Author Topic: Ladies: what brands are in your capsule wardrobe?  (Read 5075 times)

BayAreaFrugal

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Ladies: what brands are in your capsule wardrobe?
« on: September 25, 2018, 09:06:16 AM »
My MO for a while has been to buy the least expensive clothing I can find, but now my closet and dresser are overflowing with low quality clothes and I never know what to wear. Iíd like to dramatically reduce the amount of clothing I have, with a focus on higher quality pieces. But I have literally no idea what brands make high quality clothes that will last for years. I tried asking in a Facebook group, and nearly all the responses were brands where a blouse costs $150+. Surely there are great quality brands that arenít that ridiculously expensive.

I work in a business casual office and will not dry clean anything. I like for my clothing to make me stand out, not disappear into the crowd.

zygote

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Re: Ladies: what brands are in your capsule wardrobe?
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2018, 10:15:28 AM »
I like blouses from Express for work. They're not top tier quality, but I have ones from a decade ago that are still going strong. I wash them as normal with the rest of my clothes and hang them dry. I get them on sale/clearance for pretty reasonable prices, and I have a few from consignment stores too. I find them to be a good compromise between price and quality.

ixtap

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Re: Ladies: what brands are in your capsule wardrobe?
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2018, 10:34:39 AM »
I wear mostly golf polos, the tech materials last for years.

For blouses and skirts, I look for good quality at Ross Dress for Less. I only look at brands to insure that it is not plastered on me.

jeninco

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Re: Ladies: what brands are in your capsule wardrobe?
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2018, 10:44:10 AM »
I tend to swing by thrift stores and buy cashmere/silk/cotton clothes I like, then just wash them on delicate. If they're ruined, it wasn't meant to be.  (Spoiler, I haven't lost anything yet -- but I do hang/block things to dry, rather than using a dryer.)

I tend to have 5 "civilized" warm weather/5 civilized cool weather outfits, although I don't work in an office, so I tend toward jeans and shorts (with shirts that would mostly count as business casual, which is why I'm bothering to respond here).   (Plus, finding pants that fit well is such a PITA and so individual that I'm not sure recommendations from here will help you much.) I get that if you're only going to own 30ish items, they can be more expensive, but I still balk at the price point you listed.

In a possibly non-mustachian twist, I'd actual advise spending money on a suit you love, that fits you beautifully if you're going to need to own a suit. Because when you need to wear it, it's helpful to get the emotional boost of "this makes me look totally awesome" so you can devote your brain to other things.

Otherwise, for separates, I'd suggest cultivating pickiness. You already own "enough" clothing -- go through what you have and toss anything you'd be embarrassed to wear, then only purchase things you really love. Visiting a couple of higher-end consignment stores would give you a chance to touch and try on a variety of different brands.

Shrinkydink8

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Re: Ladies: what brands are in your capsule wardrobe?
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2018, 10:45:05 AM »
I go for high quality brands only when they are on clearance.  The widely popular chains just don't really have quality stuff.  They may have a mid price point, but I find them way over inflated when looking at quality.  I like Antonio Melani for work stuff and nice occasion dresses.  I get them at Dillard's, only when they have their extra 30-40% off clearance prices.  Then I get score $160 dresses for $20.  I'm also looking to transition my wardrobe to only high quality basics.  Perhaps focus on high quality basics, like a white button down shirt and black pants, then stand out by adding in accessories or scarves.  Personally I'm making the switch to buying primarily natural fabrics, like linen, cotton, and silk.  Regardless of what the label says, all natural fabrics can be handwashed. 

Oh yeah and I can usually find really good quality stuff at estate sales.  I have several wool Pendleton blazers and sweaters from estate sales, never paying more than $2 each.

FireHiker

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Re: Ladies: what brands are in your capsule wardrobe?
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2018, 11:14:49 AM »
I am an engineer so I don't have to dress very professionally most of the time. I also prefer to mostly buy more ethical clothing, but have had really hit or miss luck thrift store shopping, plus I hate the chaos and overstimulation at mine.

Here are the key items I wear in my "capsule (working on it...)" wardrobe:
2 pairs jeans in different wash colors, Democracy, bought for $40 ea at Nordstrom Rack. Will switch to Everlane when these are no longer wearable
1 pair splurge pants from Everlane, black, that I wear anytime I have to be professional/fancy ($78). Could find cheaper secondhand online?
1 pair black Columbia pants bought at REI, don't remember price but used 20% coupon and dividend. Quick dry, my go-to for travel
3 tops bought at Banana Republic Outlet, $14-$22 ea, solids/classic design for longer lifespan
2 Royal Robbins short sleeve tops bought at REI on sale, ~$20 ea, usually closer to $50?
1 Carve Designs top (another splurge last year. LOVE and wear every time it is clean), bought at REI, was over $40
3 tops from my Stitch Fix (pre-MMM) days that I absolutely LOVE, although I don't remember the brands, $30-$50 each
1 top from Tentree (constellation shirt, wearing today, LOVE), $38, bought earlier this year when I fell off the "no unnecessary clothing" attempt
1 3/4 sleeve top, Toad & Co, bought from REI, don't remember price, looks nicer/less casual than most of my clothing
1 heavier button down sweater from L.L.Bean, grey, can be worn with everything
1 old black button cardigan from the Gap which I've had for probably 15 years...may be time to retire it because it's in pretty rough shape
1 grey sweater from Athleta, picked up on clearance for about $30.
1 long sleeve nice Banana Republic Outlet top; don't remember what it cost because I've had it several years now.
1 black wrap cardigan from Pact, may take over for the old black cardigan that should be retired
3-4 tops I bought several years ago from ModCloth. I wouldn't buy from them again; mediocre quality, but I still wear the items I have. Various brands.

