J’adore Chico’s 10-Pieces/20-Outfits Wardrobe Extravaganza (Creating a Travel Capsule Wardrobe)
Disclosure: This is a sponsored collaboration with Chico’s. As always all opinions are my own.
When I first moved to Europe and began working in Switzerland in 2003, one of the first observations I made about the women in the office is that while they were very stylish and put together, they seemed to wear the same clothes. There was one woman, in particular, she was Italian by birth, but had lived in Switzerland for a very long time.
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She was responsible for PR (public relations) and was not only passionate about marketing in general, but she was quite flamboyant. I arrived in Switzerland in the spring and in my first few weeks, I would see her in bright pink and bright orange suits with a simple blouse and lots of jewelry. I admired her for being “bold enough” to wear the same clothes multiple times in a short time frame.
Then I realized. It is just plain smart. (And honestly, after a while I didn’t even notice!) She was capsule wardrobing way before it was trendy. And in fact, if you read my advice on how to pack for Paris, it is the way most French women approach their wardrobe. Also capsule wardrobes and the absolute best packing approach for traveling – hands down.
Capsule wardrobes are just plain smart and Chico’s has not only mastered the concept, they pride themselves in offering unique fashion finds that help you build that wardrobe, while also offering versatility so it never looks like you’re wearing the same outfit twice! This fall, Chico’s is taking the guesswork out of dressing yourself by offering 10 pieces that you can wear in 20 different ways. (I actually think it could be more!) I’m sharing a sampling of the outfits I created from curating a few pieces from their collection and a few tips on creating a capsule wardrobe.
My Chico's Wardrobe Selections
You may have followed me on Instagram for a while or have seen some of the outfits, I've worn on the pages of this blog, so you might be looking at the collection above and think, that doesn't look like Andi. But even though there are pieces in beautiful shades of magenta and mustard, there are also pieces in navy, black, and grey! You will see in the tips for creating a wardrobe further down, that you have to be you! So when I made my collection choices I selected:
- The Bateau-Neck Sweater in Heather Grey
- The Ruffle-Front Shirt in White
- The Sophia-Slim Ankle Pants in Black
- The Petite Denim Jacket
I choose these pieces because I know I will wear them and after receiving them and wearing there are a couple more pieces I will be selecting to add to my wardrobe. Most specifically the ankle pants in navy as I absolutely love these pants! With those 4 pieces, I was able to create X outfits.
To spice things up a bit I added some jewelry. Picking out the jewelry was actually harder than the clothes since Chico's has a great collection! I rarely wear jewelry and don't have a lot, but what I do have I would consider “classics,” so when choosing pieces for my outfits I went with pearls.
“A woman needs ropes and ropes of pearls.” – Coco Chanel
My selections were:
- A single-strand necklace
- Linear earrings
- A Starburst pin
Here's how my outfits came together.
Outfit #1: Everything at once!
I chose pieces that could be layered altogether depending on the weather and/or the occasion. So this outfit combines the denim jacket on top of the Bateau-Neck sweater on top of the Ruffle-front shirt over the Sophia-Slim ankle pants. I've also got the single-strand (faux) pearl necklace and Starburst pin on. This is perfect for colder weather or a day or presenting in the office (I would take off the jacket). I could also easily wear this in Paris for a day of activities that moves into dinner.
Outfit #2: taking off a layer (and adding color!)
Just because I like a monochromatic color palette doesn't mean I can't be fun. I added a huge pop of bright red with these shoes that I paired with the Bateau-Neck sweater on top of the Ruffle-front shirt over the Sophia-Slim ankle pants. That red is drawing a lot of attention, so I kept the single-strand (faux) pearl necklace on to add some texture to my top half. The other thing I will do with this combo is drop the necklace and add my red glasses! No one ever called me boring!
