“Everybody” knows that a classic navy blazer is a wardrobe must-have, right? So I got one, then realized that the standard coordinates aren’t my style. Khaki pants, camel trousers and the like are great with the jacket … but not on me. My current navy bottoms aren’t a color match for the jacket – no surprise since there are so many shades of navy. Now what?
My first thought was to pair it with a charcoal gray skirt and silver-gray shell. That worked, but was utterly boring on me. Then I remembered a cute scarf I found during a pandemic-era scouting trip to the nearly-empty mall. Astronomy motifs plus flowers and butterflies (?) in navy, silver and blush pink added some punch to the neutral combo. Outfit #1.
The blush elements of the scarf pointed me toward a blush-toned tank to swap for the silver shell. Outfit #2.
The navy and blush pairing suggested a berry-colored bottom garment. I already have a berry ponte skirt with a fun pleat detail and a pair of jeans in berry stretch corduroy. A Ralph Lauren floral scarf (at least 25 years old) finshed off both combos. Outfits #3 and #4.
Then I remembered hunter green cords just like the berry ones. I chose a long, narrow floral scarf to tie that color scheme together. The Lauren scarf would have worked too. Outfit #5.
Dark wash jeans sidestep the need to actually match the navies. Outfit #6.
Trading out for a bandana-size scarf in blush and white with a navy border gives the combo a more springtime vibe – ideal for our annual December relaxation week in the Florida panhandle with a sandal to replace the chunky boot. Outfit #7.
A lighter-wash jean and the silver tank continue the warm-weather mode, and the scarf incorporates all 3 colors to finish the look. Outfit #8.
If I wear each combination just 3 times during the next 6 months – 24 wearings divided into the jacket’s $69 price tag that’s less that $3 cost-per-wear. Pretty good, no? And assuming it lasts for just 3 years, the CPW drops to under $1.
But that’s not all, folks! As I was placing the items back in my closet I noticed a green/navy scarf that reminded me to pair a green tank with the jeans and jacket. Outfit #9.
Then I used the blazer as a discussion topic in our LOOKING GOOD Together online community and one participant suggeted a striped under-layer top. Just happen to have this one in navy and berry – which can pair with the dark jeans, berry skirt or berry cords for Outfits #10, 11 and 12.
At 3 wearings per outfit each year and a 3-year lifespan, the jacket now costs roughly 50 cents per wear!
CHALLENGE: Pick one basic garment from your closet, see how many outfits you can create with it and the calculate the cost per wear. It’s the most acurate way to evaluate the wisdome of your current and future purchases.