Minimal & Maximal Capsule Wardrobes

 
Minimal and Maximal Capsule Wardrobes | From the classic & neutral Parisian to the colorful & quirky Maximal - and anywhere in between - the capsule wardrobe you build should match your own personal style. In this post, I created two basic capsule wardrobes that prove owning less doesn’t have to be boring. | Classic Parisian Style | The easiest way to get dressed everyday | Basic capsule wardrobe for home or travel.
Maximal and Minimal Capsule Wardrobes | From the classic & neutral Parisian to the colorful & quirky Maximal - and anywhere in between - the capsule wardrobe you build should match your own personal style. In this post, I created two basic capsule wardrobes that prove owning less doesn’t have to be boring. | Maximal Style | Have fun getting dressed everyday | Mismatched Capsule Wardrobe | Basic capsule wardrobe for home or travel.

Over the past several years, the idea of capsule wardrobes has spread across the internet in a variety of iterations. There's the tightly edited 'original' version, the less restricted seasonal version, the reluctant fashionista version - I've shared my own travel versions for spring & summer, fall, and winter packing. Somewhere along the way, capsule wardrobes have become mostly synonymous with neutral colors and a minimalist aesthetic, which makes sense if your goal is to make getting dressed as simple as possible, or if you're learning what you like (more on this in the future). 

But what if you're someone who craves a bit more flavor or a bit less matching, and still a smaller suitcase to travel with or more breathing room in your closet?  Just because you're choosing to have fewer clothes doesn't mean they need to be less fun; you can pick the pieces you actually wear and love, even if none of them are black. The freedom of owning less and the joy of wearing non-vanilla clothes aren't mutually exclusive. 

Here, I've collected two basic capsule wardrobes: one of the classic minimalist variety, and one for the mismatching maximalist. I personally fall somewhere between the two, in my own happy mix of classic and eccentric - always on the lookout for fantastic closet staples that will last for years and for the more interesting pieces that will make an outfit feel more like me. And also, who says that for an outfit to "go together" everything has to match?

 

minimalist capsule

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1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11

 

maximalist capsule

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1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11

 

Would you wear one of these capsules, a mix of both, or something completely different? Let me know in the comments below or on Instagram!

 

 

Ten Days in Florence

 
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Florence is one of the friendliest cities I've ever visited; it greets you with an incredible landscape, wonderful food, and some of the world's greatest works of art. It's also a wonderfully walkable place, so you'll probably only need to use a car or train when taking a trip out of the city. The constantly rotating population of study abroad students brings a unique flavor to Florence - there's a lot of English spoken here, and an impressive variety of foods. During our summer abroad we spent ten days based in Florence, getting to know the city and exploring some nearby destinations. 

Travel Guide: Ten Days in Florence, Italy | Things to Do in Florence: my must-see spots and favorite foods & restaurants in Tuscany’s capital city. | How to spend a week (plus!) in Florence and Tuscany, with day trips and a custom travel map. | The best free things to do in Florence, and the paid attractions that are worth the cost. | What to Do, See, and Eat in Firenze | Favorite Aperitivo Spots in Florence, Italy | The best views in Florence.
Travel Guide: Ten Days in Florence, Italy | Things to Do in Florence: my must-see spots and favorite foods & restaurants in Tuscany’s capital city. | How to spend a week (plus!) in Florence and Tuscany, with day trips and a custom travel map. | The best free things to do in Florence, and the paid attractions that are worth the cost. | What to Do, See, and Eat in Firenze | Favorite Aperitivo Spots in Florence, Italy | The best views in Florence.
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THINGS TO DO


I might say this in every travel guide, but walking really is the best way to explore any city.  In Florence, wake up early for a stroll to take in the morning light over the clay rooftops and the calm Arno River. Cross the bridge Ponte Vecchio at least once, and wander whenever you can - just look for the Duomo as your guiding landmark. Before sunset, find some gelato and make your way eastward along the south side of the Arno.

