Posts Tagged: what to wear

Capsule wardrobe: More outfit ideas for a week-long ski trip

By IN Find Clothes You'll Love

capsule wardrobe: ski trip 2

Packing for a week-long ski trip can be tricky because it combines two kinds of outfits: what you’re wearing on the slopes, and what you’re wearing everywhere else. The solution? I organize my packing list with a capsule wardrobe.

As with this previous capsule for a week-long ski trip, I’m getting more with less by choosing mostly items that can be worn for both situations.

The same capsule can work for a weekend trip if you cut it down to the track pants, jeans, 2 tops and a sweater; I used just such a packing list on an overnight ski trip myself.

Tops. Building outfits out of layers isn’t just versatile in this case, it’s practical. The colder it is, the more knit shirts you can stack together. The slim sweater [similar] adds warmth under your ski jacket; the chunky sweater [similar] is good for out and about.

Bottoms. Adidas track pants are a classic option to change into from your snow pants at the end of the day, and can serve double duty as lounge wear. The fleece pants [similar] will, too. And throw in one pair of well-worn denim.

Underwear. Whether you call them long johns, thermals, long underwear or base layers, you’ll need one top layer and one bottom layer. Silk is ideal, but there are great options in synthetic fabrics, too. The knit tops above are inexpensive HeatTech tops from Uniqlo that can also do double duty as base layers for both skiing and under everyday winter wear.

Outerwear. I couldn’t resist the retro style of this ski jacket; it reminds me of my first days learning to ski in the ’80s. Finish your accessories with a ski hat, scarf and UV protective sunglasses [similar].

Shoes. Keep your toes warm with well-insulated snow boots. You could go a whole week with just one pair, but two different boot types will give you options.

More packing lists

Learn how to trim down your closet by organizing it into capsule wardrobes. It’s all included in your instant download of the “How to Build a Wardrobe You Love” style guide.

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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: Pink and floral for spring

By IN Find Clothes You'll Love

capsule wardrobe : pink & floral for spring


When you’re building a capsule wardrobe from your real life closet, you start with what you already have, so invariably many of your capsules will share items with each other.

Although it draws from the fantasy closet of Polyvore, this spring capsule wardrobe does the same thing, keeping a few key pieces in common with my winter into spring capsule.

I started with the warmest and brightest pieces: pink and floral cardigans, cropped pants, print scarf and pink canvas flats. Maybe because the cherry trees have been blooming here in DC, I went all-in on pink and floral and added a flower graphic tee and pink tank top.

I swapped out some of the solid shirts in the previous capsule with ones that had more design details, like stripes or gathered sleeve hems. One of the tees has ¾ length sleeves—one of my favorite options for days when it’s finally gotten just warm enough to bare a little skin.

The combo denim-and-knit jacket is key for those variable early spring temperatures, and the the tank top and silver sandals take you all the way into May and June.

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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

Cold-weather style survival guide (or how to find fashion hygge for winter)

By IN Create Outfits, Find Clothes You'll Love

how to survive winter in style

Winter weather brings a particular set of style challenges and questions, from the basic to the existential. Here are answers to a few reader questions on surviving (or at least not hating) winter in style.

If you hate winter, really hate winter, what clothing can you treat yourself to soften the blow of the cold to either make hibernating better or encourage a trip outdoors? I realize not buying anything for deep winter is just making it worse.

I’m not a big winter fan either. The clothes that best cushion me against the season are soft, warm and cozy—a concept the Danes call hygge.

And while it might not fulfill the hygge criterion, it also helps to have a really, really great coat. You’re going to be wearing it everyday. Isn’t it better if you love it?

What are some boots for walking in ice and deeper snow that don’t look I’ve borrowed them from the Michelin man or stole a teenager’s Uggs?

These? Or these? Or these? Or these? (Yes, I am a big fan of North Face boots.)

How much hat hair is acceptable? What can you do to minimize?

Confession: I have this problem myself, both with short layered hair and a chin-length un-layered bob. I don’t have miracle solutions, but I do find that looser knit hats “smoosh” less than tight-fitting ones, and earmuffs even less. Using my coat’s hood instead of a hat is often just as warm and less hair-flattening, too. Long-haired ladies have the greatest range of options: try ponytails or headbands or barrettes or other manner of hair camouflage.

As for acceptable, while you can’t expect the best coiffure post-hat-wearing, the goal is for the precise shape of the hat to not be visible in your locks.

What is the ideal glove and hat wardrobe? Does a ski pom pom hat look right with a camel coat? Is winter frumpy mismatched okay?

