Thursday, October 5, 2017

My Halloween Capsule Wardrobe

Have capsule wardrobes fallen from favor? I feel like I see far fewer blog posts about capsule wardrobes than I did a year ago. But this just makes me think that it's about time for me to write a capsule wardrobe post of my own, since I'm the opposite of an early adopter. And since it's October, you probably could've guessed that my very first capsule wardrobe would be Halloween-themed!

A few of my friends are hosting Halloween outfit challenges all month, and as someone who loves a festive outfit and a fun challenge, I was determined to play along. However, since I knew I'd be as pregnant as a human can possibly be for up to 2/3 of October (and postpartum for the rest), most of the Halloween pieces I have won't really work. I also wasn't keen to pick up too many new pieces when I'm not sure exactly what size I'll be six months down the road.

Basically, I knew I had to come up with a variety of outfits from a much more limited set of options than I'm used to working with, all without blowing my baby-stuff budget on Halloween gear for me.

Enter the capsule wardrobe!

If you've never heard of a capsule wardrobe before, here's a quick definition. A capsule wardrobe is a collection of a few "essential pieces" (tops, bottoms, dresses if you're me, shoes) that coordinate, so you can mix and match them to make a large number of different outfits.

Since there are only a few pairs of shoes that fit my swollen feet at the moment, I knew that narrowing down my shoe choices wouldn't be a problem, but narrowing down my wardrobe? That is a worthy challenge!

One of the nicest things about putting together a capsule wardrobe around a holiday like Halloween is that you get very clear guidance from the traditional colors, images, and themes of the holiday. To put together my Halloween capsule, I went back to the classics. No matter what time of year it is, orange and black scream "Halloween" (and occasionally, "tiger"), and all manner of spooky things instantly send even a basic black or monochrome outfit directly to Festivetown. (Or should I say Halloweentown?)

Since I'm about to become a mom for the first time, I also wanted to keep my Halloween capsule wardrobe simple. So I limited myself to fourteen articles of clothing: five tops, four skirts, three dresses, and two cardigans. Unsurprisingly, spiderwebs, Jack-o-lanterns, and ghosties abound, along with a few more subtle pieces that coordinate with the bolder novelty prints.

Let's take a closer look at what I've chosen, shall we?


For the first category of my capsule wardrobe, I went with a mix of old and new pieces. This 'if you got it, haunt it' top from Target was last year's Halloween must-have, and I've been waiting to bust it out since November 1, 2016! (Cue the Mayor from Nightmare Before Christmas: "There's only 365 days till next Halloween!")

The striped top and nursing tank also came from my dresser. Both are versatile enough to match a variety of prints, and practical for autumn in Chicago.

I picked up the two jack-o-lantern tops on a recent Target run, because when you go into Target to grab a package of diapers and wipes, you inevitably leave with two new tops and a Halloween print dress (see below!)

Since tops need to be washed more frequently than skirts, I figured it would be a good idea to allot the most space in my capsule wardrobe to shirts, and grab some long-sleeved options along with layering tanks.


If you're reading this blog, you might have noticed that I live in Chicago. Thus, sweaters are a necessity! Both of these came right out of my sweater drawer. The black Voodoo Vixen cardigan on the left somehow never made it onto my blog even though it was a favorite last winter, so it seemed like a good choice to tick the basic-black box. And because I think I'll really miss color by the end of October, I also chose my mustard Vivien of Holloway Jenny cardigan. I love how orange, yellow, and red look together, so I'm pretty sure some of my outfits will feature a Halloween-tinged Charmander vibe.


This was a tough category, because I'm too pregnant for a number of my Halloween-friendly skirts, including the Halloween Harlequin corset skirt I wore all of last October. If I'm honest, until (if?) my belly shrinks post-baby, I'll need to MacGuyver the harlequin skirt by folding the waistband under and using a safety pin to secure the zipper.

To choose the other three skirts, I narrowed the field by first eliminating everything I couldn't wear up above my bump, whether because they'd be too small or too short. The pumpkin-border skirt was one of my favorites last Halloween, because it's surprisingly versatile and easy to pair with a range of different colors on top. I have a feeling that I'll be reworking some of the looks from my "One Piece, Three Ways" post featuring that skirt!

I've had a tulle skirt from Anthropologie since 2003 or so, and since I used to wear it on my hips, it's perfect for me right now! Going with tulle felt like a more exciting way to add a basic black bottom piece into the mix. And finally, I realize tiki florals aren't quite Halloween, but this Vivien of Holloway skirt is super orange, so it counts.


The final category was actually the most challenging for me, because I absolutely love dresses and had a hard time limiting myself to just three for the next month. I knew my spiderweb dress would have to be one of my choices, because duh. I'm thinking it'll work with either of the cardigans, as well as layered over the striped long-sleeved shirt I've chosen, and if need be, I can also wear it as a skirt (instructions here!).

And after coming across this orange velvet mini in Target last weekend, I knew it was perfect for the last dregs of pregnancy and those tender postpartum days. I thought long and hard about the last dress, but ended up choosing a basic black maternity wiggle from Old Navy.

It's On!

In total, I've spent about $50 on new pieces for my maternity/postpartum Halloween capsule wardrobe. Hopefully, this capsule wardrobe challenge will help me cut down on my spending this month, since I hear diapers are expensive. I'm excited to keep y'all posted on how it goes! Are you planning to wear a lot of theme outfits this month?

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  1. I don't think there's a single piece you've included in this article that I'm not now in love with! I especially love your taste in cardigans and I'm not ashamed to say that I'd totally wear these year-round, especially the black and white one! I really want to buy myself some theme outfits now, thank you for the inspo!

    Abbey ๐ŸŽƒ๐Ÿ“š

  2. These looks are so stylish, I would totally wear the skirts and dresses and feel super festive this October๐Ÿ˜

  3. Hi, Halloween is becoming much bigger here now. I love all of the skirts that you are wearing. I think I would choose the last dress with the spiders webs.

  4. A Halloween capsule wardrobe is such a fun idea! All black and orange for some amazing outfits! I love the mesh midi skirt and the orange dress! xx corinne

  5. These are all gorgeous! The spider web dress is my favourite, I think.
    Amy xxx

  6. I love every item! I'd wear over half all year haha.
    Cora ❤

  7. Love these choices! I love Halloween!!! Great post em!!

  8. I so so love skirts and you are killing it with this cute ones of yours. Love your style!

    Danielle | <3

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  10. This is a great idea & I've never heard of a capsule wardrobe before! The Voodoo Vixen cardigan is gorgeous!