Kathleen’s Capsule Wardrobe

After Kathleen viewed my Craftsy video class about wardrobe development she immediately started on her Capsule Wardrobe and I thought you’d like to peek in on her progress, especially since she was kind enough to share some terrific collages of her selections. Kathleen is an avid sewing enthusiast, but her process should be just as instructive and inspiring to readers who buy their clothing ready-made.  Here is her styling story …

Step 1 – Kathleen has a casual lifestyle, so she began her new collection with  ponte pants in dark-wash denim blue – a refined jeans concept.   They look great with a shell and draped cardigan in caramel jersey. That pairing prompted her to add a caramel-colored topstitch detail to the pants, underscoring the jeans effect.

Her first shoe purchase was this casual pair that blend with her hair color … and the caramel tops as well.  And the wonderful navy/caramel scarf – which had been languishing unworn in her scarf drawer for years – was the perfect linking accessory.

Step 2 – I happened to be teaching in Kathleen’s area, so we got together for a color consultation.  The collage below is an “explosion” of her Color Fan, showing her neutrals, accent colors and best metallics – rose gold and a gold/silver mix. Don’t they all look yummy together?  Who says everything goes with black and nothing goes with brown?

Notice how her color range include virtually every hue family – but not the typical “8-crayon box” versions.  Her reds are softened and warmed.  Her oranges are more peach-y than pumpkin.  Her yellows are soft camels. Her muted greens have a hint of added yellow.  Her blues are more teal and aqua than royal and her navy is dusted down a bit.  Her purples are equally dusted and subtle.

Her dark neutrals are chocolate brown and caramel rather than so-called basic black.  Her pale neutrals are rich cream and barely-blush.

Step 3 – Based on her new color information, Kathleen chose this assortment of fabrics and colors for additional pieces. Nearly every piece is a rayon/spandex blend so her garments will be comfortable 12 months of the year. Can you feel the natural harmony among the colors and between the colors and Kathleen?  Notice that there are more solid colors than print and patterned pieces – that’s an important key to mix/match versatility.

Step 4 – Putting those solid colors together in unexpected combinations usually requires a linking accessory to make a combo really pop.  So Kathleen added these 4 scarves to connect her outfits. (This much less artistic collage is mine, not hers.  I only wish I has her flair in that department.)

Here’s an example of one of those scarves at work, linking this dusty aqua green with the caramel. It changes the whole look from drab and disconnected to exciting and integrated, doesn’t it?

Step 5 – Kathleen found this print that relates to her original denim and caramel pieces – and the additional separates she whipped up in those same colors –  so a 2-piece dress was a natural addition to her wardrobe. And the necklace and earring set will make a perfect accent for all those combination, especially when soaring summer temperatures make her scarf a less desirable option.

Who knows where her plan will go from here?  But one thing is certain:  she’s already becoming the best dressed woman in her social circle.  We get to do that, you know.  At any age, any lifestyle, any dress size or wardrobe budget … we’re entitled to SHINE!



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. Sherry on August 21, 2017 at 10:54 am

    Love, love, love ! I would wear all of these colors quite happily !

  2. Sue P. on August 22, 2017 at 6:30 am

    Thanks to both of you. I like that the colors don’t overwhelm Kathleen. She shines in her outfit. Best wishes for continuing joy in this journey.

    • Nancy Nix Rice on August 22, 2017 at 8:46 am

      That’s the name of the game – colors that the person wears, not color that wear her. Ironically, we often get “compliments” on the colors that wear us because they are so eye-catching, so many women never realize that better choices even exist.

  3. Becky Pearson on August 22, 2017 at 9:09 pm

    I love your ideas, Nancy! I’ve been having so much fun putting new looks together! Kathleen looks wonderful!

  4. Michala Tennyson on August 31, 2017 at 10:56 am

    These colors would work on some women of color, too.
    Too bad you don’t care to work with us.

    • Nancy Nix Rice on August 31, 2017 at 3:23 pm

      Hi Michala – I’m sorry you have the impression that I don’t want to work with women of color – nothing could be further from the truth. I don’t have a ton of non-Caucasian clients, presumably because many women of color aren’t sure that someone who doesn’t look like them could really be of help to them. But I certainly have clients of all races and nationalities. You’ll see some examples in the LOOKING GOOD … Every Day book.

      I tried to illustrate that also by including Kim in the Craftsy video and on my web site. Donna, my before-and-after example for inverted triangle body types is a WOC as well. And I have repeatedly asked several other of my WOC clients for pic of their mix/match outfits – like the Kathleen example – but none of them have provided any. If you are working on a project or wardrobe update and would be willing to share photos I’d LOVE to feature them. Thanks in advance.

      • Katrina B on September 2, 2017 at 11:54 am

        Nancy, it might not be appropriate for me to bring all this into your blog, but I felt that Michala’s comment was unwarranted and I wanted to respond. I don’t know you personally, but just based on the totality of your online presence, in which you are pretty outspoken on diversity, civil rights, women’s rights, and human rights, it’s impossible for me to believe that you would avoid working with women of color. Or that you could even give someone that impression. Perhaps Michala has mistaken you for someone else?

        • Nancy Nix Rice on September 2, 2017 at 4:19 pm

          Two-fold response here: #1 – I really appreciate your confidence in my character. #2 – It seems I clearly gave Michala that impression and I would much prefer having her confront me about it than not. I’ve learned that regardless of our good intentions, we can come across a lot different than we think. So I apprciate her giving me the opportunity to respond. And to think more carefully about how I present my business in the future. I hope I will hear back from her – ideally with pictures of her projects to share. Big hugs to both of you!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.