AEO Gifts for Him: The Trendsetter

The Trendsetter is the guy who’s always in the know & loves to test the limits. Cuffed jeans & boots? Yeah, he’s been wearing those for months. Get on his nice list & help him keep his trendsetter status this holiday season with gifts from our curated guide – he’s sure to appreciate trendy workwear jackets & bright sweaters that will make him stand out.

Show us what you’re giving & getting this season with #AEOSTYLE on Instagram & Twitter, and shop this gift guide below!




How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe

Do you ever have those days where you just can’t pick out an outfit you feel confident in? Well, we have a solution — the capsule wardrobe!

What is a capsule wardrobe?

A capsule wardrobe is a small, curated collection of your favorite pieces of clothing. The pieces should be versatile so you can easily mix and match.

There are no set rules for how many pieces of clothing a capsule collection must contain, but somewhere between 25-37 is a good guideline to follow.

A typical capsule collection includes clothing, outerwear, and shoes. Some people include statement jewelry and accessories (though this is more flexible). Underwear, sleepwear, and workout clothes are not included.

What are the benefits?

When you curate a capsule wardrobe, the focus is on quality rather than quantity. This ensures that you’ll have a closet full of clothes that you love and are confident in wearing.

A capsule wardrobe will also save you time and energy in the morning, as there are less options to choose from and nearly everything matches! Plus, your clothing takes up less space, which is ideal for tiny apartments and dorms.

Who inspires us?

Two minimalist fashionistas have done a great job of embracing capsule wardrobes and modifying them to fit their style.

Caroline Rector of Unfancy experimented with a capsule wardrobe for a year. She chose 37 items to wear for 3 months at a time, and only shopped for the next season’s clothes during the last two weeks of the current season. Though she doesn’t keep a structured capsule anymore, her style is still reflective of a minimalist wardrobe, and she said the experiment made her feel more confident and joyful.

Courtney Carver of Be More With Less turned her mission to live with less into a minimalist fashion challenge — Project 333. This challenge encourages people to choose 33 items to wear in a 3 month rotation. These Project 333 participants are sure to inspire you as you curate your capsule wardrobe!

Our capsule wardrobecapsule-wardrobe

Our capsule wardrobe consists of 33 pieces: 9 shirts, 4 sweaters, 5 jackets, 4 dresses, 1 skirt, 4 pants, and 6 pairs of shoes. We stuck to basic pants, and got more creative when it came to tops and shoes. We also included a ton of great layering pieces like the olive cardigan and chambray shirt to make sure we could mix and match items to create a variety of unique looks.

How to start a capsule wardrobe

Step 1 – Clean out your closet.

You don’t have to buy all new clothes to start a capsule wardrobe! Cleaning out your closet reminds you of everything that you have (and things you probably forgot you had). To begin, take all of your clothes out of your closet and start sorting them into five piles.

  • Yes – Clothes you love and wear all the time.
  • Maybe – Clothes you wear sometimes, but aren’t that attached to.
  • Sell – Clothes in good condition that you don’t like, but you think can be sold at a consignment store or online.
  • Donate – Clothes in good condition that you don’t like and don’t want to spend time trying to sell.
  • Toss – Clothes that are damaged or in poor condition.

Now sort through your Maybe pile again. Try on these clothes and decide if they belong in the Yes, Sell, or Donate pile. If you’re having trouble deciding, ask yourself these questions.

Once you have narrowed your Maybe pile into Yes, Sell, Donate, or Toss, take action. Instead of just leaving piles of unwanted clothes around your house for months, give yourself one week to donate, dispose of, consign, or create online listings for your items.

Step 2 – Determine which clothes are in season.

A capsule wardrobe is all about creating a set clothing that works for an entire season. Determine which of your clothes fit the oncoming season and which you should save for a different season.

Step 3 – Create a color palette.

Now that you know which of your clothes have capsule wardrobe potential, look more closely at them. See if you can find any color trends or if any items will be difficult to match with. From here, you can create a color palette for your wardrobe and remove any items that do not fit in the palette.

Step 4 – Box up and store clothing that doesn’t fit your capsule collection.

Items that are not in season or don’t fit your color palette should be boxed up and saved for another capsule wardrobe.

Step 5 – Take inventory.

The items from your closet may be enough for a complete capsule wardrobe, or you may need to purchase a few items to fill out your collection. Write down everything that you’ve chosen by category. This will help you see how many items you have and what you’re missing. Remember, the number of items in a capsule collection is up to you.

Step 6 – Set a budget and fill in the gaps.

Now that you’ve taken inventory and know what you need to shop for, set a realistic budget and get creative. Make sure to buy some quality basics that you can wear year-round in other capsule collections.

Step 7 – Admire your closet.

Congratulations, you did it! Take a moment to admire how color coordinated and organized your closet is, and get excited about creating fun combinations with these clothes for the next 3 months.

Capsule wardrobe worksheet

To help you get organized, we created this handy capsule wardrobe worksheet. Just click the button below to download the sheet, print it out, and start planning! You can color the in circles in with your palette and list the items you have and the items you need for easy reference when shopping. Good luck!


