Vacation Closet Postscript

 

If you have been following my posts in the month of January, you know that I was away in a much warmer climate; Apache Junction, Arizona which is east of Phoenix.  During that time I shared what I packed in my suitcase and the outfits I created from those items for the month.  Now that I’m back I decided to do a review of what worked well, what didn’t and things to consider for the next time.

The temperatures were predicted to be in the 40s at night and upper 60s to low 70s during the day which was pretty close to true with a few mornings being a little colder and a few days being upper 70s to low 80s. This is a place where you can be busy all day, or just sit by the pool and read.  My husband and I chose the former.

As a reminder, these were the items in “my vacation closet.”

Here is the suitcase (25” hard side) I used. I also carried a backpack on the plane and a cross-body purse.

 

In addition to all the clothing pictured above, I packed in there 5 days worth of undergarments, 2 bathing suits, a hooded sweatshirt, lounge PJs and the items pictured below.

 

For just about all my travel (plane, train or car) I always layer an outfit and wear leggings, for this trip it meant black leggings, bronze colored tank top, denim shirt and a cashmere wrap.  I also always wear my sneakers on the plane as they are bulky to pack and no matter what, they always come with me; experience has taught me that.

When I packed, I chose colors that were versatile enough to mix and match just about everything in “my vacation closet.”  As you could tell from photos, there was a lot of mixing and matching and although I brought several scarves to add patterns and upper interest to my outfits, it just wasn’t that dressy of a place to use them.  I had anticipated eating out maybe once a week, but instead we rotated fixing dinner among 3 couples and only had dinner out once.  But we did have a dance once a week and a concert once a week, so that was considered the evening casual looks.

I got it right items:

Daytime Tops – All of the casual cotton short sleeve tops, top and center left in the “My Suitcase” collage, along with the black/white top center bottom worked well either alone or, if it was a little cooler, layered with my hooded sweatshirt or the denim shirt.

Daytime and Evening Bottoms – All of the bottoms worked well, from the casual gray shorts, beige capris to the 2 different weight leggings, skinny Chico’s pant and jeans.  The jeans, Chico’s pant and heavier weight leggings were good for the cooler days and evenings as this is a place that has very little humidity so as soon as the sun goes down, so does the temperature.  A tip for your leggings, they can do duel duty as capris if you pull them up to create a “seam” just below the knee as I did in bottom left picture of the “Mix and Match” collage in the Facebook post.

Evening Tops – Here is where the mix and match came into play a lot.  The tops in the center and bottom right of the “My Suitcase” collage were my staples along with the cashmere wrap.  I used these a lot, both alone and layered with a camisole underneath.

What I didn’t use:

I got very little use out of the 3 tank tops.  It was a little too cool to wear alone during the day and only used a cotton one once as a layer under the denim shirt for a very casual evening.

I also didn’t need the pair of bronze colored flats.  If I needed shoes, the short boots worked fine.

As I mentioned before, I didn’t get much use out of the scarves, but I would continue to pack scarves in the future as they take up very little space and add interest to your outfit.  This was true for the belt as well.

In lieu of the purple long sleeve top pictured in the “My Suitcase” collage, I would have packed a different top as it would have been more versatile.

What did I need but not pack:

I originally had a denim skirt out to pack but changed my mind.  Go with your first instinct, I should have brought it.

I also would have gotten use out of additional leggings to go with the burnt orange tops and denim shirt.  I did purchase 2  pair from LuLaRoe  when we went shopping at Mesa Market Place Swap Meet (great place to go if you ever get out that way),  They are a nice pattern, go with both tops and are oh so comfortable.

As I mentioned earlier, I should have packed another long sleeve tunic length top (to take the place of the purple top) that would have given me more options with leggings (butts covered please).

All in all, the amount and type of clothing worked well, but there is always room to refine the selection.  I will admit I like a lot of variety in what I wear so towards the end of the trip I got a little board with my options.  The addition of the LuLaRoe leggings was a nice boost.

Remember, pick either a pattern for your tops or bottoms to give you the most possibilities to mix and match, always bring your sneakers, pack some accessories (belt and scarves in addition to jewelry) and go with your first instincts when pulling clothes for a trip.

What outfits are hiding in your closet?

Are you seeing red (or scarlet or fuchsia or blush)?

Not only is Valentine’s Day coming up, but February is Heart Health month.  What better time to wear your favorite shade of this primary color to represent these important events in February.  Whether you are looking for an outfit for dinner, to wear to the office or just hang out in, you can surely find something in your closet that will help you celebrate.

