NY travel capsule & wardrobe musings

Last week I had an amazing opportunity to accompany my friend on a buying trip to New York for her clothing boutique. I wanted to look chic and be comfy for very long days. The weather was around 80F each day, and the venues were air conditioned, though not refrigeration level A/C, thank goodness.

Here's what I wore (all outfits re-created at home, from clothes pulled back out of suitcase):
1-2: Day 1 plane trip and casual evening seminar. Black skinny jeans (Eileen Fisher); fashion-print dress (made by me); long black and white cardi (Bobeau); stone denim jacket (French Dressing Jeans); black and white snake-print sneakers (Mephisto); black Mary Jane slingbacks (Think!).
3: Day 2. Cream cotton pants (Kleen); black woven crepe tee (Pleione); black and stone holey-knit shrug (made by me); black and white sneakers (Mephisto); piano wire necklace and bracelet.
4-5: Day 3. Black flowy washed rayon pants with split legs (Color Me Cotton); zebra print graphic tee (Loft); stone denim jacket (French Dressing Jeans); black and white sneakers. Photo 5 is a tryout; didn't wear it: outfit with long cardi instead of short jacket.
6-7: Day 4. Black draped front midi skirt (Trouve); stone linen raw-edged tank (made by me); stone and black holey-knit shrug (made by me); black Mary Jane slingbacks (Think!); piano wire necklace and bracelet. Photo 7 is a tryout; not worn: same outfit with black flowy pants.
8: Day 5 and flight home. Black skinny jeans (Eileen Fisher); mixed-print tee (made by me); stone denim jacket (French Dressing Jeans); black and white sneakers (Mephisto).

The capsule worked well, though next time, I would bring a scarf. I have a plain light gray one that would have gone nicely with the outfit in 8. I like wearing a scarf on the plane. I also wouldn't bring the Think! shoes again. They have been such comfortable shoes, but on this trip they gave me blisters. :(

Nothing like a trip to New York to reinvigorate the style soul! Shopping with my friend gave me an insider's look at curating a collection for a small boutique. It gave me some insights into my own dressing, too, and I came away with a couple of goals:
One: No more mediocre clothes! Avoid buying or making clothes that I don't love, whether it's the style, fabric, color, or fit that isn't quite right.
Two: Get to work on editing my closet. It contains so many mediocre clothes right now, and they distract my attention from the ones I truly love and want to wear.

Thanks for looking and reading! I welcome your comments and suggestions.

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.


  • Stephanie replied 4 years ago

    Wow - I love #6 on you and am so impressed you made both the tank and shrug. This is a really flattering silhouette!

    You took the words right out of my mouth with your wardrobe goals. That's exactly how I feel. I had a lot of blah in my closet and still do and am working to purchase more mindfully and get better quality items that will last longer. I had to clean out my closet a few times before I really got ruthless and used my gut reaction to guide me in terms of what to keep or toss. Now I'm in the rebuild phase...almost harder some days than getting rid of things! Best of luck with your new fashion goals :)

  • Alassë replied 4 years ago

    You got some great realizations out of your trip. Keep us posted on the wardrobe affects!

  • rachylou replied 4 years ago

    Great travel capsule! The colours are a great scheme. I am inspired to toss everything I hate to wear... just because I can do something with something doesn't mean I should waste my time bothering.

  • Alassë replied 4 years ago

    Go Rachy!

  • Joy replied 4 years ago

    Love your travel capsule, especially 6 and 1. Deciding what to take on a trip is a great way to identify what you love...and don't. Did you buy anything for yourself in NYC?

  • Xtabay replied 4 years ago

    Yes, #6 is a flattering look for you!  What a fun trip. Autumn in New York is the best (in fact, they wrote a song about it).

  • viva replied 4 years ago

    Fantastic travel capsule. And I agree, #6 is a wonderful look on you, head to toe.

  • shedev replied 4 years ago

    Nice capsule Firecracker. It's great that you gained such good insight on your trip.

  • Ginger replied 4 years ago

    This is an amazing capsule. You must have spent so much thought getting all these items together! And I just HAD to stop at #6 when I was clicking through the pictures. There is something really special about that outfit. I think part of it is all of the curving lines, that echo each other and tie together but don't just copy. Amazing.

  • Firecracker replied 4 years ago

    Stephanie, interesting comment about the rebuilding being hard. I have the sense that I just plain have too much stuff. But if I weed out effectively, I may find I need/want some other pieces to make certain outfits work.

    Alasse, I will try to post when I do make some progress!

    Rachylou, very well said.

    Joy, no and yes. I didn't shop any stores and didn't come home with anything. But at the vendor shows that we shopped, I picked out things I wanted, and my friend ordered them in my size. Most of them won't be here till spring. I am looking forward to getting them!

    Thanks, LavenderMoon, Viva, Shedev, and Ginger!

  • Gwennie replied 4 years ago

    I so much like your idea about how you'll decide to buy and I really like this capsule. I just wanted to say I love all the things that you've made - the dress in one and the top and sweater in six. The dress is so fun and the shrug is absolutely beautiful.

