May 27, 2020
It wasn’t a sad email, but it definitely was a cry for help! She loves the skirt, but so far has only worn it with a white tee shirt or white tank top. She owns lots of other clothes, so there MUST be more possibilities…
Note that this skirt does NOT have a bunch of gathers at the waist – thus untucked tops will not look awkward when they extend below the waist. Of such small details is a versatile garment made!
So, as I’ve done before, I tried to think of how this skirt could be worn each of the next 4 months, in 2 different ways.
First, for June, a pretty blouse is 1 option, or a linen tee shirt. I’m still smitten with these ruffled espadrilles; espadrilles aren’t always terribly pretty, but a ruffle seems to make a lot of difference!
And the bracelet… oh my…
For July, sleeveless seems like a good idea! Of course, those who eschew sleeveless can just skip these, or find similar items with sleeves. You understand the possibilities, I’m sure!
Sleeveless again! Or a simple tunic – every day in August will not necessarily be a scorcher…
September could be hot. September could be cool. If you have any way of knowing in advance, you’re smarter than just about everybody else in the world! But a white linen tunic sweater will be lovely on all but the warmest days, and a navy cotton sweater will be ideal for those cool mornings that turn into perfect fall afternoons…
When all of these garments are assembled together, it’s clear that there are a lot of different ways to wear this skirt. I didn’t even LOOK at a white cardigan, or a navy twinset…
Just for fun, let’s say that you wanted to start with the 9 garments above, and build a wee capsule wardrobe around this. Clearly, you’re going to need some shorts, or a pair of pants, or SOMETHING in addition to the skirt to wear below the waist!
I’d think seriously about these:
In addition to all of the outfits above, our heroine now has at least six more ways to get dressed:
I’ve never personally chosen a travel capsule wardrobe by starting with 1 garment… but I could! That excellent Eileen Fisher dress that has me obsessed right now would be a good candidate…
p.s. 2 years ago I was drooling over rose-themed accessories for the upcoming June birthdays. I’ll be 60 on the 29th of June – should I indulge?
Maybe a collared white, long-sleeved button up and a tank for those cooler June days? Could be worn with the shirt over the tank or the tank with the shirt tied over shoulders on a warmer day.
Sheila Harden says
How gorgeous is this? Love Love Love the colors. What a great way to start my day. Thank you.
I love the skirt , but with it’s large pattern I would need to wear it as a scarf or perhaps as a floaty gauzy kimono or evening shawl . There is more than one way to use a pattern that I adore, as I have found out !
Excellent post! I also prefer to wear prints on the bottom half. Not so distracting around my face and allows for many more options in sleeve lengths for temperature changes.
Lovely wardrobe and colours. It’s so funny, I looked at those patchwork shorts and thought: What is Janice thinking! And then you put together two outfits I would definitely wear…must need a little more coffee this morning. Thanks, and yes, you should definitely indulge in rose earrings…a lovely reminder to stop and smell them!
My thinking was that with all of those solid tops, this heroine could easily use some fun shorts. And those patchwork shorts have been around FOREVER – I remember them from my childhood…
My college roommate had a pair that were patchwork of batik plaids. Gorgeous! I always coveted them. So fun and casual.
Beth T says
I love finding a patterned top, skirt, or dress (yesterday’s post) in ‘my colours’ then taking it home and spending a happy hour or two creating a ‘new’ wardrobe with other things I own. Sometimes things that were relegated to the ‘Shall I chuck?’ pile can find a new lease of life.
I am also a June baby (11th) – wild pink dog roses are my favourite which are just coming out in my garden.
Thank you for the reminder of the Olivia Burton watches – I’m very tempted – sigh – but can I justify something at £89? It’s amazing how much money I have saved in lockdown! All I’m buying are groceries once a week.
On my birthday, I will wear earrings with lilac porcelain roses above pearl drops. My mother wore them on my wedding day many years ago…
Those earrings sound beautiful….
We’ve been very good with groceries – we joined a Community Supported Agriculture program, and we share the produce with our neighbor across the hall. (She’s SUCH a good cook…)
But we haven’t really saved food money because we’re trying to support our favorite restaurants by having food delivered once a week. We then tip the delivery person insanely.
I’m still pondering my birthday treat. I suspect that the Magenta Robin Aspinal of London scarf might be a part of the event…
Beth T says
Your community project sounds a great idea. We enjoy cooking and it’s great to have the time to do it without rushing. So we’ve had one Indian takeaway and fish and chips so far. A local Italian restaurant is doing take-outs so I shall opt for that on my birthday.
