How To Build a Capsule Wardrobe For The Holidays (And Spend Less!)

Worldwide the fashion industry is a $25 trillion industry that is one of the biggest consumers of  water.  People go through 80 billion pieces of clothing every year and the average American produces 82 pounds of textile waste annually.  This is a far cry from previous generations when clothes were viewed as an investment; something so valuable they were to be tended to, mended and worn for years versus today’s cheap wear “once-and-done” clothing items that are considered so disposal, that we dump pounds into landfills every single day.

In this article I will show you how to create a capsule wardrobe for Fall, Winter and the Holidays, which will allow you to look different every time you wear the same basic pieces while also feeling good about not adding to the mounds of textiles in landfills. 

What is a capsule wardrobe? 

A capsule wardrobe is simply building on what you already own in your wardrobe to create groups of 5-12 related pieces that can be worn in a multitude of combinations.

Here I’m presenting a capsule wardrobe of 7 essential pieces and using my favorite palette colors of red, black and cream with a hint of teal.

The capsule contains these seven pieces: 

  • Red Ruana
  • Cream Ruana
  • Black Tuxedo Pants (or Black Trousers)
  • Chambray Tuxedo Pants (or Jeans) 
  • Cream Slacks
  • Black Pointed Toe Booties
  • Red Pointed Toe Booties

Look #1

Red Ruana, Black Tuxedo Pants, Black Pointed Toe Booties with red sweater 

This look goes from work to play!  The red is called a “blue red” hue, so it is not overly bright, which allows it to work for fall and the holidays.  Having a ruana in a bold color will help you work it into your wardrobe.

It also helps if you know your color palette as this will save you a lot of money by not buying colors that wash out your complexion or make you look older.

See the tuxedo strip!? 

Everyone should have a pair of classic black trousers in their closet; it’s a work horse of any wardrobe that can be dressed up or down, especially for the holidays.  However, this year I want to wear a different style trouser. 

While also a classic, the black tuxedo pants have just a little bit more “flair” from the silk stripes on the side.  While these too have variations, especially to the leg (skinny, wide, straight), this pant style has been and will continue to be around for years to come. 

Look #2

Black Tuxedo Pants, Black Pointed Toe Booties with velvet kimono topper and velvet tank top 

With this ensemble, you take the same black tuxedo pant from the first collection and arrange for a more formal event by pairing with a velvet kimono topper and velvet tank top.

This outfit is so comfortable, you will feel almost guilty!  Additionally, it allows for dressing up as much as you want with jewelry.  I recommend either red or silver.

Look #3

Red Pointed Toe Booties, Chambray Tuxedo Jeans with chambray blouse 

This ensemble will quickly become your go-to outfit! The chambray tuxedo pant with a matching shirt is monochromatic (the same color on the top and bottom). However, adding the red booties also adds confidence and whimsy with its cherry pop of color.  Adding a little red to your necklace will pull it all together making the outfit work for numerous occasions. 

Look #4

 Red Ruana, Chambray Tuxedo Jeans, Pointed Toe Booties  

Pair the red ruana wrap with the tuxedo jeans and booties for a fun and  casual, but put together look.   

Look #5

Red Ruana & Cream Pants with red sweater  

Luckily, true white is back too, and beautiful as ever. If you are not sure how you will look in cream, find out through your color palette.  Or, if you haven’t had your color palette done, go to the department store and try on several items in the color cream.

Look #6 

Cream Ruana, Cream Pants, Black Booties with turtleneck sweater

The final look brings the capsule all together with the cream ruana, cream pants and a turtleneck sweater.  Being a true neutral, you can finish off the ensemble with your preference of either black or red booties, both will look amazing!


Two pointers for this season: 

  1.  If you buy only one new piece of clothing, make it outerwear or a topper.  Why?  Because this is what people see first and makes the first impression.  
  2. If your boots or booties are round or almond toe, you may want to consider an update.  Pointed toe is in and will be stylish for some time. 

Warmly, 

Brenda

Find out how to get noticed and identify your First Impressions personal style and brand.

Learn how they impact your professional success and sign up for my 11-page workbook @ www.FirstImpressionsMatter.com


Coming to a place near you!

Good Morning Friends, Faithful Readers, Fans, & Family,

  • Are you trying to get ready for the holidays? 
  • Still frustrated with your closet options? 
  • Have an upcoming interview or special event you need to get ready for, but dreading? 

We can help!  And we’d like to do it at your favorite places to shop.

We are booking in-store, workshops and events for November and December and would love to see you at your favorite store. 

Please send us your recommendations or the name of your favorite boutique in the Walnut Creek and Greater Bay areas. 

If you know the store owner or store manager, just email us their information. We’ll reach out to make the arrangements and make certain you are first on the guest list.

Can’t wait to see you!   

