Friends! Can you believe this day is finally here??? I started planning for this capsule wardrobe back at the end of September with great expectations (such great expectations) and excitement to build a styled capsule collection to wear all fall long. There were some twists and turns along the way, but I am so thrilled to finally sit down and type out this blog post to share the details with you all! Thank you to those who have been a part of the journey from day one- suggesting the perfect fabrics, the awesome patterns from my pinspiration, and for cheering me on along the way. If you missed it all, please head to my Instagram for the “work in progress” reel! I’ll be back later this week to share the “what I wish I did right the first time” notes that I hope you all can learn from my mistakes as you create your own capsule wardrobe! But, for now, let’s just take a look at what came to be from all that hard work…brew a good cup of coffee and cuddle up at your favorite seat because this one is a long read, but oh so worth it!
What is a sudoku capsule wardrobe?
So glad you asked! I realized throughout this experience that many of you aren’t familiar with the sudoku style wardrobe building, so I thought I’d break it down for you quickly. This concept isn’t new, in fact one of my sewing buddies made it cool a few years ago. Everyone has a bit different take on the sudoku capsule style, but I adapted the concept to focus on what my goals were: To create a fall wardrobe that had accessories and hair styles to get me out of my boring “momiform” rut.
Each row, column and along the diagonal creates a head-to-toe look, a unique outfit that will work for daytime, date nights, girls nights out or just a trip to my local fabric shop to do some more hoarding….I mean fabric purchasing…same difference. Essentially, I wanted a reference guide to help me get dressed each morning. I have 10 easy looks ready to throw on at a moments notice. As a busy, work-at-home mom, this concept is BLISS I tell you! Let’s take a look at my fall capsule wardrobe:
You’ll see that along each row, each column and each diagonal there are four parts to make up my head-to-toe look: A hairstyle, an accessory, a shoe and apparel. Before you panic and think that some days I’m only wearing a dolman top, or only wearing a mini skirt…I promise I have on a full outfit, but for aesthetics, I just put one of the two patterns in the cell. HA!
As I was photographing outfits, I noticed that there are many more combinations possible if you make non-straight line combos and maybe I’ll keep putting together looks from these pieces and show you how to really maximize your capsule wardrobe! Keep an eye out on my IG for those additional looks!
As I was putting together the patterns, accessories and shoes for each look, I needed to be sure that I had a good color palette to work from in that my fall wardrobe would be interchangeable to get the most bang for my buck. I chose fabrics that a) I love b) work together c) were weather appropriate d) could transition from season to season. I needed all those criteria because after taking the time to sew, photograph and blog about this wardrobe, I actually need to be able to wear it! And not just for the blog post, but for real and for a long time!!!
Left to Right:
Tri-Blend Jersey Solid in Sage from Sly Fox Fabrics. This jersey is cozy but not too thick, great for layering and had just enough stretch for the tulip dress pattern I was using.
Telio Knit Knack Brushed Sweater Knit Light Grey from Fabric.com. This sweater knit is thick, with good stretch, good drape and is the ultimate cozy feel for the Darcey Duster I sewed to go over the tulip dress.
Cotton and Steel Les Fleurs Canvas from Fabric.com. I wanted fabric that would hold the bell shape of the mini skirt, that would wash and wear well and that had a bit of warmth to it.
Telio Stretch Bamboo Rayon Jersey Knit from Fabric. com. I wanted a neutral color, that wasn’t stark white, that had good drape for the bell sleeve and that layered nicely with the cardigans I was making too.
Fabric Merchants Rayon Challis from Fabric.com. The jumpsuit needed a good drapey fabric which rayon challis is perfect for. I just wish I had gone for a fabric with a bit more substance to it so that it didn’t wrinkle like no other! Lesson learned- but still obsessed with this mauve color!
Stretch Velvet Print Roses Mauve from Fabric.com. Stretch velvet became super popular last year and with no end in sight to the cozy, comfy trend I just had to jump on it! This print is spectacular in person and was my favorite piece from this whole collection!
Now that we’ve seen the sudoku board and the fabrics, it’s time to look at each of the 10 looks I put together from this capsule! For simplicity sake, I’ll link each pattern just once! The accessories are old and new, without links available so you’re on your own there. I will put links to the shoes once as well.
Pattern: Tulip Dress from Ellie and Mac Patterns. Hairstyle includes my DIY Bow Hair Tie (stay tuned for my IG highlights for this super easy tutorial!). Shoes from Target.
This outfit is sporty and fun. I love the shape of this Tulip dress on my body type. I cut a larger back to give some more room in the booty and slimmed through the waist for a nice, comfortable fit.
Pattern: Orchid x Parasol collaboration with Chalk & Notch and Ensemble Patterns. Shoes: Just Fab.
I am obsessed with this jumpsuit. I love the cross front, the elastic tie waist and the easy fit in the pants. I wish I had used a fabric that wouldn’t wrinkle so badly because it really is a pain to keep fresh. I steamed this right before photos and just having it sit on the bed while I was taking pics made it awfully wrinkly. Sad! I love the little braid and how it kind of keeps the look casual. I had different shoes for this but I forgot them in Texas, so here is the best option I could come up with!
Patterns: Cher mini skirt from Made for Mermaids. RuLo top from George & Ginger. Shoes from Vici.
This was my most anticipated look and I absolutely love it! The boots are comfy and slouchy to play off the structure of the skirt. The top is easy to wear to keep this outfit low maintenance and not fussy.
Pattern: Claire Dolman from Made for Mermaids. Jeans and Shoes from Vici.
This is my most-worn look. I constantly reach for this incredible stretch velvet top and my favorite “lightly worn” jeans. I love that the half-up pony gives it an easy finish and helps show off the crossover front.
This outfit makes me feel like a million bucks…can you tell just from my poses how much I adore it???
This skirt is giving me life! Seriously, there’s something about a good fitting mini skirt to bring you back to your youth! The bow continues that youthful style but the shoes keep me from looking like I’m trying to hard to be 17 again. HA!
Most effortless yet chic look in the capsule! The side braid totally shows off the crossover detail in the top. The boots are a quintessential fall piece. The distressed jeans keep this from looking too put together. Love it all.
I call this look “Sporty Spice” and as much as I didn’t like it during photos- I love how it came together. The high half pony and shoes play together and then the jumpsuit kicks it up a notch.
Pattern: Darcey Duster Cardigan from Made for Mermaids.
Fall is all about layers so I threw on the Darcey. I love that the duster has a longer hemline that really makes the tulip dress a “wow” when you see it from the front or a peek on the side. The pony and the slouch of the boots keeps it a playful look.
The tennis shoe is a huge trend right now and playing the sporty style with a more structured, dressy look is the perfect dichotomy. I love how the colors flow but aren’t matchy-matchy to keep interest.
Well, there you have it friends!!! 10 easy to wear looks that make getting ready so effortless and so fun! I’ve got my sudoku board saved on my phone for reference each morning. It took a bit of planning, and several days of sewing but now I have so many great pieces to mix and match all season long. I used fabrics and a color palette that will easily transition back to spring. I can pair tank tops with my skirt and shorts with my RuLo and velvet top for warmer weather. I can add a sandal with my jumpsuit and cuff the sleeves for a great summer night out. And the combos go on and on!!! I hope you found inspiration to go through your closet and create a capsule wardrobe with pieces you already own, or even more to start fresh and sew yourself a wardrobe that will carry you from season to season with style!
I’d love to hear your favorite look or any suggestions on what to do for my winter wardrobe!! Please leave me a comment or come visit me on Instagram to stay up to date with my latest sews! Check out my fall inspiration on my Pinterest too!