a spring capsule wardobe with thredup.

thred_up_reading_my_tea_leaves_IMG_5240This post is sponsored by thredUp, a secondhand shopping website selling like-new clothes.

I’ve never really embraced the term capsule wardrobe. I prefer minimalist wardrobe. It feels a little more holistic and a little less fleeting. Besides, capsules remind me of pills that need swallowing. But regardless of what you call it, when thredUp reached out to have me work on a post about my tips for building a thoughtful wardrobe for spring, I knew I had a few things to say on the subject and I was eager to familiarize myself with a site that so many of you have raved about in this space.thred_up_reading_my_tea_leaves_IMG_5176For folks who aren’t familiar, thredUp is an online marketplace for both selling and buying secondhand goods. It’s like a consignment shop on the internet with some real advantages over the traditional consignment system.thred_up_reading_my_tea_leaves_IMG_5190 I’m the first to admit that I can be a lazy secondhand shopper when it comes to my wardrobe. I’ll hold out waiting for the perfect vintage dresser for years, but I’m much less thrilled by the hunt for clothes. One of my least favorite things about traditional consignment store shopping is sorting through unruly racks and piles. While I understand that for a lot of folks this is the fun part, I find it to be overwhelming. More often than not, I give up shortly after walking into a secondhand store.thred_up_reading_my_tea_leaves_IMG_5182The genius of thredUp is that the website does the sorting for you, making it easier to apply some of the guidelines that I use when thinking about my minimalist—er, capsule—wardrobe. I found the thredUp site to be particularly helpful in three main areas:

Color Palette

You already know that I’m a color palette devotee. If you ask me, it’s one of the most helpful things to embrace when opting for a pared down wardrobe, because everything matches! One of my favorite features of thredUp is that you can narrow your search by color. In my efforts to not get overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of available options, this was hugely helpful. I could sort by blues and browns and whites and creams and cut the purple and yellow out of the equation entirely. (Not to harsh on yellow on purple, but you know what I’m saying.)

Limiting Factors

Self-imposed restrictions like choosing only to support brands whose ethics and ethos I admire is another way that I keep my wardrobe slim. I loved being able to search thredUp for specific designers and brands. 


Finally, if you’re after a particular item to round out your wardrobe, it’s easy to search for that item specifically. I’d been admiring the silk tank tops since I wrote about them earlier this winter. When I logged into thredUp for the first time, the first thing I did was put in a search for those tanks specifically. And: snagged one.

Here’s what I ended up with:thred_up_reading_my_tea_leaves_IMG_5187Jeans



I’ve written before about the relative merits of buying designer jeans. Potential eye rolls notwithstanding, I find that designer jeans stand up to wear better than other brands and have more consistent fit and styling. All of these things make them ideal candidates for secondhand shopping. The pair I found were actually brand new, with the tags still attached (and hugely marked down from what I would have otherwise paid). Full disclosure: They ended up not being right for me (ah, the sometimes pesky reality of jean shopping), but ThredUp gives you 14 days to make any returns, so no worries on that front.thred_up_reading_my_tea_leaves_IMG_5198Silk Cami

Silk camisoles at affordable prices? They’re hard to come by. But the genius of thredUp is that someone else’s mistake is your triumph. Remember the Eileen Fisher tank top I was admiring in this post? Well I didn’t find the exact camisole, but I did snag a new Eileen Fisher camisole in a color I needed, with its bluesign-certification tag still in tact, for a fraction price of what I would have paid for it new.thred_up_reading_my_tea_leaves_IMG_5250Special Blouse:

I chose a special-for-spring blouse to add to my closet this year. It’s from a past season’s collection at Rag & Bone, but it fits the bill for the tiny flower prints and prairie-inspired designs that have been on the runway this spring, and in my heart since forever. I love the old-fashioned print and the fact that it’s firmly in my color palette without being boring. thred_up_reading_my_tea_leaves_IMG_5267The real beauty is that the things I found were things that worked seamlessly with what I already own. The blouse pairs beautifully with my favorite overalls. My trusty gray cardigan on top will help me wait out the last of the cold weather. I’ll pair the blouse with a pair of vanilla-colored pants later this spring and layer it under a striped boatneck tee for a little bit of pattern play on cool days this summer. The camisole is pure heaven and goes—as you know—with everything. The jeans—once I find the perfect ones—will be workhorses that a trusty pair of jeans always are.

Here’s my best advice: Don’t try to build a spring capsule wardrobe from scratch. Make slow, careful decisions in every season about what additions make sense for your closet, and search until you find just the right thing. Right, mostly, because you love it.  

Just for you: ThredUp is offering Reading My Tea Leaves readers a 40% discount off first-time purchases (up to $50) with the code RMTL40. The code expires 4/1/2016.

This post was sponsored by thredUp. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that support this blog. 

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