Brenda

What to Wear to a Christmas Party: Tips to Look Stylish from Chic To Casual over 50!

Christmas is fast approaching. Can you believe it? The year is almost gone. Have you thought about what to wear to the Christmas parties and look stylish and comfortable?

Here are 5 tips to help you coordinate an outfit quickly. You should find a little inspiration from my ideas below to help you plan what to wear to your Christmas party. Who knows, you may already have an outfit in your closet. Now wouldn’t that be nice!

 

Red

Holiday Red Dress

Fortunately red is best color of the season  so you should be able to find many possibilities that will work well for a Christmas party.

Red also works well for women over 50 since it is a festive color and automatically makes you feel better. All you need to do is make sure you find the right shade that works well with your complexion. You can find reds that have blue, orange or brown in them, so find the color that looks good on you!

Red Christmas Tree Decor

 

A red dress or pantsuit would be an ideal choice to wear to a Christmas party. Red with gold jewelry is a timeless classic combination. That being said, depending the style of your dress, you may not need too much jewelry.

 

If you don’t have red clothing, you can always use accessories to make a festive impact. Red shoes, jewelry, a red handbag, scarf, poncho or wrap. And my new favorite thing, glasses. Yes, red rimmed glasses, I love them! So festive!

 

 

Jumpsuits

Jumpsuits had disappeared and now they have returned, in a big way.

They are not for everybody but if you feel you can pull it off, then why not? The body fit makes all the difference. Try to make sure you look long and lean is the trick and you will know if you have the right body type for it.

Choosing darker shades help. Blacks and navys are chic and versatile and they immediately slim down curves.

If you find you have tummy flaws, a jumpsuit that has material in the middle instead of being fitted is ideal.

You should also find a style that is somewhat tailored but not tight. Most of all, stay away from clingy fabrics. Sometimes they tend to rise up at the front and back if they are too tight, creating a “wedgie” effect – so try on a few styles to find the most flattering fit for your figure. For instance, I have a jumpsuit that have the palazzo pants affect so when I wear heels with it, I automatically look long and lean. If I didn’t wear the heels I wouldn’t be able to pull it off.

The big thing about the jumpsuit trend is that you must feel really good and confident about yourself. If you are unsure if you should wear it, then don’t. The unsureness will show on your face and you will look uncomfortable and lack confidence.

Also make sure to accessorize the jumpsuit with sparkly jewelry.

If you aren’t wearing one of these pieces of clothing and you’ve always wanted to, try something new. Go to the store and try them on and find out if it is for you. You might be surprised and love the new you!

 

Jewel Embellishments

Get more holiday glam from embellishments this year. There are so many outfits out there with pearls on tops, sequins on dresses and jeans and sweaters.

Some of the outfits can go from casual to dressy depending on how to choose to wear them. Add boots or heels and you’re off to the events. You can find shoes with pearls and my personal favorite are the sequin shoes. You will have them for years to come.

Lace and metalics are also great to wear for the holidays.

 

Velvet

Velvet is back and bigger than ever and should be easy to find.

You can find beautiful colors in velvet, but for me, I choose to stick with black so I can add colors of sparkle with it or wear red shoes if I like.

You can also find velvet jackets and tops and the velvet fabric can be worn dressy or casual. If you’re going to a casual event you can wear velvet skinny jeans, or leggings as well as velvet slacks to a dressy event.

 

Blush

The color blush is a light faint pink.

Wearing a light pastel can be an eye-catching approach to holiday dressing. The is fall the color blush has been jumping off the shelves.

 

 Almost anyone can wear the color and make you look updates. If you are especially a Winter, or Autumn season color, you will look absolutely fabulous in this color. You can accessorize with neutrals, like black or white.

Most of all holiday dressing is about wearing color and emlishments whereas New Years Eve dressing is darker and more sparkly. So make your holiday dressing colorful, comfortable and stylish.

 

I want to hear from you!

Have you planned your holiday party and Christmas outfits? What will you wear for your Christmas party?

5 Tips to Look Chic and Professional at your Office Holiday Party

Season’s greetings to all you lovely ladies! You might be comfortable dressing up for holiday parties with your friends and family, but what about with your coworkers and boss? Keep reading to discover my tips to look totally chic yet professional at your office holiday party.

Think back to previous holiday parties you’ve attended.  I’m sure you have seen some interesting outfits that caught your eye. Draw inspiration from them for your own style. Put together pieces that showcase your personality and style. Find the right combination between elegance and glamour in your holiday ensemble. This will help you pull of a trendy yet business casual look at your holiday party. When you wear something you feel and look good in, it automatically instills more confidence in you which your coworkers are bound to notice!

