut and have leather insoles so they don’t get too hot and they never pinch however much walking I do. Nice, neat shoes which complete the classic casual look with jeans and a jacket.
I bought them from my local supermarket here in France but most retailers have something like them. The link is to wide-fit loafers by marksandspencer.com which are very similar.
For warmer days I’ll be wearing a pair of double-strap sandals as they are still in fashion this year. The sole is shaped to the foot so, again, they are easy to wear, which is essential when things heat up a bit! I bought these a year ago.
I’ve bought a new pair of white sneakers. Canvas shoes get dusty over a season so are worth replacing every year. They’ve been in every woman’s wardrobe for a couple of years or more now.
Of course they go with jeans but these days they are often worn with a jacket for a smarter look or with a dress for a casual look. Just like the striped tee, the white canvas sneaker is central to casual chic today.
I like to buy a new inexpensive bag most seasons and I found this feminine straw and fabric bag in a little shop in Aubeterre – a beautiful old stone town near me. It was so inexpensive I didn’t think twice.
But I’m also going to continue using my leather camera bag I bought last Fall. It is so useful and the color goes well with my navy shoes and leather belt.
I’ve been wearing the same three or four gold chains of various weights for years now. But they still look the part. I like hoop earrings and I’ve been gradually choosing thicker and thicker ones. Again these are still in fashion and can be both smart and casual.
In the same little boutique as I found my bag I bought some turquoise earrings and a turquoise pendant. They lift the navy a bit and as I so often wear green through blue, turquoise is a good choice for me.
The hair accessories
I’m wearing my hair drawn back into a pony tail, single plait (braid) or messy bun most days now. So I’m accumulating a number of scrunchies. These hold my hair without damaging it. Regular bands can often be a bit too tight so that the hair doesn’t look smooth across the crown.
I’ve got cream and tan leather-look scrunchies for when I’m wearing the navy and tan shoes or the leather belt. And I’ve got a fun pale blue scrunchie for when I’m wearing a dress or want a more summery look.
My daughter gave me one of the trendy fabric-covered hair bands you’ll see on social media. They are usually wide and have a knot at the top or are decorated with beads and pearls. I like the look of the navy band with my hair back. It’s a bit difficult to see it in the photo but it gives an outfit a slightly Frieda Kahlo look. (So perhaps I should complete that look by making my eyebrows darker and heavier. Perhaps not!)
The band doesn’t work so well with my hair down. So if you buy one try various hair styles.
I hope these real life pictures get you thinking about putting together a Capsule Wardrobe for yourself. Few of us well over 50 are tall, slender and as shapely as models are. But that’s no reason to despair. With a little planning we can still have fun putting together outfits.
And feel the confidence that goes with knowing we’re making the best of ourselves.
Getting help with your wardrobe
If you’d like a step-by-step plan for slimming down your closet, without getting overwhelmed by the task, then take a look at my Mature Style Course. It’s video and text-based and helps you dress for your body shape as well as your lifestyle, personality and budget.
Here are links to the US sites for some of the clothes I’m wearing. They are affiliate links so, if you click on them and buy, I may get a small commission at no cost to you. Thank you for your support.
If you found this post interesting why not look back at some of my earlier capsule wardrobes:
Capsule wardrobe Winter 2021-2
I m using my computer to follow on, here in canada’s capital Ottawa On.
it is working well.
Very envious of you living in France . Was a dream of mine.
Paris being my favourite city.
I turned 78 in March.
it is cold here this spring so, it will be a few weeks before I take my Spring and summer things out of hiding.
will be checking in on you again. enjoy your writing.
Thanks for letting me know, Dianne, that the menu is OK on your computer. Yes, I love Paris too. I’m looking forward to taking some overnight trips there this year now that Covid seems (??) to be receding. Thrilled you are enjoying the blog at 78. We’re so much younger than we thought we’d be…if you know what I mean! Joni x
Today I ordered a white linen shirt from Marks and Spenser and a linen blend black and white skirt. If you spend over $100 Canadian there is no shipping or handling. Finding a plain white shirt is not easy for some reason. Not keen on buying pants on line as I have no hips so a summer skirt with an elastic waist will fit better I hope. It’s still cool here in southern Ontario most days but we generally go straight to summer with horrid humidity
Hi Brenda. I’m pleased that M&S are offering free shipping to Canada. They are getting much better adapted to online sales these days. And I do think they offer good value and fashionable – not outlandish – clothing for our age group. Hope you love your shirt. Yes, elastic waists are a bit of a bonus for us after 50 or so! Joni x
The blouse came in a timely fashion, very nice with shell buttons, got my daughter’s seal of approval. The skirt fits and I think with look nice with a black tank
I hope you love wearing your new top and skirt Brenda! Joni x
I think you’re beautiful! Thank you for posting what many women struggle with as we mature❤️
What a nice comment, Gail! It’s so good to hear from older women around the world – it’s easy to feel isolated these days especially with lots of activities ceasing due to worries over Covid. Joni x
I love your look!
Hi Alice. Glad you like the clothes I show. Of course I can only demonstrate my own style and I realize it’s not everyone’s taste. So it’s great to have positive comments. Thanks. Joni x
It is way past my supper time. Got involved in your post. I need to tackle my closet for spring tomorrow. Love your look for older ladies and good for here in MN. Marge
Hi Marge. So pleased you liked the post. Joni x