September Casual Capsule: Take 2

My first experiment with Angie's casual capsule was a bit of bust in my own estimation, at least. Sure, some of the outfits were okay, but I realized afterwards that even those I liked might not get a lot of wear, because while I'd tried to take the possible weather conditions into account, I'd forgotten that all important word "casual" and instead tried to create a sort of all-purpose capsule that didn't really serve any of my purposes particularly well. 

Take 2. This time, I focused more strictly on a set of clothes that I would wear on my work-at-home days. Tasks on these days include sitting at the computer, light household stuff (but not gardening or anything super dirty), and the occasional run out to the grocery store, bank, etc. If it's anything more exciting than that, I generally step things up to "smart casual." 

Without further ado, here it is. My goal is to wear this...actually wear it...through the month of September on my work-at-home days. I may not begin immediately. That depends a bit on heat; I'm still in shorts and lighter tops for now. But as soon as we start getting slightly cooler days I will begin, and continue until temps are too cool for this type of outfit. Afterwards, I'll report on the experience. 

The clothing: 

Bottoms: Old skinnies rolled into clams; white jeans; Ann Taylor leopard print pants. 

Tops: Denim shirt, orchid button down, striped short sleeve fitted top, sleeveless black turtleneck, taupe linen sweater, ivory GAP mesh sleeved sweater. 

Toppers: Striped Breton sweater, fuschia knit jacket. Also, denim shirt, linen sweater.

Accessories: I gave myself extra shoes and belts here -- white Cons, sandals, black pointy toed flats, Report booties; leopard belt, white belt, reversible snake print/ black belt. Plus scarf. And a navy tank top for layering. 

I'm not showing every combination, but you get the drift. 

A few observations:

  • There is nothing new here. Every item is one to many seasons old. 
  • It doesn't feel particularly autumnal (esp. the white outfits), but this is what's in the closet. 
  • This is almost identical to my China trip capsule. I wore that capsule for most of October last year in (warmer) China. 
  • The Ann Taylor pants were actually in my to-donate pile because they are annoying to wear with some footwear -- a bit short for me, they catch on shoes. But they are okay with the flats and Reports, a fun pattern, and perfect weight for the interim September weather. So I will further decrease their CPW by wearing them! 

I predict that I will be comfortable enough in this capsule but I won't feel excited by it. 

Note that I also have lots of engagements and events in September. I'll have a separate capsule for those because this casual set of clothes won't work then. 

And if anybody knows where I can get a pair of taupe jeans, please let me know.   :-) 

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • replied 7 years ago

    Love this, Suz. I am going to do something similar with my wardrobe.

  • annagybe replied 7 years ago

     I don't think you want taupe jeans. I did a quick search, serious mom jeans or Target employee.

  • Suz replied 7 years ago

    Anna, you are so right! That's what my searches turned up, too! I wonder why. It's not inherently a mom-jean colour. Hmmm. 

  • annagybe replied 7 years ago

    I do like these Mother jeans, a muted olive;fm=ot

  • Suz replied 7 years ago

    Yup. That colour is perfect and would do it. Thank you! 

  • Vildy replied 7 years ago

    Why aren't you excited? Those outfits are smashing. You even have a little scarf added without looking mumsy. How cool are you!  Maybe because I like the palette so much but I think you look snappy.

  • replied 7 years ago

    Gap has a taupey leopard pair right now too.

  • shedev replied 7 years ago

    I like this capsule Suz.

  • Mona replied 7 years ago

    This is a great capsule. I really like the addition of ivory GAP sweater and white skinnies. Have you tried pairing these two together? I think it would be a great white on white look. It is so much fun to create capsules for different areas of your daily life.

  • Caro in Oz replied 7 years ago

    What else would you need to add (or replace) to feel excited by the capsule Suz? 

