Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Metallic Shoes and a Small Bag: How to Dress Up a Starting From Scratch Capsule Wardrobe

The first thing I noticed when I was looking for beautiful shoes and bags for your capsule wardrobes: there are absolutely RIDICULOUS, and sometimes positively dangerous, dress shoes out there. Heels that would only be suitable for walking from the limo into the nightclub, where you will be sitting for the entire evening...

But worse than that are the spikes and other lethal implements that now adorn shoes. If you're attracted to shoes with spikes, or even just with buckles or large jewels, make ABSOLUTELY sure that you've checked out how sharp all such things are, and be aware that crossing your legs, or even having your foot brush against your leg, could bruise you, tear your clothing, or even cut your flesh. I saw someone recent rip the daylights out of a pair of pants when she crossed her legs and a buckle on her shoes caught the fabric of her trousers. Ruined, they were, as Yoda would calmly notice. 

So if you hate shoes in which you can stand for an entire cocktail party without wincing, I'm not your girl today. Even the heels that I included are only 2 inches; that's the absolute limit I will consider.

As with so many things, if you think of something you'd like, make certain that you shop around on the internet A LOT. There are identical items available at prices that vary by as much as 50%. I try to link to the lowest priced versions that I can find, but as you know, that's always in flux. For a high-priced item, it can be well worth your time.

Another bit of advice: if you see something you like, BOOKMARK IT. Because you can do the identical search a day later and the item will not be where it used to be. I often create your lovely images over a period of 2 or 3 days, and when it comes time to actually put the links on the blog post, I wander aimlessly through the digital marketplace, searching pathetically for the same Chloe flats I saw less than 48 hours again. Don't imitate my sad state...

That said, I found some perfectly delightful, simple evening bags at very delightful, simple prices!

  • The bags and shoes:

How to dress up a capsule wardrobe with metallic shoes and a small handbag
Silver evening bag – Gunne Sax by Jessica McClintock, dark blue and silver ballet flats – Lanvin
navy and gold flats – DeSiena, perforated patent wallet – Artessorio, black d’Orsay pumps – J. Renee,
 ombre python bag – Zagliani, bronze ballet flats – Giuseppe Zanotti, gold woven bag – Sandra Cadavid,
 gold ballet flats – Saint Laurent, gold wristlet – Another Line, scalloped ballet flats – Chloe

  • The Navy and Grey Starting From Scratch Wardrobe
Yes, this bag is from Kohl's. I love the juxtaposition of the bag with Lanvin flats. I'm sure some designer somewhere would pull out their hair over it...

These outfits range from reasonably casual sweater and trousers with a fabric necklace and your dressy goods, to your best dress, dolled up with sparkly earrings and a nice scarf. Everything from cocktails with friends to a lovely holiday dinner is covered here.

How to dress up a capsule wardrobe with metallic shoes and a small handbag

  • The Navy and Beige Starting From Scratch Wardrobe
Yes, your khakis can be sort of dressy - at least dressy enough to run over to the neighbor's for some eggnog and jollity. The shoes make a lot of difference! And your lovely skirt and silk blouse step it up a notch with comfortable but dressy shoes, and some good jewelry. This won't get you to the Inaugural Ball, but these choices will handle most of what many of us face through the winter holidays.

How to dress up a capsule wardrobe with metallic shoes and a small handbag

  • The Black and Grey Starting From Scratch Wardrobe
This probably looks the most like "normal" dressy clothing, because it's black! Don't forget about your summer dresses this time of year. If the fabric and color are suitable, they can be really useful for parties - many parties are crowded and hot, so sleeveless will feel cool, and you'll stand out in the crowd.

How to dress up a capsule wardrobe with metallic shoes and a small handbag

  • The Caramel and Black Starting From Scratch Wardrobe
This handbag would make anything look good... but as with all of our other Starting From Scratch Wardrobes, a couple of simple additions and you're good for a range of activities. These warm accessories really look gorgeous...

How to dress up a capsule wardrobe with metallic shoes and a small handbag

  • The Brown and Beige Starting From Scratch Wardrobe
NOBODY wears brown for the holidays! If it's your best color, wear it with pride and revel in the distinctiveness that you bring to the crowd. Floral prints can be pretty this time of year, and as you're not wearing a poinsettia, your beauty which will be a relief to many people.

How to dress up a capsule wardrobe with metallic shoes and a small handbag

  • The Khaki and Olive Starting From Scratch Wardrobe
Another color that's unexpected this time of year, and we cheer that distinctiveness! Here's a case in which a summer sleeveless top looks perfect with khakis and metallic accessories for a casual get-together with friends. And your best dress benefits from the metallics, while your feet benefit from being able to stand all evening. If you're going to make the rounds of chatting with EVERY member of the Executive Committee, comfy shoes will be essential.

How to dress up a capsule wardrobe with metallic shoes and a small handbag

As before, all of the garment links can be found HERE. I was thinking of doing this one last time with some new jewelry as the "dressing up" factor - do you want to see it?




How to dress up a capsule wardrobe with metallic shoes and a small handbag
Like this article? Save it to Pinterest!


  1. I just disembarked from a cruise ship yesterday and my most worn item was my pair of silver Amalfi flats. With my grey/navy/black wardrobe, they made just about every outfit suitable for the dining room. Stability on a rocking ship and comfort are my priorities even in a dress shoe.

  2. I'd love to see another post with some new jewelry as the "dressing up" factor, so "Yes Please!"

  3. Thank you for all your guidance. I'll gladly clean and cook for you to give you more surfing time. XOXO

  4. Yes please. These are all so fun and I love to see the outfits you pull together. :)

  5. What a great idea. I need some metallic shoes and a small bag!

  6. Yes please from me too. And I am usually the one in brown at a party. The right brown with right accessories can be quite glam and festive. Hence, the importance of earrings.

    Deb from Vancouver

  7. Lovely stuff, as usual. I particularly like the warm bronzey accessories. That black and bronze bag is a stunner!

    I go someway towards your comfy shoe obession. I certainly wouldn't wear 7-9 inch stilettos for an evening out in town as that normally involves hours of standing and walking (including on uneven cobbled streets). I have a pair of reasonably formal boots with heels probably around 2-3 inches which are quite comfy. I also have several pairs of booties with either low heels or at least block heels, padding and a platform. I've also just found a lovely pair of burgundy patent wedges. They're fairly high, but the wedge heel helps and they're padded inside. From Clarks.

  8. I'm using this entire "from scratch" series to edit & overhaul my wardrobe, so yes to a post on jewelry.
    I used to adore my high heels so, but then a crushed ankle left me unable to wear anything higher than a 2" heel or lower than 1 1/4", so shoes are a huge challenge. In fact I must begin every outfit with footwear and work upward, which has truly impacted my entire wardrobe.
    For dressy footwear this season, I chose two from Anne Klein Sport; the "Definitely" wedge in leopard patent and the "Shevanie" wedge in metallic taupe snakeskin. If I had a bigger budget, I would love to try Cole Haan's 'Air Tali' wedge in dark silver. What they all have in common is a ballet style, a heel height of 1.5", and a firm rubber sole which is wonderful for shock-absorbing comfort.
    Thank you for all of your wonderful fashion advice. I was feeling pretty frustrated and frumpy until I happened upon your blog. Now I have hope for my wardrobe!