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. 



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4 Totally Chic and Comfortable Outfits to Wear on Thanksgiving

Not sure what to wear on Thanksgiving? It doesn’t matter if you are hosting a dinner, going on a road trip to a family get together, or a formal dinner, we’ve got you covered with stylish and comfortable ideas.

Not only can you make a statement with your outfit but also, remain comfortable enough to enjoy all that Thanksgiving pie! It’s your turn to receive some compliments!

You can also be thankful for the 3 C’s of festive and food heavy holiday wear:

  • Chic
  • Comfortable
  • Classy

You will not have to worry about eating too much without your pants or dress feeling tight and uncomfortable.


Sightly boot-cut jeans, sweater and flats      

A simple, basic outfit comes alive with a statement bold colored sweater. There is something about the breezy fall weather that brings sweaters to life. From crewnecks, cut out knits or wool, you can style almost any kind of sweaters in this season.

For bottoms, jeans are great for this season, with different kinds and it keeps you warm. If you prefer to wear boot-cut instead of skinny jeans, try the slightly flare. It’s in-between the skinny and the flare jeans but not too much of a bell bottom on the leg area.

A comfortable sweater or oversized top with a pop of color in your palette, will bring out the outfit as well. For instance, a russet orange, a classic fall color,  will make the outfit look more interesting. The shades of the season will be a welcome change to your usual choices and look great in those Thanksgiving pictures. 



Pullover top, velvet straight leg jeans, necklace

‘Tis the season to spice up your jeans with texture and velvet. Since velvet is a throwback trend making it’s way back this year, maybe look in the back of your closet to hopefully find an old pair. I actually found a teal pair in my closet recently that I’m looking forward to wearing. Just add a seasonal top, blouse or tee and you have an outfit! If you have an oversized blouse you can use it as a jacket and layer a tee or top underneath. 

Make sure you make the color of the velvet jeans the focal point and don’t add too much color. The texture fabric will add warmth to your body and an interesting edge to your Thanksgiving style.

Look in your jewelry box and find a necklace that looks great with the outfit. For instance, with the teal velvet jeans, I will add gold accessories and a long necklace to make me look long and lean. Make sure the velvet isn’t too bulky so it won’t make you look larger (once again, got to make sure those Thanksgiving pictures turn out well!)

Top, trousers, wrap and booties

Are you planning to go out to a restaurant for dinner? With the weather getting cooler, you should wear something warm. Use this opportunity to make your outer wear the highlight of your outfit. I have always loved wearing ponchos and wraps during this time of the year. Try a colorblock wrap as seen in the picture. It adds drama and sophistication to your look.

Add the same color red turtle neck sweater or Karina Tee shirt and you are all set. If you don’t have the Red Maple pants to match, you can wear cream trousers. Add a gold necklace, and bracelet and you are all set. Oh and don’t forget, you can purchase the infinty scarf to match which is a great finish to this look.

Don’t foget to carry along your gloves if it’s cold but a color that is not black. If you have a pair of deep burgundy or red, that would be perfect. Etsy is a great place to check out some cute and unique styles of gloves!


Velvet top with matching pants or skirt

For a more formal dinner,  you can still be comfortable with a strechy top that doesn’t show the outline of your body. If you’re looking to make a purchase, why not try something like this beautiful pearl embellished velvet top?  I love that it actually has pearls on it. How seasonal! The picture doesn’t do it justice. The top is so comfortable but so edgy at the same time and perfectly compliments a well fit skirt.

Another trend that goes well with fall fashion are long, well-tailored skirts that always add a festive edge. If you wear a skirt, make sure to wear black opague tights or stockings. There’s no need to wear a necklace, keep it simple and pair it with only earrings and a classy bracelet. Let the top speak for itself and don’t overshawdow it with anything else. It’s an elegant showstopper.

Thanksgiving is a great time to switch up your looks and put in a little more effort to make a fashionable statement for the holidays. First, look in your closet to find items you can match to any of the items I’ve mentioned above. You might be surprised to find an item you forgot about in the back of your closet!  Maybe you can’t see some pieces of clothing anymore because they are hidden behind the piles of clothes you have accumulated. If so, it may be time for a closet makeover! (Make sure you check out how I can help you with that)

With these ideas, I’m sure you will be able to maintain your style and remain comfortable along with feeling and looking good on Thanksgiving. If you do end up using any of my suggestions in your outfits, make sure to post a picture and tag me on your social media!

Are you following me on Instagram? I post a lot of my outfits on there to give you women over fifty, ideas for inspiration.

If you interested in purchasing any of the items mentioned, you can find them here:

Russett Cut-out Orange SweaterChicos, on sale $49.40

Velvet JeansDiane Gilman, HSN network, $49.90, comes in a variety of colors

Color Block Wrap – Chicos, other colors available, $89.00, scarf, $49.00


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