That's most of what I wear, along with a couple cheap tops I still have from Target. I find the Target stuff doesn't hold up that well, except for a couple black tops I still wear. I am in the process of whittling down my closet and only keeping things I REALLY love. I'm adopting the "I won't buy it unless I would be willing to pay full price" attitude, although I still try to find a good deal. I'm trying to wear more clothing that is of a higher quality/lower environmental impact. Most of what I wear is black, grey, which a few jewel tones in there. Reducing my color palette really helped me to put together more of a "capsule" wardrobe. Now I need to go through and get rid of the things I just don't wear anymore.

Going forward I'll stick with:
Everlane (expensive but I'm finding more secondhand, will look at secondhand first)
multiple brands carried by REI (Carve, Columbia, Royal Robbins, Patagonia)
occasional "fast" fashion from Banana Republic Outlet, but rarely

Kaybee

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Re: Ladies: what brands are in your capsule wardrobe?
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2018, 11:21:22 AM »
I have several pieces by the Canadian brand, Encircled.  They specialize in convertible/multiuse clothing but they also have ďethical basicsĒ.  Their prices arenít *cheap* but I have 2 of their Chrysalis cardiís (that are going on 6 years now?) as well as some of their tops and bottoms and its all super comfortable and in high rotation in my wardrobe so the price-per-wear has gotten really low.

bestname

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Re: Ladies: what brands are in your capsule wardrobe?
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2018, 11:23:43 AM »
In my experience, Uniqlo and LL Bean have the best price/quality ratio if you are looking for basics.

MKinVA

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Re: Ladies: what brands are in your capsule wardrobe?
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2018, 12:53:29 PM »
JCrew Factory is a great place to buy basic tops, often has sales. My last year working I had 3 sleeveless blouse probably $20 each and 3 light weight sweaters. Wore these with slacks and skirts just about all week in various combos in all four seasons.

 If you are trying to save money, simplify your wardrobe, the easiest thing is to develop a uniform type system. I was offered a job after being retired for awhile (had really gotten rid of most of my work clothes), and my game plan, if I decided to take the job, was to purchase 5 to 10 dresses and just wear one each day and then repeat. The job was in management so dress up. There are only 20+- days a month to dress so I would shoot for 5 to 10 outfits (maybe even just a different sweater) and then circulate them. I know a girl who literally put her outfit at the far left of the closet at the end of the day and wore the one at the right. She just kept it moving so she wasnt wearing her few outfits with too much frequency. Genius.

JanetJackson

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Re: Ladies: what brands are in your capsule wardrobe?
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2018, 02:26:11 PM »
@BayAreaFrugal Congrats on starting a capsule wardrobe.

I just finished mine and have been finding both the process of getting dressed in the morning, and my space (like my closet) much less stressful to deal with.

Some of the pieces that I have that have lasted me more than 5 years, some going on 10 or 15, have generally been the dressier version of workwear brands.  Most thrifted from prior to 2010 production.  I've found that a lot (not all) of clothing that's been more recently produced has REALLY REALLY gone down in quality.

Here are some of my staples:

LL BEAN (older)
Bass Shoes (I have a very nice pair of leather dress-ish boots that are 15+ years old)
Doc Martin Shoes (older)
J-Crew
Banana Republic
Gap (only older items, the new production stuff is just as throw-away as Forever 21 in my opinion)
Patagonia (I find that some items intended for work wear or duration wear is perfectly acceptable and even cute in a work setting under a blazer).
My "Never Say Die" Anne Klien blazer (seriously, I can't kill this blazer).
Lands End (only older stuff... I can only find good Lands End stuff in the thrift shop or on ebay, the new stuff is all junky... it can also be hard to find Lands End items that don't look matronly to me... BUT they are very good for staple items... if you can find a pair of Lands End black dress pants that were made pre 2010, they'll last you forever... and you can pair them with a more exciting top).
Levis Denim Jackets (again, older is better... the elastin added to most of the newer Levis jackets makes them break down and age really quickly.  I had my high school denim jacket last me until last year {I'm 34} but the one I bought to replace it last year has already ripped and gone into the donation pile). 
Teva Shoes These aren't dress shoes, but maybe Teva makes dress shoes?  I'm not sure... but the Teva sandals I have I've had for at least 5 years.

.....I think this list makes it sound like a dress like a crunchy hippie, but I don't.  I choose the dressier or more 'office type' items from these brands for my professional wardrobe.  I don't look like I live in a surf shack (not that there's anything wrong with that, just a statement).


