December 18, 2023
And this was the small wardrobe that our heroine took with her on her long weekend of serious reading!
It turns out that our heroine is headed to campus for a month for a special symposium about Changing Political Ideologies in Western Democratic Systems! Riveting, eh?
Since she was so happy with her wardrobe from her “reading weekend,” she decided to use that as the base for her 4 by 4 Capsule Travel Wardrobe for the month that she’s away. Sensible, I’d say…
After looking at, and remembering wearing, her core garments, she decides to add a 2nd, darker neutral. And she feels like she wants a blazer with her, but nothing overly “corporate work outfit.” A corduroy suit is perfect:
And if she’s going to use “Larkspur” as her accent, she feels like she wants one more garment. And a white shirt – under a sweater or jacket, over a tee shirt, or on its own, a white shirt is useful!
I have to strongly endorse the cotton cabled sweater above – I have two of them that are… 10 years old maybe, and they still look amazing…
Our heroine has reached a point where a clear plan would be useful – maybe a template that shows what she currently has in her wardrobe, and gives an indication of what she might want to add:
She has warm fleece-lined pants with her, but she knows for a fact that there’s no campus in the known universe in which all of the rooms are warm and cozy…. well, at least not north of St. Louis!
So a sweater and warm shirt seem sensible:
There will certainly be some kind of dressy event while she’s there – not that academics are really good at getting dressed up! But a skirt and another sweater can be worn for “normal” days, and then also for those dinners that last hours…
And just like that – so quickly – she’s got 16 garments to pack!
She’s a little bit freaked out – for a moment or two. Is this going to be enough clothing?
But it’s not as if anybody else there is going to be obsessed with what she wears – it’s not that kind of crowd! And she’s not the woman to try to keep the shallow and superficial among us entertained with an infinite wardrobe…
Seriously though, she knows that she will probably rinse out at least her undergarments each night, and maybe a top or two. Assuming that 14 of your 16 garments are clean and ready to wear on any given moment, how many outfit possibilities will she have?
When she isolate the 30 outfits that will get her through the month, she stops worrying!
(realistically, I think I could scrounge 60 outfits from this… maybe only 50, but that’s still pretty good!)
Here’s what she saw for possibilities:
First, her grey cardigan and pants – easily at least 3 different ways to wear those:
And her navy suit – even if she ONLY wanted to wear it with a grey top, she’s got another 3 outfits there:
Cold days in the research library suggest that she wear her Larkspur quarter-zip and fleece-lined pants – she’s got at least 3 outfits from that:
Sweaters to wear with her navy skirt? At least three possibilities:
If she wants to layer up her flannel shirt and v-neck sweater, she’s got at least 3 possibilities for pants or her skirt:
Men wear navy blazers with grey pants all the time – does she have the ability to do the same?
What if she’s in the mood to wear Larkspur with her navy pants?
She can wear her navy v-neck sweater with her white shirt, in addition to her plaid flannel shirt! How many outfits can she find like this?
She might want to wear her favorite grey cardigan with her navy corduroy pants – what tops can she wear under it?
There are so many possibilities! I confess I didn’t expect that there would be so many…
Three last combinations of clothes, just to get her to the “30-day” mark and finish her academic month:
She feels like she’s going to have enough clothes with just her 16 pieces – she’s surprised!
But of course, she hasn’t yet packed her accessories….
Should we help her with accessories?
p.s. Not quite 10 years ago, I shared some Chic Sightings I spied on the streets of Chicago, which paired camel and grey. Now that camel seems to be much more common, I thought we might take a 2nd look…