In At Work, Capsule Wardrobe, Discussions, In my closet, Minimalism, Style, Style, Wardrobe Help, Women

What does minimalism look like for a professional working woman? Part Five – 21 Actual Outfits (Massimo Dutti Skinny Navy Blue Pants)

If you want to know, here are  some details on the capsule pieces I chose and my rationale for them.


All of these looks below are based around one piece in the original capsule list with 18 pieces!

….& 3 pairs of shoes

…featuring these high-waisted Massimo Dutti navy blue pants which are no longer available but these Ann Taylor high-waisted Ankle pants , J. Crew Cameron high-rise seasonless pants, or these Banana Republic Sloan skinny pants.

Obvious pairings omitted from below:

Just the top plain with the pants are generally omitted but I could have gotten another 11 outfits out of the looks, or more, with different toppers matching with the tops.

I tried this time, to go with different layers and ideas.

Total Outfits = 32 looks

Shown below: 21 looks

Outfit 1 Outfit 2 Outfit 3


Outfit 4 Outfit 5 Outfit 6



Outfit 7 Outfit 8 Outfit 9


Outfit 10 Outfit 11 Outfit 12


Outfit 13 Outfit 14 Outfit 15


Outfit 16 Outfit 17 Outfit 18


Outfit 19 Outfit 20 Outfit 21

Use belts where you can, unconventionally

The first look is actually that wrap top, and instead of just wrapping it around the top, I wrapped it around the topper to give it some edge.

The second look, is a black ribbon belt that I took off a dress, and tied into a necktie of sorts to use as a necklace.

The third, is an obi belt, but I put a brooch at its knot (it’s a radish!)

Belts can work at different heights

In a previous outfit post, I felt like the thick, stiff leather belts didn’t work on this top:

But when I switched to a fabric belt, it was less of an issue, even at various heights, as the blue also tied into the pants and looks a bit more intentional.

Dresses with buttons to the end, work great as toppers

Need a duster or a topper? Use a dress you already own (or seven.. in my case).. these are just two of the ones I have in the capsule:

In the first two looks, I wore the dresses open, but the third look I combined the two for a different look completely.

When in doubt, try it open!

As I was playing around with the dress as a trench topper, and I tied it but then it made me feel very bulky and added weight where there was none.

So, I wore it open and the effect was much better.

Play around with layering tops

Skinny bright belts can change an outfit completely

I am not a fan of using belts that came with the dress or item, and this vintage red belt stolen .. er.. “borrowed” from my mother’s closet is one of my favourite staples to help add something to an outfit without it being too much. The effect is really different:

Tie up the cardigans

To be honest, I feel like this doesn’t work as well on me because I am an inverted triangle shape, so anything that is tied up higher than my waist, tends to give me an unbalanced look of being too top heavy by my shoulders.

That said, these looks are still not that bad, particularly the first one, as it adds something different. The whole point is to experiment until you find what looks good and works, and then stick to those looks.

A versatile wrap top, indeed

This top has a long tie in front as you can see in the middle picture.

I arranged the first look so it wrapped tight around my body, the second is a looser more casual way to wear it, and then I wrapped it around a topper to use it as a belt

Choose the belt that works best

Same topper cardigan, different belts. The first one is fine on its own because the skinny belt works perfectly, but in the second look, as the belt was too thick, I needed the topper to ‘soften’ the look and to let the belt knot be the highlight rather than the eyesore.

In the third look, all you can see is the obi belt, and I didn’t button up the cardigan – I wrapped it around myself tightly.

Watch for the bulk

See me in both pictures? In the first, I look slim, in the second, I look bulkier around the waist – that is because the second look has a very ruched/draped top that added bulk especially when you top a thick trench dress over it and try to belt it:

I am the same person, same body, same day taking the shot but I look very different in terms of size and silhouette. Clothes DO make a difference and if you play around with different outfits, you will see what adds bulk and what doesn’t, and before you know it, it becomes second nature.

(That said, I don’t hate the second look, I just wouldn’t wear it like that with that belt, maybe with a tight obi belt to cinch it all in).

Belt versus Brooches

You don’t always need to belt anything, you can also just put a lot of brooches to “hold” the top closed or add some interest.

Footwear makes a big difference

Heels, flats and boots. They’re all different in terms of what you want to add as interest.

Heels are the most casual, and even though the flats are casual, they’re pointy & gold, so they’re not as casual. The most casual but gives you height, for me, are the booties which I LIVE IN.

Try cuffing your pants

In the left outfit, with the same heels it is cuffed, and in the right outfit, uncuffed.

I like both versions, but I am slightly partial to the cuffed version because it looks a little sleeker.

But with heels, you can wear it cuffed or uncuffed, because the height of the heel gives the length already to the foot by angling it up.

Take a look with heels versus flats:

Here is the same look below in a pink top with the cuffed + heels with the one on the right where I did not cuff anything with flats.

Now here’s another one where I did not cuff the left side but I cuffed the right

Now with the same flat shoes, cuffed on the left and uncuffed on the right:

Generally speaking it looks neater to me when cuffed in all options, but only with the stiletto heels I could have it cuffed or uncuffed.

Liked this? Let me know! I can do more if there is an interest.

P.S. All of my other capsule wardrobes (but none with real-life shots like this yet), are here.

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Am my own Sugar Daddy. Am a millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I have 11 side incomes that are on track in 2020 to make me $50K - $75K. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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  1. Anne

    Outfits 20 and 21, fabulous! I think I’ll have to get that top, it looks gorgeous in every outfit.

    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      You have a love for this particular top 🙂 I do too. It’s a very nice piece.


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