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How to Create a Special Occasion Capsule Wardrobe

The fall and winter months are a time when so many of us find ourselves with some special occasions to attend. Company parties, charity benefits, special concerts or plays and more. If you find yourself struggling to figure out what to wear to these events, then today’s post is for you! I’m going to walk you step by step through creating a versatile special occasion capsule that will have you feeling fantastically dressed in a matter of minutes.

Special Occasion Capsule | Holiday Capsule

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Those of you that read my blog regularly know that I’m am a big fan of capsule wardrobes. Essentially, this means buying fewer but better and more versatile pieces that can be worn more often. People who practice capsule wardrobes experience less overwhelm when getting dressed (because items easily mix and match) and save money (because you don’t end up buying a bunch of junk that doesn’t go with anything else in your closet).

Creating a Special Occasion Capsule

For a beginner’s special occasion capsule, I recommend six individual pieces:

  • a black base (trouser or skirt, according to your preference)
  • a shiny top (metallic, sequins)
  • a sheer top (lace, mesh)
  • a saturated color top
  • a black evening shoe
  • a black evening clutch

You are also going to want to consider your lifestyle. If business casual work parties and neighborhood get together’s are your dressiest events, apply the same formula, just use more casual pieces. For instance a metallic or sequin embellished sweater with a black jean and suede ballet flat. The pieces below are geared towards slightly more dressy events. And the best part is, the tops will work with jeans as well, giving even more value from the investment!

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Black Bases

I recommend black for a base because it’s classic, chic and versatile. A well made and well fitting pair of trousers or a skirt can take you through years of special occasions! In trousers, looks for fabrics with some drape to them, wool crepe, satin or velvet. Avoid trousers with the popular “paper-bag” waist as it limits the types of tops you can wear. With skirts, I think a wool crepe is the best option for something above the knee whereas satin and velvet are better suited to midi-length cuts.

Shiny Tops

Let yourself literally shine at your next special occasion by wearing something metallic or sequined! A bit of sparkle on top allows you to keep jewelry minimal.

Sheer Tops

I hint of skin is always so sexy! Whether you prefer the more demure feel of lace or the slightly edgier sheer mesh look, I recommend something with a hint of skin for your special occasion capsule.

Saturated Tops

Jewel tones are among my favorites because they look so great on virtually everyone! And they are perfect for special occasions. Think ruby red, sapphire blue, emerald green and amethyst purple.

Black Evening Shoe & Clutch

Living in the chilly mid-west I prefer a closed-toe shoe for the winter months but if you’re in a warm climate, feel free to go with a sandal. Because you’ll likely be standing a lot, look for a mid-heel as opposed to a super-high stilletto, unless you know you can handle that! A simple black clutch gives you the most mileage but fun handbags are great, often-inexpensive add-on’s as you grow your capsule. See the extra credit section for some ideas!

Extra Credit

As you build your capsule you may want to add on with some additional pieces! With a lot of events on your plate, you may wish to purchase a evening coat in lieu of using your standard long black. The on-trend faux furs are perfect for evening! Or maybe you’re in the market for a lace or sequined skirt – both fantastic when paired with a classic black cashmere turtleneck! How about a fun print shoe to liven up the basics?

Special Occasion Capsule | Holiday Capsule

Be sure to check the post-holiday sales to scoop up some of these items at bargain prices! I always find something to add to my rotation. Just be sure to avoid items that are too trendy – you don’t want to be outdated before your next special occasion season rolls around!

Until next time…keep cultivating a simple, stylish and satisfying life!

This post will walk you step-by-step through creating a special occasion capsule that will have you feeling fantastically dressed in a matter of minutes! #specialoccasioncapsule #holidaycapsule #capsulewardrobe
This post will walk you step-by-step through creating a special occasion capsule that will have you feeling fantastically dressed in a matter of minutes! #specialoccasioncapsule #holidaycapsule #capsulewardrobe

2 thoughts on “How to Create a Special Occasion Capsule Wardrobe”

  1. Hi Betsy. I love the idea of a capsule wardrobe. It works well for me as a perpetual traveler. I must say black is my go-to color for jeans skirts, boots and handbag. Though we won’t be going to any special parties this year, since our move to Chiatura, I will incorporate your idea to wear a pretty sparkly top with jeans, since I prefer a more elegant style for everyday. Thanks for sharing these great fashion styles. I especially love the jewel tones. Cheers!

    1. The older I get, the more I am committed to capsuling! You are right, it makes things much simpler when you travel a lot. Love the sparkly top with jean pairing – hope you’ll send in a pic! I’d love to feature you on the blog!

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