  • Sal replied 4 years ago

    Wow you look fantastic and what a fun trip!!

    Yes a good goal, this is what I have "mostly" done this year.  I have not purchased like crazy but have tried to add in only pieces I love, or true essentials.  I have succeeded except for two additions, which I think are both mediocre/average.

    My favourites looks are 1 5 6 8!

    You suit trousers and pants of all shapes and fabrications. I love the long cardigan on you, it is wonderful!  I agree 6 is very elegant and flattering and you!!

  • Suz replied 4 years ago

    What a terrific capsule! So fun that you brought your new sewing project (the print tunic) -- it's perfect and fun for the last days of summer. Like the others, I'm absolutely wowed by #6. That skirt is heavenly on you, as is the topper.

    I love how most of these pieces would have been absolutely wrinkle free. 

    I am also a big fan of scarves for trips. I usually take at least 3. I find they change the look and feel of any solids and often can be pattern mixed, plus they help in varying temperatures. 

    So sorry about the Think shoes. How many pairs of shoes did you bring? I ask because my secret for city travel where I'll be doing a lot of walking (which is pretty much all my travel) and where I also want to look semi-fashionable and not be wearing gear all the time (which is always)  is to bring many pairs of shoes. It goes completely against all advice but it has been literally trip saving for me. In fact, if I can't manage to bring shoes with me, I BUY them while on the trip. For me, it totally works. 

  • abc replied 4 years ago

    6 and 8 are my favorites, but what I really love is your insight.  I was JUST thinking the same thing about my own wardrobe and needing to cull more.

    I've lately been trying to SYC and wear what I have, but I force myself to wear things that hang unworn for a reason.  Time for them to get removed from the closet.  No use taking up space for things I don't love, or that don't love me back.

    Kudos to you and it sounds like a fab trip!  How fun to see the behind the scenes.

  • texstyle replied 4 years ago

    I have to agree that #6 is a clear standout here - beautiful! - but the others are great too, though I might have preferred seeing them with the Think style shoes (if not those exact shoes). Really well thought out capsule and wonderful experience for you.

  • Cerinda replied 4 years ago

    #6 is amazing, but I really like #3 ( maybe it's the shrug I'm, loving?) and #8.  Terrific travel wardrobe.  And, man, sounds like you had a blast!

  • Aida replied 4 years ago

    Oh no my namesake shoes were naughty! Sorry to hear they didn't behave, I know you've worn them to meetups with lots of walking so that's a bit strange. Perhaps they've stretched too much and are a bit large now? GREAT capsule (particularly fond of the print dress in #1/2). Sounds like a really fun trip, I bet it was an awesome experience.

    Totally down with your style goals, too. And fully on board with Rachy's comment: "just because I can do something with something doesn't mean I should waste my time bothering." I have to remind myself of this far more often than I probably should :\ Which means that I also probably need to do another round of editing (I'm already down 1/4 of my wardrobe since the start of the year, after two large edits). Deep breath, we can do it!

  • Caro in Oz replied 4 years ago

    What a fantastic capsule. I LOVE #6 so effortlessly elegant. 
    I'm putting together a capsule for a trip (to see my grandson ) It won't be as cool as yours :) :)

    Agreeing totally with rachy - I want to wear my best outfits even if that means more repetition. 

  • donnat replied 4 years ago

    I have not read any of the above comments. You are so not a mediocre dresser. These outfits have a nice edge to them. I am interested in watching what you come up with.

  • Angie replied 4 years ago

    Take me and Sam in your suit case next time? 

    I love #1, 3, 6 and 8. Those are killer looks. Rock on, Sharan. You have an enviable wardrobe no matter what. 

  • Peri replied 4 years ago

    Oh I LOVE to see your outfits with those sneakers!! Nice clothes and sneakers, that is how I always dress. Mine are not as nice, and I'm not as brave about showing them...I'm always in long flares to hide them. You've made them look really good here, very inspiring!

  • unfrumped replied 4 years ago

    Such a great opportunity!
    I think I like #6 the best. I think you can do volume well because you are tall and lean, but I like when is limited to top or bottom and not both.

    So, I hear your lessons and goals and I ask  myself, how many times do I need to hear/review that to really incorporate it into my habits? Apparently I am hard of head.

    I'm in the middle of wardrobe review and edit now. It takes more than a weekend for me, given other demands, and then also may have to put aside for a couple of weeks until more time.

    I have moved a lot of things out of  my closet and made mostly outfits in current closet, for the same reason of getting more clarity and seeing why I like what's there.

    I had been supposed to be using a "list" for wardrobe needs but I got way away from that and went back to randomness. That does not work. Though, I like Angie's recommendation for some percentage of planning and some randomness. I just had too much of the latter.

    I  also  hear you on not mediocre. For me that does not mean limited to super-high end, but I think I know it when I see it but am not being selective enough.