    I love all the outfits with the white jeans - it's my practical size coming out lol.  I also love the knit jacket on you so maybe it is the colour scheme of some of the others you find lacks excitement. The only thing I'm not so sure of  is the scarf - the pattern seems to have a different aesthetic from your other pieces :)

  • Joy replied 7 years ago

    Your casual capsule looks wonderful! I need to start a second casual capsule around what I wore in Japan.
    I just did a casual capsule for fall and didn't think to try white jeans in it. Great idea for getting more use. I like the dark belt for fall.
    Here are some coated taupish pants at Gap. I can't find the taupey leopard pair Ceit mentioned but one of my holes is a print.
    How do you do three or more photos in one? Is there an app for that?

  • Niefern replied 7 years ago

    I think this is a fine capsule,.For some reason, I am not loving the semi-tucked striped tops, other than that, I find it is great!

  • replied 7 years ago

    I have two pairs of those coated motos for fall -- I can't wait to wear them! I really like them, and I am considering getting the taupe too (I have navy and black). Although the vamp red would be fun and a nice upgrade from my cheapy coated burgundy skinnies I experimented with last year!

  • Suz replied 7 years ago

    Niefern, the semi-tucked striped short sleeve is admittedly a stretch because it is a sort of firm knit fabric that does not drape well, and the top is relatively fitted. I could just wear it untucked and it works like that. Good eye. 

    Oh-- and I notice in one pic the Breton sweater is stuck on my tank top -- it looks wonky. 

    Joy, thank you.And here is the free app. I got for the collages: CollageIT3.  There's a pro version, too, but I don't know what it has. And there may well be better. This is my second experiment with it. I think the pics might be rather small? And are they dark? They look a bit dark to me. 

    Caro, good question. I think I'm going to need to wear the capsule to decide what I would like to make it more exciting. Good eye about the scarf. The aesthetic is different. It was a gift from Mary K! And I actually love it. The difference is what makes it, IMO. Especially the difference in colour. It injects some warm sours into my ordinarily cool palette. Sadly, it's got holes in it now, so I really need to replace. I will be on the lookout for something with these colours but no fringe (or long enough to cut the fringe off) and a somewhat different pattern. 

    Mona, I absolutely paired the whites -- just couldn't fit it into my collages. 

    Thanks, Shedev! I will be watching yours with interest --we can cheer each other on. 

    Ceit, thank you -- I am going to look for those! 

    Vildy, thank you! I am honoured. I love the palette, too, and it's one that suits me, but you know...autumn and all that. Still, I think for work-at-home I will be happy, comfortable, and good with this. I just need a bag that works with it when I need to pop to the store. 

  • replied 7 years ago

    Here they are, Suz!

  • Deborah replied 7 years ago

    Suz, this is fab capsule. Do you think you are finding it un-exciting because it is so "you".  I get into a place sometimes where I feel a little like I am wearing the same old things... I think I get a bit bored with myself.  Then I pull out something like the jacket I posted yesterday (thank you for your comment) which makes me realise how much I love my 'same old' look .. does that make any sense? For the record, I find this capsule VERY exciting. 

  • kellygirl replied 7 years ago

    Great capsule, Suz! I love the variations--every one of them. You have a nice selection of bottoms and toppers. Love the fuchsia jacket, Breton tops and the animal print pants--so fun! I think this one is even more successful than the last one (and I thought the last one was pretty awesome.) you get a standing ovation from me!

  • sarah replied 7 years ago

    I think you look great. You have just worn these clothes a lot, which is probably why you're not excited. But nevertheless you look quite put together. I think that by the time seasonal transitions arrive, we're ready for change. But with our cold spring and lingering warm weather, we ended up wearing a lot of the same clothes that we're wearing now quite late into summer. At least that might be contributing.

    You did inspire me to start "capsulizing" today, before the semester starts, so I have a clue about what to wear come Tues. (I've been living in BF shorts all summer). I'm also wondering about how late to wear white jeans in the fall. I know Angie views them as year-round wear, but I can't bring myself to wear them very late into fall.

  • Firecracker replied 7 years ago

    Great capsule, Suz. I like all the looks; you have a fab at-home wardrobe. I especially like the fuschia blazer on you. And I'd like a pair of those animal print pants.