I can't remember how many items I ended up with, but you'd better bet I have an excel spreadsheet of all of my clothing.
Capsuling my wardrobe was probably one of the best things I've done for my PEACE of mind...  Have fun!

brooklynmoney

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Re: Ladies: what brands are in your capsule wardrobe?
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2018, 04:01:50 PM »
Work clothes and even most casual now only come from Aritizia or Anthro. The sales only naturally. Even though I am the same size I was in my 20s I donít know what shifted but something makes me look like mutton dressed as lamb if I try to buy the cheap brands of yore like HM. Sad!

gaja

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Re: Ladies: what brands are in your capsule wardrobe?
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2018, 04:20:26 PM »
Lands end dresses* and cardigans. Thatís all I need. Base colors in blue, green, red, black, and grey, to make sure I can get dressed in the darkness and still look ok.

*with pockets!

use2betrix

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Re: Ladies: what brands are in your capsule wardrobe?
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2018, 04:42:33 PM »
Not a woman - but into high quality clothes. I tend to look for clothing made in Japan, USA, or Canada. Red Wings has a Heritage Line of boots/shoes that is made in the US of incredibly high quality leather. They are made with good year welt soles, so after they wear out in several years you can send them back to be re-soled. They have both menís and womenís lines.

Again, these are not cheap boots (around $220-$330) but they should last a person 10-20 years if theyíre taken care of and not beaten to death.

Freedomin5

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Re: Ladies: what brands are in your capsule wardrobe?
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2018, 05:17:55 PM »
If youíre in the Bay Area, see if there is a Crossroads Trading near you. Itís a chain of thrift stores I found when living in LA, and they strategically place themselves in or near high end neighborhoods, so the quality/brands of the stuff is usually fabulous (once-worn Chanel boots, anyone?). The prices are decent as well. I still have a silk blouse from there that I picked up for $7. Original price over $200 from Nordstrom. Tags were still on the blouse.

I donít usually buy by brand, but by the quality of the material and sewing, and by how well it fits me. Some great brands just donít fit my body type properly.

mm1970

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Re: Ladies: what brands are in your capsule wardrobe?
« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2018, 06:08:38 PM »
Long ago and far away, I was invited to a CAbi (like a home party for clothing) party.  Or two.  I'm an engineer and wasn't sure why I was invited.

In any event, I bought a few things a year over the space of 3 years, and they are my favorites.  I find them to be high quality and last a long time.  They fit well.  I haven't bought anything in 7 years, and sadly - my favorite jeans have worn out in the inner thighs (they are at least 10 years old and I probably wore them an average of 2-3x a week for 8 years).  The other 2 pairs that I have are too big, but I cannot bring myself to give them up.  Because: menopause is coming eventually!

Same with the shirts - I have a few good quality favorite shirts and a dress.  I had to give several up after kid #2 because my shoulders got too broad for some of them.

Because I'm an engineer, right now I'm just letting everything I own wear out.  I have no idea when I'll need new clothing. 

OtherJen

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Re: Ladies: what brands are in your capsule wardrobe?
« Reply #15 on: September 25, 2018, 06:09:55 PM »
Iíve had great luck with wool dress coats from J. Crew and parkas from Columbia.

I spent Christmas gift money on a new pair of Frye boots almost 6 years ago. I clean and condition them a couple of times per winter, and they still look almost new (although they will probably need to be resoled after this winter). I expect to wear them for at least another 6 years.

Awesomeness

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Re: Ladies: what brands are in your capsule wardrobe?
« Reply #16 on: September 25, 2018, 06:15:43 PM »
I recently discovered designer jeans. Bought a pair of NYDJ jeans at Costco and loved them. Tried on a few pair at Dillardís and just loved how they fit.  My favorites were 134$. Went home and found them in the internet for 63$.  Thatís the most Iíve ever paid for clothing, even a jacket, but theyíre worth it.

The fit and feel of the fabric isnít like any other jean Iíve owned. So comfortable but look incredibly good on. They tell you to buy a size smaller and youíll look slimmer too. It works.

Costco will occasionally sell designer clothing at great prices and designer bags. I got an all leather Kooba hobo bag for 40$ one season. Kirkland signature clothes are excellent quality. Their leggings are 10$ and hold up for years. Iím 5í8Ē and their clothes are long enough for me in the arms and legs. LL bean is nice quality but I stopped shopping there, everything was too short.

I do Old Navy because itís incredibly cheap. Not quality at all but it can be so cheap that you just replace them after a couple seasons.  Just stocked up on their basic tees for 4$ each. Saturday in  store sales are usually the best day or online.  Theyíre items are the current trend for a lot less then the big deptartment stores.  Donít ever pay full price there, sales are so common. 

ETBen

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Re: Ladies: what brands are in your capsule wardrobe?
« Reply #17 on: September 25, 2018, 08:50:01 PM »
For work - Ann Taylor all the way. I have a few things from Talbots too but sometimes their fit can be a little matronly. Dresses are the best bet there.

Casual: jeans Iím not partial to a brand. JCrew sweaters. Tees I just look for a thicker material bc itís washes and lasts longer.