Outfit #3: taking off a layer
There is nothing more French (and therefore classic, in my book) than a white shirt. The ruffle-front adds a nice design and instant flare. Paired with the Sophia-Slim ankle pants it is ultra-classic. I kept the necklace on but if I was feeling it was all too fussy, I would drop that stick with the blouse and pants and feel very comfortable in this for work, for Paris, for travel – these pants are incredibly comfortable – and more!
I threw the Bateau-Neck sweater back over my shoulders – I often get cold in conference rooms, on planes, and in restaurants, so I always like to have something I can add to combat a chill!
Outfit #4: Simple basics
This outfit just screams “me.” I like simple, classic and comfortable and I would travel in this, work in this, walk in this – all the things. I want this outfit in a few more colors and life would be complete!
Once again, combatting any potential chills, I'd have that denim jacket on hand. The Starburst pin also adds interest to the outfit, then again, so would the red shoes!
I loved how everything fit and how comfortable it felt. As I mentioned before, I will be picking a few more pieces from this collection to complete my wardrobe and if you are looking for versatile, easy-to-wear clothing to build a wardrobe for work, for play, or for travel, I highly recommend you check out the Chico's has a great collection!
I have a lot of travel blogging friends that have written about the rule of 3 for packing. Basically, it comes down to trying to wear each item you pack in 3 different ways. As you can see from the outfits above that isn't hard to do. I only used 4 of the 10 pieces!
My tips for building a capsule wardrobe
Build a wardrobe that fits your life
Be realistic and practical about selecting your capsule wardrobe. Be true to your needs. Don’t try to be aspirational, your wardrobe should reflect your day-to-day environment, you should be able to reach into your closet and feel comfortable wearing any piece in there. And those pieces should feel comfortable! Simplifying your decision-making process reduces stress!
Start with a favorite piece
Got a pair of pants or jeans that you love, a blazer or tee that you can’t live without? Start your capsule with that! Build around that favorite piece, it will be a lot easier to create your wardrobe, and more fun to wear execute your capsule strategy and you will likely be more successful with this concept. If you don’t have a favorite piece find one! Might I suggest something from Chico’s?
Plan your outfits
Once you have selected pieces to make up your capsule wardrobe, try planning a few outfits. Try putting together outfits for a few days.
Make sure that every piece works
If you invest the time and effort to create a capsule wardrobe you will actually have less to choose from, which is not a bad thing, but everything needs to work. If you have a piece that only works with part of your collection, that you only wear once in a while, then it isn’t pulling its weight and you should consider getting rid of it or swapping it for something else. Trends come and go and so does the money you spent on that trend!
Forget about imposter syndrome
Everyone has seen the perfectly dressed influencers on Instagram sporting their magnificent wardrobes. You might tend to feel a little jealous or unworthy, may feel intimidated or unworthy, but don’t! Be inspired! Feel challenged to find a capsule wardrobe that works for you! You do you! If you feel like your choices are underwhelming, consider adding some “sparkle.”
I’m not big on jewelry and my Chico’s choices are in the grey/black/white palette so to add some character, I chose some pieces that felt a little larger than life (at least for me). People may not necessarily remark about my outfit (other than I look put together and sharp) but they will remember my broach or the fact that I wore earrings and that’s enough to get a wow! And you know me, I say throw a scarf over anything!
Welcome to easy street!
Once you’ve created your capsule wardrobe, you don’t need extra time to get ready. You don't need extra time to pack a suitcase. You won’t be spending money on shopping. You’ll naturally have more time to do other things with your time and your life.
How about you? Have you tried creating a wardrobe from a few great pieces? Have you gone full-on capsule? Do you capsule when you travel? Lastly, if you have to pick 3 or 4 pieces from Chico's new collection to start a wardrobe, what would you choose? Do tell!