AEO Gifts for Her: The Trendsetter

Want to stay in the know? The Trendsetter is your ultimate source of wisdom. She’s always ahead of the game (you know, she was wearing velvet like, five months ago) and never fails to be the first to download (and master) the latest and greatest apps. Think outside the box & check out the gift guide we curated for the girl who invents her own rules.

Show us what you’re giving & getting this season with #AEOSTYLE on Instagram & Twitter, and shop this gift guide below!




AEO Gift Guide for Her: Fireside Snuggler

The Fireside Snuggler is the girl who likes to keep it cozy. Warmth and comfort are her endgame, so make sure you fill her stocking with knit scarves, wool jackets & pom-topped beanies. She’ll be cozy and looking cool in winter whites like printed mock neck sweaters and the softest nighties. Check out our curated gift guide and get ready to snuggle.

Show us what you’re giving & getting this season with #AEOSTYLE on Instagram & Twitter, and shop this gift guide below!



AEO Gift Guide for Him: The Dapper Dude

Clean cut & buttoned up. If you have The Dapper Dude on your holiday shopping list, you’re looking for a gift with the perfect mix of modern detail and classic #AEOSTYLE. Plaid scarves, wool jackets & mock neck sweaters are at the top of this guy’s wishlist. We curated a gift guide for the guy who likes to keep it classy 24/7.

Show us what you’re giving & getting this season with #AEOSTYLE on Instagram & Twitter, and shop this gift guide below!

For The Guy With Classic #AEOSTYLE. Shop Holiday Gifts for the Dapper Dude.


DIY: Distressed T-Shirt and Jeans

Every piece of clothing you wear has a story. It holds memories of that awesome concert you went to or that road trip you took. It reminds you of where you’ve been, and all the cool things you’ve done.

Your favorite piece of clothing not only instills a sense of confidence and comfort, it also projects your individuality. When it comes to your style, you should never have to settle, which is why we’re going to show you how to distress your tees and jeans so you can make them as unique as you are.

Click the images below for tutorials on how to create a distressed tee, cutout tee, or distressed jeans.



Distressed tees have that worn-in, laid-back feel. They’re casual, yet edgy. For an understated look create small holes, or go bold with large gashes and bleach. You can get both looks with items you have lying around the house —  a razor, scissors, sandpaper, a cheese grater, cardboard, and bleach.

Each of the methods are simple. Just make sure to put a piece of cardboard inside the t-shirt of your choice before you start distressing to prevent you from cutting through both sides of the tee!


The cheese grater is harder to control than other tools, but produces holes with interesting frayed edges. To get this look, hold the fabric taut against the cardboard and grate in all directions. This technique is best if you want a random cluster of holes somewhere on your shirt.


The sandpaper is great for the seams and collar. Just rub coarse sandpaper (we used 90 grit) back and forth in all directions where you want your shirt to show a little extra wear.


Scissors are best for creating large holes. Just snip horizontal lines of varying sizes. For an extra worn look, rub a pumice stone or sandpaper along these cuts.


If you want to make the distressed areas of your tee stand out, use bleach (we used 2 parts water, 1 part bleach) to highlight the holes and cuts in the shirt. You can also use it all over the shirt for a grunge look.


The razor is the tool that gives the most variation, and it is easy to control. The razor you use should be new and sharp. You can drag the razor horizontally to create long slices in the tee similar to the scissors, pull it straight down (holding the fabric taut) for a variety of small holes, or place the fabric on a solid edge (like the corner of a book) for a line of straight holes.


It’s easy to get bored of a plain tee. If you want to spice it up, cutouts will do the trick. No sewing needed! We’ve created 7 templates to inspire you to revamp your t-shirts. Just print out the one you like, cut out the template, chalk it on your shirt, and cut out the design.



There are countless ways to distress jeans­—large holes, small holes, frayed seams, the list goes on. Whatever look you want to achieve, there are five basic steps you should follow when distressing your jeans.

  1. Choose a pair of jeans. Denim with less stretch works best if you’d like to create traditional frayed at the knees look, as threads without elastic are less likely to snap.
  2. Try on the jeans and mark where you want to distress them with chalk.
  3. Determine which distressing techniques (razor, cheese grater, sandpaper, tweezers) you’d like to use.
  4. Start distressing. Place cardboard in the pant legs to avoid distressing both sides of the jeans.
  5. Wash on cold and wear.

Like with creating a distressed t-shirt, you should have all the tools you need at home!


The razor is best for cutting larger holes out of the jeans and fraying the denim at the pockets and seams. You can create a hole by placing the jeans against a hard surface and cutting away material with the razor, giving the edges of the hole a naturally frayed look. To distress at the pockets and seams, run the razor along each surface.


The cheese grater is most difficult to work with, but provides interesting texture. For best results, use the side of the cheese grater with small holes. There are two ways to use a cheese grater. The first is to grate the material in all directions until a small hole begins to form. Continue grating until the hole is a desired size. This will also thin the fabric around the hole, giving it a unique, distressed look. The second way is to make small, parallel cuts with your scissors and grate over this area. This will create a cleaner look, similar to sandpaper.


The sandpaper is simple to use and makes it easy to target a specific area on the jeans. Just wrap it around your finger and rub in all directions until a hole starts to form. We used coarse sandpaper (90 grit).


This is the most common method to distress jeans, especially if you want to fray them at the knees. See detailed instructions below.