From there, follow the winding Giardino delle Rose path up to the Piazzale Michelangelo for the most breathtaking views of the city. It's incredible (and busy) day or night, but sunset is the most magical time here. Bonus points if you bring along a bottle of wine and some pizza for dinner. If you want a quieter spot, climb even higher to San Miniato al Monte

Also on the south side of the river, the Pitti Palace stands in front of the famous Boboli Gardens. You can spend hours finding all the ornate fountains and sculptures tucked throughout the garden, and pack a picnic to spread out with in the afternoon. Nearby is the beautiful Bardini Garden with a quieter, more manicured atmosphere and lovely views. It's not a very well known spot, but was one of my favorite places in Florence - spend an hour or so exploring the tiered gardens, then linger over coffee or wine on the terrace overlooking the city. 

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Nearly everyone passing through Florence will visit the Uffizi and Accademia galleries. They're home to such incredible works of Renaissance art, you won't want to miss them either - but to avoid the long lines, go early in the day and reserve your ticket in advance if you can. At the Duomo, spare yourself some time (and claustrophobia) by climbing the bell tower instead of the dome itself. 

Even if you're not looking for souvenirs, shopping in Florence deserves at least a half-day of your time. The indoor Mercato Centrale is a perfect place for a quick meal or to buy groceries for cooking your own dinner. Right outside, you'll find San Lorenzo market, where you could easily spend hours sifting through the art, leather goods, and flea market finds. I'm particularly infatuated with Florentine gilded wood trays - not the high-gloss ones you'll see on many corners, but the vintage kind that you have to really hunt for. There's more wonderful vintage hunting - this time for clothes - at the shop Street Doing.  To wind down with a local-feeling afternoon, buy your lunch at the Sant’Ambrogio market, and enjoy it in the nearby park Piazza d’Azeglio. For a more American style of relaxation, book a pedicure at Maniboo.

 

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WHere TO EAT


The Italian custom of aperitivo - enjoying a drink and a bite to eat at the end of the workday - is a longstanding tradition, and Florence is no exception. Some restaurants will offer a generous buffet of appetizers that's included in the price of your drink, like GalleryKitsch, and Soul Kitchen. It's a wonderful bargain, and sometimes referred to as a "students' dinner"; a casual aperitivo dinner or two should save you enough to indulge in one of the fancier rooftop spots on another night.

Enjoying an aperitivo above the city, you'll find higher prices and smaller offerings for complimentary snacks - potato chips and olives, perhaps - surrounded by beautiful views that you just won't find at a street-level restaurant. Golden View Open Bar is top of the list in both ambience and price tag, and completely worthy of the buzz it receives. The rooftop at Grand Hotel Minerva has a picturesque swimming pool for guests and a pretty terrace where we enjoyed a bottle of rosé. The public library Biblioteca delle Oblate is something of a hidden gem, with a rooftop that offers a spectacular view over the Duomo and a cafeteria with well priced aperitivi.

At some point, visit La Ménagère, a charming cafe, shop, and restaurant all under one roof. For a truly delicious bowl of ramen, head to Koto Ramen. Try La Milkeria for coffee and crepes, or Ditta Artigianale for a delicious breakfast and an almond milk latte. Arà: è Sicilia serves wonderful Sicilian street food and gelato, while its sister Arà: è Sud is a good spot for a nice dinner out.

 

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Settled in the heart of Tuscany, it's almost a requirement to venture out of Florence and see the hillside vineyards and medieval towns that are so close by. My advice? Head to the countryside, and out to the Cinque Terre. 
 

The Tuscan Countryside


It's no secret that the scenery in Tuscany is some of the best in the world, and you'll probably want to spend a couple days exploring the countryside and its cities. Take a day tour on a Fiat or Vespa, on a bicycle, or rent a car to travel on your own. A Tuscan cooking class - like this one in Chianti or this one near Siena - was one of our favorite days during our time in Florence. You can find my full guide to the Tuscan countryside here

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the Cinque Terre


The Cinque Terre is not technically part of Tuscany, but after visiting the Leaning Tower of Pisa this string of colourful fishing towns is just an hour away by train. Take a couple days if you can to explore Riomaggiore, Manarola, Vernazza, Corniglia, and Monterosso al Mare. If you really can't manage more than a day trip, scroll to the bottom of my Cinque Terre guide for my best advice on a whirlwind visit - hopefully (unlike me) you'll avoid getting stuck in Pisa until 2am after a cancelled train. Don't worry, I had friends and prosecco!

 

 

'star' the map below to access it from the google maps app on your phone!

 

Edit: Black, Blue & Dots