More Capsule Tips

Previously, I shared the white pieces from my wardrobe that I wear most often. Black is one of my dark base colors and navy is another. Red and bright blue are accent colors. The concept of a capsule wardrobe is that you have a few simple pieces in neutral colors that you can wear with each other and many other pieces in your collection, including statement items. Without solid color basic capsule items, you may feel that you have nothing to wear.

We went out to lunch on Saturday before browsing through a favorite antique store, followed by a long drive through the country. As is so often the case in autumn, the day warmed up gradually. I wore layers to remove as the temperatures rose.

The blazer worn draped over my shoulders and the scarf tied to the bag is a good transition in layering. Leaving the blazer in the car and using just the scarf provides color during the warmest part of the day. When I wear black near my face, I add a bright lip color and bolder eye makeup not to look washed out. My lip color is ‘Girls’ Night’ here.

The pieces I show here can be styled with the white items shown in the last post. (Keep scrolling beneath this post to see previous ones.) As is almost always the case, none of my things are new, so I will try to find similar current items to link. I shop mindfully, buying only what I love and plan to use for a long time. The questions below help me reduce buying mistakes.

I styled these pieces together to suggest how you might wear pieces considered dressy with jeans and a tee. The v-neck tee is from Chico’s a couple of years ago. The straight-leg black jeans are also old from Talbots. Similar items: TeeJeansBlazerScarfPumpsBag.

Mr. Mickey has the same mindset. None of his items are new, but everything, except for his shoes, is from Polo Ralph Lauren. Finding a brand that offers the fit, quality, and style that appeals to you make getting dressed much more effortless. A bonus is that the colors and fabrics often work together well over many seasons. His wallet, belt, and undergarments are also from Ralph Lauren. He always seems to find what he needs when he visits the Polo store.

I blog to share the tips I wish I had learned sooner. Some of the links on this site allow me to earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

45 Comments
  1. Good morning Susan,
    Thank you for this post! It’s really helpful. When I lose the excess weight, I will need to start with some new things and this helps direct me. You look lovely and polished as always!
    Mr. Mickey looks dapper 🙂 I hope you have a great day!

  2. Excellent post on selecting and wearing basics! Your (and Mr. Mickey’s) classic and classy style always makes me smile. Mr. Mickey has his shopping down pat with the RL store.

  3. Good Monday morning! Even though I wash my dark pieces inside out some seem to fade so quickly! Do you have tips to help? I have a thing about my black tops and bottoms being the same shade and spend a lot of time on deciding what matches! Mr. Mickey always looks like such a gentleman and has the kindest smile. What a blessing that y’all have each other!

    1. I wash black items together in cold water on the ‘Colors’ setting. I don’t put them in the dryer, so I hang them on hangers on my rolling rack to air dry. I have read that you can “set” dark colors by adding 1 cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle. Vary the textures of an all-black look so that it appears more intentional.

  4. I really think the longer length on pants gives a more polished and slender appearance. Although I like an ankle length pant to accentuate an attractive shoe. I guess that is a trade off! I was grateful to see Mr. Mickey’s outfit today. It is helpful for my husband to have someone closer to his age to look to for style help. Mr. Mickey has a classic way of dressing that always looks good.
    It’s also good to hear you continue to travel a bit and enjoy yourselves. have a wonderful week!

    1. You are correct, Lynne. Long pants to the top of the foot look better, but I find that ankle pants are cooler to wear with sandals when the weather is hot, but I don’t own shorts or capri pants. I tried to extend the line here by wearing black pantyhose. My bare ankles are too pale now.

  5. Thank you for all the style tips. I have learned so much since I stumbled onto your post a few years ago. Look forward each morning to your blog with my coffee.
    Starts my day with Susan

  6. Those “five questions” to ask myself before a purchase will be saving me a LOT of money. I’m bad about impulse buying and it will be very beneficial to be more honest with myself while shopping.
    VERY helpful information!

  7. Thank you as always for these fashion tips. I took a photo of your 5 questions to ask before making a purchase and plan to keep it in my purse to help me when I am considering a purchase.

  8. Questions 1-4 should be asked when honestly looking in a closet or dresser, at least twice a year!
    Seasonal clothing can survive the cut, as we don’t wear our hiking shorts or down coats all year!
    I just cleared out multiple tops and I won’t miss any of them. Did the same with several blazers (Covid certainly helps with sorting our lives, too!).
    Instead of sending them to a thrift store, I donate to a womens shelter.

  9. Many thanks, Susan, for your common sense wisdom for us! I am preparing to relocate to a warmer climate, so reviewing my clothing is much easier these days as I have pared down & no longer follow trends. 20 years from now, the girls of today will wonder what they were thinking with the torn and shredded jeans!!! May they go the way of stirrup pants!!! Thank you for keeping us from making fools of ourselves!!!!

  10. Hi Susan. Thank you for continuing to share your knowledge about fashion. You and Mr. Mickey always look very fashionable and yet comfortable. Enjoy the upcoming colorful time of year in eastern Tennessee.

