Posts Tagged: outfit creation

1 outfit, 3 body shapes: travel outfit ideas

By IN Create Outfits, Flatter Your Body

1 outfit, 3 body shapes: summer travel outfit ideas

Whether traveling by car, train or plane, I find a sleeveless top and longer shorts, combined with a top layer for occasional spots of high-intensity A/C, to be an easy travel outfit. Here’s how to make this outfit combo work for 3 body shapes.

Complete your look with a fun pair of flat sandals and a colorful coordinating watch.

Learn more about how to dress for your body shape, clean out your closet and create outfits you’ll love in the Frantic But Fabulous style makeover workshop—including a checklist of closet essentials.

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How to work athleisure into your wardrobe

By IN Create Outfits, Find Your Style

how to work athleisure into your wardrobe

Sportswear as fashion is nothing new; it first emerged in the 1930s in New York, most notably from designer Claire McCardell, and reached a new zenith in the ‘70s with collections from Bill Blass and Geoffrey Beene. So the recent trend of “athleisure” is really just a 21st century version of a 20th century concept.

Some credit this latest emergence of the trend to women who began wearing their gymwear everywhere, and some tie it to the rise of Lululemon (and maybe even back to Juicy Couture), but it’s come a long way since then, as designers have entered the category and begun to merge it with the recent emergence of technical or “smart” fabrics.

For Sporty aesthetic mamas in particular, this means you have more choices than ever. Here’s how all of us can work athleisure into our wardrobes.

How to wear athleisure

  • Be careful about wearing it head to toe. Some athleisure pieces are more athletic than leisure. If you have on nothing but gym clothes, then you’ll look like you’re dressed for the gym. Mix in your athleisure pieces with others and now your outfit is more transitional: Weekend Casual, not Gym Ready.
  • Use them as layers. I began mixing athleisure clothes into my everyday wardrobe when I realized how much more comfortable some of the technical fabrics were. Lightweight, wicking and often smooth to the touch, they make great layering pieces.
  • Go beyond the ordinary. The athleisure wear category has expanded so greatly that it’s no longer just a matter of fancy running tights or $100 yoga pants. You can find designer collaborations like Mary Katrantzou and Stella McCartney for Adidas, niche brands like Splits59 and Outdoor Voices, and specialty lines like Tory Burch’s Tory Sport. Even Beyoncé has entered the game with her Ivy Park label. You’d never know some of these pieces are athleisure (and at some of these price points, I’d never wear them to the gym!).

Athleisure pieces also work well in situations where you might be, well, sweaty, if not sporty, such as a day at a theme park or a summer festival.

How (and where) to buy athleisure

Not sure whether you’re Classic or Modern, Sporty or Chic? Discover the style that’s right for you with “What’s My Style?” Available now for instant download.

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Outfit ideas: 3 ways to wear pink & floral for spring

By IN Create Outfits

outfit ideas: pink & floral for spring

These outfits are all created from pieces in this spring capsule wardrobe. The wardrobe’s focus was pink and floral, so each outfit has at least one pink or floral item.

From that small set of items, I put together 3 ensembles for a range of both temperatures and outfit levels:

  1. Casual Friday, cool weather: This outfit layers the two long-sleeve pieces to create the warmest outfit in the mix. The trousers and scarf make it more work appropriate; the canvas flats keep it more casual, thus Level 3 (Casual Friday).
  2. Client Meeting, warm weather: This is the warmest weather outfit of all, with a tank top and cotton pants. I’m cheating a little bit to say it’s a Level 4 (Client Meeting) outfit since the footwear is sandals, one of the small limitations of only building outfits from the capsule wardrobe pieces.
  3. Weekend Casual, mild weather: T-shirt, denim, slip-on shoes, beautiful day. A cute little Level 1 (Weekend Casual) look.

Add the cardigan to outfits #2 and #3 and the level of dressiness doesn’t change, but they become more suitable for cooler spring weather. You could also wear the white shirt under either the pink tank top or the floral graphic tee.

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Capsule wardrobe: 20 pieces to wear this fall

By IN Find Your Style

capsule wardrobe: 20 pieces for fall


// denim hoodie / soft blazer / button front / printed tee
open cardigan / cowl neck / 3/4 sleevemesh tee
denim skirt / twill pants / cropped chinos / trouser denim
patterned scarf / natural stones / black boots / desert boots
leather satchel / menswear watch / knit tights / moccasins //

In pulling together this 20-piece autumn capsule wardrobe, I was drawn to pieces that were a mix of warm and neutral tones and tended toward looser shapes and softer fabrics. I also wanted items that could be layered in this oh-so-transitional season.


