Between my new job and lots of stunningly beautiful, unseasonably dry weather, I’ve been having quite the fling with spring. Blue skies plus two months of temperatures rocketing into the 70s and 80s equal Vix and Spring, sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G.
Surely nothing could harsh my sunshine-yellow mellow!
Except: I’ve got a regionally appropriate wardrobe, and that region is one where morning radio jocks make (truthful) cracks about summer kicking off July 5th. Plus I’ve moved into a slightly more conservative work environment with a very conservatively dressing boss. And I have a recent past full of items bought to ADD more print and color to my wardrobe of neutral solids.
My closet and I needed seasonal help, and we needed it fast.
In hopes of minimizing purchasing mistakes I forced myself to gather everything I owned that was remotely summery, try the pile on, and assess. Once I’d slogged through the evaluation phase with many a self-congratulatory comment, I knew it was time for some ground rules.
Clothing Capsule Purchasing Goals or, Can’t We All Just Get Along?
- Simplify integration into my existing work/play capsule by sticking to variations within my color palette
- Cherry-pick 2013 spring/summer color trends by focusing on cool-toned deep greens and blues, taupes, and medium purples
- Make transitional weather less of a PITA by growing my collection of prints/patterns that mix dark and light colors
- Add a lace item; purchase both looser and more fitted shapes; and get more of trends I’ve enjoyed for a few years such as high-low hems and sheer blouses
- Keep my three style personas happy enough by choosing items that could combine into Contrarian Classicist, Minimalist Magpie, and/or Persnickety Bohemian wholes
Given that I’m a corporate creative, I have some leeway in clothing as expression—but when I start somewhere new, I generally like the focus to be on my work product and ever-so-charming personality, not my more…vivid…clothing items.
Somewhat reluctantly, then, I accepted that I needed to spend money on pieces that COULD work together in an all-quiet ensemble. From there I hit the sales to find things I could wear together or with my existing clothing and accessories.
You Complete Me (for Now): 10 New Pieces I’m Wearing Together + Apart
- emerald/cobalt sleeveless silk print button up shirt
- blue + purple + taupe floral print shell
- sheer purple + grey print long-sleeved top
- white + navy + light blue short-sleeved faux-wrap dress (not shown)
- navy straight leg tropical wool pants
- ivory + taupe lace pencil skirt
- lightweight taupe blazer
- white boho luxe silk blouse
- black tropical wool sheath dress
- black + brown + taupe leaf print dress
- cobalt leather work bag big enough to pack all my crap (necessary replacement)
If I’d given into my baser desires, I would have bought all blues and greens and spent every day humming “La Isla Bonita.”
In the interests of being more well-rounded, however, I decided to look at the hot-to-trot shades for Spring 2013; since time was short, I wanted to choose my color palette variations with an eye to what would be easier to find in stores.
Amusingly, buying things I love in colors that flatter sometimes means I’m accidentally on-trendish. Here, new navy pants meet up with a T and high-low hem top from several years ago.
On a related note, wearing things I love in colors that flatter has resulted in a lot of mullet outfits: they’re sedate from the back but a party in the front.
Of course, sometimes my looks are sedate from the front AND back. I find navy + grey combinations seem to add a banker’s touch to everything…
…especially when a little boho weasels its way into an outfit.
When navy’s not around and grey’s gone missing, though, I rely on blazers and denial to tame drapey boho luxe silks and highly textured tops and bottoms.
As the final element in my capsule round-up, I offer a rather terrifying-in-retrospect triptych of 99% neutrals. Pay no mind to the mannequin stance and seemingly surgically attached taupe suede boots.
Six or so weeks into my fast and furious purchasing, all 10 pieces have passed their road tests with flying colors (and neutrals). Even better, I’m back to a no-fuss closet that gets me from robe to ready in 5 minutes flat. Feel free to share your strategies for capsule dressing below!
Filed under: appearance, capsule wardrobe, color, officewear, style over 40 | Tagged: accessories, business casual, business creative, closet analysis, closet wardrobe audit, color, Contrarian Classicist, Minimalist Magpie, Persnickety Bohemian, self-indulgent, texture/pattern, wardrobe management | 2 Comments »