  • shevia replied 7 years ago

    Agree with everyone who said this is much more exciting to us than to you! You look great. I especially like the taupe top semi-tuck looks but every single one works and works well. Looking forward to the smart casual capsule!

  • nancylee replied 7 years ago

    This looks like a great lineup for early autumn, Suz.  I wouldn't worry about the lack of variety.  This is great for September...then the weather will change soon enough and you can add in/subtract a few items for interest (and warmth!). 

    You and Ingunn are really inspring me to put together some capsules myself (if I can just get my head around my new Bright Spring colors...)

  • Beth Ann replied 7 years ago

    So late to the party!  Lost power (after a storm) for 28 hours! 

    This is right up my alley, since I work from home, too, and have some similar items in my closet right now.  I have a separate capsule for teaching students at home, since that "home-work" must be a little bit more professional (The I'm Not Mom Capsule).

     I think the button downs and jacket really elevate the capsule and say "I'm WORKING at home, not lounging," which, as we know, is so very tempting. The magenta add an all-important note of cheeriness!  I'm also a proponent of stretching the white as long as weather allows.

    You could do a "taupe" jean if it had a texture, like a snakeskin, although olive sounds great, too.  I think soft crepe de chine fabrics work well for transitional work-for-home, and am on the lookout for swackets, soft motos and ponte jackets to keep the look comfy but sharp!

    I need to do this exercise, too, but it's launch week at the University.  I'll be luck to be out the door on time!

  • Lantana replied 7 years ago

    Suz I have found this SO useful.
    I see an eminently workable capsule; it might not look/ feel exciting (toyou) but by hell it's "right".

  • Nova replied 7 years ago

    I love your capsule.  I think it looks great and well put together.  Love the various belts and your scarf.  Never realized how much fun belts could be before YLF!

  • replied 7 years ago

    I love this capsule Suz. I was away for the first one so I popped back to the post and I can see the difference. This one seems better suited to your every day activities and It still looks fab with the colours you chose. You have got a fab style groove going at the moment.

  • Krista replied 7 years ago

    Lovely capsule, Suz! If it's any consolation, the farmers almanac says it will be fairly mild into October, so you'll get lots of wear out of those white jeans! :)

  • replied 7 years ago

    I love those patterned taupe jeans that Ceit posted! This is a terrific capsule Suz, and if you are tired of it, just box it up and...well, you have my address! Seriously though, you look very put-together in these outfits and they will no doubt help you to feel crisp and professional when it's time to switch into the "I am working now" mode. 

    On the white jeans in the Autumn, I love them with neutrals, like black, taupe, charcoal, grey, animal prints, etc. There is something inherently Summery about white + color in my consciousness, so try them with other neutrals if you feel you are missing the Autumnal vibe. The leopard scarf would be great if you still have it. I culled mine last Spring because it was polyester and now I am kicking myself because I haven't been able to find a replacement. 

  • Suz replied 7 years ago

    Claire, I KNOW about that scarf, eh? I wish it were a slightly different shape/ longer or something and a better fabric. But I hold onto it for dear life anyway because you are absolutely right - it is impossible to find a replacement. In an era when leopard print is everywhere, this combination of tones is almost impossible to find, and it is a GENIUS blend for our palette. I love how it looks with all my neutrals and colours. 

    I will keep a look out for an alternative and if I find one I'll let you know right away. And you do the same please! 

    Great idea about pairing the white with neutrals to make it more autumnal. This was my thought as well. Hence the taupe. But then when you add a fuchsia jacket, I guess that increases the colour quotient! :-) 

  • replied 7 years ago

    All right my leopard printed friend! I have almost totally become a snake print convert because the tones are so much better suited to my (our) complexion. Most leopard prints are so warm, but I'll keep my eyes peeled for us both!

  • Angie replied 7 years ago

    You did an utterly superb job, Suz. I prefer this capsule to the first one, which was stellar too.

    Now. Combine the two capsules, wear your favourite combinations, throw in random "un-capsuled" outfits in-between, and you'll be plenty excited throughout Sept, is my bet.