Trifele

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Re: Ladies: what brands are in your capsule wardrobe?
« Reply #18 on: September 26, 2018, 03:41:08 AM »
Ann Taylor, Talbots, JCrew. Try to hit the sales.

formerlydivorcedmom

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Re: Ladies: what brands are in your capsule wardrobe?
« Reply #19 on: September 26, 2018, 07:02:26 AM »
I love White House Black Market.  It is a little pricey, but the clothes are very high quality.  I bought a skirt there 10 years ago that still looks brand new, and I wear it (and wash it) frequently. 

I have several basic dresses and skirts from there.  I often pair them with cheap cardigans from Target or JC Penney. 

I second @Shrinkydink8 's recommendation of Antonio Melani.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE the skirts and dresses from his collections, and they last a long time. 

Once you find a brand that you like that fits, you can always look on PoshMark to find items that you love.

Dr Kidstache

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Re: Ladies: what brands are in your capsule wardrobe?
« Reply #20 on: September 26, 2018, 10:18:08 AM »
I got the biggest bank for my buck from dresses from Boden USA. They are not the cheapest, but the quality is excellent, the tailoring and fit is excellent, and they come in fabulous colors/prints that are versatile but also notable. I got endless compliments on my Boden dresses and they've all lasted years of frequent wear.
I also really like Garnet Hill. They're cheaper and have lots of stylish, comfy knit dresses and tops in their house brand. I've had some of their pants, too, and found the quality to be good.

Rosy

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Re: Ladies: what brands are in your capsule wardrobe?
« Reply #21 on: September 26, 2018, 11:02:01 AM »
Here are my five cents:

BRAND: I understand that you want opinions on what has worked for others - but in a sense, this advice is totally worthless to you. A designer and every good brand have a certain customer in mind - that is who they design for.
The best thing about a brand, besides the quality, is that they actually make clothing that suits and flatters your body type - they have the vibe and the style you can and want to wear.

I know I can wear Ralph Lauren and it will fit me, look good and wear well. I use my gift cards for Macy's that I ask for at Christmas and buy when they have a sale with a 2% cash back rewards card. Marshal's and Ross discount stores usually carry pieces from his sports clothing line.

I do like Ann Taylor and Talbots, but their clothes no longer flatter me since their clothes are unapologetically designed for a slim silhouette.

Coldwater Creek and Christopher Bank's stores are on my list, so is Beall's - but it is hit and miss whether their clothes will fit and occasionally their entire spring or fall line offers nothing at all that I like - then the following year I want everything.
I never have that problem with Ralph Lauren - it fits me and looks like it should.

Columbia is great for outerwear and always on sale around here, but I never buy for myself because the jacket I bought in Europe now about fifteen years ago just will not die or go out of style.
I am looking for a nice leather jacket, maybe for my birthday next year. Clothing budget for next year will be gift cards and maybe $100 that should do me fine with a little savvy shopping.

I do recommend Dillard's for dresses and suits and I am another fan of Antonio Melani:) shop their sales. I love their petite sections.

Remember that once you decide on a capsule wardrobe for work it becomes much harder to find a specific piece in the quality and at the price you want to pay. Because you took the "compulsive" and "aimless-recreational" shopping out of the equation - you no longer get to buy because it is a good buy - you now shop with a purpose in mind - which saves you lots of money and space in your closet:)

So yes, I think finding a designer or a brand that suits you to a T (better yet, two or three brands) is a fantastic time saver, a no-brainer and you already know that you will be happy with your purchase.

1. For work: Own one killer suit that makes you feel on top of the world - for days when the top brass shows up and the occasional important meetings or when you simply need to feel good and in charge of your life.

2. Decide if you like dresses and buy seven of them - done:) - Solid colors in a myriad of killer style/cut that fits you well. Why not?
Yes, it can be as easy as that.
Then you can occasionally afford a dress for $100 from the new spring line without waiting for a sale or missing out on your size or a preferred color. Once you found a brand or designer it's a relief to walk into the store and walk out with the perfect top or dress in five minutes and know you will enjoy it for years to come.

I haven't had much luck with buying dresses online, but I am about to try one from lilygal - nice choices, and you can return within 30 days.

3. Now buy the best quality shoes you can afford with arch support etc - there are plenty of choices for heels and flats to round out your wardrobe.
My MO: Classic footwear all the way. Black pumps - in the heel height you prefer, a second or third pump in grey, beige or dark blue - done:)
Real leather is best.
For summer two pairs of low heel chic sandals and for winter - keep the pumps at the office and wear a boot to work.

I've been buying my shoes on clearance or at a discount for years but I splurged on a recent trip to Europe and do not regret spending $250. total on a pair of quirky shoes and a fine pair of red leather boots. Love-love-love - I was years overdue for a shoe fix.

