Wardrobe Challenge – Days 20-28

Evan as a professional, I’m learning a lot about my own wardrobe by pushing myself to build new combination and by snapping selfies of how they turn out.  For one thing, I’m more fully appreciating value of owning mostly solid garments – they have lots more mix/match versatility than print/plaid/stripe pieces.  And there’s also the wonderful way accessories can change the mood of a look.  Adding a necklace or scarf immediately elevates a look from just garments to “style”.  And changing the shoe choice can make the very same garment combo feel significantly more casual or polished.  Here are some more examples:

  • This jacket makes my heart sing, although you certainly can’t tell by my facial expression (darned selfies!).  I searched for the perfect red leather jacket for literally 30 years before finding this one at a Canadian mountain resort.  It’s a slightly off-red, so I could pair it with brown and blush and this great over-sized scarf.  My daughters showed me to hold the scarf by one corner and let it drape on the diagonal before putting it around my neck – so much more graceful than just folding it lengthwise like I’d been doing.  Yes, that shoe is the same as the gray one in the prior post.  When I find a hot-looking shoe that is still comfy I buy it in multiple colors.  I have black ones too.
  • Teal blue is a universally flattering color, so this Cabi tunic was a rare online purchase.  The handkerchief hemline adds figure flattery, but it’s a bit too long for a shortie like me to wear over pants.  Hence the pairing with this tapered charcoal pencil skirt.  I’ve worn it in the past with a little scarf, but since there is no over-layer to create a vertical line in this outfit, I like it even better with a long vertical necklace to elongate the silhouette.  I also found a shorter necklace in this color range, so decided to wear them both for a bolder layered effect. What do you think?
  • I love twin tops like this one because I can wear them as a set or split them up and wear the shell under other things and the cardi over other color columns (I’m immediately thinking of a combo with navy).  If you ‘re not confident about ways to tie a scarf, you’ll find instructional videos on my YouTube channel.

  • After several dressed-up days I was ready for a few more casual looks.  Grown-up leggings (ponte knit, firm enough not to show every dimple) and that infinity wrap sweater you’ve seen a few times now make a basic column.  Then I layered in a jade green tank sweater and added this spirit-bear charm a friend brought me from Santa Fe.  Any jewelry item with abalone shell will change color to blend with an array of blues, greens and purples and the large bale lets me swap out chains of various lengths.
  • This moto-styled gray jacket is actually cozy sweatshirt fabric.  In this case the print pant is the color link with the berry tank underneath.  I’m not usually a fan of print pants, but this pair is so subtle it doesn’t pull all the attention to my backside.  The pewter necklace works with any gray garments, is ultra-light and comfy to wear and helps balance attention from the print.
  • Yesterday’s cuddly jacket prompted me to pull out this lighter-color one in the same fabric.  It could work with nearly any dark bottom; I opted for dark gray jeans and booties, but black ponte leggings or navy denim would work just as well. The red T-shirt is one I have only worn for Cardinal baseball games (red=mandatory) in the past.  But popped with this red+silver necklace (which is older than my 26-yr-old son) it makes a cute kick-around outfit, don’t you think?

  • After I snapped this pic, I liked the outfit so much I took it off and saved it for our Super Bowl party.  Since we in St. Louis, thus not rooting for either team, there was no need to  wear team colors. I’m not usually a fan of shirts hanging below the over-layer garment.  But somehow this combo made me feel very on-trend and the layers were sufficiently close in color value that I didn’t feel chopped off.  Gray jeans and booties again – are you noticing how many outfits are repeating bottoms paired with different tops?  That itself is a wardrobe development lesson.
  • A reprieve from selfies – Mr Wonderful took this pic when I entered the garment in a design contest on PatternReview.com (I won, BTW, if you’ll forgive a little boasting.)  Dresses are so easy to just slip on and go and this sheath is my favorite silhouette.  I wore it to services and I swear half the congregation complimented it.  My favorite element is the decorative zipper that provides a center front vertical.
  • The cardi is another rare find – an animal print that isn’t too warm for my coloring.  But the necklace is the fun part of this look because it mixes various finishes in silver tones and it is long enough to double-wrap when I want a shorter look (I wore it long in this example).

End of January and I am still finding outfits, so I’m making it an official February challenge for all of you.  Show me what surprises you’re discovering in your own closet.

About Nancy Nix Rice

I help other women feel confident about how they look every day - regardless of their age, budget, lifestyle or the size tag in their pants - so they put wardrobe concerns on the back burner and go share their gifts with the world.


  1. Susan T. Ashworth on February 6, 2019 at 2:04 pm

    I love reading your thoughts and the close-ups on your accessories. I’m a prints girl, and I’m not interested in mix and match, and this is still fascinating. Please continue!

    • Nancy Nix Rice on February 6, 2019 at 4:07 pm

      Glad you’re enjoying it. To be clear – I’m not anti-print, just think many of us overlook the solids and end up with few options to wear our prints with. Pardon my grammar there…

  2. Karen Dorman on February 7, 2019 at 11:18 am

    Nancy, Congratulations on your PR win! It was a jolt to see your photo there; I didn’t realize that you sewed! I am loving your wardrobe challenge and am about to check out your YouTube channel for more ideas. BTW, I also live in fly-over country and was also rooting for no winners in the SuperBowl.

    • Nancy Nix Rice on February 7, 2019 at 2:50 pm

      thanks for the congratulations. I’ve sewn since I was a little girl and have, at various times, owned a fabric nd sewing machine store and run the educational programming for Baby Lock. My happiest clients are the ones who sew, because they can have flattering clothes no matter what nonsense retail is promoting at any given time … as long as they understand what looks good on them.

  3. znne jewell on February 7, 2019 at 9:58 pm

    thanks for the fashion show, nancy! i appreciate the explanations as to why the combinations work so well.

    • Nancy Nix Rice on February 8, 2019 at 11:37 am

      You’re so right: the “WHY” is the important piece. Who cares what I’m wearing personally? But what lessons am I learning along the way and how might those lessons apply to others? And what additional lessons might readers find within their own Wardrobe Challenge and share with the rest of us?

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