Fashion Capsule Shopping On a Budget (See My Haul)


I promised to take you on the journey from start to finish on planning a capsule wardrobe. I shared my possible contenders (that link is where you can read more about what a capsule wardrobe is!) and I wanted to share with you the fit on these items as well as my thoughts on some other pieces that I picked up. Since this is my first time doing this, I would SO appreciate your feedback if this helps you with your own wardrobe planning.

A Little About Me

Before I begin I want to let you know that I am merely remarking on quality and best buys for your buck and not what you should or shouldn’t wear.  If you need help picking out clothes for YOU please take this course. It is an amazing class and will help you pick the right fit and look for your own body type.

If I were forced to classify my own style it would be Elderly Hipster with a lean towards classic lines.

Oh, you haven’t heard of Elderly Hipster?

It means I might lean in a bit to boho or retro, but you won’t catch me back in overalls. It means I lean towards classics with clean lines so I find things like distressed jeans to be distressing and patterned leggings to be pajamas. I also feel weird about the exposed shoulder trend especially the weird cut-out shoulders. I can’t do it.

I like them for you, but not for me. 

I normally don’t purchase as much, but I got pretty sick this year and my clothes are not fitting right anymore. I haven’t really felt like myself and have been lacking a bit of confidence because, to me, I look worn down and sick. It sucks. Instead of trying to tie up skirts and pants and knotting/belting/zip tying all the things to make them have shape around me, I bought some things and am putting clothes away until I look like my old self again.

I used you as an excuse to shop though so I hope that’s okay.

It’s been a hard year and I want to feel like myself again.

A Little About You

Since many of the items have an affiliate link (something I try to always disclose), I am able to get a good snapshot of what you guys like. What I can see from these reports is that you love a good deal from familiar stores like Old Navy and LOFT. I can also see that you are willing to invest in quality staples to round out your purchases like a good pair of jeans. One of the top things you are buying are these ballet flats, for example, which tells me you value quality and comfort like I do.

Maybe your style is Elderly Hipster too?

Boutique is also okay, but it must be classic, made well, and affordable. I partnered up with Ali On The Boulevard and we worked together to come up with affordable capsule options that have longevity from her store. I wanted to work locally so I could actually feel and see the items for you, not just act like I knew if it was good or not. I even stood there while she called every supplier too to make sure you guys could purchase any of the pieces and everything that is featured you will be able to order. The highest price item is $38 and most sit in the $25-33 range. I hope this will add to your enjoyment of capsule shopping. I will be sharing these items with you next week (along with HOPEFULLY some of the items that have not arrived yet)  and the accessories/shoes that I found to compliment them.

I had also made a commitment to embrace secondhand, but the feedback I got from you is that, while this was certainly inspiring, it made it hard to replicate. Not everyone desires the thrill of the hunt like I do. Many of you signed up with thredUP, but maybe got lost or overwhelmed along the way.  This time I wanted to show you smart purchases, but I also spent some time looking at your purchase history to make sure it fell in line with what you buy.

You guys had mixed feelings about Stitch Fix and I did too. I had some credit sitting in my account so I thought I would give it a spin again and this time I actually kept three items (first time ever!). I had no idea they started carrying shoes and they picked out some trendy comfortable shoes for me which made the delivery worth it. This time it worked out, but it took them three tries to finally nail it.

So that’s the scoop on you and me. I am ready to show you what I got. I also have a new appreciation for fashion bloggers. I don’t want to do this again for a long time!!

Perfect Mustard Cardigan & Styling Ideas

Perfect Mustard Cardigan

Mustard Cardigan, Chevron Necklace, Gray Tee, & Leopard Print Shoes

mustard cardigan– H&M ($12.99!!), gray t-shirt worn for almost 3 years (similar, old navy),   7 jeans (thredup), world’s comfiest leopard flats (Amazon), chevron necklace (francesca’s)

Every year I get asked about mustard cardigans and, you guys, THIS IS THE ONE!! It is soft, the length is perfection, the sleeves have a dolman sleeve quality to the cut, and this baby is only $12.99- BOOM! I took a risk and got three of these in a variety of colors. This fits true to size (I am wearing the XS) and the length fits like this on someone who is a towering 5’1″ (jealous?) I still can’t believe this find this year and I hope you can snag one in the whole rainbow too!

Also this necklace is beautiful and just the chevron detail I had been looking for. It’s two toned and the piece is heavy with a sturdy necklace to hold the chevron. I highly recommend for a knockoff Madewell look!

Burgundy Cardigan, Gray T-Shirt, Chevron Necklace, & Leopard Print Shoes

Hope you love that sweater because here it is the wine color. Also, note to self, clean the mirror next time. Lord knows what is on this one.