However there have definitely been times in the past where you have witnessed some people wearing the most over-the-top outfits at office parties. This is definitely something to keep in mind and steer clear of. In these situations, finding balance in your outfit choices is key. Use it to create a visual representation of your smart and successful work-place attitude, even if the theme of the part is after-business hours.  Never forget that you are constantly mingling with people from work. Since it is a work oriented event, you and the rest of your coworkers are being observed all night long.

If your office holiday party is in the evening, then you definitely need to make sure your outfit is dressier than your day wear, to rightfully capture the holiday spirit.

Real personalities have a tendency to show themselves at a social event, especially when alcohol is involved. Be aware of this when you’re drinking and don’t let yourself get out of control. A lot of essential things might be part of conversations in these settings. Use the opportunity to stay alert and make a great impression with impressive responses. Don’t drink too fast, be cautious of your environment and sip your wine or drink slowly through the night.

Overall, you still want to look professional and your outfit should be a reflection of your elegant style which incorporates your personality.

Here are 5 guidleines for any event.

Wear something different from your regular work outfit

Unless there is a specific mention of a dress code, make sure you don’t dress like it’s just another busy day at work. Even if the event is a luncheon or during business hours, make an effort to be more festive. Switch up the color choices from what you usually wear or add some seasonal sparkle. Whatever it is, make sure you do it tastefully.

Sequins have become a year long trend recently but they are especially in fashion during the holidays. It’s a great idea to wear a sweater with low key sequins. I’ve seen turtle necks with scattered sequins on the front which are just beautiful and done with taste. You can always wear a sweater with a skirt and opague tights. There’s no need for a jacket but have on simple jewelry or even a small to medium-sized hoop bling earrings, which adds a nice touch.

I’m currently wearing a lot of long vests or dusters these days since I just love them and they go with the season. They help to make you look tailored and smaller and layering is great during the season. I love taupe and gold slightly-sequined vest with a matching gold lightly sequined turleneck sweater. This is a great outfit that can make you look festive and professional at the same time, especially with a daytime event. But be sure the color is in your pallette and looks great with your skintone.

If your event is in the evening, a little black dress is always a go-to. This is so simple and wearing the right jewelry will bring out the dress. Make sure the jewelry is not too much of a statement piece so it won’t stand out unnecessarily. There’s always a tasteful way to add more bling to an outfit!

I also suggest a red dress or pants which is always nice for a holiday office party. You might think eveyone will wear red but you will be surprised how mistaken you are. Hardly anyone is keeping with tradition any more, especially the millennials. I remember when I wore red ponte slacks, a red, black and tan blouse with a black jacket and it was such a hit among my friends. Red is in my color pallette and also my favorite color, so when I wear it, I always feel extra good. It helps when you feel great in what you’re wearing, you will shine and have more pep in your step and people will be automatically be attracted to you.

Try a different hairstyle or add jewelry to your hair

Shake it up a little and try something different with your hair for the office party. If you wear your hair down most of the time, why not try wearing it up?

Nothing extravagant, just keep it elegant and simple with the possibility of keeping it together with bobby pins. This can be a roll, pin up bob or French roll. Whatever is easiest for you.

You can also try wearing a ponytail or French braid or braids along the sides of your hair.

Slip into a pair of shoes you don’t normally wear to work

Here’s where you can show some skin if you like. Wear shoes that expose your toes and heels. They elongate your legs and make them look lean.

Try not to wear the same pumps that you wear to work. Wear something different and more glamourous. Maybe the color of the shoe can be red instead of the same old black shoes that you wear. Or the texture of the shoes is different, for instance, a little sparkle can be nice, as long as it’s not too much and goes with the outfit or dress.

Keep make-up natural and lips bright

You should look diferent than your everyday look, but do not add to much make-up, it will make you look older. It should be the same shade as your complexion and this will give you a natural look, which is what you want.

Try applying a brighter lipstick than you normally wear. Red or Berry’s are great colors for the holidays. These colors look great with red, black, ivory, mocha, blush, and burgundy.

Keep cleavage to yourself

The wrong outfit includes showing clevage, a backless dress, or a too-short skirt can present the wrong first impression. This can be a distraction and you will receive unwanted stares and gossip. People will look at you differently and there is no going back from that. You are always being looked at under a corporate microscope. You never know if you are being considered for a promotion or another position and should always present the right image.

Remember any event outside of the corporate office but you are meeting with people you work with, should be looked at as an office event no matter where it is held. Never forgot it!

Overall, your goal for dressing for a company holiday party is to keep your look chic and professional while also finding ways to show your personality and have fun.

It’s all about feeling good about yourself, so make sure the outfit you choose leaves you confident and ready to mingle and have some fun.

 

Find out How to Stand Out from the Crowd and identify your personal style and brand. Learn how they impact your professional success and sign up for my 11-page workbook @ www.FirstImpressionsMatter.com (bottom of page).