A Starter Work Capsule Wardrobe

Starter Work Capsule Wardrobe via livelovesara

White T-shirt • & Other Stories | Striped Shirt • & Other Stories | Black Silk Blouse • & Other Stories | Green Long Sleeve • Mango | Floral Print Top • Mango | Pink Sweater • & Other Stories | Classic White Blouse • & Other Stories | Black Sweater • Mango | White Sweater • & Other Stories | Grey Cardigan • & Other Stories | Blazer • H&M | Dress Pants • & Other Stories | Grey Slacks • Topshop | Wide Leg Pants • H&M | Skirt • & Other Stories | Dress • Mango | Trench Coat • & Other Stories | Leopard Scarf • Nordstrom | Black Floral Scarf • Echo | Skinny Scarf • Nordstrom | Leopard Belt • Ann Taylor | Black Purse • Cynthia Rowley | Boots • & Other Stories | Leopard Flats • Ann Taylor | Black. Flats • Jeffrey Campbell | Brown Purse • Madewell |

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When it comes to work, capsule wardrobes are your friend. It helps you to have a nice, curated collection of work appropriate pieces that streamline everything and makes getting ready for work easy.  When you are coming out of school and starting your first job one of the top things that come to mind are “what am I going to wear”, and the next is “how am I going to afford it?” Because let’s be honest, most of us who are starting our careers don’t have a lot of money to be spending on a brand new work wardrobe. This is why a while back I made a blog post titled A Simple Teacher Capsule Wardrobe Built from Your Closet in Steps. In that post I laid out 5 steps that would help you to build a work wardrobe out of many pieces that you already own. These steps don’t just apply to teacher wardrobe which can lean on the more casual side of business casual work attire but will also work for any new job.

Building a work wardrobe doesn’t have to be expensive because what you are doing is integrating as many pieces as you can from what you already own and then filling in any holes as inexpensively as you can (until you can afford more expensive if you wish to).

My personal wardrobe is quite casual and even I could put together a basic work wardrobe using the above suggested pieces as a guide. Off the top of my head I have 12 out of 16 pieces of the above clothing. I also have all of the scarves, accessories, and shoes that would work as well. That means if I wanted to copy the above list to perfection I would only really need 4 pieces which isn’t bad in the grand scheme of things, especially if you look at sales or second-hand stores.

To show you the variety you can get from a wardrobe of this size I put together 30 outfits below that could be worn. There are so many other combinations that could be made as well so you could easily go over a whole month without repeating an outfit. This list also will easily transition through the seasons without much alterations. If you noticed I stuck to a basic neutral palette of black, white, and grey, and then sprinkled in some colour with pink, green, and a camel trench. I played up the neutral with adding some leopard accessories and a ballet flat (leopard is a neutral) to add some cohesiveness.

Every once and a while I like to redo previous wardrobes because styles and trends change constantly. There is also the issue of many of the pieces I list sell out and people ask me for updated versions.

I hope this helps you to realize that you can start a new job with a great look without breaking the bank. 30 Outfit options are below. Have a great weekend!  

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Starter Work Capsule Outfit Options 1-15 via livelovesara

 

Starter Work Capsule Outfit Options 16-30 via livelovesara

 

White T-shirt • & Other Stories | Striped Shirt • & Other Stories | Black Silk Blouse • & Other Stories | Green Long Sleeve • Mango | Floral Print Top • Mango | Pink Sweater • & Other Stories | Classic White Blouse • & Other Stories | Black Sweater • Mango | White Sweater • & Other Stories | Grey Cardigan • & Other Stories | Blazer • H&M | Dress Pants • & Other Stories | Grey Slacks • Topshop | Wide Leg Pants • H&M | Skirt • & Other Stories | Dress • Mango | Trench Coat • & Other Stories | Leopard Scarf • Nordstrom | Black Floral Scarf • Echo | Skinny Scarf • Nordstrom | Leopard Belt • Ann Taylor | Black Purse • Cynthia Rowley | Boots • & Other Stories | Leopard Flats • Ann Taylor | Black. Flats • Jeffrey Campbell | Brown Purse • Madewell |

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Back to Basics Starter Work Capsule Outfit Options

Back to Basics Starter Work Capsule for under $250 Outfit Options #capsule #workwardrobe #capsulewardrobe #staples #basics #livelovesara

Striped Sweater • Gap | Black Sweater • Mango | Green Sweater • Mango | White Blouse • H&M |
Black Blouse • Mango | Pencil Skirt • Stefanel | Dress Pants • Uniqlo | Blazer • Mango Outlet |
Trench • H&MLeopard Flats • Sole Society | Heels • Michael Kors | Boots • Sole Society |
Black Purse • Sole Society | Blue Purse • Guess

I probably should have included these outfits with the original post of The Back to Basics Work Capsule for Under $250 but I honestly had not finished them when I posted it, so you may want to look back at the original to get the background of this. In that post I discussed taking your wardrobe down to its bones so you can see how many items that you already own could be brought forth and used in your work wardrobe. After you finish that I showed you a small little collection of items that when added to pieces that you already own can give you a very versatile and well-rounded work wardrobe.