4. Of course, if you prefer to mix and match think black and white plus at least two pieces in your favorite colors, say a royal purple blouse or a subtle print. In your quest for a suitable capsule wardrobe do take the time to evaluate if instead of black, a royal blue or a dark red tone etc. would flatter your skin tone better.
Don't follow the color trends - know which colors flatter you, but always be open to try out a new shade - you may be surprised.
Red is a power color if worn correctly and if you can tell a mile away that this is a quality dress or suit - stay away from beige, pastels and browns, grey only if one of the many grey tones popular these days actually works for you.
An almost metallic, very dark, silvery-tone instead of grey looks a lot more sophisticated - good quality is essential to keep it from looking like a club outfit.
Pastel is not a power color - it is simply a sweet feminine look or worse an extremely blah look. You'll never see powerful women wear flowery prints and chiffon dresses to work. They dare to wear red.

5. A killer white or ivory blouse depending on your skin tone is a must - never skimp on the price of a good white blouse, (check out Brooks Brothers) it has to fit perfectly, have a classic look about it and the material has to feel good against your skin - no wrinkling - no fabrics that make you sweat and for heaven's sake wear a bra that is comfortable yet doesn't give you a slouchy appearance, shows your nipple in the light or fights with the material of the blouse - i.e. you see two sets of underwear and lace - go for a clean, professional look.
The wrong underwear can destroy the best outfit - just sayin':) 

Have fun, learn which brands suit and flatter you most and set a reasonable budget for the year based on what you know you need to purchase from boots to earrings, from well-fitting underwear to one chic outer coat.
To start with you may well spend a bit more, but it will balance out by next year.


ETBen

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Re: Ladies: what brands are in your capsule wardrobe?
« Reply #22 on: September 26, 2018, 06:35:04 PM »
Another vote for Boden. Also WHBM but only dresses and jackets. Their pants do this weird crotch thing on me and other friends have experienced the same.

MsPeacock

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Re: Ladies: what brands are in your capsule wardrobe?
« Reply #23 on: September 26, 2018, 07:13:52 PM »
I wear the Portafino shirts from Express almost exclusively. They will likely be 50% on Black Friday - which is when I replace any that need replacing. The white shirts, as white shirts do, get a bit stained/grey over a year or so. The pattern shirts hold up very well. I don't think I've ever had to get rid of one due to it wearing out. They are machine washable and dryable and do not require ironing as long as I hang them up right out of the dryer.

I also mostly wear pants from Express. I have a few pairs from Gap as well.

I no longer wear dresses or skirts, other than for fancy occasions (which are few and far between).

I have v-neck sweaters for the winter, to wear over above noted shirts. I got some at LandsEnd and others at Sears.

Imma

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Re: Ladies: what brands are in your capsule wardrobe?
« Reply #24 on: September 27, 2018, 01:50:09 AM »
I like sweaters and cardigans from Benneton. They are available in a wilde range of colours and in a few basic models. They last me for a long time and when they do start to develop small holes I will fix them and continue to wear it at home.

My formal shoes are from a brand called the Art Company who make the most comfortable heels I've ever worn. Other shoes are usually Dr Martens.

Hula Hoop

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Re: Ladies: what brands are in your capsule wardrobe?
« Reply #25 on: September 27, 2018, 02:06:03 AM »
My summer 'capsule wardrobe' (ie. my uniform) consists almost entirely of dresses from Boden - either wrap or shift dresses.  Wearing a green one today. 

For winter, lots of uniqlo jeans and sweaters, pants (in long sizes) from jcrew on sale and random winter skirts and long sleeved t-shirts in various brands.

Mrs.Piano

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Re: Ladies: what brands are in your capsule wardrobe?
« Reply #26 on: September 27, 2018, 02:58:59 AM »
I hesitated to jump in, but want to say: all my items in my capsule wardrobe, and almost everything in my closet, are made by me. They fit the way I like and are of the fabrics and colors I choose. Skirts, trousers, blouses, jackets, sweaters, dresses.  The only things that I donít make are the LL Bean and Landís End turtlenecks.

gaja

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Re: Ladies: what brands are in your capsule wardrobe?
« Reply #27 on: September 27, 2018, 07:48:08 AM »
My summer 'capsule wardrobe' (ie. my uniform) consists almost entirely of dresses from Boden - either wrap or shift dresses.  Wearing a green one today. 

For winter, lots of uniqlo jeans and sweaters, pants (in long sizes) from jcrew on sale and random winter skirts and long sleeved t-shirts in various brands.
Do the Boden dresses have pockets?

Hula Hoop

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Re: Ladies: what brands are in your capsule wardrobe?
« Reply #28 on: September 27, 2018, 08:48:13 AM »
My summer 'capsule wardrobe' (ie. my uniform) consists almost entirely of dresses from Boden - either wrap or shift dresses.  Wearing a green one today. 

For winter, lots of uniqlo jeans and sweaters, pants (in long sizes) from jcrew on sale and random winter skirts and long sleeved t-shirts in various brands.
Do the Boden dresses have pockets?

None of mine do but I'm sure there are some with pockets.

schmerna

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Re: Ladies: what brands are in your capsule wardrobe?
« Reply #29 on: September 27, 2018, 09:01:57 AM »
I like Banana Republic Factory for a few trendy pieces and second the recommendations for Ann Taylor (great suits&tights), Lands End (love their cashmere sweaters and some dresses) and Express (for skirts, blouses, camisoles).  Dansko for shoes since I do a lot of walking.  All the stores are frequent sales.  It is easy to find a good deal and clothes that last.

