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Page 2 in the conversation "What occasions do you dress or build capsules for?" by nemosmom
This, “ Plus, I don't have appropriate winter footwear to go with it. So, while a LBD would check the box - THAT particular dress does not.” hit home for me. One of my big realizations from YLF was that I didn’t need more clothing, but rather more shoes and accessories. Pre-YLF, a large portion of my wardrobe was “not quite right” because I didn’t have the right shoes, wrap/scarf, belt. The past two years I added what seemed like a lot of shoes and accessories (for me.) Whenever I’ve been stumped on an outfit (dress is perfect, but no shoes appropriate for event+weather, for example), I’ve made a note, and shopped for those items. Such a difference, in being able (finally) to get my wardrobe to work across all occasions.
I don't have a big closet, so I need to be creative with my clothes and dress up or down.
And I don't have a paid job anymore so no need for pant suits ( that was the only thing I wore to work).
1 But now I do voluntary work and want to be noticed in meetings. I still use a blazer for those occasions.
2 Smart casual. For going out with friends, dinner,movie, weekendtrips Jeans, trousers, sweaters, fun jackets, bags
3 Smart casual plus. My clothes from 2 but with an extra. More polished bag, shoes, jewellery. Different coat. Special ( patterned) sweaters, skirts. For theatre, concerts or casual parties
4 a few dressy pieces. Dressy skirts. For opera, parties
5 funeral. Always use my newest dark pieces from the above.
6 Hanging around at home. Jeans and a sweater ( the ones that are not so pristine any more)
7 camping more old stuff and bad weather gear
8 sport. Just a few cheap things. Leggings and shirts for running and yoga.
9 sleep. No old things here. I change my nightgowns around every few months and I have many.
Hmm. I guess somewhere along the way, I stopped worrying about capsules. I think, because every week, I dress for anything, from hot yoga, to being onstage, to grubbing around in the dirt pulling up weeds or scrubbing out the garage. So if there's a wardrobe hole, I'm aware of it pretty quickly.
I try and keep my clothes simple, things that easily overlap, and can be restyled from smart casual to very dressy. (By very dressy, I mean, fit to sing onstage, or to attend something fancy such as the ballet or opera). As an example, yesterday I wore skinny jeans, my black BR Tippi sweater, and some chunky heel pumps to an audition, with a moto-style jacket on top, for an audition. I went to a jazz open mic, and switched out the jeans for a vintage St John skirt, black hosiery with a floral pattern, and black heels. I kept the jacket and the same simple stud earrings and rings that I wear every day.
I love knits that fit closely, but aren't Kardashian-clingy. I also favor items that are easily steamed. Not too much that has to be ironed. And I'm gradually getting away from dry-clean only items.
I haven't needed anything truly formal in more than a decade, but I'm a thrifter, and I have a couple of dresses ready to go, should the opportunity present itself.
At a quick glance, the capsules I'm working on are 1) underpinnings, 2) pretty shoes that are flat- or low-heeled, and 3) A new bag or two. I'm taking my time with this, and enjoying the process immensely.
I had an informal dressy/holiday capsule. I just kept dresses and separates in the spare room closet. Most of it was black. If I had an event coming up, I’d go through it and see if I could put together an interesting and appropriate outfit. Now, I hardly need it. I really should donate all of it and free up some closet space.
Over the years I have managed to pull together a closet that I can dress from for almost any occasion.
I did get tripped up a couple of years ago when I wanted something for my niece’s wedding in London. I wanted something a bit more special than the same floral dress I’d worn to something like half a dozen weddings over the previous few years. It took me months, and I bought a couple of other dresses in the process (one of which turned out to be a bust, but fortunately not an expensive one). But I got a winner that has now gone to a few events, and it’s timeless enough that I’ll have it for occasions for years to come.
But for the most part, I don’t have a lot of *dressy* special occasions. I have enough separates that I can dress for a more casual wedding or a funeral or a professional event from my closet with little difficulty. I have more need for sort of funky or creative semi-dressy outfits for art events and the like.
What a great question. I had not thought about making these kinds of capsules but will give it a little mental space when next I have some. Like several others mentioned, it is often the shoes that trip me up (lol). Like Angie, I will not wear uncomfortable or tottery shoes any more. So it can take a while to find. In my culture or origin, actually, white is the color of funerals (purity, the soul, etc). Sadly, as the older generation passes I have developed such a capsule (last minute rush to the store). Always have tons of black so set for western funerals. Weddings I really have to purchase at the time as others have mentioned, due to time of day, season, and my body at that time. I try to have a couple of decent dresses that look good as a back up. For work I have definitely settled on a capsule- black pants with stretch, comfortable but professional shoes (ok sometimes I push the barrier with combat boots), fun shirts and easy to remove layers- for the hot flashes, I have developed a fun capsule of jeans and pants for weekend (thanks to Angie's various posts with updated jeans/pants silhouettes).
Like Janet, I have also pulled together a wardrobe that works for most occasions for my life and geographic area. I won't be going to a ball or anything like that. I have some pieces that specifically fit a wide range of needs : a nice black blazer, a black skirt and nice pants. a couple of silk shirts and cashmere sweaters and a black dress. I also have a black pair of Eileen Fisher pleated culottes that are incredibly versatile. I have plenty of accessories.
The areas which are very specific are shoes, jewelry and beach. I have a couple of pairs of nice pumps that I really don't use except for dressier occasions. The same for some larger necklaces that are blingy-er. I do want to buy a velour skirt for the holidays. So that's on my list. I do have a small beach capsule with cover ups and skirts to wear with a swimsuit.
Finally a small workout/hiking capsule.
Graduation/wedding/shower/anniversary capsule. I don't mind repeating, but I don't think I can get away with wearing the same dress to the younger brother's graduation two years later. Too many pictures. Same with another wedding with overlapping guests. Ugh! I am working on shoes right now since they are my greatest challenge.
I guess DD must have a funeral/memorial service capsule. Tomorrow she is going to the funeral of a college friend's father; a few years ago she attended the funeral of this girl's brother. And one weekend in high school she attended three memorial services of dads and a mentor. That was brutal, but it was St. Patty's weekend and they were ethnically Irish. . .
I've built a capsule for EVERY aspect of my life FOR THE WEATHER and my sartorial preferences. The only item I could not get dressed for at this point is a ball because I don't have a fancy gown.
My items are very versatile. I dress down and up what I have. I'm dressy, but VERY practical with footwear so it's easy. That's my secret. I also don't wear items that are too tight so I can move in all my stuff. No pencils or sheaths. That makes my dressy stuff a lot more down to earth and PRACTICAL. Absolutely no heels.
I wear what I usually wear when I work from home for the day or travel. I don't have "work from home clothes" or "travel clothes" - despite my frequent walking and travelling. I wear casual or dressy stuff depending on my mood. I travel and walk Sam in pearls, blazer, styled hair and make-up + SNEAKERS plus CROSSBODY.
If I needed to camp - I could
If I needed to snowboard - I could (although my stuff is 16 years old).
Funeral - covered. I went to one a month a go.
Gala, cocktails, ballet, theater, date night, beach wear, resort wear, yoga, trails, work wear, lounge wear, hike = COVERED
The most recent capsule I need to refresh is beach & resort. And I had to add very specific footwear for commuting on foot in ice, snow and rain.
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