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The ruana wrap is so pretty! Thank you for sharing
OMG, I love those fall colours in the collection.Especially that ruana wrap looks so comfy and stylish. Can be totally worn at work, too. (Plus, more oftne than not, it’s cold in the office rooms.^^)
Love your style and how you mixed up all of the pieces! Definitely something I struggle with
I have never heard of a ‘capsule wardrobe’ before but I love it! My wardrobe is do dreary at the moment this is something I must look into.
My favourite piece is the white shirt with the Bateau-neck sweater! Thank for you this great advice 🙂
Wow! Those outfits are fabulous and you look stunning on them! Love how you do your mix ups!
Just a quick note here… loved your post! I’m a long time Chico’s customer. I love their style and fit for a mature customer. I’m Anna behind Intrepid Scout.
What great advice! I have pieces that I know would go together, so this list is even helpful to clean out my closet of things I don’t wear and that don’t fit in the capsule wardrobe. Thank you!
Fashion has always been a struggle for me, so I really appreciate your advice. Also, that sunburst pin is a great accent piece!
I love that ruffled shirt!
I love these pieces and your style! Those red shoes are super cool!
I’m loving the layered look! Great style tips, thank you!
Love this post Andi. You look fabulous! I will look into the Bateau sweater and pants. It all looks so good on you.
I’m loving that jacket, and twinned with those deep red trousers would look great for an autumn city break around Europe. I try and pack by outfits while I’m travelling, but being more of a sporty girl, I always tend to have a bit of a scruffy look about me. It’s fine for places like Asia, but I stand out like a sore thumb in cities. I really should pay mor attention to what I’m wearing, keeping it practical, but need a few statement stylish items that work well like you have here.
I love all of these looks! Having a capsule wardrobe is such a great idea. Having fewer items but with a higher quality can really make your style sophisticated and effortless.
I love your sence of styling, I really do 🙂
Maybe it would be easier to travel more lightly if I planned my outfits ahead of departure 😛
Lovely post! I love having a capsule wardrobe. While I could definitely still scale back, I am pretty minimal a when it comes to my closet, and it has made life so much simpler. I love your outfit ideas here!
Okay, confession – I had no idea what a capsule wardrobe was before reading this! Haha. The more you know eh. Gorgeous clothes 😀
What a great idea. It is really very simple, but effective. I’m going to work on my Autumn and Winter one now.
I love the red shoes and the ruffle shirt! Having a handful of main pieces you can mix and match is such a smart idea, I really believe in minimalism and not hoarding more stuff than you need. You look different and cute in all of these photos with just a few items. My backpacking life is similar, so it’s fun to see this philosophy translated to every day.
I love the idea and is very minimalist I say. 🙂 Simple yet effective.
Some great ideas here, Andi. Having a few key pieces is vital for mixing and matching.
Such nice outfits love the way they look on you.
I had never heard of the term capsule wardrobe before but I love the idea! It really does look like several different outfits! With traveling it really does make sense. 😁
I’m all about simplicity and versatility when it comes to clothes, everything looks great on you!
I didn’t realise there was a name for this, but I’ve been doing it my whole life!
Oooo so many cool ideas here. I am constantly struggling with this and your blog has been such help ❤️
Great post as always. I love the outfits and the minimalist approach. You definitely know how to put an outfit together. Love the idea of adding a colourful item like the shoes, should try that!
These are SUCH good tips. I have been meaning to get better at having a capsule style wardrobe, but I have not quite managed to nail it yet. I can see it would be fantastic for travel!
Every outfit looks AMAZING!!! And definitely fit for the fashionable streets of Paris!
Never though about it before, but I do the same thing. Maybe its a European thing? Great tips on building a capsule wardrobe 🙂
Super digging that brooch and that denim jacket!
Love a good capsule wardrobe- a denim jacket is always great for travels!
Love how you can mix and match. That’s how we all should pack, to have options within limited weight.
The pieces you highlight are so versatile. I love the way you can easily mix and match the pieces.