    One thing that is  hard is to trying to find very good quality "essential" workwear because  it just seems to me that many makers make clothes that don't "get me" (Theory, for example)  and because many are online-only and a pain to explore with multiple sizes and so on. Meaning, most things in stores are more trendy--even skirts and blazers--and the upscale more classic business-wear is often online. So I end up buying items that are either lower end, or more casual, smart-casual, trendy , or somehow less   polished & high  quality than is my goal. 

  • Elizabeth P replied 4 years ago

    Oh Sharan, you look(ed) amazing!  What a great capsule.  Comfortable yet edgy.  Like many others, I paused at #6, those lines are sooooo flattering on you.  11/10 for that one.

  • Karie replied 4 years ago

    Sounds like you had a super fun time and gained some important insights while on your trip. My favs are #2 and #6. Very chic travel capsule!

  • shevia replied 4 years ago

    Wow - what a wonderful trip! Your capsule and outfits are fab, especially #6 and especially your MBM dress and shrug. No more mediocre clothes sounds like the perfect closet editing mantra.

  • Firecracker replied 4 years ago

    Gwennie, thanks for your compliments on the self-made items.

    Sally, glad to hear the long cardi is working. I actually just picked it up before the trip to go with the capsule. I wondered about the length, but found it so fun to wear.

    Suz, yes, everything but the cream pants was wrinkle-free. Love that. The cream pants and flowy black pants went with me to Europe this summer, too--great warm-weather travel pieces. You are astute about the shoes. I decided to go with two, since I would be walking 4 days. I figured I would alternate daily. I wish I had taken a third pair. I could have worn my flat Munro booties with outfit 6 and/or with the skinnies on the last day.

    abc, yes, forcing oneself to wear something is the opposite of fun, right? I recall seeing someone on the forum recently, wearing items one last time just to be sure they needed to go. I like that strategy, for the things that we're on the fence about.

    texstyle, thanks! And I agree--I would have preferred different shoes with the black flowy pants, for example. fwiw, I think (hope?!) those pants probably look better in motion, regardless. They're hard to photograph.

    Cerinda, thank you! I really felt good in #3. The shirt tail hung down low in back, too, which I liked.

    Aida, right--I couldn't believe those shoes let me down. Or I could believe it, because many of my previously-no-fail shoes have managed to fail me in New York. That city is unique in more ways than one! (And it's my favorite city.) But to be fair, I was too confident about the Think! shoes--I should have brought along my little sling-back footies, and I didn't, since I had been wearing them barefoot all summer. Good job on your closet edit! Maybe I could bribe you with something (wine? chocolate?) to help me with mine. :)

    Caro, your capsule will of course be your ever-fabulous style. Where is it going to be taking you?

    donnat, how sweet of you!

    Angie, you and Sam would be welcome!

    Peri, thanks for the sneaker love. I'm really into them. They did NOT fail me, thank goodness.

    unfrumped, you are right that it's not easy to stick to the goal, for many reasons beyond our control. I need to remember that, too.

    Elizabeth and Karie, thank you! I did have a blast.

    Thanks, Shevia!

  • Aida replied 4 years ago

    Hey I'd love to come help, that would be fun! PM me :D

  • Caro in Oz replied 4 years ago

    Off to Sydney tomorrow.  I'm taking lots of washable fabrics as my 6 yo grandson has lots of sporting adventures lined up for us :) :)

  • CocoLion replied 4 years ago

    The shrug and stone tank you made are fantastic pieces.  They hang so perfectly.

    My favorites are 3,5,6,7, and 8.  Interesting that two of them (5 and 7) are outfits you didn't wear.  Let me encourage you to give those a go, they work better than you think.

  • lyn67 replied 4 years ago

    Wow! It's amazing how the dress changes it's vibe worn with different neutrals around! Loved your capsule-the only one tweak would be perhaps one uni color(or sleeker, no laces?) sneaker shoe for a dressier(but still casual) look-as your other clothes are on that level, too-at least to my eyes.

  • Brooklyn replied 4 years ago

    My faves are 1,3,6,7 and 8. Kudos to you for a well planned travel capsule. Comfortable and chic. Sounds like a fun trip!

  • Firecracker replied 4 years ago

    Thanks, Denise. I would wear those outfits, too.
    Lyn, thanks for the idea. A third pair of shoes, probably black, would have been great to have along.
    Thanks, Brooklyn. I went to your namesake, too, for dinner one evening. :)

  • Beth Ann replied 4 years ago

    6&8 are my favorites, Sharan, but all the outfits are fab, and it's great that the pieces work together that well.

    I feel like I have a closet full of 7s at the moment, so I hear you on the power of pieces that you really love.  Let us know how the sorting and planning processes go!

  • catgirl replied 4 years ago

    Another vote for 6 here!  You have such a unique, artistic, architectural style that I'm sure heads were turning in NY!

  • approprio replied 4 years ago

    This is a fantastic capsule. Beautiful silhouettes and plenty of variety. The dress is wow! I should have looked at this before I posted yesterday...

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