May has been the busiest month for me for a very long time. I was travelling to three different countries in the past three weeks, and doing Me-Made-May at the same time. Yup, halfway through it and I’m still in the handmade capsule wardrobe space. However, I am only just catching up on sharing the resulting outfits with you guys (some bits and pieces on Instagram, but I just could not make me take pictures every day).
So, remember how I was aiming to do three capsule wardrobes throughout May, the first of which was based on black/white/reds? Well, I am back with my nicely photographed and accessorised outfits.
So, without further ado…
I wore this edit mostly during my work trip to Chicago, where I was at a conference for 3 days, plus a formal dinner, then had 3 days on my own exploring the city, as well as two days of travelling. I especially chose my items to be able to cope with these arrangements, as well as the weather, which was sunny, but sometimes cold.
This was the first day of my conference and I really wasn’t sure what to wear. So I went for a smart-casual look, wearing jeans but also a jacket and a bit of heel, plus a really nice silky cami.
I’m wearing: RTW blazer (old) | Sew Loft Diana cami in poly charmeuse| RTW skinny jeans (old) | Marks & Spencer kitten heels (new, but I know I will be wearing them loads going forward, very comfortable) | Marks & Spencer earrings (new)
Verdict: Did the trick, the day turned out to be super hot, so I was happy to take off my jacket on the way back to the hotel. Thought I would not have taken it off in the actual meeting, a bit indecent. Really glad I shortened the straps a bit, as not to show too much cleavage. And a really good strapless bra is invaluable.
This is the outfit that I wore at the formal drinks reception of the conference in the amazing Chicago Cultural Institute (former Chicago City Library). If you have not been, I really recommend visiting this incredibly beautiful building (for free) and enjoying the numerous cultural happenings and exhibitions. I also recommend the Chicago InstaGreeters free tours that start from there every day.
Again, I wasn’t sure what the dress code would be (not black tie though), but I figured I would be safe with my new skirt. I am happy to report it was well suited and I got loads of compliments!
I’m wearing: McCalls 7542 flounce blouse (back neckline was hacked into a V and I added the ties) in striped viscose | pleated midi skirt hacked from Butterick 6556 in satin backed crepe | M&S kitten heels |V&A earrings
Verdict: Loved it! There is something about this skirt and kitten heel combination that makes me feel so glamorous when I step out wearing them. The skirt has a swish about it and I walk in a certain way when I wear the shoes, I just feel a tiny bit of Audrey Hepburn (one of my style icons). I also really like that this blouse can be worn with the ties in front and in the back, for a different effect.
The conference finally over, I changed into something more casual. It was the coldest day of the entire week, so I was pretty wrapped up. I was wearing my warm jumper, over a t-shirt and I also pulled my wool red coat on top of everything., plus a scarf. And I am also keeping it real with my very well worn, dirty Converse trainers.
Verdict: This was a bit of a needs-must outfit, as I was walking about a lot, therefore the trainers, and it was cold, therefore the jumper. However, it turned out to a) do its job and b) still be a bit stylish. Americans are friendly and Mid-Westerners doubly so, but still, I was surprised at how people stopped and complimented my outfit as I was walking through the city. So win-win!
Holidaaaay yay! Conference at last over! After running around sightseeing all day long, I felt like making a bit of an effort for dinner, but still keeping it casual. It turned up to be the biggest pizza I have ever seen in my life, so I needed the room, you see…
The second day of sightseeing, The weather was turning rather wonderful, very sunny and hot, so I had to go and get myself a hat! I have to say, I do quite love it. I have a very unfortunate relationship with sun hats, as I usually buy them on one holiday and then promptly lose them on the subsequent one. I really do hope this one will fare better, as I finally found one that fits me to the T.
This is the day I also met up with two wonderful Chicago sewists, Mary Beth and Sheila. We visited the most wonderful fabric shop I ever had the pleasure of visiting, Vogue Fabrics in Evanston (a suburb of Chicago), but more of that in a blog post very soon.
I’m wearing: Burda Style cardigan made out of an Ikea blanket, RTW t-shirt, Ginger jeans, converse trainers, V&A earrings.
Verdict: Very comfy outfit, although the cardigan was really not necessary, it was a boiling hot day. Those Gingers sure are comfortable!
Alas, time to go home! I still had a fair bit of sightseeing to do, as my flight was quite late in the evening. And quite a full day it turned out to be, with the architecture boat tour on the Chicago River and an afternoon in the Chicago art institute. I was wearing the Mona biker jacket on top, and good thing I was, it was rather windy (it’s called the Windy City for good reason).
I’m wearing: Seamwork Elmira wrap top, with a RTW cami underneath | RTW jeans | suede ankle boots
Verdict: Hmm, I could definitely have used a jumper, especially on the riverboat tour. On the plus size, I liked tieing the Elmira in a different way, with shorter ties hanging down. However, this is one for high waisted skirts or trousers, as it leaves my midriff quite bare (cami underneath was a really good idea). I wore this on the flight back, but I added the oversized cardigan and my wool coat. However, I got back to London to the hottest bank holiday in history, so by the time Carl came to pick me up, I had already stripped to the cami.
Bonus outfit as I was down with jetlag and wore my pyjamas for the rest of the day.
I wore this on Day 6 in the evening, out for drinks in the Hancock Tower. I managed to take some awesome pics of the Chicago skyline at night and even a few of the outfit itself as well (check out my Instagram).
Verdict: my favourite outfit of the 10 days! I love the combination of the fairly formal skirt with the casual jacket, with all the hardware on show. The pop of red also works really well. And the kitten heels + midi length is a match made in fashion heaven.
Grrr, back to the office, but the weather still held on wonderful! I am definitely making this skirt work really hard. This is what happens when you make something you really love!
Verdict: Comfortable, yet put together and not too formal. It was great to come up with some more casual combinations.
I am starting to scrape the bottom of the barrel ideas wise. So I’m repeating one of the outfits from the conference. Also, the jetlag hit me pretty hard so I could not bring myself to be more creative.
I’m wearing: RTW blazer, McCalls M7542 flounce blouse, RTW jeans, kitten heels and V&A earrings
Verdict: This is where the option to tie the ties forward really comes in handy. I feel they elevate a simple outfit and offer a little flair.
Last day, I can’t believe I made it!
I’m wearing: Burda Style Cardigan, RTW t-shirt, pleated midi skirt (Butterick B6556), very old Sketchers trainers.
Verdict: It was a really fun outfit to wear and nice to think a bit out of the box. Plus it was nice and cosy in my cardigan. I think I was inspired by the fashion people in my office who wear fancy skirts with trainers all the time (admittedly, designer ones, but hey ho!).
And we’re done! Breathe!
I think you and I both are ok for marathon capsule posts for a while… They are super fun to assemble and wear, but it’s hard to document them, isn’t it?
SO, WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE OUTFIT OF THE 10?
TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS BELOW OR TWEET ME @SEWRENDIPITY.
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