Determine which stores designs clothes for your body type.

expatartist

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Re: Ladies: what brands are in your capsule wardrobe?
« Reply #30 on: September 27, 2018, 09:23:19 AM »
My only capsule wardrobe is for travel: reversible bras and dresses mostly, with cardigans or boleros for air-con defense and general modesty when in conservative countries. Odor and sweat-resistant underwear and tank tops that are super easy to hand wash and hang dry overnight.

In daily life a couple of staples are from Svaha https://svahausa.com/collections/adults-dresses I'm wearing the Golden Mean patterned one, came in handy when designing a mural with students today.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2018, 09:39:25 AM by expatartist »

gaja

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Re: Ladies: what brands are in your capsule wardrobe?
« Reply #31 on: September 27, 2018, 11:34:26 AM »
My only capsule wardrobe is for travel: reversible bras and dresses mostly, with cardigans or boleros for air-con defense and general modesty when in conservative countries. Odor and sweat-resistant underwear and tank tops that are super easy to hand wash and hang dry overnight.

In daily life a couple of staples are from Svaha https://svahausa.com/collections/adults-dresses I'm wearing the Golden Mean patterned one, came in handy when designing a mural with students today.

Those Svaha dresses looked amazing! Thank you for the tip!

Where do you get the reversable bras and dresses?

E.T.

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Re: Ladies: what brands are in your capsule wardrobe?
« Reply #32 on: September 28, 2018, 06:09:07 AM »
If you like kind of quirky styling, I love modcloth. They have fit shops in a few states where you can try everything on that you see online. Then once you know what works, you can save it in your cart and wait for it to go on sale. On sale the pieces are in the 10-20$ range, so they're affordable and the quality is great. The dress I bought has good seam work, it's lined and I've worn it every week for months and it still looks like new. Make sure to scrunch the pieces in person to see if they wrinkle a lot so you know if the fabric will be easy to travel with.

mm1970

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Re: Ladies: what brands are in your capsule wardrobe?
« Reply #33 on: September 28, 2018, 11:22:13 AM »
My only capsule wardrobe is for travel: reversible bras and dresses mostly, with cardigans or boleros for air-con defense and general modesty when in conservative countries. Odor and sweat-resistant underwear and tank tops that are super easy to hand wash and hang dry overnight.

In daily life a couple of staples are from Svaha https://svahausa.com/collections/adults-dresses I'm wearing the Golden Mean patterned one, came in handy when designing a mural with students today.
Those dresses are adorable!  Nerdy too, whee!

I hate wearing dresses.  But I do like them!
« Last Edit: September 28, 2018, 11:24:36 AM by mm1970 »

Dr Kidstache

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Re: Ladies: what brands are in your capsule wardrobe?
« Reply #34 on: September 29, 2018, 01:09:22 PM »
Do the Boden dresses have pockets?

Yep, some do. LOVE pockets!

MayDay

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Re: Ladies: what brands are in your capsule wardrobe?
« Reply #35 on: September 30, 2018, 08:38:35 AM »
I am definitely a minimalist with clothes, and over the past 2 years that I've been back to work after staying home, I've rebuilt a work wardrobe from scratch, with a few iterations to find what I like.

I am an engineer who goes in plants but is mainly in an office. I can wear nice jeans to work 90% of the time but try to dress to the level I want to be promoted to. I mention that plant thing because I go from an office with AC to a plant that's 95 degrees, so I adapted my work clothes to that.

I always wear plain black flats. They go with everything, and I don't want to think about shoes. In the winter I have a pair of simple black ankle boots that I switch to. The flats are currently hush puppies but I look for basic leather flats on Zappos, order 3 pairs, and keep the comfortable ones. The boots are Camper brand, also Zappos. They are leather, and every fall I waterproof them. They look brand new.

For pants I have 2 pairs dark jeans, 2 pairs black pants, and an older pair of jeans for if I know I'm going to get dirty. When they wear out I replace, but 4 pairs pants is plenty. For the jeans I find the Macy's style and color brand to fit well. Black pants are a nightmare- I just tried on every major brand and found the Loft pants to fit well but to only come in ankle length (which are cute but not a good look with steel toes) and the banana republic to fit well but had to y lady pockets which for 100$, NOPE. Talbot's fit me funny (they bag in the crotch) but are probably the highest quality. Express pants were skin tight like leggings, so nope. I ended up buying 2 pairs from JCP.

Shirts: my strategy is short sleeve and sleeveless blouses/shells, with alight cardigan in the summer and a warmer cardigan or blazer in the winter.

For blouses/shells I have a combo of thrift store and the Calvin Klein shells, which say dry clean but I wash and hang dry. They are around 20$ from off Saks and other discount stores.

For light summer sweaters, I find them either at discount tj Maxx tupe stores or Target. Sweaters only last so many washings before they pill,and I don't notice a huge variation. I tend to wear them lots of times before they need to be washed, so they last pretty well.

For warmer sweaters, 100% thrift store.

For blazers, also thrift store,but I've also found nice ones at Costco.