By the end of Fall, I’ll be reaching for heavier coats, but on those perfect crisp days I like the idea of a hoodie jacket: half denim jacket, half hoodie. It splits the difference nicely.

And a soft knit blazer can perform all sorts of functions in cool weather, from providing another outerwear option to dressing up, well, pretty much anything.

The Tops

Shirts here run toward the more casual end of the spectrum, with the exception of the button-front shirt. But everything can be taken up a level with accessories and, as noted above, the blazer. Sleeve lengths range from short (the athletic-wear tee) to ¾ length and long.

The cowl-neck sweater is just a step warmer than a regular tee. Wear it over the longer-sleeved tees or under the cardigan.

The Bottoms

Bottoms are the easiest way to change the flavor of an outfit. Want dressier? Go with the denim skirt (last seen sometime in the early oughts, they’re coming back around again). Wear it bare-legged in early fall if you can, with tights when it gets frosty.

Trouser denim is a little nicer than your average pair of jeans and a looser silhouette, too. The twill pants are a straight-up classic; in navy they can also substitute for denim. The cropped khakis go with everything, too. Roll up the cuffs of either to show off your ankle boots.

The Shoes

Did somebody say ankle boots? Desert boots are one of those styles that are sometimes trendy, but always stylish. I like this dusty taupe color for its versatility; I’d wear them with tans and browns as well as shades of black.

The waterproof Hush Puppies boots are tall enough for rainy days and skirts, but should fit nicely under longer pants. And I like moccasins as a flat shoe alternative to ballet flats and loafers. They’re just a touch more rugged somehow.

The Accessories

I am a committed scarf fan and in changing seasons they also double as added warmth. Something about the earth tones in this capsule also suggested the simple beauty of unshaped turquoise stones, a color that matches anything.

I have a leather tote in a butternut color and it’s a surprisingly complementary shade. With all of the solid shapes and warmer shades in this collection, a brown leather menswear style watch seemed like the way to go.

How to Use This Capsule Wardrobe

How best to work with 20 items? You can use them

  • as a starting point: make this the baseline and supersize it with more jackets or tops or bottoms (your choice!)
  • as an inspiration list: pick a few things to add to your own closet; make your own capsule with the combination
  • as a true capsule: a limited wardrobe of just these pieces to mix carefully for the next 90 days, give or take

Me, I’m going the “inspiration list” route and coveting those Hush Puppies boots. I am forever searching for the pair that will keep my feet toasty and dry on cold rainy days.

Say goodbye to “I have nothing to wear”! Get step-by-step help editing your closet of the clothes you no longer need and filling it with style for the way you live. It’s all included in your instant download of “No More Yoga Pants: How to Dress Better, Shop Smarter and Reclaim Your Style”, the Frantic But Fabulous wardrobe makeover workshop.

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1 mini capsule wardrobe, 3 days, 3 outfits

By IN Create Outfits, Find Clothes You'll Love

outfit ideas: 3-day weekend


After creating this 3-day capsule wardrobe for a Labor Day weekend getaway to New York City as a planning tool for my own trip, I got to take it out for a spin. This is how I wound up mixing and matching those pieces for the 3 days.

(My actual wardrobe varied slightly, based on the weather forecast for that weekend, but here I’m using the pieces from the original capsule wardrobe to show how it can be combined into different outfit ideas.)

Day 1: Travel There and the Whitney Museum

I first discovered the travel suitability of a knit maxi skirt on our summer trip to Europe where it took me through several hours of airports, airplanes and Tube travel, so although I’d originally planned to wear the Bermuda shorts as a travel outfit, I decided to go with the tried-and-true instead.

On the train, I wore the long-sleeved button down cotton shirt over a sleeveless travel top because the A/C was on full blast (the scarf came in handy for this, too). Once we got to the city and started our afternoon walking the High Line in full sun, I was happy to take it off and have the tank top underneath.

The other advantage of wearing a maxi skirt for travel was that I was able to wear the same outfit all day, on into our late afternoon and early evening visit to the new Whitney Museum. (What a spectacular building and collection. Go!)

Day 2: Sightseeing and Shopping

The second day was much more casual: the Statue of Liberty in the morning, Midtown shopping in the afternoon. A printed tee and shorts (cropped denim in this capsule) was all I needed, and I was glad to have my sun hat tucked into my shoulder bag when we were on the ferry.

That night we took a bus tour so I changed back into the maxi skirt to keep my legs covered, knowing we’d be sitting on the upper, open deck of the bus. I added the scarf again, too.