Lol, I have always worn clothes this way, as I prefer spending my cash on travels. Never realised I had a capsule wardrobe- I’m more trendy than I thought! I like outfit 4 – simple basics, can go anywhere!
You look amazing Andi (mind you, you always do) and I love the pants with the red boots and the Starburst pin would look great on my denim jacket!
Love how you layer the outfits. Looks elegant and put together!
I love how there are so many different looks, with just a few beautiful pieces! That’s my goal! I liked how you put them together, very helpful! 🙂
I like outfit #4. We must have similar taste! I also love the red shoes. When I was a little girl, I had Buster Brown red shoes and I’ve loved red shoes ever since.
I’ve never heard of the term “capsule wardrobe” but have been doing it for years 😀 I find it also quite liberating not to have a lot of clothes: it’s easier when moving and I don’t stand in front of the wardrobe for ages in the morning. The same as you, I like layers too 🙂
I love capsule wardrobes – and this selection really nails it. I love the french woman’s sense of style – so chic and effortless! You’re doing a great job of emulating this chic style 🙂
It’s not smart to have loads of clothing and wear something else every day. The real cleverness and skill is to have 10 items and be capable of combining them into numerous new combinations. We all need to learn that because fast and cheap fashion has a very negative impact on the environment. I am all for quality clothing that one can wear many years. Great post 🙂
I’d never heard of a capsule wardrobe before, but I realized that I already have one now that I pack light for extended trips. It’s a smart way to travel and to limit the amount of luggage you take with you on any trip. Thanks for adding to my fashionista education!
Great post! So many outfits created with several pieces of key items. Every fall/winter I create my capsule wardrobe and then again in the spring/summer. Being born in Europe, I watched my mother do it all the time.
Love this post! I’m new to the capsule wardrobe and love it!
You look great! And I couldn’t agree more about the importance of layering for travel. Lots of thinner layers that go together is key for me…except I don’t look as stylish while travelling & much more “thrown together”!
I wish I could be organised enough to have a capsule wardrobe but I’m an impulse buyer and love patterns so I end up with a mismatch of items that I can’t wear with anything or just one other thing and my wardrobe is stuffed to bursting! I feel I’m a lost case (but I do like the idea in theory!!)
I agree a capsule wardrobe is a must, especially when traveling great distances. I love your pops of color and how much that can change a basic outfit.
I love the idea of a capsule wardrobe, especially for travel! Makes it so much easier to pack.
I used to shop at Chicos before I moved to New Zealand. I loved it. Your selections are fabulous, we have similar taste. And also in colours. Great combinations. Makes me want to shop at Chicos again.
I really wished that I had that way of planning my outfits ahead of time, moste of the times I just shove some itmens into my bag before we travel. But I really should start planning ahead 🙂
I love all of these outfits, but I really like the white blouse–so elegant. I’ll have to check out Chico’s the next time I’m at the mall.
Thank you for this post! I know you are highlighting Chico’s but this is also sort of a capsule wardrobe for dummies post- which I’ve desperately needed!! I’ve really wanted to scale back my wardrobe and go for a capsule, but for some reason I’ve had this mental block that you’ve helped me un-block. So thank you for that!
Amazing how well you can combine very different pieces. Thanks for sharing!
Love this Andi! I have been looking towards more capsule wardrobe options and have to check out Chicos
I love this concept especially for travelling. I will definitely check out this Chico collection. It looks amazing.
I love this minimalistic way of dressing up! Especially for traveling, I think less is more and helps you save time because you don’t have to make as many choices about what to wear.
This is so smart! I need to start creating capsule collections! Thanks for recommending Chico’s!
So in love with that statement coat!
Totally understand what a capsule wardrobe is now! I had an idea, but this makes it so clear. Makes perfect sense to pack for a trip!
Everything looks great on you Andi – capsule wardrobe is such a good idea!
Very cute! Not sure why Google thought I was looking for this, but, just as well I saw it. I enjoyed the experience. Thank you very much.