I am lucky to be near a couple nice thrift stores, but I also found two consignment stores. They tend to have price points of around 10-15$ for a top, including things like blazers and brand new with tags banana republic wool sweaters. But I never find pants there.

For underwear, Soma has no linepa ties that are amazing.

Hula Hoop

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Re: Ladies: what brands are in your capsule wardrobe?
« Reply #36 on: September 30, 2018, 02:12:02 PM »
My standard uniform is dresses in summer, spring and fall and skirts or dresses with tights and boots in winter.  I find wearing pants every day at work too hot, constricting and uncomfortable although I do wear shorts and jeans on weekends sometimes.

expatartist

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Re: Ladies: what brands are in your capsule wardrobe?
« Reply #37 on: October 01, 2018, 01:36:20 AM »
Those Svaha dresses looked amazing! Thank you for the tip!

Where do you get the reversable bras and dresses?

AND they have pockets! ;) Their fit is relaxed but still flattering. I like their 3/4 sleeve, looks a bit more formal than short or sleeveless styles.

The reversible bras I've purchased have come from Valleau https://valleauapparel.com/collections/sports-bras who have ok sales (though their sizing can be hit or miss) and Knix https://knix.com/products/8-in-1-evolution-bra

The dresses were purchased at a Nepali shop in Berkeley that was closing down this summer, $40 for 2. Bias cut, ankle length, 2 layers of fast-drying lightweight patterned synthetic in complementary colors, something that if I could sew would make myself and *live in*, so comfortable and versatile.

Ex Officio's sales can be good too, their underwear sizing in particular is quite flexible and is ideal for travel or hot climates.

better late

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Re: Ladies: what brands are in your capsule wardrobe?
« Reply #38 on: October 01, 2018, 10:10:11 AM »
Angie at youlookfab recently wrote an interesting post on the topic of quality in clothing, including a list of brands she considers to typically be good quality. She loves Boden. https://youlookfab.com/2018/09/13/brands-that-deliver-consistent-quality/

I know capsule wardrobes are very popular but are not for me. I prefer to have 8-9 complete work outfits per season (spring/summer and fall/winter) that I have spent time on creating and that I feel amazing in. I work 3-4 days a week so this is plenty of variety for me. Right now itís  warm weather: one dress, 5 skirts and 3 pairs of light trousers, each with blouse and accessories.. I also have a few toppers and several pairs of warm weather shoes. And yes I take the days outfit from the right of my closet and hang it in the left after wearing/laundering. I would love another dress but they are hard to fit on me (different sizes top and bottom); I am holding out for ďperfectĒ

often you can have one item in your outfit that you ďloveĒ, and the rest of the outfit can support that item, often by a neutral color and excellent fit.

Trifele

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Re: Ladies: what brands are in your capsule wardrobe?
« Reply #39 on: October 01, 2018, 11:09:24 AM »
+1 for Boden -- I forgot to mention them in my first post, above.  I have two dresses and two sweaters from Boden -- top notch quality.

RayO

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Re: Ladies: what brands are in your capsule wardrobe?
« Reply #40 on: October 01, 2018, 06:48:23 PM »
I lean towards a neutral minimalist wardrobe, and I’m a tall apple shape (flat booty with extra weight in my middle).

Brands that fit my body type well are Ann Taylor (especially pants), Banana Republic (especially tops, sweaters, skirts and coats), Target Ava & Viv brand tops (these only last one year, but I usually get a few new tops each year and pants/skirts/dresses from above brands every few years), J.C. Penny Ana brand or Uniqlo for tees, Kut from the Kloth “Diana” skinny jeans, Levi’s boyfriend jeans, Eddie Bauer heavy winter coats.

In the past I’ve spent quite a bit of money on individual clothing items (tops & bottoms), but in my personal experience not many items hold up over many years with regular wear unless you have a large wardrobe and don’t have to wear the same items frequently (with the exception of jeans and coats). I have about two weeks of clothes I can wear before I would need to do laundry and I would say any given item lasts about 2-3 years before it’s too faded, fraying or has pills.

 I splurge on items that I expect to last many years with regular use, and this tends to be more on shoes, bags and coats. I spent about $300 on my bag for example. This bag has been used every single day except for weddings, for 5 years now and still has a few left in it. I also have a small handbag for formal events that’s at least eight years old. But that’s it, if you look in my closet I don’t have a hook full of other bags to match certain outfits or anything.

Same with shoes. I spent $200 each for a pair of black sandals and a pair of brown sandals made by Frye. They go with everything and just finished up their fourth summer and are still going strong.

Actual clothing items I really try to purchase during deep sales at the above mentioned brands/stores. I believe my husband and I are at about $800 combined for clothing purchases this year including new hiking boots for both of us and a coat for him.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2018, 06:59:40 PM by RayO »

rdaneel0

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Re: Ladies: what brands are in your capsule wardrobe?
« Reply #41 on: October 01, 2018, 07:23:56 PM »
Brand recommendations are tough because it's so dependent on body type. I mostly look at fabric type and construction, I feel like brands are wildly inconsistent, even internally. For example, jeans that are 100% cotton last much longer than blends, but lots of denim companies sell both types of jeans. The same is usually true for other items (synthetics don't usually last as long as natural fibers, IME, but I have both in my closet). So, for sweaters and socks I go for wool or cashmere, for blouses I go for cotton or silk, etc. The biggest factor in making clothing last longer is avoiding the dryer. I line dry everything except socks and pajamas. Dryers destroy clothing (like how hair dryers destroy your hair), so if at all possible avoid them.