Belted Black Cardigan, Floral Top, Skinny Jeans, & Black Ballet Flats

Perfect Black Cardigan

black rib-knit cardigan (H&M), floral print shirt ($14.99!!) 7 jeans (thredup), belt (similar, target), world’s comfiest black flats (Amazon)

And the cardigan again, but this time I belted it so it makes it totally different. Also, check out these ballet flats. I am going to say they look like something that rhymes with LEIKS and far more affordable. Oh, and JUST as comfy, I guarantee it.  This floral print shirt is amazing and has the mustard and blush color blended right in it. It runs small, I think, so I would size up one on this one.

Floral Print Shirt, Skinny Dark Jeans, & Black Ballet Flats

Seriously, how gorgeous is this print? It will pair well with just about everything in my capsule this year! Yay!

Cozy Gray Top, Chevron Necklace, Dark Jeans, Tan Tassel Booties

world’s coziest top that feels like pajamas (old navy), 7 jeans (thredup), tassel booties– your feet will say thank you over and over again (tom’s), chevron necklace (francesca’s)

Last week I raved about this top so I just wanted to show you how adorable this is. The cut is perfect and the material feels like a cozy blanket, but the kind that doesn’t make you sweaty. This top runs true to size and I saw so many of you ordered this one last week. I would love to hear if you loved it half as much as I did!! Tell me, tell me!

Black Cargo Vest, Ivory Shirt, Dark Jeans, Tan Tassel Booties

world’s coziest top that feels like pajamas (old navy), black cargo vest (target with a french accent- $29.99!!),  7 jeans (thredup), tassel booties– (tom’s), chevron necklace (francesca’s)

I wanted to switch up the olive green vest and added this black cargo vest as a topper for a variety of outfits in this capsule. It’s so cute and lightweight. I snagged the world’s coziest top in the ivory too and it will make a great staple under my dresses in the colder months. I’m wearing the XS and this one fits true to size.

Sleeveless Pintuck Swing Dress With Tan Belt Pintuck Swing Dress with Rose Cardigan & Tan Belt

Blue Swing Dress, Mustard Sweater, & Tan Belt

sleeveless pintuck swing dress (old navy), belt (similar, target), mustard cardigan– H&M, rose cardigan, dusty rose cardigan- J. Crew (thredup)

I clearly need to iron this BUT my husband said this is his favorite thing I got and it was acquired for a song at Old Navy (woohoo!). I am showing you a few ways I plan to wear it, but there are MANY more!

Sleeveless Pintuck Swing Dress

Pintuck Sleeveless Swing Dress

This dress has a lot of fabric to it and I was worried it would overwhelm my petite frame. This dress runs big so size down one. I am wearing the Petite XS and you can see the length on me is perfect. I will stick to wearing a belt with this one because I’m not paying for alterations until I am for sure planning to wear it for many a season. That said, when I eat my giant dinners, I shall let the belt fly and not worry about my belly hanging out.

If you carry weight around your middle, this is a great way to camouflage it.  Just skip the belt and distract the eye with a fun necklace or scarf.

Belted Boho Shift

Belted Boho Shift

Boho Shift With Suede Booties

burgundy tassel boho shift (old navy), belt (similar, target), suede booties (similar,old navy)

You guys! This is me being edgy. Remember, elderly hipster! I got this dress on impulse after that first one fit so good and I LOVE THIS DRESS. I do need to iron it (I’m exhausted- the kids, the running, the meals, the neverending story of my life), but the thing that I really love about this is that it is fully lined. I like it not belted, but my husband says it looks like a nightgown. I think we both need to warm up to the boho look because I adore this dress. It can also be paired with that mustard cardigan, but I didn’t want that in every picture because I do have a few other looks.

This one fits true to size, perhaps, a tiny bit baggy if you are on the fence of two sizes. Isn’t it just the cutest? I’m happy I went with that impulse. Combined with their every single day is a sale day coupon code and you can get this one in the $20 range!

 Black, Mustard Necklace

Back of Top

All black, mustard necklace, & suede booties

pintucked blouse in black (LOFT), Just Black black jeans (Stitch Fix– I know!!), suede booties (similar, Old Navy), mustard necklace (similar, but mine is from Goodwill, yo!)

I got two of these pintucked blouses for dressing up and for layering. I REALLY love these because they have a lot of movement and an adorable tie in the back without that open racy look (elderly hipster).  I am wearing an XXS in this one- sizing probably fits pretty true to size, I just have trouble with my smaller frame.