When possible, wear wool hats and cashmere or leather gloves with wool coats, and knit hats and mittens with down coats. Accessories (your hat, gloves and/or scarf) don’t have to match the coat, but it’s nice if they match each other. When it’s very cold, especially if also wet and snowy, all bets are off; survival is the key.

Personally, I try to avoid winter frumpy mismatched on a working or otherwise Level 3 and above day. It’s easy enough to look reasonably coordinated even when casual if your pieces are all some sort of neutral or at least not in clashing colors and prints. Go ahead and mismatch all you want on the slopes, shoveling the walk or sledding with the kids!

Mamas, is winter the season you love or the season you hate? How do you survive it in style?

P.S. Many of the sites linked to participate in eBates; sign up first and get yourself some cash back!

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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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Mini capsule wardrobe for Labor Day weekend in New York

By IN Create Outfits, Find Clothes You'll Love

capsule wardrobe: Labor Day weekend

As a special mommy-daughter treat, I’m taking my middle schooler to New York for Labor Day weekend. She’s only been once before so our itinerary will be full of standard tourist activities, like the Statue of Liberty, a Broadway show and a double-decker bus tour.

So although it’s only a 3-day trip, I’ll need a packing list that can cover a range of activities and both day and evening temperatures.

Since New York September weather is not that dissimilar from London in July, I’m repeating a few tried-and-true travel pieces from my 2-week European trip capsule.

I think I’ll wear the Bermuda shorts, elbow-sleeve T-shirt and scarf as my Saturday train travel outfit, with the button-up shirt as a topper in the cooler morning hours. If it’s cool again in the evening, I’ll trade the shorts for the cropped denim.

Sunday I might wear the maxi skirt with the sleeveless shirt. It’s casual enough for walking around during the day, but dressy enough to carry me through to a Broadway matinee.

Monday I’ll wear the denim or shorts again. Temperatures will dictate which top I choose to go with the bottoms.

Because we’ll be doing a lot of walking, I’m bringing shoes that feel good but have a bit of chic to them, one pair of sandals and one pair of flats. I’ve been getting a lot of wear this summer from my Aerosoles Disco Music slides in silver leather; they’re a more affordable version of the popular Birkenstock Arizonas. And my go-to walkable flats are always one of my pairs of Puma flats.

If it’s a suitably sunny weekend, I’ll pack a cotton foldable hat I can tuck into my day bag. It’s hair smashing, but face shading; I will sacrifice short-term vanity for long-term wrinkle prevention!

The final packing list may change once I get an updated weather forecast; for example, I might switch the maxi skirt and sleeveless top for a knee-length, short sleeve knit dress. And I might ditch the ¾ length striped top entirely and pack a second T-shirt instead; I need at least one backup shirt in case of a New York pizza sauce incident.

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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.

What’s the difference between “dressed down” and “dowdy”?

By IN Find Your Style, Flatter Your Body

dressed down vs. dowdy

We all have our days when we want to be comfortable and casual. They might even be our every days.

But maybe you’re concerned that your everyday casual has veered from “dressed down” to Dowdy Town, or all the way to Frumpy-ville.

(Quick definition: “dowdy” is “unfashionable and without style in appearance.” Synonyms include “shabby” and “old-fashioned.”)

If you want to keep on the cute side of casual, here are some tips for where to draw the (sometimes gray) line.

Shape. The less flattering a shape is to your body, the closer it can move toward dowdy. Big and heavy if it’s shoes, loose and baggy if it’s clothes—shapes like these tend to read less stylish. Think of the difference between a big pair of clogs and a slim ballet flat.

Color and pattern. This can be a tricky one. Colors and prints come and go; there’s even a color of the year, after all. But if the palette of your clothes is very clearly from a past year or past decade, it will read as old to others, too.

Neutral colors can also communicate as dowdy if they are all over without coordination, or in a tone that doesn’t work with your skin. Taupe with splashes of color or print can be stylish. All-over taupe? Much less so.

Materials. It’s a lot harder to be dowdy in a nice cotton or linen, or even a fine wool, than in some synthetics, especially if the fabric doesn’t hang nicely on your body (see “Shape,” above.)

The differences aren’t always huge; sometimes it’s just a matter of degree. Try on one style of sneaker vs. another, for example, and see what your eye tells you.

Then there’s the easiest solution of all: embrace your possibly dowdy clothes and call it normcore! (And if you really DGAF? Here’s a spirited defense of dowdiness.)

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