This year’s weather has been erratic and here on the French Riviera is no exception.
After a summer that broke heat records, suddenly things have got very wet and cold even though I have moved hundreds of miles south.
I still believe making a seasonal selection of clothes is worthwhile, but I also realize we may have to have backup items if we find ourselves in unlikely temperatures and use layers to give our wardrobe flexibility.
Most of the new items I purchased were in the sale (mid December 2022). Obviously several items in my wardrobe are no longer available.
I’ve added links to retailers where items are in stock. These are affiliate links so if you click and buy I will usually get a small commission at no cost to you. Thanks for your support. At the end of this post I’ve put a grid of some of the clothes. You can roll over an image to get the price. But this will likely be the full price so click through to get the latest discounts from the retailer.
Showing it like it is
As always I keep these try-ons authentic. I’m short, square, overweight and 73. My pics are of a real woman not a photoshopped model because I believe we need more images of older women in the media otherwise we’ll lose confidence in how we look. Why should we be invisible once our bodies start to change? Vive la difference!
Apologies however for the poor quality of the photos. Where I’m currently staying lacks a long mirror so I needed to take phone selfies which don’t work well at distance. I told you this was all about the real!
The Capsule Wardrobe basic recipe
I set my ‘recipe’ out in this post several years ago and, if you follow my blog, you’ll know that I’ve followed those rules every season since.
That means that instead of wondering every day what I should wear, I’ve got just a few items hanging ready and I select from those. Everything else gets put out of sight so I don’t get distracted.
I like to have three, perhaps four bottoms. Plus around nine or so tops, depending if I include lots of layering items.
I add footwear, accessories and jewelry and hey presto! I’m sorted for the next three months.
Dressing for my lifestyle
I adore party clothes and elegant dresses but I simply don’t need them more than a couple of times a year. So I don’t include these usually. I lead a simple life and, in general, socializing is a very casual affair.
If you work, or love to go out in the evening, or if you’re dating, your capsule wardrobe will look very different from mine. But it doesn’t need to be larger. It’s all a question of sticking to the plan.
Something old, something new, something recycled and something you adore!
There’s no need to buy a whole new set of clothes to make a capsule that you’ll love wearing. I try not to wear anything I wore a lot the season before so it has time to recover. And I try not to wear too many of the same items that appeared in my previous winter’s wardrobes. That’s just to keep getting dressed more fun!
Second-hand items and a few new clothes
Three months ago my Fall wardrobe was determinedly recycled, using charity shop purchases alongside clothes I already had in my closet. In fact I don’t think I bought anything new at all.
This winter capsule includes several new items mixed in with some charity shop second-hand garments. And of course I reselect some things I already own. Life would get boring if we always wore the same set of clothes, after all.
If you like my poncho take a look at the great ponchos and ruanas available and how to style them.
Use color to make the wardrobe look new
By varying the color palette each season I find I can re-wear clothes successfully. Each season I choose a base color, a secondary color and a small amount of a third color to add a dash for extra interest.
My base color this winter
I’ve deviated a bit from my usual three colors. I wanted to buy a jacket and trousers in velvet. You see this fabric everywhere this season and it can be dressed up or down.
I’d intended to buy these velvet items in dark navy, as that’s a base color I often choose. But, within my price range, I simply couldn’t find what I was looking for. So I went for black.
So this winter my base colors are navy and black. It used to be impossible to wear these two next to eachother. But for several years now that style taboo has disappeared.
My second and special colors this winter
My secondary color is mid blue – from sky blue to denim blue.
My pop of color comes from one top in orange and one in bright red. Not the same color but as near as I could organize this year!
I count my white and off-white items as neutrals or non-colors and I include some things in shades of white in just about every wardrobe.
My winter capsule wardrobe bottoms
- Navy cotton-mix straight pants – bought for $8 from a charity shop in Wales a few months ago.
- Straight leg denim jeans, traditional cut – bought a couple of years ago.
- Black velvet straight leg pants – new from marksandspencer.com UK velvet pants link. US velvet pants link
My winter capsule wardrobe tops
- Navy cotton rollneck – new from Boden. Rollneck top UK link. Rollneck top US link.
- Orange patterned mock neck – new from marksandspencer.com. M&S rollneck UK link. M&S rollneck US link.
- Ivory cashmere mock neck sweater – bought from boden.com a few months ago. Boden cashmere UK link. Boden cashmere US link
- Cream sleeveless knit jacket bought from marksandspencer.com last Spring
- Grey poncho bought from White Stuff a couple of months ago. You can find similar in most stores.
- Blue cardigan from M&S. M&S cardi UK link. M&S cardi US link.
- Red cardigan bought for my summer 2021 wardrobe from broraonline.
- Black velvet button-less jacket – new from M&S. Similar jacket UK link. Jacket US link.
My winter capsule wardrobe footwear
- Navy washable ballerinas by Allbirds, bought eighteen months ago and washed and worn lots since then.
- Tan indoor flats bought years ago, rarely worn.
- Nike sneakers
My winter capsule wardrobe accessories and jewelry
- Tan leather belt bought about a year or so ago
- Tan pouch-style clutch purse/shoulder bag – new from local supermarket
- Leather shopper bought locally a couple of years ago.
- Large silk scarf -new but inexpensive from?? can’t recall!
- Small red neckscarf from broraonline bought almost two years ago
- Navy polka dot scarf bought for $2 from a charity shop summer 2021
- Heavy and lighter gold chains that I’ve had for a few years now
- Gold hoop earrings from local supermarket
- Multi-color earrings new from local supermarket
Your turn to re-organize your closet
I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing how one older woman organizes her wardrobe so she always has something to wear whatever the day or the weather.
Why not make your own capsule? It will thin out your closet so you only keep useful items you actually enjoy wearing. And it will unclutter your morning by making it so easy and quick to decide on an outfit for the day ahead.
If you need help I’ve written the Mature Style Course to take you step by step from too many clothes but nothing to wear to a slimmed down wardrobe of wearable favorites.
I urge you not to rush out and buy lots of new things until you complete the basic lessons. Then you can make the right decisions within your budget and cease feeling guilty about overspending or bringing home outfits you never wear.
The course gives you lots of styling advice along the way too. Most of the lessons are short videos with extra text aids.
Get ready for the new you in 2023.
For more about roll-neck sweaters and top read this post: Best roll-necks for women over 50.
If you enjoy seeing try-ons look back at previous winter wardrobes: