This is the fourth of a 4 part series on creating a capsule wardrobe starting with a 2 piece dress. So far we’ve looked at expanding your wardrobe with the skirt and then went on to look at all of the possibilities with a pair of pants. Knowing that accessories can often be the hardest part of creating outfits, I explained how I chose the accessories for cocktail looks and formal business combinations.
Here we’ll look at choosing the accessories for business casual and casual the looks.
For this business casual look with a jacket, I decided to wear my watch and skip the bracelets, since they don’t really show when I’m wearing the jacket; however, as you’ve seen in several of the other outfits with the jacket, there’s nothing wrong with wearing bracelets with a jacket. When I am sleeveless for most of the day, I like wearing bracelets, especially since I don’t wear them often with long sleeves so many months of the year!
The combo below is essentially the same outfit as above, except for the sweater and I’ve changed to the Nicole Miller skirt that inspired the entire capsule. Your work environment and dress code; how important your meeting is; and your personal style determine whether or not to wear open toe shoes. Closed toe shoes are more professional all the way around. Because this is still a fairly dressy, business casual ensemble, but because so much of the foot is covered, the faux snake skin sandals are appropriate.
Although you can’t see it clearly, I also added a raffia belt to this outfit. It wouldn’t be a crime to wear the skirt and blouse without a belt, but it adds a bit more polish and is the opportunity for more texture.
Note: I’m short waisted, so tucking a blouse into a high waisted skirt isn’t my best look. It was crucial to blouse the top out quite a bit. The belt helps define my not-all-that-small waist further and diverts the eye from the very top of the skirt.
Even though this outfit looks like business casual, it’s pretty casual because the tops are super thin t-shirt material. To pull the outfit together a little more I added a scarf in the coral, white and tan color scheme.
I mentioned in an earlier post that this would be a good outfit for casual Friday or site seeing (especially on a business trip with colleagues) so the really big bag is a great choice, as it holds EVERYTHING! For shopping, it’s an environmentally conscious handbag and will hold a purchase or two! (BTW, this bag isn’t that bright! It’s leather with a reflective coating on it…great for my next road crew gig, lol!)
Out of all of the ensembles, the accessories play the most important role with this last one, a juxtaposition of dressy (the skirt) and casual (the t-shirt.) As you can see, I’m wearing the same necklace I’ve worn with all of the outfits, but it’s especially important with this t-shirt because it has such an open neck. Without the necklace, there would simply be something missing and it wouldn’t be as polished!
With this ensemble, I feel as though because the outfit is so simple, the weighty cuff is really important for balance. If cuffs aren’t your thing, a stack of several bangles would substitute nicely.
Next, to play into the dressy/casual juxtaposition even further, I opted for the nude, patent leather clutch. And lastly, to add another casual element to the mix, I went for flat, tan gladiator sandals. You could actually wear any flat sandal or even a casual heel like a wedge.
Other than the coral crystal necklace, and the gold bangle with a bead, all of my jewelry and accessories in this wardrobe capsule are neutral. Starting your accessories wardrobe with versatile pieces that can lean dressy or casual affords you many different looks.
Another advantage to choosing neutral accessories…even though I’m an image and wardrobe consultant, I like to get dressed fast, and I can always count on these accessories to make it easy to get dressed.
I encourage you to start collecting only accessories you love that will take your wardrobe the extra mile!