With the price of clothing and to be attuned to creating multiple looks, the items selected will fit many occasions.  These dresses can go from dinner out to the office with the addition of a jacket or sweater.  And don’t forget that a change of accessories, scarf, belt, earrings and/or necklace, can also change the dress from dinner appropriate to office appropriate.  Pairing sweaters and jeans are a given, but a sweater also looks great with the correct pant (for your body type) or skirt, particularly the pencil skirt.  And why can’t you wear a blouse with hearts throughout the year?

If these colors are not ones you usually wear, might I suggest a scarf in multiple colors with a hint of red or pink or a silk flower pin?  Last year, on my box of Godiva chocolates (yum) was a rose ribbon pin that looked great on a leopard jacket.

So check out what’s in your closet.  What better reason to wear red, then to support women’s heart health and love!

Polyvore - valentine

 

What outfits are hiding in your closet?

Office outfit to Holiday outfit

Turkey day is over, which means we are a few weeks away from Christmas and the celebration of the holiday season.  You just got an invitation to a holiday celebration with the boss and fellow office staff.  As with any function that involves senior executives in your workplace, you should dress appropriately.  That means nothing too high at the hem or low at the neck, or so tight that you dare not sit down.  Save the real party girl outfits for the club or the celebration with close friends and family.

It’s always wonderful to go out and buy a festive new dress, skirt or pants for a special occasion, but is it a good investment piece? Why not be creative with what you already have in your closet. If you are like most women you have a festive thing or two hanging in your closet just waiting to see the light of day or sparkly jewelry stuffed in a drawer for years. If you do need to add one of these items to make the transition to a holiday outfit, you may want to keep the investment at a minimal cost by shopping at a local thrift or consignment shop or a discount retail location. I love to shop H&M and Forever 21 for trendy accessories at a low cost.

Add a jewel colored top, one that makes your skin and eyes shine, to a current pair of pants or skirt. Accessories with a little sparkle and shine go a long way.  Add a statement necklace or dangle earrings to a current dress.  Pashminas are a must for every wardrobe and if it has some sparkle to it all the better. Throw it around your shoulders in case the event is chilly. A pop of color or shine in your footwear will complete the outfit.

Here are some suggestions on how to take an office outfit and turn it into a holiday celebration outfit with little to no additional investment.

Polyvore - Holiday 15 pants

Swap out your sweaters and booties for a sleeveless top, statement accessories and shoes with a heel.

 

Polyvore - Holiday 15 skirt

Leave the sweater at home and change up the shoes for heels.  The red sleeveless blouse is a great holiday look with a gold belt (this should be a staple in your closet).  Or add a glittery top! No other accessories necessary.

Polyvore - Holiday 15 dress

Think you can’t make an office dress work for a party?  Change a jacket or sweater for a shrug, fringed top (trendy) or go sleeveless.  Add some jewelry, a different belt and different heels.  Even a sweater dress can look great.

What outfits are hiding in your closet?

 

Visit our website – Your Style IQ

I only have a few outfits in my closet

No matter if you have suits, dresses or basic separates, layering your outfit is a great way to extend your closet without having to buy a thing.

I can still remember years ago when I worked for Casual Corner (I may be dating myself). I put together an outfit on a display of corduroy pants, a diagonal striped blouse with bow and a crocheted cowl neck short sleeve sweater. I probably sold 5 of those outfits without even trying.  It was simple but a great layered look.  So can you layer anything?  Not necessarily.  Let’s go through it.

First layering should not add volume to your body and remember to keep your proportions in mind so you don’t look like you are drowning in layers. Start with a pair of slim or mid-width pants based on your body type.  Next put on a crisp shirt or tunic style knit top. Maybe even a fly-away turtleneck. Simple and basic outfit, but is that really you?  Then add a sweater or even vest to the outfit, it can be short or long. Showing shirt tails or tunic hem are ok. Next add a splash of color. An oblong scarf underneath the sweater with just the hint of color around the neck and the tails peeking out at the hem is a different approach. Or what about a statement necklace instead of a scarf?  If you go with the same color family in your top pieces, it will add length to your body.   You could take this same idea and in lieu of the pants go with a solid skirt with matching tights and pumps. Have you tried putting a belt over a shirt, long vest or even your scarf?

Added bonus: You’re going to Aunt ____’s house for Thanksgiving.  She probably has been cooking and baking all day which means it may be 80 degrees inside.  If you put together a layered outfit, you can shed a layer inside, but still be stylish.

There are endless possibilities when you have basic pieces and accessories in your closet. And the more solids you have the easier it will be to layer and create something new. Use your accessories to give that splash of color to bring out your personal style. Here are some suggestions to get you started

Polyvore - layering

 What outfits are hiding in your closet?

Visit our website – Your Style IQ