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How to Put Together a Vintage Inspired Capsule Wardrobe

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Creating a vintage inspired capsule wardrobe is frugal and a great way to dress with dignity as a Catholic mom. 

I have always been a lover of most things vintage. Ever since my youth, my fashion icon has been Audrey Hepburn.

In my efforts to simplify my life, and dress in a wardrobe that I loved, I started creating a vintage inspired capsule wardrobe.

I’m an aspiring retro housewife and because I love those styles, I want to be able to dress that way, too. Plus, those styles align with my modesty standards, so that’s just an added bonus for me.

Duchess feeding chickens in a ballgown

(Photo Cred)

Yes, it’s true, I live on a farm. But that didn’t stop the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire from feeding her chickens in couture. Ha.

So, maybe that’s a little less practical for most of us, but I can easily see myself dressing this glamorous while taking care of animals. Especially as I get older.

But, I’m not a duchess and I definitely can’t afford couture.

And just because I love vintage styles and beauty, does not mean that I’m spending a small fortune on my wardrobe. Actually, it’s the complete opposite. I’m working towards a more simple and frugal lifestyle.

A Capsule Wardrobe is Frugal

First thing I did when I started putting together my capsule wardrobe, was to purge. And I was totally ruthless. If I didn’t wear something, plan on wearing it, or really love it, it went to a donation pile.

Next, I made a list of some basic pieces that I wanted to include in this vintage inspired capsule wardrobe. This list was based off of my research into what clothing was worn during the 40s and 50s and what styles I love to wear.

Then, I took an inventory of what I already own. And planned for what purchases I needed to make to complete the capsule. So there were a few investment pieces purchased. But in the long run it saves money because I don’t purchase anything I don’t need.

It also saves money because I own less, but get multiple outfits out of each piece of clothing. We live in an old farmhouse. The closets are small for a reason. We really don’t need to stuff them full of items that we don’t love or wear often.

garden with pink tulips and lady wearing full modest skirt

Creating a Vintage Inspired Capsule Wardrobe – The List

When I began to research and put together my capsule wardrobe, this is the list that I used as my guide. This list is what I chose to work from, but feel free to edit it to fit your lifestyle.

I have links to some of the items I own or plan to purchase to complete the rest of my capsule wardrobe when it falls within our budget.

  • 2-4 elbow length and/or puff sleeve shirts
  • 1 boat neck or v-neck sweater
  • 2-3 cardigans
  • 1 black dress
  • 1 pencil skirt
  • 4-6 everyday dresses
    • Floral Print
    • Cap Sleeve Swing Dress
  • 2-4 Skirts
  • 1 pair of ballet flats
  • 1 pair of high heels
  • A black vintage purse
  • 4-5 pairs of stockings
  • 1 petticoat
  • 2 well fitting bras
  • Assortedvintage inspired slips & lingerie
  • Vintage inspired nightgowns
  • Assorted winter gear according to your seasonal needs

Steps to Create a Vintage Inspired Capsule Wardrobe

lady wearing a blue dress with light pink florals

Step 1: Purge

Declutter anything that you haven’t worn or plan to wear in the future. Get ruthless.

Related: A Catholic Alternative to Konmari

Step 2: Use what you have.

Look for staples and basic pieces that you can use for multiple outfits.

Step 3: Create a plan & make lists.

Step 4: Shop for bargains.

Check thrift stores, eBay, and clearance bins for the best deals.

Take your time & build your wardrobe over time and when it falls within your budget. A capsule wardrobe is such a great way to simplify and live a minimalist lifestyle.

Shop This Look

I put together a list with some of my favorites here for you.

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