I have several clients who are in their seventies, and I absolutely LOVE working with them. They’re graceful, positive, confident, wise, energetic and have lots of verve. I’m on a huge high when I come back from a work session with these clients because I find them extremely inspiring.
I shopped with a delightful client last week who, as she puts it, is “77 years young”. My client is petite, but we had no problem shopping regular sizes. She is an active busy bee who leads a very casual lifestyle. She likes bright colours, lighter neutrals for Summer, and very comfortable clothing. She much prefers pants and jeans to skirts and dresses. She also runs cold, so toppers are a necessity most of the time.
Our shopping goal: To create a few mix-and-match capsules for a Seattle Spring and Summer that she could wear right now and in future seasons. We wanted to create complete outfits during our shopping session so that it would be easy for my client to transition into her refreshed look. We shopped at Nordstrom, Zara and Banana Republic, and were done in three and a half hours.
We put together three capsules. The orange, red and white was the largest. The black and white was next, and the olive capsule was the smallest. Here are two “work in progress” photos in the Nordstrom dressing room. With one exception all of these items followed my client home.
A few points upfront:
- Apart from the handbag, denim jacket and orange sweeping cardigan, the items in these capsules are the EXACT pieces that we bought.
- My client had a stone tote and denim jacket in her existing wardrobe that became essentials for these capsules.
- We bought a different Nic & Zoe drape front cardigan in a shade of watermelon, which you can see in the photos but is not available online.
- There is only one pair of shoes because my client had a pair of white low wedge peep-toe booties and fashion sneakers to use with these outfits.
- We viewed the items in terms of three separate capsules, but the items can also be remixed with items across all three capsules.
- Sleeveless tops were fine as long as they could be covered with a topper.
- My client is happy to mix two bright colours together in one outfit.
- Although we only bought one pair of white jeans, they’re represented in all three capsules. My client might duplicate them because they work well for her lifestyle.
We bought two pairs of ankle length NYDJ jeans in red and white that can be rolled at the hem for a breezy and fashionable look (my client is not comfortable in shorts). We paired them with an assortment of knitted tops that can be worn untucked and easily layered with a cardigan or jacket. The curved hemlines of the tops were important in order to create a flattering effect when worn out over jeans.
The white tank top is thick and functions like a T-shirt. It can be worn under the drape front watermelon cardigan and the coral knitted tab sleeve shirt. The orange Zara blazer is for dressier occasions, and looks amazing over the ink blue Zara two-tone T-shirt or Nic & Zoe printed top with white jeans. Both tops look equally great under the watermelon drape cardigan. The blue denim jacket works equally well as a topper in this capsule.
Black, White and Blue Capsule
We fell in love with Vince Camuto’s fun palm tree printed skinnies because they were an excellent full-length fit, working well with my client’s curves and her preference for a higher rise. They look great with black, white and blue tops, so we repeated the knitted tab sleeve shirt and tank top in black, and added Eileen Fisher’s bateau neck linen sweater in a dark turquoise. We also added a black and white micro striped drape cardigan, which can be worn over both black and white tank tops, as well the turquoise linen sweater. The denim jacket is an extra topper option here too.
The black top, turquoise sweater and striped cardigan here look just as smashing with the red jeans from the orange capsule. And the ink blue Zara two-tone T-shirt from the orange capsule looks great with the palm tree skinnies from this capsule. The denim jacket is an extra topper option just in case.
We built the final smaller and more trendy capsule at Banana Republic, which was extra fun. My client has light green eyes which shone like gemstones in this shade of olive. We matched the textured blue slim-fit ankle pants with two tops. An olive high-low silk blouse and a fashionable dropped shoulder orange sweater — both with round hems to look good when worn untucked. We topped the outfits off with a boxy utility jacket in the same shade of olive.
Of course, the blue ankle pants can be worn with all the tops, both cardigans, and the orange jacket in the first two capsules. The white and red jeans can be worn with the olive and orange tops from this capsule. And the olive jacket looks great over all the tops.
We took photos of the outfit combinations for easy reference as we put together the capsules in stores. It looks like my client might bottle neck with the solid black and white tops, but she had a few extras at home that she could remix into these capsules. She also has a pair of dark cobalt jeans that she could add to the black and white capsule.
My client was delighted with her many casual and smart casual outfits for our mild Summer weather in Seattle. She definitely bats for Team Wear because the next day she wore her new white jeans rolled at the hems with the olive silk blouse, olive jacket and taupe gold sandals out to a luncheon with friends. She received many compliments and felt fantastic. She’s also having a ball selecting the combination she’s going to wear next. With happy tears in my eyes, ladies, you are NEVER too old to have fun with fashion.