    Bev

  11. Susan you are just lovely. Red suits you very much. I have purchased some red items and feel good in them. Thank you, yet again, for your fabulous styling tips.
    Mr Mickey looks fantastic.

  12. Love the suggestions for a capsule wardrobe. In my sixties, I am continuing to create an appropriate and comfortable wardrobe, more casual as I am no longer working. I have donated many items that I never wear-it’s funny that I keep things and they just sit in my closet. Being more mindful of my purchases and only buying if I love the item has saved me money and I hope, improved my look.

  13. Love the post. It’s so nice to see all the ways you can wear the same outfit. I prefer classic items. They always look good and I can wear them forever. Thanks for reaffirming my style.

  14. Susan – first, I love your hair this length! Your observations about proportions are so helpful. I think a lot of us may see something looks off but not know what it is. Your comments about pant length, cardigan sweater length or denim jacket length have been so helpful. My body type, inverted V, is just like yours and it has been very helpful. Since COVID, my hair is transitioning to some gray. As your hair color changed did you need to adjust your cloth colors?

  15. The first question that you listed is so important!
    Do I already have something similar?
    When I go look in my closet and answer that question, the answer is almost always “yes”!
    Today I was thinking that I need a red dress…instead of going shopping, I went to my closet and put together a red tee and a denim skirt…close enough to satisfy that desire for some red!
    Actually going to my closet helps, because I forget so many garments that I already have!
    I also find that doing laundry and ironing or sewing on a missing button allows me to reflect on how much I already have, and to be grateful for it.
    Anything we can do to slow our consumption is pretty important.

  16. Love it! I really like the 3 choices shown together. Also I really appreciate seeing Mr. Mikey as I’m trying to upgrade my Mr.’s wardrobe as well. More please!

  17. The day before you had on the white jean jacket at mid hip Today your beautiful red blazer looks beautiful on you. It goes beyond mid hip.
    What makes them both work so well on you ?

    I am short waisted and have found that mid hip is best but get frustrated when I see a nice blazer that is longer and in style right now! it doesn’t look that great on me. Is there a way to style it to make it work?

    1. A slim-fitting top and pants with a slight heel all in the same color make the red blazer work for me. However, if I had worn bootcut jeans and rounded toe boots with a long, loose-fitting top in a lighter color, the proportions might not have worked so well. I don’t always get the proportions right, but it is an area where I am trying to improve.

  18. Susan how do you keep your whites whites and color vibrant? I know you have shared washing tips in previous blogs, but can you do a blog on the care of your cloths?

    1. I don’t do anything special other than washing in cold water and avoiding the dryer as much as possible. Unfortunately, the dryer is often the culprit that ages our clothes faster than they should.

  19. Hello Susan,

    Greetings from Massachusetts!

    Excellent tips! Perfectly timed for updating my fall wardrobe. Keep the great tips and advice coming.

    All the Best,
    Julie Johnston

  20. hi Susan. I love your posts and always enjoy seeing Mr. Mickey’s style! Based on your recommendation, I purchased the ‘Sheec’ socks. The socks are wonderful! My search for the perfect socks is finally over! Thank you.

  21. I appreciate these capsule wardrobe posts!! In the three side by photos, which I always like anyway, I noted the way you were standing with one toe pointed. I would love a post on tips to have your best photos. So many of us don’t want our pictures taken because we look frumpy.

  22. SassyTanks.com is using your image and calling you Katrina Gonzales in an ad about bras. I don’t know if you have been informed. It came up on Facebook.

  23. Thank you, Susan, for this second post on a capsule wardrobe, this time with a color other than white. Your 5 questions before making a purchase are also very helpful. Somehow, these two posts on capsule wardrobe are leading me to looking at my clothing collection in a more organized way. I hope this will lead me to culling out the pieces in my 2 closets that I have not worn through covid or even before and help me pare down to much less.

    I have pieces I love but just have not worn as I no longer have anywhere to wear them! I also tend to wear the same things all the time. Maybe I need to make more effort to wear more variety, for many reasons.

    Regardless, I love getting your email/blog! Thank you!

  24. Susan, I love the capsule concept, but I have a question. Roughly how many pieces of one color do you have? 4 red shirts, 3 blue pants, etc. I know I have too many pieces of clothing and I know which colors look best on me. My body shape is like yours even though I am a lot taller. I know all of these things, but don’t know how to pair down. I live in an southern active retirement community, so my life style is fairly casual with a few “dressy” occasions. Any advice would be appreciated.

    1. I have one red blazer and one red sweater, but lots of jeans and tees. It isn’t so much about minimalism, so you may not need to edit anything at all. The purpose of a capsule wardrobe is to ensure you have those basic items in solid colors to create looks with your more interesting pieces.

  25. Great tips for, as always? I now have to find a blazer or two. For me a blue-red is the best, hard to find, most are orangey-red. Or as you described, a bright blue would work. The pictures are lovely. I spent my younger years in Boone before there were any fastfood restaurants. Thank for sharing!
    Molly

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I blogged for five years as Fifty, not Frumpy. Now that I am in my sixties, I am sharing ideas and inspiration for using and loving what you already have.

Thank you!
Susan

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