Capsule Wardrobe: Travel Edition

Hey everyone! It’s been forever since I’ve written—so long that WordPress looks completely different, yikes. My job as a writer at Bob’s Red Mill has been fantastic, but writing all day means I’m less inclined to write at night. However, I always love talking about capsule wardrobes, so when I made a packing list for our annual trip to Ipswich, Massachussetts, I couldn’t resist posting it!

I have to say that since I’ve returned to work full time, my wardrobe has exploded a little in my efforts to look professional. The “unofficial” dress code is jeans only on Fridays, so the first thing I did was order some non-jeans pants and look through the hand-me-downs my lovely mother has gifted me with through the years. But that meant I needed to change my mindset for this vacation: less workwear, more casual stuff!

I’m a big fan of the 10-Item Wardrobe concept from Jennifer L. Scott’s Daily Connoisseur and the capsule wardrobes created by Leanne Blackmon at Classy Yet Trendy, so I went into this with a clear goal: I wanted to pack a minimal number of pieces that would (mostly) go together and could be either casual or slightly dressy. I ended up with 14 pieces, including shoes and outerwear:

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J. Crew Factory Studio Tee in Heather Graphite. This is a sturdy yet lightweight layer that goes with pretty much anything!

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J. Crew Factory Artist T-Shirt in White. This shirt is a little thin, but I layer a nude camisole underneath.

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J. Crew Slim Perfect Long-Sleeve Tee in Navy and Ivory. If you’ve ever read my previous “fashion” posts, you know I love my striped shirts. This is a new favorite—really flattering and pretty.

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Gibson Cozy Twist Front Pullover in Heather Grey. Everyone and their mom (and my Mom!) has this shirt, and I love it. It feels like pajamas yet the twist gives it some oomph.

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J. Crew Factory 8″ Anywhere Skinny Jean in Astoria Wash. These jeans are great—not too spendy, and all-purpose.

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Paige Transcend – Hoxton High Waist Ankle Ultra Skinny Jeans in Hartmann. A birthday gift from my Mom, these are a little dressier and more forgiving with the stretch! Almost jeggings.

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I brought some great stretch black pants that are styled like trousers from Cabi (a hand-me-down from my Mom), but they’re discontinued! These Halogen Ponte Skinny Pants are similar!

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I admit, I love my basics, but I’ve felt like my wardrobe has gotten a little too blah lately! Enter this cute Lilah dress from Reformation. I really enjoy the comic book panels (anyone know where they’re from?). I was expecting this to be a stretch dress, but it’s actually a vicose/rayon crepe which drapes nicely.

 

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My husband bought me this J. Crew Factory Denim Jacket for Mother’s Day a couple of years ago. Mine is a slightly lighter, more beat-up finish, but this one is similar!

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This Leith Ribbed Shawl Cocoon Sweater is my very favorite layering cardigan, light and so soft, and it’s available at Nordstrom Rack for a very reasonable price!

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Um, did I mention my job at Bob’s Red Mill is totally rad? One perk: every member of the marketing department gets an Original Westerley sweater from Pendleton! Look familiar? That’s right, it’s the Dude’s sweater from The Big Lebowski. It’s a wonderful, thick wool sweater that is incredibly warm, which is perfect for Massachusetts (it’s topping out around 40 degrees here).

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Another present from my very fashionable mother are these ‘Valli’ Waterproof Booties from Blondo in Sand Suede. I’ve had them for over a year and they’re still in great shape—plus, they’re waterproof! I did also seal them with two layers of suede protector.

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I tend to wear a lot of basics in neutral colors, so I love to add something like these Calf-Hair Penny Loafers in Leopard from J. Crew Factory. They’re comfy and stylish!

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And finally . . . just one more thing! I realized it’s been years since I’ve purchased a new coat, so I realized a longtime dream and got this classic trench coat: the Midi Trench Coat from 1901 (a Nordstrom store brand I really like). It’s water resistant and—big plus!—makes me feel like Columbo. It’s fairly lightweight, but with the Pendleton sweater underneath it’s great for cold weather.

I’m midway through our vacation right now and I couldn’t be happier with this capsule wardrobe—it’s warm, flexible, and I feel quite stylish and put-together. I’m saving the dress for Scott and my annual date night, downtown Ipswich is quite the happening place, ha.

So what do you think? What are your must-have travel pieces? Post below!