Brands I like for long wear: Levis, AG Jeans, Aritzia, Columbia, Outdoor Research, SmartWool, Liz Claiborne, Espirit, Allsaints, Aerie, Terramare, Perrigrine. That said I have an H&M skirt and a random dress from Forever 21 that are like 6 years old. Go figure. Oh, and ASOS carries lots of good brands.

ETA: For reference I am really short, so these brands might not work if you're average height or tall.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2018, 07:27:26 PM by rdaneel0 »

HappierAtHome

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Re: Ladies: what brands are in your capsule wardrobe?
« Reply #42 on: October 01, 2018, 09:13:15 PM »
Just going to third (fourth?) the recommendation for Boden. Their dresses are so much better made and I love that so many of them are jersey (useful for small size fluctuations) and have pockets. Plus they do multiple length options which is handy as a tall woman.

Shoes - I have had good luck with Merrell and Duckfeet.

mountain mustache

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Re: Ladies: what brands are in your capsule wardrobe?
« Reply #43 on: October 02, 2018, 09:48:25 PM »
Most of my clothing is made by Prana. I work in the outdoor industry, so I get a good price on a lot of outdoor clothing brands. Prana pants fit me like a glove, so I probably have 5 pairs of the same pants (different colors) . Same goes for their shorts. I wear the pants in Winter, and shorts in Summer (very casual workplace). They make a lot of their clothing from recycled or organic materials, which I like. For tops I wear Ibex woolies long sleeve shirts in winter. They are slim cut, very long arms (like me) and never smell or wear out. I also have some beautiful, thick sweaters from Prana that I rotate wearing. In the summer I wear (thrifted, or Ebay-ed) Lululemon Power Y tanks, with my Prana shorts. These tank tops are the absolute best, super flattering, a built in sports bra that actually works, and thick, high quality fabric. I get them used for $15-$20, and wear them pretty much every day. Other than those clothing items, I own a few (thrifted) Patagonia sun dresses, a few skirts from various outdoor brands, and the rest of my clothing is skiing/mountain biking/mountaineering specific gear. I live in down puffy jackets all winter ( my workplace is extremely cold, and I live in the mountains) and I love my Outdoor Research puffy. They make very high quality gear, for a lot less than Patagonia, North Face, etc. And a lifetime warranty!
For shoes- in the summer I wear Chacos, or Hoka running shoes. In the Winter I wear my 8 year old Teva insulated boots, Danskos, or Chaco boots.

I think whoever up thread said finding the brands that work for your body shape, and clothing needs, was spot on. I wear literally the same brands almost every day, because they fit me perfectly, I love the materials/quality, and they are functional for my specific needs. I don't want to think about all the pants I bought before I discovered Prana pants! Getting dressed is much easier now

chaskavitch

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Re: Ladies: what brands are in your capsule wardrobe?
« Reply #44 on: October 03, 2018, 06:35:35 AM »
@mountain mustache , I'm glad you posted something!  I have a hard time finding pants that fit in a way I love, but I DO have a pair of Prana hiking pants that are so perfect.  It's good to know that they're pretty consistent across brand.  Maybe your other brand suggestions will help me find more clothes I love once I start buying clothes again :)

mountain mustache

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Re: Ladies: what brands are in your capsule wardrobe?
« Reply #45 on: October 04, 2018, 08:13:17 AM »
@mountain mustache , I'm glad you posted something!  I have a hard time finding pants that fit in a way I love, but I DO have a pair of Prana hiking pants that are so perfect.  It's good to know that they're pretty consistent across brand.  Maybe your other brand suggestions will help me find more clothes I love once I start buying clothes again :)

I highly recommend the Brenna pants. They are hiking pant material, super stretchy, but they look like "classy" skinny pants. I wear a pair every day in the winter!

wenchsenior

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Re: Ladies: what brands are in your capsule wardrobe?
« Reply #46 on: October 04, 2018, 08:28:22 AM »
@mountain mustache , I'm glad you posted something!  I have a hard time finding pants that fit in a way I love, but I DO have a pair of Prana hiking pants that are so perfect.  It's good to know that they're pretty consistent across brand.  Maybe your other brand suggestions will help me find more clothes I love once I start buying clothes again :)

I highly recommend the Brenna pants. They are hiking pant material, super stretchy, but they look like "classy" skinny pants. I wear a pair every day in the winter!

I'm really happy to hear this, as well.   I work from home or outdoors, as well, and am somewhat hard to fit (small hips and waist, larger bust) and keep thinking of trying Prana or Title 9, for pants if nothing else.  The only Prana item I have is a bikini, which I have been wearing the crap out of and suspect it won't last more than a year or two even though it is very sturdily constructed.