I put together 12 outfits from that small collection which will turn in to an innumerable amount of options once you integrate your other pieces. If I added those to what I currently have in my wardrobe that could be brought forth I could easily put together 2 months worth of work outfits without repeating a day sand I don’t have a lot of “workish” pieces. That is a lot of options for only spending an extra $250. Now, to a lot of people $250 may seem like a huge expense which is why I am a huge advocate for finding things in thrift/second-hand stores, Ebay, and thredup. This will give you the same options for a fraction of the price, and really, who doesn’t like to save money?

I really wish that I had a setup here in the apartment that would allow me to photograph me wearing some of these outfits vs the collages to give you a better visual of how they look once you add accessories. Kind of like a store mannequin. But I don’t have a DSLR camera, ample lighting, or a proper white background so the collages will have to do for the time being. I know they can be a bit impersonal and it is something that I am looking to change so I can to give alternate visuals.

I hope that these two last posts allow you to see that you do not have to spend a lot of money to freshen up your work wardrobe, you just need a little ingenuity.

Have a great weekend guys!

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Back to Basics Starter Work Capsule for under $250

Back to Basics Starter Work Capsule for under $250 #capsule #workwardrobe #capsulewardrobe #staples #basics #livelovesara

 

Scenario: You are starting a new job which has a more professional dress code than your closet is equipped for. You have pieces that you can use and get away with but you need to up your game and build a work capsule for under $250.

First: I suggest stripping your current wardrobe down to the bones and bring forward anything that you can use for your new work wardrobe. Try things on in a more formal way, like adding a blazer or slipping on some heels and see if that moves it from casual wardrobe to work.

I give five simple steps for building a work wardrobe in this post that will help you get an idea of where you stand, and what you may need.

Next: Once you have gone through those steps I suggest looking for your pieces at thredup, ebay, or used/consignment stores. That are so many treasures and deals that you can find there and many times you can find things that look like they have never been worn and even still have tags. This will save you tons and allow you to get some extra pieces if you wish.

I’ve put together some suggestions that start with a small collection of pieces that most women already have in their closets. There is no point in buying something when you have pieces that will work.

In my experience most women have at least one of the of the following in their wardrobes:

Most women also have at least a small collection of accessories like jewellery and scarves which can completely change and dress up and outfit.

The pieces that I have selected to add I picked for their cohesiveness. That is important when you want to make as many outfits as possible with as little pieces as possible.

The new addition pieces I have selected are:

Grand Total: $226.85 
(which can be made way lower if you find these pieces second-hand)

In the next post I am going to show a bunch of outfit combinations from these pieces so you can see how they can all be paired.

I hope that this gives you a start on your new work wardrobe.

Do you have a favourite second-hand retailer for finding great pieces?

 

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What I Wore This Week

What I Wore This Week #wiw #ootd #livelovesara

What I Wore This Week #wiw #ootd #livelovesara

What I Wore This Week #wiw #ootd #livelovesara

What I Wore This Week #wiw #ootd #livelovesara

What I Wore This Week #wiw #ootd #livelovesara

What I Wore This Week #wiw #ootd #livelovesara

Outfit 1 – Leather Jacket + Plaid Shirt (similar) + Black Pants + Purse • Zara |
Boots • DSW (similar)
Outfit 2 – Peasant Shirt • Zara | Jeans • Gap
Outfit 3 – Leather Jacket • Zara | Shirt • Thrifted (similar) | Skirt • Le Chateau (similar) |
Shoes • Adidas
Outfit 4 – Sweater + Leather Jacket • | Jeans • Gap | Shoes • Adidas
Outfit 5 – Sweatshirt (similar) • Zara | Jeans • H&M
Outfit 6 –  Leather Jacket + Sweater + Purse • Zara | Jeans • H&M | Boots • Frye |
Knit Hat • Similar

Tom’s Birthday was Saturday and Roo’s is on Thursday, so with Merle’s Birthday coming up in several weeks and Christmas being around the corner we are now entering our really expensive time of year. Birthday’s are generally low-key here and we are taking the girls to see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them to celebrate Roo’s. This has been her plan since she heard it came out close to her birthday. It will be Merle’s first time at a theatre because it wasn’t until recently that I knew I could trust her not to act out while there, so everyone is really excited to be able to go see it together.