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Happy Monday! Doubleclicks, Betty & Veronica

BettyVeronicaAHSDCCHappy Monday, folks. I know it must sound a little incongruous to be chirping that with so many awful things happening in the world. I’m just trying to keep this corner cheery for now.

So how was your weekend? I had that beautiful unicorn of an experience (since we’ve had Sarah): a spontaneous brunch at a nice place with friends. And they have a toddler less than a year older than Sarah! We went to Screen Door, a very very popular Portland restaurant that’s always packed to the gills. Fortunately, as parents, we were already up by 7:00 am–plenty of time to get dressed and stand in line for the first seating. Sarah and I had shrimp and grits, delicious!

Links!

Geekery

As you’ve probably already heard, a little move called Ghostbusters opened this weekend to a gross of $45 million (not too shabby). My favorite geeky girl band, the Doubleclicks, released a new video last week with their version of the theme song:

Do you live in the Portland area? You have three (three!) opportunities to see the Doubleclicks live and in person:

July 19: Doubleclicks at the Doug Fir Lounge at 8:00 PM with Danielle Ate the Sandwich, Barbara Holm & Lucia Fasano. 21+ show, $10/12.

July 24: Doubleclicks at the Tualatin Public Library at 2:00 PM. Free, all-ages.

July 25: Doubleclicks at Kickstand Comedy for a live Gosh Darn Fiasco podcast recording with special guest Kelly Sue DeConnick! $5 at the door. 7:00 PM.

The Adam Hughes reboot of Betty & Veronica debuts this week. Check out a preview at Entertainment Weekly!

San Diego Comic-Con kicks off this week! Looking for cool stuff to do? How about signings with Joss Whedon, Margaret Atwood, Gerard Way, and Nathan Fillion? Check out Dark Horse Comics’ full SDCC schedule.

Fashion

Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale is nigh! However, if you’re a Nordstrom cardholder, you can shop the sale early through July 21. I personally shop early every year to stock up on my favorite Hanky Panky underwear, which are $14.90 or four for $54 during the sale. That’s just $13.50 each–more than 30% off the regular price of $20 each.

That’s all I’ve got today! Stay tuned for more . . .

3.1 Phillip Lim Open Back Stripe Sculpted Dress

Fashion Friday: 3.1 Phillip Lim Look for Less

3.1 Phillip Lim Open Back Stripe Sculpted Dress

The perfect summer dress–if you have $550 to spend. 3.1 Phillip Lim Open Back Stripe Sculpted Dress via Nordstrom.

So I’m in the process of putting my spring/summer 10-item wardrobe together–yay! While most of the pieces I wore last year are in good shape, I do need a few things: new t-shirts, a pair of shorts, and a casual-yet-spiffy dress. So I was psyched to spot this 3.1 Phillip Lim Open Back Stripe Sculpted Dress during a recent shopping trip with my mom. It combines three things I love: stripes, a fitted silhouette, and a super-cute back opening. Then I checked the price tag.

$550. Yikes! Yes, that was me dropping the tag like a hot potato and sadly trudging away. I can make a dress last a long time, but I’d have to wear it for about 10 years to make it worthwhile. Will I want a back cut-out when I’m 51? Probably not.

J Crew Factory Chevron-Striped Dress

J Crew Factory Chevron-Striped Dress–a very reasonable $64.50! Via J Crew Factory.

But then! True love found me via banner ad (I know, right? Who even notices banners these days) and showed me this J. Crew Factory (like that is a surprise) Factory Chevron-Striped Dress, which is quite reasonably priced at $64.50. Like the 3.1 Phillip Lim dress, you can see that it’s striped and fitted (albeit with a front pleat), and the neckline and armholes are similar. Instead of white with navy stripes, it’s navy with white stripes. But what captured my attention was . . . (drumroll please):

FFJCrew2Yes! The back opening (described as a “coyback opening” in the Nordstrom URL, good description, meta data!) is very similar. Definitely worth a try! I never even tried on the 3.1 dress (I think my tears would have soiled it), but I’ll be making a trip to Woodburn after Memorial Day weekend!

I feel a little like Betty unearthing a cute knockoff of one of Veronica’s “Paris originals.” Yes, pretty much all of these Fashion Friday posts will contain an Archie Comics reference. You’re welcome.

What are you looking for this summer? Post below!

