How do I choose what to wear on any given day? Well, I start with the weather. Rain means no suede, cold means no open shoes. Variable weather means a sweater or jacket I can easily take off and on throughout the day. For instance, I’d be more likely to choose a cardigan over a crew neck sweater on a sunny/rainy/cloudy day. (If you live in Portland, Oregon, you know what I mean.)
Next, I consider the day’s plans. If I’m thinking about a walk to the grocery store, I’ll want to wear walkable shoes. If I’m going to spend most of the day sitting, I can indulge in high heels. On a day when I’ll be cleaning up or organizing things, I’ll choose pants, but days with little to no physical work are great for wearing a pretty skirt.
Those are the basics. After that, it’s just a matter of what I’m in the mood for. Also, I have to say, I do tend to look around for something I haven’t worn in a while. With a total of 16 tops between my two capsules, I only wear each one every two weeks or so.
Some people use a system to rotate through their clothes. A popular method is to turn the hanger backwards when you hang up what you just wore. That’s also a good way to figure out if there’s something in your wardrobe that you think you should wear, but actually don’t. I don’t really bother with this system. I have a TERRIBLE memory, but for some reason, I never have a hard time with my wardrobe. A quick glance through my closet will usually elicit a, “hmm. I haven’t worn that lately.”
Today, I’m featuring the same sweater and pants in all three pictures. In each case, I added different shoes, accessories, and toppers to create three different looks, appropriate for different days.
Forever 21 Sweaters (similar) : LOVE 21 Striped Ribbed Knit Striped Chenille Cargo Pants: Express mid rise belted cargo (very similar) Dex Skinny Cargo (also similar)
The sweater was purchased at Forever 21 in Vancouver B.C., on vacation with my daughter Maddy. Yep, that’s right. We went all the way to Vancouver B.C. and ended up shopping at Forever 21! What can I say. They got the goods.
The cargo pants are from H&M and they are my big score from this year’s fall shopping. I absolutely LOVE these pants. I got the “Wow! Those pants look great on you!” comment from a fellow shopper in the dressing room – always a good sign. They wash well, and they’re super comfortable! I needed to let go of my last pair of cargo pants this summer because they were faded, and they got too big for me (that is NOT a complaint!). I was afraid I wouldn’t find a better pair, but I did! It just goes to show, we shouldn’t be afraid to let go of things…
In this first outfit, I went casual. It reflects what I would wear if I were staying home, maybe doing a little work around the house, and probably planning on taking a walk or two.
I’m not wearing any jewelry. I wouldn’t if I was going to clean the kitchen, do some yard work, or basically anything that might have me getting my hands dirty, or bending over (necklaces are not great for tasks that involve bending).
Those are legit, vintage Vans, by the way. Pretty darn happy about them! I bought them for $8 at a thrift store in Newport about 10 years ago.
You may also notice I’m using them to do a little more low key pattern mixing. I’ve made no secret of the fact that pattern mixing doesn’t feel natural to me. But I’m breaking out of my old ruts and trying something new.
My Instagram/Tumblr/Facebook feeds have some other pattern mixing experiments. Baby steps, people. Baby steps. The choices below are not as fly as mine, but whatcha gonna do?
Vans: Old Skool Platform Sneaker Classic Slip-on
In this case, I’ve dressed the outfit up with a black blazer, mixed stone necklace, and burgundy suede booties. I bought this blazer from Forever 21 a year ago on Black Friday. The booties are from DSW. I’ve owned them for three years and they still look brand new! There’s a zipper up the back, which is a really cute detail. The necklace was my mother-in-law’s, and just like my mom’s necklace, seen here, it’s one of my favorites because I loved my mother-in-law a lot!
This is what I would throw on in the middle of the day if the outfit above needed to transition to lunch with a friend. This is also what I might wear for various errands. A bootie with a nice blocky heel really elevates an outfit, but is still comfortable enough for running around town.
Blazer: Forever 21 Cuff Sleeve Blazer (exact) Booties: Charlotte Russe (with cute buckle detail) Crown Vintage (lower heel, deep color) Necklace: DKNY- jewel tones DKNY-smokey tones Robert Lee Morris – gorgeous (all similar)
So, you know right off the bat, this is one of my favorite outfits. Of course, you can tell because I’m wearing my leopard print shoes! If you didn’t read about my love of leopard print already, you can do so here. You can also check out some great leopard print shoes in a previous post, featuring current options at DSW and Nordstrom Rack, here.
This gorgeous leather jacket was a hand-me-down from my darling friend, April. I think the white contrast stitching really takes this up a notch.
Hand-me-down tip: Go to the consignment shop with your friend. You never know what you might end up with if the store takes a pass. Leila for the win!
The leopard print shoes are just lovely, don’t you think? I finally broke down and bought the Franco Sarto’s I was craving. I justified the purchase on the basis of their lower, more comfortable heel.
They didn’t make it in the mail yet. It’s fun to have something to look forward to. You can see them here. You should look at them even if you don’t want to buy them. They’re perfect.
This is also an outfit I could run errands in. (I like to look spiffy!) It would also look great going out to dinner. None of the jacket choices here are very similar (how could they be – it’s so unique). But they’re stylish!
Jacket: Via Spiga Kut from Kloth Cole Haan Shoes: Franco Sarto Head Over Heels (very similar!) Diane Von Furstenberg (how can you go wrong?)
How do YOU choose? Do you choose? You can leave a comment at the bottom of the page. Signing in is optional. I want you to feel totally comfortable! I used to agonize over these things, but capsule wardrobing has made getting dressed in the morning easy, breezy, and fun!
Remember, no matter what; do your thing! Everybody gets to be whoever they are. Your clothes are just one way to express your fabulousness. So get out there, don’t apologize, and take no prisoners. All’s fair in love and fashion!
Me, rocking Iris Apfel glasses. Iris Apfel, my fashion hero.
Check out this great interview, IRIS APFEL: “YOU CAN’T LEARN STYLE” at online interview magazine The Talks (photo credit), interview by Emma Robertson.
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