Day 3: Central Park and Travel Back

Monday was the warmest of the three days, so I wore black travel shorts and a striped tee (¾ sleeves in the capsule, but short sleeves IRL). By the time we finished walking through part of Central Park, we were quite warm and I was happy I remembered to bring a hand fan with me on the trip.

Knowing the train would probably be cold again, I put the long-sleeve shirt and scarf in the outer pocket of my suitcase so I could put them on after we boarded.

I wore the Puma flats the second two days because they had more padding and support. While it was nice to have open top sandals on Day One, my feet wanted something more substantial after that.

Learn how to trim down your closet by organizing it into capsule wardrobes. It’s all included in your instant download of the “No More Yoga Pants: How to Dress Better, Shop Smarter and Reclaim Your Style” fashion makeover workshop

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Reader request: How to keep track of your outfit ideas

By IN Create Outfits, Find Your Style

Best ways to record outfit ideas
Image credit: Death to the Stock Photo

What are some easy-to-reference ways to record outfit combinations, or some clever tips you’ve heard about?  In one style expert book they recommended using a computer each morning since you can search your list, but with a young child in the house, that isn’t an option (nor is my smart phone), unless I want to also commit to watching animated dancing animals for 30 minutes too.

Little ones underfoot can certainly make getting dressed a challenge, much less trying to record outfit ideas. So let’s start with the easiest, most analog options.

Offline Outfit Recording

  • Notepad. Good old pen ’n’ paper. When I first started tracking my outfit combos back in my early working days, I used a little pad of paper that I kept in my dresser drawer. Each page was an outfit idea. I like to draw, so mine were pictures, but you could just jot down notes, too.
  • Closet organization. Keep track of your favorite outfit combos by hanging them together. Or if you like to use capsule wardrobes, group them together that way; you might find it easiest to pick out a week’s worth of outfits on Sunday and hang them together then, ready for Monday morning.

Online Outfit Recording

If you don’t have any constraints like this reader, there are some digital options you can try.

  • Apps. There are several phone apps for outfit organization; perhaps one of the best known is Stylebook. You shoot photos of each thing you own, and then use the app to mix, match and save. Start simple by taking photos of a couple of things each morning, beginning with your most-worn items, and work your way up from there.
  • Spreadsheets. Like the recommendation my reader referenced above, by inputting items into a spreadsheet, they become searchable and re-organizable. (And if you went through the closet audit in Steps 3 and 4 of my wardrobe workshop, you’ll have a great head start on a list of everything.)

Beyond the convenience of having ideas at your fingertips, the exercise of listing some or all of what you own as you record outfits is also a good mechanism for assessing exactly how much stuff you have, and how much of it works together.

It’s also a great opportunity to edit your wardrobe down as you go. The fewer things in your closet, the easier it is to make and record outfit combos. Makes minimalism more appealing, doesn’t it?

Say goodbye to “I have nothing to wear”! Get step-by-step help editing your closet of the clothes you no longer need and filling it with style for the way you live. It’s all included in your instant download of “No More Yoga Pants: How to Dress Better, Shop Smarter and Reclaim Your Style”, the Frantic But Fabulous wardrobe makeover workshop.

Capsule wardrobe: Easy chic all week

By IN Create Outfits, Find Clothes You'll Love

Capsule wardrobe: Easy chic

As I continue to refine my style and edit my wardrobe, I’m trying to achieve that happy place in between casual, even classic, and that effortless way French women dress, looking dressed up even when they’re dressing down.

Call it easy chic.

This capsule is a mix of pieces that can be combined in outfits that work just as well on the weekend as they do at the office.

Par example: “Hello Friday” tee + patterned scarf + midi skirt + flats = casual Friday. (Why not?)

Ou: “Hello Friday” tee + scarf + denim + sneakers = fab mama at the market.

Une fois plus: embellished collar sweater + patterned blouse + chinos + pearls + flats = any day at work.

And because we’re channeling our inner French girl, of course the flats are Repetto. (At least in this fantasy version. Any black ballet flats will do.)

Bonus! This capsule wardrobe would also make an excellent packing list for a trip to Paris. And isn’t that a fun thing to daydream about?

Say goodbye to “I have nothing to wear”! Get step-by-step help editing your closet of the clothes you no longer need and filling it with style for the way you live. It’s all included in your instant download of “No More Yoga Pants: How to Dress Better, Shop Smarter and Reclaim Your Style”, the Frantic But Fabulous wardrobe makeover workshop.

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