10 item wardrobe

Winter 10-Item Wardobe–FINALLY

Look at this–two blog posts in one day? How do I do it all? Mostly it involves keeping my daughter busy with books and/or literally holding her while I took the photos. She had a lot of fun dancing on my clothes, too. But finally, yes, my awesome ivory wool fisherman’s sweater arrived, and it was the perfect piece to complete my 10-item wardrobe for the rest of the winter (especially with us visiting Massachusetts this month–brr!).

Well. I kinda cheated. This is actually an 11-item wardrobe. But since this also represents what I’m taking on our trip, I had to add a dress–even if I don’t wear it weekly–and I grouped my two favorite striped shirts as one.

If you haven’t heard of the concept before, the 10-item wardrobe is something I heard about when I first read Jennifer L. Scott’s Madame Chic books, and it hit a chord. I’ve always wanted the perfect, compact, packable wardrobe where all the pieces go together and I never have to think when I get dressed. Plus, being able to close my dresser drawers is always a bonus. The 10 (or 11) items are your core items. This doesn’t include extras like t-shirts and scarves, underwear, outwear, shoes, or evening wear.

I’ve done a couple 10-item wardrobes before, and what’s really struck me is I have a much better sense of my “style,” or what I really like and wear. Look at the pics below and it’s clear that I like red and navy. And stripes. And gray. And Spider-Man. I’ve got to add some comics somewhere!

So, without further ado, here is my 11-item wardrobe:

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J. Crew Factory long-sleeved striped boatneck t-shirts.

I love these shirts. I love these shirts so much. I’ve had the navy stripe for more than a year. The red, I bought two months ago. While the navy stripe is a little softer, they are otherwise indistinguishable, age-wise. This is partly because I hang them to dry, but partly because they are thick, well-made, awesome, and well-nigh indestructible. There are two additional colors available at J. Crew Factory and I am seriously considering buying them. Plus, they look great, fit well, and my black nursing bras don’t show through.

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Thread & Supply “menswear” blue shirt.

This is a new purchase, a birthday gift from my Mom and Dad (thank you!). It looks a little rumpled in the picture but it’s the perfect “menswear” type shirt, crisp and tailored, but it fits a lady. I mean me.

10 item wardrobe

Spider-Man sweatshirt, Forever 21.

I bought this sweatshirt two-and-a-half years ago and it’s still one of my favorites! I had to mend the waistband once, but otherwise, it’s stellar–and a good conversation piece.

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Halogen gray wool-blend sweater with embroidery.

Another new purchase (actually, I think most everything is). This Halogen sweater is cozy, but the embroidery makes it a little more polished.

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Red and gray J Crew Factory sweater with gold polka dots.

This would have been perfect for Christmas! The v-neck adds a little sex appeal.

10 item wardrobe

J Crew Factory jeans.

I admit–I literally took these off to take a picture of them. There’s a little enchilada sauce on the hip if you look closely. I was wary of buying light blue jeans (I was scarred by the ’80s and ’90s) but my Mom made me try them on and they’re awesome. Lesson: Moms are always right.

10 item wardrobe

J. Crew Factory red tailored stretch Lexie pant.

Fortunately, there’s enough red in my wardrobe that I had no qualms about including deep-red pants! I think everything except the red sweater goes with this. Wow, these pants are wrinkly. Sorry!

Another item my Mom encouraged me to try on, and bought me for my birthday. I was always suspicious about “ponte” pants. Do you mean tailored sweatpants? But while these are as stretchy and as comfy as pajamas, they look like nice tailored pants. My Mom was right again!

10 item wardrobe

APC sweater dress.

As I said, since we’ll be visiting family in Massachusetts, I needed to include a dress. I love this dress–bought on super clearance, because APC is pricey. It looks very . . . squat in this photo, but it’s actually cute on. The yarn is kind of a gray and navy marl.

10 item wardrobe

Fisherman’s sweater, vintage.

I saved the best for last! I love this sweater so much. It’s so big and cozy–it weighs two pounds. I found it on Etsy from a vintage seller. It’s wool and was clearly handmade. The quality is incredible. And I love, love all the cables and patterns. I bought all kinds of cedar inserts for my bureau to help protect it.

So what do you think? I think this is pretty much the perfect wardrobe. With a pair of tights, some t-shirts, and shoes and accessories, this will fit nicely in a suitcase (not the sweater, I’ll wear it), and I’ll feel well dressed at the in-laws’.

What are your go-to items? Post below!