Merle woke up today with no voice which freaked her out. Somewhere in the last 24 hours she came down with a head cold (which I hope she doesn’t share with the rest of us). That combined with cold, miserable weather today prompted us to put up the tree. We were listening to Christmas music on Spotify when the Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas song came on and she almost lost her shit. Then I remembered that they have an entire Christmas album, which I’m not sure how I forgot since she is an Alvin fanatic. So we listened to it on repeat all afternoon. Let’s hope the tree lasts its first night with Severus the cat who so far has basically ignored it but he becomes wild at night. I realized tonight that I also can’t wrap and leave the presents under the tree yet because the cat eats and rips paper and will help the kids unwrap their presents early or at least give them a sneak peek ;) I need to get one of those huge Santa sacks that I can wrap and place them in until Christmas eve because I am not wrapping them all that night. I have done that the past several years and it totally sucks even when you bring a bottle of wine in to the room with you. Drunk wrapping while watching Netflix = a slightly better time.

Last week while Roo was taking a robotics class Merle and I did our usual mall walking/window shopping thing and I tried on some imitation leather pants at H&M that were only $24.99. I took a dressing room picture that I posted to Instagram stories and my mom Facebook group asking yay or nay? Opinions were a unanimous yes from them so I went back the next day to pick them up. I have looked for a pair for a while, and actually owned a pair a while back but they were borderline too snug. These are high-waist and not too long on my short legs which is nice for once, and for $24.99 I couldn’t beat that price. I’m not willing to fork out several hundred dollars for a real leather pair since these actually look like leather and fit really well. My only complaint is that you need to size up, but that is fairly common with H&M pants.

Do you wait until Christmas Eve to wrap your presents?

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What I Wore This Week

What I Wore This Week #wiw #whatiwore #capsulewardrobe

What I Wore This Week #wiw #whatiwore #capsulewardrobe

What I Wore This Week #wiw #whatiwore #capsulewardrobe

What I Wore This Week #wiw #whatiwore #capsulewardrobe

What I Wore This Week #wiw #whatiwore #capsulewardrobe

Outfit 1 – Coat • Zara | T-shirt • Brandy Melville | Jeans • H&M | Shoes • Adidas
Outfit 2 – Peasant Top • H&M | Leather Jacket • Zara | Jeans • Gap
Outfit 3 – Kimono Top • Madewell (similar) | Jeans • H&M | Boots • DSW (similar)
Outfit 4 – Blouse • H&M (similar) | Leather Jacket • Zara | Jeans • Gap | Beanie (similar) |
Shoes • Converse | Purse • Urban Outfitters
Outfit 5 – Coat • Zara | Blouse • Zara | Jeans • H&M | Boots • DSW (similar) | Purse • Zara
*Merle’s outfit in picture 1 – Sweater + Leggings • Zara | Jacket • H&M | Shoes • Converse

There isn’t much exciting news on the forefront in my life at the moment. But we did find out Tom’s work is going on a 2 month hiatus for Christmas holidays while they transition in to another season of filming. This completely sucks and is exactly why I started Christmas shopping in May. I don’t know if we have ever had a Christmas where money wasn’t an issue.

I did get my interim coat this week. I was looking for an oversized jacket in grey or camel colour that I could easily layer under and would be warmer than my leather jacket but not a parka. I looked at the Zara website since they usually have things in my price range and saw one that I liked for $89. Since we have a large Zara in the mall next door I checked the online inventory so I could go over and try it on, and they had a few left in inventory in my size. Merle and I went over when we were waiting for Roo to finish her Robotics class. She calls this time “mommy and Merley time” because we usually mall walk while she is in the class and get Pinkberry because when Roo is with us she won’t let us go since she has boycotted them. There was a gaming store she liked there before, it closed and Pinkberry took over the location and she hasn’t forgiven them yet ;) Anyway, I tried on two coats of similar styles but picked this one because it had large pockets.

Tom calls the jacket my “Judd Nelson in The Breakfast Club” jacket. I’m not sure if he means that’s a good thing but since I love that movie and Bender I’ll take it that way ;)

How is everyone holding up this week?

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