Wardrobe Challenge: Shop in Your Closet

It’s embarrassing to admit, but it’s true: I am just about the laziest person you can imagine when it comes to my wardrobe.  I get stuck in a rut – wearing the same few outfits over and over while lots of other great options hang in my closet.  I’ve identified two causes.  (1). Sometimes an item that would make a new combination needs some little fix-it before it is ready to wear.  And (2). I just don’t push myself to think past those tried-and-true combos.  For 2019 I’m resolving to blast past both of those barriers:

I’ll feature some little repair tricks in other blog posts; I’m tackling the second obstacle by vowing to put together a new outfit every day for the month of January.  Based on the fun I’m having so far, I just may continue through February – who knows?

And I’m challenging you to join me.  Below are photos of my first 10 combinations and the lessons I learned from making them.  After this I’ll post them to my Facebook page – it’s a great way to keep myself honest.

You are cordially invited to post your outfits there as well – it will be fun to see one another’s creativity.

  • Selfies are not my favorite thing – as you’ll see from the “deer-in-the-headlights” facial expressions. But here goes …
  • New Year’s we were just hanging at home, so leggings and a tunic seemed just right.  The “accessory” is my readers hanging from the neckline – oops!
  • Jan 2 was right back into action with a meeting at the non-profit I work with.  This little skirt is cute, but way on the short side.  Tights and boots elongated the look and provided modesty. I’m not big on  “age-appropriate” worries, but my uncovered thighs cross the line for sure!
  • Mostly errands the next day – so dark-wash jeans paired with a berry top and this print blazer in navy and berry tones.  Sort of a fall-ish look without the warm colors.
  • Another relaxed day in berry cords, blush cami and a chunky navy sweater-jacket from Cabi.  A Lauren scarf that I’ve had for at least 20 years pulls all those colors together.  Scarves are such a great investment that way.  As long as they are your right colors they’ll last forever in your wardrobe.  And they don’t get too snug if you gain a few pounds.
  • To me a ponte skirt, matching tank and easy cardigan are just as comfy as jeans and a T  and give me a lot more credibility for meetings and client appointments.  I don’t mind legwear a bit – and panty hose just seem to me like a variation on tights. But if you’re more of a pants and flats person you can still do this outfit challenge. Make the looks fit your life.
  • One of my favorite tricks – although it is nearly impossible to find in ready-to-wear – is a print knit top and a matching pull-on pencil skirt.  That combo gives me the look of a jersey dress, but the versatility of mix/matching the pieces with other solid garments.  Look for that top with my black skirt or my dark gray jeans another day.  You’ll see that an outfit with this much print needs a strong focal point, so I added the chunky necklace you see in the close-up.

  • Plaid jeans in 2 shades of dusty blue with accidentally coordinating T and cardi.  Loved the stone pendant on a long chain that just happened to be the right range of blue tones (although the shiny surface makes it look to bright in the close-up shot.).
  • My absolute go-to gray tweed duster sweater (an old Cabi fave) over darker gray stretchy jeans and a berry tank.  The long scarf picks up berry tones close to the tank color.  And it’s an easy way to add presence to an otherwise bland look.
  • I needed a dressier look for leading a panel discussion at a luncheon, and this ponte sheath – brown with blush banding – was an easy answer.  I wore it with a blush flower on the shoulder, but I took it off afterward because my coat was going to smush it … and then forgot to replace it for this picture.

Then Friday night we got hit with over a foot of snow – enough to entirely shut down this Midwestern town.  No chance I was venturing out, so my “outfit” for Saturday consisted of this jersey jumpsuit and fuzzy striped socks.

Actually this is a go-to garment, especially for travel.  It is the coziest possible thing to slip on in a hotel room, functions as a bathrobe for warmth or as lounge wear when the gang huddles in my room to debrief the day. Looks enough like real clothes for a run to the soda machine or a walk thru the lobby to the hot tub.  Even sleepwear if the room is chilly.    I sewed mine – not sure if you can find a comparable gem in retail.

I’m counting on you to watch for the following weeks of outfits on my Facebook page and call me to task if they don’t show up.  It would be great if you shared your outfits there too.  I’m betting there is more versatility in your closet than you think.

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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.

10 Comments

  1. Katrina B on January 29, 2019 at 11:12 am

    Even your casual outfits look so elegant! That is quite a challenge you set for yourself. The only time I take selfies is when I’m trying to fit a pants pattern and I need to see the back.

    • Nancy Nix Rice on January 29, 2019 at 12:19 pm

      I am having a great time with this challenge – Day 29 and still going strong, although there have been some “big” occasions when my outfit of choice would be something I’ve already worn. But then I’m challenged to find another great option, which was the point in the first place. I’m going to challenge all my reader/followers to pick up the same challenge for February (easier, only 28 days, right?) and share the lessons they learned from the process. One of my big take-aways has been that I can be comfortable and casual without resorting to sloppy and totally lacking in style Thanks for noticing!

  2. Jennie on January 30, 2019 at 7:15 am

    This is a great exercise, I’m enjoying it with you virtually. I get stuck in outfit ruts, too.

    • Nancy Nix Rice on January 30, 2019 at 3:13 pm

      Hi Jennie – fun to hear from you! I’d love it if you’d share some of your pics on the Nancy Nix Rice Wardrobe Consulting Facebook page. I’m going to issue that challenge to the group in a newsletter this weekend, so you could get a quick head start.

  3. Sherry on February 6, 2019 at 6:14 pm

    Nancy,
    Your figure , your choice of garments, and your choice of footwear — perfection ! Yes, I mean it ! I lament that I can no longer wear heels due to my old knees , so looking for cute pumps is on my radar !
    Yes, every time that I get dressed I think of how I can wear these same pieces in a different combination the next time ! Thanks for the visuals , I love your “ stuff “ !

    • Nancy Nix Rice on February 7, 2019 at 7:20 am

      Thanks for the lovely compliment. Have to admit that these selfies are taken in a “skinny” mirror. I only wish …
      Fortunately there are more and more cute flats in the stores these days. Do share pics of your outfits too.

  4. Pam Archer on February 6, 2019 at 10:32 pm

    Nancy, this sounds like a great challenge and I’m ready to give it a go. Lately I’ve been tracking what I wear and it’s surprising how many clothing pieces don’t get worn. Time to challenge that!
    Do you recommend that all ten photos be posted at the same time or can they come in day-by-day?
    My thanks in advance,

    • Nancy Nix Rice on February 7, 2019 at 7:22 am

      I found that a grouping of 3 outfits is the best proportions for a FB post. I make my collages in Powerpoint because I can crop, resize and position the images all in one program – then save it as a JPEG file. I’ll do a blog post today showing how.

  5. Susan Thomson on March 10, 2019 at 2:07 pm

    So great to see pictures of REAL WOMEN, not 20 year olds. Love your ideas about values and contrast. Some of this I knew intuitively, but it’s great to see it validated.

    • Nancy Nix Rice on March 10, 2019 at 4:27 pm

      Glad you enjoyed this. I love proving that EVERY woman can look great – and feel great about it!

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