Apparently in the UK, traditional afternoon tea with sandwiches and cake are the most ordered online delivery service. Now that’s another idea for my birthday…
Sally in St Paul says
Oh, I thought the skirt had black in it, not navy. I really prefer the navy, since navy and white is such a perfect base for a summer wardrobe! This skirt and the initial items you put with it could seamlessly enter the summer capsule wardrobe I built out of my closet this weekend in navy, white, aqua/mint, coral, denim/chambray, and gold accessories. (I was fantasizing about spending the entire summer in northern Cali where my parents and my sister and family live, in a work from home set up plus using up the 6 weeks of vacation time I have. We can dream, right?) I’m dressed out of that capsule today with the centerpiece print item: a white knit top with an abstract floral pattern of navy, aqua, and coral.
I like the 3 tops with the vertical pleats…that’s a very flattering style, adds interest to a basic garment, and creates some thematic cohesion in the wardrobe. And I LOVE that the pleats echo the lines in the palm fronds! Mwah!
Some additional items I thought of to go with the skirt:
–A striped and/or polka dot T for some easy pattern mixing. I have a navy with white polka dot T and a thick knit navy and striped boat neck top that would both look great here. (I used to have a mint with navy polka dot T that would also be fab.)
–A denim or chambray shirt that could be worn on its own (knotted at the waist) or as a casual top layer. I have yet to see a casual summer print skirt that doesn’t work with one…it’s like the ultimate neutral that works even when white doesn’t.
–A lightweight, short-sleeved cardigan to make the sleeveless tops even more versatile
If I were to round out the capsule, I would add the 3 items I mentioned above plus navy capris, white shorts or skirt, a navy/white skirt or pants (perhaps with narrow navy/white vertical stripes…I have a pair of pants like that can mix like a solid), a lightweight long-sleeved navy cardigan, a navy and mint/aqua print top as a bridge piece, white Keds, a gold necklace, and a lightweight print scarf (ideally, a navy/aqua/white ombre).
If only those patchwork shorts had more of an aqua/mint color rather than the light blue! I do agree it’s a fun, almost throwback option, but I would personally do a navy/white gingham print. Haha, for once I’m more conservative than Janice :)
I think it is black! Oh dear! Now I don’t know what to do…
Your additions to flesh out this wardrobe are spot on – they’re very much the kind of things I would add too.
And don’t give up on the patchwork shorts – L.L.Bean has made them every year since the beginning of time (more or less) and they often change up the colors. I wouldn’t be surprised to see aqua or mint next spring!
Sally in St Paul says
Luckily the recommendations for navy can easily be substituted for black. But it’s so difficult sometimes to tell what color things are on-screen. I wish they made it easier for us to know!
You might check out the other color option in the shorts at LL Bean—they might work better for you than the bright blue. I have two pair in the shorter version from a few years ago, and they are some of my favorites in the summer. And I also thought a chambray shirt would be nice with this wardrobe!
Sally in St Paul says
I can definitely see how these could be a fun option to pull out every summer!
Janice, I have a tropical print tunic top that is languishing in my wardrobe and I have in the past paired it with just some white jeans and silver Birkenstock sandals, but I would love if you could do your magic with it as you have done today. If you agree, how can I e-mail you the details/picture? Your contact facility doesn’t seem to work for me.
I will find something that’s currently available retail that is similar enough that my ideas will still work for you; I don’t want someone to fall in love with your tunic and not be able to buy it!
I really enjoyed how this post was set up. It is such a helpful activity to find an underused, but well loved garment and work it into the wardrobe. Then to add pieces to make it a complete capsule, icing on the cake.
Yes, one should always indulge if at all possible.
Linda in Bluffton says
Should you indulge ???? Uhh .. YES!!!!! Stylish, smart, and spunky at 60 – kudos! I’m almost there too. Thanks for the link to the Lands End linen tees. Ordered several – will see how they drape. I adore linen but the quality/drape is everything.
I love the combos.
How about hemming it to Midi length for next year (or the following) when you need a change?
A BIG birthday, and in these crazy times? Definitely indulge more than once! You’re just behind me on the June birthday front – I’ll be 64 on June 23. I wear lots of print skirts, but I have to confess that when I find one great combination of top/wrap, I almost invariably tend to wear it that way. Also, for me/my clothing silhouettes, tops are proportioned either for skirts or for pants, but almost never work for both. I cannot even imagine wearing a tunic with a skirt. And my skirts don’t have gathers at the waist, and all pleats are stitched down to the hip. No sense having extra fabric where I don’t need it. – nancyo
Would you consider styling a Zuri dress? They’re a Nairobi-based company making one silhouette dresses with Dutch wax prints…
Absolutely! Their dresses are really lovely…