    By doing this capsule exercise you have proved that the items in your wardrobe relate well to each other. You have a closet full of great outfits. That was the point.

  • Suz replied 7 years ago

    Thank you, Angie! 

    I think one reason I was less excited here is that there are no new items or new combinations. So that can feel a bit stale. But by adding in a few of the newer items as temperatures allow, I will get a bit more "zip." Also, when it comes to work-at-home, there is something to be said for comfort. In fact, isn't that exactly what I want? 

    I've already had a few "aha" moments from this exercise and feel more in control of my closet than in the past. It's actually helping me in some ways I might not have predicted, but I'll save those reflections for another post. 

  • texstyle replied 7 years ago

    This is a great capsule Suz - love that you took the time to do it. And I also love that it is such a "real life" capsule for you too. You look fantastic in each of these outfits and it would be hard to choose a favorite. I do love neutrals so the white/neutral tones are esp. nice to me.

    I did take the time to photograph several of my wardrobe pieces for a capsule - so I could play "paper dolls" with them at my computer when I get free time. It also helps to catalogue my clothing so I may try to take a photo of each and everything as time permits. Now I have to do the *hard* part and try on each outfit.

  • Lisa replied 7 years ago

    Great capsule here.  I also try to wear my white jeans throughout Sept before I put them on the side.  If I had white straight legs, I'd actually sport them year round.  I adore white with cream and taupe and browns in cooler weather.  But my white bootcuts get too dirty once our weather cools down.  I have found that capsules are great for identifying a wardrobe hole and having a list of "ready to go" outfits for rush days.  But I don't think one has to wear every option, that's what the other capsules are for! :)

  • texstyle replied 7 years ago

    Suz, Claire - Regarding the leopard print scarf - on Amazon (US at least) there are many of them available. I noticed a couple of black/white versions as well s many other variations in color, size, etc.;qid=1378

  • Sara L. replied 7 years ago

    I think this is a great capsule but maybe it doesn't feel as fresh to you since these are outfits you already wear? Maybe if you added a skirt to your bottoms, as in your first capsule, but still kept it casual enough for work-at-home days, it would feel more exciting?

  • Suz replied 7 years ago

    Thanks, all. Sara, I could add one of my VC tube skirts here -- the navy. 

    Texstyle, thank you for those links. I wasn't all that clear in what I said to ClearlyClaire :-)  What I meant was that it is tough to find one in the precise colour combo of the one we shared (until she purged hers). It's got a brilliant combination of a taupe-y tan (sort of neutral, neither truly cool nor truly warm) with charcoal and what is almost a teal blue in the pattern. And I swear to you, it's chameleon -- works with EVERYTHING and looks truly amazing. I have not found another leopard print that is as perfect, anywhere, on any item. 

  • pil replied 7 years ago

    This capsule looks perfect for your work at home/quick errand needs, Suz. It's hard to pick a favorite combination, though I do love the white jeans.

    Please share if you find a replacement leopard scarf! I almost picked one up at Target today but decided it had too much black.

  • Day Vies replied 7 years ago

    I love the leopard jeans! I agree with you Suz this capsule seems much more in line with the outfits you create for yourself daily. I love the colors prints and textures -- the combinations are fabulous. No clue where to find khaki colored jeans -- I am sure by now someone has made a suggestion already. I'll just enjoy the pictures ;-)

  • Lyn D. replied 7 years ago

    Just discovered this via Angie's Blog.
    Suz, your at home style is so lovely, and more like my going out to shop etc style.
    I am taking careful note of your neckline preferences, they are becoming mine now that my hair is shorter. 

  • lyn67 replied 7 years ago

    Great capsule, Suz, I bet will feel as good as it looks!
    Then, I second Claire. Pairing my whites with neutrals like this taupe and silky floral front mixmedia cardi makes me enjoying my summer whites deeper  in fall, too:-).

  • dakotacheryl replied 7 years ago

    Wow, these are wonderful combinations and you look totally fab in all of them...adding a bookmark to this one !!

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