Sometimes, the clothes I have in my capsule wardrobe aren’t going to cut it when it comes to creating an outfit for a special occasion. As a working mum of two little ones, such occasions aren’t a regular part of my calendar, so when they do come around I want to wear something that’s not part of my everyday wardrobe.
This is where a “special occasions” capsule comes in – a small selection of clothes and shoes that can be worn for events such as weddings, fancy dinners and parties, the Melbourne Cup, or even just those date nights when I want to wear something nice for when I’m spending quality time with the husby. For this capsule I’ve tried to include a selection of clothes that could be worn for any of these occasions, but you’ll find there are a couple of themes running throughout what I chose.
Special occasion clothes, clockwise from top left:
1. Black-and-white dress, Karen Millen
A friend of mine was giving this dress away while I was pregnant with Mr 1, and event though I could barely fit my leg in the dress at the time I snapped it up straight away. I love chevron, and I love black and white, so this dress was the perfect combo of the two. Unfortunately I haven’t had the chance to wear it since I got it – even after giving birth – opportunities to wear such a statement dress have been few and far between. I’m hanging out for my friend who gave it to me to get married soon so I can wear it to her wedding and give her a little surprise!
2. Navy sleeveless shirt dress, Kanzi
This is from a little Korean boutique in Chatswood, Sydney; on the hanger it looks rather nondescript (rather shapeless in fact), but it does look nice once worn. It’s made of a beautiful silky fabric with a tab pull hidden in the back of the dress to give the slightest hint of shape. I like to add a waist belt to give me extra shape; I also love adding a good arm party to give interest to the staidness of the navy.
3. Lambskin leather skirt, Paddington Markets (similar)
Another market purchase, this time at Paddington Markets in Sydney. True story: I bought this skirt while I was shopping with my very vegan friend. I felt terrible about buying it in front of her because of her principles, but she was actually really good about it and even said it was a good buy (for me). I haven’t been able to wear this skirt since becoming pregnant with Mr 1, but I’m really looking forward to busting it out for winter.
I picked up this gorgeous top from a market in Melbourne a few years ago – I’m sucker for anything black and lacy. I’ve worn this top with skinny jeans and heels for dinner dates where I want to look extra nice (but still want to be comfortable – hey, dessert is always in order whenever husby and I go out for dinner). For an extra extra nice dinner out, I’ll wear it with my leather skirt (see #3).
5. Black jumpsuit, Mink (similar)
What are your thoughts on wearing black to a wedding? I wore this jumpsuit to a friend’s wedding a couple of years ago – they’re a pretty unconventional couple who didn’t really follow the “rules” for wedding attire. I like to replace the sash of the jumpsuit with a waist belt for a little metallic detail, and prefer to wear gold accessories as the column of black makes the gold really stand out.
Special occasion shoes, from left:
6. Snakeskin and black leather heels, Nine West
I had a pair of black suede t-bar sandals I always had on hand for special occasions, but the suede was starting to get a little worn away and I hadn’t taken very good care of them so they needed to be replaced. I bought these shoes last year when Nine West had an extra 30% off sale items – I’ll always have a weakness for snakeskin print.
Stiletto heels are gorgeous, but give me a block heel and I’m a happy lass. I’ll typically wear these heels with the Kanzi dress in #2, but I’ve also worn them when I want to dress up a basic shirt-and-jeans combo.
8. Nude heels, Bonbons
I’ve had these shoes for years now and I just can’t part with them because they’re the most comfortable pair of heels I have ever had. Like the Witchery pumps in #7, I’ve worn them with a shirt-and-jeans outfit to make it a little more dressy for date nights, but they would also look great with that black and white dress in #1!
A couple of features of my special occasions capsule:
- The items are all in a neutral colour. This means they can be worn to pretty much any special occasion (yes, even black at weddings). I like to add colour with my accessories, belts and handbags.
- Except for the blouse and skirt, they’re all one-piece. It just means reducing the amount of time I spend thinking about coordinates, and they’re also more comfortable. As with the point above, the bag and accessories are key for adding extra details.
Check back in on the blog tomorrow where I have some fun styling some of these pieces with my white shirt and other capsule wardrobe items for an upcoming post on my virtual day in Vegas! I’ll also be sharing some memories of when I was in Las Vegas (it may include something about eloping)!
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