Stitch Fix sent the Just Black jeans and I fell in love. They are buttery and soft, but not linty and trapping cat hair as my other pairs. They sent me ankle-length and they were nearly perfect in length for me. I have been wearing these nonstop since I got them.

Pink Pintuck Shirt + Burgundy Necklace + Black Jeans
Striped Jacket, Pintuck Shirt, Tassel Necklace in Flourescents

Pink Shirt, Mustard Sweater, and Royal Blue Necklace

pintucked blouse in angel wing pink (LOFT), tassel necklace (similar, j. crew factory), striped blazer (similar, macy’s and under $30!!), blue bubble necklace (similar), burgundy bubble necklace, similar, mustard cardigan (H&M)

I don’t often think of pink as a neutral, but this soft pink delivers in so many color schemes that it is a new neutral for me. I think this is one of my wisest wardrobe investment pieces just for the variation it brings with color.

That neckline is hella fun too for a million colors and necklaces. This also has the tie back feature without the raciness (get off my lawn, whippersnappers!).

Burgundy Shirt, Black Jeans, Chevron Necklace Burgundy Top, Jean Vest, Black Jeans, Suede Booties

burgundy top (thredup– here is a similar one), Just Black black jeans (Stitch Fix), suede booties (similar,old navy), jean vest (thredup– here is a similar one on budget)

I just love everything about this. The top can be dressed up or dressed down and the neckline on this makes it perfect for pretty much everything. The pocket sits higher so it’s not right on the boob. Not that I have those. But for all of you SPECIAL ladies. This was made by an in-house brand for Stitch Fix, but I snagged it on consignment. Such a steal! This is my first jean vest ever and another SUPER edgy piece to my wardrobe.

Burgundy Tee, Black Jeans, Moccasins

Just Black black jeans (Stitch Fix), Burgundy Top (Stitch Fix), Adorable Moccasins (Kenneth Cole, Stitch Fix), mustard necklace (similar, but mine is from Goodwill, yo!)

How cute are these items? I had my doubts, but they finally pulled through. I made sure to request SMART basics for a capsule wardrobe. The top wasn’t my favorite until I put it on and realized how lovely it is. It’s almost a light sweater material and it drapes beautifully. These black jeans are my new favorite jeans and the slip on shoes complete my busy mom lifestyle. REALLY happy this time and plan to try again with the next capsule.

Sweater Dress from Anthro

Sweater Dress from Anthro

GORGEOUS sweater dress (thredup), blue bubble necklace (similar), Madden Girl Open Toe Booties (similar, Macy’s)

Now I’m just showing off because this dress…I love it and I got it on consignment. This is my jazz hands piece and I can’t wait to layer it for the cooler season.

Swing Top With Style

Madewell Swing Top  (thredup), pintucked blouse in black (LOFT), Just Black black jeans (Stitch Fix), black beaded necklace (similar, open sky)

Another thredup find and LOOK that pintuck blouse is underneath. My husband was like, “Whoa, fashionable.” This swing top is from Madewell and I love it. It’s one of those pieces that will pair well with a bib necklace for fancy nights out.

Perfect Striped Dress

Perfect Striped Dress

striped t-shirt dress (target), belt (similar, target), mustard necklace (similar, but mine is from Goodwill, yo!), nude peep toe shoes (similar, mine are also cole haan- they run narrow so I don’t last long in these!)

This is one of the weirdest things in my capsule, but I fell in love with it. This is a maternity dress. No, I am not making an announcement. Putting Me Together said this is the ultimate striped dress so I went with it. On a taller person, this will be right at knee length or higher (look at her- legs for days!). On me, it is a comfortable midi length. I absolutely love it and it feels like…you guessed it…pajamas. She says this one doesn’t pill after being washed- woohoo!

When the receipt breezed through, I had to text my husband and remind him that if I was pregnant, I was birthing the next Savior. We double locked it. LOL! Only fur babies moving forward!

Francesca Cardigan

Francesca Cardigan

The only miss was just because I am so petite. This cardigan was going to be everything. As you can see, I have PLENTY of cardigans and no need for this piece. It’s being returned. This would be adorable on someone of taller stature though!  I just couldn’t carry the volume or length very well.

PHEW! I also have a new appreciation for fashion bloggers.

More happening on Tuesday with my friend Ali and a few notes on my favorite accessories.

I hope this is helpful. If it isn’t, just get out of here because that was a crazy amount of work. And worth it…I hope.


Ask questions, tell me what you think, or whatever! Just let me know you visited!

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Published September 01, 2016 by:

Amy Allen Clark is the founder of You can read all about her here.

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