Monday, August 3, 2015

(outfits 1-4) one suitcase: summer business casual capsule wardrobe


2/7 - The purpose of this Summer Business Casual Capsule Wardrobe is to look at a limited number of clothing items and see beyond the first small set of obvious outfit combinations. I have learned that by picking a few favorite & versatile pieces of clothing I can mix and match the items into a surprising number of outfit options. Hopefully the posts this week will show you my method and help you find the potential of the clothes you already have in your closet!

In case you missed - it the previous posts in the series can be found here:
Here are the first 4 outfits for my Spring Business Casual trip made from the clothing pieces listed here:


Outfit 1:

Top:
Bottom:
Shoes:
Accessories:

Outfit 2:
Top:
Dress:
Shoes:
Accessories:

Outfit 3:
Top:
Bottom:
Shoes:
Accessories:

Outfit 4:
Top:
Bottom:
Shoes:
Accessories:



**The last day of this series of posts has a very tall downloadable image with the 12 clothing pieces and all 20 outfits for easy reference.**

Sunday, August 2, 2015

one suitcase: summer business casual capsule wardrobe - 12 clothing pieces


Post 1/7 -
Between my job & my love of seeing new places around the world I spend a fair amount of time living out of a suitcase. From all the experience I have gained from hauling myself & my stuff all over the place I have learned just how valuable packing smart & packing light is to your sanity. And I think I have gotten pretty good at selecting just my few favorite pieces of clothing to bring and stretching their use though multiple outfits for multiple activities as I travel.

This philosophy of looking at a limited number of clothing items and seeing beyond the obvious combinations to all the possibilities for outfits can be applied to a normal everyday wardrobe not just for packing a suitcase. I have learned that by picking a few favorite & versatile pieces of clothing I can mix and match the items into a surprising number of outfit options. You just have to do a little planning up front. Hopefully the posts this week will show you my method and help you find the potential of the clothes you already have in your closet!

Here's how I put together my summer business casual capsule wardrobe-

The method:
Basics - First I pick some basics pieces to lay the foundation for the capsule wardrobe. I try to pick my favorite go-to clothes. Clothes I know I wear over and over. The ones that go with almost everything. For this capsule, I picked light neutrals and one pair of black pants.
The basics in this capsule wardrobe I chose are a grey blazer, white blazer, white tie-neck blouse, white jeans and trusty black ankle pants.








        Interest - Second, I add a few interesting pieces to compliment the subtle basics. I look for pops of color or fun patterns or even texture that will make the basic pieces more exciting. I try to grab items that will compliment each other or at least be somewhat in the same color scheme. For this capsule I tried to stick to purples, blues and greens.

        For this set of interest pieces I picked two print blouses, two print dresses, a bright aqua pencil skirt, a purple cardigan and a olive green shirt.







        Accessories & Shoes - Finally, I add some accessories to complete the outfits. Jewelry, belts and scarves can dramatically alter how an outfit looks. Unfortunately, shoes is the area I still struggle with. I always want to bring just one more pair.

        For this capsule wardrobe I chose three necklaces, one gold bracelet, a watch, and two belts.  For shoes I added two pairs of pumps and a nude pair of wedges.


        Over the next six days I'm going to show you 20 outfits that I put together with these 12 pieces. I will share four outfits each day listing what pieces they are made from. And then on the last day I will post a big downloadable image that includes the all the individual 12 pieces and all the 20 put together outfits for easy reference. I'll also put together a printable guide with the same info for easy reference.

        Hope you enjoy!! 
        ***** 

        You can check out my previous One Suitcase features using the links below:
        • Work
          • Business Casual clothes here 
          • Spring Business Casual clothes here
          • Neutral Colored Business Casual here 
          • Maternity Business Casual clothes here  
        • Vacation
          • Beach Vacation clothes here 
          • Winter Vacation clothes here
          • Mini Getaway clothes here
          • Europe Vacation clothes here 
          • Paris Vacation clothes here


        Friday, July 31, 2015

        outfit post: no-brainer work outfits "The Print Dress Formula"

        There are so many mornings when I wander bleary-eyed into my closet and stare at the clothing zombie-like with zero motivation to be creative with my outfit. I just want to get myself dressed and out the door quickly while still looking presentable for work.

        This brain dead "I have no idea what to wear" scenario is when I depend on my tried and true "outfit formula" that was deeply ingrained into my wardrobe psyche by Stacey & Clinton during my many years loving to watch TLC's What Not to Wear.  The formula says: basic piece + interesting piece + cardigan/jacket/completer piece = outfit. This is forever the formula in my brain for getting dressed for work while looking reasonably put together.

        Over time that general WNTW formula has developed into a few specific formula patterns in my wardrobe. And since I use this method so regularly - I thought it would make a good set of infographics to share here on the blog. I've been going back through my blog archives to grab some outfit examples of each of those specific formulas I use to share with you.


        I think this formula is the least brain-power required formula. When you wear a dress it's just putting one step of putting it on and you're dressed. Then on your way out the door if you grab a cardigan and some shoes - you are now dressed and looking polished. Done and done. The formula I'm sharing today I call, "The Print Dress Formula":

        Print Dress + Coordinating Cardigan + Classic Accessories = Outfit

        1. Print Dress:
        This outfit starts with a fun print dress. The print can be floral or geometric or striped or whatever pattern speaks to you. For me, my main object is to find dresses that have multiple colors in the print that coordinate with cardigans I already own. When I found the floral dress shown above and realized it had purple, green, teal, navy and white in the print - I was excited because I already had cardigans in every single one of those colors.
        2. Coordinating Cardigan:
        Next pick a cardigan (or jacket) in a color that you love. It can be any color that is found in the print or even one that just sort of 'goes' with the existing colors. I try to pick what I think is a fun color because the cardigan is pretty much the only interesting thing about this outfit.
        3. Classic Accessories:
        Finally add your most classic accessories. Neutral shoes like black pumps or black flats. A simple necklace or your favorite stud earrings.
        When I get dressed using this formula I'm not trying to be a fashion standout - it's just more about looking presentable for work in a hurry. So there is no need to figure out an amazing statement necklace or perfectly coordinating scarf. The pants are the pop in the outfit and everything else is background. I feel like this outfit formula can easily be used over and over again for pulled together professional looks for work.  Just sticking with the same blueprint and switching out the individual pieces - the outfits possibilities are endless!

        ***
        You can find all "formulas" I've posted using this link.




        Thursday, July 30, 2015

        outfit post: purple floral sleeveless ponte dress, nude wedges, brown laptop tote

        Inspiration - Jessica Chastain

        Too hot for completer pieces today so sheath dress solo it is! Yay for dresses with fun prints!

        I got a comment on the post that I first shared my new work tote that suggested I try a base shaper for this bag so the bottom doesn't sag & get stretched out. It was a great suggestion. So I found one on Amazon and it's on its way. I will let you keep you posted & update you on how well it works out. :)

        (Thanks for all the emails & suggestions about Napa yesterday! All the help is very much appreciated!)

        Dress:

        Shoes:
        Accessories:

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